Monday Morning Uni Watch

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It was a lovely day for one of the NFL’s worst uniforms, as the Cardinals broke out their BFBS alternates, a design that’s so wrong in so many ways. Lots of additional photos here, if you dare.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

• For the second straight week, the Dolphins wore their throwbacks (and running back Brandon Bolden doubled up on his sock stripes):

• Speaking of the Dolphins, linebacker Kiko Alonso was showing some serious male side boob, and also appeared to be wearing a crop-top jersey:

• The Chargers went mono-navy, which is clearly the worst look of all their possible combinations:

• The Panthers went mono-black — this time with black socks:

• For the second straight week, the Bucs suffered from the Rash:

• It looks like one of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White’s numbers was peeling off:

• All 32 teams announced their nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award last week. That page says, “All 2018 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 and continuing through the end of the season.” It was hard to find rear-view photos of all the nominees, but at least seven of them — Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, Saints running back Mark Ingram, Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark, and Ravens defensive back Brandon Carr — did indeed wear the decal. Some had it on the back-left side of their helmets and some on the back-right (click first six photos to enlarge):

Two other nominees — Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and Bears tight end Trey Burton — didn’t have the decal on the back-left side. I couldn’t find any views of them from the other side.

If you want to go through the list of nominees and try to find rear-view photos of any of the ones I wasn’t able to account for, feel free to post the results of your sleuthing in today’s comments.

• Now that the weather’s getting cold, we have our first torn helmet decal of the season. Although the tweet identified the player as Rams defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, it’s actually his teammate Dante Fowler Jr.:

• The Browns made some tweaks to their field design. The numbers are now outlined in orange and the 50- and 20-yard lines are now bordered with brown striping (but still no midfield logo):

• Two teams wore white at home: the Browns and, of course, the Cowboys.

(My thanks to Robert Loeper and Jonathan Diesfor their contributions to this section.)

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’Tis the season: One of the best holiday traditions here at Uni Watch HQ is the annual arrival of a package from longtime reader Elena Elms, who always sends a batch of baseball uni-themed cookies (a few of which cracked in transit this year, but that’s okay).

Elena’s theme for 2018 is minor league teams with edible team names. In the top row, from left to right, we have the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Chicago Dogs, the Hickory Crawdads, and the Kansas City T-Bones.

Middle row, left to right: Cedar Rapids Kernels, Charlotte Stone Crabs, and Toledo Mud Hens.

Bottom row, left to right: Carolina Mudcats, Modesto Nuts, and Montgomery Biscuits.

How awesome is that?! It is super-duper-special that Elena continues to do this each year. I can’t even begin to fully express my appreciation and gratitude to her. Big hugs and big love, Elena — you’re the best!

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Culinary Corner: We had a lot of shrimps in the freezer, so we decided to put some of them to good use on Saturday night. I wanted to try something new instead of one of our usual recipes, so I did a bit of googling and came across something called Shrimp Veracruz, which I’d never heard of before. It sounded weird but interesting, so we decided to try it, like so:

1. We chopped up two bell peppers and sautéed them in two tablespoons of olive oil for about seven minutes. Then we added a pint of halved grape tomatoes, two cloves of minced garlic, two tablespoons of minced pickled jalapeños, and two tablespoons of capers (some recipes call for olives instead) and cooked everything for another seven or eight minutes:

2. We added two tablespoons of red wine and about half a cup of seafood stock (you could also use water instead of stock) and cooked for another five minutes.

3. We added about two dozen shrimps and cooked them four minutes on one side and then one minute on the other side.

That’s it! We served it over rice. Not very visually impressive on the plate, but mighty tasty:

The Captain thought it was just okay, but I thought it was great! Recommended.

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Health insurance update: Back in October, I wrote about how my health insurance, which cost me almost $800 a month this year, was due to go up to $949 a month next year and that I’d therefore probably have to choose a different plan. Now that we’re nearing the end of the open enrollment period, a few of you have checked in to ask how that turned out for me.

The good news is that after a lot of stress and research and talking to friends and colleagues and looking at websites and poring over drug formularies and talking to English-as-a-third-language customer “service” reps, I’ve chosen a plan for 2019 that gives me a similar level of coverage as before, with the same deductible, for $700 a month. So I’ll actually be saving money over 2018.

The first item of bad news is that my current primary care doctor doesn’t take this insurance I’ve chosen, so I’ll have to find a new doctor. This will be the third new primary doc I’ve had in five years, which is fucking nuts and makes it impossible to maintain any consistency in my medical care. (As it turns out, even if I had stayed with my current insurance — the one that’s going up to $949 a month — that insurer is changing its network parameters so that my current doc is no longer in-network. In order to keep my current doc, I’d have to choose a plan that’s — get this — $1300 a month.)

The second bit of bad news is that since I’m once again changing insurers, I’ll once again have to go through a cumbersome pre-approval process for the specialty drug that I take for a chronic condition. This will be the third consecutive year I’ve had to go through this process, which involves going to a lab for a TB test, filling out lots of paperwork, and wasting lots of time on the phone dealing with bureaucratic nonsense. Even after all of that, there’s no guarantee they’ll approve the drug for me — they could say no. (I’m not sure what I’ll do if that happens.)

The big unknown is that this new insurer I’ve chosen seems maybe a wee bit sketchy. It’s a new-ish company, and there are some horror stories about it from people on Yelp (although the same is probably true of every insurance company). Two of my friends, both of whom have pretty low bullshit tolerances, have been with this company for a couple of years now and say that there have been some growing pains but that it’s mostly been okay for them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ll say this again: It’s insane that health insurance is treated as an employment “benefit” in this country, so that self-employed people like me are forced to fend for ourselves. Health insurance is a necessity, not a benefit, and it’s embarrassing that our country hasn’t figured that out while the rest of the modern world has. Fortunately, in the wake of last month’s elections, there’s some hope that my state — New York — may adopt a single-payer insurance system. Here’s hoping that happens From my perspective, it can’t come soon enough.

Speaking of New York State and health insurance: When I got the notice in October about my plan going up to $949, there was an “Public Comment” address where I could have sent feedback. I didn’t bother to do that, but lots of other people did, and the new episode of This American Life has a really entertaining and instructive segment about those people. Recommended listening, even if you don’t live in New York or have to buy your own health insurance — check it out here.

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Price drop reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, we’ve brought the price of our flex-fit Uni Watch alternate cap — which was originally $29.99, then $24.99, then $19.99, then back to $24.99 — back down to $19.99. And there it will stay!

We have fewer than 20 only 10 of the L/XL size left. So if you want one, move fast.

While we’re at it: All of our fine Uni Watch products, including a few that you may have forgotten about, are listed on this one handy page.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Harold Baines, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame last night, has an interesting uni-related distinction: The White Sox retired his No. 3 in 1989, while he was still an active player, after they traded him to the Rangers. He later returned to the Sox in 1996, was traded away again, and returned to the Sox yet again in 2000. A bizarre history.

NFL News: Reader Brad Eenhuis was watching the A Football Life documentary on Washington QB Doug Williams and noticed that there were some number font variations on the team in Super Bowl XXII. … Some Falcons and Saints players ended up in the Tulane Stadium hedges during a 1970 game (from Mike Selock). … Here’s our worst uni nightmare: every NFL team dressed in black (from Dan Schwanger).

Hockey News: Goalie Mike DiPietro was traded from the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires to the Ottawa 67s last week, and played his first game for Ottawa wearing his Windsor mask and pads (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix wore Christmas sweater-themed uniforms.

Basketball News: Julius Erving once appeared on the late-’80s TV show My Two Dads wearing an orange jersey with his last name on the front, just like a team or city name (from Willard Kovacs). … Speaking of Dr. J, here’s a shot of him wearing a very mod 76ers warmup top (from Bruce Margulies). … Check out this shot of the St Louis Hawks’ Bob Pettit playing with full cast on wrist (from Mike Selock).

Soccer News: Scottish Premiership team Dundee debuted at home a third kit, which for the second year in a row is military-themed, and this time is white and features a giant version of the insignia of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards military regiment. The kit supports the SSAFA armed-forces charity (also from Ed Żelaski). … English second-tier women’s teams Durham and Manchester United played each other twice last week. Neither team changed for the game in Manchester, but Man U changed to pink/black/black in Durham.

Grab Bag: Women’s cycling team Boels-Dolmans revealed their kit for next season, including variations for the team’s Dutch and Danish national champions. Men’s team Katusha-Alpecin revealed a sky blue and red kit with tiny NOBs. … Yesterday’s edition of the comic strip Stone Soup Classics lamented the spread of advertising (from Paul Dillon).

84 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Trey V. | December 10, 2018 at 8:41 am |

    I know it says the rams player with helmet issues is Suh, but that picture does not look like Suh.

    • Flow | December 10, 2018 at 9:39 am |

      Yup, that’s Aaron Donald for sure.

      • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 9:39 am |

        Thanks. Will fix.

        • Flow | December 10, 2018 at 10:04 am |

          Well I just did some quick research because I actually wasn’t that sure lol and that’s Dante Fowler Jr. my bad.

        • Thomas Therrien | December 13, 2018 at 11:02 am |

          Paul,

          We all hate the current look for the Rams, aside from the throwback and color rush looks… I know you published an article about the same matter for the chiefs and why they may be able to get away with it. However, there is another look in the NFL like this that I don’t understand why it doesn’t get any attention and I’ve thought this for years. The cowboys white jerseys! They go with a royal blue for their numbers and stripes, but the helmet has navy blue on it. Why has this never got any attention??? It has always bugged me!

          Tom

        • Paul Lukas | December 13, 2018 at 11:11 am |

          We’ve talked about this countless times dating back more than a decade. Honest!

  • Jon | December 10, 2018 at 8:41 am |

    Your pics of Bethea from the Cardinals without the Walter Payton nominee decal are obviously not from week 14. Your leading entry was how they wore their black alts and the pictures clearly show a different uniform while he’s tackling a Packer.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 8:44 am |

      D’oh! You’re right. Went deep down that Payton rabbit hole late last night and got mixed up on that. Will adjust text. Thank you!

      • Tsujimoto | December 12, 2018 at 1:01 pm |

        The Lorenzo Alexander picture is from week 13 as well. The Bills played the Jets in week 14.

        • Paul Lukas | December 12, 2018 at 1:09 pm |

          D’oh!

  • Poppy Nurse | December 10, 2018 at 8:53 am |

    Paul, if you’re on the same type of medications for a chronic condition as my lovely spouse and two daughters are, then I hear you loud and clear. My union sent out a survey to determine areas of highest concern going into negotiations, I placed health care as the highest. I’m really fortunate to have a union job that pays well with the the benefits we have, because the cost each month for the three without coverage would be about $25,000 for just three meds.

  • JohnMark | December 10, 2018 at 8:55 am |

    Hey Paul – Sorry to hear about your healthcare nonsense. I would highly recommend you (and anyone else who is interested in how we’re all getting screwed by “the system”) look into the podcast, “An Arm and a Leg.” It’s fascinating and frustrating, but often times there’s a discussion on tips and tricks on how to navigate the system to get the most out of it. Cheers.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 9:05 am |

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out, for sure.

      • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm |

        Listening to it right now. Good stuff. Thank you!

  • Sean R. | December 10, 2018 at 9:01 am |

    I just received my Alternate Logo Cap and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that the cap is Kelly Green, not a darker shade! It’s comfy and is well on it’s way to being my favorite cap! Thanks, Paul!

  • Daniel Tarrant | December 10, 2018 at 9:03 am |

    While watching the sinking ship known as my Panthers versus the Browns yesterday, It occurred to me that it was actually quite refreshing to see a field without a logo at the 50-yard line. Football fields (and especially basketball courts) often seem to be full of unnecessary visual clutter these days.

    • Jim Vilk | December 10, 2018 at 11:45 am |

      YES. I like a decorated field/court/rink/etc., but these days they’re too busy and WAY too TV-centric. Show some love to the fans sitting on the side away from the cameras. Either have a center design that both sides can appreciate or go ahead and leave it blank.

  • jerry | December 10, 2018 at 9:05 am |

    RE: Arizona Cardinals in black – Someone there needs to be reminded that the team name, whether a bird or just a color, should bring in the color RED, to say nothing of the uni being ugly regardless.

    • Ty | December 10, 2018 at 10:49 am |

      My old high school’s mascot is the Cardinals. When I went there( 83 grad), we wore white helmets with the NFL Cardinal, red and black center stripes,and a red face mask. Around 10 years ago they went BFBS. It looks horrible. The NFL Cardinals should not stray from traditional colors white helmet, red or white jersey. Just my 2 cents…..

  • Sandy | December 10, 2018 at 9:13 am |

    Hello Paul,
    Also sorry to hear about the crazy health insurance situation you are in.

    My best advice: move Uni-Watch HQ up here to Canada where good health is a benefit of citizenship, not employment.

    We’d be proud to have you & the Captain!

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 9:14 am |

      We have considered it. Really.

  • Jake | December 10, 2018 at 9:28 am |

    “So that’s where I’m at. I’ll say this again: It’s insane that health insurance is treated as an employment “benefit” in this country, so that self-employed people like me are forced to fend for ourselves.”

    I agree 100%. Imagine the amount of entrepreneurs that are working for other people due to fear of losing insurance. It’s so crazy to me that this country constantly preaches the “American Dream” and how you can be anything you want to be, but makes being a small business owner nearly impossible. I’m sorry that you have to deal with this, Paul.

  • Peter | December 10, 2018 at 9:29 am |

    I live in a household that earns a significant income and whose employer pays for my healthcare, but I have to have taxes jump up 10 to 15% for those who chose a lifestyle and or a career that the health insurance benefits (including retirement, life insurnce, additional legal aid, etc.) that they don’t get get automatically?

    You have to go and earn some things in life. Not everything is equal.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 9:38 am |

      The notion that you have “earned” a life necessity simply by virtue having a large employer, while I have not “earned” that same life necessity simply by virtue of being self-employed, is a fascinating one. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Thanks for your feedback.

      • FinanceBuzz | December 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm |

        I don’t think it’s best to say you “earned the necessity.” Different people earn how they PAY for that necessity. It may be a necessity but there is a cost to it.

        I agree with Peter – I choose to work for a large employer and part of my compensation package includes covering a large portion of my healthcare costs. When one is self-employed, covering that life expense is part of the cost of doing business for you, just as it is for my large employer.

        I can understand that it must be frustrating and I admire your entrepreneurial spirit. But I have to disagree with forcing one choice of how to pay for healthcare on all of us in order to suit your career path. That is not fair to those who choose equally valid paths that may have lower out of pocket costs.

        The best answer is not MORE government which denies the power of competition and individual choice – precisely the problem we have now as you are experiencing – but LESS regulation and more competition. Going to a socialized system would only raise costs since, under such a system, individuals do not have an economic incentive to only consume healthcare services they need. When something is “free,” consumption is unbounded – got the sniffles? Go to the doc…it’s “free!” The increase in the volume of healthcare consumed due higher demand for “free” has to be paid for. At the end of the day, you will pay one way or another – despite what politicians promise, they can’t repeal the law of supply and demand and there is no free lunch.

        And BTW….I do not think the black Cardinals unis are all that bad. Sure beats those monstrosities that Tampa Bay wore!

        • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm |

          I’m not sure which point I disagree with more — your position on libertarianism or your position on the Cardinals. But both are antithetical to this website’s position. ;)

        • Sandy | December 10, 2018 at 7:35 pm |

          first of all, I do not use my health card every time I get the sniffles…used it only a few times in my 58 yrs, mostly for two serious accidents from which without our Canadian healthcare system I would be essentially crippled, unable to work, and a burden to society…..

          and who pays for the roads you drive your luxury car on?

          your selectivity in what you think *u* should pay for and what you take for granted astounds me….

  • Ben C | December 10, 2018 at 9:45 am |

    Who pays for this universal healthcare?

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 9:50 am |

      We all do, because we’re all in this together. That’s called a civilized society.

      And we’re already paying for it. Uninsured people, for example, show up at the ER, where they’re covered by Medicaid, which we all pay for. And employer-provided health insurance is essentially untaxed income, which means everyone else is subsidizing that as well.

    • JamesG | December 10, 2018 at 9:56 am |

      Pretty simple, everyone. How much in new taxes it will be is anyone’s guess. I do know that it was looked at in Vermont and was scrapped when work on it showed 160% increase in revenue to pay for it. At the federal level the increase in revenue would be almost double what is brought in now to pay for it initially. Indeed, if one breaks down the 32 trillion cost, that’s about 10,000 per year for every man, woman and child in this nation. No matter where anyone falls on the health coverage debate, this is an enormous cost to put into place especially facing the huge shortfalls in coming years in Social Security and Medicare.

      • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 10:00 am |

        Let’s assume, just for the sake of hilarity, that those numbers are accurate and not just propaganda.

        $10,000 per year — the figure you cite — is almost exactly what I paid in premiums for 2018 ($800/month x 12 months = $9,600).

        So you see, some of us are already paying the “enormous cost” that you refer to.

        • JamesG | December 10, 2018 at 10:06 am |

          That’s you as individual. For a family of four that’s now 40,000 bucks per year. To be more equitable and balance things out, you’d probably be required to pay more than 10K per year so the family of 4 doesn’t pay 40K. Then, of course, there will be income considerations for lower incomes and that too will have to be offset so you’d again pay more. Vermont tried this and it was estimated at 27,000 per year per taxpayer. It’s not as easy as one thinks to just simply mandate single payer. There are complicated and huge financial issues at play here.

        • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 10:07 am |

          I didn’t say it was easy. I said it’s the right thing to do (which it is), and that most of the modern world has already figured that out (which it has).

        • Bud | December 10, 2018 at 10:42 am |

          If those numbers ARE propaganda, then the actual cost might actually be much higher than what’s being quoted here, because that $32T number you found so hilarious is a number given out by the folks who are lobbying FOR single-payer, not by the folks against it.

          https://www.urban.org/research/publication/sanders-single-payer-health-care-plan-effect-national-health-expenditures-and-federal-and-private-spending

    • JD | December 10, 2018 at 10:26 am |

      You have a right to healthcare, you don’t have a right for someone else to pay for it.

      • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 10:28 am |

        As already noted, we’re all already paying for it. If you have employer-provided health insurance, I’m subsidizing it because that’s untaxed income.

        We appear to be at loggerheads here. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

      • Sam H | December 10, 2018 at 11:16 am |

        As someone who is lucky enough to not get sick very often, I am already paying for everyone on my plan who actually uses their benefits. “Paying for the healthcare of other people” is the entire point of insurance.

        And it doesn’t even work. I have a friend with epilepsy and health insurance. He specifically tells everyone at his office and everyone he knows to never, ever, ever call an ambulance if he has a seizure because it would bankrupt him, even with insurance. Why should we accept this as the way things should be?

        • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 11:21 am |

          Exactly. As I wrote back in October:

          If you don’t require as much medical care as I do, it’s true that your premiums are essentially subsidizing my care — just like my premiums are subsidizing the guy who needs a stent, and that guy’s premiums are subsidizing the cancer patient, and so on up the ladder of care intensity. “Healthy” and “sick” are very relative concepts, and almost all of us give at least a little and take at least a little — usually plenty of both during the course of our lives. Personally, I think of that as a nice way of having each others’ backs, especially since so many medical conditions are nobody’s fault. They’re just things we’re born with (that’s the case with all of my chronic conditions), or things that resulted from an accident (like when I broke my right arm in 2012 and my left arm in 2015, both of which were from bike accidents caused by other people’s recklessness).

          It all comes around and we all end up sharing the burden eventually. That’s why I used that graphic in today’s post — “Life Is a Pre-Existing Condition.”

      • Samuel H | December 10, 2018 at 11:30 am |

        And not to derail things too far, but “you don’t have the right to have others pay for it” is just a political policy statement, not a truth. I don’t have children, nor do I plan to, but I will be paying for schools with my tax dollars, because as a society, we’ve decided that citizens should pay for public schools, even if they don’t use them.

        As someone who doesn’t own a home, I am also indirectly subsidizing my landlords who are able to deduct the interest on their mortgages, while I can do no such thing on my rent payments. This, too, is a policy decision, and not some kind of natural law. Healthcare is not some kind of special case- indeed it’s probably more important to the good-being of our population than things like mortgage tax deductions or endless military action in the Middle East.

        • FinanceBuzz | December 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm |

          There is a little bit of a distinction here. Society benefits from an educated populace (we could have a sidebar discussion as to just how well government educates people though!) so, since there is some benefit to everyone, there is justification for everyone to contribute to that system. Where I diverge is that I think those who get the direct benefit of the education system – those with children in the schools – should pay MORE toward the schools. Where I live, property taxes pay the bulk of school expense. Why should a homeowner with no kids in school, pay the same property taxes, on a similarly valued home, as does a family with three kids in the school? They shouldn’t. They should pay some toward the school, but the family with kids should pay MORE. This is true fairness. Healthcare could be considered similarly. We all benefit from a generally healthy population, but those actually consuming healthcare services benefit the most and should bear more of that cost. I don’t expect anyone to pay my healthcare expenses by force. So that phrase is not merely a policy statement, but a stance on fairness and personal liberty.

        • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 2:19 pm |

          those actually consuming healthcare services benefit the most and should bear more of that cost.

          This is not an argument against universal health care. It is, rather, an argument against the concept of insurance itself, the very notion of which is predicated on shared risk.

          The idea that those who consume the most should pay the most sounds great, except every single one of us is one accident or diagnosis away from consuming a shit-ton. It’s not at all like choosing to have three kids and therefore being asked to pay more for education (a debatable notion that we’ll leave for another time), because there is usually little or no choice in the matter.

    • Silver Creek Dawg | December 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm |

      Frankly Paul, “most of the modern world” has figured out how to do government provided healthcare because they spend very little on national/international defense and they charge tax rates that would never be accepted here (50-60% income tax and value added tax/VAT of 15-25% on everything they purchase).

      • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm |

        If you’re suggesting that most of the modern world has a more sensible approach to public policy (and particularly budgetary prioritizing) than America does, I couldn’t agree more.

  • Tom | December 10, 2018 at 9:51 am |

    It’s a classic in irony that the Stone Soup Classic comic strip lamenting the spread of advertising was accompanied by Elliot’s own advertising.

  • Mark Sanders | December 10, 2018 at 10:08 am |

    Paul, glad to read that you found an insurance plan that won’t bankrupt you. As someone who, (A) has always been pretty healthy, and (B) has never had to worry about NOT having health coverage, I have to admit that this is an issue that has always kind of flown under my personal radar.
    I obviously cannot relate to the problems that you, or anyone in a similar situation deal with, but I do think that a better solution needs to be found.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 10:17 am |

      Thanks, Mark — appreciated.

  • DRR | December 10, 2018 at 10:20 am |

    Glad you clarified the gender of Kiko Alonso’s side boob!

    • Chris Weber | December 10, 2018 at 11:13 am |

      Dare I say the Eagles’ Michael Bennett looked even worse? It’s crazy how the changes in football jerseys and pads have devolved. -C.

  • Rich | December 10, 2018 at 11:11 am |

    How is Harold Baines a HOFer? Nice long career yes, HOF though? His numbers suggest he was a good player, but that’s it. Dale Murphy isn’t in the HOF and he had more home runs and 2 NL MVP seasons in 4 years less time. He also had more All Star game appearances (for what thats worth) Yeah his BA was a few points lower, but both are under .300 so I’m not getting it. I know more goes into it but when I read the headline that Chicago stars Baines and Smith got into the hall, I seriously thought it was some Chicago sports hall of fame and not THE hall of fame. Anyway, color me puzzled.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 11:15 am |

      I’m a big Baines fan (always liked his batting stance and demeanor), but I too was surprised. Very good player, but an all-time great? That’s an eyebrow-raiser, at least for me.

      • Jim Vilk | December 10, 2018 at 11:56 am |

        In 1982 I had a Sox replica helmet because I liked Harold Baines a lot. But when I played wiffle ball I copied Cecil Cooper and Ben Oglivie’s stances instead (along with my usual Willie Stargell stance). Trying to remember Baines’… guess I’ll be googling that next.

        And I too am glad for him but a bit surprised.

        • Jim Vilk | December 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm |

          Just saw Batting Stance Guy’s imitation of Baines. Nope, never did that one.

    • mike 2 | December 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm |

      Agree, Baines is not a Hall of Famer.

      But…

      I think the Hall is ridiculously tight. I agree with you on Murphy, and we could probably name 20 other guys who belong who aren’t in there, without even getting into the PED debate.

      If it takes Harold Baines getting into the hall to get tightass voters to get serious consideration for guys like Whitaker and Edgar and Walker and Edmonds and Mussina and Grich and Hershiser maybe that’s not a bad thing.

      • Jacob Zaldin | December 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm |

        Edmonds, Mussina, and Walker will all for sure make it in on “Today’s Game” ballots if they don’t on regular.

        • mike 2 | December 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm |

          Yeah, but its ridiculous that such a thing has to exist.

          Its ridiculous that the writers who run the regular ballot can keep deserving players out for 15 years (now 10) and that the hall has to keep coming up with special committees like the Todays Game or the Modern Era or whatever to fix mistakes by the regular voters.

    • Marcus | December 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm |

      I used to check out sports almanacs from the library back then and found it so odd that Baines’ number is retired! This was like back in the early 90’s.

  • RICKAZ | December 10, 2018 at 11:26 am |

    Cardinals BFBS is horrible. Yeah I know they claim black as one of their colors, i guess because there’s a tiny bit of black on the Cardinal bird logo, but this is just horrible. Now the all black in the article showing all nfl teams with black actually works. Actually the teams with actual black in the colors look pretty good in this, and I’m usually the first to hate BFBS.

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 11:30 am |

      Rick, I gather from your screen name that you’re in Arizona. Do other fans there tend to share your disdain for the BFBS uni? Do fans wear the jersey? I’m puzzled by this one, because I’ve literally *never* heard anyone say anything positive about this uniform, yet the team has used it for nine years running now.

      • ThatRodneyGuy | December 10, 2018 at 12:45 pm |

        I would say it is a pretty popular jersey here in Phoenix. Not much negative chatter about it. Granted, I haven’t done a scientific poll, but judging by the number of Cardinals license plates out there ( https://servicearizona.com/vehicle/images/148.gif ) the black doesn’t seem to be an issue.

      • RICKAZ | December 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm |

        Sadly it seems like people like this because I see a lot of the black jersey, even at games where the team is wearing red. And I don’t get anyone complaining about their normal red and white uniforms being awful. I usually like an all white look when a team has white helmets, but their red shoulders are terrible. I’d love for them to have something like the Colts uniforms, but with red and white. I do like the slightly updated Cardinal logo, but outside of that they need an entire redo.

        • RICKAZ | December 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm |

          “I don’t get” could be misunderstood. I mean I don’t hear anyone complaining…but they should.

      • Scott Steffes | December 11, 2018 at 4:00 am |

        Hey Paul. There are Many fans here in Arizona that have the black jersey. If you isolate it from the full set, does it get better? Same as the diamondbacks when you isolate one of their latest jerseys. Side note: the cardinals custom license plate is also the red bird head on a full black background.

  • ChrisH | December 10, 2018 at 11:48 am |

    Most of those BFBS NFL concepts were pretty terrible, but some of the re-imagined uniforms for teams who already use black look better than what they wear now (Falcons, Ravens, and Jags…which is probably the best of the bunch).
    I like the treatment the Bucs received…their uniforms can only be improved upon and the additional orange helps.

  • David Hall | December 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm |

    Paul, my wife and I are in our early 60’s and will be paying slightly over $800 each for our not so great health insurance in 2019, so we feel your pain as fellow self-employed people. Try asking your doctor how much he/she would charge you if you paid out of pocket for an office visit. I did and he agreed to charge me $75 instead of the $100 co-pay through my regular insurance! Most doctors understand the plight of those of us who have to buy our own insurance and he told me that it was easier to accept my payment than dealing with the insurance company. Good luck!

  • Daniel | December 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm |

    Jaguars significantly upgrade their black jersey in that NFL teams in All Black link

  • Noel | December 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm |

    The gift that keeps on giving. The “Affordable” Care Act.

  • Terry Mark | December 10, 2018 at 1:24 pm |

    The health care and insurance situation isn’t very good for most people in this country, except for perhaps the very rich or the insurance companies. I’m solidly middle class (maybe?) and am fortunate to have employer-sponsored insurance. Even with that, my contribution for insurance amounts to 28 percent of my gross pay. Just imagine how much lost productivity and just plain lost time we Americans could gain back if we didn’t treat health care like some sort of luxury purchase.

  • Brent | December 10, 2018 at 1:29 pm |

    Harold Baines. The Rangers traded my favorite player for him. Scott Fletcher. It just killed my junior high self. Baines didn’t want to be here and he wouldn’t sign my ball. (Spits on the ground) Harold Baines. Plus y’all realize that’s how the Sox got Sosa right. (Spits again) I always said if I ever met President Bush, I’d let him know how I felt about that.

  • Jet | December 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm |

    I don’t follow football so don’t know how long it’s been like this, but that Cleveland Browns quarterback has the “drop” shadow on his number 6 going UP and to the left… maybe it should be called a “lift” shadow? Or is it possibly an upside-down 9?? I’ve never seen a team in any sport with an up-pointing shadow… not that I’ve paid that close attention so if it’s been done, please enlighten me. Looks so wrong.

    And UGH does that Cardinals uni look disgusting…

    -Jet

  • Stan | December 10, 2018 at 1:47 pm |

    I love the Cardinals black jersey. Don’t understand hating on black

    • Tim | December 10, 2018 at 2:01 pm |

      Speaking in Ornithological terms, the only black on a Cardinal is around the area of the bill. The Male cardinal is (oddly enough) Cardinal Red. Females are brown with some red tinges on the wings.

  • RICKAZ | December 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm |

    My daughter is 29 and in her last year of a post-doc for nueropsychology. She’s only making $32,000, and as a healthy woman her monthly health insurance premium for next year is over $400. Sorry, but this is crazy.

    • Ben C | December 11, 2018 at 12:10 am |

      how is that crazy? Please explain. Bc your daughter fails to achieve — free market bro

      • RICKAZ | December 11, 2018 at 1:50 am |

        First off she got her PHD with no debt. She’s in a post-doc to better her knowledge which will be more marketable. Do you consider a medical doctor in residency “failing to thrive”? You and I obviously have a difference of opinion about what should be of value in a society, and a reasonably affordable healthcare is one.

  • Jim Howicz | December 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm |

    Paul-

    Did you thaw the shrimps before you added them?

    Thanks

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm |

      Yes — thawed and peeled. They were frozen raw, not frozen cooked.

  • Marcus | December 10, 2018 at 3:50 pm |

    That Dr. J warmup is so groovy. Now that 70’s 76ers theme song is in my head.

  • Florian | December 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm |

    Not an action shot from the game itself, but the Philadelphia Eagles tweeted this photo of Chris Long’s helmet before the game yesterday:

    https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/1071809004718968832

    • Paul Lukas | December 10, 2018 at 6:22 pm |

      Ah, thank you!

  • Wade Heidt | December 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm |

    Watched some of the Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears game last night.

    I know the fans voted for the white mask, but I could not help thinking to myself that the navy mask would look so much better on the Rams helmet.

  • Keith | December 10, 2018 at 8:43 pm |

    FWIW, I’ve had the same employer, insurance, and doctor for the past three years, and each year I have to do a pre-approval process for the specialty drug that I take for a chronic condition too. Another vote for single payer.

  • Russell | December 11, 2018 at 1:13 am |

    I am generally a man who detests a black uniform, but I was unexpectedly seduced by the black Titans concept art. Who knew that’d look so good?

  • Gary Hamilton | December 11, 2018 at 3:17 am |

    My health care plan for ‘mericah! …As a condition of getting your license to practice as a doctor, nurse, etc, you must do a residency at a random government facility. You don’t get to pick the facility. You put your name in the doctor bucket, and they draw Glendive, Montana, then you go to Glendive. Any citizen can use the the government clinic/hospital etc, at no charge. The resident doctor, nurse etc, is given a stipend for food and housing while working their residency requirement. After getting their license, they can join the free market world of healthcare. In excahnge for this, private sector health care providers and facilities are freed up of having to take non paying customers, and insurance can be sold accross state lines, etc etc etc. Everyone has access to care, and if you don’t like the government free stuff, then the free market has solutions that are competative and unencumbered by regulation.

  • Mark Graban | December 11, 2018 at 7:32 am |

    “Uninsured people, for example, show up at the ER, where they’re covered by Medicaid, which we all pay for.”

    That’s only true sometimes. Medicaid doesn’t cover everybody without insurance. Some people get stuck with ridiculously large bills that *they* have to pay for (or it’s sent to collections… or it’s written off by the hospital as something that *nobody* pays for (which I guess we all then indirectly subsidize through the higher rates the hospital charges as a result).