Monday Morning Uni Watch, Wild Card Edition

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Good morning! Interesting move prior to yesterday’s NFC Wild Card playoff game by Eagles center Jason Kelce, who wore an NNOB jersey for pregame warmups to symbolize the team’s “no-name” underdog status. He did wear a standard nameplate once the game started.

“No-name,” of course, has a strong NFL pedigree — that was the nickname for the defense on the undefeated 1972 Dolphins. But I don’t think the Miami defense ever went NNOB as a solidarity or motivational move. Too bad — it would’ve been a cool way to live up to their nickname.

Speaking of NOBs: With Eagles backup quarterback Josh McCown pressed into action after starter Carson Wentz’s injury, I was really struck by the size of the small-cap “C” on his nameplate. It’s almost as big as the full capital “C”:

In yesterday’s other playoff game, the Saints and Vikings went mono-white vs. mono-purple:

Ewwww. Several notable aspects of this matchup:

• It’s not clear why the Saints chose to wear white at home, something they did only one other time this season — in a Sunday-night game against the Cowboys.

• The Saints wanted to wear their white Color Rash alternate uni instead of the conventional white jersey and the stripe-free pants, but the league reportedly said they couldn’t do that because they had already worn their alternate design three times this season. That makes no sense because, as we discussed here a few weeks ago, at least two teams — the Ravens and Seahawks — wore alternates four times during the regular season. It seems like the NFL is really inconsistent about this stuff.

• It’s also not clear why the Vikings chose to go mono-purple. They did wear their mono-purple alternates — the ones with the yellow numbers and trim — one prior time this season, in Week Eight (and presumably could have worn that uni again yesterday, since they only wore it once in the regular season), but they hadn’t paired their primary purple jerseys and pants — the ones with the white numbers and trim — since 2013! So yesterday was an odd time to go with that look.

• The Vikings are the lowest seed in the NFC, so their route to the Super Bowl is unlikely at best. Still, with the Ravens currently favored in the AFC, it must be said: My worst nightmare — a purple-vs.-purple matchup in the big game — is still possible. One more reason to root for the 49ers when they host the Vikings this Saturday!

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FA Cup Roundup
By Jamie Rathjen

The third round of English soccer’s FA Cup, when teams from the top two tiers enter, took place over the weekend and brought its usual share of uni-related developments. Most notable was Chelsea’s 1970 blue and yellow throwback, which was originally worn for the replay of the FA Cup final in that year. The Museum of Jerseys blog has an excellent new post on how the kit came to have yellow accents instead of white. It appears possible for Chelsea to continue to wear the throwback for the rest of their FA Cup games this season, but it’s unclear if they plan to do so.

In other items from the third round:

• Liverpool wore the Club World Cup champions’ patch, once again getting permission to do so when it otherwise wouldn’t be allowed.

• Some, but not all, teams from below the Premier League wore sleeve ads.

• Manchester City didn’t wear the FA Cup sleeve patch (pictured at the top of this section). They never have, as competition rules allow them to skip it because their advertiser is a competitor of the FA Cup’s advertiser. Nobody is required to wear the patch until the semifinals. As with last year, it appeared that almost all other teams did wear it except Championship team Stoke City (in black) and fifth-tier Hartlepool United, whereas before that there was no real pattern as to which teams wore the patch and which didn’t at this stage.

• All third-round games kicked off after a minute’s delay — so kickoff times were listed as 12:31pm, 3:01pm, etc. — in order to show a short mental health awareness video.

• Fifth-tier AFC Fylde, the other nonleague team that made it to the third round, wear 2022 on their shirt sleeves, representing their goal of winning promotion to the English Football League by then (though they’d better pick it up, as they’re currently fighting relegation).

• In the Women’s FA Cup third round — which now takes place on the same weekend as the men’s, but is not exactly equivalent because the top two tiers enter at the fourth round instead — there were two teams almost identically named: Southampton Women’s FC and Southampton FC Women. The former is older; the latter is affiliated with the Premier League team, and both share red and black as colors. The women’s tournament, at least at this stage, doesn’t have its own sleeve patch.

(Thanks to Josh Hinton for his contributions to this section.)

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The blue jeans of headwear: I’ve written a lot about the worldwide ubiquity of the baseball cap, but it never ceases to blow my mind. The photo above shows Iraqi students protesting yesterday in Baghdad. Look at the two guys in the foreground — amazing!

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! New Vintage Brand raffle: It’s time for the monthly raffle from our longtime advertiser Vintage Brand. The winner will be able to choose anything from their website (including the 49ers program canvas shown above).

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern this Wednesday, Jan. 8. One email per person. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday.

Also, Vintage Brand is running a site-wide 25% sale today (the discount will be applied automatically during the checkout process), so move fast if you want to take advantage of that.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Football News: As Blaise D’Sylva nears the end of his tour through the helmets of the FBS and Ivy League, the school of the day yesterday was South Carolina.

Hockey News: The Leafs celebrated equipment manager Brian Papineau’s 2500th game Saturday (from Jerry Wolper). … The Capitals and their eagle mascot, Slapshot, hosted several other bird mascots yesterday for National Bird Day (from @bryanwdc). … Canada wore black for the entire world junior championship knockout stage (from Wade Heidt). … Canada RW Raphaël Lavoie also had flag-themed skates during the final (from Jakob Fox). … Northeastern teased red alternates. The men’s team usually wears white or black, but the women’s team has different red jerseys (from @nvcjr1).

Basketball News: Basketball players don’t wear protective cups, but Wizards F Rui Hachimura may wear one when he returns from groin surgery. “He’s been out for a few weeks after getting accidentally kicked between the legs by a teammate during a game,” explains Mike Chamernik. … Lakers F LeBron James’s shorts were pretty short last night (from @lawrep2). … On Saturday, Marquette/Villanova was color vs. color. … Ditto for the Northeastern and Hofstra’s women’s teams (from Mike Brodsky).

Soccer News: Outside of the FA Cup, English League Two team Swindon Town wore their purple third kit at home, the ad on which is for an ALS foundation (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: the unofficial Chagos Islands national team is having a poll for a new second shirt. … Jeremy Brahm sent us maps of the mascots of the teams in Japan’s top three tiers; a few top-tier teams appear twice because they have under-23 teams in the J3 League. … A new statue of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović outside his hometown team Malmö FF’s stadium, which has already been vandalized several times because of Zlatan’s recent investment in Stockholm team Hammarby IF, was sawed off at the ankles, with the face covered by a Sweden shirt. … New shirts for Vietnam.

Grab Bag: Australia and New Zealand’s cricket teams wore black armbands during the first day of their current Test on Friday for the victims of Australia’s bushfires. On Sunday, both teams wore pink accents for a breast cancer charity run by former Australia player Glenn McGrath. … Venezuela’s women’s volleyball team got new shirts (from Jeremy Brahm). … The U.S. indoor field hockey teams have been competing at the Rohrmax Cup, a tournament in Vienna, wearing new kits made by Osaka Hockey, a company that also outfits Canada and seems to do minimalist designs. … Minnesota’s mascot, Goldy the Gopher, wears No. 0 for football and No. 00 for basketball, but has flipped those in the past (from Timmy Donahue). … This story never seems to end: Some Delta Air Lines employees claim that the airline’s newish uniforms are making them sick (from Mike Cooperman).

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What Paul did last night on Saturday: On Saturday we went up to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum to check out their exhibit on the great Bauhaus graphic designer Herbert Bayer, who did all sorts of amazing art and commercial work during his long career. The poster shown above, made to support the American war effort after he emigrated to the States, was my favorite piece in the show, even though it was less Bauhaus-y and therefore less representative than most of the other work in the exhibit.

Here are some more of my favorites:

You can see more photos from the exhibit here. The exhibit is up through April 5 — highly recommended.

On my way home, I saw a guy doing a very entertaining routine at the Union Square subway stop:

Sometimes I still really fucking love New York.

48 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch, Wild Card Edition

  • MJ | January 6, 2020 at 8:12 am |

    Who are the Irqui? (LOL)
    I love the Chelsea throwbacks, particular how Yokohama and Nike agreed to obscure their ad patches. If you look close enough, you can see them but they aren’t a full assault on the eyes like modern shirt ads are.
    I also love the NNOB look for the NFL. I don’t know why removing one tiny detail makes it look so good. Less cluttered, maybe. But the giant 62 is easier to read and identify Jason Kelce than adding his last name. I would love to see a move toward NNOB again. Even if you don’t buy a program, you can have the roster on your smartphone whenever you want it. It would incidentally eliminate the unnecessary generational suffixes, so double victory there.

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 8:23 am |

      Typo fixed – thanks.

  • James M Tichy | January 6, 2020 at 8:44 am |

    Vikings: maybe they traveled with only their purple pants assuming they’d be wearing white jerseys.


  • Rich | January 6, 2020 at 8:45 am |

    Hopefully, the loss will cure dumb-ass Sean Payton of having the Saints wear white jerseys at home any time soon and perhaps it will always prompt him to burn the diaper pants. Given that he has no idea how to manage the end of a half, though, I’m giving him too much credit to think he would do the right things on the uniform front.

    The Saints play in a dome. They should wear black jerseys at home. Period.

    • Steve | January 6, 2020 at 10:05 am |

      It may be a dumb question, but what does playing in a dome have to do with wearing black jerseys?

      • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 10:07 am |

        I think he meant that teams that play outdoors in hot weather might have an excuse to wear white at home, but not teams that play in a controlled climate.

    • Adam Y | January 6, 2020 at 12:39 pm |

      Saints can wear black jerseys at home anytime, but only if they wear gold pants. Those black one’s look atrocious.

      I hardly think they lost yesterday because of the white on white. They wore black last year against the Rams. Same result. Home loss and controversial PI.

    • Willliam | January 6, 2020 at 1:13 pm |

      The solid white pants are awful, especially in conjunction with white socks.

      • Daniel Tarrant | January 6, 2020 at 3:46 pm |

        Yeah, it always looks like they lost their real uniform pants and had to play wearing long johns.

        • Patrick Cronshaw | January 7, 2020 at 2:29 pm |

          The pants NEED a stripe.

  • Greg | January 6, 2020 at 8:53 am |

    A shame the Saints have abandoned their gold pants, such a great look with both the black and white jerseys.

    • Flip | January 6, 2020 at 9:32 am |

      Amen and amen.

      • Daniel Tarrant | January 6, 2020 at 3:47 pm |

        It’s their best look, but the pants should have the black/white/black stripes like the helmets instead of the solid black one. I’m pretty sure they once upon a time wore those.

    • Tim | January 6, 2020 at 4:56 pm |

      Gold/White/Gold is such an AWESOME look for the Saints…with black socks/gold stripes…

    • MJ | January 7, 2020 at 9:27 am |

      This x1000.

  • Bryan | January 6, 2020 at 9:08 am |

    I think the Vikings all-purple looks much better than their color rush

  • Peter | January 6, 2020 at 9:11 am |

    Q: when someone pays for a shutterstock image, does that allow rights for everyone to then use it at their own discretion?

  • Cooperstown Nate | January 6, 2020 at 9:24 am |

    “the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (the only part of the Smithsonian that’s here in NYC, don’tcha know)” I think you forgot about The National Museum of the American Indian–New York located adjacent to Battery Park.

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 9:32 am |

      You know, I didn’t realize that was part of the Smithsonian — thank you for schooling me on that!

      (Also: Nice of of the en dash!)

      • Paul | January 6, 2020 at 10:01 am |

        Typo. “Nice use* of”, I assume.

        • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 10:06 am |

          D’oh. Yes!

  • Rich | January 6, 2020 at 10:09 am |

    The NFL should just say ‘fuck it’ and let the teams wear whatever the hell they want and be done with it. You want 8 home unis and 8 road unis? Fine. The more jerseys, the more merchandising $$$, and the League gets their cut of the Almighty Dollar.
    As far as an all purple SB, don’t worry Paul, Ravens would probably go mono black anyway, if they’re the home team that is (are they? I really don’t know)

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 10:12 am |

      Yes, AFC is home team this year.

  • Q | January 6, 2020 at 10:11 am |

    Could the Saints have told the Vikings they were wearing their Color Rush before they got approved (we not approved in this case), didnt get approved and decided to keep white since they already told the Vikings to wear purple??

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 10:13 am |

      *Could* something have happened? Sure, anything *could* have happened.

      But that requires us to believe that the Saints told the Vikings something before getting it approved by the league, which seems unlikely.

  • Peter Sgouros | January 6, 2020 at 10:14 am |

    Here’s hoping you properly helped fill that fine man’s hat :-)
    (having once been a street performer, I try to be very supportive, especially of the ones that do the harder feats…j

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 10:16 am |

      I sure did, and gladly!

      What sort of street performance did you do, Peter?

    • Iain | January 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm |

      I liked how he used cones to mark his “stage” and the audience didn’t encroach past them.

    • Ryan M | January 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm |

      I’m curious to know: what’s the expectation, both by performers and by viewers, regarding leaving some money? It seems to me, if you stop to watch, you should give. But are those who don’t looked down upon (akin to people who leave no tips in restaurants for absurd reasons), or is it just kind of expected that you’ll have “freeloaders” (so to speak) and people that don’t have any change or denominations they wish to leave?

      • Daniel Tarrant | January 6, 2020 at 6:20 pm |

        This is just my two cents (and I’m sure that my city doesn’t have nearly as many street artists/musicians as NYC), but while I usually will leave a buck or two if I stop to watch/listen for more than a minute, I won’t go so far as to say that if you’re going to give a public performance in a public space that you should feel like it’s an obligation for anybody to pay you. I mean, the artist is voluntarily putting on his show for free…if he is expecting payment, he should put it on in a private venue and sell tickets.

        • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 6:41 pm |

          “Two cents” — pun intended?

        • Daniel Tarrant | January 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm |

          I can’t say it was intended, but it works nonetheless.

          I guess two cents in Charlotte buys about the same as two bucks in NYC. ;)

  • Drew B. | January 6, 2020 at 11:50 am |

    This is a bit off topic, but will we ever hear from “Mop Guy” again? (I was reminded of this by seeing an equipment manager being recognized in the ticker.) I like “behind the scenes” or logistics type of stories. I find them extremely fascinating.

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 12:21 pm |

      I had a similar interviewed lined up with a member of an MLB grounds crew, but he got cold feet. I agree that behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting, and I’ll try to come up with more of it.

      • Drew B. | January 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm |

        No worries. I am patient. Keep up the good work.

  • Padday | January 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm |

    Regarding the Liverpool Club World Cup champions’ patch, it’s less that this is a situation of them receiving an exemption to wear it, and more the fact that the FA, as a separate body to the Premier League, do not have an issue with it. In fact, it’s really the Premier League that is the outlier here as they are the only body actually taking issue with it. It would have been interesting to see whether the Football League (a separate body still from either the FA or Premier League) would have had an issue with it but seeing as (ironically) they were knocked out of the League Cup fielding a second team while the first team was playing in the Club World Cup, we won’t know until next season.

    As for whether they should be wearing it, I am 100% with the Premier League. It’s a tacky, overbearing sticker for what is essentially a novelty tournament with limited competitive value (every winner bar one in the last 13 iterations has been the European entrant), essentially no prestige or legacy and which only really serves as a cynical international marketing tool and sportswashing opportunity for the hosts. The fact that they feel the need to manufacture some kind of significance by plastering their patch on the winners just goes to show how desparate the whole enterprise is.

  • RobYaz | January 6, 2020 at 12:44 pm |

    RE: ballcaps. I might’ve mentioned this before, but when I visited my family’s ancestral hometown in a small mountain village in northern Slovakia last summer, I met a guy wearing a well-worn 1994 World Cup of Soccer hat (which excited me because I attended a couple of those games and had/have the same exact hat). Though I did find ballcaps for sale on my trip I didn’t see too many people wearing them. What I have found more ubiquitous in Europe are t-shirts with American city names and some generic imagery, or occasionally a city-specific shirt made to resemble a football jersey but not in any colors matching an actual team in the designated city.

  • Bobby | January 6, 2020 at 1:26 pm |

    Paul – was Tom Brady in NFL violation with his black undershirt? I thought the undershirt had to be the same color as the jersey? Thanks!

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2020 at 1:29 pm |

      Nobody’s going to fine a quarterback for something like that, trust me.

      • Phil Hecken | January 6, 2020 at 4:07 pm |

        Plus, it’s not like Brady flouts the rules ever.

        • MAL | January 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm |

          Brady’s had the black undershirt for some time now, so any punishment or advisement against is pretty overdue were it to happen.

          Phil…this Bostonian tells you to stuff it. ;)

        • Stan Bunting | January 6, 2020 at 8:34 pm |

          Nice unbiased journalism.

          I believe the rule is the QB can wear whatever color undershirt he/she wants.

  • James Armstrong | January 6, 2020 at 3:46 pm |

    I’ve been eagerly waiting Blaise D’Sylva’s take on the South Carolina Gamecock football helmets! They are terrific, and definitely a labor of love. It seems that the “garnet chrome” helmet decals brought in under interim HC Shawn Elliott against Vandy in 2015 isn’t shown.

  • Wade Heidt | January 6, 2020 at 6:57 pm |

    We could still have had Saints in white and Vikings in purple, but could have looked like this if both organizations’ decision makers had their heads on straight.

    Uniforms matter in the playoffs!

  • Daniel | January 6, 2020 at 11:15 pm |

    The NFL sure does stand for no fun league?
    They are so unnecessarily strict with uniforms.
    Teams should be able to wear what they want as long as it is within reason.
    Same goes for cleats.
    I think they should take a page from the nba and loosen up on some of the strict archaic rules

  • Kurt | January 8, 2020 at 10:00 am |

    Ravens wore Alternate jerseys (black) three times (Pats, 49ers, Jets) and wore their Color Rush uniforms once (Rams).

    Seahawks wore Alternate jerseys (grey) twice (Cardinals, 49ers) and Color Rush jerseys (neon green) twice (Rams, Vikings).

    So……maybe the rule is you get four games out of 16 (plus Playoffs apparently) to wear your non traditional Home and Away jerseys?

    • Kurt | January 8, 2020 at 10:02 am |

      * to wear SOMETHING OTHER THAN your non-traditional Home and Away jerseys.