Timelessly Representing the Ballclub, NFL Edition – Part II

By Phil Hecken

And now, in the continuing series, “Timelessly Representing the Ballclub,” I’m back with Part II of the NFL edition. If you’re not familiar with the concept — it’s quite simple really. A reader, in this case Joseph Gerard, selects what he considers to be an example of a team and a stadium that would best (or timelessly) represent a certain ballclub. We’ve found that this an opinionated exercise, and in many cases, the selections seem to be based on a reader’s formative years. But not always.

A couple weeks ago, Joseph undertook the NFL, in the AFC edition of “Timelessly” (there are also links to the two MLB articles on this). I’m back today to bring you the NFC edition. To familiarize yourself with Joseph’s rationale, here’s how he approaced this:

After reading your articles on baseball’s “classic looks”, that got me thinking of doing one for the NFL. Of course, this is just subjective to personal opinion. I’m taking success largely into the look. With three exceptions largely by default, domed stadiums and retractable-roof stadiums are intentionally excluded from this list, though I did leave Texas Stadium on since it did have an opening in the roof. Also, for simplicity, some of these I combined into one image.

Like last time, I substituted some photos for the ones Joseph submitted, and I’ll have a few thoughts of my own after this section. So with that, here’s the NFC…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Arizona Cardinals: 1970s-1980’s uniforms, Busch Memorial Stadium (Haven’t had too many successful periods besides recently. And since the recent uniforms are a travesty, going with the best-looking uniforms. Also, football is to be played outdoors full-time.)

Atlanta Falcons: 1980’s uniforms, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (See: Arizona Cardinals)

Carolina Panthers: current and current by default

Chicago Bears: 1960’s-era uniforms with white wishbone “C”, Wrigley Field

Dallas Cowboys: 1970’s-era uniforms with serifs, Texas Stadium

Detroit Lions: 1950’s uniforms, Tiger Stadium (again, football is to be played outdoors)

Green Bay Packers: Lombardi-era uniforms, Lombardi-era Lambeau Field

Minnesota Vikings: Purple People Eaters-era uniforms, Metropolitan Stadium

New Orleans Saints: Current uniforms, current version of Mercedes-Bens Superdome by default. Although the original uniforms and Tulane Stadium are a close second, they didn’t have any sustained success until recently, Dome Patrol-era aside.

New York Giants: current uniforms, original Yankee Stadium

Philadelphia Eagles: Dick Vermeil-era uniforms, Dick Vermeil-era Veterans Stadium

St. Louis Rams: Fearsome Foursome blue and white (no gold), Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

San Francisco 49ers: 80’s uniforms, 80’s-era Candlestick Park

Seattle Seahawks: original uniforms and the Kingdome

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Creamsicle look (not joking), and the Big Sombrero

Washington football team: current look (sans neckroll), RFK Stadium

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And there you have it. Once again, I think Joseph has done a nice job in representing the NFL clubs. Of course, I’m sure you’ll disagree with a few, but that’s OK because the point of this isn’t to establish a “definitive” representation, but to proffer an opinion.

Readers? What say you?

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 Cole Hammers, (who happens to be 14!), with a San Diego Charger redux:

Hello uni watch team!

Attached is my latest uni concoction: the San Diego Chargers.

I did this partially because my Charger-fanatic friend hates their current uniforms (he has the same shoulder bolt angle gripe that you do). I also did it because when I see their unis on tv, there is hardly any of that yellow that really makes the uni set pop. This in mind, I removed the somewhat drab BFBS facemask in favor of some yellow. I know that it is a very bright helmet, but San Diego was always a wacky uniform city; we all miss the days of powder blue and swinging friars dressed as bees. This isn’t to say that I dislike the navy blue look, but the chargers should at least remind everyone once in a while that they have some colors other than navy and white. I really wanted to get some yellow pants on the home uni, but yellow pants all around makes the white look like a packers uni from an unlicensed football game, and the powder would look positively garish with yellow (think eagles throwbacks). I also removed the side bolts and made the bolt a helmet stripe with side numbers (great idea, but I cannot take credit for that element). I also removed the rectangles from the shoulders; the bolt stripe really stands on its own. I think that the yellow NOB wat the only good uni move that the chargers have made in recent memory. For that matter, before this year’s draft, it was the only good move for anything in recent memory. I did end up giving the chargers three sets of pants (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, chargers, do not mix and match!). I did make the sock design fairly idiot proof in the event of mixing and matching. I know that the white pants on white socks design is one of your regular gripes, but with white, it isn’t as obvious as purple on purple (vikings). I left the Nike swooshes blank mostly because Nike designers have no business spending any time longer than thirty seconds choosing the color for the swoosh. Make it hot pink for all I care, just put it somewhere I can’t see it. Like the belt or something. Same thing applies to my overlooking of the shoe color. We all know that Nike simply MUST futz around with those. I also moved the tv numbers to the sleeves, or what’s left of them.

That’s all, sorry for boring you with this really long explanation of my work.

Thanks,
Cole

. . .

Next up is Thomas Hack, who is from the Jim Vilk/Mike Engle school of design, with some Rams concepts:


Hi Phil,

Hey, I recently got bored studying for finals, so I spent a few hours and sketched up a redesign of the Rams Uniforms and Logos. However, I have no technical design abilities, so I only have it hand-drawn (and my drawing isn’t exactly great).

Here is a set of images for the concept. I thought the Rams would look good with a bit more St. Louis, so I added the Arch and silver as a tertiary color. I also went with a lighter blue, and added back the horns on the sleeves. Sorry about the hand-drawing, I have no skill with digital art. I haven’t designed the back, but I can if you want!

Thanks,
Tom Hack

. . .

We close today with Thomas Juettner with a new look at the Chicago White Sox:


Dear Phil,

This is the final draft of my White Sox concept. Here are a few notes:

Cap: Exact same except added a red squatchee.

Home Uniform: The Gothic S-O-X is one of the classic logos in MLB but because it takes so many forms I think its become watered down. Going monochrome not only makes it easier to see but also harkens back to the Joe Jackson era S-O-X. I envisioned it as chain-stitched, giving it depth and texture. I also like the idea of a chain-stitched sleeve patch with no roundel, just a black backdrop similar to what the Blackhawks wear. Too many teams use the round logo on the sleeve, the winged sock is just too cool a logo to trap in a circle. A cream uniform with black pins makes the solid white socks and mostly white patch pop.

Away Uniform: ’68-’76 Script. Would be the only team in the majors to use both city and team name on jersey. Collar and cuff piping works great with that script. Exact same patch and socks.

Alternate Uniform: No softball top. Just an all black set that can be worn for home or away, that way if the team gets on a winning streak they can wear the exact same set every game. Same feelings with the Gothic S-O-X as on the home jersey. The monochrome white also matches the cap. This should look great with white socks.

Hope Everyone Enjoys This!

Sincerely,

Tom Juettner

. . .

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

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.

Well — it’s a smallish set today — but with a 4th of July theme (well, all except the first guy, Kenny Ocker the former “Hemogoblin” who sent his in early). That’s right, it’s impossible to say how much today’s featured stirrupers love America…but it’s gotta be A LOT.

. . . . .

Kenny Ocker:

Dearest LI Phil,

These are my sexy shins, stirrup-bedecked for my first game of ultimate since college. If I break my ankle today, this is why.

Kenny

. . .

Soukie Outhavong:

Phil,

Getting ready for the annual Independence Day 5K run. Broke out the Freedom ‘rups for the special day.

Additional photo at the finish line.

Soukie

. . .

John K:

Phil,

Here’s my 4th of July entry. This has become somewhat of a neighborhood tradition, and still catches people by surprise given my otherwise low-key manner. The stirrups (RPM’s Senators) make an appearance.

My 15-year-old son was charged with taking a few photos, and told to be sure to include the stirrups in the frame. Of course this is the only one that shows much ‘rup at all!

Don’t try this at home, kids!

John K.

. . .

Jacob Blumenfeld:

Phil and Robert,

Greetings from the lovely northwoods of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, where these Cardinals stirrups are a wonderful addition to the idyllic scenery. Ah, summer!

Jacob

. . .

James Poisso:

Phil,

I celebrated Independance Day by proudly wearing these beauties I got from commrade Robert a while back. I added the stars to Roberts stirrup as my own touch.

James Poisso

. . .

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…here’s …

~~~~~~~~~~

Comrade Marshall’s Rupdate:

Comrades!

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July. I know my Q followed by walking around watching my mostly Hispanic neighborhood (Pilsen) explode with bombs bursting in air was extremely joyous and entertaining. It is impossible to describe Chicago’s best 4th of July neighborhood, and I would have photos, but Kate and I are more the observe and absorb types as opposed to the stare at the phone staring at what you should be looking at types. But suffice it to say the scene is surreal. Let’s turn this back to the stirrups and say…speaking of quite a sight, some great entries this week, and rather then have one winner of the buy one get one stirrups, let’s go with all four entries since this is such a fantastic holiday weekend, congrats and thank you for taking the time. For those who didn’t get in their own 4th photos in time (like me), we will be happy to run more next week.

As far as new orders go, the 45s and Pilots should be in finishing at the beginning of the week, so I am not officially announcing for the next “new” orders until they come in. But it is fourth of July weekend, and I had a plan when I thought they would be here, so I’ll give you a hint. They combine for a 4th theme, one is red and white, one is blue and white, and they are identical to each other. If you think you know what they are, and you think you want either, get in touch with me and If you were right, I will set you up before next week’s preorder.

From each according his stirrvp, to each according his strype,

Happy Birthday America.

That’s going to do it for this fine first Saturday in July. Thanks to Joseph for his “Timeless” thoughts on the NFL, and to the concepters and stirrupers.

Five last things before I go:

• There was some talk in the comments yesterday that perhaps the Patriots decision to change up their wordmark was made with the Aaron Hernandez controversy in mind. Far from it — this had been in the works for some time. According to the BostonHerald.com, the change was in the works for two years. Additionally, “The only change in 2013 will be in the end-zone lettering. The cursive font will remain on the collar of the Patriots’ jerseys because teams can’t change their jerseys more than once every five years. However, the cursive script will be phased out of new merchandise as the design team moves toward the future.” So there’s that.

• Also, there was a PHENOMENAL story on ESPN.com from Howard Bryant dealing with Sports and Patriotism — this is a must read. A poignant quote is here:

The old conventions of sports leagues and fans coming to the ballpark to escape the problems of the world disappeared when the towers fell. Sports, which were once by demand of the paying customers and the league themselves a neutral oasis from a dangerous world, have since become the epicenter of community and national exhalation. The ballpark, in the time of two murky wars and a constant threat of international and domestic terrorism, has been for the last dozen years a place for patriotism. The industry that once avoided the complex world now embraces it, serving as the chief staging ground for expressions of patriotism, and has codified it into game-day identity.

A dynamic that was supposed to be temporary has become permanent.

Powerful stuff — and I (and I think Paul and probably many readers) share many of these views. While most of the thoughts in the article relate to sports in general, they certainly crossover to uniforms as well — and I needn’t remind everyone of how the camo and flag desecration, plus the amateur pacifist getups, have all begun to pervade sports and sports marketing. Craig Calceterra, who also liked Bryant’s quote, had a followup to Bryant’s article with another excellent observation: “But then Bryant questions why we engage in these ubiquitous acts of patriotism and what it all means. And whether doing so in such an obligatory manner has caused us to lose sight of the fact that (a) when we make our patriotism mindless, we lose an essential part of it, which is thoughtfulness; and (b) when we make our acts of patriotism obligatory we take away another essential thing: the freedom of dissent.” Also a good read.

• Oh, and there is going to be another sleeved Summer League jersey. The OKC Thunder (who will be using it to pay tribute to tornado victims). Will the Thunder be another team who have a sleeved jersey in the fall?

• Last evening the Arizona Diamondbacks continued to honor the 19 victims of the Prescott Fire Department who perished in the Yarnell wildfire — they wore special caps during warmups, and the Rockies (their opponents), hung a special jersey in their dugout (much like the Mets did this past week when the D-Backs were at Shea). When Arizona visited the Mets, they wore black armbands on their gray road uniforms, and last evening they wore special black jerseys with “Arizona” on the front and a “19” patch:

You can read more about these and see more pics here. Lots of game pics here.

• Finally — today the Tampa Bay Rays will be turning on their way-back machine and breaking out the “1974” uniforms they wore against the Tiggers last year. This year they’ll be matched up against the White Sox, who will oblige by wearing their own red pinstriped throwbacks of the Richie Allen era. A pretty cute Vine video shows the transformation. Check it out. Maybe next year the Sox can throw back to the GoGo Shorts era. Or not.

• And in a late addition, it seems the Stan Musial tribute & cross has been removed from the mound at Busch. (h/t to “Iggy Blissful”).

Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll be back with more new stuff tomorrow. Today’s “One For The Road” features none other than our own George Chilvers getting his hands on Wigan’s cup. Enjoy.

Follow me on Twitter: @PhilHecken.

Peace.

One For The Road

.. … ..

“As a Pats fan…that new logo is horrible. 90% of it is really boring, and the other 10% seems like it’s trying too hard to reach out to MMA fans and other assorted douchebags.”
–Shane Bua

View Comments (76)

    • So, you say football legacies are made outdoors, yet you have the Seahags playing in the Kingdome instead of Qwest/Century Link/ Alexander Graham Bell Field? That does not make sense.

  • That is a fantastic "One for the Road" -- congratulations, George!

    The Bears belong in Soldier Field, in the 1960s.

    That White Sox concept, minus the Johnny Cash alt, is genius.

    Excellent call on the Bucs in Ceamsicle.

    There's something about a grown man, taking up crayons or colored pencils to draw sports uniforms, that gives me hope for the human race.

    • Seconded on the "One For the Road." And on the White Sox concept, especially the "Flying Sock" patch and the white socks.

    • The Bears moved into Soldier Field as a temporary home in the early 1970s. It was not until the renovation in the 2000s decade (after a year in Champaign) that Soldier Field became their permanent home.

      • I was sure they'd moved in the Sixties. My apologies.

        Still, it's hard to think of the Bears and not think of Soldier Field.

  • Da Bears should be 1985, this is not up for debate.

    The Lions should probably be the Barry Sanders era, even if they did play in a wretched dome.

    The Rams should be the late 70's, the uniforms they lost Super Bowl 14 in, not those ultra boring things with no yellow.

    • The Rams also WON Super Bowl XXXIV in basically those same uniforms they lost SB XIV in (sleeve length and sock changes notwithstanding).

      And to add to that (and show a little bias toward when I grew up), the blue & yellow with the horn sleeve pattern is the uniform from the movie Heaven Can Wait.

      • True. This is where it gets tough to do a list like this with teams that have relocated. When I hear "classic" and "Rams" my brain automatically says "Los Angeles, blue & yellow". St Louis Rams, despite the Superbowl win, makes me think of the uniforms they started wearing in 2000.

        • The St. Louis Rams may be no more after the 2014 season due to recent events(disagreement over stadium upgrades), so they might revert back to being the LA Rams.

        • There has been talk about the stadium for ages. From what I hear, Kroenke wants to keep the Rams in STL, but wants to own a new stadium in St. Louis county.

    • When I think of the Rams, I think of the Fearsome Foursome. And in their case, the blue & white uniforms that they wore at the time, in my opinion, are better looking. Less cluttered, too. Take it as "less is more". Plus, except for the Colts they really wouldn't clash too much with any current uniforms. (Of note, Carroll Rosenbloom swapped the Colts for the Rams with Robert Irsay in 1972, then immediately brought gold back to the color scheme. I wonder if after owning a team with similar uniforms before if that was more than a coincidence.) If I was Stan Kroenke, I would use these as the team's official third uniform.

      In any case, this is strictly an opinion piece. Just a fun exercise. I can't wait to see someone do something on the NBA and the NHL. In fact, why don't we just throw college football, college basketball, and the CFL in it, too?

  • I was surprised with the Giants selections. A team that old and filled with history and the current look was selected? What about the Parcell era?

    I love this combo sereis. I would love to see it done with MLB, NHL, NBA and college as well.

    I love the kid's take on the St. Louis Rams. Why hasn't a St. Louis sports team thought of using the Arch to separate the colors on the jerseys. It won't be the Cardinals, but the Blues or Rams could certainly try it.

    • The Giants have as many Super Bowl wins in their current duds as they do in the Parcells era. And their current look is based on what they wore between the 1950s and the early 1970s.

    • I second Rob there. Heck, they've played in more Super Bowls in the current unis (three) than they did in the Parcells-era uniforms with GIANTS on the helmets. (two) But, if you ask any Giants fan, most would rather have the current uniforms. Even the Mara family have said that when they were winning with the Parcells-era uniforms, fans wanted the "ny" logo back on the helmets.

      • Have to disagree with the Kingdome over CLink - the 12th Man may have gotten its start in the early 80s, but current era at CLink is more worthy.

  • That's a picture of the Rose Bowl from Super Bowl XIV, not the coliseum. You can tell by the end zone paint and (more tellingly) by the score board.

  • Your stadium picture for the Rams is incorrect. That's not Memorial Coliseum, but rather the Rose Bowl where Super Bowl XIV between the Rams and Steelers was played.

  • That Diamondbacks memorial patch is perhaps the worst I've ever seen. The number of victims? Talk about turning people into statistics. Can you imagine wearing a patch on Sept 11 that simply said "2,977"? How on earth does it even occur to anyone to do anything other than wear the actual patch of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, seen at the link below?

    http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/fire/hotshots/

    And if it was going to take a few days to have that ready and the team needed something in a hurry, then a black armband or a black ribbon is the way to go on a temporary basis.

    Badly done, D-Backs.

    • That's a great point. It takes the patch from the maudlin or the pandering, to the downright creepy.

    • The Diamondbacks did wear an armband temporarily while they were getting the other patches done. The graphic on the page you linked to would be very hard to replicate well as a patch. They hung a jersey in the dugout after it happened and they have the patch on their uniforms and on the field. Their primary duty is running a baseball team, not designing and implementing memorial patches. Other than you, I've heard no complaints.

      I don't see how this is some sort of slap in the face. I disagree with your assessment and you might check your facts a little before blasting them.

      • Wait, so the actual patch that the actual firefighters wear on their actual uniforms would be "hard to replicate as a patch"? I'm not buying it. And even if we grant that firefighters have magical, elf-like powes of patch-making that mere mortals like baseball teams lack, a "19" patch remains just about the worst possible* way to memorialize the deaths of 19 individual heroes. If this was the best they could do, the D-Backs shoulda stuck with the armband.

        *Actually, a patch of a burning tree might be worse. Barely.

      • Oh, and this isn't really a matter of facts. This is a question of taste, and what one regards as proper and appropriate. Opinions will differ! But I do fail to see a way in which one could approve of a "19" patch in this instance and not also believe that a "2,977" patch is the best way to memorialize the Sept. 11 attacks. So, just to be clear, are you saying that you think that baseball teams should wear a black "2,977" patch every Sept 11?

  • I emailed Phil like three weeks ago. I thought I sent him the Coliseum pics. Sorry.

    As for the White Sox, I think the red throwbacks that they are wearing today (which was their home Sunday alt last year) should be worn more often. I do like the 80's throwbacks they are wearing this year in its place, but the red throwbacks match the current uniforms.

    • "I thought I sent him the Coliseum pics."

      ~~~

      You did. The .jpg (like a few you sent) was small so I searched for *other* pics. Unfortunately, I totally screwed up and found the Rose Bowl pic (and didn't double-check) and not another Coliseum pic. It was replaced with the one you sent me.

      This is totally on me. Mea culpa and apologies.

      • Oh no big deal. I was eating breakfast at McDonald's whenever I was first reading this. Then after I got home from grocery shopping I took the time to look at the photos. I did notice that in the Tiger Stadium shot, there's an end zone painted with "Saints". I don't remember if that was one I sent you or not but from what I've gathered, that was pretty common in those days. I know when the Steelers opened Three Rivers Stadium, in their first preseason game against the Giants they had one end zone pained with "Giants".

        • As Jim Vilk is fond of reminding us in his reminisces, many (most?) teams back in the day would stripe one endzone with the other teams' logos or wordmarks.

          Honestly, I don't miss that, but it was a nice practice (also makes some games easier for identification in long shots).

          Of course, it can also trip one up if one is looking for a shot of the Rams playing in the Coliseum and finding one of the Rose Bowl instead ;P