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Monday Morning Uni Watch

First, before we get started on football stuff: I have a new ESPN column today, about the uni-related issues currently swirling around Derek Jeter and the Yankees — look here.

Now then: The NFL season got underway in earnest yesterday. Among the uni-notable highlights:

• After going with blank nose bumpers in the preseason season, the Broncos added a 3-D wordmark to their bumpers. (The Chiefs, who also had blank bumpers during the preseason, stayed blank yesterday.)

• I noticed that Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr was wearing what appeared to be a patterned pad on his chinstrap. Additional views here and here.

• Interesting game in Tampa, as the Bucs wore white at home and the Panthers wore their blue alts on the road.

• Speaking of the Bucs: Remember those “shadows” that appeared on their helmets during training camp and the preseason? They were gone yesterday.

• And speaking of the Panthers, DeAngelo Williams dyed his dreadlocks pink to honor his mother, a breast cancer victim.

• The Browns, playing on the road in Pittsburgh, wore their brown pants.

• 49ers rookie defensive back L.J. McCray is going with RNOB. (If you’re wondering why it’s “II” instead of “Jr.,” you use “II” if you have the same name as your grandfather, or great-grandfather, etc. — same name, non-consecutive generations.)

• Speaking of the Niners, two of their defensive linemen — Justin Smith and Ray McDonald — suffered identical tears on their left sleeves. Bizarre!

• The season’s first footwear fine will be assessed to Niners wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who wore blue shoes. Further info here.

• One more thing about that Niners/Cowboys game: Although the game was played in Dallas, a surprisingly high percentage of fans were wearing Niners jerseys.

• For the Bills/Bears game in Chicago, the Jumbotron graphics at Soldier Field consistently showed the Bills’ red helmet, which hasn’t been worn since 2010.

• More teams wearing white at home: the Texans, Dolphins, Jets, Ravens, and, as expected, Eagles (whose green jerseys won’t be available until Week 6, a continuing embarrassment that neither the team nor Nike has satisfactorily explained).

• I haven’t mentioned the new headsets that the officials are wearing. The most remarkable thing about them, at least from my perspective, is that they’re not branded/sponsored/douchey/etc.

• CBS helpfully kept a guy wearing a “Miami Fuckin’ Florida” T-shirt on the screen for a good 15 seconds.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Ron Amadeo, Bernie Langer, Lendel Martin, Chris Perrenot, Jamie Uthe, and of course Phil.)

•  •  •  •  •

Anniversary merch update: Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches have now sold out, whoop-whoop! Granted, I only had 80 of them made, and I gave away about a dozen of those, so we’re not talking about an avalanche of sales here, but I’m still pleased with the response. My thanks to all who purchased them, and bonus thanks to the many of you who went out of your way to tell me how much you liked the finished product after you received it. If any of you have sewn your patches onto a jersey or jacket or whatever, send a photo, won’t you please?

Anyway: I’ve just ordered some more of the patches, which should be available in a few weeks. If you had meant to buy one (or more than one!) and would like to be notified when the new shipment is ready for ordering, shoot me a note and I’ll let you know. (And while you’re waiting, you can get a 15th-anniversary T-shirt or coaster. Or this popular T-shirt. Or whatever.)

• • • • •

Nike and Volvo: Partners in superhero bullshit? I was talking the other day with my friend Phil Patton, a design critic who, among other things, writes a lot about cars. He mentioned to me that Volvo’s press release for the latest edition of its XC90 SUV includes the following passage:

The headlights are adorned with a striking horizontal T — for the Nordic Thor’s Hammer, in a nod to Volvo’s Scandinavian roots — that will feature prominently on all future Volvo models.

Yeah, because if there’s one thing I want when I’m dropping 40 grand on a car, it’s the fucking hammer of Thor. And if I somehow failed to read that press release, I’m sure the sales guy at the dealership will sound like a perfectly sane human being when pointing out the Thor/headlight connection to me.

The nonsense factor notwithstanding, I was struck by how this sounds exactly like the kind of bullshit “storylines” Nike likes to build into its uniform designs, right down to the superhero element. Has Volvo been poaching pages from Nike’s playbook? Is there a swoosh hidden somewhere in this car?

Then again, I don’t generally pay much attention to auto makers’ press releases (or articles about same), so for all I know this “Our headlights pay tribute to our Scandinavian heritage, as symbolized by a comic book superhero who just happens to have been the subject of several recent Hollywood blockbusters but we’re not trying to capitalize on that or anything” hokum could be standard practice. Is it?

•  •  •  •  •

Baseball News: As expected, the Cubs’ “2008 throwbacks” turned out to be their current home uni without the Wrigley Field centennial patch. … Can’t recall if we’ve looked at this page before, but here’s a really good analysis of the Orioles’ cartoon bird logo. … Good spot by Sean Kane, who notes that the Derek Jeter illustration on the cover of last week’s issue of The New Yorker showed the MLB logo in red, white, and blue, which is wrong. … Hmmm, is this what the Orioles will be wearing to mark the 200th anniversary of “The Star Spangled Banner” on Sept. 14? “If so, to my knowledge it will be the first time that the Orioles have worn ‘Baltimore’ on a home uniform,” says Wes Reichart.

NFL News: Some uni number changes for the Ravens. “Rookie safety Terrence Brooks went from No. 33 to No. 31,” says Andrew Cosentino. “Brooks wore No. 31 at Florida State, but Omar Brown had that number; Brown did not make the roster and has since been cut, so now Brooks has claimed the number. Meanwhile, rookie WR Michael Campanaro went from No. 6 to No. 15. This is to meet the NFL’s number regulations (10-19 or 80-89 for WRs).” ”¦ David Dinsmore III points out that Madden 15 for iPhone uses the old, pre-Nike makeover Seahawks logo. ”¦ Here’s a rundown on the origins of all 32 NFL team names (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The Browns player in that Snickers commercial featuring Johnny Manziel has the now-obsolete Al Lerner sleeve memorial (good spot by Joe Bailey). ”¦ A reader who prefers to remain anonymous says: “Heinz Field has ‘Pittsburgh’ in one end zone and the traditional hashmark design in the other. Once the Pitt Panthers’ season ends, the hashmarks will be replaced by ‘Steelers.’ Why don’t they just use ‘Pittsburgh’ in both end zones in gold (a team color of both teams) all season? Miami does this and it makes more sense aesthetically than the contrast between a painted design on one end and no design on the other, or the contrast between capitals and lowercase featured later in the season. This always bugged me.” ”¦ Stefan Schubert, writing all the way from Austria, checks in with this: “The Frankfurt Galaxy, one of the few really successful teams of the NFL’s European adventure, has been badly missed since the NFL pulled the plug on the NFL Europe. So a semi-pro team named the Frankfurt Universe was founded to fill the gap. The team started a the bottom of the German system and now plays in GFL2, the second-highest level in Germany. They have now bought the naming rights for ‘Galaxy’ and just announced the changes. The club will still be the Universe, but the football team will be the Galaxy. Here’s the old Galaxy logo and here’s the new one.”

College Football News: Love this Michigan helmet-themed truck cab (from Kyle Speicher). ”¦ Army is putting player names on the right chest area, just like on a real Army uniform. ”¦ Looks like Virginia Tech may have a new helmet this Saturday (from Andrew Cosentino). ”¦ As I had tweeted on Friday, and Phil had repeated here on the site on Saturday, Ohio State has begun selling advertising on its goalpost nets. “But at the game Saturday, only the north end zone had Safelite’s advertisement, while the south end zone net did not!” reports Ryan Irwin. ”¦ Why was there a New Orleans Saints logo on the USC bench during Saturday’s game against Stanford? (Good spot by Mike Slavonic.) ”¦ Anyone know the story behing the cap being worn by this Oregon player on Saturday? “I know it was a warm day there the players were sitting in front of the misters, so I’m assuming it’s some type of a cap to help keep them cool,” says Jimmy Hoover.

NBA News: By now you’ve probably heard that Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson will be selling his share of team due to this controversial email. We’re not going to discuss any of the racial stuff here, because it has nothing to do with uniforms. This passage, however, caught my eye: “Not enough of our fans wear Hawks jerseys to games. I have just begun to push for ideas like discount food lines for folks wearing jerseys, special entrances, etc.” The idea that a fan who pays for a ticket like everyone else should be treated like a second-class citizen simply because he chooses to dress like a normal human being (or doesn’t want to waste money on an overpriced polyester shirt) is total bullshit. Good riddance to this guy.

Grab Bag: Aussie football update from Leo Strawn Jr., who writes: “Port Adelaide did manage to get their prison bar jumpers finished in time for their match with Richmond, and Fremantle traveled up to Sydney for their finals match, making for a beautiful colour-on-colour match this weekend.” ”¦ New uniforms for Australian Rugby Sevens (thanks, Phil). ”¦ You’ve heard of color vs. color? How about white vs. white! That’s McAllen High and Permian High, both from Texas (from William Banowsky). ”¦ Speaking of Texas high school football teams, Highland Parks wears captaincy designations — or something involving the letter “C” — on the right sleeve. Not sure I’ve ever seen that placement for a football team (from Jimmy Hoover).

146 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Andy Connelly | September 8, 2014 at 7:26 am |

    Carr’s chinstrap is the Sportstar Gelcup with either the Evolution or T-Rex padding – http://www.gear4pros.com/category_s/299.htm

    • Lose Rem | September 8, 2014 at 7:55 am |

      I think Tannehill had the same thing

      • Andy Connelly | September 8, 2014 at 8:07 am |

        Yeah, he and Moreno were both wearing a version of it, although Moreno also uses a white cover on the cup. There are so many variants it’s hard to keep track of them. RG3 and Big Ben both wear the original model, distinguishable by the D shaped splitters on the outside of the cup guiding the direction of the straps. There are more and more players opting for the larger cup model now and clearly testing out all the gimmicky new padding options.

  • jwl3 | September 8, 2014 at 7:35 am |

    You can notice a wedding ring in the first picture of Derek Carr.

  • Gazzoo | September 8, 2014 at 7:43 am |

    Nothing on the Cubs throwbacks?

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 7:50 am |

      Shit — my bad. Will add now.

      • Big Al | September 8, 2014 at 11:34 am |

        I wonder why didn’t the Pirates wear 2008 sleeveless road grays on Saturday.

  • Steve B. | September 8, 2014 at 7:46 am |

    I wonder why the Bucs dropped the shadow on the helmets? Hmmm?

  • A. Guy | September 8, 2014 at 7:53 am |

    I’m not sure that not getting a discount on nachos rises to the level of “second-class citizen” … I’m struggling to see where the outrage is with that idea

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 7:58 am |

      Elevating one group to first class by necessity means everyone else is second class.

      • A. Guy | September 8, 2014 at 8:56 am |

        By that logic then student or AARP discounts do the same. This really isn’t an upstairs downstairs situation. Simply ownership encouraging fans to behave in a way with an insensitive. If you choose not to, then your small coke costs $40, same as it always would.

        • A. Guy | September 8, 2014 at 8:58 am |

          sorry, that should have been “incentive”

        • BrianC | September 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

          A local book store offers a discount to anyone wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. That doesn’t mean you have to dress like a Leprechaun, you just have to have something green. It’s a sales incentive, not discrimination.

    • Tom | September 8, 2014 at 8:38 am |

      I’m with A. Guy on this one. It’s like purchasing a Fast Pass at the amusement park so you can get to the ride more quickly. Or different lanes for Cash Only vs Credit Only purchases, etc.

      Anyone who can afford to attend an NBA game, let alone has enough left over to purchase bad arena food/drink at a 4x mark up isn’t a second class citizen. They just would choose not to pay more to get their food faster.

      • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 8:58 am |

        But that’s based on what you choose to spend, not your BEHAVIOR. The implication that fans who wear a jersey are “better” fans is offensive. So is telling people what to wear to a sporting event.

        • A. Guy | September 8, 2014 at 9:10 am |

          Well, the “different lanes for Cash Only vs Credit Only purchase” is based behavior. Similar to using an EZ pass over cash on the Highway.

          They’re not telling fans what to wear, they’re sawing you can save 30¢ on your hot pretzel if you wear a jersey.

          I guess I don’t see this as some sort of value judgement on fandom. It’s more like a loyalty card scheme.

        • Bud | September 8, 2014 at 9:46 am |

          Telling people what to wear to a sporting event is offensive? Even when stadiums/teams try to do color-outs?

        • scottrj | September 8, 2014 at 10:03 am |

          So offering someone a nominal discount for wearing a jersey constitutes “telling people what to wear”? No hyperbole there. Nor is the concept “behavior”-based instead of “spending”-based, it’s a combination of the two.

          The concern I have with the idea is, do we really want to encourage an already-overweight populace to sport visually-unflattering attire by rewarding them with a piddly discount on food products that will merely exacerbate their unflattering appearance?

        • mild bill | September 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

          I am with Paul on this one.

          As a 55 year old I have finally become far more discerning in life. I certainly adhere to the dress code at work; however, I generally balk at being told what to wear. I find it offensive since I am capable of making my own decisions instead of mindlessly following/obeying what others tell me to do.

        • hugh c. mcbride | September 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm |

          I’m 100% with Paul on this one. No one who pays for a ticket to attend a game should pay more at the concession stand than anyone else based upon their sartorial decisions.

          In addition to being stupid in their, this would also be a total pain in the arse in practice. Does the minimum-wage attendant at the concession stand really need to be forced to analyze customers’ clothing before ringing up the purchase to determine what does and doesn’t count as discount-worthy apparel?

          Lousy, lousy, lousy idea. Also terrible.

        • A. Guy | September 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm |

          But you’re already paying for differentiated service with the ticket price … You get better/worse views, there are club seats, VIP ammentires . How is not getting free chili on your hot dog the line in the sand?

          Under this idea, you’re not being forced to do anything … It’s not like you’d be barred from attending

        • Judy | September 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm |

          Scottj, I was with you for a second – but then you got into the whole bit about making determinations about who’s attractive and who isn’t, and who should be wearing what or consuming what based on your value judgments of what constitutes an “unflattering appearance”, and you totally lost me. Talk about creating a caste system….

        • scottrj | September 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm |

          Eh, I was simply joking that on most people – myself included – a basketball jersey isn’t the wisest apparel choice from a purely aesthetic standpoint. And in turn, that the “reward” for wearing that already less-than-flattering attire – i.e., encouraging the wearer to consume yet more stadium food by nominally discounting it – would merely exacerbate that “problem.”

  • Lose Rem | September 8, 2014 at 7:54 am |

    shouldn’t “regular season” re: Broncos bumpers be “preseason”?

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 7:58 am |

      No. That graphic is correct.

      • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 8:04 am |

        He was talking about the text before the link.

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 8:05 am |

          Ah, I see — thanks, Jeff. Now fixed.

  • Joseph Gerard | September 8, 2014 at 7:54 am |

    The Panthers have worn their blue alts in Tampa before, with almost regularity in fact. This, I’m guessing, is due to the Buccaneers always wearing white at home for at least the early parts of the season and the blue jerseys are cooler than the black ones in the Central Florida heat. I don’t understand why the Panthers haven’t adopted the underrated Carolina Blue jerseys as their primary jersey and the black ones as their alt–they could use the black ones as an alt and pair it with the greatest uniform in NFL history black pants for like rivalry games n’at. On a related note, the Panthers will also wear the blue jerseys in Week 3 against the Steelers.

    As for my Steelers, I personally enjoy the quirky design of the “plain” south end zone at Heinz Field. They’ve been doing this since 2003, the first two years of Heinz Field they did have “Steelers” or “Panthers” painted in the end zone. I’m guessing the constant paint-changing could’ve played an influence in changing it (as compared to the Astroturf-filled Three Rivers Stadium, which wouldn’t need constantly repainted, Heinz Field’s playing field is rather plain), although supposedly the “plain” south end zone was born out of a 2003 preseason game between the Steelers and Eagles, with the game marking the 60th anniversary of the “Steagles” team, when the two teams merged out of necessity due to WWII. The hashmark design was contemporary with football of that era, and the design was initially intended just for that game, but Dan Rooney supposedly liked that design and decided to keep it permanently.

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

      Panthers blue over silver looked great, much better than their other combos. A little less black and they’re at the top of the list of “modern” styles.

      • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm |

        A little less black and they’re the Lions.

    • KT | September 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm |

      Given how much actual white is in the uniform the Bucs wore yesterday, I’d say their actual efficacy in terms of cooling is probably not as great as one might think.

      The team HAS worn white at home early in the season before (and, as we all know, wore white exclusively for all (0-and-) 14 games of 1976. But they usually have more white to wear. They wore white pants in a preseason game, and would not only have looked better (the pewter comes across better on helmets than on the pants or jerseys, where it looks like a shade of brown), but might have actually had some cooling effect.

    • daveclt | September 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm |

      I agree that the Panthers should switch to the blue as their primary dark jersey. It is a better complement to their all white uniform. And it just seems more like a Carolina look.

    • daveclt | September 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm |

      I don’t mind that “Pittsburgh” is only in one end zone (until college season ends), but I wish they would use a different pattern for the generic end zone. The slanted hash marks are too much of a copy of Notre Dame. I’d rather see something more unique to Pittsburgh — like a golden triangle(s) or something like that.

  • teenchy | September 8, 2014 at 7:59 am |

    Re Volvo and “Scandinavian roots”: While AB Volvo, which makes trucks, buses and industrial equipment, is still Swedish-owned, Volvo Cars – which makes the XC90 – has been owned by China’s Geely Holding since 2010. From 1998-2010, it was owned by the US’s Ford Motor Company.

    The cynic in me suspect the playing up of Volvo’s “Scandinavian roots” comes as an increasing number of its vehicles are being built in China, and as China-built Volvos will begin to be imported into the US. Chinese-built vehicles have had a less-than-stellar reputation for crashworthiness, while Volvos have long been viewed as benchmarks in that area. Volvo’s challenge will be to convince the US consumer that China-built Volvos are as crashworthy – and have similar overall build quality – as those built in Scandinavia.

    • teenchy | September 8, 2014 at 7:59 am |

      *suspects

  • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 8:02 am |

    I really wish teams that aren’t named the Cowboys would stop wearing white at home.

    • El Duderino | September 8, 2014 at 9:31 am |

      I think the Cowboys should wear dark blue at home. The Dolphins and the Colts should be the home white teams.

    • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 9:51 am |

      Dolphins have been wearing white at home since the early 70s. Pretty sure that ship sailed long ago.

      • Brad | September 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm |

        The Dolphins have been wearing white at home regularly (a few exceptions in day games and always aqua for night games) since the 1972 perfect season.

    • DenverGregg | September 8, 2014 at 10:14 am |

      “I really wish teams that aren’t named the Cowboys would stop wearing white at home.”

      Am I getting senile, or is “at home” a new development?

      • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 10:32 am |

        No, I’ve always said that I think teams should wear their team colors as much as possible. That means the home team, which gets to choose what it wears, should never wear white, unless they’ve established that it’s their primary color. I still want color vs color to become the norm again.

        • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

          I think Browns get a pass, since they wore all-white throughout the Paul Brown years and long before the Cowboys started wearing white at home, and the Dolphins have consistently worn white at home except at night.

        • KT | September 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm |

          Except that – as Tex Schramm adroitly noticed decades ago – then every single game a home fan sees looks almost the same. It’s your team’s color against a team in white. There is almost no variety.

          Color vs. color is fine with me, too, except when those colors are too similar.

          But it doesn’t surprise me that you’d hold a contrary and minority opinion.

        • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm |

          You say that like it’s a bad thing. Yeah, 50 years ago fans wouldn’t get to see different uniforms very often. Today? We’ve got the internet and 24/7 sports news coverage. Seeing the other teams’ uniforms isn’t an issue.

    • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm |

      Dallas, Cleveland and Miami should wear white at home, everyone else should wear their dark jerseys when at home.
      Tampa can wear white at home in September & October.

      Lee

      • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm |

        Can we add Carolina to the Tampa exception – they’ve almost always worn white for September and October day games.

        • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm |

          I already exceptioned Tampa… Carolina can also have one ‘wear-white-at-home’ game in September.

          Lee

      • KT | September 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm |

        ( a ) Tampa BAY
        ( b ) I’m sure they appreciate you telling them what they can do.

        • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

          Well, yes, no doubt.

          ;-)

          Lee

    • TBone | September 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm |

      I’m with you on that. I’m not a fan of anyone wearing white at home, but I’ll give an allowance for teams that have done it consistently for decades like Dallas or LSU. Other teams that go white for half the season and then color for the other half? Sorry, you really should chose.

      • DenverGregg | September 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

        Color v. color is great where there’s sufficient contrast, but seems this should be a “live and let live” area. The only teams I would want to see consistently stick with either white at home or color at home are those where one set (like Dallas’ blue or Denver’s white) is vastly inferior to the other. For teams like the Raiders or Packers where both sets look good, it could be good to have variety.

        • TBone | September 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm |

          I agree on color vs color, when appropriate– UCLA/USC is a great matchup because of this. But I disagree on whether to allow white at home based on aesthetics. I’d much rather be able to turn a TV on and know just by seeing the uniforms who is at home and who is on the road. Plus, I think there are very few cases where the whites look better than the colors. I actually think both Green Bay and Oakland have horrible white/road uniforms. Green Bay has too much yellow/white/yellow, and there’s something about Oakland’s silver that looks great with black but somehow looks unappealing with the white jerseys.

        • scottrj | September 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm |

          Well, for us old-school folks, white was what the home traditionally wore (and it’s also considered the better look for BOTH the Raiders & Packers for that demographic, I’m guessing – too much yellow, really?). And the whole notion of “I can tell by the uni colors who’s the home team in an instant” is a misnomer, b/c the score line at the top left of the TV screen suffices in that regard. That said, the USC-UCLA color-on-color matchup is a beaut.

  • MJ | September 8, 2014 at 8:08 am |

    People can also use Roman numerals in consecutive generations if the name is a complete match but it is not father-son. I was fully named for my dad’s older brother (and my grandfather), who died before he had kids. I have a suffix but I am not a Junior.

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 8:15 am |

      There really aren’t any rules, just traditions that may or may not be followed. My father was “II” instead of “Jr.” because my grandparents said so.

      • Dumb Guy | September 8, 2014 at 8:30 am |

        My dad (Carl) was the second son on my grandfather and was the Jr. I don’t know why they didn’t name my uncle (Charles) after my grandfather. Maybe they forgot and then rememberered when my dad was born.

    • mike 2 | September 8, 2014 at 11:40 am |

      How did your grandfather die before he had kids?

      • BrianC | September 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

        It’s a time-space continuum thing.

    • KT | September 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm |

      The funny part is when it comes to NOB, it’s actually inaccurate.

      Roy Smith, Jr. shouldn’t have “SMITH JR.” on the back of his jersey unless “SMITH SR.” is also on the team. Because he’s not Smith, Junior, he’s Roy, Junior.

      Ditto with the pretentious RGIII nonsense.

  • Bernard | September 8, 2014 at 8:20 am |

    By now you’ve probably heard that Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson will be selling his share of team due to this controversial email. We’re not going to discuss any of the racial stuff here, because it has nothing to do with uniforms.

    What, no Hawks Watch?

    • Adam R. W. | September 8, 2014 at 8:35 am |

      “Hawk” is not a racial slur.

      • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 8:49 am |

        Whether or not Hawk is a racial slur is beside the point.

        It’s unlikely that the team’s uniform is going to change due to this. With the Redskins/Indians/Braves/etc, if they change their name, they’ll almost certainly change uniforms too… thus the Skins Watch is at least partially uniform related. (Though it would be nice to see it go away until something happens that actually affects the uniforms. We’ve kinda beaten that issue to death here, and no one is succeeding at convincing anyone else to change their views.)

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 8:52 am |

          Actually, quite a few readers have told me that the ’Skins Watch discussion has changed their views.

          But that’s not the point either. Most people aren’t going to change their views about stirrups or BFBS or softball tops or a host of other uni-related issues, but we report on those things because that’s what we do here — we report on uni-related developments, because such developments are de facto relevant to Uni Watch. So is ’Skins Watch content. It will continue to appear on Fridays, and we’re not going to relitigate its suitability now. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

        • James Burke | September 8, 2014 at 8:52 am |

          Agreed. I’d bet 90% of readers just skip past Skins Watch these days.

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 8:56 am |

          I’d bet 90% of readers just skip past Skins Watch these days.

          If you make your betting decisions based on unsupported assertions and hunches with no basis in fact, I’d be interested in seeing your balance sheet at the end of the betting session.

          In any case, I don’t really care what percentage of people read this or that (if that were my chief concern, we’d have lots more nekkid gurlz). I care about presenting content that I think is relevant, the end. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

        • Name redacted | September 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm |

          They’ll change the unis when they move to Seattle.

        • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

          I don’t know if it’s changed views per se’, but many of the things Paul has posted to ‘Skins Watch I have shared with others, sparking some interesting conversations.

          I don’t consider it a “dead horse”.

          Lee

  • Lance Smith | September 8, 2014 at 8:56 am |

    In Norse mythology, Thor’s hammer (Mjölnir) has a very short handle. Loki bet his head that two dwarf brothers couldn’t create items as nice as the Aesir already had. While the dwarves are forging the hammer, Loki comes as a bee or biting fly and stings the brother working the bellows of the forge so he has to stop. This causes the handle to be short.

    Thor is often depicted with an iron glove or iron gloves (Járngreipr) which he needs to wear to wield Mjölnir.

    You’d think a company named after a goddess would have its mythology down.

  • Michael | September 8, 2014 at 9:02 am |

    Another catch… On the same video that has the outdated “AL” Al Lerner patch, if you look at the part of the video towards the end when Johnny Manziel changes back into his Browns uniform, the “AL” patch magically dissapears… poor editing!!!

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 9:11 am |

      It doesn’t disappear, it’s hidden in the fold… watch closely, it’s visible again when they turn to leave the room at the 26 second mark.

  • Rad | September 8, 2014 at 9:05 am |

    Jerry Jones should be happy all those 49ers jerseys showed up. Doesn’t exactly support the case for the Raiders to move to San Antonio if most of Texas said no thanks to opening day… Who needs the extra competition when you suck that bad and will continue to suck?

    Even if it was argued that those are Texas 49ers fans, why would Mark Davis think he can switch them to the Raiders? I’d stay in Oakland.

    I always thought my Eagles were the best road fans, but that was a complete invasion LOL.

  • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 9:14 am |

    I know it was mentioned over the weekend, but the “Luca” armbands worn by LA Galaxy players Friday night are worth mentioning. Slowly but surely, the game is getting bigger, but I like seeing that it’s still maintaining a family mentality, with players and fans of other teams paying tribute too.

    • walter | September 8, 2014 at 9:39 am |

      With the downer news that seems to afflict sports lately, it’s a blessing the pro soccer league has taken root and flourished where the old NASL failed. It’s an honest-to-God success story. Mazel Tov!

    • Iain | September 8, 2014 at 9:58 am |

      other MLS teams (players & coaches) were wearing black armbands also. The ones I saw didn’t have Luca on them.

      • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 10:41 am |

        Yeah, it’s pretty rare to see custom mourning armbands. They only other one I can remember is the one worn for the anniversary of Hillsborough a few years back.

      • KT | September 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm |

        Arizona United of USL Pro (third division) wore black armbands Saturday in support as well.

  • Dave | September 8, 2014 at 9:44 am |

    The big elephant in the room here in Atlanta is how that moron Levenson and the so-called “Atlanta spirit” group came to own the Hawks, the late Thrashers, and the arena to begin with. When Turner sold they had a deal with a guy named David McDavid, but someone the frat boys aced him out, lost a lawsuit, had to pay him big bucks in damages; then one of the frat boys got mad at a free agent signing and litigated for years, then they decided they needed quick cash so they sacrificed the Thrashers after 11 years of neglect – one general manager, no playoff wins – allow the arena to become run down and dilapidated, and now skips town. Whatever money this retard makes selling the team ought to be paid out to the fans who kept him and his half-wit frat buddies in the luxury boxes for way too long. F you, Levenson!

    • Le Cracquere | September 8, 2014 at 11:54 am |

      Not only was that authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

      • hugh c. mcbride | September 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

        Gabby Johnson appreciates the effort!

  • Thomas J | September 8, 2014 at 9:58 am |

    Anyone notice that the new Bucs jerseys have a very similar template to the Gotham Rogues from the Dark Knight Rises?

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8099/8655433831_6f6f3060e6_z.jpg

  • inkracer | September 8, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    I’ve been curious about one thing with the Eagles Uni-saga. Are the Elite 51 style jerseys a different fabric than the old style? Did Nike outsource making they old style to a different company and “badge” the jerseys?

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 10:25 am |

      Yes, different fabric.

      Pretty sure the old *and* new Eagles jerseys are manufactured by Ripon, under contract from Nike.

  • Iain | September 8, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    Love the Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches, but I don’t think I would actually use it. Any chance of the making stickers with the same design?

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 10:07 am |

      Nobody has asked about stickers. Yes, I will look into that!

      • Iain | September 8, 2014 at 10:10 am |

        Great!

      • Solomon Duncan | September 8, 2014 at 11:15 am |

        Will these be decal-like stickers that could be put on a car window, or small paper stickers?

        • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm |

          Probably just regular stickers.

  • Munch Suchland | September 8, 2014 at 10:04 am |

    Loved the rundown on how the NFL teams got their names. I decided to search for an MLB list and found it on mentalfloss.com as well. Check it – http://mentalfloss.com/article/24358/whats-nickname-origins-all-30-mlb-team-names

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | September 8, 2014 at 10:20 am |

    Never knew about the II instead of Jr. tradition for non-father/son same-naming. Interesting. But let me add, you also use II if you’re Gary Payton and already have a Jr.

    • Mike Chamernik | September 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm |

      Excellent comment.

  • Ray Barrington | September 8, 2014 at 10:27 am |

    A hint why The football stadium at The ohio state university only has the ads on one end zone net – check and see if the TV cameras are in the opposite end zone!

  • Ryan Lindy | September 8, 2014 at 10:32 am |
  • Connie DC | September 8, 2014 at 10:41 am |

    “… Can’t recall if we’ve looked at this page before, but here’s a really good analysis of the Orioles’ cartoon bird logo…”

    Wonderful piece.

  • Joe Nguyen | September 8, 2014 at 10:44 am |

    I know Paul has a special love of Nike, but to be fair, if you’re going to criticize the hokey superhero marketing schtick, you should really compare Volvo to Under Armour. Hell, they have a whole line of superhero merchandise:

    http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/alter-ego

    And they even have one for Thor himself that Volvo may have been lifted from for their press release!

    http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/thor-drop-the-hammer-ss-t/pid1251489-001

  • James | September 8, 2014 at 10:50 am |

    Carolina Blue is not NFL Panthers blue.

    Carolina Blue Is Pantone 278. Panther Blue is Pantone Process Blue. They are NOT the same color.

    Another issue I have with UNC using black in its uniforms is the similarity to the Panthers.

    Could not post this comment in the teenchy thread.

    • Chris Holder | September 8, 2014 at 11:36 am |

      Panther Blue looks a little brighter, to me. I like it better. It’s funny though… I think the Panthers combo of blue and black look great together. But the Tar Heels wearing it, such as the combo from this past weekend, looks awful. Maybe it’s because I’m a traditionalist and remember UNC having such great blue and white uniforms in the past.

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

      Commented above about my like of the Panthers unis. I think the brighter blue (almost teal) is necessary to work well with the black. The “softer” shade of UNC works much better with white and navy.

      Coincidentally, I was at Yankee Stadium this weekend and almost immediately noticed the preponderance of baby blue around the Stadium. Almost certainly a branding tie-in to NYFC. Among many other places, it’s now the accent color on the scoreboard, take a look at the out of town scores: 2012 vs 2014

  • wbano | September 8, 2014 at 11:09 am |

    Highland Park usually wears the captain patch on the chest of jerseys, but his year they have a Highland Park ISD centennial patch (http://www.dallasnews.com/incoming/20140830-0830_hpfrisco3.jpg.ece/BINARY/w620x413/0830_HPFrisco3.JPG)

  • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • Todd | September 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

      The extended shelf-life for patches for retiring players isn’t really a MLB thing since the last two were both done by the Yankees and there hasn’t been a team to do it in 13 years. Like you said, the Braves did not do one for Chipper. I would say the “trend” is relatively contained to one (pretentious) franchise.

    • Brett Alan | September 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

      Since I don’t have a Facebook account (and therefore can’t reply on ESPN), two thoughts on that.

      Rob Neyer, in the comments, mentions that he considered Jim Umbrict’s posthumous number-retirement for the title of youngest number retirement, but he was in fact older than Baines when he died. Well, if THAT counts, then there’s Drazen Petrovic. He was 28 when he died, and would have been 29 when the Nets retired his number.

      And, of course, Harold Baines wasn’t the only Chicago legend to return to his team after his number was retired. I’ll give you 23 guesses….

    • DenverGregg | September 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm |

      Todd Helton is a small notch behind the Gwynn, Ripken, Rivera, Jones, Jeter set*. Didn’t get his number retired until the season after his retirement. However, like Jones, there was an on-field duplication of his number.

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

      While I know the influx of patches all over MLB uniforms is definitely a marketing move for both retail and game used paraphernalia, as people have said here before, I definitely see it softening the resistance when uni-ads start to show up.

      • scott | September 8, 2014 at 11:57 pm |

        Doubtful. I think there’s a big difference between ceremonial and memorial patches and advertisement patches. But, then again, the crappy dark colored alts that baseball teams now wear has softened teams into wearing camo jerseys.

  • mike 2 | September 8, 2014 at 11:45 am |

    Regarding L.J. McCray, you also become a “II” if you started out as a “Jr” and your father dies. Don’t know if that’s the case for him or not.

  • mike 2 | September 8, 2014 at 11:49 am |

    In case anyone is following the CFL’s wide variety of alternates and signature jerseys:

    – Edmonton in their signature jerseys on Saturday

    – Montreal in their signature jerseys yesterday (I was right, the helmet is spectacular)

    – Winnipeg in throwbacks yesterday in the Banjo Bowl

    http://www.cfl.ca/photo_gallery/gallery/13357

    http://cfl.ca/photo_gallery/gallery/13373

    http://cfl.ca/photo_gallery/gallery/13389

    • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

      Edmonton’s Signature uniform — like all the other ones — is pretty bad.
      I still am not clear what the helmet is supposed to be for the Alouettes.
      That Winnipeg uniform is pretty good.

      Lee

      • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

        What’s so terrible about Edmonton’s uniforms? Sure, they’re completely unnecessary, but they don’t look that different or strange. A pair of interlocking letters on the front instead of a number isn’t really that big of a deal, is it? You seem to hate any football uniform that doesn’t look like it was designed in the 1960s.

        • Rob S | September 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm |

          Yeah, I agree that Edmonton’s unis aren’t all that bad; like I said when they were brought up at the time of their reveal, they’re the most sedate of the “signature” bunch.

          My biggest complaint is the tiny little bit of yellow piping on the side panels. That little bit just looks completely orphaned down there. Other than that, it’s not that bad, for a CFL team.

          Now, could I see the Packers wearing something like that? I don’t think so. (Though I’m still holding out for them honoring their fourth NFL title some day.)

        • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm |

          In relation to the other signature uniforms, the Edmonton ones aren’t so bad, you’re right. But thats like asking if you’d prefer to have your pinky or ring finger smashed with a hammer: they both will suck.

          Lee

        • M.Princip | September 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm |

          The Edmonton unis here are SO much better than the GB Packer wannabes they usually wear. I dig these green helmets as well: http://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.1307693!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_620/image.jpg

      • DJ | September 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm |

        The Montréal helmet comes from a badge of the 425, a French-Canadian squadron of the Canadian Air Force. Their nickname…”Les Alouettes.”

        http://www.canadianwings.com/Squadrons/squadronDetail.php?No.-425-Squadron-84

        Look at the bottom of the page.

        • Lee | September 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm |

          Ahhh, finally!

          Thank you.

          Lee

  • Pedro | September 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

    RE: the Saints logo on the USC sideline, its most likely a play call symbol card. This year USC has begun a no-huddle offense that uses cards with NFL logos, among other symbols to call the plays. Similar to what Oregon and other no-huddle offenses use.

    From a Los Angeles Times article, published August 29, 2014

    “New Coach Steve Sarkisian has hit the fast-forward button on USC’s offense.

    Get ready for no huddles. For a quarterback mainly in the shotgun formation. Coaches relaying signs to players like baseball third-base coaches. Sideline staff holding giant cards featuring NFL team helmets, colors and various patterns and symbols.”

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm |

      You’d think they’d use more subtle signaling. It can’t be that hard for other teams to review game film and see what plays were ran when certain signs were used, can it? I guess they could change what they mean each week, but you run the risk of confusing your players that way. I wonder if the signs are meant as a distraction and the real play calling signal is something else.

      Plus, it reminds me of old Bugs Bunny cartoons when he’d hold up signs for “screw + ball” or “sucker” or whatever.

      • Pedro | September 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

        I think about that all the time, but it looks like there is some kind of diversion going on. They have the boards with the “symbols” but they also do hand signals, so I dont know. It seems to be overly complicated though.

        • DenverGregg | September 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm |

          Probably most of the symbols are distractors. If you have six symbols on the board but only two matter and there’s a rotation as to which ones matter, it could take a while for the opponents to crack the code.

  • TD | September 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

    The 49ers have a ‘slash’ tight end / defensive tackle who seems to see the field exclusively on defense, meaning a lovely Ted Hendricksian #83 sighting on the defensive line for most of yesterday’s SF-DAL game..

    http://www.49ers.com/team/roster/Demarcus-Dobbs/0ab4606b-f7bf-43c2-8d84-c20ae94c9772

    Apologies if this has been covered previously..

  • Robert S | September 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm |

    I think Volvo hit the nail on the head with those Thor’s Hammer Headlights!

    Seriously, lame reasoning, but I do like the style all by itself.

  • JenInChicago | September 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

    Paul: A couple weeks late (I was on vacation), but I read “The Street’s Secret Code”….It was a good piece, but what’s really got me is the last picture – the one with the shoes…
    I’m assuming they’re yours. If so, why is the top lace positioned “under”. I’m preferential to “over” and the way this is laced would drive me nuts! Do you do that out of habit (or need) or is there a functional reason behind it?

    Jen

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

      Hi, Jen. Yes, those are my shoes. Are you referring to the horizontal lace closest to the toe? If so, yes, I prefer it to be under. Just my way. Doesn’t bother me when others do it in other ways.

      • JenInChicago | September 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

        Yes, I meant the horizontal lace. We are polar opposites on that one! I don’t mind when others do it – I mean, I wouldn’t yell and tell them to fix it or anything, but I sure do notice it!

  • Brad Iverson-Long | September 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm |

    “The idea that a fan who pays for a ticket like everyone else should be treated like a second-class citizen simply because he chooses to dress like a normal human being (or doesn’t want to waste money on an overpriced polyester shirt) is total bullshit.”

    Well, I guess Paul shouldn’t fly Alaska Airlines. They’ll give you priority boarding for wearing a Seahawks’ Russell Wilson jersey, Portland Timbers jersey or Utah Utes jersey.
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/alaska-airlines-offers-early-boarding-125000987.html
    http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/_/id/74763/alaska-airlines-to-offer-priority-boarding-to-utah-utes-fans
    http://www.alaskaair.com/content/deals/portland.aspx

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm |

      Yes, I’ve reported on that. It’s a slightly different issue (it’s not trying to create a herd mentality at a sporting event), but it’s still bullshit. For starters, think of all the people who fly on airlines but would never wear a jersey — people older than 60, people who can’t afford a jersey, people who don’t like the team in question, people who have to dress a certain way because they’re going straight to an event after they land, etc. It’s nonsense.

  • Casey Hart | September 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm |

    I’m sure this has been covered on Uni Watch in the preseason, but yesterday was the first time I saw Steve Smith (the wide receiver, not the basketball Olympian and not the former Blackhawks defenseman and not just one of the three guys you know named Steve Smith) with his ISOB (idiotic suffix on back).

    The fact that there is another Smith on the team (one who plays the same position) makes this slightly less stupid than all the completely pointless Roman numerals that people like Robert Griffin have on their jerseys as if they are part of their last name. But labeling Steve Smith “Smith Sr” implies that Torrey Smith is either Steve Smith’s son or has a silent S at the beginning of his first name, precluding the use of an “S Smith” NOB.

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm |

      Steve Smith and his wife had a baby during the last offseason. The baby is named Steve Smith Jr.

      I think generational suffixes are stupid. But “Sr.” is no more (or less) stupid that “Jr.”

      • Casey Hart | September 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm |

        Agreed. They’re both stupid unless both father and son are on the team. The only thing that makes it slightly less stupid is the need to distinguish from Torrey Smith.

        • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm |

          If only they wore different numbers or something…

        • Casey Hart | September 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm |

          Now, there’s an idea that could catch on.

  • HHH | September 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

    Volvo isn’t using Thor the superhero in it’s storyline. It’s using Thor the god from Norse mythology. Big difference. If Volvo was officially referring to the superhero they’d probably call the car a Marvel Comics Thor edition.

    Also, what is wrong with storylines in marketing? As a culture critic you should be lauding creative thinking, not bashing it.

    • Ben Fortney | September 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

      Heard a quote recently along the lines of “Marketing used to be creating a myth and selling it, today it’s finding a truth and telling it.”

    • Paul Lukas | September 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

      Volvo isn’t using Thor the superhero in it’s storyline. It’s using Thor the god from Norse mythology. Big difference.

      Yes, I’m sure the fact that Thor was the subject of two Hollywood blockbusters since 2011 had nothing to do with this move. Nothing at all.

      There’s nothing good (or bad) about storylines per se. But some storylines make sense, and others feel contrived and gimmicky.

    • The Jeff | September 8, 2014 at 2:05 pm |

      Aren’t Thor the Superhero and Thor the Norse God basically the same thing now? I’m sure they’ve twisted it a bit, but the comic book/movie character is based on the mythology, isn’t it?

      • DJ | September 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm |

        Sort of. There are some differences. For example, the mythological Thor had red hair and a red beard. Marcel’s Thor is blond.

        • Lance Smith | September 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm |

          Thor the Norse god also has a really bad temper. The Marvel Thor always seems easy going.

          Never sure why a Norse god speaks with an English accent or whatever that’s supposed to be in the Marvel comics.

          We don’t get to see much of Thor’s cart pulled by goats. That’s a shame. None of that propulsion by throwing a Mjölnir and holding on for dear life.

        • Lance Smith | September 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm |

          Oh one more Thor fact. Thor’s hammer is often represented as a symbol much like the Greek Tau. Much like Doctor Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, Thor’s hammer is a symbol of fertility.

          So I guess business as usual for automobile marketing.

  • SaveFarris | September 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm |

    How long before the NFL takes Ray Rice’s jersey off the website?

    Do they put the jerseys on clearance or just eat the costs and ship them to Zimbabwe along with the Patriots 19-0 gear?

    • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

      “Do they put the jerseys on clearance…”

      ~~~

      I would hope to god the NFL (and every store that is currently offering any form of Rice jersey) removes them from circulation and doesn’t offer them for sale.

      But I’m sure that won’t be the case.

      • Phil Hecken | September 8, 2014 at 4:06 pm |

        That didn’t take long. Nike removed the Rice jersey from their online store.

        Good.

    • terriblehuman | September 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

      I hope the Ravens don’t do a jersey buyback like the Patriots did. If fans didn’t give up their jerseys when the incident first became public, then they obviously didn’t give a crap about domestic violence. And if they’re upset enough to give up their jerseys now, it’s because the player’s no longer with the team.

  • Will Morris | September 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm |

    Question: did anyone else last night notice the head linesman in the Denver/New England game wearing an older jersey than the rest of his crew? It was in the older NFL ref font, rather than the newer one (though I don’t have picture proof of it.)

  • daveclt | September 8, 2014 at 9:38 pm |

    My first thought on the Hawks issue was that if they had a better looking uniform, more fans would wear it.

  • JoeS | September 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm |

    Chargers v. Cardinals. Both teams in white helmets sans stripe. Chargers in white-white-blue, and Cardinals white-red-white. Whole lot of white going on…

  • None | September 9, 2014 at 1:31 am |

    Ryan Matthews with some yellow cleats in the late game…..fine to follow?

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