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Monday Morning Uni Watch

Yesterday’s Ravens/Browns game featured the resurgence of a little-noted uniform detail that you rarely see nowadays: the sewn-in jersey pocket. Once fairly common, the sewn-in pocket has largely been supplanted in recent years by the strap-on hand-warmer pouch, but you’d never know that from watching yesterday’s game in Cleveland. Ravens players with the sewn-in pockets included running backs Danny Woodhead (shown above) and Alex Collins, tight end Benjamin Watson, linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Matt Judon, safety Tony Jefferson, and cornerback Anthony Levine. And on the Browns’ side of the ball, wide receiver Josh Gordon was pocketed as well.

The funny thing is that it wasn’t all that cold in Cleveland, with temperatures in the high 30s.

In most other respects, it was a quiet day around the league. A few notes:

• The Jaguars went mono-black:

Embed from Getty Images

• Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson wore striped socks:

He’s apparently been wearing that sock style for a few weeks but I hadn’t realized or noticed until now.

• Speaking of Raiders hosiery, wide receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a torn sock:

That photo also shows Cowboys defensive lineman Maliek Collins sporting a truly absurd jersey-to-undershirt ratio.

• That Cowboys/Raiders game also featured one of the most bizarre moments in the history of first down measurement. Check this video, and then there’s additional info available here.

• Only one team wore white at home: the Browns.

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

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, both of Saturday’s NFL games were uni-notable:

• First, the Lions wore their brutal mono-grey Thursday-night uniforms while the Bears wore their standard navy-over-white combo, resulting in a very rare sight: a non-Thursday game with neither team wearing white (additional photos here).

Embed from Getty Images

• And in a highly unfortunate development, the Chiefs went mono-red (additional photos here):

Embed from Getty Images

(My thanks to @clevelove1, Andrew Cosentino, and Pro Football Journal for their contributions to this section.)

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Ebony and ivory: Interesting move by LeBron James, who began last night’s Cavs/Wizards game by wearing mismatched sneakers — one white and one black. Both sneakers were emblazoned with the word “Equality”:

James changed sneakers at halftime, switching to a pair of matching red sneakers. It’s not clear, at least to me, if he was told to stop wearing the mismatched pair or if he did so on his own. (Update: Reader/commenter Mike Engle came up with this article, which features the following postgame quote from James: “I didn’t play well in the first half, and I’m very superstitious, so I took ’em off.”

By coincidence, Arizona State forward Mickey Mitchell also wore mismatched footwear for yesterday’s game against Vanderbilt, although there’s no indication that he was trying to communicate any sort of sociocultural message:

Update: Reader/commenter William informs me that Kyrie Irving of the Celtics wore mismatched shoes on Friday night.

• • • • •

NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

A season-high 14 color-vs.-color games were played this past week. That accounted for 28% of all games played, also a season-high. You can see those numbers reflected in this week’s chart (click to enlarge):

Of the 70 color-vs.-color games that have been played so far this season, the Rockets have played the most (11) followed by the Celtics and Bulls (10 each).

The Pistons, Timberwolves, and 76ers all debuted their third uniforms on court in the past week, so we’ve now seen all 90 uniforms for the first three “editions,” as well as seven of the eight throwbacks. Only Atlanta’s throwback set has yet to be worn in a game. Several teams have teased the on-court debut of their fourth uniform for games on or around Christmas, so we can expect to start seeing those within a week or so.

Meanwhile, now that each team has played at least 30% of its schedule, I thought it would be fun to see which uniforms have the best record. Considering only uniforms that have been worn at least two times, we have four undefeated designs: Cavs black (4-0), Warriors throwback (5-0), Rockets black (9-0), and Spurs silver (4-0).

Honorable mention goes to the Knicks and Pistons regular white uniforms, which have been worn in 13 victories each, the most of any set.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Hornets throwback, Lakers purple, Trail Blazers red, and Wizards navy sets are all winless to date.

• • • • •

Curling update: I haven’t had much to say about curling this year because our team, frankly, hasn’t played well. But last night we finally notched our first win of the year (no thanks to me — I played like shit). As you can see, Phil wore a seasonally appropriate sweater for the occasion — nice.

• • • • •

Screen shot 2009-10-04 at 10.07.15 PM.png

Culinary Corner: I don’t usually repeat recipes from previous Culinary Corner installments. But I make an exception each December for my favorite holiday preparation, homemade Irish cream. In other words, homemade Bailey’s. In other words, melted ice cream that gets you drunk. It’s super-easy to make, it’ll make you the hero of whatever holiday party you bring it to, and lots of you have told me how much you like it. Here’s how to do it:

Start with some decent Irish whiskey — Bushmills, Jameson, Tullamore Dew, something like that (but not super-high-end stuff, because the nuances will be lost in this preparation). Pour a pint of the whiskey into a large-ish container and mix it with a can of sweetened condensed milk; a pint of heavy whipping cream; a tablespoon of chocolate syrup; a teaspoon of vanilla extract; a teaspoon of instant espresso dissolved in two tablespoons of hot water; and a quarter-teaspoon of almond extract.

Mix well (if the container has a tight lid, you can just shake vigorously), refrigerate, serve over ice, and get ready to become the most popular person in the room. No need to thank me afterward, but you’ll want to do so anyway — trust me.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Three of my favorite things: The Tugboat Captain (who took the photo while also modeling for it), Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin (who spends an inordinate amount of time rolling over on her back), and striped socks. A win-win-win!

• • • • •

Raffle reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, our annual year-end raffle is currently underway. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

NFL News: Someone put a Packers splash guard in a urinal in Chicago’s Public Safety Headquarters. A reporter actually asked about it a police superintendent’s press conference (from Mike Chamernik).

Hockey News: Several items from Saturday’s NHL 100 Classic in Ottawa, all sent in by Wade Heidt: First, in this picture you can see that the Canadiens wore blue helmets, which are normally worn with their red jerseys, and Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson had new pads for the occasion. … The pre-game ceremonies featured the uniforms worn when the Canadiens and original Senators faced off on the first night of the opening NHL season. … The Senators alumni game on Friday night featured separate ’90s throwbacks, at least for the jerseys (note the current logo visible on the shorts). The alumni game was played on a special rink on Parliament Hill with a view of the main Parliament building, the Centre Block. … I’d like to add to this that the ice markings were at times barely visible, even compared to other outdoor games. … One of the linesmen in yesterday’s Golden Knights/Panthers game was wearing a numberless sweater (from Roy Bellamy). … Check out the great “Three Blind Mice” sign on the door of the officials’ dressing room at the Dover (N.H.) Ice Arena (from Tris Wykes).

Basketball News: The Nuggets have officially unveiled their second alternate uniform. Here’s some additional info and a photo gallery (from Robert Hayes). … The Lakers will retire both of Kobe Bryant’s numbers — 8 and 24 — tonight. … New white alternates for Nevada.

Soccer News: Two different shoes, part three: shortly after coming in as a sub on Saturday, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus changed his boots in an attempt to improve his footing on the pitch. But out of haste or for whatever reason, he only changed one boot, wearing two different ones for the rest of the game. … In Scotland, the entire Hibernian away support were outfitted with green Santa hats for the trip to Aberdeen, thanks to the team’s advertiser. Unfortunately, Hibs changed to black, denying us a festive red-vs.-green matchup. … Dutch team Ajax have put together some great matchday posters this season. … The fans of French team Stade Rennais did a Star Wars-themed display prior to playing Paris Saint-Germain. It says “Star Roaz,” which is half of “Roazhon,” the city of Rennes’s name in Breton.

Grab Bag: The NLL’s Saskatchewan Rush have new helmets with more lime green, says Wade Heidt. They were previously plain black. … Adam Herbst saw a poster for the Fistball Under-18 World Championships, to be held in Roxbury, N.J., next summer. What is fistball, you ask? It’s apparently similar to volleyball, with teams of five players who can only use arms or closed fists to hit the ball. The ball can be hit up to three times before crossing the net, and it’s allowed to bounce each time. It’s played both outdoors (on fields) and indoors (usually on handball courts) on a much larger surface than volleyball.

49 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • JamesG | December 18, 2017 at 8:06 am |

    Are mismatched shoes now going to become the next big uni thing? LeBron doing it will certainly have an effect and the ASU kid may start a team trend that spreads to opponents that see it. Another uni fade on the horizon?

  • Dumb Guy | December 18, 2017 at 8:35 am |

    I remember the ol’ card/ball/stick measurement thing happened many years ago. As I was watching this video I kept waiting for it, and there it was.

    10 yards is 10 yards, not 10 yards + anything.

  • William | December 18, 2017 at 9:07 am |

    I’m guessing that LeBron switched shoes at the half of his own accord, and not because the NBA made him. He’s been doing so a fair amount this season, though yesterday was the first time he’s worn mismatched shoes. Kyrie Irving also wore mismatched shoes on Friday against the Jazz, and did so for the entirety of the game. His pair is actually sold like that at retail, however.

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 9:12 am |

      Good info on Irving. I’ll add that to the text.

  • Mike Engle | December 18, 2017 at 9:24 am |

    For what it’s worth, this Chicago Tribune piece quotes LeBron as saying “I didn’t play well in the first half, and I’m very superstitious, so I took ’em off.”

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 9:25 am |

      Thanks, I’ll add that to the text.

  • Rob S | December 18, 2017 at 9:40 am |

    That numberless linesman’s uniform also appears to be an older design, based on the stripes.

    • Rob S | December 18, 2017 at 9:50 am |

      Confirmed in this shot – it’s definitely an older design.

  • Jon | December 18, 2017 at 9:41 am |

    I can vouch for that Irish Cream recipe. I made it last year and it sure didn’t last long. Very tasty.

    • Bob A | December 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm |

      I’ll second that. I’ve been making it since Paul first posted the recipe and it’s good stuff.

    • Adam N. | December 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm |

      The flavor was fantastic, but it was a little rich for my liking. I’m thinking of trying it again with evaporated milk + sugar instead of the sweetened condensed milk and half-and-half instead of the heavy cream. We’ll see. . .

  • Anthony Gonsalves | December 18, 2017 at 9:47 am |

    I remember a couple of years ago Nike made all of there track spikes and running shoes mix matched. Not sure if they now have a carry over affect to their basketball shoes.

    https://m.bonanza.com/listings/nike-zoom-matumbo-331037-851/532052779?goog_pla=1&gpid=177431040781&keyword=&goog_pla=1&pos=1o3&ad_type=pla&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8oybq-aT2AIVA6dpCh271w0gEAQYAyABEgJiKPD_BwE

  • Brian | December 18, 2017 at 9:59 am |
  • Phil Hecken | December 18, 2017 at 10:12 am |

    Re: curling. Paul not only didn’t curl that badly (though he was a bit sub-par due to fighting a cold), but he saved his best shot for his last one, when we most needed it — clutch when it counted — for a great guard in the last end when we were tied and without hammer.

    It’s been a disappointing season so far (we have one tie, two losses and now the one win), but except for one game when I screwed up, every game has come down to the last end. Hopefully we’re back on track now!

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 10:15 am |

      Phil’s a very supportive skip, but there’s no way to sugarcoat it: Except for that last shot, I was terrible last night.

  • Matt L | December 18, 2017 at 10:14 am |

    The Arizona State game up there is against Vanderbilt, not New Mexico State. Don’t hate on my Commodores like that!

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 10:16 am |

      Fixed.

  • Daniel Tarrant | December 18, 2017 at 10:38 am |

    BTW, does anybody else see the irony of a guy with a reported net worth of $110 million expressing a social message of “Equality” on his shoes.

    (FTR, I like LeBron James a lot and don’t begrudge him for making money. He might actually be underpaid.)

    • Phil Hecken | December 18, 2017 at 10:44 am |

      “BTW, does anybody else see the irony of a guy with a reported net worth of $110 million expressing a social message of “Equality” on his shoes.”

      I’m not sure the two are mutually exclusive in the least.

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 10:55 am |

      Wealth and social justice messaging are not mutually exclusive.

      It’s not about wealth; it’s about what you *do* with your wealth (see Bill Gates, e.g.).

    • Lee | December 18, 2017 at 10:58 am |

      No.

      Social causes are often advanced by those with a voice (the few people that other people listen to) speaking for those without voices (the many people no one pays attention to).

      LeBron isn’t speaking for himself, he is trying to speak for others.

      I don’t know why so many people don’t seem to understand this.

      Lee

      • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 11:01 am |

        Well stated, Lee.

      • Randy | December 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm |

        I concur.

        • Daniel Tarrant | December 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm |

          I don’t think that rich/wealthy people can’t or shouldn’t speak out on social issues, but again there is no way that LeBron James really wants a society where economic equality exists.

          I mean, the guy’s signature shoe sells for $185 and is probably produced by sweatshop workers for $20 or less.

        • Phil Hecken | December 18, 2017 at 3:20 pm |

          “there is no way that LeBron James really wants a society where economic equality exists.”

          I don’t know how you can make that statement. Yes, in a capitalistic society there will always be “winners” and “losers,” but (1) that doesn’t mean LBJ doesn’t want ‘economic equality’ and (2) you’re assuming that economic equality would necessarily come at his expense. It is certainly possible for LBJ to be financially comfortable while others do better economically.

          Of course, you’re looking at this (I think) from a purely economic equality standpoint. LBJ more than likely is looking at this from a social justice standpoint. Even if there can’t be true full economic quality, he can certainly advocate for social equality.

          Again, most certainly not mutually exclusive.

        • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm |

          Dan doesn’t even have the courage of his own convictions here.

          His follow-up comment reveals that he didn’t really mean to describe the Lebron sneaker message as “ironic.” What he really meant, it’s now clear, is to accuse LeBron of hypocrisy.

          If that’s what you mean, come on out and say it. And while you’re at it, please remember that being a hypocrite doesn’t necessarily mean someone is wrong. As I always like to remind people: the message, not the messenger.

        • Daniel Tarrant | December 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm |

          I don’t know how long Paul cares for a debate like this to go on, but since I’ve been called out, I will offer this as my final word on the topic…

          My initial observation, which I stand by, is that it’s ironic to see a guy who is wealthier than over 99% present a message of “equality”. It’s ironic because in order for him to see his ideal through, he’d have to surrender his position as an economic superior.

          Now, conversations often take turns as different POVs are expressed, so yes, I did also add that James profits from a system (capitalism) that exploits inequality, so yeah, he’s a bit of a hypocrite as well.

          And Paul, I agree that the message is more important than the messenger, but the reality is that if you support a message and want it to spread, then the right messenger in important because the wrong messenger will distract from the message.

          For example, average folks aren’t going to care to be lectured on “equality” from a guy who is enjoying the benefits of inequality. It would be like Ronald McDonald doing an ad for PETA.

        • Phil Hecken | December 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm |

          Dan,

          Which “equality” message are you protesting? Your first comment was about “social equality” which you somehow morphed into “economic equality.” I’m like 99.9% certain LBJ is not trying to highlight the latter. Even if he were, you’re assuming (perhaps correctly, though I’d disagree) that somehow “economic equality” for all would come at LBJ’s expense OK, so maybe he doesn’t join the three comma club, but he’s more than comfortable if he has a little less and others have more. “Economic equality” doesn’t mean socialism or even if it did, that doesn’t mean every cent LBJ makes is “taken” from him and given to others. He can still make a boat-ton of money and express the notion that others should have more. Like Paul’s example with Bill Gates, he’s a rich man who gives away countless millions to others.

          But I think you were more correct with your first comment, which was about social equality. I’m pretty sure that’s LBJ’s “message” here, and as I and others more eloquent than I have pointed out, making gazillions from Nike and advocating for social equality are not mutually exclusive.

          James’ shoe “message” was, in short, neither ironic nor hypocritical.

  • Joseph | December 18, 2017 at 11:15 am |

    The Packers splash guard reminds me of hearing stories of Art Model being painted inside urinals in Cleveland after the move to Baltimore.

  • Marcus | December 18, 2017 at 11:32 am |
  • Nate | December 18, 2017 at 11:35 am |

    That homemade Irish cream would be the death of me!

    Literally, because I’m allergic to nuts and would never think to ask about something like this. The responsibility for that is certainly on me, and I’d spend my last dying gasps absolving you of blame, but let this serve as a gentle, friendly reminder to be mindful of your guests’ dietary restrictions!

  • mild bill | December 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm |

    When I saw the picture of Caitlin I presumed she was begging for some of that homemade Bailey’s.

  • Fred K | December 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

    I do not approve of paying so much money for a football jersey but if I did Id want the built in warmer pocket as an option

  • Drew | December 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm |

    Paul, your Bailey’s recipe has been a holiday staple of mine now for the last several years and it ALWAYS goes over well with my friends and family. So thank you for being the source of inspiration for one of our favorite holiday traditions!

  • mike chamernik | December 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm |

    I’ve been meaning to try this culinary corner recipe for years! I did have a question, though: How essential is the almond extract and instant espresso to the finished product? I don’t have any on hand.

    • Drew | December 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm |

      You’d be surprised how much they add. You may get by without, but they definitely add something.

    • Paul Lukas | December 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm |

      Espresso: Absolutely essential. Go buy some, it’s easy! (Or you can substitute some very strong coffee.)

      Almond extract: Could probably live without it, but it does add a little something. Again, go buy some, easy to find!

      • mike chamernik | December 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm |

        Thanks! I’ll use both.

    • Terry Mark | December 18, 2017 at 4:10 pm |

      I’ve made it each of the last two years and have enjoyed it immensely. My advice would be to go easy on the almond extract and use perhaps a tad less than the recipe calls for. My last batch had too much almond extract and threw off the taste somewhat.

  • Timmy | December 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

    “Closed fist”?…..

  • Mark | December 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm |

    The linesman in the Vegas/Florida had his luggage lost by an airline. He was wearing equipment (including skates) that he borrowed from the Golden Knights. I didn’t get a pic, but during pre-game warm ups he was out skating in a black Golden Knights long sleeve shirt to get the feel of the skates.

  • Ryan M | December 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm |

    I wonder if Gabriel Jesus’ shoe change was something akin to how placekickers regularly wear two different shoes–presumably, one is better-suited for planting and the other (typically a soccer shoe, from what I can recall) for striking the ball.

    • Josh Hinton | December 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm |

      I’m a city fan and watched the game; I could be wrong but I was under the impression that his boot was stepped on

      • Josh Hinton | December 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm |

        But no, Ryan, soccer players don’t do that because we have to use both feet throughout the match and there is no need to only try to use one foot.

  • Kurt | December 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm |

    ‘Repeat offender’ Thomas Davis suspended two games. Said three weeks ago Man of the Year patches a bad idea.

    Sopranos “Employee of the Month’ episode comes to mind.

  • Sean | December 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm |

    I don’t think it’s a torn sock for Crabtree, but a torn legging.

  • Kevin L | December 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm |

    I don’t know what the big deal is about LeBron wearing mis-matched shoes. In 1984, I wore an dark ox-blood loafer and a black loafer on the same day at Service Merchandise during Christmas, and nobody said one word.

  • John | December 18, 2017 at 9:16 pm |

    Thanks for the Ajax match day posters. Some are true works of art.