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Are You Ready For Some Football?

By Phil Hecken, with Brinke Guthrie

Today, as we sit back and enjoy one of the greatest sports days (the NFL Conference Championship Games), it’s a John Facenda kind of day. Four teams left — two of whom will go on to the ultimate game — the Super Bowl. And while there have been some truly super Super Bowls, the best day for football is today — no not too much glitz and glamor, just enough hype, and no truly awful half-time shows, this is the real deal. And I love it.

Today’s early game is the AFC Championship game, featuring the Baltimore Ravens at the New England Patriots. A big game, to be sure, and one that could be very close or a blowout … a big time defense against a big time offense. Four rings exist between these two teams. And this just may be both teams’ last great shot at glory. It won’t be the uni-delight of the second game, as the Patriots and Ravens don’t rank among the greats, or classics in the uni department. Both teams fall squarely in the lower end of the uni scale. In fact, about the only question there will be is whether the Ravens will wear white pants (which look pretty good) or their black tights, which do not. They went purple over black last weekend, so my guess is we’ll see the black pants again today.

That brings us to the second game — the true beaut. And for that, I’m joined by my doubles partner Brinke Guthrie, who’ll take a look at the Giants/49ers matchup, today and through the years — they’ve got quite a playoff history — and this one should be a classic. Here’s Brinke:


(First, put yourself in a John Fascenda mindset. Then read along.)

A foggy mist envelopes the creaky old stadium. It was on its last legs years ago, and a shiny new arena beckons in the near future. A drenching rain has turned the once plush emerald field into a quagmire, and two old-school NFL titans tee it up for the right to represent their conference in the NFL championship game. But that game will be played under climate-controlled conditions on an artificial field, with fans breathing artificial air. This…is the real deal. Outdoors, the way Lom-bah-di intended it. Warriors hunkered down in the muck, focused on delivering the pigskin to the promised land……the other team’s end zone.)

A classic uni-matchup today in the NFC, as the Giants head west to play in San Francisco. While that sentence might be historically more accurate for the late 1950s, it’s also a big deal by the Bay, as the Niners attempt to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since early 1995, while Big Blue tries to get back to the big show following their 2008 win over New England. Let the record show that between the two teams, there’s a total of eight Lombardi trophies between them- three on the East Coast, and five on the West.

The Niners will be decked out in their classic red jerseys with gold pants. I’ll grade this look an A- for two reasons. One, the truncated sleeve stripes. No, no, no. Two, the helmet’s SF logo still has a black outline. Lose it- there’s no black anywhere in their scheme anymore. Change it to red, and there’s a winner. I’d also like to see all-white shoes- because that’s the way Joe Cool wore them.

As far as the Giants go, they’re coming in with their old school white tops/red trim and the gray pants. Nice clean retro look, but I’ve always thought a wordmark would look better than the NY, and would fit better under the NFL shield.

The Niners lead the all-time series against the Giants, 18-17..with seven of those meetings occurring in the post-season, and the Niners hold a 4-3 edge there. The wildest and most recent of those playoff match-ups occurred January 5th, 2003, with the Niners pulling it out late 39-38. Niners were wearing the usual home cardinal red/gold with the (clunky) drop-shadow and the logo on the sleeve stripes- always thought that to be overkill. Like the look of the red numbers/blue trim on the Giants white jersey.

Tough game for Joe Montana in January of 1991- Leonard Marshall of the Giants just flattens him, and the Giants go on to win the NFC 15-13. Is Joe wearing “L.A. Gear” cleats? Sure is, and looks like a tape job with a markered logo in that clip. That was a nail-biter, but there have been some true blowouts, too. January 15, 1993- Niners win 44-3. January 4, 1987, the Giants roll 49-3.

Back in 1985, the Niners had their classic look going, and the Giants slipped by Joe & Co, 17-3. Click here for a great Pat Summeral intro.

Oh, and there’s another game today, too—the uh, Ravens play the Patriots.

No matter what team you pull for, the Giants, Niners, Ravens or Patriots, click on each link to download a desktop wallpaper to display.


Thanks Brinke! And if you know either of us, you’ll know we’re on opposite sides of the rooting spectrum today. Who’s Brinke pulling for? Guess. He and other 49er fans are certainly in good company. And of course, I’ll be pulling for Big Blue. Should be a good one.

Are you ready for some football?


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Taking into account certain socio-economic cultural landmarks…

1-22-12 s-mallards

And of course, the full-size.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

And so, lets begin:


We start with Blake Pass, who has some new ideas for the Braves:

Here are a couple of submissions for the Atlanta Braves. The first is a new alternate that could be used for both home and away. They always seem to be too conservative to me when it comes to alternate uniforms. Both current home and away alts have a version of the standard uniform wordmark”¦so, I decided to change that up a little.

The second is just a replacement for the current home cap. I’ve always been an “outline guy”, so I’ve always thought that the white “A” on the cap needed a couple of outlines”¦navy and then red to help tie it in with the rest of the cap.

Blake Pass


Next up is Clint Richardson, with some Ramblin’ Wreck ideas:

We all know Georgia Tech has the worst unis in all of football. I thought I’d try my hand at changing that. Being an Auburn fan, I’m a sucker for the triple stripes on the sholders and pants. I hate the idea of white at home, white on the road. With these three concepts, GT would be wearing blue at home, white on the road, and a gold alternate. Three new helmets exist, a blue one with a single gold striple, a gold helmet with a blue-white-blue stripe, and a white helmet with a blue-gold-blue stripe. Helmets, pants, and jerseys are all interchangeable.

I personally like the mono-white look myself.

(Ignore the UnderArmour logos, it was just on the template)



And finally we have Andrew Bushway, who has new thoughts on Mizzou:

I recently saw your post about Mizzou getting new football uniforms, and decided to get a little creative. With the recent switch to the SEC, I felt like the Tigers needed something more traditional to match the rest of the conference. I stole the stripe idea from the current helmet, and applied it to a few different combinations. First, we have the home (black), then the away (white), a 1st alternate (black and yellow), and then a slightly modified Pro Combat uniform.

Thanks for your time,


Back next time with more.


OK, peeps, that’s all for today. I spent yesterday visiting an uncle who lives a couple hundred miles away (and hadn’t seen since my father’s passing), so I didn’t have time to get to the colorizations — we’ll get to those next week. Everyone have a great Sunday, and enjoy the Conference Championship Games. Are you ready?


“No background knowledge. Limited research. Present something lame and call it forward-thinking. Employ copious quantities of hyperbole and pseudo-esoterica. — Nike reminds me of the time-honored tradition of bullshitting your way through an essay test.” — Rick Pearson

Comments (183)

    I’ll grade this look an A- for two reasons. One, the truncated sleeve stripes. No, no, no. Two, the helmet’s SF logo still has a black outline. Lose it- there’s no black anywhere in their scheme anymore.

    The Niners have always had a black outline on the logo, even in ’62 when it was on a silver helmet. If you’re going to ding them for that, then you should also ding the gray facemask. There’s no gray anywhere else on the uniform, either. We’re agreed on the truncated sleeve stripes though.

    Was a very, very, VERY thin black outline in the silver helmet era. Likewise when helmets first were changed to gold. But by the time Joe Montana was there, so was the obvious black outline…

    Right, it was very very thin- it’s more pronounced now as they made the oval SF look rather ellipsoidal with the think black.

    yeah absolutely. and if you look @ the Joe years—the pants stripes were very wide.

    totally conflicted about the Joe years, too- I didn’t live here then, and being a power-Cowboys fan from 71 to 99…(and Bengals from 72-99)..a little less so now..The Catch is a two-sided sword for me. And I get to see it on the ‘Catch of the Day’ too.

    The black outline on the “old” SF helmet has never bothered me as much as the outline on the Chiefs. Must be the complete absence of yellow on the helmet.

    Speaking of Pat Summerall…I kept looking through youtube for more of his intros and came across this little tidbit from Super Bowl 12:
    Anyone remember that? And did anyone see any Broncos players wearing those socks?

    …and here I was under the impression that none of the original Broncos’ socks had survived the bonfire.

    At least one Broncos exec saved a pair, and another pair is still on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    In any case, the ones being handled in that TV clip (and worn on the field, if any of the players actually did so, which would be news to me) could’ve been reproductions.

    Speaking of the 49’ers, whatever happened to the 3 horizontal white stripes on the red socks?

    Those disappeared for the 1991 season. I kinda wonder if the rejected new helmet had anything to do with that.

    Not sure why they didn’t bring them back with this current “retro” set. The weird thing is that they *did* wear those when they were using the 80’s uniform as a throwback in the last couple years before the current look.

    The trend had been anti-stripe until the Buffalo Bills put them on their socks last season. Remember, even traditional stalwarts like the Colts and Browns did away with the sock stripes.


    As a Georgia Tech alum, let me be the first to say that those uni-tweaks for Tech are way off. Tech’s official colors are GOLD and WHITE. Blue is not a school color. Tech uses Blue primarily to make the numbers and letters more visible and sometimes for trim. A few coaches have used Blue (and occasionally Black) more prominately in the jerseys, or even as the main color in a jersey, and when they do, the alums go nuts. For Tech, adding Blue is like other teams adding Black (the Mets) when Black is not an official color.

    Thats being said, I like the all white uni with the white helmet.

    Also, doesn’t Tech have one of the longest-running traditions of wearing white at home for football?

    Granted, they may have deviated from it, but it goes as far back as to when Syracuse and LSU also opted for white at home in the late 50s, early 60s.

    If only the NCAA would allow that now.

    Mandatory white jerseys are BS. A team like GT should be allowed to wear the gold for every game.

    That was their “white at home” period, so was virtually never a problem. Even worked against Tennessee orange, as evidenced by the photo.

    The old gold jerseys/white helmet set was short-lived.

    …and how often would that happen?

    Yeah, fine, for that one game every 4-5 seasons, they can wear something else. God damn.

    You’re missing the point. Georgia Tech CHOSE to wear white at home for long, long time…meaning they could wear the same uni in virtually every game, maximizing as best they could the wearing of gold and white without introducing a dark jersey that truly wasn’t one of their colors.

    It was a strategy. And it wasn’t a bad one.

    Whoa, sorry. Comments showed up in a strange order for some reason…so my comment isn’t abut wearing gold at home. Take as as a non-related thought, if you want, bu has nothing to do with any “mandatory white” discussion.

    Can anybody explain to me why the shade of Old Gold used in these late 1960s Georgia Tech jerseys is not widely used anymore? The Old Gold is rich, good looking, and dark enough to wear as a dark jersey when needed.It wonderfully contrasts with White.

    The currently omnipresent Vegas Gold is too light, too close to White, and in most instances does not look nesrly as good.

    Anybody have an explanation?

    If Navy is used as anything other than a trim and the once every few years alternate top then the concept is crap. The players love the navy (why it has become the dominant color on the road, thats according to the AA (see the article about the new uniforms that had to be ordered because the gold numbers were difficult to see linked on here back in September if you don’t believe me)), the fans for the most part are against it’s use. The younger the fan the more likely they are to say they like the blue uniforms but the consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping them as alternates if they are to be an option.

    Tech had 2 good seasons wearing Navy (1990 and 1991) then Boss Ross left and the jackets took a nose dive. Most people my age are too young to realize that Tech sucked in blue but know that we wore the Navy during the National Championship year. In contrast the older crowd associates the down years with the blue/black because those jerseys were worn during dark times (the school debated killing the program in the early 80s, and it went from national title contender to bottom of the conference in a span of just 3 seasons).

    I like the Navy as an alternate, but not an every year alternate. I’m strongly against wearing it in big games because it doesn’t do anything to improve the team’s performance, they may get more hyped for the game but they play like S*** once the game starts(2006 ACCCG, 2009 Peach Bowl, 2010 Miami game).

    I’ve got an idea for a uniform concept (a design concept that could be used throughout GT Athletics), but I need to bone up on my editing skills (and I plan on sending it to the GTAA so I don’t want to float the idea out there only to have it be done by someone else in the slim chance that the Athletic Department will want to adopt the idea, its a pipe dream, I know).

    Yes, the NFL conference championships are what the Super Bowl should be. The Super Bowl has turned too much into a novelty, a long-drawn out commercial & concert showcase, endless hype & is more about money & ratings than the actual teams & game itself. I’ll only watch the Super Bowl if my team is in it, and even then I’ll keep a safe distance / mute button / distractions ready. I reached my Super Bowl breaking point a decade ago and I don’t care what anybody says: I don’t watch TV or football to watch commercials.

    Damn straight, The – I’ve started watching the NFL again after an almost 10-year layoff simply due to the BBC highlights show, which condenses each game into around 15-20 minutes. I just don’t have the time or patience to sit through a 3+ hour live game any more…

    The great thing about the BBC highlights is that if you time e length of actual plays, it’s possible to watch literally every second of play action in most football games in 15-20 minutes.

    Which mainly illustrates how boring football has become – you spend 3 hours watching 1 hour of game in which 20 minutes of actual stuff happens. And yet here I am, watching the playoffs, where aside from the results do far, Baltimore at New England is a nice looking game.

    That’s too damned bad. I musta been busy designing some glorious white uniform concepts during those halftimes (or doing anything else since it’s halftime). While nobody will probably write an article about the Conference game halftime music show or commercials, the most important thing remains that it’s about the game. I hope today’s game in SF is a sloppy mudfest, too.

    Wish I were having breakfast at Fisherman’s Wharf this a.m. (or one of so many fabulous neighborhood eateries).
    Maybe stroll over to Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee.

    Great day to be in San Francisco. Fabulous frickin’ city, no matter what the weather.

    Just for frame of reference…

    Think old Kezar Stadium truly wasn’t smack dab in the middle of one of those neighborhoods? Check out the background in this photo of “Alley Oop” Owens…

    Pro football’s come a long, long way.

    As long as I’m in a recollecting/nostalgic mood…

    49ers were first pro team I ever heard of. My uncle was an “M” man, so we paid attention because former Gophers like Leo Nomellini and Gordie Soltau played in S.F., and he knew them through the M Club.
    Somewhere I have a ceramic football player figurine that I painted as red-helmeted Niner when I was about 7.

    Plus, being a child of the ’50s and growing up with B-Westerns on TV, I thought 49ers was about the coolest nickname in the world.

    “Somewhere I have a ceramic football player figurine that I painted as red-helmeted Niner when I was about 7.”


    larry bodnovich approves of this comment

    If you catch re-runs of Streets of SF, the BV is shown in the opening credits. Personally, I like “Sears Fine Foods” cause of their mountain of tiny pancakes.


    Even though Kezar Stadium is a long-gone memory, the city saved the actual field footprint and the football field is still in use for kids/high schools, etc. Pretty cool that they did.

    Anyone catch any of the East-West Shrine Bowl last night? Noticed a few uni-related items and had a question for the board….the first was a Virginia D-Lineman that wore the orange helmet the team broke out for the bowl game, he’s #94 in the background:


    Also, noted one Oregon player that was wearing the green helmet with the yellow “O” logo. Didn’t see much after that to see if there were any other Oregon players possibly sporting a different helmet, which would have been very interesting to see two different helmets from the same team in the same game. Anyone know if there’s any protocol for players for selecting their helmets for games like this when they have more than one helmet option?

    I didn’t catch the game, but I’d guess that the players probably have to bring their own helmets. I can’t see any other reason for the orange VT helmet to show up since it’s obviously not the team’s primary helmet. It can’t be a “last helmet they wore” thing, or an Oregon player would have the goofy mirror-wing helmet.

    My guess is that the player brings the one he likes, which could be based on the colors or simply the fit he likes best, the one that feels the best on his head.

    Either that, or the school asks him to wear a particular one. The game sponsors almost certainly couldn’t give rat’s ass one way or the other, as long as he brings his own helmet.

    I suspect it’s the former. Up to the player.

    They bring their own shoulder pads, cleats and other gear, too. About the only things the games supply are jerseys, pants and socks. Would be too expensive (and too time-consuming getting everyone properly fitted) to do otherwise for one week of practice and one game.

    The only reason I watch the any of these Senior Bowls or the Pro Bowl is just to see all the different helmets on the field at once.

    That’s also why I hate when players slap all manner of other team decals all over their helmets.

    On the face of it, it’s kinda dumb.

    I mean, I’d want scouts to know I’m “That’s that kid from ______(whatever school).”

    Sorry Ricko, just saw your post and should’ve put my comment as a reply to yours…since we are on the same page.

    Didn’t watch much of the game, but I like how the trend (possibly rule?) is going back toward players wearing only their team helmet as intended, and not covered with a hundred other helmet decals.

    I get that they like to trade the decals, but there’s just something about all the different helmets (without the additional decals) that makes for a clean look.

    another visually nice benchies ricko.

    georgia tech needs some uni help, but it is not colour at home.

    so glad to work a 12 hour shift through both games today. phil, care to poke fun at what time i am leaving for work?

    Actually the Conference Championship Games have had halftime performances the past few years. Here is this year’s NFC info: link

    Giants going with the Sham Wow approach today.

    I can’t speak for the Giants, but before last week, the Niners beat you by a conservative offense (run Frank run) and a relentless defense, and special teams (Akers kicks it a mile, thanks Andy Reid) and Lee punts it even furthur. So last week, Alex Smith (and I’m the first one to call him Alex Stiff in the past since let’s face it, he was up til this season when he found r̶e̶l̶i̶g̶i̶o̶n̶ Jim Harbaugh..

    Smith absolutely sliced up the Saints in the last few minutes in one of the truly great playoff finishes ever. This just doesn’t happen here—yet, now it does.

    So I don’t know how the O plays today.

    To beat the Niners, I think you have to shut down their pass rush on D…and stop the run on O, and dare Smith to repeat last week.

    remember it? I was there! it was like being on the moon. very foggy defused light…dusty…it was just bizarre. I was there as part of a radio station promotion.

    Awesome! So strange to go from the elation of that moment, in that extraordinary environment, with the elements in full play… the letdown next week in the antiseptic, lifeless Pontiac Dome (or whatever it was called).

    Funny, isn’t it.

    Everyone these days seems to want perfect conditions where the elements don’t come into play (I suppose that’s somewhat due to domes and the artificiality of video games), but what are among the games we appear to remember most.

    Just for starters…Ice Bowl, Freezer Bowl, the Tuck Game, the Snow Plow Incident, the Fog Bowl (I could go on).

    Football–for those who haven’t quite yet grasped the concept–is an outdoor game that sometimes gets played during the winter.

    In other words, I hope it snows like crazy on the coming Super Bowl in New Jersey.

    Remembering Gotham Bowl II…

    I would love a SB game with some inclement weather!!! Please. Has there ever been a SB where weather was a factor? Even a cold temperature to endure?

    Here’s the BengalMobile.

    Car and paintjob from some guys up @ Miami University, and the “Q102” sign I hand-painted, set up on a filing cart in our production studio one night.

    And we also passed out free copies of a Bengals song by a local sportscaster named- honest- Zip Rzeppa.

    It was so cold you just can’t comprehend it. -59 WC.

    Wonderful, Brinke.

    I can sorta comprehend that kind of cold–grew up in Minnesota–but not playing a 3 1/2 hour game on concrete in it. What a day.

    Suck it Penn State! (basketball. woooo #iubb)

    speaking of PSUbb, In Bloomington, IN they wore black bands and the coaches wore black ribbons provided by a coaches wife.

    Ravens in black pants. Blah. Nice tights, ladies. Do a little stretching before you dance a jig.

    Who’s that wrinkly old witch corpse singing the Anthem? (I know of course).

    a team on a streak has to respect the streak…you know why? because they don’t — they don’t happen very often

    if you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you *are*! and you should know that!

    Crash Davis: [Mechanized bull noises in background] Well, he really hit the shit outta that one, didn’t he?
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: [softly, infuriated] I held it like an egg.
    Crash Davis: Yeah, and he scrambled the son of a bitch. Look at that, he hit the fucking bull! Guy gets a free steak!
    Crash Davis: You having fun yet?
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Oh, yeah. Havin’ a blast.
    Crash Davis: Good.
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: [pause] God, that sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball!
    Crash Davis: He did know.
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: How?
    Crash Davis: I told him.

    Yes, I visit & nail all my mistresses & beat up all my illegitimate children before I go to my soccer league matches; every single time. Just kidding, I don’t play soccer. :)

    In the Pat Summerall 1985 Giants-Niners intro, I love the dramatic synth music that CBS uses at the 1:16 mark. Adds such gravitas to the proceedings. Nothing tops CBS’s football coverage back then.

    New England was just flagged for having 12 men on the field during Baltimore’s (successful) extra point. The penalty will be assessed on the kickoff.

    Why is that? Normally you either get the result of the play or the penalty yardage. But on successful PATs you get both. What’s the thinking behind that? Why is it handled differently than on normal flagged plays?

    I think I know the answer. But I wanna hear what you folks say first.

    i think it has more to do with offsides (but they will enforce it for every penalty, regardless) … if there is no additional penalty for jumping offsides, teams will try to time every snap so they can have a shot at blocking the kick

    i think the added penalty is to prevent injuries … now, why they do it for 12 men? don’t know…but maybe the justification is that EVERY penalty will be enforced on the ensuing kick, regardless of what it is…

    just my thoughts

    It’s for every defensive penalty on PATs.

    I’ll hold off a little longer to see if anyone else weighs in before offering my own take.

    “It’s for every defensive penalty on PATs.”


    right…but i think the rationale is to prevent injuries (caused by the offsides ‘lunge’) — but they have to enforce it for any and every defensive penalty, even those where the risk of injury is nil

    I think the obvious answer is half-the-distance on a PAT doesn’t really help you, so since if you take the penalty on the PAT, it doesn’t do any good, and if you can instead get five yards on the kickoff, then you might as well just give them the five yards and the point, since they’ll usually make the point anyway.

    Maybe it’s something to do with not being able to award penalty yardage due to the fact that ball is already so close to the goal line? So the yardage gets awarded on the kickoff.

    Yeah, but here’s the thing: You’re almost never gonna award that yardage anyway, because almost every PAT try is successful. So 99% of defensive penalties would be declined.

    And I think that’s why they assess it on the ensuing kickoff — to keep the defense honest. Otherwise the defense could foul with impunity, knowing there’d never be any price to pay (unless the PAT failed). Most of those fouls would be irrelevant anyway, but some could be dangerous or chippy, or lead to a lot of trash talk on the field. You don’t want one side of the ball thinking it can get away with shit.

    So imposing the yardage on the kickoff is a way of maintaining a real price for these fouls.

    Or at least that’s my take.

    “Most of those fouls would be irrelevant anyway, but some could be dangerous or chippy…”


    so…to prevent injuries?

    i think Rob (and Wheels) are also both right — there’s no real PENALTY for committing a foul, so this is a way to ensure that a penalty is actually enforced

    like you said, since most PATs are successful, there’s no real disincentive for the defense NOT to foul…unless you penalize them on the kickoff


    i guess what i’m saying is we’re all sorta saying the same thing

    don’t give the defense any incentive to commit a penalty that probably won’t be enforced (because of a successful PAT)

    so…to prevent injuries?

    Well, more to prevent an “outlaw” mentality on the defensive side of the ball, which could lead to a lot of nonsense.

    Has something to do with the PAT being an untimed down…or something in that neighborhood.

    I had it explained to me once by an official (not NFL), and if I remember correctly, that’s the deal. If the same thing happened on a field goal attempt, then there would be the option to accept or decline the penalty.

    Yeah, but if the *offensive* team is flagged on a PAT, it’s handled just like any other penalty (walk off the yardage, do the play over). Has nothing to do with whether it’s untimed.

    BINGO Phil…THIS is by far the best weekend of the NFL season. A lot on the line, usually four very good teams in action, and just the right amount of hype for these games.

    Somehow though, I’ve heard “Tim Tebow” mentioned at least 3 times today. So that kind of subtracts a little from the positive.

    Here’s a thought; If the Patriots hadn’t enjoyed all the success over the last decade in their current crappy uniforms, I think everyone around here would be clamoring for a uniform change with about the same disgust and passion directed at the Bills’ last set.

    What I wouldn’t give to see the Pats in the Steve Grogan-era uniforms. However, given the SUCK formula (Stale/Ugly/Calendar/Karma), New England would be foolish to mess with a winning combination.


    there was an obvious helmet to helmet a few plays back…no flag?

    Pre-game meal:

    Official game outfit on- black LLBean turtleneck, red Niners Rice throwback jersey, black t-shirt jersey pants, black crocs with “SF” logo.


    my wardrobe is heavily leaning to SF Giants, hence a lotta black.

    Still have a pair of Nike Niners sweatshirts from 2000- still fit like a charm, back from when Nike made NFL Team Sports stuff.

    Just rewound my DVR. Cundiff jogged on the field with 14 seconds on the play clock, and didn’t start his pre-kick routine until 9 seconds left. Why not call the timeout? Were the Ravens thinking about going for it? As soon as that ball is incomplete on 3rd down, you send out the kicker. Terrible.

    I immediately switched over to Giants/Niners pregame once the AFC game ended. Is anyone on CBS talking about Cundiff’s late appearance on the field? Like, was he taking a leak or something? Incredible that he took so long to get out there — you could see he wasn’t prepared for the kick.

    And yeah, they had a timeout left, so they should’ve used it.

    I watched a little bit of it. Basically the guys in the studio were talking about how “…it is terrible to lose a game like that.” However, to my knowledge, nothing was talked about Cundiff’s late start to get on the field. To be somewhat fair to the Ravens, with about two seconds left, everyone seemed to be set. But… you have a timeout, why rush things?

    I am sure it will be talked about though.

    Maybe if you take the timeout, and Cundiff misses it, everyone second guesses saying why would you ice your own kicker?

    In Norwood’s defense, that was something like a 43 or 45 yarder in Super Bowl 25, not nearly as close as Cundiff’s attempt.

    First thing that popped into my mind was the Gary Anderson miss indoors against the Falcons about 14 years ago. Anderson was perfect in field goals the entire season for Minnesota and had made a number of clutch kicks in his career.

    47 yards, in fact.

    I always thought the vilification of Norwood was unfair. 47 yards is no chip shot.

    On the plus side, his vilification provided the framework for one of my favorite movies, Buffalo ’66, so I I guess it’s just as well.

    Conference Championship gear looks pretty nice.


    Does anyone know if New Era will be doing the draft hats? Or is that one last hurrah for Reebok?

    Conference Championship gear looks pretty nice is an even bigger waste of money than most other team gear.

    Fixed that for ya.

    And speaking of huge wastes of money, Reebok’s deal runs out at the end of March, so no draft caps for them.

    so, query:

    on 4/1—–what do teams do with the -ton- of reebok stuff they have accumulated over the years? I am sure there’ll be a directive about ‘no reebok on-field after 4/1’ etc?

    Niners offensive tackle Joe Staley is wearing pads on the BACK of his thighs, in the hamstring area. Never seen that before. Probably part of a one-piece girdle/boxer-briefs kinda thing. Interesting!

    That is a hexpad girdle made by Nike and some other brands. The hip, tailbone and thigh pads are all built into the spandex short. This is more of a basketball design that has been used in the NBA a few years to protect for getting dinged up.


    Nice preview of today’s games.
    I only wish Giants still wore the LT – era unis … Seinfeld was right – we are rooting for the laundry, and I really dislike the grey pants, red-on-white jerseys, and lowercase ny helmets. If they were wearing those great unis from 80’s-90’s, I’d be so much more into the game.

    Thanks also for the “Bull Durham” references. I’very been using that movie as a part of my sons’ sports education and appreciation for several years now. They both know their cliches, and always take it one game at a time…

    OMG…just realized something.

    For those of us who have enough of Yankees-Red Sox, thank you very much, a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl rematch would excruciating.

    no offense, but for a lot of us the prospect of a vikes/jags (or something similar) has not so much appeal either…other than the fact that it’s a super bowl

    honestly, i will watch the game no matter who plays and the hype is just that — i ignored most of the pack/stillers hype, and waited for the game to just play out, as they always do

    if it really bothers you, watch a good set of DVDs instead of espn

    Got nothing to do with Vikings or any other team.
    And I didn’t say the match up wouldn’t appeal to me.

    Said the hype would be ever more over the top than normal, that we’d be led to believe that, wow, like, this is even more important than other Super Bowls.

    Because, believe me, the only people who don’t see that such things happen are those who live in the middle of it. And that’s understandable. When it’s your hometown there’s always tons of coverage. So it’s normal. There. But the “spill” because of it comes off to the rest of the country as wildly geo-centric.

    no (like paul says below) your problem is the east coast boston/NYC bias

    but this isn’t SNB on ESPN (which ALWAYS seems to involve the bosox/spanks or one of those two teams)…

    so it’s not really a valid comparison

    unless you’re just sick of NYC/boston being the epicenter of the sporting universe, in which case, good luck with changing that

    i never got sick of stillers/cowboys, despite for a decade or two plus, each of them always seemed to be in the big game

    it’s just the way things are…and this game is no bigger than anyone before it — maybe for pats fans, who’ll be seeking to avenge the loss to the team who ended their perfect season, but to nyers? no matter (and they’re not even in yet)…it’s just the SB…huge event, to be sure, but not the end of the world either

    Unless you think anything involving NYC and Boston is inherently annoying (which I suppose might be the case if you’re a sports fan in Minneapolis), I don’t think you can make much of a comparison between Yanks/Bosox and Jints/Pats.

    The MLB teams play 19 times a year and are longstanding rivals; the NFL teams play once a decade and have no particular history aside from that one Super Bowl. But that was when the Pats were riding an unbeaten season, etc. — not the same feel as this season.

    The biggest problem with a Giants/Pats rematch is that I’d have to come up with a new angle for my Super Bowl column on ESPN…

    And aren’t the Pats going to wear blue in the Super Bowl? Yes indeed, Pats/Giants in two weeks would be a complete carbon copy from #42! The only thing different would be each Super Bowl logo!

    you had carbon copies in two games twice before (dallas/pittsburgh X & XIII) and back-to-back with dallas/buffalo (27 & 28 — i think, doing that from memory)

    But wouldn’t one of those Cowboys/Steelers games have been “mitigated” by Dallas’ bicentennial striping?
    I’d bet dollars to donuts that Belichick will NOT be wearing a red hoodie. I think the Giants are 3-0 when Bill wears red at the Super Bowl: twice as the winning coordinator, and once as the losing coach.

    Dallas didn’t have the bicentennial striping in that Super Bowl game however. Both the Cowboys and Steelers wore a circular bicentennial patch with the stylized star: link

    “unless you’re just sick of NYC/boston being the epicenter of the sporting universe, in which case, good luck with changing that.”

    Yes, that’s what I meant. Nothing to do with the sport or the teams involved. And, no, I don’t have any illusions that anything will change it. Started out as mostly joking, nothing more than, “Oh, shit, please not more NY vs. Boston.”

    The MLB teams play 19 times a year and are longstanding rivals; the NFL teams play once a decade and have no particular history aside from that one Super Bowl.

    Actually non-conference teams play each other every four years, not once a decade… Plus the rotation for the NFC East and AFC East to play each other is 2007, 2011, etc… so both Super Bowl years the Super Bowl was a rematch of a regular season meeting. After S.B. XLVI, they will have played each other 4 times in 5 seasons.

    This is a typical Niners offensive game. Juuuust enough O to keep it close. Akers not a factor yet. I mean- when your kicker sets the record for most FGs in a yr, what does that say about your O? Answer: not much. I believe the Smith explosion last week is the exception to the rule.

    Are the Jets changing their uniforms next year. has a lot of Jets gear on clearance, compared to other teams.

    I don’t know if that’s much of an indicator. The Seahawks are changing, and they’ve only got a small amount of Seattle clearance. They probably just ordered far too much Jets junk and need to get rid of it.

    darren rovell @darrenrovell 5m Reply Retweet Favorite · Open

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Nike puts the Buccaneers back in creamsicle.

    Ugh. No. Enough with this damn retro trend. Jets, Giants, 49ers, Bills… The line must be drawn HERE! This far, no further!

    Right. Because in Rovell’s fever-dream reality, Nike decides what the teams wear, not team management….

    They might wear creamsicle, but it won’t be Nike’s decision.

    the sun will rise tomorrow, no matter who wins

    and it was a great game (at least, emotion-wise)

    if the 9ers win, they deserve it and i’ll be happy for them and root for them in 2 weeks

    Hey, wait. I thought under the new rules, the team that receives the kick scores on first play from scrimmage.

    Following a three-minute intermission after the end of the regulation game, play will be continued in 15-minute periods until a winner is declared. Each team must possess or have the opportunity to possess the ball unless the team that has the ball first scores a touchdown on its initial possession.

    Play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown) or when a score is awarded by the referee for a palpably unfair act. Each team has three time-outs per half and all general timing provisions apply as during a regular game. The try is not attempted if a touchdown is scored. Disqualified players are not allowed to return.

    * Instant Replay: No challenges. Reviews to be initiated by the replay assistant.

    Has any overtime game gone into a *second OT period* since the Dolphins/Chiefs game in 1970?

    Probably, but I can’t remember one…

    Only really long game that comes right to mind is a Monday night between Cardinals and someone that went well into the wee hours on the East Coast.

    Don’t recall the details, though.

    Or did you mean in post-season?

    Duh. Of course would be playoffs for second OT, sorry.
    Just saying that one Cardinals game went WAY deep into the overtime.

    The new rules are definitely a bit silly and still “unfair”, that’s for sure.

    My solution would be to play a full 15 minute quarter with the same timing rules as the 4th, and just continue the game from whatever point it was at. Treat it the same way as the 3rd-to-4th changeover. If it’s still tied after the 5th quarter, then you go to a college style OT, but start the drives at the 50 so it’s not an automatic FG.

    Count me yet again in the minority on both games. Since I’ve made it known before how much I despise the all white on the road I was glad to see the Ravens keep with the black pants this week.

    The NFC game I don’t like either look. I liked the look SF just dropped much better although that may be a result of me being a Falcons fan and this look they brought back gives me seizures thinking back at the beatings they gave us yearly before the NFL figured out that Atlanta is not in the “West”. But if they dropped the gray facemasks and added some gold somewhere (anywhere on the jerseys) I’d hate it much less. As for the Giants. Their current road look is one of my least favorite in the NFL. The horrible pants stripes, lack of blue on the jersey, and of course my other least favorite thing on a football uniform gray facemasks all make it headache inducing for me to look at. The previous edition of the roads was much better. Better pants striping and the jersey actually had at least a bit of blue in it.

    Even though I hate Pat I do think the Patriots uniforms are total crap though. That should count for something, right?

    Why does it seem like we’ve seen a FG for the win between these two teams before? HHhhhmmmm….

    Ref Hercules was quite talky tonight with some of those explanations. All we were missing was instead of a coin toss in OT they should’ve done the XFL dash for the ball with the ball being live and if you recovered it and scored your team won. Ridiculous but not any more than what the OT rules actually were.

    The league needs to write up some standard, concise copy for the refs to read off or memorize to explain the new overtime rules. Hochuli was yammering for far too long and sounded like a dunce. It’s really not too difficult.

    Indeed. As much as I hate the modified sudden death, here you go, short and sweet:
    “Overtime is sudden death, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff takes its first drive to a converted field goal. If this happens, the other team will have one drive to match or beat the field goal. Any other scoring circumstance, including a touchdown by either team, a safety by either team, or any type of score in a team’s second series or later, shall result in sudden death victory.”

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