NFL May Rethink Crummy Thursday-Night Uniforms (but will still have crummy Thursday-night games)

Lots of news and counter-news bouncing around the uni-verse yesterday evening, as it looked for a minute like we might finally be free of the scourge of Color Rash uniforms. As it turns out, that was premature.

It began with a late-afternoon report that an executive from Fox Sports — the network that has acquired the NFL’s Thursday-night package for this season — had said that the Rash was finished:

But a few hours later, NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo basically said, “Not so fast” — and hinted at other potential changes in the league’s uniform policy:

A subsequent report on the NFL’s website explained that Garafolo’s line about how “this is subject to votes from ownership” referred to an owners’ meeting in May, when all of this will presumably be on the table.

A few thoughts:

1. The idea that the Rash “might not be exclusive to Thursday nights anymore,” as Garafolo put it, is not exactly news, because the Rash had already spread to non-Thursday games last season. It began with that Patriots game in October, and several other teams got the Rash for Sunday games as well. So contrary to the initial reports of the Rash fading, it actually looks like the Rash may be spreading. Sigh.

2. A retail source of mine confirms that his chain bought Rash jerseys “under the impression that they could be worn at any time.”

3. The more interesting development is the tidbit about the other potential changes to the league’s uniform policy. What might those be? A few possibilities:

• They could eliminate or modify the one-shell rule.

• They could eliminate or modify the five-year rule. Hell, I’d be happy if they just clarified the five-year rule, since it’s been applied so inconsistently over the years.

• They could change the restriction that limits teams to having only one alternate or throwback uniform, and/or change the restriction that alternates or throwbacks can be worn no more than twice during the regular season.

• They could allow nickNOBs for one week, sort of like MLB’s Player’s Weekend promotion.

• They could extend the “My Cleats, My Cause” promotion beyond one week.

• They could allow maker’s marks on helmets.

• They could come up with some sort of waiver for the Rams, just so they don’t look so ridiculous this season.

• My personal favorite: They could allow color-vs.-color games. This is what the Thursday-night program should have been all along — forget the mono-on-mono Rash costumery and just let the Raiders and Chiefs face each other while wearing their home uniforms (or the Packers and Bears, or whatever).

I’m sure there are other possibilities that I’m overlooking. Anyone..?

Anyway: Before we all get excited, let’s keep in mind that some uni-related proposals at last spring’s owners’ meetings ended up going nowhere. It’s entirely possible that the same thing could happen this time and we’d just be left with the status quo.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Never seen that before, Vol. 739: So here’s a new one, at least to me: Brewers left fielder Hernan Pérez was wearing one of those NFL-style hand-warmer pouch thingies for last night’s game in St. Louis. Can a shortstop wearing a dugout jacket on the infield be far behind?

In case you’re wondering: He did not wear the pouch while batting — only in the field.

Update: Reader/commenter Joshua reports that Cleveland outfielder Bradley Zimmer wore a pouch emblazoned with the team’s block-C logo in the field and at the plate on April 3, which I had not been aware of!

(My thanks to Mike Chamernik and Ryan Ziegler for letting me know about this one.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: The A’s and the White Sox will wear 1968 throwbacks on April 17. Note that the A’s jersey is a true vest, narrow across the shoulders and with big armholes as opposed to a standard jersey without sleeves (from @UntillTheNight). … Speaking of the White Sox, here’s a fascinating story about what New Comiskey Park could have been. It also includes a late-’80s concept logo for a potential White Sox move to Florida (from Nordstern Countermedia). … Staying in Chicago, Loyola Chicago’s most famous fan, Sister Jean, threw out the first pitch on Opening Day at Wrigley. Cubs anthem singer Wayne Messmer also wore a maroon and yellow Loyola scarf (from and Chris Howell). … Pirates P Felipe Vázquez, who recently changed his name from Felipe Rivero, will have an accent mark on his new NOB. … Per Griffin Smith, Cubs pinch hitter Efren Navarro wears No. 50 because he was selected in the 50th round of the MLB draft. … Wow, Griffith Stadium in DC, where the Senators played, had some seriously weird infield cut-outs in 1955. Another view here. … Robert Breshear was at Boog City’s “Baseball, Poetry and Music” event Sunday in the East Village. Among the readers was artist Basil King, who’s done plenty of really good baseball art. … Delorimier Stadium, former home of Jackie Robinson’s Montreal Royals, was torn down in the late ’60s, but a marker still lies where home plate once stood (from Malcolm MacMillan). … GQ has a piece on fashion-forward baseball merch (from Andrew Cosentino). … Here’s as good a look as you’ll ever find of the Yankee Stadium 50th-anniversary patch, which the Yanks wore in 1973. It was the first stadium patch ever worn by an MLB team (from Ray Hund). … P.F. Flyers cleats are starting to show up around MLB. Mariners INF Taylor Motter wore them during last night’s game against the Royals (from Tim Dunn and Mike Chamernik). … Nationals manager Dave Martinez wore a Washington Capitals cap at a press conference yesterday (from @terp11).

NFL NewsThe NFL has released the designs for the 2018 Draft caps. This year, the caps will bear team-specific slogans. … Lots of vintage NFL jerseys were spotted at Tecmo Madison XIV, an annual Tecmo Bowl video game tournament (from Jeff Sharon). … Steven Lobejko found these these not-exactly-authentic football pennants at a vintage shop in Minneapolis. … Ed Hughes was at a conference in Denver, which included a reception at the Broncos’ stadium, where he spotted this throwback helmet cart.

Hockey News: In honor of the victims of the bus crash in Humboldt, Canada, involving a junior hockey team, Penguins star Sidney Crosby had the team’s equipment manager, Dana Heinze, make this Pens jersey with a “Broncos” NOB and special tagging, which the entire team signed and sent up north (from @GKG_77). … We recently had a Ticker item about how a section of the Stanley Cup was being removed and sent to the Hall of Fame — the latest of several such moves over the years. Here’s how the Cup would look if no sections had ever been removed (from Jeremy Brahm). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez wore a Capitals cap at a press conference yesterday (from @terp11).

Basketball NewsThe Sixers have installed a new banner with a team logo outside of their arena. They’re rolling out some additional playoff promotions as well (from  @PhillyPartTwo and Shawn Bleiler). … Per a press release from the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, the new WNBA jerseys made by Nike will be unveiled at the WNBA Draft on April 12 (from  @TheSkyShowCHI). … Jazz G Donovan Mitchell lobbied for Rookie of the Year honors by wearing a “rookie” hoodie.

Soccer News: There were two UEFA Champions League games yesterday, both of which featured light blue and red matchups (from Angelo Fico). … More photos of Manchester United’s home kit for next season have leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Leicester City had an embarrassing typo on a large banner that was unfurled during a recent match (from Moe Khan). … Newcastle United has been fined £7,500 for allowing its U18 to wear jerseys with a payday loan ad (from Griffin Smith). … New Earth Day unis for MLS teams, including jerseys made from recycled materials. All jerseys are in black or white. They’ll reportedly be worn between April 20 and 22. (from Ed Zelaski and Josh Hinton). … You can now buy Pearl Jam soccer jerseys, modeled after national team jerseys (from Jason Hicks). … Here’s why West Ham midfielder Arthur Masuaku tears holes in his socks (from Neil MacLeod).

Grab BagThe U. of Washington has agreed to a 10-year apparel deal with Adidas. The deal begins in July of 2019, so this fall will be the school’s final season with Nike (from Tyler Keefe). … A boy who lost his eye to cancer has a new prosthetic with an Iowa tigerhawk in the iris (from Kary Klismet). … Not only is bull leaping — or recorte, in Spanish — a sport, but competitors wear uniforms! Recorte is considered a non-violent alternative to bull fighting in Spain (from Jon Solomonson). … The New South Wales Waratahs of the Australian professional rugby union will wear retro jerseys on Saturday. The jerseys will not be sold at retail, and the players will give the jerseys they wear to a club or school that played a significant role in their development (from Eric Bangeman). … If you’ve thought the lowercase “g” in Google’s wordmark looked strange, you’re not alone (from Jason Hillyer). … The NLL’s Saskatchewan Rush added a helmet decal for the Humboldt bus crash victims (from Brett Thomas).

• • • • •

• • • • •

What Paul did last night: The news about the Rash being scrapped began circulating just as I was getting ready to go to the movies, so I was all stressed about a big story breaking on my beat while I was going to be stuck in a movie theater. Then I came out from the movie and learned that the Rash wasn’t being scrapped after all. Moral of the story: Just go to movies and don’t worry about work — everything will turn out fine.

The movie I saw was A Quiet Place, the new post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about fearsome aliens who can hear but can’t see. The family at the center of the movie has to remain quiet, so they communicate almost exclusively in sign language, which is really interesting (and avoids the common movie problem of unrealistic dialogue). Plenty scary, too. I really liked it. Recommended.

96 comments to NFL May Rethink Crummy Thursday-Night Uniforms (but will still have crummy Thursday-night games)

  • WFY | April 11, 2018 at 8:36 am |

    If it were up to me, color vs color games would be limited to the playoffs in the NFL, NFL & NBA. It’d make it special.

    In baseball, they would be limited to spring training.

  • Seth H | April 11, 2018 at 8:36 am |

    Paul — While looking through Sunday’s post this morning, I was served an ad for “stocksntrade.” The ad consisted of a picture of a busty blonde woman leaning forward in a halter top with a glass of champagne. There was also reference to a stock with the ticker symbol “nakd.”

    I know that you didn’t affirmatively approve this ad. But given your statements about NFL cheerleaders in yesterday’s comments, with which I agree, I wonder what your take is on uniwatch having such an ad.

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 8:44 am |

      Would prefer not to have it. Keep in mind that these types of ads are served to you based on your browsing history, so the ads you see are not the same as the ones other people see.

      • Seth H | April 11, 2018 at 10:09 am |

        I wonder what your take would be if an arena owner was asked about an ad that appeared in the arena and responded: “I would prefer not to have it.” While I am obviously speculating, based on comments you have previously made my guess is that you would point out that this is a mealy mouthed response because if any has the ability to control what ads appear it is the arena (or website) owner.

        With regard to my browser history, I try not to be tracked. But the ad people have still apparently figured out that I am a middle-aged guy because the most recent ads on this site are for protein powder and for bladder control products. Two items, like stock tips and “nakd’, unrelated to anything I have browsed.

        • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 10:14 am |

          I wonder what your take would be if an arena owner was asked about an ad that appeared in the arena and responded: “I would prefer not to have it.”

          The difference, Seth, is that the arena owner (or his proxies) specifically contracted to have that ad in the arena, and can eliminate the ad if he/she chooses.

          That’s not how internet ad networks operate. They post ads from literally hundreds of different advertisers, usually based on the reader’s browsing history and/or demographic profile. I literally do not know how to stop the ad that you saw (nor have I seen it myself). Do you know how? If so, please tell me and I’ll do my best to eliminate it.

          We do have a “No adult content” setting on our ad networks. If this ad violated that, I can try to get it removed. Based on what you told me, it seems more douchey than “adult.” Is that accurate?

          As you may recall, I’d prefer to scrap ALL the ads and switch to a paywall. But when I announced that plan, everyone plotzed. So we will continue to have ads. And some of them will likely be douchey. And yes, that troubles me, but I honestly don’t know what to do about it. Any ideas, Seth?

        • Seth H | April 11, 2018 at 11:58 am |

          Yes. Definitely more “douchy” than adult. But more akin to NFL cheerleaders than adult as well. So criticizing the use of cheerleaders and allowing this still seems off to me.

          I think your comments about advertising and supporting the site are different than the issue I raised. I didn’t complain about advertising in general or this ad in particular. I asked about reconciling opinions you have stated and what was occurring on the site. But since you asked for my feedback, I will give it.

          I don’t have an aversion to ads on the site. While it would be great to be ad free, if ads are what keep the site up, I have no problem.

          I am also a long time reader and supporter. I’m an original member at the highest level (ringer t-shirt, stickers, DVD). And if you potentially offered shirts with food related puns, I might have purchased a few.

          I have no problem with you earning a fair return for your efforts. I would even be willing to pay a subscription for a uni site edited by you, rather than a personal blog, and said so in the comments at the time you raised the issue.

          So no problem with ads on the site or you getting paid for your labor. Although I do question whether blaming the reader — “ads are served to you based on your browsing history” — is a smart business move.

        • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 12:03 pm |

          But more akin to NFL cheerleaders than adult as well. So criticizing the use of cheerleaders and allowing this still seems off to me.

          Let me get this straight: You think an affirmative decision to hire glorified sex workers and subject them to shitty work conditions is an apples-to-apples comparison to a single random ad served by an algorithm that I don’t know how to control (but, as I’ve already explained, would gladly control if I did know how).

          If I had actively sought out this ad, went out of my way to post it where everyone could see it, and said I wanted it to remain on the site despite anyone’s objections, you’d at least be within the bounds of a semi-reasonable comparison. As it stands now, however, you’re really pushing the limits of rational debate and veering into troll territory. It seems pretty clear that you’re not even offended by the ad, nor do you seem interested in suggesting a remedy, even though I would welcome such a suggestion — you’re just looking to play gotcha (and not doing it particularly well). If it makes you feel better to think you’ve caught me in some kind of hypocrisy, then I’m happy to have made your day. Can we both get back to our lives now?

    • Drew | April 11, 2018 at 12:33 pm |

      Man. I saw through your veiled attempt to play “gotcha” from word one.

      “With regard to my browser history, I try not to be tracked. But the ad people have still apparently figured out that I am a middle-aged guy because the most recent ads on this site are for protein powder and for bladder control products. Two items, like stock tips and “nakd’, unrelated to anything I have browsed.”

      If you’re a middle-aged guy, the ad geniuses also likely assume you have some manner of disposable income and might want to throw it into the market, and that (heterosexual) middle aged guys like naked women. It’s not really a stretch, boss.

      • Paul Bastia | April 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm |

        All I got was a U Mizz degree, some fancy money clip, and underwear ads. Where’s the opt in for the adult stuff? Woowooo!!

      • Cole | April 12, 2018 at 1:35 am |

        I get this ad too. I’m a woman. I’m really sure it’s not based on browsing history! (Unless it’s just dumb “likes sports, must like boobs” math)

  • Don | April 11, 2018 at 8:39 am |

    I saw the Dallas draft cap. “America’s Team”? Seriously Jerry? How out of touch is this guy? And I am a 50 year Cowboys fan. That is flat out embarrassing. The team is basically a .500 team in the 2000’s, hasn’t been anywhere near a Super Bowl in 20 years and he has the balls to still refer to them as “America’s Team”? What an ego. Just put “Most Valuble Franchise According to Forbes” on the hat. It’s this owner why this is a damn .500 team.

    • Will | April 11, 2018 at 10:28 am |

      They still, and probably always will, have the nickname of Americas Team.

    • Brent | April 11, 2018 at 1:51 pm |

      America’s Team is their nickname though. I get fans of other teams get all bent about that. I don’t think anyone could argue that they aren’t one of,if not the most popular team DESPITE the recent on field play. That says something. Is Chicago still the windy city on days the wind is calm? Or despite the fact there are cities that are more windy? Also keep in mind they didn’t choose that name either. NFL films did.

      • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 1:53 pm |

        Fond memories of when they had a bunch of cokeheads and were called South America’s Team.

      • JenInChicago | April 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm |

        Unfortunately, Chicago’s not the called the “Windy City” because of the weather.

  • Craig | April 11, 2018 at 8:40 am |

    I mean it’s blatantly obvious… Thursday night football games should be Throwback Thursday… now that would sky rocket jersey sales. As a Pats fan in his mid-30’s, i would love a Gronk jersey that looked like it was Ben Coates, or an Edelman one getting confused for Drew Bledsoe. The best color rash unis in my opinion was the Giants one, and that’s basically a throwback.

    Throwbacks Thursday. Cmon NFL. Don’t be so dim.

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 8:46 am |

      now that would sky rocket jersey sales.

      Not exactly the best reason for executing a uniform policy. Closer to the worst reason, in fact.

      In any case: Throwbacks are moot for many teams unless and until the one-shell rule is changed.

      • Craig | April 11, 2018 at 9:31 am |

        Paul, huge fan, really appreciate your response.

        I’m saying the sales is something the NFL loves, and that obviously drives part of their business. Just feels like something that is closer to the brand of the NFL mystique rather than forced mono-uni crap.

        And I think the one shell concept isn’t as much of a detractor as you may think. I’d guess that if you count them out, you could come up with a one helmet throwback for 70-80% of the teams in the league if you just change the decals. Perfect example is my Patriots. Everyone assumes the only throwback they have is the Pat Patriot. But they could easily do the Mid-90’s era royal blue look. Or the Baltimore Ravens can change to the Maryland crest look they did for their early years. Then you have teams like the Bears who would remove the logo entirely.

        Yeah, you may have the Broncos, Seahawks or Jets have to put on an older logo on a newer helmet, but I think it’s doable under the right circumstances.

        Love the site!

        • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 9:44 am |

          Hmmm, let’s see:

          Buffalo Bills – Already do throwbacks
          Miami Dolphins – Already do thrwobacks
          New England Patriots – Could do 1990s throwbacks
          New York Jets – Could do 1963 throwbacks
          Baltimore Ravens – Could do 1996-97 throwbacks if they got legal permission
          Cincinnati Bengals – Could do 1980s-90s throwbacks
          Cleveland Browns – Lots of options
          Pittsburgh Steelers – Lots of options
          Houston Texans – No throwback option
          Indianapolis Colts – Several options
          Jacksonville Jaguars – Depends on what their new helmet color is
          Tennessee Titans – No feasible throwback option
          Denver Broncos – No feasible throwback option
          Kansas City Chiefs – Could do Dallas Texans
          Los Angeles Chargers – Several options
          Oakland Raiders – Several options
          Dallas Cowboys – A few weak options
          New York Giants – Several options
          Philadelphia Eagles – No feasible throwback option
          Washington – Several options
          Chicago Bears – Several options
          Detroit Lions – Several options
          Green Bay Packers – Currently has throwbacks
          Minnesota Vikings – Several options
          Atlanta Falcons – Several options
          Carolina Panthers – No throwback options
          New Orleans Saints – Several options
          Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Could do 2000s design
          Arizona Cardinals – Several options
          Los Angeles Rams – Several options
          San Francisco 49ers – Several options
          Seattle Seahawks – Could do original scuba design

          So you’re right — while some of the most popular throwbacks can’t be done (Pat Patriot, Bucs creamsicle, NY Sack Exchange, etc), most teams *can* do throwbacks. More than I realized! Good call.

        • Rob S | April 11, 2018 at 11:00 am |

          The Lions returned the c.1935 throwback to the rotation last season.

          Also, I’m curious as to why you describe the Raiders and Colts as having “several” options? Both teams have been fairly consistent in all but their earliest years.

          The Raiders’ black jersey has been basically the same since 1963, and the white jersey’s main change has been between silver numbers with black trim, and black numbers with silver trim. The yellow-trimmed 1960-62 unis wouldn’t make much sense if they couldn’t wear black helmets to go with them.

          The Colts have the 1950s striped-sleeve unis, which they have worn as a throwback before, and the mid-80s silver-trimmed unis, which they haven’t revisited, but other than that brief hiccup, they’ve been consistent since 1958 (manufacturing changes affecting the shoulder stripes notwithstanding).

          Dallas actually has more possible throwback uniform variations than either Oakland or Indy – the mid-60s three-stripe unis, the blue jersey with plain white numbers and stripes, the blue jersey with silver numbers and no stars on the sleeve stripes, the 90s double-star jerseys, the 1976 red-white-blue-striped helmet. They could even technically bring back the white 1960 jersey and pair it with the silver helmet if they really wanted to, as that’s exactly what they did in 1994.

        • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 11:05 am |

          Colts have two different eras to choose from, with home and road possibilities for both. To me, that’s “several.”

          Raiders have old road jersey, plus 1963 helmet logo could be worn with current black and white jerseys. So that’s three options.

        • Rob S | April 11, 2018 at 11:24 am |

          I guess it’s the interpretation of the word “several” that’s bugging me here.

          I know that “several” can be defined as “more than two but not many” or even as “more than one”, but I’m used to thinking of “several” as being a separate quantity above “a few”, which I see as a quantity above “a couple”. Thus, to me, “several” implies somewhere around “five or more”.

          The English language… it’s a fine line between being too vague and being too pedantic sometimes.

      • Sex Tchramm | April 11, 2018 at 12:53 pm |

        The Broncos could also do the throwback like they did with their color rush uni’s, just use navy blue instead of royal. Though I think the majority of us all want the one shell rule gone. It really makes no sense when players can change models all they want.

        • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm |

          The Broncos could also do the throwback like they did with their color rush uni’s, just use navy blue instead of royal.

          Sure, just like the Eagles could wear Kelly green throwbacks with their current dark-green helmet. But in both cases, it wouldn’t be quite right — more fauxback than throwback.

    • Riley | April 13, 2018 at 12:57 pm |

      I thought I was the only one thinking this! Why this wasn’t option 1 is beyond me.

  • Omar Jalife | April 11, 2018 at 8:41 am |

    Proofreading (soccer ticker)
    You can now buy Pearl Jam jerseys

  • Mike Wissman | April 11, 2018 at 8:41 am |

    I hope the NFL someday scraps the 5 year rule. The EPL doesn’t seem to have a problem changing kits every year and from the looks of things are still selling plenty of overpriced merch!

    • Brian | April 11, 2018 at 8:53 am |

      Waiver for the Rams: (1) Teams that relocate should get a waiver. If the Browns moved to St. Louis in their current garb, would they have to leave “CLEVELAND” on the chest for two years while they notify the NFL? (2) Aren’t the Rams eligible to change this year, but choosing to wait until the new stadium opens to fix the gold/white dilemma?

      • Block "O Canada" | April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am |

        Makes me think of baseball’s old St. Louis Browns. And the fact that the Rams were originally from Cleveland. 1945 NFL champs!

      • Rob S | April 11, 2018 at 11:35 am |

        The NFL Constitution and Bylaws (specifically, the part in 2002 Resolution G-3 where the five-year rule is implemented, see page 222 of that linked PDF) does give relocation and an ownership change as extenuating circumstances to waive the five-year rule. Thus, the Browns would not be consigned to wear “CLEVELAND” on their jerseys if they were to move.

        • Rob S | April 11, 2018 at 1:34 pm |

          Also, the Rams have technically been eligible for new uniforms since 2007 (or even 2005, if the league considers the removal of the gold side panels in 2002 to be a trivial tweak). And it’s been reported that yes, they are waiting for the new stadium.

        • GuidoRRMC | April 14, 2018 at 8:34 am |

          The Rams could have simply waited until the stadium was ready to change uniforms. They made their own bed on this. Stop blaming the NFL for their decision to look stupid.

      • Brent | April 11, 2018 at 1:56 pm |

        Or if the Texans moved out of state?They would have to change right?

    • Adam JK | April 11, 2018 at 9:09 am |

      The Premier League really does it right, I think. The primary kits change slightly every year but stay basically the same, while the secondary and alternates change quite a bit every year. Lets the teams stay traditional and experimental at the same time. To wit, I own a home white Tottenham jersey that, advertiser aside, looks like it could be from any era, but I also picked up their third jersey this year because it’s super different. (Purple with bright yellow numbers and lettering.)

      • Kyle | April 11, 2018 at 10:43 am |

        I love any Spurs kit with purple, but this year’s third was a bit of a bummer since basically every other Nike Champions League team had a variation of it as their third.

      • Jamie Rathjen | April 11, 2018 at 1:26 pm |

        I’ve seen previous THFC purple kits, especially the last one in 2015-16 but not this season, be called “spurple,” which is brilliant.

        (Yes, a term of endearment exists for a specific team’s occasional purple uniforms.)

  • The Other Todd | April 11, 2018 at 8:52 am |

    I kind of like the 76ers logo with the snake wrapped around it. That’s pretty cool.

  • Special K | April 11, 2018 at 8:54 am |

    Proofreading: Felipe Vazquez’ last name is misspelled.

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 9:00 am |

      Got it.

  • William | April 11, 2018 at 9:00 am |

    I’m not entirely opposed to teams wearing special uniforms for Thursday night games, but they need to tweak something. It would be really cool if they wore throwback jerseys (which would of course allow the NFL to beat the “throwback Thursday” moniker to death), or at the very least were allowed a second helmet shell so they could have true monochromatic uniforms. The latter would still be terrible, but it would be better than the current situation. There’s something to be said about the quality of games on Thursday, too.

  • Jamie Rathjen | April 11, 2018 at 9:04 am |

    Since it looks like literally every MLS matchup the weekend after next is going to be white vs. black, I, for one, can’t wait for the announcers who describe games as “chess matches” to actually be right for once.

    Now to the Grab Bag for a second: “an Iowa Hawkeye in the iris”

    Iowa’s logo is actually called the “tigerhawk.” The Hawkeye nickname is just a name; there isn’t an actual thing called a hawkeye.
    http://uilicensing.com/2016/10/16/the-tigerhawk/

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 9:10 am |

      Got it.

  • Joshua | April 11, 2018 at 9:19 am |

    At least 2 indians outfielders (Zimmer, Chisenhall) wore NFL style pouches on the 3rd of april this year with both being branded with the Cleveland Block C logo, and at least Zimmer had an at bat while still wearing it as seen at 1m50s of the below video

    https://www.mlb.com/video/cg-kccle-4718/c-1914791383?tid=6479266

    I also believe it has been worn in games since at least last season, I’m thinking either white sox or tigers

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 9:29 am |

      Ah, fascinating! Hadn’t seen that. Thank you!

  • bernstein2 | April 11, 2018 at 9:22 am |

    The NFL would be venturing on thin ice if they allowed Riddell, Schutt or even Vicis maker marks to appear on helmets again. I can see other sponsers, although not related to safety equipment. Brian, good spot with that “CLEVELAND” loophole in the 5 year rule. That makes me want to dig up all the perfect storm scenarios and throw them back in the leagues face. Just my rant.

  • Greg | April 11, 2018 at 9:26 am |

    That article on the proposed White Sox ballpark is stellar. The design of that park is amazing, and it is a shame it never happened and started a trend towards legit neighborhood ballparks in the vein of Wrigley and Fenway.

    • Mark in Shiga | April 11, 2018 at 10:16 am |

      I really enjoyed that, and particularly appreciated the author’s noting how horrible it is for cities when ballparks are surrounded by oceans of automobile parking — fans drive to the stadium, drive home, and don’t explore the neighborhood or eat or drink there, and nobody not attending the game can or will come there. Cities ponying up big money to build these ballparks should insist that there be minimal parking so that fans use the city’s trains and buses and patronize the city’s stores and restaurants.

    • Kyle | April 11, 2018 at 10:44 am |

      White Sox fan here, it was a great read but a little disappointing to know what might have been. I always thought that not having home plate face the skyline was a lost opportunity.

    • Flip | April 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm |

      Great article and nice research — including the original Camden Yard proposal. It’s an interesting detail Populus no doubt would like to remain buried.

      Besides being oriented toward downtown, the Polo Grounds-like dimensions would have been distinctive in a good way — adaptive, not forced.

      All that said, Comiskey gets more grief than it deserves. Being a tall person, I prefer to watch a game there than Wrigley.

      • Greg | April 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm |

        Yes, ballpark quirks are awesome if they are organic, stupid when forced (hill in Houston).

    • Chris Weber | April 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm |

      Agreed. Wonderfully researched and presented. -C.

    • RS Rogers | April 11, 2018 at 3:00 pm |

      I’m still only about a third of the way through – it’s a long read! – and it’s amazing. One of the best articles I’ve read online in a while.

    • MikeA | April 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm |

      It’s interesting to read in light of my initial reaction when Target Field opened in Minneapolis. While it was certainly program-driven, it also was extremely constrained on the site, resulting in the “stacked” left field stands, the odd shape of the right-centerfield bleachers, etc. The overall effect from the outside is of a stadium that’s “always been there” even though it’s only 10 years old. And while the neighborhood it inhabits is not Armour Square, I think it speaks the same language that Bess was intending in his proposal.

      • Pedro N | April 11, 2018 at 5:58 pm |

        Great article, long but great read. Didn’t want it to end. Thanks to whoever submitted it. Stadiums are a close second to uniforms in my world.

      • GuidoRRMC | April 14, 2018 at 8:41 am |

        Love Target Field. I’m a Brewers fan and have been to Miller Park many times. I went to Minneapolis to watch Brewers there and was blown away. Of course, you can’t beat being indoors in April. Unfortunately the structures to support the roof at Miller Park make it feel confined even when it’s all opened up. I don’t think you can beat the wide open feeling of Target Field on a beautiful day/evening. Or, I imagine, other open stadiums.

  • Flip | April 11, 2018 at 9:27 am |

    Those Chicago-Oakland throwbacks are N I C E — especially the real vest for the A’s.

    • Adam JK | April 11, 2018 at 9:44 am |

      I agree. I’m also not sure why the vest thing kind of took off in the late 90’s, early ’00’s, but I didn’t have a problem with it the way others did. It was a much better trend than the BFBS wave.

      • Mike D. | April 11, 2018 at 10:42 am |

        I agree. Seemed like every other team had a sleeveless jersey those years. A look I liked for the most part. I’m sure the trend will come around again, hopefully this time it’s more of a true vest, like the ’68 A’s throwback.

    • MikeA | April 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm |

      That game (April 17) is also their “50th anniversary in Oakland” game, and Free Ticket night. Not exactly sure what the parameters of the free tickets are, but that’s quite an event.

  • Tim Dunn | April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am |

    Reading further on the PF Flyers page, the cleat is a joint venture between PF Flyers and New Balance.

  • RS Rogers | April 11, 2018 at 9:42 am |

    The headline’s parenthetical has it right. Crummy Thursday uniforms are ugly, but the crummy Thursday games are actively bad for the sport.

    It’s pretty much the first rule of economics: Scarcity creates value. Football succeeds so well in part because it is not ubiquitous throughout the week. Thursday games are the equivalent of a generic drug competing against and driving down the price of a name-brand pharmaceutical – only in this case, the original maker is competing with itself and deliberately driving down the value of its own product. (I don’t primarily mean dollar value or league revenue or anything strictly mercenary, but rather the broader idea of how highly fans value the sport and any particular game.)

  • Rich P | April 11, 2018 at 9:54 am |

    “They could eliminate or modify the one-shell rule”

    They need to do this. I hope the Eagles are pushing it hard like they did last year before they just let it go.

    I remember reading that a lot of players end up swapping out new helmets during the course of the year anyways, so their safety reason behind the one shell rule seems to be silly.

  • Dumb Guy | April 11, 2018 at 10:23 am |

    “Hernan Pérez was wearing one of those NFL-style hand-warmer pouch thingies…He did not wear the pouch while batting — only in the field.”

    In the field you are wearing one glove already (that won’t fit into the pouch anyway! And what’s wrong with putting your other hand under your armpit??

    I’ve played in cold weather games. That’s what you do!!

    • SWC Susan | April 11, 2018 at 1:27 pm |

      I would suggest the hand warmer is for the dugout and it is easier for him to keep it on, as long as it does not bother him or get in the way. As for batting, maybe it bothered the other guy who took it off.

  • Dumb Guy | April 11, 2018 at 10:26 am |

    “NFL…2018 Draft caps. This year, the caps will bear team-specific slogans.”

    “Fins Up”???

    Ummmmm,…that sounds bad to me.

    • Tim | April 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm |

      Fins up. Isn’t that a Jimmy Buffett concert?

  • Thomas | April 11, 2018 at 10:45 am |

    The Armour Park what-if is just one of many missteps that befell the Einhorn-Reinsdorf Sox ownership in the mid-80’s.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Sox Park as its currently constructed and the 2005 World Series will live forever (ESPN not withstanding). A lot of that is due to Jerry and Eddie, so I have zero ill-will towards them personally.

    That being said, not doing Armour Park is another failure of imagination that dogged the partnership in the mid-80’s.

    Most notably was the switch from WGN-TV to Sportsvision Cable TV. While having your own TV Network would work out in later generations, in 1982 hardly anyone in Chicago had cable severely reducing Sox viewership even while increasing profits. WGN by contrast had been picked up by affiliates across the Midwest becoming a super station.

    Filing the spot in WGN’s lineup the Sox vacated were the Cubs who took advantage of WGN’s reach to garner fans as far afield as Iowa.

    The new Sox partnership also alienated Sox broadcaster Harry Caray who, like WGN, also went to the Cubs. The Sox replacement for Harry was Hawk Harrelson. Jerry and Eddie got to liking Hawk’s ideas about the Sox from his broadcasts to the point of making him GM in 1986. Hawk promptly fired Sox manager Tony LaRussa.

    So here’s your alternate history for the White Sox circa 1991 or so: a team with a following throughout the region, playing in one of the first retro ballparks, with Harry Caray in the booth, and Tony LaRussa managing young stars like Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura.

    • RS Rogers | April 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm |

      Filing the spot in WGN’s lineup the Sox vacated were the Cubs who took advantage of WGN’s reach to garner fans as far afield as Iowa.

      Northern and eastern Iowa had already been Cubs territory for generations, thanks to 50,000-watt AM broadcasts. My dad grew up in eastern Iowa in the 1940s, and he grew up listening to Cubs games on AM 720. I grew up watching the Cubs in Pennsylvania and Minnesota due to WGN’s presence on basic cable. (At night, in a car, you could usually get WGN as well, at least east of the Rockies.)

  • Robery | April 11, 2018 at 10:48 am |

    What’s the spelling typo? I’m not seeing it

    • Simon | April 11, 2018 at 11:17 am |

      one L in football

    • Special K | April 11, 2018 at 11:20 am |

      “Footbal” instead of “Football”.

  • Dumb Guy | April 11, 2018 at 10:50 am |

    I’m not a hockey guy so I never really knew about the Stanley Cup structure being added to, subtracted from, etc.

    I’ll assume the retired rings are in the Hockey HOF, right?

    • JessMan | April 11, 2018 at 11:28 am |

      You assume correctly

    • mike 2 | April 11, 2018 at 12:14 pm |

      I think they’re either at the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s pool or in an Edmonton strip club.

  • Mike D. | April 11, 2018 at 10:51 am |

    The change is there will be a standard number font to be used league-wide a la the EPL…jk. Can you imagine the reactions though?

    It probably won’t be anything major, but a number of color vs color games would be cool.

    • Josh Hinton | April 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm |

      Lol the American sports fans aren’t exactly used to that. It would be cool, though.

  • Slick | April 11, 2018 at 11:16 am |

    32 people decide these NFL uniform rules (not sure what the vote ratio needed is to change things)… If they truly want multiple uniforms, then what’s the problem? Vote on it and change it. I really don’t care if people scoff at the idea of a merchandising money grab, you don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to buy.

    I say allow teams to use any uniform that’s in their teams history – whenever they want. I mean it’s not like the Patriots throw on Pat Patriot (please do!!!) for a game or two and you as a viewer are going to get confused.

    If there is a logistic reason to a five year overhaul, then fine. But things like the Rams tweaking colors, they should be permitted to change.

    • Paul Lukas | April 11, 2018 at 11:22 am |

      I really don’t care if people scoff at the idea of a merchandising money grab, you don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to buy.

      The problem isn’t that it’s a “money grab” (a mindless term that rarely applied with any sense of accuracy). And duh, those of us who don’t want to buy something aren’t forced to do so. The problem, however, is that when your on-field program is driven by your merchandise program, instead of the other way around, it usually results in lousy on-field design. That’s how we got BFBS, GFGS, the Rash, godawful holiday uniforms, and a lot more.

  • Jeff | April 11, 2018 at 11:24 am |

    A waiver for the Rams is a half measure. Make a permanent rule that if a team relocates inside of the 5 year jersey rule, they can change. The amount of money they’ll make off new jersey sales in a new city will far offset the minimal cost of the excess inventory.

    • Special K | April 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm |

      But again, that rule wouldn’t really deal with the Rams’ situation. They have the right to change their jerseys now because it has been more than 5 years since they last changed their jersey. The problem is, they want to change them now, and then change them again in a couple of years when they move into their new stadium.

      • Jeff | April 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm |

        Ah, then it’s a “have cake, eat too,” situation.

  • Kirk | April 11, 2018 at 11:39 am |

    Georgia and Clemson played a neutral site game last night in Augusta, GA. Probably one of the best dressed baseball games you’ll see all year with Clemson’s white shoes and Georgia’s striking stirrups:

    https://www.aikenstandard.com/photos/srp-park-opening-week-clemson-vs-georgia/collection_5855d052-3cef-11e8-af67-5fab3285cf50.html#9

  • Ephraim Vorzman | April 11, 2018 at 12:14 pm |

    I’m still hoping for throwback Thursday. Hopefully the nfl changes the one shell rule also.

  • Beardy | April 11, 2018 at 1:21 pm |
  • Brent | April 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm |

    While reading the article about the White Sox I had a thought when it mentioned the “Willis Tower”. I wonder if you could sell some “I’m still calling it The Sears Tower” shirts? Does anyone say Willis Tower?

    • Brent | April 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm |

      You could sell them at Sears. They need the money.

  • Bobby Blue Bland | April 11, 2018 at 2:25 pm |

    Can someone clue me in on the typo on the Leicester banner?

    • Special K | April 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm |

      See above comments where someone else already asked that question and had it answered. It says “Footbal” (only one L) instead of “Football”.

    • Ryan M | April 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm |

      “FOOTBAL”

  • John | April 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm |

    I concur with your A Quiet Place review. Very well done and glad that the cast a deaf actress in the daughter role.

  • Rob Z. | April 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm |

    So now MLB players are wearing hand warmers on the field? Is 45 degrees the new 0? What’s next……first basemen in George Costanza gortex coats?