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And In This Corner, Representing Baltimore…


By Phil Hecken

Well, folks — the big weekend is here. And the waiting is the hardest part, as they say,

17 weeks of football, three weeks of playoffs, one Pro Bowl, and a lot of waiting later — and we’ve finally arrived at the Super Bowl. You know the teams (or you should): The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. We know what each team will be wearing tomorrow, but what have they worn in the past? The Ravens, who we’ll look at today, don’t have much of a rich uniform history, since they were born* in 1996. The Niners, on the other hand, have a long and deep past.

* (According to the NFL. We all know the Ravens were moved to Baltimore from Cleveland. I had tried to persuade Timmy & Rob to cover the Browns’ uniform history, but they wanted to stick with official NFL protocol)

There are a billion story-lines for this game, so I won’t bore you with those, but if you didn’t get to read it earlier, I do want to draw your attention to this nifty Super Bowl uni preview Paul had on the mothership this week. That will whet your appetite for tomorrow. But today…today and tomorrow are the traditional Uni Watch “Super Bowl uni history” days, and to bring us up to speed with both teams, I have two outstanding uniform historians, Timmy Brulia and Rob Holecko from the Gridiron Uniform Database; both gents have penned uni history columns for the Super Bowl before, and today, they’re both back. You can click on the thumbnails for full-size versions.

So…without further ado, here are the GUD boys looking at the…

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Ravens Through The Years
By Timmy Brulia and Rob Holecko

images (2)


1996A: Timmy B using NFLSpeak: The Baltimore Ravens become a new entry into the National Football League. They spring from out of nowhere, but utilize much of the front office and playing roster of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns meanwhile, have gone into hiatus until 1999, at which time, the Browns will re-appear, with a whole new front office, stadium and roster, to be stocked by a draft of active players and college players alike, similar to an expansion draft for an expansion team, only that’s not the case in this “unique” situation.

1996B: The uniform part. The Ravens wear black helmets with two purple stripes starting at the front and coming to a point about a third of the way up the center. The logo, a shield-like thing with a large “B” with “RAVENS” at the top of the shield and with purple and white wings on either side, is on both sides of the helmet. The white jersey has a black collar and a black stripe at the edge of the sleeves. The numbers (front, back and shoulders) are fancy fonted in purple with a double outline of white and black. The name on back (NOB) is purple. The Ravens purple wordmark on front is above the front number. A front view of a raven in flight is located on the jersey sleeves. The purple jersey is similar in terms of black trim on collar and sleeve edge, and the raven sleeve logo. The numbers (front, back and shoulders) are white, doubly outlined in black, then gold, with the wordmark on front and the NOB in black. The pants used with both jerseys are black with a thick white side stripe. On the player’s upper right thigh of the pant is a small Ravens’ coat of arm shield. The socks are white, but have a black-white-black stripe combo with the white jersey and a black-purple-black stripe pattern with the purple jersey. The cleats are white. Trivia bit: When the Ravens take the field in the all dark home ensemble, they become the first team to wear a dark jersey-dark pants uni combo since the 1964 Vikings wore all purple for a home game against the Lions. They also become the first team to regularly wear a dark combo for a season since the 1953 Packers.


1997: The numerals on the jersey change slightly. The font is slightly altered and the outline takes on a mild drop shadow effect. The outline on the purple numbers of the white jersey are now gold, then black. The outline on the white numbers of the purple tops are now gold, then black. The black pants are now worn only with the white jerseys. The stripe pattern changes to a white-purple-white, with the coat of arms logo moved from the right thigh to both hips. White pants are now worn with the purple pants. They have a black-purple-black stripe pattern, with the coat of arms on both hips.

1998: The black pants are removed entirely. The white socks with the black-purple-black stripes are worn with both sets of jerseys.

1999: The helmet logo is changed from the winged shield to a Ravens cartoonish head, outlined in white. A gold stylized “B” is placed on the back of the bird’s head.

2000: The wordmark is altered on the jerseys. Likewise, the raven in flight logo on the sleeves is removed and the coat of arms logo takes the bird’s place. On the pants, where the coat of arms had been located on the hips, a “B”, like that found on the Raven head on the helmet logo, takes its spot on the hips.


2002: Former Baltimore (different franchise) quarterback and legend John Unitas passes away, and the Ravens honor him with a helmet decal on September 15.

2004: Roughly a month into the season, the Ravens replace the white socks with solid black socks. Also, the Ravens add an alternate all black uni. Basically, the black is modeled after the purple jersey and the collars and sleeve edges are purple. The black pants are stripeless, but have the gold and white “B” placed on the hips.

2005: The Ravens wear a 10th Season patch on the left breast of all three jerseys.

2007: Black cleats replace the white cleats.

2008: Black pants are worn with the white jerseys for the regular season, and white pants are worn with the alternate black jerseys.

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 8.27.51 PM

2009: The white jersey is worn with both the white pants and the black pants.

2010: The Ravens go with mix and match unis during the course of the season. In essence, six different uni combos; all white, all black, white/black, purple/white. purple/black (a combo not seen since the Ravens debut season of 1996) and black/white.

2011: A ‘PBM’ helmet sticker is worn after the October 16 passing of Patricia Modell, wife of the former owner, Art Modell.

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 10.09.53 PM

2012: A commemorative patch noting the passing of original owner Art Modell is worn first as a helmet decal in Week 1, then as a jersey patch for the rest of the season, placed on the player’s left breast. Again as in 2010 and 2011, six uni combos are worn. Purple and black cleats are also worn in addition to the all black cleats.

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Good luck in XLVII, Ravens!

BALT_2c_BWBBB 1280X1600

[If you’d like to see the extended version of this post, with additional graphics and photographs, visit the Gridiron Uniform Database blog]

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Thanks Timmy & Rob! Of course, we have somewhat of a unique Super Bowl this year in that the Ravens and 49ers have both never lost the big game (and the Ravens lone win brings back bitter memories for me). So, while I’ll echo the “Good Luck” gesture, I most certainly will be rooting for the 49ers. No offense to the good folks from Ballmer. This is business, nothing personal.

Make sure you guys thank Tim & Rob down below and let them know what a great job they did with this. They’ll be back tomorrow with the Forty Niner uni history.

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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.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


We begin today with Andrew Poulson, who has 3 concepts for each ACC football team. Gonna do these as a slideshow and a link:

Hey Phil,

I really enjoy reading uni watch every day and have recently got into doing uniform concepts. I am a big college football fan so i did the entire ACC. I did a home, an away, and one alternate for every team in the conference as they currently stand. I did them all on Paint. I hope you like them.


. . .

Next up is Colin Butler, with a Thunder concept:

Thunder Alts - Colin Butler

Hi Phil,

Thought you might like to see my version of an OKC alt jersey. I think the Thunder missed out on a great opportunity when they unveiled the retro alts earlier this season. I took the navy blue idea and tweaked it a little further using Photoshop. Thanks.


. . .

And we close today with Justin Kline with two distinct concepts:

Steelers - Justin Kline

Phil, two uni concepts for you:

I liked the Steelers’ throwback-inspired “bumblebee” unis, but I think they could do something a little more accessible if they’re going to keep making new throwback-inspired unis. I realize it would be kind of weird to see Pittsburgh take the field with something on both sides of their helmets, but I think this would be a good look regardless.

SamuraiFacemasks - Justin Kline

I was looking at samurai helmets recently, and I noticed that some of them had facemasks that were meant to scare the enemy. I’m not sure what guidelines the NFL has in place regarding facemask designs, but if these samurai-inspired grilles are legal, I bet they’d make any linebacker look 10 times more intimidating.

-Justin Kline

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Stirrup Friday

Stirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

Just four of you showed off your rups (but one of you showed us A LOT), and another simply offered a bonus shot. Also (and Comrade will touch on this below), the FREE UW Rup will be given out soon, and all of you who will be at the Gathering in Warshington (including yours truly) will be eligible — so everyone who plans on attending better have some might-tee-fine hose. Here we go:

. . . . .


Michael Clary:


Here’s a pic of a young Kareem enjoying Stirrup Friday over forty years ago.


. . .

Ryberto's_grey_stirrup_Panorama - Will Scheibler

ryberto's_grey_stirrups_foot - Will Scheiblerryberto's_white_stirrups - Will Scheiblerryberto's_white_stirrup_foot - Will Scheiblersleepinggiant_stirrups - Will Scheiblerstirrups_SG_leg - Will Scheibler

Will Scheibler

Phil & Robert,

In all pics wearing my Comrade Marshall stirrups.

Wearing a shirt & hat from my local microbrewery.

Wearing my white DIY jersey and DIY “taco bell” cap in my take on Ryco’s Ryberto’s Burritos..

Lastly wearing my grey softball version of the Burritos.

Will Scheibler

. . .

Gary Moore - St. Louis

Gary Moore:


In honor of The Man…with the St Louis Post-Dispatch special.

Probably too late to use, but had to send.


. . .

James Poisso-Blue & Gold

James Poisso:


Today’s stirrups are Brewers stirrups.

No reason other than I just got them and look really nice with the yellow sani.


. . .

Sam Cassell - Socks

Sam Cassell:

On Fridays we get to customize one part of our uniform. This week was socks.


. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.

And now for a few words from Comrade Marshall. Comrade?

. . .

Hola Comrades~

Still waiting until mid-February on mid-month for the last of the giveaway Uni Watch stirrups, and yes photos from Wednesday’s UW gathering in Worshnin(sic) are eligible. Stocks are low so don’t bother with the site of the revolution unless you want the cycling stirrup, but the first of two big orders are due this week if we are lucky, and for sure we will be stocked by opening day.

Sorry, my heart is not in this today since on the two mile walk to the market today some schizophrenic jumped out of a warehouse and tried to stab me because he thought I was Bruce Lee. The long and short of it is no I am not sure why he wanted Bruce Lee dead, or how he mistook my my 6’5″ bearded white ass for a Kung Fu legend. Maybe it was because it was 11 degrees at the time? Maybe the mission on Roosevelt around the corner wasn’t open yet? but no matter the reason he missed and was disarmed so all is well, new stirrups will be here soon.

from each, to each,
~comrade marshall

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And that’s just about it for today, except for this little bit of late breaking Super Bowl shoe news (thanks to Johnny Okray). Good lord. Surely He will save Ray Lewis from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Or something. After Sunday, hopefully we’ll quoth the Raven nevermore.

Everyone give Timmy & Rob a nice round of thanks, and you all enjoy your Saturday. Rest up. Tomorrow’s a big day.


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One For The Road

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“Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for pizza delivery in the U.S. What day is #2?”
— Dane Drutis

Comments (64)

    compared to what nike has been putting out recently those are not tame. The Georgia Tech concept as well as the Wake Forest one are ridiculous,ceven if you render them in the schools’ actual colors (only white was correct with Tech and there is no reason to add silver to Wake’s colors, you shouldn’t have two metallics and you shouldn’t relegate black to a secondary color when it is one of their two).

    The most telling part of the Ray Lewis footwear story is that the “Psalms 91” legend is that it “honors the t-shirt Ray’s worn all season.”

    It should be “Psalm 91”, not “Psalms 91”.

    Exactly! I tweeted that to Paul yesterday when he tweeted the pic. That is a common (and stupid) mistake that a lot of people do with the Book of Psalms.

    Just like people call the last book “Revelations” when it’s actually just the “Book of Revelation.”

    What? Why would he accurately cite the Bible? You don’t believe Ray Lewis’ ramblings on God and faith are in any way sincere, do you?

    Oh, of course I don’t think Ray is sincere, any more than I think Glenn Beck is sincere in his pious ramblings, or that Howard Dean was sincere when he solemnly told a reporter that he drew strength from reading the New Testament, especially the Book of Job. I pretty much distrust public displays of anything, especially faith.

    It just bugs me. It offends my sensibilities, the same way that his ridiculous, Elaine Benes-dancing-to-Desperado parody of the Sipi Tau offends me. It’s unseemly.

    According to the NFL. We all know the Ravens were moved to Baltimore from Cleveland. I had tried to persuade Timmy & Rob to cover the Browns’ uniform history, but they wanted to stick with official NFL protocol

    As I told Phil, we have to save something to cover for when the Browns make it to the Super Bowl.

    Besides, it’s painfully obvious these Ravens aren’t the Browns – this team was able to beat Denver in the playoffs. (Ouch!)

    As I told Phil, we have to save something to cover for when the Browns make it to the Super Bowl.

    I don’t think Uni Watch will still exist in 2084.

    “Besides, it’s painfully obvious these Ravens aren’t the Browns — this team was able to beat Denver in the playoffs.”


    Literally in a coma right now from laughter XD

    As a lifelong Steelers fan I’ve always respected that the Baltimore Ravens are actually the REAL Cleveland Browns. Ozzie Newsome, after all. The Cleveland Browns have in fact been to, and won, the Super Bowl. HOF-bound Ray Lewis should have been a Cleveland Brown. I get the idea.

    Terry, as a Lions fan myself, at least you guys have a more recent NFL championship than us. And more appearances in the NFC Championship Game.

    Conference Championship – DERP! Forgot for a moment that Cleveland’s always been in the AFC since the merger.

    Terry, you live in Bills Country, man! They have billboards on the Thruway: “You’re In Bills Country!” How did you end up a Browns fan?

    I don’t want to speak for Terry, but I’m pretty sure he was born about 15 years before the Bills were.

    Phil is close. I was 13 when the AFL started. I started following the Browns in 1958. I’ve always considered Paul Brown the greatest football coach ever. Jimmy Brown is the greatest running back ever and ditto for QB Otto Graham. And the Browns uniforms are perfect as is when worn with Brown striped socks and jerseys. The all-Whites are as well. Art Modell was a double schmuck for firing Paul Brown and for moving the Browns.

    As to Buffalo I won’t have a team or teams (when you add the Sabres) forced down my throat. Our Rochester media cares more about the GD Bills and Sabres than they do our own (albeit minor league) teams.

    Re: Sam Cassell. Is that ‘the’ Sam Cassell or just a guy named Cassell á la Michael Jordan ESPN commercial?

    Watching the QPR – Norwich EPL match. #6 Michael Turner with Norwich had to change shirts in late in the first half, presumably because it had blood on it. Replacement shirt appears to have no name and no number on back.

    I wonder if the AFC was the home team his year, would the Ravens would have busted out the black hats, shirts and britches or the purple shirts and black britches. Would love to see Balt with purple numbers and stockings when they go black shirts & britches. Glad they got rid of that big ass stripe on the britches.

    No; usually the NFL during the Super Bowl, and I think during the playoffs as well now, don’t allow alternates to be worn. It has to be a home/away jersey, but says nothing on pants.

    I think the last team to wear an alternate in the Super Bowl was the link.

    I think the last team to wear an alternate in the Super Bowl was the Niners themselves.

    Indeed. The 1994 49ers are the one and only team to wear an alternate uniform in the Superbowl, and it really wasn’t an alt in the normal sense. They wore that uniform for all but 3 games that year – if anything, the “regular” uniform with the gold pants was really their alternate for that season.

    In any case, the NFL’s rules are freakin stupid and the two teams playing in the Superbowl should be able to wear whatever damn uniform they want to, as long as it’s something they’ve previously worn during the regular season.

    I think the SOLE reason Jedi54 posts on the UW is to say the word “britches” for the sake of saying the word “britches.” No less than four times in this post.

    You’ll have this, I suppose…

    “Britches” and “Hats”

    And we get it…he likes dark and monochrome uniforms with stripeless pants. It was funny the first 27 times. OK, it wasn’t even funny the first time, but now it’s just BFBS.

    That’s what my coaches called them when I was in high school, so that’s why I use the terms. If you are offended then I apologize in advance.

    I don’t think “offended” is the word we’re looking for here. I use “britches” and “hats” myself to describe pants and helmets…the problem is you seem to have no other words besides those. And I think that’s what gets, shall we say, annoying.

    As far as your preference for solid black (or dark) “britches” without stripes, that’s fine and that’s your opinion and no one is arguing with that. But it seems that’s all you post about, and I think that may be what irks some people. We get it — you like black britches without stripes. Every time you say it we get it.

    Phil beat me to it — not offended but annoyed.

    We’ll save “offended” for earth shattering things like Native American imagery on ball caps and Native American imagery in sports teams nicknames and Native American imagery being displayed in corporately named ballparks, and Native American imagery on ill-conceived inaccurate throwback representations, and Native American imagery displayed with the color purple. (And if you recognized my over-repetition of the phrase ‘Native American imagery’ was meant to mirror your over-repetition of the word ‘britches’ and caused you any small measure of annoyance, then I sincerely apologize.)

    And for the record some of us (speaking only for myself) wouldn’t hate the solid black no-stripe pant look if they wouldn’t wear it with black socks so they don’t look like damn ballerinas in leotards.

    And also for the record, I liked the “big-ass stripe” on the ’96 Ravens, if only because it was unique. If fact all three of the 1996 to 1997 changes… (1. removing the stripe, 2. abandoning the dark-dark uni combo, and 3. changing the numbers) … seem to me to be indicative of changes they made because people thought they should look more like people think an NFL team should look rather than have a unique look of their own. Maybe some of these people the kind of people that call football pants “britches.”

    Lol. I’m not offended Mr. H. I think it’s funny. I’m just surprised on how it affects someone. To each their own. Everyone has their thoughts. .

    Does anyone know if this is legit, and if so, what is so special about this helment, other than it being translucent-ish?

    Says Ray Rice and Matt Birk are wearing it.


    Eh, did a little more looking myself, looks like they arn’t going to be translucent, that is just to show the shock absorbers. They are “Xenith” helmets.

    Since I brought it up, I am sure Paul covered this at some point in the last 2 weeks, I have just missed it :\ Sorry if that is so.


    Is the whole “Terrible Towel” era so ingrained in the city’s self-identity, that the Steelers are stuck wearing thier uniforms forever?

    I really like the Steelers concepts, too — I like the white helmet, and the logo is classic. I just can’t see the team making such a dramatic, tradition-breaking change.

    Actually, given that every player but the kickers and QB are wearing a jersey with an incomplete sleeve stripe pattern – it kinda IS broke.

    Considering the Steelers were arguably one of the worst game performing franchises in NFL history prior to the “Terrible Towel” era, why would anyone in Pittsburgh want to see the identity change? That aside, it’s a great uniform.

    With that being said, I like the white helmet and logo for a third jersey. Beats the 1933 bumblebee look.

    I’m curious as to what makes the Stillers a “blue-collar team.” Is it because Steeltown is considered a “blue-collar town” or that the players somehow espouse a “blue-collar work ethic”?

    Because at the salaries they’re making, I wouldn’t consider the players in any way, shape or form to be “blue-collar.”


    Just guessing, but maybe it’s as opposed to a finesse team, perhaps like the Patriots or teams that use a west coast offense.

    That’s easy to say when they have a play style like the 1970’s Iron Curtain defense or Jerome Bettis plowing it up the middle, but the play style has little to do with it. If they hired June Jones and went to a run-and-shoot, I think the Steelers would still be thought of as blue collar, because that image has to do more with the steelmills and the image of the people of the area than the players themseleves.

    So…”smashmouth” or something similar is “blue collar” whereas that fancy, finesse stuff is more highfalutin?

    Curious as to what Mr. Proctor thinks though.

    It’s actually kind of surprising that it’s taken this long for players to get around to the Samurai face masks. I suppose at some point the NFL will outlaw them – if they haven’t in fact done so already.

    As long as there are no sharp points (2 bars coming together in a “V” shape), there’s no reason they shouldn’t be legal — look at the mask Justin Tuck wears, that’s now been copied by a few linemen.

    Sure, it may be a bit “scary,” but what a great open gap in the middle to grab. Tuck’s mask is great because there is no where for the other players to get their fingers inside.

    Shouldn’t Ray Lewis’ “accomplishments” include beating 2 murder raps and settling 2 wrongful death suits out-of-court?

    It would be unfair to put Lewis’s criminal backround on a shoe with his football accomplishments.
    Just as it would be unfair to mention his six children with four different woman, none of whom are his wife.
    Just saying…….

    The Ravens visual identity is, I think, the most unappealing in recent NFL history. Worse, even, than current sets by Atlanta, Cincy, Arizona and Minne–er, well, maybe not worse than Minnesota. But still.

    What a mess.

    I agree with most of what you said about the Ravens. Lately however, I have come around some and I sort of like their logo with the semi-cartoon raven and all. It makes for a decent helmet.
    The rest of course is an unqualified mess.

    The Gridiron Uniform Database really needs to use a number other than “11” for its sample graphics.

    You get no feel for what a team’s number font looks like. At least use two different digits!

    What they should really do is have 12 on the home jersey front, 34 on the home back, 56 on the road front, 78 on the road back, and 90 on an alternate so that you get to see every digit.

    The Ravens current road uniforms would look better if they wore the black pants used back in 1997 which has the striping pattern of white-purple-white, and the socks with the two black stripes. I do not like the the solid black pants with the solid black socks. Unfortunately, the trend in the NFL is to wear white jerseys with the pants having the team’s colors as well as solid colored socks.

    Georgia Tech’s colors are Old Gold and White, as of late we have used Vegas Gold or other similar shades (Metallic look, not athletic gold). Navy is officially a secondary color, it gets used more prominently than your standard trim/secondary colors.

    Black hasn’t been used since the 80s except for a throwback by the baseball team back in 2010 (25th anniversary of the first conference championship on the diamond), and even then it wasn’t a color used across the board by all teams. Black has never been an official school color it is only to be used for logos (and even then it is limited to only some logos).

    The name Yellow Jackets came from the wearing of yellow jackets by fans to games, not the insect, since then the name has been officially adopted but the color of hte insect has about as much to do with school colors as most schools (Tigers are orange and black not purple and gold or orange and purple, beavers are brown not orange and black, etc.). There will never be a uniform concept that introduces black and yellow to look like a yellow jacket, we may agree to some wild looks under Russell or future suppliers but you can bet that we will never betray the school colors like that.

    The official school colors are even in the fight song…

    “Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I’d dress her in white and gold/And put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold/But if I had a son, sir, I’d tell you what he’d do/He would yell ‘To Hell With Georgia’ like his daddy used to do”

    Hey Phil,

    I sent you a concept a few weeks back and just want to make sure you received it as I fear my email may be being marked as spam for some recipients. It was one for Georgia tech and it included a custom font.

    You sent me that on January 10. Yes I got it. Still catching up on the tweaks (I got a ton in December). I’m just about up to Christmas (12-24) with the set coming out tomorrow. Hang in there, I do them in the order they’re received.

    Spotted on eBay:


    The NOB of this Fautino de los Santos has a capital D, small capital E, then all-large-capital LOS, then SANTOS.

    You’d think that the O and S in “los”, at least, would also be small capitals, like the E in “de”. Or make the entire “de los” part in small capitals.

Comments are closed.