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The ‘N’ is for…

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

Nowledge 550

Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

In a somewhat surprising move yesterday afternoon, the Nebraska Cornhuskers unveiled their one-off alternate uniform, for 2016 — to be worn on September 24th against Northwestern. Unlike their previous alternates, this one is all white, and is dubbed “Husker Chrome” by Nebraska and adidas. It’s also the first time the Huskers will wear an alternate uniform for an away game.

As far as alternates go, and alternates for Nebraska in particular, this one is pretty clean. Let’s take a closer look (you can click any of the photos below to enlarge):

Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome

Let’s get the obligatory corporate-speak out of the way:

The special edition uniform is centered around a pristine white colorway with metallic accents to create a bold alternate look for the Cornhuskers. The modernized style features metallic red numbering with metallic chrome outlining on the jersey and is accented with metallic chrome stripes on both the jersey and the pants. Additional detailing includes an oversized, metallic red bold “N” logo that seamlessly aligns with the pant stripes.

[Insert eyeroll]

Actually, compared to some of their past alternates, this one is tame. We’ll start at the top and work our way down:


Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Helmet1


The helmet looks pretty much like the regular Nebraska helmet, except the red facemask has been swapped for a metallic (chrome) mask. The red center stripe is gone, and the “N” logo on the side appears to be a metallic finish as well. The back will feature red numbers outlined in silver (chrome), with a little Nebraska state decal as well. I’m not a helmet guy, and I think all helmets should have gray facemasks, so to me this is an upgrade.


Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_3StripeLife

Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Helmet1

Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Jersey_Back

At first glance, the numbers appear to be a metallic (chrome) red, with silver (chrome) outline — but if you look closely (enlarge the first hi-res photo) and you’ll see they contain the patented(?) adidas tech-fit pattern (which most people, including yours truly, hate). I’ve compared it to tire treads. Since the pattern is on the white jersey and the numbers are metallic, it might not be as noticeable (or bad-looking) as on other adidas jerseys with that pattern (they had this on their 2015 alternate as well, which you can see below). Other schools, such as UCLA and Louisville, have had a similar tire tread pattern on their jerseys before, and this is the next-gen tire tread pattern.

The shoulders have the silver (chrome) stripes, also with the “broken” striping pattern we’ve seen previously. These two elements, which are unique to adidas jerseys, are (to me), unattractive. However, at least according to adidas, they make the players bigger/faster/stronger perform better, or something:

The new Primeknit Husker Chrome alternative uniform is at the forefront of design and innovation, providing players the perfect blend of style and technology for elite performance. Made with a cutting-edge, proprietary yarn blend that increases durability and abrasion resistance, Primeknit is the premier compression uniform system, featuring the latest generation of adidas TECHFIT technology. Primeknit helps keep players cool and increases range of motion, giving athletes an unrivaled level of comfort and allowing them to perform at their highest levels. The jersey’s padlock system secures tension over the shoulder pads, while the bodymap fit adheres to the player, making it difficult for opponents to grab, hold or tackle.

As shown on the model, the NOB will also be of the silver (chrome) material. I’m not sure if all of the jerseys will actually read “HUSKERS” or be replaced by the player last name. That may just be a placeholder.



Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Pants

Solid white on the front and back, with broken silver (chrome) striping, separated by a large red (chrome) broken (an element they have worn on previous alternates). Again, I’m not a fan of this, but since there’s not too much other “jazz” on the uniform, it won’t completely overpower it.

Other stuff (baselayer, gloves, socks, shoes):

Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Baselayer


Nebraska x adidas_HuskerChrome_Gloves

Pretty standard fare — white socks and shoes, the gloves, when crossed, form an “N” and the baselayer…well:

The Husker Chrome theme continues on the TECHFIT baselayer with a traditional bold “N” logo prominently feature on the chest and sitting atop a gray liquid crystal, metallic chrome pattern. Additionally, the theme carries onto the adizero 5-Star 5.0 gloves, featuring an oversized graphic of the red “N” logo atop gray liquid crystal chrome pattern. The adizero 5-Star 5.0 gloves feature 4-way stretch mesh for compression fit and GripTack for consistent control in all weather conditions.

If you want to see more of the uniform, you get some more looks in this promo video:

And here are a few more looks at the uni from the Nebraska Football Twitter feed:

And the obligatory player reaction-to-the-reveal video:

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As far as alternates go (as mentioned above), this is probably my second-favorite. Nebraska is a pretty traditional school, and has worn pretty traditional uniforms for the most part for a very long time. So, they let adidas kinda go to town for their once-a-year one-off alternate. Their best alternate was probably worn in 2009 (before the alternate jersey/uni craze became a thing), and that was a “throwback” — worn on Sept. 26, 2009, against Louisiana-Lafayette, to celebrate their 300th consecutive sell-out. It was a throwback to their 1962 unis.


I have always loved those rounded numbers (reminiscent of the Clarendon font worn at times by UCLA) and the helmets with numbers are always a great look. The rest of their alternates…well, see for yourself:

2012 vs. Wisconsin


You may remember that game — the battle of the letters — as adidas also dressed Wisconsin in an alternate costume. Yeah, not a good look.

2013 vs. UCLA


The first appearance of tire tread on a Nebraska uniform. At least UCLA didn’t have a crazy alt to match.

2014 vs. Illinois


The first appearance of the “N” element on the pants, mono red, and with a two-tone helmet. At least they wore red.

2015 vs. Northwestern


All black, broken elements, chrome, tire treads. This one had it all.

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So there you have it. By comparison, this year’s alternate uni is pretty good (but that’s more a function of addition by subtraction than anything else). But I do kinda like it — and hey, at least they didn’t refer to it as “stormtrooper.”


Your thoughts?

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Leo's World 500

Leo’s World
“Leo’s World” is a new, semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends (and now, weekdays during Paul’s blog-cation), featuring some excellent uni-related finds from Leo Strawn, Jr.. Each installment will feature a new, unique or just very cool collection of related uniform observations and research. You can click the images below to enlarge. — PH

Familiar Players in Unfamiliar Uniforms, v 4.0 Cy Young and MVP Award Winners Edition…and Some Photos to Get You Ready for College Football!
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

Hawai’i hosts Cal to open up the College Football season this Friday night. What better time to share these classic team photos I recently found.


Here is THE Ohio State University team photo from 1903.

That photo was part of a game program for the season ending game at Recreation Park (now in the area of German Village) against Indiana, and also included a pic of the Hoosiers.


The 1903 Indiana team photo is a real oddity.

Three of the Hoosiers are wearing an early form of headgear and…earmuffs?!

This is a very early instance of football helmets, just ten years after Joseph Reeves wore headgear formed from mole skin to protect his noggin during the 1893 Army-Navy game. It was about the time of this Indiana team photo that headgear was beginning to be manufactured from hardened leather, so this is most likely one of the earliest photos of leather football helmets.

I don’t know what to make of the earmuffs, though.

If you have any info on these 1903 Hoosier helmets, let us know! Now, on to FPiUU…

We’re all familiar with those odd photos of our favorite players either just starting or finishing out their careers in unfamiliar uniforms. Rather than just post a bunch of photos, I thought it would be fun to let readers guess who these legends are. Today, “we’re talkin’ baseball” with MLB Cy Young Award winners and Most Valuable Players.

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Ready? No Googling…



1. If you read UW regularly, you know BSmile recently colorized a photo of this MVP in a Chunichi Dragons uniform.



2. Speaking of Japan, what MVP is wearing this Tokyo uniform on a tour of the island nation?



3. Name this MVP shown here in his Columbus Clippers uniform.



4. This Cy Young Award winner looks amazing in a Cleveland Indians vest and cap he never wore while pitching, in this photo taken during his time as the Tribe’s pitching coach.



5. Speaking of the Indians, what MVP is wearing this Cleveland uniform?



6. This Cy Young Award winner looks great in his Alaska Goldpanners zippered jersey.


Extra point if you know why #5 is wearing a Cleveland uniform.

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#4. (Info on #4’s career here and Cleveland uniforms from his final season and the linked photo here.)



Extra point. (Scroll to bottom of page for answer.)

How did you do on this one?

Till next time…


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Uni Watch News Ticker

Baseball News: Hmmm. During Monday’s Padres/Cubs game, Wil Meyers was using Brett Wallace’s glove (from Padres Haiku). … So, how badly do you want a Ichiro Suzuki 3,000 hit patch? It’s a bargain here at only $12 (from The Emblem Source). … Our pal Douggie Keklak, who apparently like some logo creep, says “Even this is a bit much logo creep for me.” … WHOA — check out this incredible shot of Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen from 1980, when he was a senior in college. Wow! (Thanks, Paul).

NFL News: The Washington football team’s “revamped locker room: Ping-pong, shuffleboard ”“ and a cordoned-off logo” (from Tommy Turner). … “What if…” the Oregon Ducks (circa 2010ish) traded unis with the Minnesota Vikings or the Baltimore Ravens, or something? Would you get Paul’s Nightmare? (from Erika Esola-Imburgio). … Custom NFL/College Football Jerseys are now available for dogs. … Another day, another NFL uni rankings piece. … Here’s a screenshot of Gronk wearing a never used White/Silver uni combo in a Madden 17 promo video (from John Carey). … According to interst8forty4, these are new North Carolina, Carolina Panthers license plates, which feature the slogan, “Keep Pounding.”

College/High School/Youth Football News: Here’s a cool video showing the process of UNLV putting decals on their red helmets in preparation for their first game. … After local team was scammed by vendors, Flo Rida stepped up and donated uniforms to the team (from Susan Freeman). … Check out this photo of Notre Dame Shamrock Series uniforms “in the wild” (from Warren Junium). … “Helmet With Optical Lenses For Football Star”, from Bruce Menard; (August 23, 1930). Adds Bruce, “Great look for a throwback game!” … For the first time in Youngstown St. history, they will wear red pants for certain home games (from Robert Hayes). He adds they will also no longer use black pants for home games, and instead use them on the road. … Now that Michigan is with Swooshie, they’ll develop alternate unis, but that doesn’t mean the team will wear them. … Here’s a look at some of the cleats Sparty will wear this season (h/t Tomboy Chick). … Mississippi State’s “What to Wear” color guide for the 2016 season (from Paul). … UNC added flags to the back of @TarHeelFootball players @PatriceRene21 and @tomsheldon4 helmets yesterday (from James Gilbert). … Could this turn Robert Marshall or Larry Bodnovich into a Dr. Pepper fan? It’s a script Ohio soda display at Giant Eagle in Lewis Center, OH (from Michael Saad).

Hockey News: “I received a St. Louis Blues promotional email (Mon)day featuring a promotion of a 1967 era replica jersey giveaway in January,” says Mark Richter. “With speculation that they may wear such a jersey for the Winter Classic, this just fuels the fire!” … OK, now this I can get into: P.K. Subban has debuted a new line of suits (from John Muir). … Looks like the aforementioned St. Louis Blues have revealed their Alumni game jerseys for the Winter Classic (from Matt Cable). … Here’s a look at Northern Michigan goaltender Atte Tolvanen’s new gear (from Jerry Nitzh).

NBA News: The Toronto Raptors unveiled two new jerseys for the upcoming 2016-17 season on Tuesday, one a nod to the NBA’s Canadian heritage and the other a celebration of the Chinese New Year. I’m loving the blue throwback…but not such a huge fan of the Chinese New Year look. Here’s a more in depth look at those from our buddy Chris Creamer. … Derrick Rose wore jersey No. 1 with the Chicago Bulls. This season, his first with the New York Knicks, Rose will wear No. 25, a number he says signifies a “new step” in his career (thanks, Paul).

College Hoops News: Here’s a look at the UCLA basketball jerseys from their game in Australia. Adds submitter Aarik Woods, “not sure if this is the look for the whole year or not.” … This isn’t really any breaking news, but Michigan will unveil its new Jordan Brand unis in September.

Grab Bag: Here’s a cool infographic which goes back to 1896, the start of the modern Olympics, which charts the number of USA medals won as well as the top performing US athletes in each of the 28 summer Olympics (from Caemin O Connor). … The Olympics might be over, but the endorsement race is just getting underway. … Because there is such a thing: a display of McDonald’s uniform history at Hamburger U (from Michael Alper). … 1,000 people with umbrellas will become the National Park Service emblem (from John Muir).

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And that’s it for today. Thanks, of course, to Leo for another great edition of Leo’s World. Hope everyone got a perfect score on the quiz! And what do we all think of Nebraska’s alt?

By the time you all read this, we’ll have all 12 of our Griffins Jersey Design Contest finalists selected by popular vote. I’ll likely run the final 12 (with a recap of their submissions) tomorrow.

Until then, follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Yoshida to Radom to Chance is a solid combination..”

— Jerry Wolper

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Comments (42)

    “…new North Carolina, Carolina Panthers license plates, which feature the hashtag, “#KeepPounding.”

    I don’t see no #.

    Good catch! I’d meant to change that to “slogan” (the tweet contained the hashtag, not the plate itself).

    Now fixed.

    It looks like the UNLV guy is applying the Warning decal to the helmet as well. So,…. the helmets don’t come with one already?

    Seems odd to me.

    Sometimes when helmets & goalie masks are painted they take off the warning/certified sticker so the painting goes smoothly then the stickers are reapplied.

    I would rather read every word of the iPhone terms and conditions than read the corporate-speak of today’s uniform manufacturers. And I’d rather clean toilets than have to write that stuff.

    Agreed as to reading it, but as to writing it, I can see the attraction. Unlike most novelists, the marketing folks at Nike, UA, adidas, etc. actually get paid to write fiction. A good gig if you can get it. Athletic lifestyle corporation marketing departments are sort of like the Iowa Writers Workshop of superlatives.

    I know it’s not specific to this uniform, but for some reason it caught me when they started talking about the “baselayer”–“Oh, that’s what we used to call a ‘t-shirt’.”

    Love the photo of Tom Seaver as an Alaska Goldpanner!

    Years ago I saw an ad for the Goldpanners in Baseball America and bought one of their caps.

    I had never heard of them until I ran across that photo of Tom.

    The caps are cool, but those jerseys…priceless!

    The “N” is for ……nonsense. If you provide a group of first graders with a supply of duck tape and ask them to craft a uniform, this is the likely result.

    As my father in law always jokes, the “N” on the Nebraska helmets stands for “Nowledge”…

    Matt Cable, those are the usual Blues Alumni jerseys; don’t know if they’ll wear those or something more retro for the Winter Classic alumni game.

    Apologies if it’s been covered and I missed it, but did anybody else notice that Billy Hamilton’s been wearing his belt like an idiot with it sized too big and the buckle hanging down in front?

    You can see it in the video under Replay Review here: link

    I’ve noticed that as well. If I had to guess I’d say it’s because he does a lot of headfirst sliding/diving and having it loose might be more comfortable. Either that or he’s so scrawny that they don’t have a belt small enough to fit him.

    Teams with traditional uniforms I prefer they do their alternate on the road. Why mess with their home colors. I’m a Trojan, but I like the ucla light blue uniforms. When they break out the navy or black uniforms they just look awful. I hope USC never messes with their uniforms, but if they do then do it for their roadies. An all white uniform, even with white helmets, wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    You have to go to the link at the top, then scroll, then click the graphic a couple of times to enlarge it so it’s readable.

    Once you do you’ll find that the flag of Spain was used for Beijing 2008…..

    An old joke:

    Q: What does the “N” on a Nebraska helmet stand for?

    A: Knowledge.

    That’s great. I have an in-law who teaches at Creighton, and his mother is a crazy-proud Nebraska alum, so I’m going to have to use that joke the next time I’m in the same room with the two of them.

    Um…yeah. That was the joke that was the hed.

    Surprised some folks haven’t heard that.

    “The N is for ‘[k]Nowledge'”

    an oldie but a goodie for sure

    The St Louis Blues Alumni have worn that sweater for several years so it’s not something new for the Winter Classic

    I’m thinking the ’03 Hoosiers are wearing “dog-ear” helmets with the ears in the ‘up’ position (the one fellow’s chinstrap making them look like earmuffs).

    The Nebraska alternates could be worse. The helmet is pretty good. The jersey and pants could do without all the extra crap details. I am a native of Nebraska so it is great to see the state outlined on the back of the helmet. I am still pretty angry that they moved out of black shoes a couple of years ago. I cannot stand white shoes. All of their championships were claimed in the 70s and 90s and they all were won in black shoes. I am happy they are doing the alternate on the road. The home games are are looked upon as pretty sacred and they should only wear the traditional uni at home.

    I was never really a fan of the black shoes. I always felt they stood out to much because they were a totally different color. What I miss are the knee high socks!

    That NFL uniform ranking link is BAT SHIT CRAZY.

    Colts, Packers, Bears, Raiders, Chiefs have the top 5 best uniforms in the NFL. I won’t argue what order they should go in as I wouldn’t fault you with your arrangement of these 5… but there IS a reason why these guys NEVER change. They’ve got the best looks!

    Vikings #1? Lions #9? UGH. Those rankings are too high.

    Not that I’d send the Lions to the bottom third, to be sure, but I’ve just never liked the funky numbers, and the black trim just needs to go.

    Many teams should have followed the example of the Colts, Packers, Bears, Raiders and Chiefs. Keep that classic, simple, traditional look. Fans identify with it. The look becomes iconic. Sometimes trying too hard can screw up a uniform.

    We would have better looking uniforms as a group if many teams had taken this advice.

    The writer must be a huge Vikings fan. Though, I think it was pretty accurate putting the Jaguars and the Buccaneers as the 2 worst.

    The Nebraska uni is too sterile. Look chemistry lab coats, with a white dome. Jesus, who designs their look? Fire ’em.

    As a Nebraska fan for probably 20 years, I have always loved their classic uniforms. These are not that bad. But, why silver chrome? Go red chrome, SMU has red chrome facemasks for their helmets. I think it could look alright.

    Also, take the stupid “N” off of the pants. seriously, you can create a chrome alternate and keep it just like the original uniform. I don’t mind the chrome outlines for the numbers or anything, but there is just too much silver in my opinion.

    BTW, Paul, Phil, is there going to a Uniwatch post for all the new FBS uniforms? Always one of my favorites every year.

    “BTW, Paul, Phil, is there going to a Uniwatch post for all the new FBS uniforms? Always one of my favorites every year.”


    Paul will have that over on the Mothership next week, but we’ll preview it here the day it goes live. Looking forward to it as well — after the MLB Preview, my (now) second favorite ESPN column Paul does!

    I love watching these dumbass jocks protect their logo which is placed on the 50 yd line on football fields or on freaking carpet where you would expect foot traffic.


    and kudos for the redskins to treat the disparaging logo ON CARPET with more respect than the actual humans the logo derogatorily represents.


    Joe Ross: Funny old world.
    Susan Ricci: Funny old world? Dog my cats!
    Joe Ross: Dog my cats indeed.

    On the photo for the Winter Classic Alumni game, the Blues Alumni have worn that jersey for a couple years starting with their games in Slovakia when they did a few games in Pavol Demitra’s hometown. They could wear that, but most likely without the Alumni moniker under the Bluenote. Wouldn’t be surprised if they wore that, but also wouldn’t be surprised if they wore the 89-94 homes.

Comments are closed.