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If You Can’t Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve, Wear It on Your Pad

[Editor’s Note: Charles Noerenberg recently submitted a Ticker entry that was so interesting and so well-developed that I’ve decided to turn it into a guest entry. Enjoy. ”” PL]

By Charles Noerenberg

I recently came across the photo you see above, which shows Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals sitting in the locker room, with his throwback third jersey hanging behind him. The interesting thing is that his elbow pads have the throwback jersey’s sleeve pattern sewn onto them, stars and all.

As you probably recall, the NHL’s new rules regarding players tucking in their jerseys were more or less aimed at Ovie. I didn’t realize that the changes also included restrictions on rolling up sleeves, which is something Ovie has always done. Here are old two shots of his rolled-up sleeves, which expose his pads [click to enlarge]:

This season, however, the equipment staff has begun sewing the “extra” sleeves onto his elbow pads. So when he hikes up his jersey sleeves, it exposes the faux sleeve on the pad. You can tell when he’s doing this because the jersey sleeve has contrasting trim at the cuff. They’ve done this for all three of the team’s jerseys [click to enlarge]:

It’s amazing for me to think that Ovechkin has three different sets of elbow pads in rotation, and that the equipment staff has to remember which ones to include on road trips. I also wonder if he’s ever worn the wrong pads. One thing’s for sure; I’ll never look at a photo of Ovie the same again!

I know a few other players like Marian Hossa also roll up their sleeves, but I’ll have to do some further digging to see if they’ve gotten similar elbow pad modifications. [In Hossa’s case, it doesn’t look like it. ”” PL]

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LAST CALL for the January design: Today is the last day to order the limited-edition “Home” design from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. Due to production issues, the ordering deadline, which had originally been 11pm Eastern tonight, has been moved up to 4pm Eastern this afternoon. After that time, this shirt will no longer be offered. If you’ve been waiting to order, do it here, or get the full story on the T-Shirt Club here.

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Baseball News: Here’s a rarity: a spring training shot of Doc Gooden wearing No. 9! Note the mesh-back caps, too (great find by Dwayne White). ”¦ Not new, but here’s a very informative post about the Roman Pro Cap Company (from Mark Gonillo).

NFL News: Cowboys QB Tony Romo wore a balaclava and had some helmet stripe issues yesterday (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Nice look at the NFL 50th-anniversary logo on LeRoy Kelly’s Pro Bowl helmet (from Scott Cummings). ”¦ Two Packers DBs were wearing Cristiano Ronaldo shoes yesterday. Lots of folks noticed that — including John Henson of the Milwaukee Bucks (from JohnMark Fisher and Mike Chamernik, respectively). ”¦ Colts WR Hakeem Nicks once again wore the black tape on the outer bars of his facemask.

College Football News: Here’s how the Oregon jersey will look tonight wth the “2015” patch … Good story on Oregon’s equipment staff. … A few days ago I asked about alcohol being sold at tonight’s title game. Here’s an article on that very issue. … Here’s Ohio State DL Michael Bennett talking about why he wears No. 53 for Kosta Karageorge (from Chris Flinn). … Here’s our first look at an Adidas-branded Miami uniform, although Phil says, “My Adidas buddy just messaged me to say, ‘Those are just samples, not the final product.'” ”¦ In a related item, Miami alum Warren Sapp is apparently not a fan of the school’s new Adidas affiliation (from Jacob Morrow). ”¦ Remember how the Carolina Panthers’ mono-black uni was named the best uniform in NFL history or some such nonsense? In a similarly dubious development, Kentucky’s mono-black costume has been named “Uniform of the Year” (from Josh Claywell). ”¦ Schutt has unveiled a new “smart helmet.”

Hockey News: Very cool move by the Ducks and Jets, who tributed Teemu Selanne by wearing every NHL jersey design he ever wore — including Anaheim’s Wild Wing jersey! — during warm-ups for last night’s game. Additional info here, and there’s a closer look at each jersey here (from Eric Goodman). ”¦ Nazem Kadri of the Maple Leafs tried to be diplomatic when asked about those dreadful all-star uniforms. ”¦ The Sabres will retire Dominek Hasek’s number tomorrow.

NBA News: “I Wanted to share the Sesame Street-themed NBA jerseys we made for my nephew’s second birthday, which we celebrated at his first ever professional sporting event — Sunday’s Clippers/Heat game,” says Stuart Friedel. “There are three others that couldn’t make it — a blue/pinstriped Magic Cookie Monster, Cavs alt Snuff, and Nuggets yellow striped Bert — but I think the six of us were a good team.” Indeed!

College Hoops News: Oregon State and Arizona went color-vs.-color last night. Lots of additional photos on this page (from Eric Fisk).

Soccer News: The Italian team Lazio wore “Je Suis Charlie” kits yesterday. ”¦ Yusuke Toyoda reports that several Premier League players this weekend wore black armbands in tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, including Frenchmen Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool and Bafétimbi Gomis of Swansea, who celebrated a goal with a French flag, as well as both teams in the Arsenal/Stoke City game. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger also wore an armband over his jacket. ”¦ In a related item, Puma created an ad poking fun at Wenger’s past struggles with his jacket zipper (though “he still can’t get it right,” says Yusuke).

Grab Bag: Interesting to see that Stuart Scott’s very first ESPN broadcast included two uniform mentions. Sounds like he Got Itâ„¢ right from the start (from Patrick Lasseter). … Decent article on flight attendant uniforms. … All sorts of “Je Suis Charlie” merch is selling briskly. ”¦ My friend Laura Forde and I cat-sit for each other. She’s not a sports fan, but her nephew Alexander is a big Uni Watch enthusiast, so she recently bought a Uni Watch T-shirt for his birthday, and it looks great on him. ”¦ Lots of good bicycle head badge photos here (from Joanna Zwiep).

Comments (65)

    My wife (not a football follower) mentioned how horrible she thought the Ravens uniforms were. Aside from the number font that she hated, she REALLY hated their all-in-one pants/socks. “They look like my running tights!”, she said. She also said they look like a high school team. “Maybe because they don’t have stripes. A low budget high school would buy pants without stripes to same money.”


    The NFL should add a rule requiring pants stripes.
    This is a pet peeve of mine as well. I have the leotard look.

    Fun idea that that family had. I must say that a Sacramento Kings jersey would be better suited for the Count. The Nets’ road jersey does not take Count von Count’s distinct lavender hue into consideration.

    If any jersey were easily available for this project, I think that the optimal Big Bird jersey would be late seventies Cavs, as the striping pattern is reminiscent of Big Bird’s striped legs.

    It looks like there are color indicator marks on the Gooden photo: B for blue, O for orange. Wonder why.


    I also wonder why. My father worked for a sports department of a newspaper and would bring home old, no longer needed photos of different players/teams I was a fan of. They would always be marked up with red wax pencil showing where to crop the photo for use in the paper. They also would have little strips of paper taped to them (usually on the back) with a typed description of who/what the photo was showing (usually ended up being the caption). I never saw any indications on the (B&W) photos for uniform colors. I just called my dad too, to see if he knew why they would be there and he couldn’t think of why they would be there for B&W photos… Interesting.

    Yeah, I’m stumped. My guess is that it’s either for the retoucher (so the orange and blue are treated separately) or for colorization in promotional materials, etc.

    Or to go a little farther down the rabbit hole, it might have been for a spot-color application, like a section cover or program or even promotional merch like a paper drink cup or something. That is, a two-color printing using blue and orange ink instead of the more expensive four-color cyan, magenta, yellow, black full-color process. Used to see a lot of spot-color graphics back in the day.

    “Tony Romo wore a balaclava…..”

    If only he were playing the balalaika and eating some baklava too!

    (ok, I’m done for today)

    While I heard the yesterday’s Packers/Cowboys game referred to as The Ice Bowl, I saw no mention of the fact that Romo’s balaclava was remarkably similar to the one worn by Cowboys starting QB Don Meredith in the original Ice Bowl.

    Too bad the Wild Wing jerseys were inaccurate with their shoulder treatments. As shown link, the shoulder yokes were pointed, and contained the regular Mighty Ducks logo. The ones worn last night featured rounded, logo-less shoulders.

    It’s also pretty disappointing that all of the vintage jerseys worn on the ice during warm-ups were CCM-branded and not Reebok-branded. This included the current set they wore.

    Did Reebok not want to be a part of this? Are they changing their branding strategy quietly?

    I thought CCM did all “vintage” type jerseys regardless of whatever actual mark used to be there. I wouldn’t know why they had to make a current design though.

    These aren’t “vintage” in an effort to sell to the public, though. These are truly “on-ice”. Unless the Honda Center suddenly has a massive demand for link to fill.

    The other kicker on that one? Those two alternate jerseys used that season were designed by Nike in 1997, transitioned to Pro Player when they took over the Ducks’ outfitting needs in 1999-2000, and retired after the 2000 season. Reebok made these in these jerseys for last night’s ceremony, meaning three separate manufacturers have made these jerseys now.

    Well I know CCM has the branding for the CHL and the AHL, so it probably is a transition at work.
    Great tribute to Teemu. Great player, and lucky for us there is a lot of Uni Watch material to work with. Seriously, almost as much material as Trevor Linden had, and that’s saying a lot!
    Also, great find on Ovechkin’s special mod. Not mentioned, his special tribute to Yaroslavl Lokomotiv!
    Today’s a great day for the Uni Watch Hockey Wing!

    Did the branding rights transfer to echl? Chl is no longer in existence. For the first time ever, our jerseys (cincinnati cyclones) display the ccm mark as opposed to whatever company they used before (not ccm).

    Meanwhile, admittedly, going from Reebok to CCM is kind of like letting your left pocket pay your right pocket. Same suit. I’ve recently seen longtime Reebok clients Dion Phaneuf and Patrice Bergeron break out CCM mitts. I’ve always said Sidney Crosby is the super duper last final ultimate Reebok shoe to drop.

    Reebok has always maintained that CCM would be the equipment line for the hockey line of Reebok while Reebok would be the on-ice brand.

    I’m not sure that transitioning in the middle of a season with multiple versions of Ducks and Jets jerseys is a smart thing to do.

    Reebok has almost entirely become a fitness brand, so it’s weird to see the name attached to team sports.

    I’m wondering what the story is with that coach wearing number 56 in the link.

    First of all, there’s a huge gap above the number; big enough to fit a name into, but the Mets didn’t have names on their spring training uniforms then. These were the classic blue Mets BP jerseys with orange lettering with white borders; they had them for years. They didn’t have NOBs.

    And the sleeve stripes are different from the ones on Doc’s jersey. The coach is wearing gray road pants; was this an obscure one-year-only road practice uniform?

    Keep in mind that this photo could have come from the minor league camp in 1983, in which case the uniforms could have been a mish-mash of minor league gear, repurposed/recycled major league gear, etc.

    The coach is wearing the little known 1982 link. Despite what the sign says in the display, this alt was only worn in 1982 and only on the road. I was so excited in 1982, because this was the first Mets alt ever…I was Uni Watching in 1982 and prior. The alt had orange lettering with gray outlines and the sleeve stripes were orange blue orange. It was worn about once a week I think…not too often. It may be my favorite Met jersey, as the script is perfect and the blue really popped. I wish they would remake it in a button down shirt with thin piping instead of thick striping…and no headspoon.

    Steve D, nice find! I had no idea that that jersey even existed; my Mets watching began in 1984, and I remember them wearing a blue road alt with gray lettering with orange borders, and then they never wore it again after that. So Paul’s supposition that it came from ’83 minor league camp seems perfect; they would have sent those old jerseys there.

    I wish I were able to snap a pic of the tear in the US U20 soccer match yesterday afternoon versus Panama. It was real late in the game and a Panamanian player had the front of his top ripped from the neck to his navel.

    One of the best tears I’ve seen.

    Ovi has had the end of his sleeves sewn to his jersey since last season. I’m actually quite offended because I sent you pictures last year!!!

    If anything is new news it’d be that patch on the chest of his shoulder pads that say in memory of….

    Yeah, I noticed the patch for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in 2011 on his shoulder pads, as well.

    That’s kind of what I thought the headline was talking about….

    I thought it was for the Great 8 logo on Ovi’s shoulder pads. No maker mark just his own street logo.

    it’s a memorial to the Lokomotiv team. They play in the KHL which is Russia’s top hockey league. The entire team was killed in a plane crash in 2011.

    I’m not sure exactly how much football cleats weigh, but I’m surprised more players haven’t caught on to the soccer cleats. Today’s versions feel like you’re not even wearing shoes, they are so lightweight and comfortable. I understand companies probably put most of the same features into both sports footwear, just interesting that football players are seeing some reason to wear a soccer cleat.

    FWIW, there have been football players wearing soccer cleats for a while (I remember Tavian Banks of Iowa wearing Reebok Ryan Giggs boots back in the mid-90s), and Brandon Marshall has made a thing out of wearing green soccer shoes for Mental Illness Awareness Week.

    It certainly makes sense for “speed” position players like WRs and CBs to wear soccer shoes, but now that Nike and Adidas both make ankle-high cleats, they’re even more of an option.

    Gread article today.
    I can understand Ovechkin with his elbow pads. When I played youth in the 90s there was a trend where glove length shrank where they only cuffed to the top of the wrist, and the slash protection on elbow pads grew to fill missing arm protection. My jersey sleeves would always bunch up in my wrist and it felt like it limited my wrist mobility, so i would pull the end of my sleeves up on my elbow pads.
    At practice I pulled it way back and would show tons of elbow pads, but I recognized it looked too tacky for actual games so I would only pull sleeve back to the start of the elbow pad so no pad was visible.

    Great Uni Watch today. I love the Ovechkin piece, I love the Sesame Street jerseys, and I love that my day started off with the phrase “Cavs alt Snuff,” which out of context is just great.


    Being as diplomatic as possible, is there a line drawn at ESPN where Rovell gets to cover certain uni stuff vs. you? I see him writing on uni features that seem to be something in your wheelhouse.

    Just so this doesn’t get missed:

    – the Ducks wore every jersey Selanne wore *with the Ducks* – the Sharks and Avalanche weren’t represented

    – the Jets got in on the action as well by wearing their 1992-1993 home jerseys, which were PERFECT right down to the “Goals for Kids” patch and the Stanley Cup centennial patch


    As a Jets fan, those old photos gave me chills. Selanne scored 76 goals as a rookie in 1993 wearing that uniform. Great flashback.

    Have we talked about the Cowboys’ deciding on their own that yesterday’s game would be called “Ice Bowl II”? And <a href="link to that effect?

    Reminded me of other games that have been called “Ice Bowl II”, including link. The earliest I can remember is the 1996 NFC title game, played with sub-zero wind chill. There was link for that one too, although of the unlicensed variety.

    I was amazed to hear that this was the first time since the Ice Bowl that Dallas and Green Bay had met in the postseason. Seems highly improbable, no?

    First time in GB since the Ice Bowl. They’d met in the postseason in Dallas a few times prior to yesterday.

    Even the original Ice Bowl pales in comparison to this game. Played on the same day as Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” game featured upwards on this very page.

    link might seem like a dedicated, heartfelt expression of fandom, but really, it’s a convenient look-at-me-ism that can easily be covered up with a few months of hair growth.

    Did any of the Ducks/Jets players wear Avalanche or Sharks jerseys? If they did I’d love to see a pic! If not, then they didn’t wear EVERY Selanne jersey…

    They didn’t wear them because (a) neither of those teams were playing, and (b) Selanne’s era is best remembered in those two jerseys.

    No one said they wore EVERY jersey either. All of the Ducks wore all of the jerseys Selanne wore as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. Wild Wing, the black alternate, the Nike alternates – all Ducks jerseys were represented.

    Thanks for the link to that Stuart Scott piece. He was entertaining from the start. BTW: did you see those gas prices? We’re almost there again!

    Very underwhelmed with the swoosh tonight. The Rose Bowl looked so good and tonight? Not so much. I get the black TV numbers as tradition but tOSU should’ve used white ones and the older thicker pants stripes (with the shiny pants).
    And how can Oregon wear such a great looks last week and go with this dull Raiders wanna be look tonight? Couldn’t they at least use a yellow or green helmet?

    And I didn’t even notice the cammo until a few minutes ago. Great! Oregon is even worse than I thought at first.

    The camo socks suck

    The jerseys look like crappy leftover Ed Hardy gear

    The helmets look like madmax thunder dome props.

    And they playing as poorly as they look

    The OSU Black TV numerals are a “throwback” to one of the great OSU teams of the Woody Hayes/Jack Tatum championship era. I actually own a durene Jack Tatum #32 jersey from that era. There was a particular story as to why Black numerals were worn on those jerseys – I believe 1968 or 1969, with specific reasons for it – none that I can remember.

    About 8 years ago OSU actually wore “throwback” jerseys for one game with the Black TV numerals. If I remember correctly, the actual OSU jerseys from that era had a very short space for TV numerals, and on some actual game jerseys the TV numerals actually overlapped with the sleeve striping or the shoulder stitching. I have seen a rare few for sale on Ebay and in auction houses.

    Somebody from OSU fill us in on this if you can.

    Taken alone the Oregon unis tonight are OK, but it makes absolutely NO SENSE WHATSOEVER to:

    1.) Wear uniforms that make the NCAA Championship look like a Spring Football game;

    2.) Not to wear Oregon school colors for such a seminal, landmark game; and

    3.) Given the choices available in the Oregon/Nike Uniform Carnival, it is STUPID to wear essentially the SAME non-school color BAD LUCK uniform that your team lost the previous NCAA Championship Game while wearing.


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