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Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

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As you can see above, Elton Brand of the Sixers was getting his grunge on last night. Those very nice screen shots (you can even see the loose threads!) show the results of a rather flagrant foul by Amir Johnson of the Raptors. I’m wondering if Adidas’s Revolution 30 mesh pattern had anything to do with this — like, did the mesh holes act as perforations that made the fabric tear more easily?

You can see video of the play in question here:

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Just askin’: CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN all broadcast NFL games, and there’s a common element to their game coverage: They only use female sideline reporters. The names and faces come and go, but they’re always women.

It didn’t used to be this way. I’m old enough to remember that Lynn Swann got his start at ABC as a sideline reporter, but that was when the whole concept of sideline reporting was new, so there were no established rules, no established roles. More recently, I recall Eric Dickerson and I think Marcus Allen serving as sideline reporters for Monday Night Football at some point within the past decade or so, although that didn’t last very long.

Nowadays, though, it’s all women. Why is that? Is it a good thing for women (because it provides a way for them to be part of NFL broadcasting) or a bad thing (because it essentially ghettoizes them)? While we’re at it, do sideline reporters — of any gender — really add anything to the broadcast? Would anyone give a shit if they were scrapped altogether? Discuss.

(As an aside: I don’t get the NFL Network as part of my cable package, so I don’t know if they also use female sideline reporters for their Thursday-night game coverage. Do they?)

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50 Years Ago This Week

50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Rick Pearson who is here again to bring us his look at the featured television college football matchup from 50 years ago. As always, Rick documented the game back in the day via his “kid cards.”

Two bowls were played on the weekend following the “Big” games … one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday after. Here’s Rick with Sunday’s game:


Jan. 7, 1962: The U.S. BOWL (NBC)

A rare Sunday game for college players closes out the season with a whimper. … The short-lived “U.S. Bowl” All-Star Game from Washington, D.C. … At least they provided everyone striped stirrups to wear under their crews. … The West team must have looked to be mono royal as opposed to mono navy. … Also, the blue on the George Washington helmet may well have been navy; I had NO idea what they’re unis looked like. … Pretty sure this was the last football game for Andy Guida. … Sam Tidmore was drafted by the Browns and Bills, and spent two seasons way down the Browns depth chart, his only NFL stat being three kick returns. … And so ends the “50 Years Ago This Weekend” feature for the 1961 season…also with a whimper.

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Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Yeah, but the burger was GREAT…

1-8-12 s-Over

Full-size version here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Arian Foster had the Texans logo shaved into his head for yesterday’s game against the Bengals. ”¦ Speaking of the Bengals, Jonathan Fanene needs a longer shirttail. ”¦ “Had a day to kill in Hong Kong today did some shopping,” writes Ken Weimer. “Check out this upside-down nameplate I saw at a place selling counterfeit jerseys.” … One of the most enjoyable aspects of my recent “Send a SASE, I’ll send you some stickers” offer was seeing the creative ways in which various people addressed their mail to me. The best one, which arrived at Uni Watch HQ ust the other day, was this magnificent effort by reader Marty Hick (who also enclosed a sheet of his excellent uni doodles as a sticker barter). … There’s a new site documenting the Euro 2012 kits as they’re revealed. “One to keep an eye on,” says George Chilvers. … Jon Laurendeau got an excellent shot of the Tri-City Americans’ Nuclear Night jersey. Can’t wait until some Pennsylvania or upstate New York team does a Fracking Night design. … Amusing TV graphic glitch during the “Why the Fuck Is a Spanish Bank Sponsoring a Bowl Game?” Bowl (from MJ Kurs-Lasky). … Michael Orr held a soccer-themed version of a Uni Watch party in Portland on Friday night and documented what everyone was wearing. ”¦ Heather Scott caught yesterday’s Lions/Saints game at the house of a friend who’d baked these cupcakes for the occasion. ”¦ “I was having a Twitter convo with Rockies beat writer Troy Renck,” says Clay White. “He says that even though they sell the all-purple hats basically everywhere, they do not plan on wearing them this year.” Interesting, since that hat is still shown in the MLB Style Guide. ”¦ Griffin Whitmer reports that Rutgers hoops went BFBS at home last night. BFBS or not, I think that’s a pretty nice uni design. Meanwhile, since Rutgers was wearing black, UConn wore gray instead of their usual road blues ”¦ Nice work by Wayne Koehler, who found a few shots he’d taken in 1983 showing the Reds wearing white batting helmets for a spring training game. ”¦ In yesterday’s item about the helmets and other uni items used on the ESPN set, my anonymous source who’d done PR for Schutt said, “We also commissioned ESPN and CBS helmets that they would use coming in and out of commercials.” Rob Holecko quickly found photos of each one.

Comments (229)

    Good point — I’d forgotten about Goose. But he isn’t treated like a sideline reporter — he’s treated like a co-equal part of the broadcast team with Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston. They always refer to “Kenny, Moose, and Goose” — none of the other (female) sideline reporters get that kind of status. And they toss to him for spontaneous real-time commentary (I’m fairly certain he has a button or something he can use to indicate to the rest of the crew when he wants to say something) instead of the canned/scripted bits that the female reporters tend to do. He’s more like a color analyst who happens to be on the sideline instead of in the booth, and his status just further underscores how marginalized the female reporters are.

    Erin Andrews gets top billing.

    Goose is different, though. The Fox producer will typically open his mike and he’ll just start talking, rather than issuing “sideline reports” prefaced by “let’s go down to the field with Tony Siragusa.”

    While we’re at it, do sideline reporters – of any gender – really add anything to the broadcast? Would anyone give a shit if they were scrapped altogether? Discuss.

    No, no they don’t. In fact, TV announcers in general don’t add very much value to a broadcast. Sure there’s the occasional interesting factoid – but generally they aren’t focused on telling you what’s actually happening on the field, they’re just rambling. If you’re in the kitchen/bathroom/etc without a TV and want to know what’s happening in the game, you need a radio, because listening to the TV broadcast isn’t going to help much.

    Agreed. My favorite moment in TV sports watching history was the end of Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, when the broadcast team had the good sense to just shut up for half a minute and let us hear the roar of the crowd. The more the broadcasters talk, the less a viewer feels present at the event.

    Before my time, but I can’t say that I have a problem with the idea. You don’t really *need* announcers for a game on TV – you’re seeing the same thing they are. With all of on-field digital graphics they use now, the announcers are kinda redundant. The TV screen is telling you that it’s 2nd & 7 at the 34 with 5:32 left in the 2nd quarter, the score is 10-3 and there’s a blue line for the LOS and a yellow line at the first down marker – what do you need an announcer for? All of the relevant info you need is already there, so the announcers end up babbling on and on and mostly saying nothing. Just let us hear the stadium PA announcer and the crowd noise/music… and we’re good.

    Yeah they ought to try that again, with all the on screen stuff it might work. But then again, how would I know when to look up from the computer screen!

    Just let us hear the stadium PA announcer and the crowd noise/music… and we’re good.

    I assume the day is coming when we’ll be able to push a button on our remote control and hear exactly that.

    When I was a kid, I used to imagine all sorts of “enhanced” ways to watch a sporting event on TV. Example: Let’s say my favorite driver in a given auto race is car No. 17. I imagined I could somehow select “17” on some sort of console (remote controls hadn’t yet been invented) and get coverage of the race with an emphasis on my favorite driver, from his perspective. Similarly, I’d be able to indicate my favorite player in a ballgame and experience the game with an emphasis on him. I can specifically remember biking down Maple Street (one block from my house) when I was about 11 and thinking about this stuff.

    Frankly, I’m surprised stuff like this hasn’t happened yet. Obviously, it would require lots more cameras, reporters, etc., but it still seems in keeping with the direction sports media has been heading for quite a while, with the emphasis on individual athletes and consumer customization.

    @ remote options

    1) The day they invent a remote where I can mute Hawk Harrelson & only listen to Steve Stone on the broadcast is the best day ever in the history of the universe.

    2) For a long time I’ve wanted music CDs to have the option of picking & choosing each sound recorded track within a song – either left, right or both speakers; e.g. putting Ringo’s drums on the left speaker & vocals & guitar on the right speaker, or just hear the music or vocals alone (CD variations of this accidentally discovered by misplugging the headphones jack in). They split up the music & vocals on the Pet Sounds box set, but of course I would like to take it a step further (and hear the final version e.g. ‘Good Vibrations’ a cappella tho it doesn’t exist). Why should the producer have all the fun mixing it?

    “Let’s say my favorite driver in a given auto race is car No. 17. I imagined I could somehow select ’17’ on some sort of console (remote controls hadn’t yet been invented) and get coverage of the race with an emphasis on my favorite driver, from his perspective.”

    Your childhood idea, Paul, isn’t so different from the 21st-century concept of NASCAR fans listening to radio scanners, either in the stands at a race or on the couch (via computer). One can indeed select number 17 on the scanner and listen to his communications with spotters and the team’s crew chief. Maybe in the near future we’ll be able to do the same with the “green-helmet-sticker guys” in the NFL.

    My favorite TV sports moment was the first Saints game back at the dome after Katrina. Falcons at Saints. Saints block a punt for the first touchdown of the game. Somehow ESPN was able to stop the announcers from talking for a full 45 seconds. Think about that- 45 seconds on Monday Night Football where the announcers are silent. I’m guessing it broke the record by 44 seconds.

    Also, everyone in the bar I was in was crying. (I live in New Orleans). Amazing moment.

    After every Saints win, I go to You Tube and watch that again.

    Ghettoize is right. While sideline reporting is useless – though no more useless than all other “reporting” that happens on television – several team broadcast squads feature women sideliners clearly more talented than their male play-by-play or color commentators, yet the women never seem to be even considered for the marquee jobs. I watch a lot of Nats games on TV, mainly because I can’t stand a certain member of the radio team, and as play-by-play and color commentators have come and gone, Debbie Taylor (who’s actually won awards for sports journalism) stands out as someone who should be in the press box, yet she’s still stuck doing sideline and fan-in-the-stands interviews. I wouldn’t trade Bob Carpenter for Taylor, but I wish she’d get the chair when Carpenter takes time off, as he does each season.

    Kim Jones does a good job on YES as well – she is a real reporter too – she’s a PS grad, and YES had the guts to send her up there when all the Sandusky/Paterno crap was breaking, and she did a nice job displaying her journalism skills, while at the same time using her intimate knowledge of how things work there in Happy Valley.

    I would like to see YES get some real cajones, and put her in the booth, instead of a snoozer like Flaherty..

    Wasnt Jim Lampley the first sideline reporter and I think he was arrested once, right on the sideline.

    The NFL Network uses Alex Flanagan, another attractive female sideline reporter. (Who NBC also used with it’s #2 team in yesterday’s Bengals-Texans game) And I don’t consider Tony Siragusa a sideline reporter, he is just an announcer who can’t fit in the booth.

    But, yes back to the days of Lisa Guerrero & Melissa Stark (Stark, by the way, was a Spanish major, but when the ABC team was detained trying to get to a preseason game in Mexico City, she was unable to communicate with the authorities: “We are the televison announcers….el tee-vee…uh, zapato… no, wait, I think that’s ‘shoe’…uh…”).. they have seemed to lean more toward attractive eye candy.

    But not all of today’s sideline reporters are women…. FOX will probably use Chris Myers as it’s second sideline reporter (along side Pam Oliver) in the NFC Championship, and CBS (which has altogether mostly quit using them, except for Championships) have used Steve Tasker & Solomon Wilcots in that role recently and probably will again in the AFC Championship. Myers, before being promoted to mostly full-time play-by-play this year, did sideline work, and FOX used Tim Brewster on the sidelines with the Gus Johnson/Charles Davis team.

    Back when CBS used them all of the time, I always thought Armen Keyteyan was one of the best, but other them him, they mostly used female eye candy too. And this year ESPN mixed in Ed Werder for a MNF game or two, among the Suzy Kolbers and Wendi Nixs.

    Not to say that the female eye candy reporters aren’t talented. It could be worse, I believe O.J. Simpson did sideline reports at one time.

    Armen Kitayen (sp?) was a sideline reporter for a couple seasons until CBS actually scrapped sideline reporters altogether, since they add little to the broadcast.

    NFL net uses Alex Flanagan as sideline reporter. She also did yesterday’s early playoff game for NBC.

    *Armen Keteyian. (I cheated and asked the internet, but “Keteyian” was actually my first guess)

    Erin Andrews is actually pretty good at her job. In some respects a good sideline reporter is more valuable than ever because college teams don’t reveal injury information any more.

    Swani was my all-time favorite though. Not much of a politician though.

    A little bit of uni-fun in the Man City-Man United FA Cup match:

    United legend Paul Scholes retired at the end of last season, but decided to come back this weekend. Since they gave Ashley Young his #18, Scholes is wearing 22, which was his first squad number when he came up in the 1990s.

    And if he comes back on with a few minutes left, #15 from City will be rocking a blood jersey.

    Ah nice, the clown reference. Nice segment.

    I don’t think we need to see Hawaii in tiki unis & grass skirt pattern pants, tho it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen like Oregon’s or Maryland’s.

    The bit with the Barney’s guy was obviously a mistake, and it would’ve been better if he had mentioned Maryland’s record to the coach (“OK, so people are talking about your uniforms, but your team only won two games this year”) instead of mentioning it later as an afterthought. Overall, though, not a bad segment.

    I suppose one thing positive about the Barney’s segment—and we’d have to stop and think to appreciate it–is that it rather clearly made the point that fashion designers crossing over into uni design probably isn’t the best idea.

    Has Hawaii ever done a throwback with their uniform from the mid 80s? White helmet, green facemask, and they had a monochrome green, trimmed by the rainbow colors from the era. Hawaii would also wear a white jersey/green pants combo, don’t recall the Rainbows in solid white during that era, though.

    Great interview for Paul and well edited. The Barney character is certainly one of the more obnoxious creatures I’ve experienced. Congratulations Nike for dragging this freak out into the national spotlight – the new face of Nike. Makes want to go shower.

    The segment did miss the mark on exploring the motivation behind the uniform nonsense. We should have learned why Nike (and others) believe uniform porn benefits the bottom line. And the assertions the shoulder design provides some sort of (fabric?)protection is simply ridicuous.

    @ Bluehen – You know this Oregon Nike shit is going to have to stop eventually. Unless they have 80 grotesque designs in the wings for the next 10 years.

    Great job Paul, Overall a good segment. Although too much time spent on Oregon and the Barney guy I could have done without.

    Nicely done, Mr. Lukas! “If you look like a clown & lose, you’re just a clown.” … Somewhere, Bryan Redemske smiles :-)

    Mo Rocca interviewing you in your apartment, how cool is that!!

    Also, Simon the “Barney’s dude” was under-utilized IMHO. He’s usually pretty funny in the VH1 “I Love the…” shows. Gotta take him with a grain of salt…

    The closest you’ll come to your vision now Paul is the NASCAR in-car radio channels on Sirius/XM.

    Several years ago, when TBS was carrying PAC-10, er, uh -12 games, they offered alternate camera angles on some upper channels while still running the main audio channel. I think it was on Dish Network. I found I liked the upper endzone angle much better than the sideline, midfield shot.

    You can get similar treatment now online for NBC Sunday Night Football.

    We get constant camera feeds on Cubs games on AT&T Uverse. One channel is the first base camera, another is the third base, another the outfield, etc. You can also set up a multiview channel with a main picture and three on the side.

    I thought that Indy cars let you watch from inside various cars online, but I might be mis-remembering.

    Watching last night’s Lions/Saints game, I don’t recall a single sideline report, and that was just fine by me. I prefer my broadcasts to be strictly business. No robots, no sideline reports, no novelty announcers, no concerts or music acts.

    Great job, Paul. The best part, however, was the Olneyville New York System bumper sticker in the background. I taught at a middle school about a half mile from there for about sixteen years. Nothing was better than grabbing three all the way and taking them back to my room for lunch. The kids would walk into the class and instantly recognize the glorious aroma….

    Next time you are in Providence (and if schedules allow), three dogs all the way and coffee milk on me.

    I liked the part when Paul acted like he was busy on the computer. Remember that day when Paul was typing comments about trying to look busy.

    Good job Paul! I’m glad you mentioned that it’s the dollar that is driving schools to use multiple uniform combinations.

    Good job, Paul. I wonder though, what kind of education could most of these athletes get if Nike, Under Armor, and all the rest would put all that money into the universities educational coffers instead of the uniforms.

    They would argue — maybe correctly, I don’t know — that the football program generates tons of $$$ for the university’s educational mission.

    Many major football programs fund less popular sports like swimming, soccer and lacrosse. Maybe they don’t add to the education, but they do help the university greatly.

    In yesterday’s item about the helmets and other uni items used on the ESPN set, my anonymous source who’d done PR for Schutt said, “We also commissioned ESPN and CBS helmets that they would use coming in and out of commercials.” Rob Holecko quickly found photos of each one.

    Look what I just saw on ESPN Countdown. Another network branded helmet:


    Arian Foster wasn’t the only Texan with a logo shaved into his head.

    Look at this video and scroll down to the slideshow to see Jacoby Jones with the same haircut.


    I don’t know if anyone watched Sports Center this morning, but there was a great Outside the Lines segment where there was an investigation into the sweat shops in Cambodia that produce Dallas Cowboy apparel. OTL sat down with the COO of Cowboys Merchandising Bill Priakos, who was grilled by the interviewer. Props to him for facing the tough questions, but I could tell he wanted to say something along the lines of, “Hey, that’s the cost of doing business nowadays,” to defend themselves.

    Here’s a link to that interview: link
    Should be on the front page.

    Interesting. This week’s This American Life was devoted to a really fascinating look at the sweatshops that produce iPhones, iPads, etc. Lots of intriguing info, good questions with no easy answers, all very entertainingly presented:

    The audio podcast won’t be available until 7pm tonight.

    There was a televised game played almost 30 years ago that used no announcers. It was on NBC in a regular season game between the Jets and Dolphins.

    Watched it.
    Was unbelievably dull.

    Of course, I also remember when a moment or two of “empty air” was seen as dull. Now, someone’s gotta be talking, or there a CG graphic (y’know like a really cool football robot or something), or there’s music, every single second.

    So let’s don’t throw the baby out with the bath water by saying announcers are worthless and unnecessary.

    Too bad most of you don’t remember Ray Scott doing Packer games on CBS. I probably use the word “elegant” a bit too often, but it really does describe his style.

    “To the left McGee, to the right Dowler.
    Looking deep.
    Touchdown, Dowler.”

    He assumed we actually could see the screen.

    In a vaguely related item (OK, *very* vaguely), at one point in the 1970s a lot of readers were complaining that Marvel Comics was using too many exclamation points in their dialogues. So as an experiment, they chose one issue of one title (or maybe all their titles for a particular month, I forget) and made a point of reducing the number of exclamation points.

    As I recall, a small-ish number of readers complained, nobody thought it was an improvement, and the vast majority either had no opinion or didn’t even notice. They went back to their usual exclamatory style the following month.

    I’d guess that the amount of dullness would be directly related to how much you actually care about the game/teams involved.

    They intentionally chose a meaningless game — final game of the season between two teams that were out of playoff contention. So, really, only the most serious of diehard fans (or bettors) cared.

    So the “experiment” was doomed to fail from the start.

    I wonder what the fan reaction would be if they did it on a game that actually meant something.

    Even though it was a meaningless game, it was a Saturday afternoon with a national audience. (Although presumably a lot went out Christmas shopping instead.)

    Also the dead air was an improvement over Bryant Gumbel’s hosting from the sideline.

    I watched it. It was dull. I remember being disappointed–in myself–that I may have actually NEEDED the broadcaster to make the broadcast entertaining. I guess we’re just used to it.

    I think it comes down to the broadcaster. Herb Carneal of th eTwins was strictly information, with lovely long pauses of ambient crowd noise between pitches. Merlin Olsen was one color commentator I enjoyed. He seemed–I don’t know–humble, or eathy, relaxed. Easy.

    ‘Said Enberg: “The final outcome, with much relief, was the fact after watching for a quarter or two that, you know, something was missing. It was us. While we are not the most important ingredients in the pie, we certainly are a slice of that pie that gives the whole experience full flavor.” ‘

    Nooooooooo you’re not. The announcers aren’t that important – at least not in this era of instant information & graphic info saturation. I can mute the game (and often due most of the time & especially during the commercials) and I can follow along just fine. I suppose I just don’t care enough about the NFL to listen in, and I know where the 1st down marker is & know that every single flag on a kickoff or long run is holding & is coming back. Plus who wants to listen to someone talk for 3 straight hours? Bars got it right with the sound off.

    Announcers can make or break a broadcast. I watched that announcerless game, and it was a bit lacking. Mind you, there are some announcers out there who make me hit the mute button, but a good announcing team always trumps an announcerless game.

    And sideline reporters of any gender should go find another line of work. It’s the same tired thing every game:
    Halftime – “Coach, what adjustments does your team need to make in the second half?”
    Postgame – “What was going through your mind on that winning play?”
    It’s tedious, useless stuff. I don’t need it.

    re: Tri-City Americans’ Nuclear Night jersey

    I believe that color is “Yellow-cake Uranium.”

    Recently Fox has been using Tim Brewster as a sideline reporter so they are not ALL women, pretty close though. I, like a lot of people, really don’t see the use of having someone down there aside from the occasional injury update. My least favorite part of any football broadcast is the dreaded interview of the coach running into the locker room at the half.

    Now they’ve made basketball jerseys so light weight & thin in material that they tear easily now? I guess there’s no reason that a basketball jersey NEEDS to be sturdy, heavy or weighed down with multiple layers of tackle twill. You’d think they would go for silk screen printing. Wouldn’t that be the lightest? Or would nylon patches be it?

    NFL has only two male non-full-time announcers – Tony Siragusa and Mike Pereira, who don’t fit in the old “sideline reporter” box.

    However, what about the other sports? MLB on Fox uses Ken Rosenthal and ESPN uses Buster Olney and at least one other man on their sidelines. The Mets used Matt Loughlin on Fox Sports Net, then Chris Cotter and Kevin Burkhardt on SNY.

    On the BFBS thing, it doesn’t offend me when a school that already has black in their school colors have black unis, like Wake, Louisville, Rutgers or Maryland. However, when a school without their colors have black jerseys, then it’s another story (Texas, George Mason, Florida, UCLA a few years ago).

    To save this post from redundancy- when they flash the NEW/OLD Notre Dame graphic, isn’t the OLD a pic featuring the NEW gold flake helmet?

    Yes. And Mo Rocca’s narration suggested the Shamrock Series helmets were a permanent change, not a one-game-per-year experiment.

    “if you look like a clown and lose, youre a clown. If you look like a clown and win, youre a winner.”

    -Paul Lukas

    If you’re like me and forgot to DVR the CBS Sunday Morning feature on college football uniforms, here is the link link

    Just saw someone else posted it. Sorry for the repeat post. Arent we all just some eager beavers today

    Well, I recognized it as a song title, but I didn’t feel any need to comment on that fact.

    Serie A soccer games in Italy. With Sky Sport you can shut up the announcers and just listen to the crowd noise. And that’s exactly what I do EVERY time I watch a game. Unfortunately for big games you can only choose between “impartial” announcers, announcer that openly roots for team A or announcer that openly roots for team B… and that’s when I turn down the volume…

    I have to say that I don’t mind the “announcer openly rooting for Team A”, as long as I’m also rooting for Team A.

    If you really knew the kind of announcers teams have here you would change your mind! They’re not professional (say, ex-players)… they’re fans… no, they’re hooligans…

    I listen to Greg Papa and Tom Flores every time the game is not televised… they’re rooting for the Raiders, but they’re pro.

    Why do so many punters/kickers still have mismatched shoes? I realize they’re allowed to wear a white shoe on their kicking foot even if the team footwear color is black (or vice-versa), I realize they often wear soccer shoes instead of football shoes on their kicking feet, etc. — but why? In this day and age, can’t Nike/Reebok/whomever make them a matched pair of exactly the shoe they want, in the proper team color?

    Because they can?

    There’s no logical reason for a kicker/punter to have mismatched shoes, but since they’re allowed to do it, they probably figure “why not?”. It’s their way of being unique (by doing the same thing as everyone else in their position).

    This has always bugged me too. Forget aesthetics, how is it comfortable for the kickers walking/running/kicking with two different shoes on?

    Eh, a shoe is a shoe. Either it fits and is relatively comfortable, or it doesn’t. The shoe being black or white doesn’t affect how it feels.

    if i am not mistaken, P Jerrel Wilson of the Chiefs had a unique kicking shoe—-laces on the side of the shoe. Might’ve been Adidas.

    Better than a barefoot kicker…

    Don’t have time to search right now, but I remember one kicker who not only had different colored shoes, they were different brands. If I see it later, I’ll share.

    Agreed. One of the coolest visual quirks I’d ever see on a football field. It’s only a bad thing if you’re a shoe manufacturer.

    Wanna teach your kid to punt properly?
    Have him learn barefoot before he tries it wearing a shoe.

    Pfft. Barefoot kickers just added to the flakiness factor for that profession. Ricko’s right…it’s a great training method (might have cut down on my shanks if I tried it), but save it for practice. Wear a sock and shoe like everyone else in a game. Still can’t believe no one stepped on their feet.

    Found the photo I mentioned:
    Tony Zendejas of the LA Express, wearing a Puma and a Nike:

    Most kickers/punters wear a much smaller shoe on their kicking foot.

    Still, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be easy to match at least the same BRAND…

    If only there were no sponsor on this jersey…
    Even with, though, that’s a thing of beauty. I’d wear that.

    Paul, can you neatly summarize your personal BFBS rules for me? I’m particularly interested in whether you see any difference in a team that uses black as a traditional trim color going BFBS (a la Rutgers) vs. a team that doesn’t have black as one of its traditional trim colors going BFBS (a la Royals or Ohio U.) Is the Royals example BFBS+? Is Rutgers BFBS-? Does it matter that Rutgers is the “Scarlet” Knights? If so, have the Texas Tech “Red” Raiders crossed some invisible threshold where their use of black as their primary uniform color (at least in football) become less nefarious?

    I actually don’t have any BFBS rules, and I should probably stop using that term, since it always gets me in trouble (like it did here with you). Allow me to rephrase that Ticker item: “Rutgers wore a new set of black uniforms at home yesterday.”

    I really don’t care if it’s “officially” BFBS (whatever that would even mean).

    Didn’t mean to come across as chastising. I just had a bit of a disagreement with some other readers once in connection with a college team using its black trim color as a primary color on an alternate uni. I made the statement that it wasn’t strictly speaking BFBS, since black was a team color. Others disagreed. The Arizona Cardinals have been used as an example of a team using its black trim color in a fashion that most Uni-Watchers would consider to be BFBS. I still consider there to be a scale of BFBS, where the Ohio U. example would be an instance of “pure” BFBS — the worst kind of offense. Maybe it’s like Justice Stewart’s characterization of obscenity: “You know it when you see it.”

    I don’t know if this has been covered before, but if it has, I’ve forgotten. I was watching the old Home Run Derby, filmed during the off season between 59 and 60, and in episodes 6 and 7, Ken Boyer wears this Cardinal anomaly uniform:
    and link first of six consecutive win’s by Hank.

    So what’s with the jersey? Seems a hybrid between the one the Cardinals wore in the early 50’s, with the piping, and the iconic 60’s version, without piping. The lettering and bird/bat logo are up to date for 1960, but what’s with the Red Sox style headspoon and sleeve stripes? Were they going to bring back the piping in 61, but changed their mind? Or is it a minor league jersey rushed to LA for the taping?

    Here’s some more shots:
    link And link

    I don’t know if anyone has an answer, but it’s the only jersey in the one season series that made made me look twice. Though the rest are pretty sweet.

    Hey, Paul:

    Just curious if you had a nice foodie conversation with Mo Rocca, since he’s the host of “Foodography” om the Cooking Channel.

    Actually, we didn’t talk about food at all. Just didn’t come up.

    But here’s a weird coincidence… About a year ago, Mo interviewed the mayor of a small town in New Jersey:

    That mayor, John Ekdahl, is the father of Uni Watch webmaster John Ekdahl. Nobody had any idea of this coincidence until the CBS video crew was packing up to leave my apartment. I was chatting with the producer and somehow he mentioned the town of Rumson, and I mentioned Uni Watch’s connection to Mayor Ekdahl, and the producer said, “We interviewed him!” Crazy.

    Actually I want to know if you and Mo ever talked about Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me — since you mentioned This American Life, I figured public radio might have been a topic.

    You dislike Wait Wait?! Aww, man. You probably don’t like Car Talk either, then. That’s my favorite two hours of the week.

    Peter Sagal can be a little snarky, though.

    Very fond of Car Talk. Absolutely loathe Wait Wait, for reasons that include (but are not limited to) these:

    – The questions are ridiculously easy. Any third grader who’s halfway up-to-date on current events could answer them.

    – The idea that it’s a game or contest is bogus. The winning “celebrity” (I use the term loosely) doesn’t even win anything!

    – The point of view is exactly the kind of squishy, smug liberalism that gives NPR a bad name. You can be smart and progressive without being condescending (cases in point: Car Talk, This American Life, What Do You Know, etc.). Or if you insist on being condescending, have a fucking EDGE about it (case in point: Le Show, which is totally one-sided but acerbically brilliant).

    – The “jokes” are NEVER FUNNY. Take away the live audience of of idiots, who effectively function as a laugh track, and listen to what’s actually being said — it’s worse than a junior high comedy show.

    – The host is such a douchebag. I already hated him before I read this essay that he wrote a few years ago, which tells you everything you need to know:

    I can’t really disagree with anything you said. That essay does make him appear unlikeable, and he wrote it. I’m not unfamiliar with “drowning in self-recrimination for lack of action”, but if that sequence of events happened to me, I can’t say that I’d want to write it up for the New York Times. Especially what the wife says at the end, really get to understand the Sagal family dynamics there.

    I always thought Wait Wait‘s condescending tone was more, uh, ironically condescending, you know, with a wink wink. Like laughing at itself.

    Yeah, that and Paula Poundstone really gets on my nerves, too.

    My feeling about the essay: If you don’t want to deal with baseball fans who are enthusiastic about their favorite baseball team, maybe you, uh, shouldn’t go to a fucking baseball game. What a prick.

    I’ll stop now. This topic doesn’t exactly bring out my cuddly side…

    Well, yeah, that too. But if everybody’s standing up, it’s one thing. If just the guy in front of you is standing up and no one else is, I could sort of understand but, they should have just moved. They should have no expectation he should move. But that doesn’t mean if someone behind you does asks you nicely that you can tell them to go “f— themsleves” and still retain the moral high ground.

    I’ve been the guy right behind the guy who wants to stand up the whole f—ing game. After a couple innings, I just move. (Of course this is at Tropicana Field, where moving to another seat is not usually a problem.) I not gonna ask him to move or sit down, and I’m not gonna pick a fight with him either. But by the same token, if I go to stand up in a half-empty stadium, and people behind me are sitting down, I’ll have the common courtesy to move over a little bit.

    When the game dictates? An exciting rally? Two outs in the ninth? Sure, stand up all you want. But if I’m at a sellout and there’s nowhere else to easily move, I don’t wanna have to stand for three hours just so I can see the game. I should go to the concourse and watch on the TV? I could have just stayed home and saved $150.

    But I’ve been at a college football game where everybody stands the whole game. Sure the atmosphere is great. But I’m 5’6″, and the people in front of me were all over 6′, so I virtually missed the whole game. It’s things like that make for a miserable afternoon.

    I think it’s a short-person/tall-person thing.

    …sorry a typo and two addendas:

    Paragraph 2: “I not gonna ask him”.. should obviously been “I’m not gonna ask him”

    and P3: “three hours” should read “three f—ing hours”

    and P5: “miserable afternoon” should read “miserable f—ing afternoon”

    (wanted to make sure I truly and accurately expressed my feeling on the issue)

    I thought the guy’s stated rationale — bases loaded, the team’s big slugger up — was perfectly reasonable. He wasn’t drunk or unruly or being a dick. It was a potentially game-breaking situation and he was standing up to cheer his team. Honestly, anyone who can’t deal with that shouldn’t be at the game. (And anyone who says, “So was it worth it?” after the slugger makes an out deserves to be sitting next to a drunk, unruly person next time.)

    I was extrapolating beyond that Paul Konerko at bat — in that situation, I agree he was in the right, and the Sagal family were clearly in the wrong.

    Just adding my own experience about “a-holes” who want to stand up all game long, however.

    First of all, I realize it is Monday and I am reading comments from over the weekend so that clearly says something about me…

    Second of all, I couldn’t disagree more about Wait, Wait. I am a big fan. Yes, the quesitons are easy – that’s not the point. It isn’t a game show – the prize is Carl Castle’s voice on your answering machine for crying out loud! And the jokes are funny – they may just not be your kind of humor.

    Third, and what prompted me to comment, is that I see no reason for calling Peter Sagal a d-bag. Totally unnecssary and, frankly, not the kind of dialogue I thought you’d want to see (let along encourage) on your blog. What’s the point in adding that to your comments? I understand people can disagree about things like whether that radio show is good or not, but why sink to that level? Makes you seem more like the guy in front of him at the baseball game – rather unnecessarily rude.

    I’ll grant that I agree with you that if you go to a baseball game, you have to understand what you’re getting into so I’m not sure Mr. Sagal is in the right either. I doubt I would take a kid to a baseball game for that reason, which is sad but true. Having said that, I will say it is a bit odd that American fans think that standing the whole game is the right thing to do. Was an an English Premier League game the other day and when the ball was played into the penalty area, a small section of the crowd instictively stood up. After the second time, most of the people in the row behind them asked them to stop because they couldn’t see. They did. Since you’re paying for a seat, I always thought sitting made more sense. And sitting vs. standing doesn’t have anything to do with how intense fans are cheering…just go to game.

    Here’s an interesting thought I’ve had several times this year that kicked back up into my head while watching the Giants-Falcons this afternoon.

    Eli Manning and Drew Brees are two NFL quarterbacks who currently wear uniforms that closely match their college uniforms. We’re talking same/similar color schemes and everything, literally almost a head-to-toe match.

    link (Eli as a Giant)

    link (Eli at Ole Miss)

    link (Drew as a Saint)

    link (Drew at Purdue)

    Am I the only one that’s ever considered this notion before? I wonder if there’s a psychological advantage to wearing a color scheme you’re familiar with as a pro.

    Anyone think of any other examples–past or present?

    Though about Tebow, but I think Ryan B. was talking about the uniforms being quite similar, too…in terms of what was what color.

    I’m having trouble even coming up with guys who wore the same colors in college and the pros. I suppose Bernie Kozar is close.

    As a Purdue guy, I’m embarrassed I forgot Everett! And Pennington is a good reference, too.

    I, too, don’t think Tebow’s Broncos unis are near enough the Florida uniforms to count it.

    I don’t suspect this is a common scenario.

    Ah-HA! We’ve uncovered the problem! He found the Colts’ gaudy shoulder and pants stripes distracting.

    listening to the Broncos on the radio and man that network has a (sponsor mention here)for every single (sponsor mention here)word or sentence (sponsor mention here)in the 15 minutes I listened (sponsor mention here). And yes, I know it’s the FRICKIN’ WESTWOOD ONE DIALGLOBAL NETWORK.

    good (sponsor mention here) GRIEF.

    A thought on sideline reporters from the rugby world. In most rugby telecasts the sideline reporter is essentially used for only weather, substitutions, and injuries. The thinking is that a guy on the sidelines is able to assess wind, talk to the officials about personnel changes, and talk to team trainers. None of those things can be done by the guys in the booth.

    One particularly odd circumstance came up in the 2006 Super 14 final. Massive fog fell on the stadium. The guys in the booth could only see from the near sideline to about half way across. They sent the sideline dude to the other side of the field. When play moved to his side he took over play by play, when it was near the booth the play by play guy took back over.

    This is a screen shot from that game. It is not doctored in any way. Remember it as the most bizarre game I’ve watched in any sport.


    Ah, just like that (in)famous Eagles/Bears playoff game:

    They went with a lot of sideline cameras instead of overhead shots. Don’t recall to what extent, if any, the sideline reporter became involved.

    That 1962 Grey Cup in the fog was telecast live in the U.S., btw, on Wide World of Sports. Jim McKay called the ABC version. I actually have a Kid Card for it.

    Funny thing about the Denver uniforms: After seeing them wear solid blue for so many weeks in a row, their basic blue-over-white format looks pretty good. At least by comparison. Nice-looking game, esp. with the grass field.

    ‘Tis true.
    But I’m sure some of us were hoping for a snow game.

    Ah, well, maybe at Lambeau.

    Here’s the outlook for the divisional round:


    New Orleans @ San Francisco: Sunny, 61 high 44 low

    Denver @ New England: Cloudy, 34 high, 22 low


    Houston @ Baltimore: Mostly sunny, 43 high, 32 low

    New York @ Green Bay: Partly cloudy, 21 high, 17 low

    So…doesn’t look likely for precipitation at any of the sites, but the New England and Green Bay games may be at least a bit chilly…

    and they’re going to Orange for next season,and the blue becomes the alt.

    Right on the money about Car Talk—a classic.

    The Steelers need to revamp their black pants stripe. I know that it’s considered “classic”, but I think it’s ugly much like the “classic” sleeve trim on the New York Yankees road jerseys.

    Ricko, I really enjoyed the kid cards. Hate to see it end. Nice to see Ohio State helmet featured in the last one.

    Hey Paul, do you know what the deal is with the Mascot heads/props that Lee Corso uses to do his game day selections each week? Do they have a traveling case full of em, or are they provided by the two teams each week? If it’s the latter, does that mean if the road team happens to forget an extra mascot head or prop, and his gut tells him they were the winner, he just chooses the home team for theatrics? Of course, I’m aware you can’t answer that last question, but still, do they manage the mascot heads the same way they do the helmets, or is that a totally different head?

    One last thought: I’m not sure if this has already been mentioned, and it’s also pretty irrelevant to today’s post, but Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon uses the old USFL team the New Orleans Breakers logo for football. I didn’t know why the logo was so familiar to me in high school(Forgive me, I’m young!), but I realized after I watched the Marcus Dupree 30 for 30 back in September. I forgot to mention it, but I saw a piece of the documentary again today and had to bring it up.

    Here’s a good shot of the logo: link

    Here it is in game: link

    Totally unrelated to anything on the site today but congrats to your GMen today, Paul. My Falcons completed my miserable sports weekend by following my Pittsburgh Panther’s lead yesterday and decided not to show up today.

    Thanks. Big weekend for me next week, as my favorite two teams (Niners, Jints) will both be playing. If they both win — unlikely but not inconceivable — I’ll get to relive that agonizing experience of seeing them play each other in the postseason. Been a long time since that’s happened (the “Fire Drill” game), but it used to be almost routine back in the 1980s and ’90s. Ah, nostalgia….

    If they do I can only hope that someone somewhere will blow a snap on a field goal try.

    Of course that would mean they were GOING for the FG unlike my Falcons who for some reason decided to go with the QB sneak twice today.

    Mentioning this in part because of my ESPN column a few days ago: Roethlisberger, as he often does in cold-ish weather, is wearing gloves on both hands. Does anyone besides me think QBs shouldn’t be allowed to wear gloves on their throwing hands? Dealing with the elements is part of football, no?

    Logically, if element survival is your premise for disallowing gloves, wouldn’t you also have to disallow longer or shorter cleats to cope with mud?

    Never could quite figure out that thinking.
    Stickum was made illegal, but gloves (which today are far stickier–and STAY stickier–that Stickum) are legal.

    Plus, grass blades don’t stick to your hands.

    Ever watch Fred Biletnikoff get up after going to the ground? Used his elbows, never his hands. On a grass field, that is.

    Yeah, all good points. Actually, I think a case can be made that gloves shouldn’t be allowed at all, for any position, but we all know why they’re allowed (because they increase offense).

    But just like in baseball, *throwing* the ball seems like a very specialized act. Only one guy on the team does it (halfback option plays notwithstanding). Just as we wouldn’t let a pitcher wear a glove on the mound, because that’s adding a foreign element to the game, it just feels wrong to me to allow a QB to artificially enhance his relationship with the ball.

    I know I’m a bit of a broken record, but I like rugby’s rule. You can wear mitts (finger-less gloves) but not gloves. Allows for some warmth or hand support without effecting ease of catch.

    I suppose a key difference is that QB isn’t trying to do things with the ball to deceive or confuse the opposition…if you know what I mean. He ain’t throwin’ a slider to make a DB misplay the ball.

    Ricko…a pump fake or play-action isn’t used to deceive or confuse the opposition? Both are deception plays that rely on the QB’s ability to grip the ball.

    I was from the Bud Grant school – no one should wear gloves. I didn’t even wear them during snowball fights. The snow packed faster when my hand slightly melted it.

    But now, my hands crack and bleed this time of year, so I’ve relaxed my position. If receivers can wear them, so should QBs.

    You need to cook with more lard :) Get that grease & oil on the hands.

    No gloves for anybody. I grew up with Mark Grace on the opposite side of town who didn’t wear batting gloves and that’s the way I like it. Batting gloves are for, you know, loudmouthed mediocre ex-ballplayers/broadcasters who want to golf all day or ruin a franchise via GM.

    How could you forget Craig Sager as a sideline (foul line?) reporter? His wardrobe is noteworthy enough.

    Uni watching a TV commercial: There is a Bud Light ad that starts off with something about “turning your pickup into a pirate ship” and they go on to show fans of several different teams. I noticed that anyone wearing an NFL jersey in the ad is wearing a 00, ostensibly to not show favoritism towards any one current player. Either that or it’s a tribute to Ken Burrough.

    Oh, boy, the new overtime rules!

    Why don’t they just say neither team can attempt a FG until its second possession of the overtime.

    Yah, I know, that probably makes no sense, either. But at least it would be the same for both teams.

    With Tebowmania trumping the Steelers today, only the conference champions remain:

    -North: Packers
    -South: Saints
    -East: Giants
    -West: 49ers

    -North: Ravens
    -South: Texans
    -East: Patriots
    -West: Broncos

    Has this happened before with the current alignment?

    An 8-8 team should not host a home game against a 12-4 team. Divisions (especially small ones) are a fallacy & the U.S. geography is too capacious to allow such things. Logically, the top best teams should be in the playoffs.

    I have NO idea what the new OT rules mean, but that’s one of the most amazing endings I have ever seen.

    Ya gotta believe at this point. good grief.

    It’s too bad there are the elements of …
    1. Was Tebow, or was he not, a justified first round draft choice?
    2. His public expression of his faith.

    Because without them, it’s really just a fun story of a guy coming from wayyyyy down at the end of the bench and stringing together some amazing wins.

    If it were a movie, we’d call it hooey.

    And if I were directing that movie, I’d be tempted to use some artistic license and make him look like this:

    I don’t have to believe jack shit.

    See, I’m not biased. If Tebow was a giant asshole satanist, you would loath him and his terrible play.

    I – however – am able to judge him by his play, which is a great FB and a terrible QB. I hate him no matter what his personality is because he’s bad at his job and a better QB would be able to win these close ones in regulation EASILY.

    You are the one who doesn’t see the forest for the trees because you are the one who is being biased FOR Tebow based on something that has nothing to do with hiss quality at his position – his race and religion.

    I’ve said it at least once before, if you think Tebow is a good QB you have a low football IQ and are football stupid.

    No one mentioned race until you did. Don’t put words in these guys’ mouths.

    You don’t like him, fine. But fight fair.

    If you don’t believe that his being white doesn’t play a large part of his popularity, you are lying to yourself.

    In no way am I calling anyone racist, all I’m saying is how often do black players – ala Devin Hester – say things about thanking god for everything and also act in an overtly modest, moral and christian fashion but yet no one clamors for Devin to be given a better shot at WR (If you saw his speech after breaking the return record, you can just tell how sweet and wonderful a human being he is).

    Quite the contrary, people who watch the Bears think that the Devin as a WR experiment should end and actually should have ended a few seasons ago. It’s not an attack on Hester when people say he sucks at WR, it’s just not something he is equipped to do at the highest level (or even in college where he played DB).

    Race definitely plays a role in his popularity, and just because no one acknowledges that doesn’t make it any less true.

    See my comment below about Randall Cunningham. Monday Night Football – and the media in general – gushed about him, even as critics said his early throwing style was bad.

    Bottom line, both guys won early. And winning trumps race. Wasn’t Michael Vick the bee’s knees until his troubles? He wasn’t exactly a prototypical QB, but he won early and got a lot of attention.

    Mike Vick was a much better QB to begin with that Tebow, even if he needed SOME work. Tebow basically has to relearn how to throw a football in order for him to find consistency in his pass attempts.

    He’s not an awful QB; he’s an awful passer. Not the same thing.

    He appears to be, at least sometimes, a very effective QB — just not in the conventional NFL (i.e., passing-based) mold.

    Just like a very young Randall Cunningham. And I recall a similar outburst of excitement when he kept winning games with his unorthodox style. In time, he adjusted his throwing motion to become an even better QB…I’m sure Timmy will, too.

    A fair point, but I would argue (as you talked about earlier today) the QB is the only player – basically – who throws the ball.

    Tebow is an excellent but slow runner. He is not very good at throwing. I would rather have that type of player in the backfield WITH a player bad at running but great at throwing, and have that player hand the ball off to him.

    To me a QB is only as good as he is in the passing game and specifically in passing efficiency.

    Brinke didn’t say that.
    He just said “believe”. That could mean believe in the Broncos.
    Sometimes there are teams that seem to have some kind of karma around them. Or something. The way the tumblers of things click is sometimes befuddling and amazing.

    The fun is seeing how long it lasts.

    Those who make more of it than that, who get their Underoos all bundle-ized—on either side—need to examine their thinking.

    I guess we need to link to this again…

    Is he saying believe in Tebow’s ability to somehow play okay when his team is playing well, and help them get wins despite his individual deficiencies?

    Because that’s pretty much what’s been happening.

    Or are you saying Brinke has been advocating we all get baptized?

    See his comments below, he’s talking about TT.

    Brinke frequently trys to baptize the unconverted, but I just started walking around him in a hazmat suit for personal safety.

    Brinke, stop throwing water at people, I’m a Papist, deal with it.

    You don’t seem to be doing all that well at taking religion out of the discussion yourself.

    That’s why I keep saying: As best we can, let’s just focus on how the former benchwarmer and his team are doing since he took over when they were 1-4.

    That, in and of itself, is a damn good story.

    It’s the Brett Favre Rule. I think the new NFL OT rules are ridiculous. I’d much prefer NCAA OT rules, or go back to the old NFL OT rules.

    At this point, you have to believe in his ability to rally the troops and pull out a win when the odds say it won’t happen. It’s happened over and over. A classic passer? No way. A winner? The data says yes.

    and btw, I haven’t ‘demanded’ anything. If that’s what you think, fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. Have a nice day!

    You didn’t demand, you commanded:

    “A command is a sentence that is used to tell someone to do something, or to give an order.”

    Example: “Ya gotta believe at this point.”

    Thank you for the pic. I show this to my girlfriend and say, “THIS is why I won’t wear one of those hats.”

    Check out this pic of Kordell Stewart wearing a Steelers jersey and what appears to be USC pants on his Pinnacle rookie card.


    Re: Sagal essay
    It seems he casually drops a few humblebrags- his Harvard degree, the fact that his kid is precocious, his wife is charming… blah blah blah. I agree, the guy comes across as a smug dickhead. Out of curiosity, I did a Google image search for his wife. Good Lord, is she ugly. She looks like an old, wrinkled toad- which I find really funny. If I was married to that, I would be a condescending prick, too.

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