Heya — I’m back. Got home from Wisconsin on Saturday. It was a great, great trip (which I’ll have more to say about in a day or two), but it’s good to be home and I’m happy to be back in the saddle for Monday Morning Uni Watch. So without further ado:
• The Jets wore mono-green and, stealing a page from a recent TCU game, worked the uni into their game plan: While setting up for a kickoff return, the Jets “hid” an extra return man in the end zone by having him lie down in the grass, hoping the other team wouldn’t notice (green grass + green uni = invisibility, or at least that was the idea). But these are the Jets we’re talking about, so of course the trick play failed miserably.
• The Steelers wore their bumblebee throwbacks. I watched most of this game, and the Pittsburgh players looked great — except for cornerback William Gay, who for some reason wore purple shoes. Even if you don’t hate purple as much as I do, I hope we can all agree that that’s not a good look.
• Speaking of the Steelers: No photo, but Ben Roethlisberger tried a pooch punt yesterday (it was blocked) and I was surprised to see that he used his left leg. I went looking for additional examples and found that, sure enough, he punts left-footed — even though he passes right-handed. I wonder how rare that is.
• For the first time all season, the Titans wore a non-white jersey.
• Disturbing sight in Foxboro, as several Patriots players were wearing swoosh-emblazoned socks. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen that in an NFL game. Grrrrrrrr.
• The Seahawks wore mono-gray. Still looks like just a dirty version of the white uni to me. They’re 4-0 lifetime in that uni combo.
• With the Lions/Falcons game taking place in London, Fox’s graphics team took the unusual step of creating soccer-style logos for each team. (More puzzlingly, Fox also ran a graphic in the first quarter indicating that the Bears needed a touchdown to win.)
• Another soccer-related touch at the Lions/Falcons game: team scarves.
• The Saints wore mono-black.
• Only one team wore white at home yesterday: the Bucs.
• From what I saw, there was little if any Pinktober gear yesterday. With only two more games left this month (tonight and Thursday night), we’re almost done with this accursed annual ritual — and almost ready to start G.I. Joevember. Sigh.
(My thanks to Kyle Hanks, Mikhail Herrera, Yusuke Toyoda, and Scot Tsechrintzis for their contributions.)
“Are you ready to get Duffed?” One of the oddities of this year’s World Series is that both teams have a Duffy on the roster — infielder Matt Duffy for the Giants and pitcher Danny Duffy for the Royals. Not surprisingly, both of them have been nicknamed Duffman, which has led to some fun moments.
Matt Duffy, despite having made his MLB debut less than three months ago, already has Duffman bat knob decals. And when the Royals were in the process of being blown out by the Giants in Game 4 of the Series, the call went out for KC’s version of Duffman.
And as long as we’re talking about the World Series, here’s an additional note: One of Fox’s cameramen last night was wearing 2007 World Series sweatshirt. (My thanks to Phil for that last tidbit.)
New project! What you see above, clockwise from top left, is some lacquer chip from an audio mastering plant, a handful of sawdust, and a well-used sheet of Ko-Rec-Type. All of them are examples of what I’ve decided to call outtakes — things that are removed from other things, or that document the removal of something from something else, and provide some element of transformation and/or surprise along the way. I’ve written an initial outtakes manifesto for the design website re:Form, and I’m pretty happy with it — I’d be much obliged if you’d take a look.
I feel like the concept of outtakes has lots of potential for additional exploration — maybe a follow-up article, maybe a blog, maybe a book. If you like the initial re:Form piece and have some thoughts or suggestions regarding outtakes, I’m all ears. Thanks.
Sticker update: I came home from vacation on Saturday to find a bunch of Uni Watch 15th-anniversary sticker orders that had piled up while I was away. Those stickers will all mail out today. If you want to order your own stickers, look here. And remember, 15th-anniversary embroidered patches are available here.
Speaking of the stickers and patches, what are you folks doing with them? I’d love to see where you’re sticking/sewing them. Send photos!
PermaRec update: I recently conducted an interview with Nick Yablon, who’s an expert on the subject of time capsules. Really interesting stuff! Check it out here.
Baseball News: Really good look at the history of catcher’s mask design (from Gordon Blau) ”¦ Three Mets players visited a Tottenham Hotspur soccer match and were given Hotspur jerseys. ”¦ When Nolan Ryan played for the Mets early in his career, he wore No. 30. But here’s a rare shot of him wearing No. 34 (and with a small tear in his undershirt, tsk-tsk).
NFL News: Whoa, check out this crazy Patriots helmet design! Greg Riffenbugh says it’s on display at Arrowhead Stadium in KC. Nobody has ever sent me a photo of that before. Anyone know more? ”¦ Here’s a weird one: Everything in this Houston Chronicle photo of Texans LB Brian Cushing is flopped (i.e., reversed, mirror image, etc.) except for his uni number. Wha..? (From Michael Stewart.) ”¦ While vacationing in Wisconsin last week, I stopped in a shop that had this Cardinals helmet whose logo was studded with little LED lights. Never seen that before. ”¦ Christopher LaHaye was at a friend’s house and saw a Superdome-shaped bottle of Jim Beam. ”¦ What’s worse than dressing up as Ray Rice for Halloween, as a “joke”? Doing the same in blackface.
College and High School Football News: Here’s the latest on the Arizona State face-painting controversy (from Patrick O’Neill). ”¦ The Nazareth Academy Roadrunners, a high school team from Illinois, use a “Family” NOB (from Sydney Stancik).
Hockey News: Awesome news out of Chicago, where the Blackhawks recently called up goalie Scott Darling, who made his NHL debut last night. Why is this notable? Because Darling is the guy who wears the team’s sock stripes on his leg pads. Would love to see more goalies do this (thanks, Phil).
NBA News: The Hornets will retire Bobby Phills’s number this Saturday. This will mark the second time Phills has had his number retired by the Hornets — first by the original Hornets, who later moved to New Orleans, and now by the newly renamed Bobcats-turned-Hornets (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s debut with the Bulls. If you choose to view Jordan’s legacy in terms of his impact on sneakers, merchandising, branding, and so on, there’s a new book on Jordan that includes a lot of quotes about that stuff.
College Hoops News: Who’s that in the 1979-80 Sinclair Tartans hoops uni? None other than future world heavyweight champ Buster Douglas! “My father, Kevin O’Neill, coached Sinclair from 1968-1980,” says Patrick O’Neill (aka Mainspark). “You can see him at far left in this 1968 team portrait, when the team was still called the Satans. As for Buster Douglas, I was the statistician for that 1979 team and became good friends with him. As this article indicates, he was a down-to-earth guy.” Here’s another photo of Douglas, this time with Patrick’s dad.
Soccer News: A Danish entrepreneur is hoping to reduce girls’ concussions with a smaller soccer ball. ”¦ Christie Rampone celebrated her 300th game with the U.S. national team with a No. 300 jersey (from Yusuke Toyoda).
Grab Bag: Lots of spectacular vintage cycling attire on display in this slideshow. Highly recommended (big thanks to August Ventura). … Worst Pinktober move yet: two Bentleys and a Lamborghini rendered in you-know-what. “They remind me of giant bottles of Pepto-Bismol,” says Andrew Hoenig. … In a related item, “I’m sick of the Pinktober bullshit but I do have to admit that Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s gloves look cool in pink,” says David Firestone. ”¦ Love these old 1911 lacrosse photos from Hanlan’s Point in Toronto. Check out the roller coaster in the background! (From Will Scheibler.) … Happy birthday to our own Scott M.X. Turner, who designed the Uni Watch logo, the 15th-anniversary logo and all of our membership cards. Have a good one, Scott!
On a personal note: I am super-duper-fortunate to have such a great team working with me. Ãœber-thanks to Garrett, Mike, John, and, especially, Phil for keeping the site running smoothly while I was sampling the pleasures of America’s Dairyland. You’re all aces.
Willie Gay’s purple shoes (which I didn’t notice from the stands) are for domestic violence awareness.
In that case, William Gay’s shoes were the best part of the Steelers’ uniform.
Thank you. Those uniforms are atrocious. Almost as bad as those Denver Broncos 1960’s disasters. A complete embarrassment.
Appreciate the purple shoes..a nice shout out to something very important.
I’ll heartily endorse that last bit…the team did an astounding job in your stead. Congrats all around.
Those “football” logos came from this site:
Knew I’d seen them before when watching the game yesterday…
Info on the odd Pats helmet at Arrowhead:
Part of an AFL helmet display. Prototype that was never used.
This logo may have coincided with the team’s one month fling as the Bay State Patriots:
I find it interesting that the Patriots had considered using a silver helmet as far back as 1971, assuming that description is accurate. It’s still a terrible helmet though.
Fascinating design. The curled stripes form a red/white/blue cockade to make the “P.”
That type specifically was famous for its use by French Revolutionaries. I don’t think it was used by American Patriots. According to Wikipedia the Continental Army eventually settled on black and white.
On one side it’s a “P”. What is it on the other side??
The Continental Army adopted “The White Cockade” as a marching anthem during the War of Independence in light of the patriots’ use of white cockades in their hats. Here’s the song for fife and drum:
After the Revolution, the black-and-white cockade became a highly partisan symbol associated with nationalists and federalists like Washington, Adams, and Hamilton. So as federalism, as a partisan identity, disappeared in the first few years of the 19th century, so too did the white cockade as a national symbol. If you put a link on a football helmet today, nobody but a few history geeks would have any idea what it meant. “Shouldn’t patriots be red, white, and blue?” people would ask.
I think the red/white/blue cockade did become adopted by Americans later in time, just not during the revolution.
Thomas J is right, though the kinds of hats worn with cockades fell almost entirely out of fashion in America within ten years of the end of the War of Independence.
A red-white-and-blue cockade, often with an eagle, was a common patriotic illustration in the nineteenth century. (Sort of the equivalent to how MLB uses illustrations of red-white-and-blue bunting in many of their logos, even though you mostly don’t see actual bunting on the ballpark walls anymore.) And the Army painted red-white-and-blue cockades on its aircraft in WWI, which is one suggested origin for roundels used in military aviation to this day. Though the American use of a red-white-and-blue cockade in WWI may not have any tie to American history; the American war effort was commonly seen as “repaying” France for their help liberating the United States from Britain. So you find a lot of references to French culture and the French Revolution in WWI-era America and the Expeditionary Forces. The red-white-and-blue cockade on American aircraft in France may have been a reference to the cockades of the French Revolution.
You’re very close. The roundels which first appeared on military aircraft just prior to WWI were pioneered by France who used the French Revolutionary cockade (France was by then a republic once more) of from the center blue/blanc/rouge. The British soon adapted their own roundel with the colors reversed (red/white/blue) after the Union Cross proved too similar to Germany’s Iron Cross. When the US entered the war they used another similar roundel of white/blue/red as a means of remaining similar to the Allies in the air while distinct from others on the ground.
Fascinating subject. I just learned that the Continental Army originally called for cockades of different colors to be worn by officers to help instill discipline in a force that, at the time, had no uniforms. It was still a militia army. Pink was reserved for the highest officers, on General Washington’s orders, so unless your mental picture of George Washington includes a black tricorn hat with a big pink ribbon on the front, you’re doing it wrong.
Soon, a black cockade became a standard accessory for Continental soldiers in place of different colors for different ranks. Sometimes worn on the hat, sometimes pinned to the chest. When the alliance with France was sealed in 1778, the Continental Army adopted the “union cockade” of white and black, combining the white cockade worn by Bourbon troops and the black cockade of the patriots.
And I was wrong: the song “The White Cockade” was adopted by the American rebels long before the Continental Army adopted black-and-white cockades as a uniform element. The song commemorates Jacobite defiance against the English crown in the uprising of “the Forty-Five.”
I tried using a cockade in a Patriots helmet concept I did some years ago:
For purely aesthetic reasons, I made the roundel red. Red-white-and-blue was too fine in detail to work as an element of that size on a helmet. Black and white just didn’t “read” for me, since it broke team colors. Felt like it would just confuse people. Besides, color verisimilitude isn’t all that important in sports design; bears aren’t actually navy and orange. And white just didn’t pop within the context of the design – it just looked like missing paint or something.
Ah, but you get an A for effort. The outline of a tricorn is fascinating.
It looks like Badgers quarterback Joel Stave #2 is wearing an ‘old’ cut of the Badgers red adidas jersey this season. It is not the same stretch fabric as the rest of the team, doesnt have that tire tread pattern on the front, and his name plate on the back of the jersey has rounded corners where rest of the team has rectangular nameplates.
Is it really “blackface” if one is dressing in costume, and the subject happens to be black? Just asking.
Wearing black/brown makeup to look like a specific person who is black/brown is a bit different in my book than imitating/belittling an entire race of people.
Not a great call on that guy’s part anyway, but I’m asking the question anyway.
Is it really “blackface” if one is dressing in costume, and the subject happens to be black?
No, it really isn’t… but the internet tends to have a knee-jerk reaction to everything. The guy is probably a bit of jerk, sure… but I really don’t think he’s a racist. So, you know, if it even looks similar, it’s close enough. *cough* people are stupid *cough*
The guy is probably a bit of jerk, sure… but I really don’t think he’s a racist.
Wearing blackface doesn’t automatically mean you’re “a racist.” But wearing blackface is a foolish, insensitive thing to do, because blackface will always carry the cultural spark of racism, and will always signify in painful ways for many people.
If you really feel the need to dress up as Ray Rice for Halloween, I think wearing a Ray Rice jersey is enough to send the message you’re looking to convey (no matter how idiotic that message may be). Adding blackface to the equation reflects either ignorance of blackface’s history or a willful disregard of same. Either way, it’s unnecessary.
What if I’m going as Al Jolson?
What if you were Eddie Murphy going as “Mr. White” going as Lawrence Fishburne going as Al Jolson?
Yes… yes it is.
Hey, 7 year old who wants to be Lebron James for Halloween because he’s your favorite player – don’t paint your face brown, or the internet will call you a racist and ruin your life.
Classic straw man example. I’m fairly certain any kid, of any race, could dress up as Lebron James without changing the color of his skin.
I also think any kid, of any race, could dress up as Tom Brady without the need for “whiteface.”
And in either case, it’s hard to fathom that “the internet” would call the face-painted kid “a racist.”
Sure, they could… but is it really so terrible for a costume to have accurate skin color as well as uniform? At some point we as a society really need to move forward. Blackface of the 1890’s was bad, but does that mean that no white person should ever wear “black” makeup for a costume?
I just want to go on the record as being for Eddie Murphy’s White Like Me SNL skit where he painted himself white.
Funny how none of the dozens of adorable black tots dressed as Batman, Captan America, and Iron Man at my neigborhood Haloween party this weekend felt the need to paint their faces white. Come to think of it, neither did any of their dads in Cousins or Rodgers jerseys at the party paint their faces white either.
Most forms of blackface are insensitive and edge toward racism. There might be a couple of exceptions; I don’t think Laurence Olivier was racist for applying blackface to play the lead in Othello; nor would it have been so a decade or so ago had Kenneth Branagh done so. The problem was avoided, of course, by casting Laurence Fishburn to play the Moor of Venice.
Couple of acceptable blackfaces in recent popular culture:
* Fred Armisen’s Obama impression, but that wasn’t actually blackface
* Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, because that was a joke about blackface and misappropriation.
That’s it. That’s the end of the list.
Here’s my thinking: You don’t need to wear stilts to dress up as Lebron, or Abe Lincoln, or Kareem, or whoever. You don’t need blue eye contacts to dress up as Mel Gibson in Road Warrior; you don’t need big tits and pouty lips to dress up as Lara Craft Tomb Raider. So why do you need black skin to be LeBron? Is the seven-year old going to shave a receeding hairline into his scalp?
Too much in America, the defining trait of black people is… they’re black skin. It’s one of many elements, but for some reason, white people cannot overlook. It’s literally as if the single most important trait is the color of their skin.
That’s a good point, MRB.
Because the absolute best person to ask about cultural insensitivity is a white guy from Ohio.
“Is it really “blackface” if one is dressing in costume, and the subject happens to be black? Just asking.”
You really live up to your screen name sometimes, don’t you.
As do you.
Come on Hecky, I was asking a legitimate question–to which there are some legitimate answers.
Thanks for participating.
I hate to be the “political correctness is ruining our country!!!11!!!!!1!!” guy, but when stuff like this comes up, why do we always have to worry about hurting the feelings of racists? Why can’t we call out racist expressions, intended or not, for what they are?
We can, ought to, and must.
Go check out Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn if you want to know what a real offensive blackface number is.
I think Kek means “White Christmas”.
Nope. “Holiday Inn”. Got my Bing movies mixed up.
I think it’s also important to draw a line between racist acts and the people behind them. You can call out one without making a personal attack on the other; sometimes bigoted actions are born out of ignorance or insensitivity more than outright racism.
I don’t believe either Blake Edwards or Mickey Rooney were racists, but the yellowface performance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s sure as hell is.
True, and failure to make that distinction makes it difficult to have a conversation about racism.
There was research last year about how the link, which I found kinda staggering. But that comes from a misunderstanding the distinction between being a racist and expressions or actions steeped in racism. When we talk about institutional racism, dog whistles and white privilege, we’re not accusing anyone of outright bigotry, but I can see how some people might interpret it as such.
I try to distinguish between “racist” and “bigot,” because I think the former is such a broad category that it doesn’t have much meaning.
I think most of us (myself included) are what I call “passive racists,” by which I mean we make certain subconscious assumptions about people based on their race. Sometimes those assumptions can even have a supposedly positive spin (“Asians are good at math,” e.g.), but they’re all bullshit constructs. And even if there’s no conscious malice behind them, they tend to create cultural barriers that favor the privileged and work against the non-privileged, simply by virtue of propping up the party-line establishment. I wish I could say I’ve eliminated all traces of passive racism from my own life, but I haven’t. I think I’ve done a good job of minimizing it, however.
A bigot, on the other hand, is someone whose racism is active, not passive, and is wielded with malice.
Reminds me of an old joke:
What do you call a black man flying a plane?
A pilot, you racist!
This whole Ray Rice costume thing only goes to show we will never run out of stupid.
Re: Hornets – if the Hornets are indeed a “continuation” of the original team, why are they retiring the number again if it’s already “retired”?
I think the linked article gets at it – even though it is a continuation in the record books, you can’t pretend there wasn’t an absence, and recognizing Phills is a huge step in making a connection to the past version of the Hornets.
For all the caterwauling that went on when Steve McNair died as a direct result of illicit/dangerous/stupid behavior and the Titans wanted to honor him, why no outrage over retiring Bobby Phills’ number when Phills was being reckless and stupid and could have killed the people in the other vehicles as well as himself?
I’m guessing racing on a public road feels less icky than a married guy with children dying in a murder-suicide by a mistress in the couple’s love pad.
That Cardinals helmet actually has fiber optic lights in it. Riddell came out with them a while back.
Here are a few others.
Thanks for the time capsule link. Looks like time capsules provide an excellent example of the sounds-cool-but-turns-out-to-be-meh phenomenon, as first described by Blaise Pascal.
Scott Darling is a well-done example of sock striped leg pads (Brian’s does everything the best), but Josh Harding of Minnesota had it first last year.
Good one — thanks!
Also worth noting, Eddie Lack of Vancouver (another Brian’s client) has a riff on sock stripes, adding the logo to the setup look.
And here’s a better “posed” look of Lack’s setup:
(Quick note: Josh Harding is a Vaughn client, when he’s not visiting the orthopedist for a broken foot from kicking a wall in a dispute.)
And a general PS: Scott Darling appears to have a home and away thing going, whereas Harding and Lack’s sock stripe setups only match the white uniforms. So if Darling had black mitts, he would look minimally different from the line-changing players! Which is pretty much the antithesis of your typical soccer keeper.
Sock stripe also appears on the blocker. It’s an interesting look.
WOuldn’t that be the jersey hemline stripe?
Hmm. In this example, I guess maybe it’s one and the same. But I bet the prevailing thought was, “Let’s transcribe the socks onto the pads so it looks like I’m wearing big socks…hmm, what to do with the mitts? OK, let’s just make matching mitts.”
Shouldn’t that Jets player have laid down on the logo maybe, so he’d be a bit more “camouflaged”?
I mean, it was a weak attempt at a sandlot play anyway, but think it through people!
Three Mets players visited a Tottenham Hotspur soccer match and were given Hotspur jerseys. …
“Hotspur” isn’t a team nickname, like “Giants,” “Mets,” or “Steelers.” The team’s nickname is “Spurs.” Better to say “Tottenham jerseys” or “Spurs jerseys.”
But Tottenham Hotspur is the team name. Would it also be incorrect to write, “He visited a Manchester United soccer match and was given a United jersey?” Because I see exactly that formulation all the time with regard to other British teams with two-word names.
It’s a Spurs thing. It’s either “Tottenham”, “Tottenham Hotspur” or “Spurs” (with no “the”) – “Yids” if you’re feeling anti-semitic.
For what it’s worth, your example with Man U is correct, but you’d never write “He visited a Manchester United soccer match and was given a Manchester jersey.”
Every situation is different. In this case, it’s a strange one because they’ve named themselves after both their home neighborhood and a local medieval nobleman of some renown.
Tottenham Hotspur is indeed the team name, but they have a right to decide what they prefer as a diminution. They don’t like “Hotspur” by itself (possibly because long ago there was another “Hotspur FC”), so you can either use the place name “Tottenham” or their nickname “Spurs”.
You wouldn’t be likely to call your pal Samuel “Uel”. Not unless you asked him first.
I’m thinking the closest example would be New York City’s professional basketball team. You’d never hear them called “the Bockers”. Or maybe the Catholic university in Indiana – they’re never “Dame”, even though the school is named after a dame.
“Tottenham Hotspur is indeed the team name, but they have a right to decide what they prefer as a diminution.”
But the Tampa Bay Lightning don’t get to decide what they – and their fans – prefer as a diminution by having “Bolts” on a third jersey, because that gets people SOOOOOO riled up.
Forgive me, Uni-Father, for I have sinned. I wasn’t paying attention this week to the uni matchups, and I didn’t realize the Steelers would be wearing throwbacks. So I started Flaco instead of Roethlisberger on my fantasy team. The bumblebees powered Ben to 44+ points, which sat uselessly on my bench. I accept this as just and fair penance for my inattention to the uni situation.
For the record, my team is in fifth place and rising; Yahoo projects me to win the league. Is this because or despite the fact that I select starters largely based on uni matchups? I’m going with “because.”
Here’s the explanation of the purple shoes. As you may already know, William Gay does a lot of domestic violence awareness work in memory of his mother, a victim of domestic violence. And purple is the color of the domestic violence awareness campaign.
Thanks for the explainer.
regardless of the reason they still look stupid.
yeah, that’s all well and good, but I actually looked it up because I couldn’t remember where he went to college (Louisville) and wanted to see if it was LSU!
And, really, that’s the most important thing. Oy.
I just wanted to comment in defense of the Saint’s all black uniforms in the matchup vs. Green Bay yesterday:
They looked great. The guys in those uniforms looked like they were doing exciting things: running up and down the field, jumping, making acrobatic plays, ie, like great athletes. Green Bay’s uniforms do not inspire that feeling, they look like they’re in the trenches of WWI and playing a nasty, brutish game.
In my mind, those Green Bay uniforms GOT TO GO – they’re not with the times, not just design-wise, but in what football represents and means to the consumer. The uniform aught to communicate something about the role that the uniform wearers occupy – and the Saint’s uniforms communicated that football was a fun sport to play.
I’ve been against “classic” styling in all the sports leagues because it’s boring and explores no new ground and advocates no new ideas.
But what I didn’t realize that, in football’s case, the classic designs also communicate OLD ideas – and no sport league is undergoing a cultural change as rapidly as football is. Bring on the new uniforms, bring on new ideas.
In my mind, those Green Bay uniforms GOT TO GO — they’re not with the times, not just design-wise, but in what football represents and means to the consumer.
As some of you may recall, I once had a column called “One-Man Focus Group.” That name was sort of a joke (plus it reduced nicely to OMFG). But as you can see above, we now have a *real* one-man focus group in our midst — he speaks for the entire consumer landscape and has determined what football “represents and means” to all of us.
That must be nice.
Seriously, though, although I disagree with much of MRB’s comment, he hits upon something interesting with this:
I think this is a pretty reasonable assessment of the two designs. But it also captures the dichotomy of football, which is about acrobatic athleticism AND trench warefare. It’s about sleek wide receivers AND 350-lb interior linemen. It’s not an either/or thing — it’s both! One of the challenges of football uniform design is coming up with an approach that works for both ends of the spectrum (and, of course, all the players in the middle).
re: the dichotomy – It seems pretty clear the football is trending in one direction over the other; not just in terms of strategic fads, but with the head-injury reckoning coming sooner than later. And in many ways, the “trench warfare” idea is tied up with ideas of masculinity that are also falling out of favor in American society. The Packers uniforms aren’t ever going to be a klan hood, but they harken back to the not-so-good Good ‘Ol Days when men were men and (you can imagine the rest)
In other words — let me get this straight — you think football uniforms should change, and ultimately WILL change, because of progressive cultural/political change?
Yeah, there’s been outcry over Ray Rice, the anti-’Skins protest movement, the Dolphins bullying thing, and the concussion issue. But in terms of the NFL’s overriding culture, those are all like mosquitoes on an elephant. I mean, it’s nice that people no longer tolerate beating up women and long-term brain injury and such, but that seems like the bare minimum for calling oneself civilized, not the makings of a progressive wave. The league and its fan base are still pretty retrograde, for better or worse. And if you doubt that, I suggest watching a game at any sports bar instead of on your sofa.
In any case, the notion that a uniform should reflect a sport’s changing role in society (assuming that the role is actually changing, which I kinda doubt) is an interesting one. Not sure I buy it, but it’s good food for thought.
I mean, it’s nice that people no longer tolerate beating up women and long-term brain injury and such
Actually, NFL’s viewership numbers suggest most football fans are perfectly fine with domestic violence, child abuse, cultural misappropriation, brain injuries and cultural misappropriation.
Bright yellow in the trenches of WWI?
O tempora, o mores.
what football represents and means to the consumer
I think you hugely misunderstand what football (and sports fandom in general) means to the consumer. The single most important appeal of team sports is a connection to the past. Allegiance to a team is something that’s passed down through familial or regional affiliation. It’s a way for generations and communities to connect. Otherwise, why would we root for a single team?
This is especially for a small-town team like Green Bay, where the team’s identity is built almost entirely around speaking to the past.
Exactly. It’s also worth nothing that, within that tradition, the symbol can change with the times.
Lombardi’s uniform used to signify one thing – a powerful running attack with a competent if not electric quarterback as field general, say. But for the past couple decades it has meant the polar opposite, with a dynamic deep-bomb, running quarterback supported by an occasional running threat. And in the middle, the uniform signified faded glory bound with modern ineptitude.
“what I didn’t realize that, in football’s case, the classic designs also communicate OLD ideas — and no sport league is undergoing a cultural change as rapidly as football is. Bring on the new uniforms, bring on new ideas.”
I am curious if you feel this way about the Washington football team’s uniforms (and name). Or the Braves or Chiefs, whose uniforms would certainly be considered “classic.”
And if you feel that a “classic” uniform design by itself represents old values and thoughts, do you feel the same way about the teams with names or iconography that may evoke similar thoughts/values?
I do fail to see how the Saints uniform (which, except for the black pants) wouldn’t be considered “classic” itself (since it’s changed very little since the team’s inception). The Saints helmet has never changed, so isn’t that “classic”?.
Or are you advocating for teams to simply wear monochromatic, stripeless pants because to you, that represents “change”?
You raise an excellent point (one which should probably be debated) — but I am curious as to what makes the Saints uniform so emblematic of the “new” and what exactly about that uniform makes it so. Because this is what the Saints wore last weekend. I’d say this is a pretty “classic” uniform, especially by NFL standards. Does this look need to go too?
Is it just the black pants? If Green Bay went monogreen would that satisfy you?
Just curious, because while you raise an excellent point, I’m not sure I follow.
Had you mentioned the Seahawks, Jags or Bucs’ uniforms, I could understand.
Or are you advocating for teams to simply wear monochromatic, stripeless pants because to you, that represents “change”?
Enthusiastically, No! I’m actually in general not a huge fan the Saint’s Unis. But seeing the Packers – whose players are probably just as athletic/explosive/agile/coordinated/etc as the Saints players – “look” like a big, slow, methodical team – everything just clicked. They look big and slow and methodical because they look just like they looked in the 60s, when football was more heavily oriented towards big, slow, methodical teams. The connection was unavoidable. A commentor above was right – they are communicating a connection to the past.
Although most Americans probably aren’t like me, but when I hear about the Sixties (or earlier), the things I recall are “Mississippi Burning”, political assassinations, the rioting and hollowing out of several American cities – overall a bad time for the country, and a time when the ideals of White Men In America were most forcefully challenged. I think we’re coming up upon another one of those eras presently; and I think it’d be a good thing if our cultural institutions (of which football uniform design is a vanishingly small sliver of) reflected that.
Did the way the field was painted for the Falcons-Lions game in London bother anyone else? As the “home team,” Atlanta got the midfield logo and one endzone (plus a huge “Falcons” banner/tarp), but Detroit’s logo and wordmark was in one endzone. Personally, I think a neutral midfield logo (NFL shield, International Series, etc.) with the team names would have been far more aesthetically pleasing.
First thing that popped in my head when I saw the Patriots helmet was the logo for Pittsburgh Paints.
Yes, they’re quite different, but they’re also quite similar.
Welcome back, Paul!
Loved the article on outtakes. Were you mortified when that video showed the master discs being coated with purple lacquer? Seeing how much work goes into making a record makes me appreciate them all the more. Analog! Vinyl! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Sadly, my old Ko-Rec-Types have been disposed of, or I woud have given them to you.
– Disturbing sight in Foxboro, as several Patriots players were wearing swoosh-emblazoned socks. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen that in an NFL game. Grrrrrrrr.
link link link link link and link
The logos that Fox used on the Lions/Falcons telecast were not made by them but were made by Football as Football. A nice touch IMO.
For what it’s worth…
Righty thrower and lefty kicker here. Not sure how, when, or why it happened, but it did.
My nephew, who had a small cup of coffee in the MLS, is the same way. Right-handed with a wicked (and dominant) left foot.
Would that have been a small cup of tea?
Righty thrower and kicker here, but lefty batter and golfer. That’s not as extreme, though, because I’m usiing both hands. I can’t imagine throwing on one side and kicking on another.
Left-handed air guitar, too.
I’m a lefty thrower and writer who bats and kicks righty. Very few major league players throw left and bat right, for obvious reasons. I kicked in high school, but never made it far as a baseball player.
Yet flipping by last night’s WS game that’s precisely what Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner does – pitches lefty and bats righty. Thereby exposing his pitching arm to injury every time he’s steps into the batter’s box.
The obsessive-compulsive in me never fails to freak out just a bit whenever I see that. Did they mention it at all in the TV broadcast?
Not “the MLS.” Just “MLS.”
“The NFL” = “The National Football League” – “The League”
“The NBA” = “The National Basketball Association” – “The Association”
“The MLS” = “The Major League Soccer” – “The Soccer?” “The Major?”
No one (with a brain) says “The MLB,” either.
Yeah, but the league’s website URL is link. The league’s not exactly going for purity of the English language. It’s no worse than referring to a former Soviet republic in the Baltic as “the Ukraine”.
Lefty kicker, righty everything else as well.
let’s see. I throw a football and baseball lefthanded. Basketball lefthanded. Tennis and using a fork and a mouse righthanded. I reach for everything lefthanded- I guarantee in my life I have never used my right hand to open a door or pick up a phone.
I’ve often wondered which hand I would use to fire a gun, which I have never done. I’ve tried to simulate the effect and I think either way would work.
And in playing soccer or kicking a football, right footed.
My brother writes left handed, throws a baseball left handed but bats right handed, plays golf right handed and shoots right handed. I’ve always had a theory that left handed people are much better with their right hands than right handed people are with their left hands probably due to the cultural/societal/mechanical nature of the world which favors a right handed majority. Interesting question.
The term I’ve come across is cross dominant, where you do some things left and some things right. I’m cross dominant myself, but am perceived as left handed because I write that way. I’m probably 50% left and 50% right.
I thought you’re supposed to use your dominant eye when shooting, but most guns are for righties.
After the 9/11 attacks, TV news shows kept showing the same stock video footage of Osama Bin Laden firing a rifle left-handed:
As a lefty who always notices handedness and often identifies with other southpaws, I felt deep lefty shame.
There’s a reason the origin of “sinister” is Latin for “left” and you never shake hands with an Indian person with your left hand.
If it makes you feel any better(or not)President Obama also shoots left-handed.
Would love to see Obama shoot a flintlock muzzleloader, then. Good times!
I’m pretty consistently righty, but a few years back I dislocated my right thumb. (Yes, I’m a big fat klutz.) During recovery I found that the most confoundingly difficult thing to switch hands on was brushing my teeth.
Wouldn’t that be the second most difficult thing to do?
Try it and report back.
Esprit d’escalier. The better response is, “I was talking about things that require only one hand”.
Brinke, to discover which side eye-dominant you are, there’s a simple test that’s taught at every gun range in the world:
Pick a point on a wall or in the distance – a baseball on your shelf or a clock on the wall or a tree down the street or whatever. Face the “target” and keep both eyes open. Whichever hand you write with, use the index finger of that hand to point at the target, with your arm fully extended. Now keep your arm still and close your left and right eyes in turn. In one eye, you’ll see the tip of your finger very close to covering up the target you’re pointing at. In the other eye, you’ll see your finger off to the side of the target. The eye that puts your finger on top of the target, that’s your dominant eye, the one you’d use to align the sights in a gun to aim it.
Lenevo is running a webisode program featuring a few NFL stars in which they are using what look to be last year’s Miami Hurricane uniforms
Need a help. Not getting the tear on Ryan’s shirt connection.
Im a righty thrower/righter, lefty kicker. As a kid I thought I was weird because nobody else kicked lefty, so I taught myself to kick righty.
Lol, meant “writer,” not “righter”
Paul, love the “Outtakes” feature. I can’t think of any additions at the moment, but it would be quite interesting to know what happens to the “excess” in these cases. That is, to they just end up in a landfil somewhere or are they used for something else?
In the food industry, there are generally no ‘leftovers’. They either recycle the product back to production, or find other uses for it. Ore-Ida invented the Tater Tot because they needed to find a way to use the leftover potato from cutting french fries.
But there is a problem when there’s a new shift, like the current popularity of Greek yogurt. When they strain out the yogurt, they’re left with acid whey that’s potentially toxic and can’t be dumped into the water stream.
It was always an issue, but it’s moreso now.
Liked the article about byproducts and byproducts that are as yet awaiting an application.
“he punts left-footed – even though he passes right-handed. I wonder how rare that is.”
Possibly not so rare. I am left-handed, but was taught to do a lot of things right-handed as a youth, and for some reason I am right-handed on computer (mouse is under right hand).
I eat left-handed, paint, draw and write left-handed, kick a soccer ball and football off the ground better left-footed.
I bat right-handed, throw right-handed, use a mouse to draw on computer with my right hand and punt predominantly right-footed.
I learned over the years to become more ambidextrous, and as a result I can bat from either side, throw with either hand and kick with either foot. Other things I seem to be one-sided or the other, but with sports it seems to be fairly easy to switch back and forth, although I do tend to ‘naturally’ use the sides I mentioned above in most instances.
I am almost completely right handed, with some odd exceptions.
I am left-eyed. I can only peel things (shrimp, oranges, etc.) with my left hand. And, when I used to curl, I would throw right handed, but sweep left handed (left hand on the bottom, down by the broom head). I could only sweep moving to my left. If I tried it the other way, I would fall down.
The owner of The Shoe Box is a big anything-to-do-with-a-Cardinals-team fan. He actually owns 4 baseball teams in the Northwoods League: Madison Mallards, Green Bay Bullfrogs, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Kingfish
Yup — the place was filled with all sorts of Cards memorabilia. Also several cages’ worth of live birds, two of which was named Dizzy and Daffy. Interesting place!
Lefty thrower/batter here but righty kicker.
I wonder if kicking foot and skateboarding/snowboarding style (regular vs. goofy foot) are related?
Count me as someone who throws righty and kicks lefty.
Also writes righty, bats lefty and so on in that seemingly random fashion.
Submitted the lacrosse photos of Hanlan’s point, but one non-sports related from there stood out over all the rest:
I Am right handed and kick lefty. It was hard in basketball because I had to do lay ups left handed because it felt more natural to jump off my right foot. I also could not do the high jump right because our teacher had everyone jump from the right leg dominant side.