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Welcome to the first MMUW of the 2019 season, where we’ll lead off with something nobody saw coming: NFL captaincy patches appear to have changed from the old version (which had four stars, with the number of gold stars indicating the number of years that the player has been a captain for that team) to the Thursday-night/Color Rash style, which just has one, two, three, or four gold stars centered under the C.
The latter style was introduced a few years ago for Color Rash games and was only used on Thursday nights until last season, when a few teams began mixing/matching. Now the entire league appears to be going with the Thursday-night style, as seen above on Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (lots of additional examples from yesterday’s games here). Of course, it looks the same as before for players with four stars, but you can see the difference for everyone else.
This patch style switcheroo wasn’t apparent during the preseason (because nobody bothers with captaincy patches for preseason games) or in Thursday night’s Packers/Bears season opener (because those two teams don’t wear captaincy patches during the regular season), and the NFL didn’t make any announcement that I’m aware of. Interesting.
Two other notes regarding captain’s patches: First, the Falcons wore the patches yesterday. I’m told — although I haven’t confirmed this — that this is the first time they’ve ever worn them during the regular season.
And second, Washington quarterback Case Keenum had two stars, even though it’s his first year with the team:
How Case Keenum have 2 stars on his Captain patch when it’s his first year with Washington? He was a captain last year with Denver but it would be weird to roll over with a new team. @UniWatch pic.twitter.com/YtONqIzP8R
— Colin (@colmiller45) September 8, 2019
The original idea was that the gold stars would indicate how many years the player had been a captain with that team (that’s why Brett Favre only wore one gold star with the Jets, for example), but they seem to be getting sloppy about that. There were a few examples similar to Keenum last year. Really, this confusion just highlights the fact that the captaincy patches are silly and should just be scrapped.
In other news from around the league yesterday:
• The Giants wore their white pants on the road in Dallas. In recent years, they’ve always worn their grey pants on the road, even when wearing their blue jerseys. The protocol was white pants at home, grey pants on the road, irrespective of the jersey being worn. It remains to be seen whether the grey pants have been retired altogether or if they’re just freestyling now.
• This is odd: The Panthers’ “What we’re wearing today” tweet referred to “Fresh unis” but used old photos from last season, showing the old Reebok template/fabric (plus the regular NFL logo on the collar, no 25th-season patch, wrong pant design, etc). I realize the main point was to show that they’re wearing white over white, but come on — is it that hard to get some current photos, especially when they wore white over white for all four of their preseason games?
Fresh unis for gameday 👌 pic.twitter.com/BGkubIEFeG
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 8, 2019
• Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared to be wearing an older jersey template. The difference is most apparent in the collar — here’s Brady’s collar on the left and the collar everyone else was wearing on the right (click to enlarge):
Brady wore the newer template during the preseason (and last year, for that matter), so it’s odd that he switched back last night.
Meanwhile, as you can see in those photos, the Pats wore their championship patch. That was only for last night’s game — it will not be worn for the rest of the season.
• Speaking of Pats collars, reader Kyle Shephard noticed that placekicker Stephen Gostkowski had the standard NFL logo on his collar, instead of the NFL 100 mark:
Gostkowski did have the NFL 100 mark in the Pats’ last preseason game. Hmmmm.
• Still more Pats: Our own Anthony Emerson noticed that wideout Phillip Dorsett is going RNOB this season.
— Anthony Matthew Emerson🌹 (@AnthonyEmerso14) September 9, 2019
• Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf wore a mouthguard that looked like a baby’s pacifier:
— bryanwdc (@bryanwdc) September 8, 2019
• Browns wide received Odell Beckham Jr. played while wearing a very expensive wristwatch from some fancy designer I’ve never heard of (click to enlarge):
I got all sorts of breathless tweets from people asking, “Isn’t that against the rules?” and “Will he be fined?” and so on. Honestly, who cares? It’s just corporate theater combined with “Look at me” bullshit — a lose-lose. More info here, if you insist. (Of course, longtime NFL punter Reggie Roby routinely wore a watch as well, which I’m pretty sure he got for two bucks on Canal St.)
• Five teams wore white at home: the Jaguars (who as you can see also wore solid-white socks, as is allowed under the league’s new hosiery rules), Chargers (they always wear white for their home opener, at least for the last several seasons), Dolphins, Panthers, and, of course, the Cowboys.
The would normally be the end of MMUW. But this year, starting today, we have a new feature: I’m picking the best- and worst-looking games of the week as part of Sports Illustrated’s Monday-morning NFL coverage. You can check that out here.
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Black cat reminder: Today is the 50th anniversary of the famous Black Cat Incident, when a black kitty jinxed the 1969 Cubs by appearing in front of their dugout during a game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. In case you missed it last Friday, I’ve written an article about this incident as seen through the eyes of the Cubs’ batboy, whose story has never been told until now. It was a blast to work on, and I hope you’ll check it out here.
ITEM! Free stirrups: Want a pair of youth-size stirrups like the ones shown above? Reader Chris Burke has 14 pairs of them that he’s looking to give away, gratis (except for shipping).
If you’re interested, contact Chris directly. Thanks.
ITEM! Another Vintage Brand raffle: The folks at our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand are generously running another raffle. The lucky winner will get to choose any product from the VB website (like the Chiefs schedule canvas shown above).
To enter this raffle, send an email to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern this Thursday, Sept. 12. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.
In addition, Vintage Brand is currently giving away a $100 gift card every day to a random person on their mailing list. To sign up for their list and be eligible for this daily giveaway, look here.
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And the purple just makes it worse: I’ve grudgingly accepted the sad reality that most businesses don’t understand the different between “login” (a noun) and “log in” (a verb). But my new health insurer seems to be unusually confused about this, coming up with three different ways to style this term. (Somehow they didn’t use the intercapped version — LogIn — but I’m sure that’s coming.)
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Signs of the times: When I was kid, the wording was always “Beware of Dog” (not just in real life but also in cartoons, which is probably what really reinforced that wording in my mind). But at some point they began adding the definite article — “Beware of THE Dog.” For some reason, this still seems like a seismic shift, and it throws me every time I see it. Spotted both versions side-by-side while walking through Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood on Saturday.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: The Reds wore their latest throwbacks yesterday. This design was from 1995. You can get a good sense of how they looked on the field by watching the video at the top of this page. Looks like the NOB lettering was larger than it was back in 1995 (from Christopher Schlueter).
Football News: The Browns still have beer cups with their previous logo, presumably because they haven’t run out yet (from Jonathan Dies). … Florida State added captaincy patches this weekend after not having them last weekend (from @justbroc_). … Purdue added “Forever Our Captain” on their helmet stripe for Tyler Trent, a Purdue student and superfan who passed away from cancer earlier this year (from Blaise D’Sylva). … Looks like California LB Evan Weaver had a covered-up college CFB150 patch (from John Furstenthal). … You can see some Canadian college uni-tracking from Wade Heidt in yesterday’s comments.
Hockey News: Multiple readers told us that the Flyers now have one large center-ice logo, instead of two small ones, for the first time in team history. This means the practice of double center-ice logos is now no more in the NHL. … Lots of new themed jerseys for the SPHL’s Peoria Rivermen (from Mike Lucia).
Basketball News: 76ers PF Mike Scott is reportedly saying that the NBA has banned the “Ninja”-style headband (from Aaron Pinto). … During Saturday’s Iowa/Rutgers football game, it was mentioned that Iowa’s No. 22, which is retired for G Bill Seaberg, will be worn by freshman PF Patrick McCaffery — it’s a number significant to McCaffery — with Seaberg’s permission.
Soccer News: There were some outstanding kits in the lower levels of CONCACAF’s Nations League this weekend, including Anguilla’s (in orange) shirt with numbers surrounded by dolphins, like in their crest — note also the manufacturer-mismatched blue Adidas socks — and Bonaire’s orange and blue diagonal halves. … Tanzania played a World Cup qualifier against Burundi yesterday. Some players wore TNOB and some wore NNOB (from Brennan Casey). … The next three are from Josh Hinton: Portugal now have a winners patch for UEFA’s Nations League. … There are new kits for the unofficial Catalonian national team, which plays infrequently (only five times since the end of 2011). … Peru’s Alianza Lima released a purple third kit. Germán Cabrejo tells us that Alianza’s colors change from blue and white to purple and white in October as a homage to Lima’s Señor de los Milagros. … You can see more on Josh’s Twitter feed. … Reader Chuck Nolan, Jr. asks us if any teams have multi-colored stripes like Botswana, while referring to Catalonia’s kits above. If we’re counting Catalonia’s gradient stripes, then yes, most teams with stripes or hoops have added gradients, even faint ones, or some other pattern to their stripes at some point. Stripes that are truly more than one color are rarer, but can be seen, for example, on Crystal Palace’s sash shirts and a few others. … New third kit for Inter Milan. “The design was inspired by Pirelli’s logo and involvement in racing, as they have been a longtime advertiser for the club,” says Josh Hinton.
Grab Bag: A Tennessee fan at a Florida elementary school wanted to participate in his school’s college colors day, but didn’t have a Tennessee shirt, so he attached a hand-drawn “U. of T.” to the front of an orange shirt. After he was bullied for his efforts, the university now is going to sell a reproduction of his shirt (from Bryan Martin Firvida and Kary Klismet). … While Odell Beckham wearing a watch yesterday piqued a lot of readers’ interest, it is relatively common in field hockey. Clear examples just in NCAA games this weekend included players on UMass Lowell, La Salle, Appalachian State, and Monmouth and Villanova. … Canada’s rugby union team changed to black in a Rugby World Cup warm-up game against the U.S., probably to show it off at home, as it was unnecessary becuase white is first choice for the Americans (from Wade Heidt). … Speaking of rugby union: New kits for Italian side Zebre (from Ed Zelaski).
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What Paul did
last night yesterday: If you think I’m spending a gorgeous September Sunday watching football (or baseball, for that matter), you’re out of your freaking gourd. Instead, the Tugboat Captain and I gathered our friends Chris and Cheryl and headed off to our favorite waterside seafood joint for some oysters, crabs, calamari, and more, followed by drinks at a nearby marina bar:
Now, the sad truth of the matter is that the restaurant we went to has been going downhill in recent years, and this was confirmed by our meal. The crabs were watery, the calamari rubbery. Still, there’s something so nice about eating alongside the water (two egrets came by and perched on the nearby dock!), and there aren’t many places in NYC where you can do that. Throw in some good company and a few pitchers of beer and you have an excellent afternoon, even with the substandard chow. Hope your Sunday was a good one as well!