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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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The most uni-notable moment in yesterday’s Super Bowl took place several hours before the game, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick showed up wearing a T-shirt with an “NEP” Pats logo I’d never seen before on the front (see above), and “Don’t Tread on Me” on the back. A California operation called Pro Athletics claims to have designed the shirt and logo. (Actually, they’re claiming a lot more than that, but whatever.)

Other notes from the big game:

• Surprisingly (at least to me), alterations and patches for the Patriots’ jerseys weren’t handled by the team’s regular stitcher. They were done by Patsy Elmer of Big Time Jerseys in Phoenix (who also provided the uniform on that downtown Phoenix statue). Here are remnants from Tom Brady’s sleeves that Patsy cut off of two of his jerseys a few days ago. “I also altered his side seams for a snug fit and shortened the length,” she says. “They gave me a Super Bowl patch, which I will frame.” (I think Patsy also handled the Seahawks’ jerseys, but I’m not positive about that. Will find out and advise.)

• Many players arrived wearing wearing those jackets from Media Day. (For some reason, Tom Brady also wore that jacket under his jersey for an NBC promo shot.)

• We talk a lot about the Seahawks’ use of neon green, but Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski had a neon green waistband on his base-layer tights.

• Speaking of green, the Patriots’ white jerseys showed a lot of green during the game. Pretty sure that was due to an excessive paint job on the stadium grass.

• Several people noted — in some cases disapprovingly — that Tom Brady’s son Benjamin was wearing a Reebok-made jersey after the game. I see nothing wrong with this — if the jersey fits him, who cares who made it, and why get rid of a perfectly good garment? Aside from the logo creep, it’s the same exact design the Pats have been wearing since way before the kid was born.

• In a less forgivable move, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey tweeted a photo of himself posing with a cheapo Reebok knock-off that looks like it came from the clearance rack at Walmart.

•  They once again did the thing with the confetti shaped like the Lombardi Trophy.

•  I never saw Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. But people who did see it seem to think this is hilarious.

• If the Seahawks had won, they planned to start using this logo.

• Eleven-year-old Natalie Staples made Seahawks and Patriots cakes for the occasion. Nice job, but I think she needs to go bigger with those logos!

• Illustrator Bob Eckstein live-blogged the game with a series of illos. To see them, go here and click on the “Illustrations” tab under the headline.

And that’s a wrap for another NFL season, and for another year of Monday Morning Uni Watch. Only two more weeks until pitchers and catchers!

(My thanks to all contributors, including Tom Adjemian, @FormerDirtDart, Brinke Guthrie, Stephen Learman, Blake Morris, David Staples, Brian Stout, Leah Voit, and Jim Walaitis.)

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Patch update: Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches are once again re-stocked and available for ordering. (And for those of you who I recently got in touch with regarding your recent patch orders, those patches mailed out on Saturday.)

• • • • •

Signal flare: If you have a background in psychology and/or psychiatry (yes, I realize they’re not interchangeable), I’d like to talk with you for a story I’m working on. Can do? If so, please get in touch. Thanks.

• • • • •

PermaRec update: The Manhattan Trade Schol student shown at right was initially described by her teachers as “completely honest, courteous, helpful, conscientious,” and other glowing terms, but in short order she was labeled as “unreliable, fussy, uncooperative” and removed from the school’s employment-referral program. Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

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Baseball News: Holy moly, check out this 1910 Cubs sweater (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of the Cubbies, gotta like this Ernie Banks snowman.

Pro and College Football News: An Arizona artist has created an impressive metal sculpture of the Cardinals’ logo (from Patrick O’Neill). … Check out the Rams and Chiefs going color vs. color in a throwback game back in 1994 (from Robert Cabral). … This video clip of Dan Marino not wanting to do another take of a commercial would be hilarious even if the script didn’t include the term “complete uniform” (from Douglas Fod. ”¦ After almost winning the Phoenix Open yesterday, Bubba Watson held his young son Caleb, who was wearing a Seahawks jersey (screen shot by Douglas Ford). … On the college level, Kentucky is looking at new helmet options for next season (from Chris Edwards).

Hockey News: I’m not sure what the record is for the longest NOB in college hockey, but Union College goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos, with 15 letters, is probably at least in the discussion (from Tris Wykes). … The Hershey Bears wore Groundhog Day jerseys yesterday (thanks, Phil).

NBA News: “Gotta love this Chicago Bulls/SpaceJam mash-up,” says Paul Lee, and I’m inclined to agree. … Yesterday was the first day of Black History Month, so NBA teams wore these shooting shirts, which I assume we’ll be seeing for the rest of February. … The Celtics once again wore those godawful sleeved grey unis.

College Hoops News: Remember that weird background pattern that Adidas was recently using for Mississippi State football promo photos? That pattern showed up yesterday on the Miss. State women’s hoops shooting shirts. Yeesh. ”¦ Pink unis yesterday for the Southern Illinois women’s team.

Soccer News: This might be the first sighting of the new Portland Timbers shirt. ”¦ FC Barcelona celebrated the birth of Gerard Pique’s new child with mini-kits (from Yusuke Toyoda). ”¦ Also from Yusuke: Australia celebrated its Asian Cup title with “Champions” jerseys.

Comments (66)

    I’m 99% sure I saw Russ Wilson wearing a captain’s patch at some point during the game.

    You’re right, I’m wrong. Which is what happens when you come home from a party fat and drunk at 11:15pm and then sit down to work.

    I’m guessing that by comparison to Messrs. Gronkowski and Carroll, you were a paragon of sobriety last night.

    I remember noticing Kam Chancellor’s captaincy patch last night and sure enough:


    It looks like Russell Wilson had one, too:


    Oops, sorry BurghFan beat me to it.

    Also, is there not a stylist on set for those promo shots that NBC used? Brady’s jacket looked horrible and I remember a player or two had his socks pulled down around his calves. Super uggo.

    Not to down Tris’ find, but UBC Thunderbirds defenceman Wes Vannieuwenhuizen has 16 letters, and 17 letters if some gameday programs include the space between Van and Nieuwenhuizen.

    In seeing him play, his name is already compressed and still arches down towards his shoulders on his jersey.

    That’s now 10 of 11 for the team in the white jersey.

    The Seahawks remain one of (AFAICT) four teams that are unbeaten in white and winless in color, 1-0 and 0-2. The others are the Colts, the Bears, and Washington. Again AFAICT, the only team that has the converse is the Chiefs, 1-0 in color and 0-1 in white.

    Of course, that’s only among the teams that have appeared in Super Bowls in both jerseys.

    The Cowboys are winless in blue jerseys, but you covered that with your last sentence.

    The Cowboys wore blue jerseys in SB 5, and lost. They are not listed because they have two losses in white, 10 and 13, the two Steelers games in the ’70s.

    Finally, the time is upon us to debate just how much of a complete mess the NFL Super Bowl logo system is… so poorly conceived that “L” will not be used for the 50th season.

    Perhaps the most ill-conceived logo (re)design in the history of a major professional sport?

    I agree that it’s a poor system that has produced a bland, generic logo.

    But I don’t think it matters that much. Quick, what were logos for the last five World Series? Do you know? Do you care? Does it matter?

    I don’t think so. Logos for events (as opposed to logos for teams) are just exercises in self-aggrandizement. If they’re generic and bland, I frankly count that as a victory.

    Personally, I look forward to seeing what the logos for MLB’s All-Star game and the CFL’s Grey Cup will be each year. But then those try to incorporate the character of either the host city or the host team.

    I always enjoyed the SB logos prior to “standardization.” You look at the beauty of #3 or #5, and it speaks to the time. #9 speaks to the place… didn’t even have to read that it was in NoLa to know it. #13 eludes to the coming computer age. On down the line.

    Sure, they became a bit overdone, but the end result has been nothing short of awful. Not attractive on merchandise. Not attractive on the field. Will not hold up in historical context (like the previous 44 will. I’d say it’s a big problem, aesthetically. Wonder if/how much merch sales have gone down? (of the site-specific merch)

    The Super Bowl is different than everything else, because it has a heritage that’s associated with the time and place. Everything matters with the Big Game. It’s essentially become a world-renowed American holiday.

    The World Series logos aren’t comparable because they don’t integrate one single time and place in history. Maybe the All-Star Game but on a much smaller scale.

    NBA All-Star Game does. And Brooklyn/NYC went over the top. But, that’s to be expected, I suppose. It’s better than making it antiseptic.

    To pass this off is missing a key issue in athletic aesthetics, IMO. The new “system” was so poorly conceived that it WON’T WORK for #50.

    The Super Bowl is different than everything else, because it has a heritage that’s associated with the time and place.

    Oh, really? I’d be willing to bet that if we picked 10 random Super Bowls, most fans — including you — couldn’t tell you where they were played.

    It’s essentially become a world-renowed American holiday.

    To a degree. But I don’t view that as a positive development. All I care about is the game. All the other bullshit is, you know, bullshit. So if a bland logo helps to undercut the mythmaking (even if that wasn’t the intended effect), I’m good with that.

    Also… the only reason it “won’t work” for 50 is because someone has decided that “L” isn’t an attractive number compared to something like “XLVIII”. They could easily use L (or XXXXX as I posted earlier) with the current system, they just don’t want to.

    The one has nothing to do with the other. Regardless of the switch to a consistent logo system – which I agree is ugly as all getout – they were never going to use L instead of 50. And in another half-century, you can bet your bottom bitcoin that the logo will be all about 100, not C.

    Interestingly, the Wikipedia entries go, in sequence:


    Or just use XXXXX. It’s not exactly the most common way write 50, but it does actually work. It’s just like clocks that use IIII instead of IV for 4.


    “Even though 400 is typically written CD, is it acceptable to write it as CCCC?”

    “Even the rules of number formation taken to be standard today were applied somewhat haphazardly by the ancients. CCCC, though nonstandard, is acceptable; the only question that remains is why one would wish to write those extra two numerals.”

    Yeah, if you have time to kill, the link is a good read.

    Subtractive notation (i.e. IV to represent 4) didn’t become standard until after the fall of the Roman Empire, so you see a lot of disconnects. The Big Ben, arguably the most famous clock in the world, uses “IV” for 4 o’clock, while the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, definitely the most *important* timekeeper in the world, uses “IIII”.

    Here’s an idea: Why not just call it the Super Bowl? No other major sporting event identifies their championship with a number.

    Logos for events (as opposed to logos for teams) are just exercises in self-aggrandizement. If they’re generic and bland, I frankly count that as a victory.

    Hadn’t thought of it this way before. Now that I have, I love it.

    Amusingly, the shirt looks like it has the navy drop-shadow on the number, which hadn’t been introduced at the time of the movie.

    One can imagine a scenario where Finkle is released from prison in the late 90s and catches on with the Dolphins as an emergency replacement for Olindo Mare.

    S/he’d have to have some kind of surgery, I would imagine. The media had a hard enough time with Michael Sam.

    Correct me if I am wrong but those seem like different warm up suits than media day. Tom doesnt seem to have the arm pocket or the number on the front.

    I’m surprised no one has commented on the “uniforms” worn by Katy Perry and Missy Elliott. Katy’s jersey looked like an alternate-reality BFBS Flyers sweater with contrasting nameplate, and Missy and her dancers seemed to emulate a NASCAR pit crew with their logo jumpsuits.

    #49 was a nice touch, I thought.

    Anyway, as a non-fan of Katy Perry, I thought she put on a pretty good show, and really, the last two SBs have got it right with halftime show performers, with contemporary artists who can entertain a stadium-sized audience.

    And more Missy Elliott on TV is a good thing.

    I avoided the half-time show altogether, because while for the most part I don’t care either way about Katy Perry, I absolutely cannot stand the song “Firework”. When she hits that chorus, it’s like a drill boring through each of my ears.

    But those in the rest of my family that watched it thought it was a decent performance.

    Slovenia jersey > Timbers new jersey. The Timbers’ design is too busy, largely because of the shirt sponsor. I realize the sponsor logo isn’t going away, so it would work better, IMO, without the chevron. The little pointy flourish at the bottom front of the collar would provide enough visual interest to keep it from being too plain.

    Anyone else notice the brand inconsistency for the “XLIX” lettering? There was a significantly different version of the roman numeral(compared to the official SB logo version with the trophy that we’ve seen the last 4 years or so) that at first I thought was just a NBC graphic but it was plastered all over the stadium.


    Given the media portrayal of Belichick as a one-dimensional workaholic, gotta say I find it kind of surprising that he’d be strolling the field with his daughter just a few hours before kickoff. Endearing, even.

    I didn’t even realize that was his daughter (but some quick googling reveals that that’s indeed who she is). And I agree, that’s kinda nice.

    Of course, if he were truly a one-dimensional workaholic, he wouldn’t even have a daughter, or be married.

    I only know who she is b/c she’s a women’s lacrosse head coach at a school in the same athletic conference in which my child competes (and from which both she and her dad graduated).

    She’s also a heck of a coach. Does a lot of the same things that her father does: “Do your job,” for example.

    So that “NEP” shirt Bill is wearing is using a lower case “n”? nEP?

    Me no likey on the merits. But it begs some questions I think. Lynch can’t wear a BM cap designed by a league partner in New Era. But coach can strut around in essentially knock-off Pats gear?!

    Have Super Bowl winners worn link before? Because
    1) It’s basically a scarf, and
    2) It’s part of the slow but steady and ongoing infiltration of soccer supporter culture into Big 4 sports.

    I don’t see a problem with the reebok jersey on the kid. Hey they were using Brady shots in the promos with him wearing reebok gear. (the superbowl lead-in I believe). I also saw the lime green base layer on a couple players last night (tucked jerseys not staying?)adn thought I saw an under armor logo. I also could have sworn that a couple of the visor tops had the logo’s removed/blacked out but not the name. No picture of Lynch’s Skittles? I’m surprised that didn’t make it here too.

    Fair enough. Good point. BUT.. There’s a difference between a player/coach who has a separate endorsement contract (Urlacher-Vitamin Water) and a player/coach who is wearing essentially something purported to be a “Custom Patriots Logo done got the Patriots” as per the ProAthletics website. Can you even legally call this a Patriots logo in this context?I sincerely doubt the NFL, the Pats or Nike know or acknowledge anything of the sort.

    Me personally? I loved Sterling Sharpe’s homemade Joke Squad caps in the simpler and quainter marketing days.

    I’m not advocating this is a problem by MY standards. I’m saying it should be one by THEIRS.

    This says shooting shirts will only be worn for select games: link

    At one point, I saw that they were to be worn up until the All-Star Break.

    A “Uni” related comment on the halftime show.

    Not sure what was being worn by Katy Perry (one of the worst halftime shows in memory), but I did see a tweet from NASCAR commending Missy Elliott (Who’s she?) on the fire suit she was wearing.

    Here’s a link that shows all of the phantom merchandise if the Seahawks would have won the Super Bowl this year. Some good (and not so good) back-to-back designs in there: link

    I thought the Flying Elvis decals on Brady’s helmet looked higher than the other Pats — leaving a big silver empty between the decal and earhole.

    Did anyone else notice that?

    I agree it would be nice if the NFL came up with a clever way to use Roman Numerals for Super Bowl 50.

    Maybe something as classy and innovative as what the Big 12 did in their early days where they had XII (for 12) on one side of the field/court to recognize the future, and IIX (for 8) on the other side of the field/court to honor their past.

    Seems like the NFL uniform trend is the mono dark look. I really miss the all white look which is becoming rare. Favs used to include Jets, Dolphins, Bears and Colts. Which was the first team to wear color pants with a white jersey, was it the Cowboys?

    Check out film of the 1940 NFL championship game. There are the Bears in navy pants and white jerseys. Likely not the first, but an early example of pants in an actual team color, as opposed to the those high-hipped canvas pants everyone wore way back when.

    The “USC” jersey is actually South Carolina (University of South Carolina). LSU used periods on its baseball jerseys at one time — here is a 1961 photo:


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