The Riddell SpeedFlex helmet presents a challenge for NFL equipment managers, because its shell includes a cutout on the crown, right where striping tape would normally be passing through. Several readers have commented in recent weeks that the Cowboys run their striping tape across that cutout, while most other teams take the trouble to cut their stripes as they cross the gap (see examples of both styles at right).
Reader Omar Jalife has done some heroic photo research to determine how each stripe-helmeted NFL team handles this (a trickier task than you might think, because some teams only have one or two SpeedFlex-clad players). Let’s see how the numbers stack up, shall we? One thing at a time:
1. Of the 32 NFL teams, 19 of them have center striping on their helmets. In addition, the Bengals’ tiger stripes and the Rams’ horns extend over the SpeedFlex gap. So that gives us a total of 21 teams to assess. (The 11 remaining teams with no helmet striping or other graphics extending into the SpeedFlex gap are the Bears, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars, Patriots, Texans, and Vikings.)
2. Of those 21 teams, 13 of them cut their striping tape as it crosses the gap — the Bengals, Bills, Colts, Dolphins, 49ers, Jets, Lions, Packers, Raiders, Ravens, Seahawks, Titans, and Washington (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):
3. Three additional teams — the Browns, Panthers, and Saints — have been inconsistent, sometimes cutting their striping tape and sometimes not (click to enlarge):
4. There are two teams — the Giants and Steelers — that, in addition to center striping, have uniform numbers on the front of their helmets, and these numbers also extend into the SpeedFlex gap. Both teams cut their stripes, but they take different approaches to their helmet numbers: The Steelers cut theirs, while the Giants leave theirs intact across the gap (click to enlarge).
5. The Broncos are an interesting case. Their center stripe doesn’t extend all the way down to the nose bumper — it stops a few inches short, right around the spot where the SpeedFlex gap would be. It looks like their equipment staff may actually have shortened the stripe just a bit on the SpeedFlex shells, to keep the stripe from reaching the gap (click to enlarge):
The Broncos did cut their striping, however, on their recent Thursday-night helmet design:
6. That leaves us with two teams that let their helmet ornamentation extend across the gap without cutting it — the Cowboys and Rams:
Personally, I think the cut stripes look much better. I even think the Steelers’ cut numbers look better than the Giants’ intact numbers, which I wouldn’t have guessed would be the case until I actually saw them side by side.
(Huge thanks to Omar Jalife for laying the groundwork for this entry.)
T-Shirt Club Update: The fifth of our six 2016 designs is finally ready to go. It’s our football shirt — check it out (click to enlarge):
Not bad, right? I can already hear a bunch of you complaining that the various stripe patterns don’t match, but that doesn’t bother me. Big thanks to my creative partner, Bryan Molloy, for his hard work on this one.
This shirt comes in three color options — grey, black, and green — and is available here until Nov. 10. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
’Skins Watch: MLB commish Rob Manfred appeared on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show earlier this week and was asked about Chief Wahoo. His response: “I understand that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and I understand why. On the other side of the coin, you have a lot of fans who have history and are invested in the symbols of the Indians. After the World Series, at an appropriate point in time, Mr. Dolan [team owner Larry Dolan] and I have agreed that we’ll have a conversation about what should happen with that particular logo going forward.” That sounds like Manfred clearing his throat before basically telling Dolan that it’s time for Wahoo to be mothballed, although I once thought the same thing regarding comments by Roger Goodell and nothing happened on that front, so we’ll see. … Meanwhile, a Cleveland hospital encouraged its employees to wear Indians apparel to work for “Spirit Day” but asked them not to wear anything with Wahoo. According to that article, the hospital said refraining from wearing Wahoo is “part of complying with the hospital’s core values, which include respect, inclusion and diversity” (from Jim Vilk). … The Mississauga Chiefs — that’s a girls’ hockey team in Ontario — are keeping their team name with the blessing of local First Nations groups (from Mike Logue). … A graphic on yesterday’s episode of ESPN’s SportsNation program referred to the ’Skins as “Washington’s Professional Team” (from Jeff Stark). … In case you missed it yesterday: Last month I took part in a panel discussion at Baruch College on the use of Native American imagery in sports. The event was videotaped, and the video is now available for viewing. You can view it here, or below:
Baseball News: Former Astros star Craig Biggio is opening a sports bar, with ’Stros-style promotional jerseys (from @jookyhc). … Here’s an article on the Minnesota company that produces a lot of the World Series merch (from Mark Medinger). … Unfuckingbelievable: The giant Cubs caps on the lions outside of the Art Institute of Chicago have been updated to include New Era logo creep. … The dirt paths from the dugout to home plate at PNC Park are not included in the new field layout that’s currently being installed. … Chicago Blackhawks players showed their support for the Cubs by wearing Cubs jerseys on their latest road trip (from Phillip Santos). … New logo for the Lynchburg Hillcats. … Cleveland DH Carlos Santana has a Dominican Republic-themed bat knob decal (from Cody the Chicken). … Here’s a look at the making of World Series jersey (from Robert Hayes).
NFL News: The Jags and Titans looked pretty godawful doing mustard vs. powder blue last season, so someone had the brilliant idea of having them do it again last night, with predictably miserable results. Additional photos here, if you dare. … Interesting piece on the NFL’s attempts — mostly failed — to eliminate the word “nigger” from the field of play.
College and High School Football News: Westwood High School in Texas has NOBs on the helmets instead of the jerseys (from Ken Singer). … Military appreciation uniforms tonight for USF (from John Sobol). … Here’s a look at Colorado State’s record as broken down by uniform (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a ranking of college field designs (from Jason Hillyer). … UNC coach Larry Fedora had his own throwback coaching attire for pre-Halloween (from James Gilbert). … How can these guys look so dejected when they’re wearing such awesome socks? (Big thanks to Marc Swanson.) … Pitt’s sideline mascot wore pink last night (from Andrew Cosentino). … Speaking of Pitt, as we’ve noted before, DE Ejuan Price is taking biker shorts to new extremes. Additional pics here, here, and here. … St. Francis High in Maryland uses the San Francisco Giants’ interlocking “SF” logo. … Down toward the bottom of this page is a video that shows Oregon State’s orange uniforms from the 1941 Rose Bowl (from Jeremy Brahm).
Hockey News: The latest team to go pink in the rink is the Bellingham Blazers. … I put this in the baseball section, but it’s worth repeating here: Blackhawks players showed their support for the Chicago Cubs by wearing Cubs jerseys on their latest road trip (from Phillip Santos).
NBA News: Man, league licensing restrictions sure can result in some seriously odd-looking ads. … The Pistons may be moving to the Red Wings’ new arena (from Dan Kennedy). … The Hawks plan to continue mixing and matching their jerseys and shorts this season, which if nothing else should at least make for good comic relief (thanks, Phil). … Jared Wheeler was looking through some old NBA team yearbooks and found some good stuff. First, a 1993 piece about how the Bucks’ logo was developed. Second, 76ers uni timeline up through 1993 (look here, here, and here). And third, a look at the Spurs’ all-time roster as broken down by uni number, as of 1993 (look here and here). … The Kings opened their new arena last night by wearing purple at home with an opening-night patch. Sorry, couldn’t find a closer view of the patch. If anyone has a better shot, I’ll gladly swap it in. … That new Kings arena also has a team jersey timeline display (from Paul Simpson).
College Hoops News: Here are some more photos of Marquette’s new set. I like (thanks, Phil). … New uniforms for Mississippi. … Whoa, look how they used to set up the Kingdome in Seattle for basketball! (From Josh Sandin.)
Click to enlarge
What Paul did last night: I’m not even going to explain what’s happening in the photo shown above. Let’s just say it was a lot more fun than watching the Jaguars and Titans. Hope you had a fun night, too. Enjoy the World Series this weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday.