As I’m sure most of you know by now, two New York City police officers were murdered on Saturday. Within hours, a Congressman from Long Island was suggesting that pro and college sports teams should wear NYPD patches in memory of the two New York police officers who were murdered on Saturday. To my knowledge, no team or individual athlete did that yesterday, but there were several references to the fallen cops in yesterday’s NFL games. Jets center Nick Mangold wore an NYPD cap during pregame player introductions, and Colts snapper Matt Overton wrote “NYPD” on his cleats.
But the best move came from Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who wore two small but telling symbols: a black memorial strip on his left shoulder and a little peace symbol chest pin. (You can get a closer look at both of them here.) Both gestures were simple and dignified. And it’s particularly remarkable to see a prominent figure in the rough, tough NFL embracing the peace symbol in any context, especially one in which so many people are screaming various forms of emotion-charged invective. Really goes to show how big a difference a grown-up can make. Good for Coughlin — if, as many are predicting, he’s going to get the axe after this season, this was a classy way to go out.
In other news from around the league yesterday:
• For the first time this year — and I think the first time ever in a regular season game — the Packers wore captaincy patches. They usually wait until the postseason.
• I’ve never had a problem with the Bears’ perma-memorial for Papa Bear, but putting the “GSH” initial on the team’s pom-pom hats seems like a bit much, no?
• One of Panthers offensive tackle Mike Remmers’s helmet decals was peeling off.
• The Dolphins wore white at home.
• For reasons that aren’t clear (at least to me), Fox broadcaster Kenny Albert was wearing an ugly sweater depicting a smiling snowman with a carrot for a penis. No wonder the other snowman is frowning — he’s penis-less!
• The Rams wore their “Greatest Show on Turf” throwbacks.
• Colts defensive back LaRon Landry was once again doing the Sean Taylor-style facemask tape job. His teammate Hakeem Nicks sported some facemask tape as well, but his approach was much more restrained.
• Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray wore a padded glove over his surgically repaired left hand.
• Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant wore a “Team Brock” T-shirt for pregame warm-ups. Was that referring to the auto racing Team Brock? Something else? (Also: Judging by that photo of Bryant, he’s left-handed! That’s something we often don’t get to know regarding football players.)
• This new policy that supposedly prohibits players from showing the maker’s marks on their non-Bose headphones doesn’t seem to be working.
• A Bears fan altered his Jay Cutler jersey to match the team’s change of starting quarterbacks.
• I’m not sure if Bills running back Fred Jackson was wearing black socks or black tape, but either way he sure had a lot of black on his shins.
• It’s a little hard to see in this screen shot, but one of the zebras in the Seahawks/Cards game was wearing gray shoes, instead of the usual black.
• At least three pairs of players swapped jerseys after their respective games: Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) and Tre Mason (Rams), Travis Benjamin (Browns) and Kelvin Benjamin (Panthers), and Steve Smith (Ravens) and Andre Johnson (Texans) (no photo, but it’s mentioned in that article). Interestingly, five of these six players are wide receivers. Is that just a coincidence or is this mostly a position-specific trend? Also, although I haven’t been able to find photos or other documentation, someone who attended the Jets/Pats game says he saw at least three pairs of players doing postgame jersey swaps, so this trend is apparently growing.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Jay Abbott, Jen Hayden, Al Hood, Daniel Malone, Derek McCord, Richard Paloma, Chris Perrenot, and of course Phil.)
Raffle reminder: Today’s the last day to enter the annual Uni Watch year-end raffle. Full details here.
PermaRec update: The notebook shown at right was used by a high school student in 1963. It was found in an abandoned house in Baltimore that’s part of a remarkable project that’s yielding all sorts of interesting artifacts. Get the full story on Permanent Record.
Baseball News: Hanukkah isn’t over yet, so there’s still time to get this baseball-themed dreidel game (from Gordon Blau).
NFL News: Who’s that wearing Mark Kelso’s “Great Gazoo” ProCap helmet? None other than longtime Uni Watch contributor Tris Wykes. ”¦ Here’s something I missed from Week 15: The Bills honored a 107-year-old fan (!) by giving her a jersey with her age as the uni number. Further details here. ”¦ Color vs. color, from 1949! That’s the Steelers and Giants, at Forbes Field. Interesting to see that they shared the same sideline! ”¦ Neglected to mention on Friday that three Jags WRs — Marqise Lee, Ace Sanders, and Cecil Shorts — wore “I Can’t Breathe” tees prior to Thursday night’s game against the Titans. ”¦ “I’m at Disney World for Christmas with my family,” writes Joe Bailey. “I saw 25 NFL teams represented by assorted NFL apparel — all except the Eagles, Raiders, Jags, Cardinals, Chiefs, Rams, and Washington. By far the most-represented team was the Seahawks. Next were the Packers, Saints, Ravens and Lions.
I only saw one Jets item (the ’80s logo) and one Buccaneers item (Bucco Bruce). I was wearing my Brownie the Elf shirt, witch elicited three ‘Go Browns’ comments.”
College Football News: Here are Marshall’s memorial helmet decals for university president Stephen Kopp and Chad Pennington’s father (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Speaking of Marshall, QB Rakeem Cato is changing uni numbers for tomorrow’s bowl game to honor an injured teammate (from Brice Wallace). ”¦ Remember how Ohio State was gonna wear throwback unis for their playoff game against ’Bama, only we all knew the Buckeyes wouldn’t be wearing that design because they’d have to wear white? The white design has now been released.
Hockey News: The Blackhawks have added a memorial decal for assistant equipment manager Clint Reif, who died yesterday morning. ”¦ The ECHL’s Toledo Walleye will be playing two outdoor games and have new uniforms for the occasion. … Ditto for the Walleye’s opponents, the Kalamazoo Wings (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Panthers captain Willie Mitchell got in a fight the other night with Kris Letang of the Penguins, and at one point Mitchell picked up Letang’s discarded helmet and swung it at him like a weapon. ”¦ Santa-themed mask for Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. ”¦ Speaking of the Red Wings, check out these 1957 photos of workers at the old Detroit Olympia hand-painting the lines and positioning the logos on the ice. And if you liked that last photo, check out this magnificent color shot from 1956 (great stuff from Will Sheibler).
NBA News: The Nets responded to the cop killings by having a moment of silence prior to last night’s game against the Pistons, plus they had an NYPD cap displayed on the scorer’s table during the game. ”¦ Also: The Nets wore their gray sleeved alternate unis and have begun wearing the All-Star Game patch that they’ll be showcasing for home games for the next two months. The Knicks have a similar patch, which I assume they’ll start wearing for their next home game. ”¦ Yet another item from last night’s Nets game: The refs wore last year’s uniforms, with the contrasting shoulders/sleeves. This is at least the second time this has happened this season, and both cases involved teams wearing gray sleeved jerseys. Looks like they’re having the refs wear last season’s jerseys to avoid potential confusion (good spot by Josh Williams).
College Hoops News: New
pride hubris uniforms for Maryland. ”¦ Pat Connaughton of Notre Dame wore Batman socks the other day (from Josh Baker). ”¦ Someone in the South Carolina athletics dept. apparently sent out the following memo recently: “You know what would be fun? Let’s take a trend that was never that good to begin with, and that’s now a ridiculously played-out clichÃ©, and become roughly the eight-thousandth team to beat it to death. Sound good?” The response, of course, was positive (from Jeremy Baker).
Soccer News: Jersey rip? Flash some nip! That’s Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, from yesterday’s match against Liverpool (screen shot by Nate Farrer). ”¦ Update on that: Carzorla’s nipple now has its own Twitter page (from Treg Harris).
Grab Bag: If you’re among the masses who’ve been following the podcast Serial, about the 1999 murder of a Baltimore teen-ager named Hae Min Lee, you may be interested to see these photos and videos of Lee in her high school lacrosse team uniform. ”¦ New Zealand All Blacks rugby player Leon MacDonald had a bunch of jerseys stolen from his home the other day.
What Paul did last night: For the past seven Sunday evenings, including last night, Phil and I have been taking part in a curling league at the Prospect Park ice rink here in Brooklyn. All along I figured I’d post photos, video, etc., but it turns out that curling doesn’t really allow any opportunities for documenting your own teammates, because you’re always either delivering the rock, sweeping, or skipping — there just isn’t any down time. So I came away from our seven-week session with exactly zero photos (which is lame, because I still could have photographed the site, or the players on the other team, etc., but it just didn’t happen). Still, it was a great experience, all the more so because Phil was there to share it with me.
Phil is gonna plow ahead with a new six-week league that begins in January. I’m not gonna do that one, but I’ll be joining him for a five-week that runs from February to March. Wanna make the Brooklyn curling scene yourself? Sign-ups for instructional leagues (for beginners) and regular leagues (for non-beginners) are available here.