By Phil Hecken
Hey guys — Phil here today pinch-hitting for Paul who’s traveling in Wisconsin and prepping for an early morning interview on ESPN tomorrow.
Some interesting Uni Watching in the NFL yesterday, as the Broncos went full-blue-mono. It’s a combination they hadn’t worn all season long (thankfully), as it’s pretty brutal. It may have been groundbreaking way back in the 1990s when it was first introduced in 1997, but to me, it hasn’t aged well. And since Nike took over the uniform contract in 2012 (first with collar horns on the Nikelace), it seems as though the orange is almost neon in intensity, and the full contrasting collar doesn’t help. The Broncos did wear their blue jerseys with white pants earlier this year, to celebrate their Super Bowl win over the Packers. That’s a much better look than the full-blue-mono. More photos here.
Elsewhere around the league:
• The Jaguars wore white pants with their black jerseys yesterday. This is a much better look than their all-black. Wonder how they’d look if they were permitted to wear that black jersey with their mustard-colored color rash pants. UPDATE: Here’s how that might look (h/t Dangeresque92).
• The Browns wore orange/brown/orange … which is actually less noxious than you’d think. That’s the second time this season they’ve worn their orange tops; the other time they wore them with white pants. I was kinda hoping they’d go full citrus, but we’ll have to wait until at least next season for that. More photos here.
• The Titans went white over white against the Jets yesterday. Although I absolutely love the white over powder blue look, I do think the Titans in mono-white is a great look too. More pics here. Of course, the Jets still look awful with the sweatbox. I mean, it’s really bad (h/t Ryan Feuerstein). Those new “Vapor Untouchable” unis can’t come soon enough (hopefully the entire league will switch over for 2016).
• In the Sunday Night game, the Texans wore their “Battle” red jerseys against the Patriots. This is a really good look — and thankfully, they haven’t gone mono-red since 2010. I’d love to see them pair the red tops with the blue pants (which is a look I photoshopped several years ago, back when I had much more free time). More game photos here.
• The Eagles were wearing new shirts during warm ups that said “53 Angry Men” (h/t Thom D.). Notice in that photo the end zone is black (you can sorta see it here too. The Eagles wore their midnight green jerseys, so it was hypothesized the end zones were black because of Saturday’s Army/Navy game being played there, and it was easier to cover the wordmarks with black paint. In that game the Bills wore their blue pants. Get contrasting socks, and that will be a better look.
• Interesting Browns “fan” jersey spotted yesterday (h/t Robert Hayes). Not the most inventive NOB, but pretty accurate.
• According to B.Dilly, NBC used the odd “jersey with no pads over jacket” photos for Brady again last night.
• There are still Oiler fans in Houston (h/t Sunday Night Football on NBC).
• Tweeter Casey Tebo was watching last night’s SNF game and noticed an interesting similarity between the Texans & Pats logos.
• We don’t normally focus on cheerleaders on Uni Watch, but several squads got in the “Santa” spirit: The Cheerleaders for the Panthers, Jets, Buccaneers, and Bengals were all in the holiday costumes. Of course, the Chiefs cheerleaders were in camopander. Sigh.
• In yesterday’s Bengals game, starting QB Andy Dalton was injured and backup A.J. McCarron took over. Looks like he either tapes over his wedding band or wears a QALO ring (h/t K.C. Kless).
• Several Bears players yesterday were wearing the Mach speed template jerseys. Which means no Nike-lace (h/t Thomas Juettner).
Um, what’s the point of even wearing a shirt like this? (h/t Geo). Several tweeters pointed out this is probably to prevent the pads from rubbing the skin (as this would be worn under the pads). Still…don’t they make shirts that actually do this?
I think that’s about it for today. If I missed anything, please post it in the comments below.
Dolphins Turn Back the Clock Tonight…
… to 1966
In one of the most eagerly-awaited throwback nights of this season (if not many seasons), the Miami Dolphins will finally be breaking out their 1966 throwbacks (this being their 50th Season, if not 50th Anniversary). I think many on here will agree the Dolphins uniforms haven’t been all that great for the past couple of decades, despite not straying too far from their original design.
But tonight’s MNF game against the New York Football Giants will give the Dolphins (and their fans) a chance to see what their team wore (or as close a facsimile as can be created with modern uniforms) during their inaugural season in the American Football League.
The Dolphins aren’t one of those teams who do throwback uniforms often. In fact, The last time the Dolphins wore throwback uniforms was Thanksgiving 2003. Here’s another look. That was a road game, and the home Cowboys were in their blue thowbacks, so the TBTC unis the Dolphins wore had white jerseys. Tonight’s game will feature them in original aqua. In 1994, for the League’s 75th Anniversary, the Dolphins wore ‘throwbacks’ as well.
Here’s a look at the uniforms they’ll be wearing tonight — click any photo to enlarge:
Beautiful right? Can’t tell you how many folks on Twitter have agreed with me that these need to be permanent.
But it’s not just the uniforms that will be throwbacks — the endzones and mid-field logo will also have a throwback look.
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) December 11, 2015
— BIG DOOKY (@TheRealBIGDOOKY) December 12, 2015
It’s going to be a beautiful looking game, for sure.
Unfortunately, it won’t be a true throwback game, since this is what the Giants wore in 1966 (although they did wear the white jersey w/red stripes & numbers and gray pants in the pre-season), whereas the road uniforms they wear today more approximate in the late 50’s/early 60’s. For a pretty decent slideshow showing the Dolphins’ 1966 unis (including some in color that appear a bit more blue than aqua), click here. Most photos from the day show the Phins in a slightly-more-blueish aqua, but those who saw them live think tonight’s unis approximate this 1966 look. Either way, it should be great.
Finally, here’s a look at the evolution of the Miami Dolphins’ helmet over the years. You can see how far (but not really) they’ve strayed from the perfect original:
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 13, 2015
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I don’t normally run “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko, on the Weekdays (I also don’t usually do weekdays) and the segments normally run every Saturday on Uni Watch. Unfortunately (as you may have noticed recently), the site has been wonky, and the back-end particularly so — I’d prepared the following Scoreboards segment for Saturday, but somehow (and I really have no idea how this happened), a glitch caused an older version to be run. So, I’m running what should have appeared Saturday today. Enjoy!
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko
Classic Football Scoreboards heads to the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for visit to their Memorial Stadium – a stadium purported to have a buried treasure.
Memorial Stadium – Zuppke Field
Football Home of: University of Illinois (1923-present); Chicago Bears (2002)
Opened: November 3, 1923
Dedicated: October 18, 1924
Memorial Stadium is one of fifteen college stadiums around the country that were built to honor military veterans. Stadium construction was completed in 1923 at a cost of US$ 1.7 million (about $24 million in 2015 dollars) and financed largely through donations. See this short writeup for a concise history of Memorial Stadium planning, construction and major renovations.
It is rare to identify the designer for scoreboards installed in early part of last century. Even rarer is to find an actual drawing of the scoreboard layout. Fortunately one exists for Memorial Stadium.
As you can see from Supervising Architect James White’s original design, the scoreboard layout remained basically unchanged well into the 1960s (the photo shows workers completing the Zuppke Field memorial discussed below).
The football field is named in honor of Illinois legendary coach, Robert Zuppke. Zuppke’s teams won several national titles and seven Big Ten championships. His coaching innovations reportedly include the creation of the flea flicker play!
The scoreboard graphic commemorates the Zuppke Field dedication game played on November 12, 1966, an Illini victory over Wisconsin.
A Few Things to Know
• There is a long-told story that a bulldozer used during the stadium construction sank and was buried into the field after heavy rains. A few years ago a local Champaign Illinois TV news studio tried to find it, but came away empty. So is the buried bulldozer a myth or fact? We don’t know the answer, but my money is on the myth.
• Coach Zuppke is buried adjacent to the stadium in Roselawn Cemetery.
• Unique to the stadium are the 200 columns that line the east and west sides of the exterior facade. Each of 189 columns has the name of an Illinois student lost in World War I, other columns memorialize other military entities including The Unknown Soldier.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Calling All Readers: A Uni Watch Holiday Project!
In case you missed it, in yesterday’s Uni Watch, I ran a wonderful (sorta) set of holiday recollections from Jimmy Corcoran (scroll down), who is the son of former NFL, WFL and College Quarterback “King” Corcoran — in it, he shared some great stories, but also some photos of some uniform-related holiday ornaments.
This got me to thinking — do you guys have any uniform-related ornaments, cards, decorations, etc. (and some good back-stories) that you break out on a yearly (or even just once) basis? I’d love to compile some of these. Jimmy’s recollections are a good guide as to what I’m looking for, and there are further instructions in yesterday’s post (linked above). If you do have any uni-related holiday stuff, send me photo(s) and a brief description (send them to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com. I’ll run your stories on the weekends for the remainder of 2015. OK? OK! Hope to hear from you!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Great wire service photo from Bruce Menard shows Jackie Robinson on December 13, 1956, after he’d been traded from the Brooklyn Dodgers to the New York Giants. He rejected the trade and retired, rather than play for those hated cross-town rivals. Of course, both teams would move to California the following year. … Oooohhh — check out the awesome signed print by Todd Radom of the Birthplace of Baseball in Cincinnati he gave to a friend. … A’s skipper Dick Williams was almost the skipper of the Yankees, until Charlie Finley put a stop to it (from Bruce Menard). … Josh Segal found a cap which shows no World Series winner for 2013. Many St. Louis Cardinals fans are OK with that.
NFL News: CROSSOVER ALERT: Check out this crazy Bills/Sabres frankencap, spotted by Tom Pankow. He adds, “I have been a Bills and Sabres fan all my life and I have never seen this combo logo for the Bills.” … After winning their second consecutive game yesterday, the author of this article thinks the Eagles should wear their black jerseys next Sunday vs. the Cardinals (which will
apparently be flexed into the Sunday Night Football game). … Reader Gene Sanny is not a fan of the newer helmets: “Here’s a perfect example of why I hate the newer helmets with all the extra holes in them: the Chargers bolts have always gone more over the top of the helmet than just on the side. But now thanks to all those holes here’s a helmet that has the bolts more down on the sides. Looks like an old “gumball helmet” with the decal on the side. I might be picky, but it just looks wrong.” … Reader Jeremy Singh found this photo of Peyton Manning as a Colt with an odd looking facemask. Also odd: sleeves, full shoulder loops and a blue mask. Two of those three things need to return. … Just what the world needs: another Favre frankenjersey (via Robert Hayes).
College/High School Football News: Looks like the University of South Carolina Gamecocks are going to wear a matte black helmet with the “new” decal on it for their appearance in the … wait, they’re not going bowling (h/t Clint Richardson). Also, there are rumors that SCar is ditching UnderArmour when their contract runs out in June, 2016. … Looks like Masillion Perry HS player is wearing concussion helmet (from Bob Wilzbach).
Hockey News: “While watching the Rangers game (Friday) night we noticed an interesting helmet worn by the between-the-benches camera operator in Calgary,” say Gene & A.J. Frey. “In addition to the opening in front, there seems to be a connection for an earpiece and mic. Very functional, it would seem.” … This may have been reported before, but it seemed to be making the rounds yesterday: The Toronto Maple Leaf will have new uniforms and logos in 2016. … “One of my favorite parts of the National Women’s Hockey League is the flags on players’ jerseys,” tweets Mark Grainda. … The Lake Erie Monsters are holding “Specialty Jersey Night #2”, which looks like a tribute to the Cleveland LeBrons (from Cory Anderson).
Basketball News: Louisville Trinity has a shamrock above their NOB, which is awesome (thanks to Josh Claywell). … Color vs. uh, color game yesterday as Virginia Tech and Lamar hooked up in a gray vs. red game (from Andrew Cosentino).
Soccer News: Tweeter Tim Cross notes that in the 1990’s, Juventus ditched their crest at times for gold stars, each representing 10 championships. … Couple from Saurel Jean, Jr. (a/k/a “El Duderino”): A unique uni-matchup in the EPL Sunday as Tottenham faced Newcastle in a 7-in-1 sash vs. vertical bi-color sash game. He nicknamed it the “Clash of the Sashes”. Also, check out the Christmas sweater worn by Manchester City & England striker Toni Duggan. … One more from el Dude: “Participating in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, FC Barcelona released this promotion in which the FCB football is used in place of the red circle of Japan’s flag.”
That’s all for today — Paul will be back tomorrow with the regular weekday Uni Watch goodness, and I’ll catch you all next Saturday. Till then,
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Chiefs (who had bye week/London game in November) do Salute To Service today. So NFL successfully stretched it out through entire second half of season.”