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Monday Morning Uni Watch

The Bills wore their mono-red Thursday-night uniforms for a Sunday-afternoon game yesterday. That turned out to be a good thing, at least from a visibility standpoint, because this was a snow game for the ages. Meanwhile, the Colts wore their usual mono-white road uniforms, which at times rendered them almost invisible:

If you want still photos from this game, there are lots of them available here.

Speaking of the Colts, running back Frank Gore was apparently wearing trainer’s tape on his pants:

In other news from what was a very uni-eventful day around the league yesterday:

• Interesting-looking game at the Meadowlands, as the Giants wore their mono-white Thursday-night uniforms at home, complete with the Parcells-era helmet logos and the white facemasks, while the Cowboys paired their navy jerseys with their white Thursday-night pants (lots of additional photos here). It wasn’t a bad look for Dallas, but I prefer their silver pants.

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• The Cowboys/Giants game also featured two of the five players in the league who are now wearing the Walter Payton Award jersey patch (if you missed that news late last week, look here). Here’s how it looked on Giants quarterback Eli Manning:

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And here’s how it looked on Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (click to enlarge):

• In addition to Manning and Witten, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald wore the Payton patch for the first time:

• Also, all 32 nominees for this year’s Walter Payton award — one from each team — wore helmet decals. Here’s how a few of them looked (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):

• The Texans wore their red alternate jerseys:

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• The Broncos wore their navy alternate jerseys:

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• The Jaguars wore their teal alternate jerseys:

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• One week after going mono-royal, the Chargers followed up by going mono-navy:

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• The Bengals went mono-black:

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• The Steelers saluted injured teammate Ryan Shazier, who is still hospitalized after undergoing spinal stabilization surgery following a collision in Monday night’s game, in various ways. First, 15 players wore Shazier-themed cleats during pregame warmups. Here’s a sampling (additional info here):

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Also, several coaches wore pullovers emblazoned with Shazier’s No. 50 as part of their sideline attire:

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Also-also, linebacker Vince Williams wore Shazier’s No. 50, instead of his own No. 98, on the back of his helmet (which is similar to Bengals defensive back Pacman Jones wearing No. 15 on his helmet as a tribute to Chris Henry):

• Speaking of the Steelers, running back Le’Veon Bell’s NOB appeared to be off-center, and he also had thigh pads with the Steelers’ logo and his uni number:

• Ravens tight end Vince Mayle had hand-warmer pockets sewn into his jersey, instead of wearing a strap-on pouch.

• Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had a very unusual facemask design:

Suggs has apparently worn that mask before for pregame warmups, but not in a game:

• Two teams wore white at home: the aforementioned Giants and the Rams.

• Here’s a list of players who protested during the national anthem.

(My thanks to Addie Berube, Andrew Cairns, Andrew Kurzawski, L.J. Sparvero, and Ryan Ziegler for their contributions to this section.)

• • • • •

ESPN/Vikings reminder: In case you missed it last Friday: Remember my recent ESPN piece about how cartoonist Karl Hubenthal designed the Vikings’ uniforms, and how he used purple and gold because those were the colors of GM Bert Rose’s alma mater, the University of Washington?

Several Vikings fans responded to that piece with counter-narratives — stories that contradicted the one I reported. So I went back and did a bunch of additional reporting (including an interview with former Vikings coach Bud Grant, who’s now 90 years old), in an attempt to sort which stories were accurate and which ones weren’t.

The result is a new ESPN follow-up column, which I think you’ll find very interesting. Check it out here.

• • • • •

NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

This past week had the second-lowest percentage so far this season (42%) of games with the home team in white. (41% in week six was the lowest.) Season-long averages still show that home teams are choosing white most often, but that number has decreased for the past four weeks (click to enlarge):

One uniform made its first appearance this week, when the Kings wore their black alternates last night at home against the Raptors. That means only the Pistons, Timberwolves, and 76ers have yet to wear their alternates. The Timberwolves are scheduled to wear theirs this Saturday at home against the Suns.

On the color vs. color front, the Rockets and Celtics have both played nine such games, going 8-1 and 7-2, respectively. The Kings and Knicks are the only two teams yet to play in a color vs. color game.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The New York Post created a mock-up of Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton in a Yankees jersey — but if you look carefully, the jersey has a 2009 Yankee Stadium inaugural season patch (from Eric Hoey). … Here’s one of the best looks ever at the facemask worn by Orioles OF Gary Roenicke after he got beaned in 1979. According to this story, the O’s staff went into the Colts’ locker room at Memorial Stadium and took the mask off of quarterback Bert Jones’s helmet (from Joanna Zweip). … Also from Joanna: The Reds gave former OF Reggie Sanders a No. 50 jersey for his 50th birthday. He never wore that number during his career. … Reader Tom Pachuta saw a clip of a 1967 Red Sox-Athletics game in which A’s 3B Sal Bando was wearing a white cap. The team usually wore green caps during their time in Kansas City. [A’s players also wore white caps in this 1967 game against the Tigers, which I wrote about back in 2011. — PL]

Football News: Here’s a look at the bowl patch for Virginia Tech (from Andrew Cosentino). … Ohio will wear mono-white for the Bahamas Bowl (from Ed Żelaski). … Former Patriots LB Willie McGinest’s rookie jersey had an unusual McNOB treatment.

Hockey News: The Canadiens have part of the team’s motto, “Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau” (“to you from failing hands we throw the torch”) inside the collar of their jerseys this season. The motto is a French translation of a line from the poem “In Flanders Fields.” It’s on both the red and white jerseys and (look carefully) the NHL 100 Classic jerseys. … In the Champions Hockey League (the hockey equivalent of the UEFA Champions League), the top scorer on each team wears a jersey with a blue back that doesn’t have a number, but does have several more advertisements (from @rpw822). Another league that does this is the Swiss National League, which adds a flaming yellow helmet. … The Senators don’t use a consistent font for the tarps covering their nosebleed seats (from @Jay_Pea_R). … The Panthers will retire No. 37 for team founder H. Wayne Huizenga on Jan. 19 (thanks, Paul).

NBA News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Dan Tarrant was listening to a Hornets game on the radio and heard that the team’s final alternate uniform will be unveiled on Dec. 17 and worn later this season.

Soccer News: Bundesliga team Borussia Mönchengladbach have worn their black-and-white “third kit” for every home game bar one this season. As a result, this week’s opponents Schalke 04 ended up wearing Gladbach’s usual all white against them. … On the topic of black third kits, Scottish Championship (second tier) team St. Mirren have worn one several times, both home and away, for their 140th anniversary. … Staying in Scotland, Celtic used their 2016-17 third kit as their fourth (!) kit of this season. As I’ve mentioned before, Celtic’s clash kits this season are inexplicably both green, making their trips to yesterday’s opponents Hibernian a problem (Josh Hinton sent in more pictures as well). … If you like snow sports, you may be interested in the 1. FC Köln-SC Freiburg match from yesterday. Unlike other leagues that use full-time yellow balls in the winter, the Bundesliga’s orange snow ball only appears if it’s actually snowing. … Fans in the UK have a special disdain for match-commemorating “half and half” scarves, where each half is one team’s color. Accordingly, the Greater Manchester Police jokingly threatened to arrest anybody wearing a half and half United-City scarf at Sunday’s Manchester derby (from Willard Kovacs). Look here for an overview of the many issues with half and half scarves. … David Cooper followed up on his submission (see below) of a kit with mismatched socks: Scotland’s 2005-07 kits had a vertical stripe on only the right sock, and an accompanying stripe at the bottom of the shorts on the same side. … New home shirt for League of Ireland First Division (second tier) team Drogheda United (from Ed Żelaski).

Grab Bag: The Byron (Minn.) High School Bears celebrated the 50th anniversary of the wrestling program with 50 years of singlets (from Aaron Murray). … English rugby union team Harlequins’ prop Joe Marler had his socks on the wrong feet. The team has two different colored socks; note how they’re reversed from what his teammates are wearing (from David Cooper). As a bonus, that game was played in snow. … Wade Heidt has more NLL news: the Rochester Knighthawks’ colored uniforms are now purple; they used to be teal. … Calvin Klein’s chef was reportedly under instructions to match the color of Klein’s coffee to a Pantone swatch (from James Gilbert).

• • • • •

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What Paul did last night Friday night: On Friday night the Tugboat Captain and I went across the river to Jersey City. Our first stop was Razza, a restaurant that New York Times food critic Pete Wells recently declared to have the best pizza in New York (even though it’s actually in New Jersey). We got a margherita and a pepperoni (see above) — both excellent. Was it the best pizza ever? Eh, maybe not. But it was very, very good.

Then we walked up to the avenue to Monty Hall, where we had tickets to see the always-amazing surf-rock band Los Straitjackets, who were resplendent as ever in their matching suits and non-matching Mexican wrestling masks. It was their annual holiday spectacular show, so they did Straitjackets versions of various seasonal standards, the best of which was their interpretation of the Vince Guaraldi classic “Linus and Lucy.” I didn’t record it, but here’s a video that shows them performing the song about two years ago:

After an hourlong set, the great rocker/songwriter Nick Lowe came out. He’s been collaborating a lot with Los Straitjackets in recent years, and he led them through four more songs. I’ve seen him many times over the years, but never in such a small room. Pretty cool to be just a few feet away from him (click to enlarge):

On the way back to the subway, I noticed that Jersey City has some really cool bike racks. I’m interested in bike rack design, and even wrote an article about it a few years ago, and I really like the simplicity of the Jersey City racks (click to enlarge):

60 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Kyle | December 11, 2017 at 8:03 am |

    I really enjoyed the Vikings article, discovering history is fun. Thanks Paul.

    • John H. | December 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm |

      Ditto. Especially when it pertains to my favourite team!

  • Pesky | December 11, 2017 at 8:43 am |

    As I never have, I am very jealous about your seeing Los Straitjackets. This time of year I break out their Christmas album which allows for my awful singing to be couple with their awesome playing.

    • RS Rogers | December 11, 2017 at 9:42 am |

      That’s my favorite cover of the song. I love that the Los Straightjackets go straight up first wave ska with their arrangement.

      • Daniel Tarrant | December 11, 2017 at 11:41 am |

        Hey Paul, is Monty Hall named after the late game-show host, or is that just a coincidence?

        • Paul Lukas | December 11, 2017 at 11:42 am |

          Not a coincidence. The venue is on Montgomery Street, so they called it Monty Hall as a pop-cultural pun.

        • Daniel Tarrant | December 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm |


        • John H. | December 11, 2017 at 5:06 pm |

          Monty Hall was a proud Winnipegger who never forgot us here in his home town. He came home for various reasons, usually charitable, many times over the years.

    • John H. | December 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm |

      A fantastic version of a tremendous holiday tune!

      • Rick | December 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm |


  • Doug Rhodes | December 11, 2017 at 9:08 am |

    The band in the Luchadore masks playing classic ‘Peanuts’ music, with the equally classic animation, thank you for a kid who grew up in that time. Very cool to see.

  • Wade Heidt | December 11, 2017 at 9:11 am |

    Giants should have wore blue socks. Sunday was not a Color Rash game. Is it possible that they are mandated by the league to wear the white socks with this uniform as it is officially a Color Rash uniform?

    • Paul Lukas | December 11, 2017 at 9:16 am |

      I don’t think it’s a mandate. I think it’s “This is the Rash uniform, so that’s what we’re wearing, including the socks.”

      But I agree that blue-topped socks would’ve looked better.

    • C. Duncan | December 11, 2017 at 9:24 am |

      I definitely agree with you – feels like teams are almost taking the easy way out by just wearing the Color Rash socks when they do Rash Sunday. It’s also a waste, as I believe that the uniforms actually provide some great options for teams to mix and match with that go for the most part unused.

    • Rob S | December 11, 2017 at 9:38 am |

      I just want to see the Giants go back to those jerseys and that helmet logo full-time. I’ve never liked the lack of blue on their current white jerseys, and I’ve always felt that the “ny” logo is badly dated rather than “classic”.

      But that’s just my opinion. I know some folks prefer the “ny” logo over the “GIANTS” wordmark.

      • Greg | December 11, 2017 at 10:16 am |

        I prefer the NH logo, but completely agree regarding the white jersey. The lack of blue in their current white jersey makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Skycat | December 11, 2017 at 10:46 am |

        As a Giant fan, I’m sick and tired of reading about this “Big Blue” bullshit. For me, Big Blue is IBM (as in blue chip). The Giants have featured red in their uniforms from the beginning of their franchise history. The current road uniform with the red stripes and numbers is one of the premier uniforms in football. I’m not a fan of any of their helmet logos. The lower case “ny” is contradictory to a team that calls themselves the “Giants.” Their helmets with the single red stripe are distinctive enough so they can eliminate any logo and still stand out. I find he “GIANTS” mark they used yesterday to be too cumbersome. If anything, why not have some form of a “G” (as in G-Men) on their helmets.

        • Rob S | December 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm |

          How about numbers on the sides of the helmets instead of any logos?

        • Greg | December 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm |

          My issue with the Giants white jersey is that it just doesn’t match the overall design. They are blue team with red accents. If they had blue outlines on the red numbers and stripes, yeah that would work. But for their home jersey to be all blue with no red, and their white jersey to have no blue, it is an inconsistent visual identity. It would be like if the Bears’ white jersey had only orange and no navy on it.
          Re: their helmets, I’ll second that the player numbers on the side would be a good look. I wish some NFL team would go with the helmet numbers, though the Browns seem like the best choice.

      • Daniel Tarrant | December 11, 2017 at 11:39 am |

        I don’t know if the NFL would allow it, but I think it would be cool to have the “NY” on one side of the helmets and “GIANTS” on the other.

        • Rob S | December 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm |

          Given that the Steelers have asymmetrical helmets (due to only having a decal on the right side), I’m sure the NFL wouldn’t have any issues with a team having a different decal on each side, so long as it’s uniformly applied to the team.

      • Winter | December 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm |

        on “dated” vs. “classic” — is there an objective criteria for that or will it always be a subjective thing?

        Personally, I prefer the NY logo.

        Also, what’s your take on the Jets two logos (football vs. wordmark?)

        • Daniel Tarrant | December 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm |

          Seems to me that if you like an older design, it’s “classic” and if you don’t, then it’s “dated”.

          Maybe you could say that a design is “classic” once it becomes “unchangable” from the POV that there would be a fan revolt if major changes were made. For example I don’t think Penn State will ever put a logo on their helmet for that reason.

  • Wade Heidt | December 11, 2017 at 9:15 am |

    Per this article, The Hornets may be wearing their fifth uniform for the first time on Dec 27, not the 17th.

    • Paul Lukas | December 11, 2017 at 9:17 am |

      The Ticker doesn’t say they’ll be wearing it on the 17th. It says it’ll be *unveiled* on the 17th and that they’ll wear it at a later date.

      • Daniel Tarrant | December 11, 2017 at 11:38 am |

        Correct. And just to be clear, I was listening to the game on the radio in my car and am just going by memory that the unveiling date was the 17th, so don’t hold it against me if that’s not the case.

  • Jet | December 11, 2017 at 9:43 am |

    Nick Lowe?! You lucky so-and-so!!


  • Mainspark | December 11, 2017 at 11:42 am |

    Great that you got to see Los Straitjackets with Nick Lowe. I caught them earlier this year with Marshall Crenshaw. Both played a set and then a third set together. Fantastic musicianship.

  • Block "O Canada" | December 11, 2017 at 11:45 am |

    I’ve had good fire-oven pizza. That Razza pizza looks like burned fire-oven pizza.

    • Paul Lukas | December 11, 2017 at 11:46 am |

      No, it’s not.

    • Greg | December 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm |

      Definitely not burned, that’s what pizza looks like in Italy, which is delicious.

  • Tom | December 11, 2017 at 11:52 am |

    Nick Lowe is the best. He’s so underappreciated. He should be in the RRHoF. The music he’s made, the artists he’s produced, etc.

    • John | December 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm |

      If not Lowe by himself, then Rockpile as a band. While there was only one album under that name, the early Lowe and Dave Edmunds were pretty much the same band with Nick singing on his and Dave singing on his, Great band, great music and it still holds up today.

  • Jerusalem Stone | December 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm |

    Sprained both ankles, one month apart, with the right one severe enough to put me on crutches. Those Jersey City bike racks are a pretty good representation of how my lower extremities feel right about now. Good times.

  • ScottyJ | December 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm |

    Love the Straitjackets!!!! They’re Christmas stuff w/ is great!

  • Bud | December 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm |

    One of these days society is going to be advanced enough to collectively know that ‘Linus and Lucy’ isn’t a Christmas/holiday song.

    • Rob S | December 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm |

      It’s one of those weird cases, because the song’s been bootstrapped into the de facto Peanuts theme, but people still associate it with the holidays because of its first television use in the Christmas special.

      • RS Rogers | December 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

        Which is to say, it was written for a Christmas program. So it is, by definition, a Christmas/holiday tune.

        “Linus and Lucy” is not, however, a song, as it lacks lyrics.

        • Winter | December 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm |

          Wait, instrumentals are not songs?

        • Bud | December 12, 2017 at 8:55 am |

          Yea I’m sorry, what?

    • Rick | December 11, 2017 at 6:28 pm |

      Every time I hear that song, I feel good! Christmas or 4th of July!

    • I am neither Linus nor Lucy | December 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm |

      One of these days society is going to be advanced enough that people will learn how to communicate with others better.

  • mike 2 | December 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

    The Canadiens motto, taken from In Flanders Fields has been their motto since 1952. Its painted in their dressing room in both official languages.

    When they closed the Montreal Forum in 1996 they used the passing of a literal torch among the former players in attendance

    In an age where Nike and Under Armour are making up slogans for teams to sew into their collars, I appreciate that the Canadiens have a tradition stretching back many years and not one written for them by a shoe company.

  • Pino Esposito | December 11, 2017 at 12:56 pm |

    Those pizzas are burnt and not edible!

    • Paul Lukas | December 11, 2017 at 1:40 pm |

      You are badly mistaken.

  • RS Rogers | December 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm |
    • Willie | December 11, 2017 at 3:48 pm |

      Don’t misspell that one…

  • JessMan | December 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm |

    Blake Bortles STILL undefeated while wearing teal

  • Doug Brei | December 11, 2017 at 1:16 pm |

    Hey Paul,

    I’d say that facemask on Roenicke’s batting helmet is definitely a football facemask, but I doubt it belonged to Bert Jones. Jones wore that style facemask earlier in his career (, but in 1978 (the season before Roenicke’s injury) and 1979 (the season after) he wore the more modern-style two-bar facemask (see videos).

    If indeed it came directly off a Colt player’s helmet, it’s more likely that it was from Joe Washington’s helmet.
    Joe Washington 1978:

  • Bruce Leroy | December 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm |

    RE: Colts-Bills

    LeSean McCoy appeared to have masking tape (heat tape?) over the earholes on his helmet. Never seen that before, or at least not in recent memory. Anyone intrepid enough to dig for a picture? Can’t imbed so easily on my average intelligence phone.

  • Kurt | December 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm |

    Noticed Steelers defender lost the ‘4’ off front of his helmet after he knocked Ravens receiver silly on last drive – kept looking for replay with the decal digit flying.

  • Tim | December 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

    One of the more unique uniforms is the Rugby Harelquins. 4 colors on the shirt, two different colors on the shorts, mismatched socks and almost unreadable numbers in white below an advertising panel.

  • Kurt | December 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm |

    Grey Cup, Army/Navy, Colts/Bills, great year for snow games!

    • John H. | December 11, 2017 at 5:14 pm |

      It would be a huge mistake if new CFL commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, went through with his idea of moving the CFL season ahead a month so the Grey Cup could be played in “better” October weather.

      • Wade Heidt | December 11, 2017 at 6:38 pm |

        Exactly John. We need some of that good, cold November football. That is what this league is all about. The weather for outdoor Grey Cups has not been too bad when I think about this last decade, even in the Prairies. Example, weather for the 2015 game in Winnipeg wasn’t so bad.

        I don’t think there is anyway changing the season could reasonably happen. Grey Cup in October just wrong. Season would start too early. I guess TSN would likely have say about how that would work.

        I think the season is just fine the way it is. Start around Canada Day. Get some good weather summer games in for the first half of the season. Labour Day Classics fall at mid-point of the season. Things get serious for the second half of the season in the fall.

        If all goes well (fingers crossed), we will be following the 10 teams in league by 2020:

  • John H. | December 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm |

    I very much like the Chargers mono royal unis but not so much the navys.

  • Skott | December 11, 2017 at 5:35 pm |

    Terrell Suggs has been wearing that facemask in games for a few weeks now, at least.
    I noticed it a couple weeks ago.

  • Dustin | December 11, 2017 at 6:04 pm |

    I loved the Cowboys navy on white look.

    They have 2 shades of blue and 3 shades of silver (home pants/silver-turquoise, helmet/silver-blue and road pants/silver).

    One less color is fine by me. Maybe we’ll see the day when the home pants match their helmet

    • GuidoRRMC | December 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm |

      How about their home pants being silver because their home jersey is blue. The way it should be in the nfl.