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Bizarre scene yesterday in Houston, where Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDonald’s facemask got badly contorted during a scrum. The image at top-left shows his regular mask positioning; the other shots show what he was left with after a play in which another player appeared to roll over on his helmet. As you can see, it looks like the horizontal bar running across the top gave in and bent on both sides of the nose bumper. I’ve never seen anything like that.
In other NFL notes from yesterday:
• The Steelers and Vikings played in London but did not wear the NFL’s “International Series” patch. I believe this is the first London game that has not featured the patch (which, in case you need a memory jog, usually looks like this).
• Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, now with the Titans, saw his first game action of the year yesterday, and he’s still wearing his wedding band, just as he did with Buffalo.
• Fitzpatrick was in the game because Tennessee’s starting play-caller, Jake Locker, left with an injury. As they took him off the field, it turned out that he had “X” marks on the bottoms of his shoes. Anyone know what that’s about?
• The Chargers wore white at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear their blue “jinx” jerseys — and sure enough, they lost. More importantly, though, it turns out that Dallas had made a uni change that we’d all been unaware of until now: They’ve changed the blue jersey’s chest wordmark.
• Some Texans fans reacted to yesterday’s loss by burning a Matt Schaub jersey.
Turning to Saturday’s NCAA action, Phil and his contributors provided lots of good coverage in yesterday’s entry. But here are some additional items:
• South Alabama DE Theo Rich suffered a jersey tear or the ages during Saturday’s game against Tennessee.
• Notre Dame is one of the teams wearing Adidas’s new super-stretchies with the treadmarks this season. But some players appear to be wearing a different jersey model, without the treadmarks.
• Western Michigan wore a Cincy Bearcats logo decal in tribute to Ben Flick, a Cincinnati lineman who was killed in a crash last weekend. You can just barely see it in this shot, which is the best game photo I could find.
(My thanks to all contributors, including John Baillieul, Adam Cain, Larry Morris, Thomas Murphy, Chris Perrenot, Gene Sanny, Adam Spangler, and of course Phil.)
Hale America, continued: Our exploration into the history of the Hale America program, which began last Thursday and continued on Friday, has been given a nice assist by longtime Uni Watch reader/contributor Cork Gaines, who’s found some more pieces of the puzzle:
• The Feb. 4, 1942 edition of the Lewiston Daily Sun contained an AP article about the upcoming baseball season. It was mostly about team owners and the commissioner’s office agreeing to how many night games would be played, but there was also this:
The interesting thing there (aside from the revelation that MLB execs had agreed to tithe their salaries toward war bonds) is that the Hale America program was “advocated” by Sporting News publisher Taylor Spink. Or maybe he was just advocating for the patch to be worn — the wording isn’t clear on that point. Either way, though, it suggests that the Sporting News archives from this period probably have more to tell us about Hale America.
• The Sporting News connection is particularly interesting in light of another AP item that had been published in the Southeast Missourian just a few days earlier — on Jan. 30, 1942:
As you can see, that item makes it clear that Hale America was connected to the draft. But the really intriguing thing there is that Hale America was apparently being discussed and promoted at a Philadelphia Sports Writers Association banquet. Between that and the Sporting News connection, it makes you wonder if sportswriters were a big part of Hale America’s conception and/or promotion.
Show & Tell update: The good news is that the latest batch of Show & Tell photos and stories is now available; the bad news is that this will be the last installment of Show & Tell for the foreseeable future (but not, I hope, the last one ever). Details on the S&T website.
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, here’s my annual NHL season-preview column.
I’ll have a separate column with all the new goalie masks and gear either later today or tomorrow (it’s already written — just depends on when my editor decides to run it). Watch this space for details, or just follow me on Twitter, where I always post links to my ESPN work.
’Skins Watch: One of the best and most interesting pieces I’ve read about the ’Skins controversy is this SI piece by Michael Rosenberg. Recommended. ”¦ Bill Simmons referred to the ’Skins as “the D.C. Daceys” in his Week 4 NFL picks (from Nik Streng).
Baseball News: The Mets inducted Mike Piazza into their Hall of Fame yesterday but, contrary to widespread expectation, did not wear black jerseys for the occasion (although they did wear Piazza cap patches). That makes 2013 the first completely black-free season the Mets have had since 1997.
NFL News: As Phil reported in Saturday’s Ticker, Cam Newton has been fined $10,000 for wearing those Under Armour-branded visor clips. I confess that I’m very, very surprised by this. When Forbres first made a fuss about the clips last week, I poo-pooed it, because NFL players have been wearing branded visor clips for years. I specifically remember Tickering something about swooshified visor clips four or five years ago, in fact. Those clips were black with the logo, also in black, stamped into the plastic — the same as Newton’s UA clips. If the NFL didn’t care about it then, why do they suddenly care now? In any case, anything that cuts down on logo creep is good news in my book, so I’m glad the league put the kibosh on this, even though the fine seems ridiculous. … You know how some players wear socks on their arms? Aaron McHargue thinks he’s found the inspiration for that look. That’s Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb, who made an outfit out of socks for the static electricity shock: “Behold, the new uniform of pure evil! I call it the socky-shocky-suity.” … Yesterday Phil linked to an article about ESPN.com’s sports biz reporter Darren Rovell. It’s very good — recommended. But what Phil didn’t mention is that it includes an offhand note about how Rovell was in possession of “embargoed new-uniform reveals for the Dolphins and Vikings” at the time of last April’s NFL draft. It’s not surprising that Rovell, who’s generally pretty tight with Nike, would be given early access to those designs while I was not — he’s cultivated a better relationship with Nike (and, I’m sure, with the NFL in general) than I have. The interesting thing, as I’ve tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to impress upon the leagues, teams, and uni manufacturers, is that showing me stuff in advance on an embargoed basis would actually serve to inoculate them against leaks. For example, let’s say the NBA shows me a bunch of upcoming new designs on an embargoed basis, and then someone — a retailer, say — leaks me those designs a few weeks later. If I’ve already promised the NBA not to talk about the new designs until a specified date, then I can’t do anything with the leak. But if they don’t show me anything, then I don’t have to promise them anything, and then I’m free to write about leaks whenever they come my way — which, to bring us full circle, is exactly what happened with those Dolphins and Vikings designs. ”¦ If you’re a Seahawks fan — or a fan of 1970s NFL in general — you’ll want to check out this video feature on the ’76 Seahawks (nice find by Douglas Ford). ”¦ The Browns appear to be giving Brownie the Elf a greater promotion role, as you can see here, here, and here.
College Football News: Students at Texas A&M have voted a strong preference for the beveled aTm logo (from Dave Wilson). ”¦ Tennessee will go solid-charcoal this weekend.
Soccer News: “Gareth Bale’s Wales national team jersey should be a hot seller right now, since he is currently the world’s most expensive soccer player,” says Yusuke Toyoda. “Just one problem: Wales’s retail supplier went into bankruptcy last year and they don’t have any in stock.”
Grab Bag: “Boise State’s blue uniforms on a blue field have nothing on the goalie for the Russian beach soccer team,” says Ryan Burns. “He’s tough to spot in this shot from the recent world cup semifinal against Tahiti. Even up close, he blends in with the sand.”
What Paul did
last night yesterday afternoon: Found myself in a vintage furniture/furnishings shop yesterday afternoon. I don’t really need any additional furniture, nor do I have any space in which to put additional furniture, but looking at beautiful old stuff is always fun, so I poked around a bit.
It was during this poking around that I came across a really cool antique dental chair — or at least I think that’s what it is/was. Here’s a lousy phone photo that doesn’t even come close to capturing how excellent the chair is (click to enlarge):
It’s surprisingly comfortable and super-gorgeous. Plus it’s metal, which means the cats can’t scratch it up. Unfortunately, it’s listed at $1,200, which seems like a bit much for, you know, a fucking chair. Plus I don’t know where I would put it. I should have just walked away and forgotten about it, but instead I took that photo, and now I’m telling you about it, which means the chair is going to lodge in my brain and whisper sweet chair nothings to me for weeks on end, and at some point I’ll feel so tempted that some a part of me will be convinced that $1,200 isn’t that bad, and that maybe I can dicker the shop owner down to $1,000 (a bargain!), and so on.
In the end, I won’t buy the chair. But I’ll spend way too much time thinking about it. So if I seem distracted at any point during the next few months, that’s probably why.