Monday Morning Uni Watch

In the latest case of an unnecessary soap opera that made me feel like a few of my brain cells were dying off, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch had planned to wear gold cleats for yesterday’s NFC championship game against the Packers. But NFL footwear can only be some combination of black, white, and team colors, so the NFL threatened to keep Lynch from playing.

Lynch ultimately relented and wore blue-and-green cleats with gold soles (as seen at right). This created a bonus soap opera among fans who mistakenly thought the gold soles were Lynch’s way of saying “Fuck you, you can’t make me!” to the league. In fact, he’s been wearing the gold soles all season long, as you can see here, here, and here.

This whole melodrama makes my head hurt. Here’s a thought: Wear your regular fucking cleats already and spare us all the bullshit. Jeez.

In other news from yesterday’s conference championship games:

• No surprise to see the Seahawks wearing bright-green mouthguards, but definitely surprising to see Packers linebacker Clay Matthews wearing one.

• At one point the yards-to-go info in Fox’s score bug was off by 40 yards.

• Turning the Colts/Pats game, someone on the New England sideline was wearing an old Adidas jacket.

• Some Pats tailgaters had an effigy of Andrew Luck with the wrong number font, among other uniform discrepancies.

• Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones went a little heavy on the eye black.

• Two recurring uni quirks for the Colts: Running back Dan Herron once again wore eye black under only his left eye, and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks once again had those strips of black tape on the outer bars of his facemask, which you can just barely see here.

• In a first (at least to me), the Colts had chicken broth available on their sideline.

• No photo, but Patriots offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, who was filling in at center, wore a towel that appeared to say, “Stork” — an apparent reference to injured center Bryan Stork. Not clear if that was a tribute to Stork or if he was literally using Stork’s towel.

As for the Stupor Bowl, the NFC is the designated home conference this year, so Seattle will presumably go full-scuba. That’s going to make for an ugly game, because Seattle’s costumes liook like shite Seattle’s jerseys/pants/helmets and New England’s pants will all be navy. Whaddaya gonna do.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some serious Super Bowl uni trivia involving these two teams, courtesy of reader Jay Braiman, who’s crunched some numbers that I think you’ll find very interesting.

(My thanks to @bryanwdc, Tim Cross, Seth Shaw, Jim Walaitis, and David Westfall for their contributions.)

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QBC panel discussion audio: In case you missed it when Phil posted it on Saturday, an audio recording of the uniform panel discussion that I moderated at the recent Queens Baseball Convention is now available. The other panelists were uniform designer/historian Todd Radom; game-used jersey experts Bill Henderson and Nick DiSalvo; Mets uni number expert Jon Springer; irrepressible Mets stitcher Russ Gompers (who should really have his own podcast, or maybe his own TV show or nightclub act); and our own Phil Hecken. The discussion runs about an hour — enjoy:

•  •  •  •  •

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when we honor the life of the greatest American of the past century. King’s profile is particularly high at the moment because of the film Selma, which I assume some of you have seen by now.

I saw Selma just before Christmas. It falls prey to some of the clichéd conventions of biopics, and there’s been some controversy over the film’s portrayal of Lyndon Johnson, but for the most part it’s a super-powerful piece of work that’s absolutely worth seeing. (At the risk of highlighting something trivial, I’ll also mention that some of the Alabama policemen shown in the film have really interesting Alabama-shaped sleeve patches on their uniforms.)

The events shown in the movie took place in 1965 — a year after I was born. I cannot express to you how shameful it feels to me, how unacceptable, that these beatings, killings, acts of domestic terrorism, denials of basic rights, and other events took place within my lifetime. During much of the movie I literally felt sick to my stomach, like I was going to throw up. I managed not to do that, but instead, with about 15 minutes left in the movie, I began to cry — not due to any specific trigger but because of the accumulated horror and disgust that I felt over these events having taken place in my country, in my lifetime. I kept sobbing for about 10 minutes after the movie ended. The crying eventually stopped, but the horror, disgust, revulsion, and shame remain.

Two additional thoughts:

1. The film gives the impression that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed all the legal barriers to blacks registering to vote. It did not. Many southern states challenged the law’s legitimacy and attempted to retain their poll taxes and literacy tests. The Supreme Court didn’t finally strike those down until 1966. Again, it’s shameful and unacceptable that it took so long.

2. It’s worth noting that King was only 39 when he was assassinated in 1968. If he’d been allowed to live out his natural life, he might still be alive today at 86. Think about how much he accomplished in so little time — and how much more he could have done if he’d had the chance to do so. Sigh.

•  •  •  •  •

Baseball News: Cardinals personnel wore Oscar Taveras memorial buttons at the team’s recent Winter Warm-Up event. In addition, the Cards will wear an “OT” memorial patch for the upcoming season. This has already prompted controversy among those who think Taveres shouldn’t be uni-memorialized because he died while driving drunk and the accident took his girlfriend’s life as well as his own. ”¦ Kenn Tomasch attended one of those old-timey “base ball” games and took a lot of photos. ”¦ New uniforms for the Korean team SK Wyverns (from @MyKBO).

NFL News: Happens like clockwork every year: With the Super Bowl approaching, there are more stories about counterfeit jerseys. ”¦ Here’s something I don’t recall having seen: Back when Sam Wyche coached the Bengals, he wore a cross on his headset. “Not as eye-catching as Mike Singletary’s necklace, but still,” says Mike Engle. ”¦ You probably knew already that the Pats have one wordmark on their jerseys and another one that they use in their end zones and on their neck bumpers. But did you know they have a third wordmark displayed on their sideline? Too much! (From John Pritchard.) ”¦ Great catch by Daniel Merz, who was watching the 1978 AFC Wild Card Game and spotted Dolphins RB Norm Bulaich wearing the team’s old helmet logo with the dolphin’s head inside the sunburst. That logo was officially retired after 1973 but still popped up here and there during the next season or two. But 1978? Wow.

College Football News: Is UNLV planning to go GFGS? Maybe. ”¦ After the announcement last week that Joe Paterno’s wins were being restored to his record, the Penn State hockey team wore “409” helmet decals. Now the school’s athletic directors says that was “inappropriate and insensitive.” “She’ll be dealing with the fallout for this from parts of the Penn State fan base for the rest of her tenure,” says William Yurasko).

Hockey News: Today’s installment of the comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” features a character who returns from a trip to Montreal wearing a Canadiens jersey. I’m told that this same character/jersey will appear at least one more time this week. ”¦ Jeff Barak has done a retrospective of all the jerseys Rob Blake wore with the Kings.

NBA News: The Warriors wore their sleeved grey alts on Saturday. A small note on this page refers to this as “a Saturday tradition.” I’d say that’s a misuse of the word “tradition,” but whatever — I didn’t realize that this uni had a designated Saturday protocol. ”¦ When NBA teams have worn sleeved grey uniforms this season, the refs have worn the older jerseys with the contrasting sleeves, presumably to avoid any visual confusion. But when the Magic went sleeved/grey yesterday, the refs wore their current grey jerseys (from David Arnott).

College and High School Hoops News: “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts continue to make news and cause controversy, most recently at a Pennsylvania high school. … How much do people in Alabama love the Crimson Tide? So much that the teams at now-defunct Millport High, about an hour from Tuscaloosa, were called the Junior Tide (from Dustin Semore, who stresses that that’s not him in the photo). ”¦ Illinois wore 1989 throwbacks yesterday but had to change the shorts logo, because Chief Illiniwek is now off-limits. Pretty sure they’ve worn those throwbacks at least one other time this season, but I hadn’t been aware of the logo switcheroo until now. But despite the Chief being banished from the uniform, he apparently made a halftime appearance (from Dave Garabedian and @joshneisler). ”¦ The Mississippi coaching staff went open-collared with no neckties for Saturday night’s game against Arkansas. “Very ‘business casual,'” says Seth Shaw. ”¦ Remember that St. John’s player who rolls up the bottoms of his shorts? Jillian Alleyne of the Oregon women’s team does the same thing. Here’s a shot of her doing it in yesterday’s game against Washington State. As you can also see in that shot, WSU’s uni numbers really need a light-colored outline or something. “When I was sitting up at the main concourse level, they were impossible to read,” says Greg Brown.

Soccer News: Petro-dollars are changing the look of European jersey sponsorships. ”¦ Julio Vera of the Wenatchee Fire wore No. 100 on Saturday (from @OlyTownFC). ”¦ New third kit for Southampton (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Hull City’s James Chester dislocated his shoulder yesterday and used his jersey as a makeshift sling. … FC Copenhagen will not be able to use the city’s coat of arms on its jerseys.

Grab Bag: As you may have heard over the weekend, rock and roll svengali Kim Fowley, the man behind the Runaways, has died. Whatever else you can say about him, he had a fondness for sleeve patches. ”¦ Lots of cycling kits ranked here (from @FormerDirtDart). ”¦ A Richard Childress Racing employee has been accused of stealing some racing suits and selling them on eBay (from David Firestone). ”¦ Also from David: John Force Racing is switching to Chevy. “It should also be noted that this is the first time in 29 years that John Force won’t be sponsored by Castrol, as he lost that sponsorship at the end of 2014,” says David. “Castol and Force were one year shy of tying the record for longest sponsor/driver pair, currently held by Budweiser/Kenny Bernstein at 30 years.” ”¦ And one more racing item from David: Press Pass, the exclusive manufacturer of NASCAR trading cards, has gone belly-up. ”¦ The most interesting thing about those “Choose lovin'” commercials that McDonald’s has been running for the past few weeks is that they conclude with the McD’s logo against a field of blue — a color that, to my knowledge, has never been part of the company’s visual program before. ”¦ Graham Clayton reports that a demonstration game of Australian rules football was played during the 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, featuring a combined VAFA team and a combined VFL/VFA team wearing pretty cool Olympics-themed uniforms. ”¦ The Australian Open is now underway, and we can say this much about Rafael Nadal: At least all his ridiculous neon/highlighter accessories match the color of the ball. ”¦ Speaking of Nadal, his shoes have a little “09” on the back — the year he won this tournament (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Burton Ruby, who ran the company that made Sansabelt slacks, recently passed away (from Jordan Cutler). ”¦ This is pretty cool: an airline seat cover repurposed as a leather bag (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Johns Hopkins’ lacrosse jerseys now have the B1G logo (from Griffin Smith).

74 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • KT | January 19, 2015 at 8:06 am |

    Didn’t the Tavares accident take his girlfriend’s life, not his sister’s?

    (Also, the fact that all the news reports you see about the tribute just say “his 18-year-old girlfriend” as if she doesn’t deserve to be named is kind of off-putting to me. She was a human, too.)

  • Mike Engle on iPhone | January 19, 2015 at 8:13 am |

    NBA refs should just switch to zebra stripes anyway. Never understood why they don’t. Especially because the North American visual paradigm is so strong for striped referees.

  • A. Guy | January 19, 2015 at 8:18 am |

    “Here’s a thought: Wear your regular fucking cleats already and spare us all the bullshit”

    Do you ever worry that you’re increasingly becoming a crotchety old man yelling about “these damn kids today!” ?

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 8:32 am |

      No, I don’t.

      Glad we cleared that up.

    • The Jeff | January 19, 2015 at 8:32 am |

      How about stop trying to regulate the damn cleat colors and let the players wear what they freakin want to? If you’re not going to make every player on a team wear the same color with no exceptions (one player in black, another in navy and another in neon green is hardly “uniform”), then what difference does it make?

      • Phil Hecken | January 19, 2015 at 10:52 am |

        “How about stop trying to regulate the damn cleat colors and let the players wear what they freakin want to?”

        ~~~~

        How about no.

        But I’d feel a LOT more strongly about disagreeing with you if the fucking NFL didn’t already let the cleat-color ship sail with pink cleats and basically allowing three color cleats to begin with. Nothing about what is already permitted is uniform, and no two cleats even remotely look the same anyway.

        I suppose this really probably started with Joe Willie and his white shoes back in the ’60s, so it’s not like this is a new phenomenon.

        NFL themselves are to blame for this, and I don’t really fault BeastMode for wanting to wear something different. It would be nice if the NFL were to grow a spine when it comes to other areas.

        • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm |

          Regardless of the sport, I tend to think that shoes are part of the uniform, and thus there should be some degree of “uniformity” with a team’s footwear.

          But I’m very much in favor of uniform shoes reflecting the club’s color scheme just as much as their jerseys, pants and helmets; it never made sense to me that a team with no black elsewhere in their uniforms would wear black cleats. An argument could be made that it’s a “neutral” hue (like white) that works with any other colors, but this could drift into a slippery slope, particularly today, when BFBS in sports has become all-too common.

          It may be fairly impossible to have all the players on a team wearing cleats that look the same, as different styles are differently shaped, and even an officially-designated color scheme will vary in appearance due to different patterns and proportions between brands and models.

          Still…Lynch’s childish antics with a color not even remotely associated with the Seahawks is disappointing, as is the positive response he seems to get from so many.

    • Marko | January 19, 2015 at 9:28 am |

      Nothing wrong with being crotchetty and aged. How would you like it if everyone acted like those millennials in the Bud Light and Samsung commercials? F**k those douchebags

    • Jim Y. | January 19, 2015 at 9:30 am |

      I think if he really believed in the “cause” (the right to wear gold shoes, not exactly the most oppressed denial of human rights, but whatever) then he should have brought the injuctice of the NFL’s shoes policy to the forefront by wearing them and calling their bluff and making them ban him from the game. It’s what MLK would have done.

      My guess is he didn’t care that deeply about the issue, he porbably just thought “they looked dope”.

    • terriblehuman | January 19, 2015 at 10:30 am |

      “Old and crotchety” has always been a part of Uni Watch’s DNA, and that’s why I love it.

  • Rob S | January 19, 2015 at 8:19 am |

    The yardage wasn’t the only scorebug error in the Seattle-Green Bay game. I don’t have a cap available, but at one point in the third quarter, they inadvertently added an extra point to the Packers’ score, making it 17-7 instead of the actual 16-7. They ended up taking the bug down for a moment before reloading it with the correct score.

  • Randy | January 19, 2015 at 8:42 am |

    Broth on the sidelines is nothing new. It happens regularly during cold games.

    Also, regarding eye black for only one eye, Packers’ cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields both do this, and have done so for a long time.

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/cornerback-tramon-williams-of-the-green-bay-packers-before-news-photo/460246492
    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/dez-bryant-of-the-dallas-cowboys-attempts-a-catch-over-sam-news-photo/461346216

  • matty blue | January 19, 2015 at 8:49 am |

    “wear your regular cleats and spare us the bullshit.”

    truer words you have never written.

    there was some chatter last week about lynch’s refusal to participate in interviews in a meaningful way being some sort of symptom of social anxiety disorder, or some such nonsense.

    it’s not. he’s a crazy person who also happens to be kind of an asshole. “look at me, me, me! mostly!”

    • Greg | January 19, 2015 at 9:02 am |

      Just remember, he gon’ get got, but he gon’ get his before he get got

    • Mild bill | January 19, 2015 at 9:41 am |

      I am okay with Lynch not participating in interviews. No player or coach should be forced to face the media at any time or under any circumstances. I do not care what color cleats he wears but I am tired of his lewd gestures.

      He seems to have issues. I am concerned about how he will adjust to life without football when his career is over.

      • terriblehuman | January 19, 2015 at 10:16 am |

        I wouldn’t go that far. He seems like a goofball who is really uncomfortable when a lot of people are talking at him and asking pseudo-questions.

      • Robert S | January 19, 2015 at 11:24 am |

        I don’t get how he apparently wants to draw attention to himself for gold cleats and the crotch grabbing TD’s, but then clams up in to the media.
        It comes of to me as artificial and just doing this stuff to be an ass.

        • terriblehuman | January 19, 2015 at 1:36 pm |

          But wearing gold cleats or grabbing the crotch might reasonably be a matter of taste and goofing around teammates, not necessarily “look at me” moves. And one can reasonably attention from a stadium full of spectators but still be uncomfortable to be subjected to questions (or too often, non-questions) from reporters looking for filler quotes to flesh out their 2,000-word game recaps.

      • Lee | January 19, 2015 at 11:29 am |

        I love just about everything about Lynch. He is Oakland.

        Love watching him play, too bad he plays for the Seahawks.

        Lee

  • Mike V. | January 19, 2015 at 8:49 am |

    I have to say that I have become a big fan of the Seahawks unis (coming from a Steelers fan). I think they are the best example of modern uni design while still looking like a football uniform. Sure, there of parts of it I wish they did differently, but overall I like them. I especially like the white top with colored pants look. My favorite part has to be the neon accents. I like the use of neon on athletic apparel if done correctly. To me it feels like just enough in just the right places, not just some ridiculous gimmick. Just my opinion, but feels like a modern classic to me.

    • Marko | January 19, 2015 at 9:25 am |

      I agree. I think the collar is a bit of a mess, and the helmet doesn’t need that dotted pattern across the top, but otherwise A-.

      I even think the Jaguars look fine! If you asked me, it’s the Cowboys that are offensive, with their five shades of blue and silver. And the Patriots’ is way too busy, kinda like the Bills unies from 5 years ago.

      • The Jeff | January 19, 2015 at 11:43 am |

        The Jaguars do look pretty good… from the neck down. A black helmet would be great. A gold helmet would be ok. The thing they actually wear? Ugh. I’ve got no real problems with the rest of the uniform, though I wish the teal jersey & black pants was their primary look instead of an alternate.

        I totally agree on the Cowboys. They look alright when they’re forced to wear the blue jerseys and all the colors almost match. The standard uniform they choose to wear for 14-ish games every season is just bad. The Giants are also rather terrible with their blue-centric home uniform and red-centric road jerseys.

        • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm |

          I’ll say one thing about the Cowboys…they may be the only team left in the NFL with METALLIC pants. The other teams whose pants are supposed to be silver, gold, “pewter,” etc. have all drifted into dull shades of gray, tan and brown.

    • mike 2 | January 19, 2015 at 11:34 am |

      My only issue with the Seahawks look is the mono-blue. Their blue-over-grey and blue-over-white looks are phenomenal.

      • jedi54 | January 19, 2015 at 11:54 pm |

        The Seahawks look great no matter what they wear. But the blue on blue and gray on gray is the best look.

    • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm |

      The Seahawks have the third-worst uniforms in the league…and that’s only because Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have sunk to such incredible lows.

      A huge helping of their particularly dreary shade of navy, numbers with a bad font AND a pointless pattern inside, a loud neon detail color that usually looks much closer to chartreuse than green, and, like far too many teams in the league these days, a chronic case of Wrong Sock Syndrome.

      And unlike with the Buccaneers and Jaguars, so few people are willing to admit how bad Seattle’s uniforms really are.

      Perhaps winning has an effect similar to being an emperor with new clothes.

  • Rich P | January 19, 2015 at 8:58 am |

    Small typo…stated “when the Heat wore their Sleeved/Grey” it’s actually the Magic.

    PS…love the line “Where your regular fucking cleats” …almost spat my coffee on the computer

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 9:03 am |

      Will fix.

      • matty blue | January 19, 2015 at 11:11 am |

        ‘will fix’ his computer? or something else?

        • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm |

          His wagon.

          And yours.

          Try the veal.

    • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm |

      All jokes aside, that reminds me of an increasing tendency among some American speakers to omit the verb “to be” (either conjugated, or in the infinitive) from sentences.

      Sad to say, but as an interrogative, it’s quite possible that one might actually hear, “where your regular %@#&!*% cleats?!?”

      Come to think of it, that’s a pretty good question.

  • Matt in CLT | January 19, 2015 at 9:05 am |

    I second the chicken broth comment.

    I played my high school and college football in southern California. My college team played a November playoff game in North Dakota. A bunch of California guys found the broth idea strange. Until warm ups when it was -3 and snowing with some wind. Needless to say, we didn’t do well that day.

  • Don G | January 19, 2015 at 9:12 am |

    Interesting note about Selma I heard on NPR…the King estate wouldn’t give the film rights to King’s speeches, so the filmmakers rewrote his speeches to abide by copyright rules.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/01/18/378015843/kings-family-builds-its-own-legacy-of-legal-battles

  • Hodges14 | January 19, 2015 at 9:15 am |

    Paul Caputo made an excellent point on the Padres memorializing Mike Darr after his death (which was caused by a car accident from driving DUI and also killed his best friend) The Padres wore patches for Darr, why shouldn’t the Cardinals memorialize one of their own? I can understand how groups like MADD would be upset, they think honoring him is saying “it’s okay to drink and drive”, which honestly is a ridiculous association. And for those who say “He murdered his girlfriend”, I’d like to point out that there’s a big difference between willingly going in a car and dying in a car accident (key word here is “accident”) and outright killing your spouse and then yourself. If we start questioning memorial patches based on what people did before they died, then we’d be sifting through a lot of semantic muck. Would we be memorializing Chris Henry or Sean Taylor because of their past actions? The point I’m making is the Cardinals can do whatever they want. It’s their decision, not an advocacy group’s decision.

    • another loser | January 19, 2015 at 9:23 am |

      It’s their decision, not an advocacy group’s decision.

      That should be a general guideline at all times, nowadays. Unfortunately there’s always somebody trying to get somebody else to say, think, or act they way they think should.

      • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 9:28 am |

        It’s their decision, not an advocacy group’s decision.

        Of course. But that doesn’t mean advocacy groups, or other observers, can’t have opinions on the matter, or that they can’t express those opinions.

        This website and its readers express opinions on uniforms — often very forceful opinions — every single day. What if someone told us, “Shut up — it’s the team’s decision, not yours”?

        I’m not saying the Cardinals shouldn’t memorialize Tavares; I’m just saying that there’s nothing wrong with anyone having/expressing an opinion on it.

        • hodges14 | January 19, 2015 at 11:53 am |

          Not trying to dig a bigger hole here, but the last sentence is meant to mean that an organization has the right to do what they wish and while an advocacy group may feel otherwise (You should not memorialize a drunk driver), it’s the original organization’s call as to how to proceed. That doesn’t mean that anyone is telling the advocacy group to shut up. In all likelihood, the Cardinals are going to continue to educate their employees, fans, etc. on the dangers of driving drunk. No team is going to say “Drunk driving is perfectly fine, do whatever you want”.

          The Cardinals will wear a patch for Taveras because he played for the team. Just like the Yankees wore an armband for Cory Lidle, just like the Indians wore a patch for Steve Olin and Tim Crews, just like the Mariners wore a patch for Greg Halman. The Cardinals are not honoring drunk driving, their honoring a former Cardinal, like any team would do if a player died during the season. It’s just normal behavior. You mourn for a season, then it’s done (unless you’re the Chiefs or the Bears).

    • arrScott | January 19, 2015 at 10:36 am |

      I’d like to point out that there’s a big difference between willingly going in a car and dying in a car accident (key word here is “accident”)

      But it’s not an accident. When you choose to engage in behavior with a significant risk of injurious consequence, and then that consequence happens, that’s not an accident. That’s the predictable outcome of behavior you’ve chosen. When people choose to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel of an automobile, the resulting bad outcome isn’t an accident. It’s a crash. And if someone dies, it’s quite often a felony.

      Personally, I’m fine with the team memorializing the guy. No one is perfect, and if we only permitted grief to be expressed for saints, none of us would pass that test. There but for the grace of God go all of us. But neither should we sugarcoat with euphemism any person’s destructive, harmful, indeed deliberately homicidal actions just because he happened to die while engaging in his bad behavior. It does a person’s memory no credit to deny him agency over his own actions. We can respect the desire of people who knew the guy to mourn and to express their grief without excusing his choice to take another life. And conversely, we should remember that no person is merely the single worst thing he ever did. He was certainly, most of the time and to most of the people in his life, a much better person than at the moment he took another person’s life.

      • Thomas J | January 19, 2015 at 11:02 am |

        I understand that there is a desire to mourn that two young people have died while not justifying the action or ignoring Tavares own agency.

        We seek to bury him not to praise him. So in that vein I think a plain black armband would be preferable to a patch with Tavares’s initials. By removing the initials of the man, the black band simply signifies that the club is in mourning and does not limit that mourning to Tavares alone. It symbolizes sadness without bestowing undue honor upon Tavares or his actions.

    • KT | January 19, 2015 at 11:36 am |

      Saying that because the Padres did something, it’s smart is kinda…well…. ;)

      If people want to remember teammates who have died – however they died – I don’t think it’s for us to judge them. You can cast aspersions on the manner of the person’s death if you like (it’s a cottage industry, seemingly…many of y’all went batshit when Steve McNair got killed), but a tribute – even a publicly visible one – is for THEM (the living teammates), not YOU.

      I think it’s tragic when someone dies young. If it’s self-inflicted, it’s still tragic, but I’m okay with a patch of remembrance. (Not that they need my permission.)

      Not talking about stuff doesn’t help.

  • Rydell | January 19, 2015 at 9:22 am |

    I never realized the NFL had regulations on the color of cleats. It must be the only league, lots of color in shoes for the NBA.
    I remember Gretzky and a few of his teammates wore colored skates in the 80’s with the Edmonton Oilers.

    My 8 year old loved Lynchs’ cleats last night

  • John in KC | January 19, 2015 at 9:55 am |

    Regarding the Norm Bulaich helmet – he wore MacGregor/Kelley helmets his entire career; they were clear shell helmets from at least the early 70s on. It appears that MacGregor/Kelley had the wrong decal, and since it’s applied on the inside of the helmet shell you can’t just replace the decal, you have to replace the entire helmet.

    Joe Washington ran into similar issues toward the end of his career with the Redskins – in 1982 when all the other players had the decal with the “tucked” feathers his Kelley clear-shell had the old “straight” feather decals. And in 1983 he got a new Redskins helmet with the “tucked” feathers but everyone else had gone back to the straight feather decals (plus everyone else had the wider white stripes; Washington’s Kelley helmet still had the thin white stripes).

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 9:57 am |

      Awesome analysis — thank you!

      • scott | January 19, 2015 at 10:23 am |
        • dirwuf | January 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm |

          Regarding the Bulaich helmet, which I had previously noticed and posted about online (such as the link above and at: http://gridironuniforms.forumotion.com/t50-post-your-oddities#207 )…I wonder if this is related to Norm’s career-long concussion issues. Perhaps the Dolphins had this older helmet laying around which was made for players prone to concussions, and issued it to Bulaich…

        • John in KC | January 20, 2015 at 9:17 am |

          No, I think he was just used to the MacGregor/Kelley helmet. I know he wore them with the Colts, not sure but he probably did with the Eagles, and of course we have this photo of him with the Dolphins.

          If you’ve ever had a chance to handle one of these they had really stiff, kind of hard leather-covered padding inside them (at least the “varsity” models worn at the high school, college and professional levels; the middle school/Pop Warner versions had softer vinyl-covered padding). They weren’t particularly soft or ultra-padded. I would think they would have switched him to a Riddell Micro-fit for concussions early in his stint with the Dolphins, or a Bike Air Power (which Bike eventually sold to Schutt in the 1980s) toward the end of his career as those came into wide use in 1978.

  • Phil Hecken | January 19, 2015 at 11:34 am |

    Speaking of memorial patches for players who perished in possibly less-than-wholesome ways, didn’t the Indians have a patch for Steve Olin and Tim Crews? I don’t remember all the circumstances but I’m pretty sure there was alcohol and boats involved. Did the Indians wear that patch during the season (I can’t even remember) — pretty sure they did.

    • KT | January 19, 2015 at 11:39 am |

      They did.

      I don’t think you necessarily have to pass a “Good Guy Test” to get a patch. Hell, someone’s going to get the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in a couple of weeks, and while he’s still my all-time favorite player, the things we discovered about him after his death reminded me that ain’t nobody squeaky-clean.

      ‘Cept Cal Ripken, I reckon.

      • Phil Hecken | January 19, 2015 at 11:46 am |

        “I don’t think you necessarily have to pass a “Good Guy Test” to get a patch.”

        ~~~

        I agree as far as patches go. One might make the argument that there are far too many of them and they extend (sometimes) beyond guys who actually wore the uniform, but if one is going to argue as to who is/is not ‘worthy’ of a memorial patch, I’d say Taveras, Crews, Olin, Darr, etc. all qualify.

        And yeah, Cal Ripken is a perfect human being.

  • Ryan L | January 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm |

    Really hoping Seattle goes blue/blue/grey in the superb owl.

    • terriblehuman | January 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm |

      I don’t know, no matter the color, it’s always weird to bring a hawk to a superb owl.

      • Uni Troll | January 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm |

        You’ll be here all week.

  • David | January 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm |

    Don’t really like UNLV’s new grey uniforms, but it’s an official school color, even mentioned in the fight song and marketing slogan (Scarlet. Grey. Everyday). Does that still make it GFGS or not?

  • Josh | January 19, 2015 at 1:16 pm |

    There is a lot of inconsistency in spelling Tavares (Taveres, Taveras)’ name across the different stories. Twitter, ESPN, and this site each have different spellings. I don’t know which is correct anymore.

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm |

      Thanks for pointing that out. It’s Taveras. I’ll fix it here on this site.

  • TIm | January 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm |

    This SB may be the most un-watchable ever. First, as Paul pointed out, we’ll have the Seahawks’ stupid full scuba look with nuclear-snot accents against the flying Elvis/white jersey/blue pant look, which is also a crappy look IMHO. Beyond that, could we have gotten two more unlikable teams playing? Bill Belidick with the personality of one of his severed hoody sleeves vs. a Seahawks team that seems to annually be pissed off at everyone. What is it about the Seahawks? Last year, they played the “no one believes in us” crap and Richard Sherman’s 2-year-old outburst after the game, and this year one of their receivers has a post-game shit fit. Can they both lose please?

    • Dumb Guy | January 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm |

      So the OFF-field stuff will be unwatchable.

      Agreed.

      The GAME should be dynamite!!

      • TIm | January 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm |

        Well, the uni part is most certainly on-field stuff. The rest is just a matter of blocking out the drama bullshit. My point was/is, for a number of reasons, I’m not a fan of either team. Usually, even if my favorite team is not playing in the SB, I usually find myself pulling for one of them for one reason or another. Won’t be doing that this year, so I guess I’m pulling for good commercials.

      • TIm | January 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm |

        Further, I don’t think the game will be dynamite. I envision the f$%$ing Pats running away with it. The Seahawks shouldn’t even be there given their awful play against GB. If the Pack doesn’t shit the bed (several times), Seattle is home on the couch today.

  • Jim Vilk | January 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

    As you can also see in that shot, WSU’s uni numbers really need a light-colored outline or something

    They need to contrast. Period.

    • Greg Brown | January 20, 2015 at 1:25 am |

      Agreed. When I went down to the floor to take the picture Paul used today, the only time I could see the numbers was when I was within about 50 feet of a player. On the back of the jerseys, the black numbers are superimposed over the famous WSU Cougar logo. I thought it was an epic fail.

  • Michael | January 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm |

    Just noticed a picture on NFL.com showing Brady in a newer helmet. Riddell Revolution Speed? Assuming this was from the “you mad bro” game from last year or 2 years ago. Rare to see him in a newer helmet.

    http://www.nfl.com

    http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/photo/2015/01/18/0ap3000000460720.jpg

  • Bob Sullivan | January 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm |

    It’s kind of hard for me to garner a lot of sympathy for the NFL in their round-up of counterfeit merchandise. Especially since during the season, they don’t seem to care nearly as much.

    Full disclosure: Some years back my daughter wanted an authentic Boston Bruins jersey. She plays hockey, so she know what jerseys are supposed to look like. Went to the NHL Shop and found jerseys for $300. Went to eBay and found jerseys for $60. Guess which one I bought? She wore it to a Bruins game and more than one person asked her if it was a game-worn jersey. This jersey was perfect except for the thread color of the Reebok logo. I suppose it is a counterfeit. Doesn’t make her enjoy it any less.

    I suppose I supported some terrorist organization or some drug cartel or some sweatshop. Oh well.

  • Ted Mark | January 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm |

    While it is shameful that it took so long for The Voting Rights Act to be implemented, it is utterly despicable that our current Supreme Court feels that denial of the vote based on race is no longer an issue, so it’s OK to start dismantling it.

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm |

      Let’s stick to MLK today and not get into contemporary political machinations regarding voting rights. Thanks.

  • Dumb Guy | January 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm |

    Serious question….

    Why are all nose and neck bumpers white?

  • Komet17 | January 19, 2015 at 6:01 pm |

    Actually, the “character” in the “Pearls Before Swine” strip is the strip’s author, Stephan Pastis. He draws himself into the strip on a regular basis, usually when the strip’s characters are exasperated with his puns.

    • Paul Lukas | January 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm |

      Thanks for the explainer. I know nothing about the strip.