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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Bizarre scene at yesterday’s Dolphins/Jets game, which took place at Wembley Stadium in London. As dozens of readers pointed out, the team logos in the end zones were blank outlines when viewed from some camera angles and badly filled-in color wordmarks when viewed from others. CBS, which was broadcasting the game, apparently used CGI to “fill in” outlined logos (hey, it works for the first down stripe, right?), but in many cases — especially for Miami’s logo — the projected graphics didn’t quite align with the blank outlines:

Weird. Fortunately, the game took place in the morning (NYC time), and there’s no fucking way I was gonna watch football that early in the day, so I missed the whole end zone snafu. Phew. (Further info here and here.)

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• The Bengals wore their orange alts.

• In Tampa, the Bucs wore white at home and the Panthers wore their blue alts.

• Speaking of the Panthers, quarterback Cam Newton began the game wearing a clear visor but removed it early in the game, presumably because it was getting too rain-splattered in the nasty conditions.

• The Saints wore white at home, forcing the Cowboys to break out their blue jerseys.

• The Cardinals wore their black alts. Man, what a mess.

• The Browns wore one of their more tolerable combos, but the pants are still a joke.

• A bunch of Blackhawks players showed up on the Bears’ sideline at Soldier Field and wore Bears jerseys with their NHL numbers.

• Pinktober was in full swing, with the usual assortment of pink (or, in most cases, magenta) towels, socks, captaincy patches, spatting tape, coaches’ headsets, sideline gear, logos on the field and the ball, goalpost pads, crowd stunts, cheerleaders, officials’ whistles, and even security guards. It’s hard to overstate how much I hate all of this — it makes good uniforms look bad and bad uniforms look worse, the whole “charity” thing is a scam, and the groupthink/pinkwashing thing is way out of hand. Grrrrrr.

• Interestingly, the Jets/Dolphins game was completely pink-free — they didn’t even have the pink ribbon helmet decals. I assume this had something to do with the game’s overseas location, but I’d be interested to know the particulars.

(My thanks to all contributors, including @harrylee773, Alan Kreit, Andy Moeschberger, Robert Waddell, and of course Phil.)

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The patch that teams will be wearing for the Wild Card round appears to be rubber or plastic, not embroidered. ”¦ As you may have heard, MLB is selling the corks — the fucking corks — from their postseason-clinching champagne celebrations, complete with an MLB hologram on the cork. As it happens, my personal belongings include this champagne cork, which was scooped off the clubhouse floor for me by a reporter friend during the celebration after the Mets beat the Cardinals in the 2000 NLCS. Of course, I can’t prove that that’s what it’s from. No MLB hologram, thankfully (photo by Phil). ”¦ An employee at an MLB team’s visiting clubhouse, who’d prefer to remain nameless, offers a few interesting uni-related tidbits: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to take a sweaty pitcher’s or catcher’s jersey up to the clubhouse to put in the dryer during a hot summer game. Man those guys sweat a lot! One of the least favorite parts of my job. Also, when the Red Sox were in town this season, I noticed that the top two buttons on Hanley Ramirez’s jersey were sewn together, because he has a tendency not to button those two buttons.” ”¦ The Blue Jays finally ended their 34-game run of wearing their blue alts (from Marc Bauche). ”¦ Pirates gave away Chick-fil-A eye black yesterday.

NFL News: Check out this Dan Marino jersey with two Velcro patches, presumably to keep the jersey tucked in (from Matthew Wolfram). ”¦ This is pretty cool: Seahawks long snapper Clint Gresham is inviting fans who have his jersey to mail the jersey to him. He’ll swap it for a good-looking team’s jersey sign it and send it back. Nice move on his part (from Brady Baker).

College Football News: Northwestern is apparently planning to salute its 1995 team by wearing ’96 Rose Bowl throwbacks for homecoming later this month. That jersey will presumably be paired with the purple pants that the team wore for that game.

Basketball News: “On last night’s episode of Family Guy, which was set around Father’s Day, Cleveland was wearing a Toronto Raptors cap,” says Ferdinand Cesarano. “Here’s an audio clip of his explanation for wearing the cap. I don’t know whether they’ve ever done a sports-related tie-in to the fact that the character’s name is Cleveland Brown.”… New uniforms for Miami, and boy are they awful (from Jason Gray).

Soccer News: Nice little piece on an old soccer ball factory (from Craig Ackers). ”¦ “With all the money Manchester United bring in, you’d think they could afford new warm-up suits for the assistants,” says Paul Kennedy.

Grab Bag: I’ve occasionally written about my role as a cultural critic, and how that role is shifting in the era of social media, Yelp, and so on. Now New York Times film critic Tony Scott has written a very interesting essay on what it means to be a movie critic — and, more specifically, a movie snob — nowadays. Interesting reading. … The Iowa Wild — that’s a minor league hockey team — wore practice jerseys for a preseason game on Saturday.

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What Paul did last night on Saturday: The good news was that I was invited to a pig roast at a farm in the Hudson Valley this past Saturday; the bad news was that there was some seriously nasty hurricane-related weather in the forecast. My friend Jamie, who was supposed to come with me, decided the risk wasn’t worth it and bailed on me. I probably should have heeded his advice, since he’s a professional road-tripper and all, but I just couldn’t walk away from a pig roast, so I decided to go by myself. Rain, wind, mud, and a 150-pound hog — what would possibly go wrong?

As it turned out, the weather wasn’t that bad (ya blew it, Jamie!) and I had a really wonderful time. Lots of wonderful people, including some old friends I hadn’t seen in years, and plenty of great food to eat, booze to drink, dogs to pet, apples to pick, kids to play with, and more. The setting was so picture-perfect rustic, it was almost like a Pottery Barn catalog shoot or something. And the guest of honor was delicious (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

67 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Macca | October 5, 2015 at 7:56 am |

    Re: The Manchester United tracksuits being worn by the backroom staff

    Manchester United have different sponsors for their on-field kits and their training wear. The training apparel is now sponsored by Aon who were their shirt sponsors last season.

    • Tom | October 5, 2015 at 8:25 am |

      Also, if they were leftovers, they would be Nike. Manchester United moved from Nike to Adidas this year.

      • Rolf | October 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm |

        Exactly. Oddly enough, both AON and General Motors were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers the last decade or so ….

  • Hodges14 | October 5, 2015 at 8:02 am |

    No audio explanation on why Cleveland wore the Raptors hat.

  • Dave | October 5, 2015 at 8:18 am |

    I bought a cork from a Tigers division championship a couple years ago at Comerica Park. It was $5 and the money went to Tigers Charities, the team’s philanthropic work.

    I figured I get a neat little souvenir and a charity got a little extra money to do something good for someone. No harm there.

  • Ben | October 5, 2015 at 8:20 am |

    I was in press box for the Wembley game as usual.
    They never wear Pinktober stuff or alternates etc in these game. Very vanilla.
    The endzones looked so weird in person, especially with the gold shield at midfield.

    • JamesBN3 | October 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm |

      Is it just me? The stripes and sidelines looked muted, like they only used half to three-quarters of a normal coat of paint on them.

      • Rolf | October 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm |

        Wembley is used for other events, such as Euro qualifiers. They want to keep the soil as paint-free as possible.

  • Vedder Cup | October 5, 2015 at 8:29 am |

    This might interest only me, but: the 50-yard numerals on the field for Browns-Chargers were Chargers’ lightning-bolt yellow instead of ‘Super Bowl 50’ gold. See this clip at :39 http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=13811545

    It looked more obvious in person, but even on video the yellow 50s from yesterday are in sharp contrast to the gold 50s for Lions-Chargers on Week 1 (see beginning of video: http://www.chargers.com/news/2015/09/13/chargers-storm-back-beat-lions).

    Sneaky sneaky, Qualcomm Stadium groundskeepers.

    • mild bill | October 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm |

      This interests me since the Raiders, another team likely to be leaving for Los Angeles, fiddled with the 50-yard numerals.

      Maybe a not-so-subtle way of raising their middle finger to the league.

      Rams, time to take a stand!

  • ThresherK | October 5, 2015 at 8:30 am |

    If someone created Miami’s new hoops uni in order to make me wish they’d used a butt stripe, then: Congratulations, it worked!

  • Phil Beader | October 5, 2015 at 8:34 am |

    It may have been my eyes playing tricks on me after watching such a horrible game, but have the Cowbpys Silver Pants (the ones they wear with Blue Jerseys) actually changed to actually match the Helmets?

    It looked weird for Dallas to look like a normal football team.

    • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm |

      It’s been that way for a while, we’re just not used to seeing it because the navy jerseys are so infrequently worn.

      Blue jerseys get silver pants that match the helmet (or at least as close as Nike can come to matching anything).

      White jerseys get greenish pants that were originally designed to match the silver helmet on television but now stand out like a sore thumb. If that sore thumb was also a green one.

      What a mess.

  • DP | October 5, 2015 at 8:41 am |

    It’s almost as though the NFL is trying to kill British women! Won’t someone think of the children?

    • Michael Churchill | October 5, 2015 at 8:49 am |

      The Pinktober thing isn’t really a thing in the UK. Although I do like to get a Pinktober pin from the Hard Rock Cafe in London (which is of course an American company founded in London).

      • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 12:25 pm |

        Not yet, it isn’t. The British haven’t learned the finer points of monetizing fear. Hope it stays that way.

    • JamesBN3 | October 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm |

      Its hard to have Pinktober here as it would clash with the annual Poppy Appeal. The British Legion’s campaign to raise funds for veterans doesn’t formally kick off for a couple of weeks, but there were volunteers selling poppies at Wembley yesterday.

  • Greg | October 5, 2015 at 8:48 am |

    Pretty sure the endzones are due to England playing Estonia at Wembley a few days after Jets Dolphins game, the less paint on the grass the better

    • Michael Churchill | October 5, 2015 at 8:51 am |

      Yes, on Friday. I figured that was the reason, but then, why the gold NFL shield and gold 50 at midfield?

      • Greg | October 5, 2015 at 8:57 am |

        Midfield markings in (proper) football tend to not be as important as goal line area markings

  • Alec | October 5, 2015 at 8:52 am |

    England hosts Estonia on Friday for UEFA qualifiers, surprised they let them gold up the shield.

    • The Jeff | October 5, 2015 at 9:29 am |

      Is there some reason that white field markings would wash away easier than other colors?

      • DJ | October 5, 2015 at 9:41 am |

        It’s not that they’re easier to wash off. Football end zone markings would be around the goals of a soccer field; they probably want to minimize the “damage” around that area.

        • Tom | October 5, 2015 at 10:48 am |

          Watching EPL matches on TV, where the fields are void of decoration, makes for a better viewing experience.

          I turned on the Sounders v Galaxy MLS game last night and it was hideous viewing. The thick football sidelines, the full grid, the Seahawks midfield and endzone marks. Ugh. The “beautiful game” rendered ugly against that backdrop.

          I fully understand the Seahawks take precedence there, but, man, was that hideous TV viewing for soccer.

        • DJ | October 5, 2015 at 11:03 am |

          In fairness to the Seahawks, the lines on the field are painted on (as opposed to being sewn into) the turf precisely because all parties concerned appreciate your concerns. Were it not for tonight’s game, I suspect the football markings would not have been there.

        • JamesBN3 | October 5, 2015 at 2:53 pm |

          Exactly right DJ – take a look at the Jets end zone without the digital effect. The faint white line running through the logo is the remains of the goal line from the Rugby World Cup match played at Wembley a week earlier. Given that an international football pitch is 5 meters longer, nearly all of the 6 meter box would be covered with paint if the NFL logos had been filled in.

  • vfefrenzy | October 5, 2015 at 9:04 am |

    I noticed yesterday that the Bucs weren’t wearing any pink. I can only conclude that Tampa Bay loves breast cancer and hates women.

    • Luke Vissering | October 5, 2015 at 9:16 am |

      Or they’re just smart enough to realize how un-tasteful it is to dedicate an entire month to ONE form of cancer, which already gets the most donations of any other form of cancer.

      It’s a gimmick to sell merchandise. Otherwise, why not just call it cancer month and donate to multiple cancer foundations and send 100% of the proceeds?

  • Michael Churchill | October 5, 2015 at 9:49 am |

    Not uni-related, but corporate douchebaggery?

    As it was getting dark in London yesterday and my coach was pulling away, I heard a couple of my fellow passengers remark that the stadium’s arch was lit up in Dolphins colours. Sadly, it’s actually corporate sponsorship.

    http://www.thefa.com/news/2014/sep/wembley-lights-up-240914

  • John in DC | October 5, 2015 at 10:06 am |

    Paul, what was the beer? It’s an amazing color.

    • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 10:09 am |

      It was from a local NYC brewery:
      http://rockawaybrewco.com/

      I don’t recall which specific brew it was. But yeah, the color was really nice — went well with the rest of the autumnal palette in that photo.

      • duker | October 5, 2015 at 12:42 pm |

        From their list of brews on the website, and your description I’d say it’s either the Rockaway ESB or the Rocktoberfest. With how dark it looks in your picture I’d lean heavily towards the Rocktoberfest.

        • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm |

          Yes, pretty sure that’s what it was.

      • Coleman | October 5, 2015 at 10:29 pm |

        Your coat is friggin’ great. Thrift store treasure?

        • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm |

          If you mean the jacket I’m wearing in the keg photo, that’s a vintage Woolrich jacket that I picked up for about $40 at the Brookyn Flea a few years ago. It’s a real beauty, and perfectly autumnal — glad you like!

        • Coleman | October 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm |

          Exactly what I meant. Seemed Woolrich-y, I should’ve known! Awesome find.

  • Mike in Columbia, MD | October 5, 2015 at 10:14 am |
    • The Jeff | October 5, 2015 at 10:19 am |

      Your quarterback has died of dysentery.

    • Tony C | October 5, 2015 at 10:29 am |

      i think the only neat part of it all is the fact that each player will have a different version of the map on their uni

      http://news.nike.com/news/p1e3f60eed353c9c9764965bfdf7d102d/sneak_peek

      • Mike in Columbia, MD | October 5, 2015 at 10:38 am |

        I like that they couldn’t even hide that it’s a cost-cutting measure to have different versions on each uni:

        “…maximizing the fabric and producing less cutting-floor waste”

      • Jakob Wolf | October 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm |

        Different versions of the map… way to stress the team concept there, swooshketeers.

        Any sharks off the coast of Oregon? If so, they should make a duck waterski-jumping over a shark uniform and then be done with all this.

    • Ran Isaacs | October 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm |

      In Oregon, one week after a mass shooting at an in-state college, the state U features a rifle on their helmet. While it might be historically accurate, they could be a bit less glorious and cut that sliver off the back.

  • David | October 5, 2015 at 10:52 am |

    The Rangers (who play in Arlington, not Dallas) were given AL West Championship T-shirts with the Dallas skyline on them. http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/texas-rangers/20151004-banned-in-arlington-the-texas-rangers-championship-t-shirt-you-can-t-get-at-the-stadium.ece

  • Rich | October 5, 2015 at 10:58 am |

    I get the distaste at so much pink, but I officiate high school football and we do pink whistles and wristbands every season and donate a portion of our game checks for the month to the Breast Cancer Research Fund (who I chose after some research into the groups that spend the money on stuff other than marketing).

    Our families have all been touched by breast cancer, some very recently or currently, and since these people are our wives, mothers, sisters, etc. — it is more important to us than other forms of cancer. We acknowledge the struggles, donate some money to research, and every time I look down at the whistle I think of my mom, who’s recovering from some nasty surgery and chemo.

    So we do it.

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a flying you-know-what about how the pink looks with the uniforms, although with us wearing all black and white it doesn’t really look that odd.

  • Kyle | October 5, 2015 at 11:16 am |

    You’re friends with Jamie Jensen!? That is awesome. I have taken that book with me all over the country, it’s so beat up and full of receipts, book marks and stickers. Road Trip USA and a Reader’s Digest Scenic Routes book are my road trip bibles. Please let him know one of your Uni-Watch readers loves his work.

    • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 11:38 am |

      I bought a copy of the first edition of Road Trip USA in 1997, as my then-galpal and I were preparing for a one-month x-country road trip. By the end of the first week, we were simply referring to Jamie’s book as “the Bible,” and that’s what we called it for years afterward, as we went on various adventures based in part on the routes traced in the book.

      In 1998-ish I wrote a very enthusiastic review of the book for a now-shuttered travel website. Jamie’s publisher still uses quotes from that review in their promo materials and on the book’s back cover, which I get a kick out of.

      Thanks in part to that review, I struck up an email relationship with Jamie, who by that time I had come to think of as one of my heroes (a term I don’t use lightly). Three years ago he and his family moved to NYC after his wife got a teaching position at NYU, and I was finally able to meet him in person. I’m proud to say that my hero is now also my friend. Great guy, interesting guy, special guy. It’s nice when our heroes live up to our conceptions of them.

      But man did he totally blow it regarding the pig roast….

  • DJ | October 5, 2015 at 11:20 am |

    Notre Dame and Navy to wear identical base layers and cleats on Saturday; the coaching staffs will wear similar clothing as well:

    http://www.und.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/100515aac.html

    Helps to have the same apparel provider. With a combined marketing plan…

  • Graham Ward | October 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm |

    You missed nothing sleeping in through that Jets Dolphins game. You have to respect the UK fans for selling out every game at Wembley. They’ve mainly been dogs (that or Patriots blow outs).

    • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm |

      I didn’t say I slept thru it (I was up by 7:30am). I just didn’t feel like watching football so early in the day.

      • Dumb Guy | October 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm |

        It was like being back in L.A.! NFL early morning on Sunday.

    • Michael Churchill | October 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm |

      Even with three games a year, I think it is still enough of a novelty to sell 84,000 tickets. It could be a different question if they push through with a London franchise. Fans have their own team (you can probably find jerseys of all 32 teams at the game) and many may not be willing to switch their allegiance. By playing here every year, the Jaguars do seem to be building up a following – I saw more Blake Bortles jerseys than you would expect. And since the Jaguars owner also owns Fulham FC, I would currently say the Jags are the favourite to move. They just have to learn how to say Jaguars properly.

      • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm |

        If any team was going to move to London, that is.

        Which isn’t likely to happen unless and until somebody finds a way to outlaw time zones.

  • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm |

    The NFL isn’t even bothering to pretend that they donate your pink merchandise money any more. Now it’s all about “raising awareness”. Not research, not a cure, awareness.

    • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm |

      Pretty sure it has *always* been about raising awareness. They’ve been using that phrasing all along, no?

      • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm |

        As late as 2013, the NFL was touting how much that they donated proceeds to the American Cancer Society. They have dropped all that language from the online store at least.

        • Chance Michaels | October 5, 2015 at 5:01 pm |

          Ugh. Terrible phrasing there – my kingdom for an edit button.

          They used to trumpet that they donated money, and how much in total they’ve donated in all. Now they’ve been caught in how little that actually is, and they’ve stopped pretending that whatever donations they do make are tied to merchandise sales.

  • Jimmy Lonetti | October 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm |

    Watched the debut of new IFC comedy “Benders” that is apparantly about a group of friends who play rec league hockey.
    One conversation on the bench centered on Wayne Gretzky and how he always pee’d whlie in uniform during games and how if they were going to get an authentic Gretzky jersey they woud make sure it was a “pee jersey”. Any truth to this or was it just for comedy purposes?

  • NotForLongZiegeist | October 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm |

    Eagles vs. Washington

    After Brent Celek’s TD reception in yesterday’s game, the camera went to a sideline person who had what appeared a hand-held size model of a stadium/field with a clear flip-down cover. Does anyone have broadcast footage from Fox yesterday and provide an answer as to what this gadget is?

  • LarryB | October 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm |

    http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=210392870#.VhJ4ARjr9gk.facebook

    Nike Unveils Oregon Pioneers Uniform
    Nike and the University of Oregon Ducks introduce the new Oregon Pioneers football uniform, which emphasizes Oregon state history.

  • Christian | October 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm |

    Quick Pirates thought: Does the fact that we’re seeing the Post Season patch on a gray away jersey mean that the Bucs will wear their normal white/gray unis in the playoffs (or, at least, white at home during the WC game against the Cubs)? They’ve worn only their black alternates in 2013/2014…

    • Christian | October 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm |

      In the 2013/2014 playoffs that is.

  • J Clayton Davis | October 5, 2015 at 8:09 pm |

    Watching the Browns’ atrocity of a game yesterday, it seemed as if neither team cares about or was much “aware” of breast cancer. For SHAME!!!!

    Oh, and I know I am just such a terrible person for saying this, but the continued bullshit/scam of this stuff has pretty much made me 100% likely to NEVER donate a cent to anything involving breast cancer.

    But how about this, NFL? the minute you stop running this garbage every year I will donate $500 to the breast cancer charity (that is NOT the Kommen right-wing anti-abortion fanatics) and which uses the smallest percentage of donations for marketing/salaries/admin expenses.

    Deal? No? Have to do away with the rack after rack of pink-branded NFL gear for sale at my local Dick’s Sporting Goods that way?

    Ah well, Humane Society/SPCA it is for me. Just like every year.

  • Mainspark | October 5, 2015 at 8:44 pm |

    Lot of angry people commenting today. It’s just a color and just a game.

    • Luke Vissering | October 5, 2015 at 8:54 pm |

      It’s not. It’s a disease and it’s a cause.

      They only use pink because it sells merchandise. Ever wonder why Breast Cancer is the #1 cancer cause in the United States and raises the most money? It’s just as common as prostate cancer, yet, receives 4x the donations and 100x the awareness through campaigns.

      There are 100 types of cancer that effect countless parts of the body, yet, the NFL focuses on one? Why?

      Because it’s good PR, it sells merchandise.

      So no, it’s not a color and it’s not just a game when they’re using a disease for profit and good PR.

    • Paul Lukas | October 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm |

      Lot of angry people commenting today. It’s just a color and just a game.

      You realize this type of dismissive comment is precisely the sort of thing that people who Don’t Get Itâ„¢ say about uni-watchers, right?

      It’s a legitimate topic, and some people have strong feelings about it. If you’re not one of those people, that’s fine. But unless you have a more substantive critique to offer, there’s no need to belittle those who are engaged in a dialogue.

  • Indigo Wolf | October 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm |

    It’s actually pretty distracting to me. No idea why they are doing it, trying to make fancy things when it’s not the thing that we came for. Just stop it already!