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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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?

• Johnny Football wore a dark-tinted visor while warming up for yesterday’s Browns/Panthers game. Once the game started, he went back to his usual clear visor.

• 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.

• The Cardinals went mono-red — and hey, so did their mascot!

• 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.)

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Raffle reminder: Today’s the last day to enter the annual Uni Watch year-end raffle. Full details here.

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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.

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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 cliché, 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.

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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.

Comments (75)

    ” 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!”


    While the top hat would possibly indicate the gender as being a male, can we be sure that’s simply not a snowwoman, and thus, would be penis-less? Are all snowpersons assumed to be snowmen?

    Interestingly, spell-check deems both snowwoman and snowperson to be incorrect, but snowman and snowmen are OK.

    It’s really hard to tell from the resolution of the image, but brown leather in 1949 would be really odd. According to the GUD, the Giants had a mostly red helmet in ’48, so it’s much more likely that its a player wearing the previous year’s helmet. Brown leather helmets were pretty much gone by the end of the 30’s.

    I was watching the Lions-Bears game with family yesterday, and several of them noticed the GSH on the sleeves for seemingly the first time. I explained what the initials were for and that they’d been on there since the 1984 season. They thought it was pretty lame that they still have a memorial on the uniform after over 30 years, regardless of the importance of the deceased to the franchise or the league.

    GSH is OK as long as no other team does it. I like those unique details. The Steelers having a logo on one side of their helmets. Cleveland with no logo. I like it when only one team does it.

    A hockey team with a wide torso stripe? That’s Montreal’s. Diagonal lettering? That’s the Rangers’ look. Instead of trying to be unique, you see the Bengals and Cardinals both have dark yokes on their white jerseys. One team going mono? Good. Fifteen teams? Lame.

    Interesting take.
    Now I’m wondering…which team should ‘own’ a particular uniform design point?

    One look at Forbes Field will tell you exactly why both benches are on the same side of the field; so that the sight lines of paying customers (in some of the worst seats; since most fields were crowned for drainage, sitting in the front row means looking at players’ knee level) wasn’t inhibited.

    Olympia was a wonderful place for Red Wings hockey; just too bad that during my lifetime the team sucked so badly. They lost in the finals to Montreal in 66, and didn’t come close again until 95.

    I remember those logos and how small they were on the ice. It had to do with the positioning; had they centered the entire logo on the center line (running parallel to the side boards), they could have been significantly larger. Instead, they always centered the wheel on that center line, which limited the amount of space to work with. Typical idiocy from Bruce Norris, who often made major organizational decisions under the influence.

    The logo was also usually placed on the jerseys so that the center of the wheel was lined up with (or very close to) the vertical center of the jersey, sending the tip of the wings close to the player’s left armpit. This remained all the way throughlink (though it looks like Reed Larson’s logo was a bit more centered). One of the first things Mike Ilitch did after buying the team from Norris was to link (and that’s not even its final form!).

    As far as the on-ice logos go, though, it appears that the Wings kept aligning the center of the wheel with the lengthwise center of the ice as late as the link. (About the 0:09 mark)

    For the 1994 and 1995 seasons, they aligned the logos by the center of the whole logo. In 1996 they used the 70th anniversary logo, and they’ve used the Hockeytown logo ever since.

    Seeing the Red Wings center ice and logo photos hearkens back to the old Snickers commercials of “Chefs” being painted in the end zone and the worker exclaiming “Great Googly-moogly!”

    Love that photo of Forbes field. I was always intrigued by old stadiums that were used for both football and baseball. Some of those fields were configured so tightly that there was almost no room left in the end zones. Loved those games early in football season when the infields were still there and players would be covered in dirt. Oakland last of this dying breed. My fav was always Cleveland stadium, goalpost was always centered on the pitching mound .

    Memorial Stadium in Baltimore was that way for the Colts. The back end of the end zone at the stadium’s closed end of actually included part of the warning track that ran behind home plate. Which was where Mickey Mantle’s drinking buddy Jimmy Orr caught so many TD passes from Johnny Unitas.

    Something that I never noticed but found odd while watching some of the Bills game…for the QB cut jersey with the longer sleeves they don’t move the stripe pattern down to the bottom of the sleeve. They keep it in the lineman cut position


    However, they do move the stripes down for the replicas


    This was an issue with the Reebok set too, but I never noticed


    It’s just looks so strange.

    It’s odd, but I’d still consider the 49ers’ stripe issue a bigger concern. For example, while with the Niners, Alex Smith had the full three stripes (at least, as shown link, but the replicas still had the cut-off stripes.

    This is true for other teams that have players with the QB cut, like Tony Romo’s jersey, Alex Smith with the Chiefs (there’s more, but that’s off the top of my head). It feels like a determined effort to stop people from faking game worn jerseys. Totally unnecessary, as the retail Elite has a different neck hole on all teams, plus the cordura/mesh seams vary on the 3-5 different team issued cuts… plus other small details. The Giants blue jersey (Eli Manning) has the nike logo position higher than the retail Elite, as do all other teams (this one stands out because there are no sleeve graphics).

    In today’s day of technological provenance assistance (photos/videos/serial numbers on the tags) plus more accurate team inventory, doing this to $300 jerseys is ridiculous.

    Why does the Flywire (nikelace) on some of the jerseys look light blue, while others are white?

    Reference photos from yesterday’s game against the Colts.

    I’m thinking the blue nikelace is intentional, since the standard one turns yellowish. Jerry might be a stickler like us… Now he just needs to find a better alternative to the nike silicone stripes… There are 30+ year old jerseys that have held up better than nike’s silicone.

    Wrigley was also a tight one, ivy covered brick wall on end and short brick wall on infield end. No way would NFL allow that nowadays w/ player safety such a big deal.

    Great shot of those workers placing the Red Wings logo on the ice. Anyone know what those logos were made of?

    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?

    More than a “bit much”, it seems really tacky that they’re now treating the memorial as just another alternate logo to be link.

    This may have been covered before, but the Rams’ throwback helmet isn’t quite right. Back in the Dickerson days, the helmet logo on the front didn’t go all the way to the edge. Stopped at the top of that rectangular label (?) in the front. Yesterday, I noticed the logo went all the way down. The only reason I noticed was because it used to drive me nuts back in the day. Uni-watching anal-retentiveness even back then!

    Much more obvious and problematic issue is that the throwback jerseys have the yellow neck roll. Can’t understand why they include that element. Makes zero sense.

    Nope. Photos from the Super Bowl against the Titans that year all show the helmets had the gap I referred to. I believe the uni change to their current ones was the next season.

    Am I the only one who got some crazy new mobile version of the site today without (apparently) a way to see comments?

    I expected a huge outcry when I finally got here. Perhaps everyone is still trying to figure it out.

    I got a new version on my ipad, but there was also a “classic version” link in the top right corner that took me to the regular site.

    Same thing for me. Personally, I like the aesthetics of the new-and/or-accidental tablet version, except for the lack of access to comments.

    Also, the whole site itself has been occasionally down for me today, as in I get a DNS error that prevents the site from loading at all across any device.

    I’m not sure I understand what makes Coach Coughlin’s gesture “grown up” and Nick Mangold’s juvenile. I’m basing it simply on the photos, but I think he seemed to be tasteful and respectful.

    It reminded me of the Mets wearing public safety emblem caps after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    It’s certainly less of a “look at me” move than the t-shirts last week.

    I didn’t say Mangold’s move (or Matt Overton’s, for that matter) was “juvenile.” I simply praised Coughlin for taking a dignified approach.

    As for comparing it to the T-shirts last week, that’s an apples/oranges comparison. One gesture was a protest move designed to attract attention and generate awareness; the other is a memorial gesture. You can debate whether each one was or wasn’t successful within its own context, but those two contexts are very different.

    Well, it appears that the t-shirts did attract attention and raise awareness.

    Just ask the NYPD.

    I wonder what t-shirt LeBron will be wearing next?

    Sorry, but you can’t come onto my website and claim or insinuate that a T-shirt got two cops killed. If you’re determined to claim or insinuate that, there are other corners of the internet that should be able to meet your needs, but not here. Let’s please move on — thanks.

    When I saw this:

    “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.”

    I had the impression that you were implying that Coughlin was classy and a grown up, and that the others were not. I thought you were making a comparison there.

    I do think a black band and a small peace pin are better than playing dress-up policeman (a move that I generally find distasteful, just like I find playing dress-up soldier to be distasteful). But Mangold’s gesture, which he amplified with some comments after the game, was clearly heartfelt and sincere, and I didn’t criticize it; I simply thought what Coughlin did was even better.

    I understand now.

    But you raise another question. When I wear my Mets cap, am I playing dress-up baseball player, or am I showing support for my favorite team?

    Not being argumentive, just trying to figure out where the lines are drawn. I know you don’t get why people wear jerseys.

    Even if you are playing dress-up ballplayer, I don’t think there’s anything wrong (although it may be silly) to nurture the aspirational fantasy of being a ballplayer. It’s a pretty inconsequential role in the grand scheme of things.

    The military and police are not inconsequential — they, and the roles the occupy in our culture, are serious business. They, and the debates surrounding the scope of those roles, deserve better than to be trivialized by the dress-up routine, which reduces police/military uniforms to the level of costumes.

    The Brits have a term for this: “full kit wanker.”

    Evidently it’s a growing trend there; wearing the jersey (or a hat) to the game seems fine in my book, but these people are just ridiculous-looking.

    Yes, DeMarco Murray was wearing a padded glove on his hand…an Adidas branded item right in the middle of everything Nike Football League. Seems to be one of the more prominent presences of Adidas since the new onfield agreement was struck in October.


    When the Packers used to play a few games in Milwaukee County Stadium each year, they always shared a sideline with their opponent. This happened well into the 90’s (1994 was the last year, I believe). Not sure why; guess there wasn’t enough room on the empty side.


    Sure looks like there’s enough room there, but that photo makes me suspect it was done to maximize sightlines. The first base seats were pretty low in County Stadium, you put a couple hundred people between those seats and the field and you’d have a big section of customers who can’t see the action.

    Conversely, outfield bleachers are by their very nature built higher. Not as much of a problem to look over the players and staff on the sidelines.


    Met Stadium with the Vikings had benches are one side, too. Again, it was for sightlines of fans.

    Imagine sitting along the first base side at a baseball game, and the football field was on the other side of the mound.

    The Cazorla nip slip wasn’t a slip at all. An opposing player kicked him in the chest and tore his shirt, drawing blood. Another player in that game got kicked in the head and played most of the 2nd half wearing a bandage taped around his head… and used it to head in the final goal of the game in extra time.

    I don’t know that anyone did use the term “slip.” To me “nip slip” is a pop culture phrase that’s become ubiquitous.

    I’m sure the answer varies from player to player, but it would be cool to know if there is a particular trend amongst the jersey swappers for displaying them.

    Do some guys wash the jerseys? Do they display them or hang them in a closet? Do they frame them, use mannequins, etc.

    Game worn collectors have some incredible man-cave set-ups; just curious as to what players do in comparison.

    Also: Does a player who gives away his jersey have to pay for a new one? Once upon a time, jerseys were supposed to last a full season, or at least half a season. Now it’s only one game!

    I just think that people should think before they fuel the rhetoric for those that are weak-minded and those bent on mayhem.

    Hey Paul, I’d like to propose a radical solution to your curling/photography dilemma: have someone who isn’t playing take a few pictures.

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