Skip to content

NFL Goes for a Bit More Gold

Click to enlarge

As we all know, the NFL has been building up to Super Bowl 50 with all sorts of gold-themed promotions — the gold 50-yard-line markers, the gold version of the league’s logo, gold-accented sideline apparel, and so on. But the players’ uniforms had been unaffected by this — until now. As you can see above, the NFL logo decal on the back of the players’ helmet turned gold this past weekend for each of the eight teams in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, a move that hadn’t previously been announced (at least not to my knowledge).

Does anyone else think this was a downgrade? Obviously, it’s a very small element, so it’s not a big deal either way. Still, I don’t care for the tone of gold they used — it looks drab, not flashy.

The NFL logo on the jerseys and pants retained its usual red-white-blue color scheme, at least for now. But will those logos change to gold for the Supe? It wouldn’t surprise me.

A few other notes from the Wild Card games:

• Washington tight end Jordan Reed tore a piece of equipment — a waistband towel, I’m pretty sure — resulting in a shower of very long loose threads.

•  How cold was it yesterday in Minnesota? So cold that the Vikings’ gjallarhorn broke into pieces.

• How warm was it yesterday in Minnesota? So warm that former Vikings coach Bud Grant, who’s 88 years old, came out for the game-opening coin toss in short sleeves!

• During the Chiefs/Texans game on Saturday, some asshole showed up in redface and a headdress.

•  I’m sure I’ve seen it before, but I was really struck by Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s chin dimple. It’s so deep! (Plus it seemed to get deeper each time the Texans gave up more points.) How does a fella shave something like that?

• I watched the Seahawks/Vikings game with a reporter from Vice Sports, who’s writing a story about me (more on that later). As the game was starting, I told him, “Lots of people will be watching this game who don’t normally see the Vikings play very often, and I bet a bunch of them will be asking me about the Vikings’ weird uniform number fonts.” Sure enough, I got a bunch of tweets about this during the game (you can see three of them here, here, and here), along with several emails. Keep in mind that the Vikings have now been wearing this uniform design for three full seasons, and the numbers still confuse people. Attention Nike: That’s the measure of a failed design right there.

(My thanks to @ynnhoJ and Phil for their contributions.)

•  •  •  •  •

ITEM! T-Shirt Club plans for 2016: The Uni Watch T-Shirt Club has been quiet lately, but I’ve been having intense discussions with my Teespring designer, Bryan Molloy, and we now have a plan for 2016, along with some news about the 2015 designs. One thing at a time:

1. For those of you who missed out on some of the 2015 designs, we’re going to create a “Second Chance Store” that will feature all of the 2015 shirts except the tequila sunrise design. It will launch very soon (probably this week) and will be open for two weeks. The designs will be exactly the same as the ones that were originally available (the white “Home” shirt, the green St. Paddy’s Day shirt, etc.), with one exception: They will not have the sleeve patches with the T-Shirt Club logo. These patch-free shirts will not count toward eligibility for last year’s year-end “Collect ’Em All” prize — only people who purchased all 12 shirts with the patches are eligible for that prize.

2. For 2016, we plan to have a bi-monthly program of six shirts — one each for February, April, June, August, October, and December. Each one will feature an illustration themed around a given sport, showing an athlete on the “Uni Watch team,” wearing a Uni Watch uniform for that particular sport. The sports will be baseball (for the February shirt), hockey (April), basketball (June), football (August), and soccer (October); the sixth one, for December, will be a surprise. Yes, we know there are other sequences that might make more sense in terms of when certain sports are being played, but we have our reasons for wanting to do it this way.

The 2016 shirts will be blank on the back. Also, we’re thinking that we won’t have a sleeve patch, because (a) the patch added a surprising amount to the cost of each shirt last year, (b) the patch is a pain in the ass for Teespring to produce, and (c) the patch made sense for last year’s shirts, because those shirts were supposed to mimic jerseys, but this year’s shirts are just T-shirts — they’re not meant to mimic a jersey, so I’m thinking that the patch wouldn’t make as much sense.

Then again, the sleeve patch was a fun element last year, and it provided a sense of continuity and collectability throughout the course of the program. So we could include a sleeve patch on this year’s shirts if you folks want us to. Or, instead of a sleeve patch, we’re tinkering with the idea of including a jock tag, which is the official-looking tag that appears near the lower-left hemline of most jerseys. We could create a Uni Watch T-Shirt Club jock tag graphic and include it there on the 2016 shirts. It would include the month of each shirt’s release, just like the patch did for last year’s shirts. I can imagine some of you really loving this and other really hating it. But instead of imagining what you think, I’m going to let you tell me. Here:

For the 2016 shirts… free polls

Thanks for your input. I’ll have more info on this year’s shirts soon.

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Cardinals are reportedly on the verge of signing Korean pitcher Oh Seung Hwan. Oh is his surname, so he would tie the record for the shortest NOB in MLB history (tying Chin-lung Hu, and maybe others who I’m forgetting). But when he played in Korea, he wore “Shoh,” which is apparently his surname plus his first and middle initials, but without periods or spaces. If he signs with the Cards and just uses “Oh,” St. Louis would become the first team to have a pitching staff that includes a two-letter NOB and a single-digit uni number (all this from Jeff Scott). ”¦ Lots of great stuff in this home movie footage from what appears to be the 1950s, including a visit to an Indians game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The most interesting bit is at the 10:42 mark, when a station wagon delivers the starting pitcher from the bullpen! Never seen that before. Right after that is a marching band led by — ugh — a drum majorette wearing a Native American headdress (from Steven Stern).

NFL News: Here’s the program cover design for Supe 50. As several people have pointed out, the Chiefs helmet is wrong, because the arrowhead should be facing forward. ”¦ Micahel Lipinski found this old Birmingham Bolts XFL T-Shirt in his mom’s attic. ”¦ A friend of Joe Biskey’s found this cool NFL fight song LP at a vintage record shop. ”¦ Whoa, check out this old photo from the 1972 Divisional Playoffs — Packers vs. Washington — which shows that Washington had colored yard markers! I probably watched that game at the time, but I have no memory of the colored markers (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Presidential candidate Donald Trump thinks trying to protect players from concussions caused by helmet-to-helmet hits is what’s wrong with football, and with America, not necessarily in that order.

College and High School Football News: Clemson will be going mono-orange tonight. ”¦ Speaking of tonight’s game, check this old Clemson/’Bama program cover from 1969 (from James Gilbert). ”¦ And here’s the ticket design for tonight’s game (from Dan Medina). ”¦ Good article on college football championship rings.

Hockey News: Oooh, check out this very nice V-stripe jersey worn in the 1960s by Penn (from Jeff Flynn). ”¦ Avs C Matt Duchene has the title of a Thomas Rhett song written on his stick tape (from Jay the AHP).

NBA News: Weird to see Knicks apparel with a Jumpman logo. That’s Kristaps Porzingis at a recent charity event (from Julien Simonin). ”¦ Interesting-looking game in Sacramento on Saturday night, as the Kings wore black at home and Warriors wore “The City” throwbacks on the road (thanks, Mike). ”¦ The Nuggets wore their sleeved alternates last night. ”¦ More about the Nuggets: With Emmanuel Mudiay back from a month-long injury absence, Denver was once again able to have zero and double-zero on the court at the same time. That’s Mudiay wearing No. 0 and teammate Darrell Arthur wearing No. 00 (screen shot by Sandy Dover). ”¦ The Lakers gave away Kobe Bryant No. 8 jerseys last night (from Robert Hayes). ”¦ The Trail Blazers and Thunder went color on color last night (from Anton Bossio).

College and High School Hoops News: You don’t often a see a city’s nickname on a high school basketball uni. But here’s a shot of the 1950-51 team from New Castle High Schoo in Indiana, showing the team wearing “Rose City” jerseys (from Marc Viquez). ”¦ “LSU associate coach Brendan Suhr worked in the NBA from 1979 through 2007 with the Hawks, Pistons, Nets, Raptors, Magic, and Knicks, so it’s understandable he might still have some leftover NBA-branded gear,” says Douglas Ford. “During Saturday’s game vs. Florida, he broke out this NBA-branded portfolio folder.” ”¦ Robert Carter Jr. of Maryland has JROB, but with a twist: the “R” is a small cap (good spot by Michael Guffy). ”¦ Hmmm anyone know why these two teams both have bullseye-ish uni number designs on the backs of their jerseys? (From Eric Juregens.) ”¦ Bill Brimm, the high school coach who dressed his team in that bizarre polka dot uniform back in 1960 (and who I interviewed three years ago as part of my reporting for this article), has passed away (thanks, Phil). ”¦ East Tennessee State debuted a new gold alternate last night (from Jake Young).

Soccer News: Interesting sponsor for Scunthorpe United (from Kirsten Fleming). ”¦ New sesquicentennial third kit for Nottingham Forest (from Tim Cross).

Grab Bag: A town in upstate New York is voting today on whether to change its town logo, which appears to show a white man choking a Native American (from Louis Griffel). ”¦ Yale has inked a big-money deal with Under Armour (from Tris Wykes). ”¦ The USA and Denver played a color-on-color lacrosse exhibition match yesterday. ”¦ Apostrophe catastrophe on a recent episode of Fargo, which showed a Reagan campaign bus with an open-quote instead of an apostrophe (good spot by Joe Baka). ”¦ Here’s more on golfer Ricky Fowler and his high-top shoes (from Tremaine Eto). ”¦ Golfer Jordan Spieth wore the same shirt yesterday that he wore while winning the U.S. Open last summer. … Amazing Rainbow Warriors throwbacks for Hawaii volleyball.

Comments (63)

    The Rainbow Warriors throwbacks would appear to be volleyball, so that item should be in the Grab Bag, rather than the Hoops section.

    It’s a thing of beauty wherever it’s files. Hawaii so needs to go back to the Rainbow Warrriors nickname. Well, they really need to adopt a Hawaiian-language nickname like Na Ali’i, but barring that, they should be the Rainbow Warriors.

    I think it would be awesome for Hawaii to have a native language nickname. Wish they would go that route.

    Thanks! Wikipedia says that in 2000, the school let each athletic program choose its nickname, and most of the men’s teams adopted Warriors. But baseball adopted Rainbows. I had no idea – I had thought the school changed all the men’s programs to Warriors. Sadly, the drab green-and-black H introduced when most men’s programs dropped the “Rainbow” remains. On the plus side, the women’s teams are officially the Rainbow Wāhine. Normally, I really dislike when women’s collegiate teams are given different nicknames from the men at the same school. But “Wāhine” is at least a Hawaiian-language word, so I give UH props for that, even if it just means “woman.”

    Maybe it’s me, but the baseball paragraph of The Ticker appears to be jacked up starting with the third sentence. I thought the video would shed some light, but the link is bad.

    I’m seeing it too. Reads like there’s a home movie from the 1950s that shows Oh playing in Korea.

    Agree, but that also makes no sense unless the Cards are about to sign an 80 year-old pitcher…

    I don’t mind the muted gold they are using for the 50th logos. It looks more antiqued and classy…two words I don’t associate with the NFL at all

    Me either. I actually think it’d be great if they went without a Super Bowl patch and instead converted the uni-shields to gold and that’s it. It’s a very subtle uni-element that still gets the point across that it’s Super Bowl 50. The big patches tend to look clunky, especially with the form-fitting jerseys the players wear now. Next year they can go back to it, but for now, it’d be a more refined approach (gold pun not intended).

    I find it funny that the complaint is that the logos aren’t flashy enough when the complaint for this kind of thing on this site is that they are too flashy.

    There’s an episode of South Park where the town debates whether to change its flag, which depicts a group of white people lynching a black person. In the end, they decide to change it to a multicultural group of people lynching a black person.


    Hey Paul, why dont you use dumn grommits on Bill O’Brien’s dimple… oh wait, I guess you’re the only one who can criticize others, but you get all butthurt when others are critical of you.

    NFL SB50 Program: don’t what’s worse. Getting something as simple as the Chiefs’ logo wrong or that it costs $20?

    Glad to see the Chiefs ditch the red pants in favor of the cleaner looking whites… They looked good while the Texans looked awful in all blue (who thinks that looks good at all?)

    My wife, who usually makes fun of me for having these opinions, actually commented that the Texans’ unis looked like little kids’ uniforms. It was a proud moment.

    Hmmm anyone know why these two teams both have bullseye-ish uni number designs on the backs of their jerseys? (From Eric Juregens.)


    – It’s a summer league in Seattle– Seattle ProAm

    To see those 1972 ‘Skins colored yard markers in action check out this short clip on YouTube. Crazy how fans were allowed to run into the field after games in those days.


    OK, is there any Uni-Watch reader who doesn’t believe that the mystery jersey will be – curling?

    Not curling? link

    I’d have guessed bowling, except Paul claims December will be a surprise, and nobody would be surprised if the shirt involved bowling, grommets, meat, or foot measurement.

    Agree on the Chiefs look. Classic and pristine. No sane person would think otherwise. Packers and Washington looked great too. Probably the only good looking playoff matchup we will get unless we have a Super Bowl 1 rematch.

    Regarding the home movie in Cleveland, were foul poles so short back then? It doesn’t reach to the upper deck

    For those who are interested, WFMU has that LP of NFL fight songs on their blog. Been there since 2008, in fact!


    “That’s Mudiay wearing No. 00 and teammate Darrell Arthur wearing No. 0”
    Should be the other way around.

    I know there used to be a rule bcause when the Pistons acquired Orlando Woolridge in the early 90s, he wore #6 instead of his usual #0 until William Bedford agreed to change from #00 to #50. I think it had to do with the stat tracking software at the time. What’s more, the NBA allowed them both to make this change mid-season which also differs from the rules of today.

    Call me a no-talent but two nitpicky things:

    The Indiana high school is missing the L in “school” although it is in Indiana so maybe it’s correct…

    And in the picture of “Shoh” in his Korean uniform, it appears that there are extra spaces between the S and first H and the first H and the O – “S H OH” – I’ve seen Korean names transliterated into English with all kinds of punctuation so who knows?

    …and for Scunthorpe United, for a while a lot of Web forums automatically blocked mention of the club’s name or location for apparent reasons, so you had to call them “Scanthorpe United” or something similar….

    It looks like Suhr’s portfolio is actually NBPA-branded (that’s the National Basketball Players Association). So it is doubly odd, because he never played in the NBA.

    For those of you asking about the baseball scorecard socks from a couple of days ago: it took about 30 minutes of searching but here is where you can find them: link

    So the Vikings font options:
    1) Keep as is – doesn’t address the confusion
    2) drop new font, go back to old school numbers
    3) make both numbers the same – that is, the leading font and trailing font are the same –so inherently two options there
    4) another redesign

    I’d be curious to see if either of the #3 options look good. Otherwise, I’d go old school.

    I can’t wait until the whole 50th Anniversary of the Super Bowl is behind us. The fact the league is treating this like the birth of the sport is ludicrous. I remember Super Bowl XXV and the nice ceremony before the game. I don’t remember too much hype during the season.

    But how do you have a season long celebration for the anniversary of a postseason event? You can’t even say this was the beginning of the league as we know it because the NFL/AFL merger occurred in ’70. Which brings me to my next point.

    In five years time it will mark the centennial, 60 year and half-centennial celebration of the start of the NFL, AFL and post merger NFL respectively. What prey-tell what will the NFL marketeers throw at us then? I venture a guess is will be over the top, if not just plain stupid. Be prepared for uniform patches, throwbacks and in your face merchandising.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they do the whole 50th Anniversary again next year since technically thats when it will be. This year is merely the 50th installment.

    So can any commenters answer Paul’s question about shaving a deep dimple? I’ve wondered that myself – figured someone would have chimed in by now with an answer. Maybe I need to ask Reddit.

    The teams in the National Chamionship tonight have shiny/metallic maker’s marks. Alabama’s seem to be silver and Clemson’s seems to be orange or gold. What are the chances these appear on the Super Bowls participants as well?

    Am i the only one annoyed by the various championship logos?

    The one on the field looks odd, i thought it just said 2 16 for awhile.  The patch on Clemson’s jerseys are actually legible but the football is on a black background
    The football on the Bama jersey is actually white and not gold.

    But the sticker on Bama’s helmet is on a black background and looks nice.

    In Monday’s column, under Hockey News, I looked not only at the Penn jersey, but other items on that Ebay list. Included in it was a Notre Dame football helmet listed as Joe Montana’s. Funny though, I thought Montana wore number 3 at Notre Dame, not number 16 as SEEMS to be listed on the offer.

Comments are closed.