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Monday Morning Uni Watch: Super Bowl Edition

Well, at least the Puppy Bowl was good.

Man, what a stinker of a Super Bowl. On the plus side, it was a good-looking uni matchup. But the game had only a few uni-notable aspects, most of which we already knew about in advance and two of which can be seen in the photo shown above.

First, by wearing this year’s Super Bowl patch, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady extended his record for wearing the most jersey patches in NFL history. (Kudos to our own Anthony Emerson for that outstanding piece, which originally ran last spring.)

Second, see that Under Armour logo on Brady’s glove? Yesterday’s game may have been the last time we’ll see that logo on an NFL field. That’s because, as was reported last week, Under Armour is ending its deal with the league, which means its logo will no longer be permitted to appear on gloves and cleats. Players with UA endorsement deals, like Brady, can still wear the company’s gear, but not with visible maker’s marks.

Third, down judge Sarah Thomas — the first woman to be part of a Super Bowl officiating crew — also became the first Super Bowl official to wear a snapback cap instead of the standard fitted cap:

We already knew in advance about all three of those things. There was one legitimate piece of new uni news, but it wasn’t even visible on the field, as the Chiefs revealed a few hours before kickoff that they had added their season-long rallying cry, “Run It Back,” to their inner collar:

Aside from that, the game was completely uni-uneventful. But there was a cringe-y bit of corporate theater that unfolded during the postgame celebration, when Brady — who’s still under contract to UA, at least for now — tried to hide the Nike logo on his base-layer shirt:

That whole thing makes me queasy.

And that’s a wrap for this bizarre NFL season. Congrats to the Buccaneers and their fans. With the Bucs’ win, white-clad teams are now 14-3 over the past 17 Super Bowls.

Looking ahead to next season, here’s what we know so far:

• The Bengals will have new uniforms (but their helmets will remain unchanged).

• The Browns will celebrate their 75th anniversary with a commemorative logo (which will presumably be worn as a patch and/or helmet decal) and a new throwback.

• The Falcons will take No. 44 out of circulation in honor of Henry Aaron.

• The Rams have indicated that they would like to add a new alternate, although it’s unclear to me whether that’s definitely happening.

Most importantly, here’s hoping we’ve all been vaccinated by the fall, so that next season can be played in full stadiums.

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Click to enlarge

A Uni Watch Super Bowl tradition: As longtime readers may recall, one of our annual rituals is that reader Steve Spiecher makes himself some DIY Super Bowl jerseys by using T-shirts and iron-on transfer paper. This was his 10th year making these (here are the ones he made in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020) — an impressive benchmark! As you can see above, this year he went for the Bucs, making a Shaq Barrett Creamsicle throwback for himself and a Mike Evans jersey for his wife, Anne.

Here’s how they looked from the back, along with some of the iron-on graphics:

DIY projects always make me happy. They’re basically the spiritual opposite of soulless shit like Brady covering up his logo. Keep it up, Steve!

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

Culinary Corner: For about 35 years now, I’ve used the same three ingredients in my chicken wing sauce. The two obvious ones, which pretty much everyone uses, are Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and butter; the third one, which I learned from a bartender while I was in college, is mustard. Granted, the sauce comes out a little different each time I make it, because I just eyeball the ingredient amounts, but the results are usually within a pretty narrow flavor range.

At some point I noticed that Frank’s came out with a sauce made specifically for wings. I didn’t pay much attention to it — figured it was for lazy people who, you know, couldn’t be bothered to add some butter to the regular Frank’s. Whatever.

On Friday I went grocery shopping and picked up some wings and some Frank’s for Super Bowl Sunday. But for some reason, this time I lingered over the wing-specific variety. I assumed they couldn’t put real butter in a shelf-stable product, so what did they put in it?

I grabbed a bottle off the shelf and looked at the ingredients, one of which was listed as “natural butter type flavor,” which for some reason I found hilarious. Like, if it had simply said “butter flavoring,” or “butter extract,” or “that shit they put on popcorn at the movies that they call butter even though it’s just some sort of flavored oil that we all know is gross but we keep asking for it anyway,” that would be one thing. But “butter type flavor”? It was like a self-parody. I actually hooted out loud right there in the condiments aisle.

I decided that this called for some sort of taste test, so I bought a bottle of the regular Frank’s plus a bottle of the wing-specific stuff. When I made my wings yesterday, I mixed up a batch of my usual sauce and also heated up some of the premixed stuff. I tossed a few wings in each variety and then asked the Tugboat Captain to give me one wing from each batch without telling me which was which.

I took a bite of one and thought, “Either I made a really weak batch of sauce, or this is the premixed stuff.” Then I sampled the other one, which was like an old friend — “That’s definitely my sauce,” I said. The Captain confirmed that I was correct.

As for the premixed sauce, it’s not terrible, but I was surprised by how bland it was. For those of you who’ve worked in the restaurant biz, I’m curious: Do eateries typically make their own wing sauce, or do they just have industrial-sized vats of the premixed stuff?

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Podcast reminder: In case you missed it late last week, I’ve partnered with founder Chris Creamer to create a new podcast, called Unified. You can listen to the first episode, and subscribe to future installments, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

You can also check out the video version of the episode, which is on Chris’s YouTube channel:

The episode’s show notes are available on the podcast’s new website, plus you can follow us on Twitter.

We should have the second episode later this week, probably on Thursday.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Football News: One of NPR’s podcasts examined the significance of Whitney Houston’s famous performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV (from Kary Klismet). … Reader Jim Jeitler’s 10-year-old nephew Nick DIYed a Tyreek Hill jersey. … A New York bakery got in on the Super Bowl fun with these custom loaves of bread (from Mike Chamernik). … A mural of ’70s Edmonton QB Bruce Lemmerman was discovered in a Canadian family’s basement. “Unfortunately, the mural creator did not use the proper shade of gold,” says Wade Heidt. … Russian sportswriter Slava Malamud tells a story in this thread about a tournament for under-19 national teams that the NFL used to run in the week before the Super Bowl. The story is worth it on its own, but the uni-related tidbit is that Russia got black and gold uniforms with white helmets, which by coincidence are the colors of Russia’s flag for part of its imperial era (from @SDubs35). … Texas A&M has chosen the collie that will eventually become their new Reveille mascot (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: Avalanche G Philipp Grubauer has a Nordiques-themed ЯR mask (from Wade Heidt). … The Predators wore their ЯR navy helmets in practice yesterday (from Taylor Crabtree). … The ECHL’s Wichita Thunder wore throwbacks of an earlier Wichita team in the Central Hockey League, the Wichita Wind (from @ekdodge93). … Multiple readers had trouble reading the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights’ numbers and NOBs. … Cross-posted from the basketball section: New York Knicks G Immanuel Quickley came to yesterday’s game wearing the Rangers’ ЯR alternate (from Alan Kreit). … The Kings now have three players whose last names are variations of “Anderson” (from Jakob Fox).

Basketball News: Also listed in the hockey section: Knicks G Immanuel Quickley came to yesterday’s game wearing the New York Rangers’ ЯR alternate (from Alan Kreit). … The entire NCAA Division I women’s tournament is being held in San Antonio and nearby cities. … Color-vs.-color women’s college games from yesterday included North Carolina/NC State (from James Gilbert) and Kansas/TCU, in which Kansas wore pink (from Mauricio Gómez Montoya). … Other women’s college teams that wore pink or pink accents included both Louisville and Notre Dame.

Soccer News: Tottenham Hotspur wore warm-up shirts yesterday supporting the anti-racism charity Kick It Out, which they said was motivated by recent incidents of racist abuse of Black players. Roughly six such incidents have occured in the past two weeks targeting Black players for Chelsea, Manchester United, and Southampton, often after they made mistakes leading to goals. … Many Polish clubs have geographic features, like rivers or mountains, in their names. For example, Wisła Kraków’s name includes the river Vistula (from Ed Żelaski). … Scottish clubs St. Mirren and Kilmarnock both wore second kits against each other on Saturday. … The Netherlands’ Vrouwen Eredivisie is getting a new name — that is, likely including an advertiser — and modified logo on Wednesday. … San Marino’s federation and national teams have new logos. … A group of recovered gambling addicts and others affected by them wrote a letter to 11 clubs in England and Scotland about their use of gambling ads on social media, often in starting lineup announcements. There are others that do so besides those, and eight of the 11 clubs also wear the ads on their shirts. … In 1986, the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Tacoma Stars signed Steve Zungul, one of the sport’s all-time great scorers, and at his introduction he got a shirt with “Lord” as the NOB, a reference to his “Lord of All Indoors” nickname (from Kenn Tomasch).

Grab Bag: Three more AFL Women’s teams, other than the usual two of Carlton and the Western Bulldogs, wore pride guernseys: Adelaide, Brisbane, and Geelong. The remaining teams wore rainbow-trimmed socks. … The U.K.’s Netball Superleague’s Strathclyde Sirens have two new kits. … Here is an overview of various countries’ military aircraft roundels (from Zachary Bevins). … George P. Shultz, who variously served as Secretary of State, Labor, and the Treasury in several presidential administrations, and who died over the weekend at the age of 100, was a Princeton grad who famously had the school’s tiger mascot tattooed on his butt. … Following up on an item from yesterday’s Ticker: The NYPD says it has disciplined an officer who was shown on video wearing political patches on her uniform, a violation of departmental guidelines. … Williams College students and alumni have taken to social media to express their disapproval of the school’s recently updated visual identify (from Kary Klismet).

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Comments (68)

    Paul, are there any rumblings/rumors of any other NFL teams undergoing changes to their uniforms? I keep hoping Broncos and Cardinals will make those announcements (with Denver going back to the D).

    I really would like to see a new name and logo for Washington by the fall but we will have to wait and see if/when that happens.

    There’s already multiple reports that probably won’t happen until 2022 due to the team wanting to get the rebranding right. So yeah, we’ll still see “Washington Football Team” for 2021.

    Re: Williams College identity Crisis

    Four fonts, 3 variations – that makes 12 stories to tell about why a particular font was used. Either somebody is really full of themselves, or they’re trying to confuse the reader, and make a messy document/sign in the process.

    The typeface story is a bit of a clusterfuck, but there’s nothing wrong with the new cow. Sounds like a bunch of traditionalists with no imagination.

    re: wings: one of my local bars in Virginia is owned and run by a Buffalo transplant. The wings there are very good and fit my memory of the real thing from Buffalo, so I assume he wouldn’t resort to pre-made stuff. The Buffalo News even ran a story about him: link

    Regarding Jim Jeitler’s 10-year-old nephew Nick’s DIY project, #10 is Tyreek Hill, not Patrick Mahomes.

    So, granted you just eyeball it, but what would you estimate as the amount on the mustard addition to the wing sauce?

    re: wings – the three restaurants I’ve worked out have always mixed their own buffalo sauce and they were all based on butter and Franks Red Hot. I second Kevin’s question, how much mustard and what kind are you working with?

    From a distance, they were able to make the Super Bowl stands look full with cutouts of people in the seats that were not used. I’ve heard of papering the stadium before but this is a different version of that.

    I am confused how the Browns can have a 75th anniversary patch. Didn’t they just start around 20 years ago?

    Because the history remained in Cleveland. Think of 97, 98, and 99 just an empty gap in their history where they didn’t play games.

    I wish I taken a screenshot, but last night Mecole Hardman of the Chiefs was wearing the white socks normally designated for the red pants.

    I’m wondering if the Bengals would make their Color Rush whites their primary white uniform and maybe introduce a colored version. (I’m hoping for orange because, you know, most tigers are orange.) Then maybe keep a black uniform in the rotation by having a throwback with “BENGALS” on the helmets.

    Also, I would assume “Browns VP & owner” JW Johnson is the son-in-law to Jimmy Haslam and husband to Whitney Haslam Johnson, who appears to be next in line to run their truck stop empire alongside Berkshire Hathaway.

    Hope they just go back to the ’81-’96 jerseys but ditch the TV numbers like the Patriots have done.
    I guessing that black pants will remain an option (though white alone is just fine with me), so issue only orange socks to eliminate any chance of the monotard/leggings look.

    Information only a card carrying Uni-Nerd would care about:

    27 of 32 NFL QB’s go gloveless and just 4 of 32 (including Tom Brady) wear a glove on their non-throwing hand.

    Why would Brady wear a base-layer shirt with a Nike logo prominently displayed in the first place? I know he could not wear an Under Armour logo on the base layer, but couldn’t he wear a plain white base layer with no logo?

    that was a freakin’ *great* Superbowl.

    Reid/Cheifs got schooled by TB12 & TB’s coaching staff…

    Reid: Exposed (thanks for a free timeout there, game clock managing skills????)

    Mahommes: Exposes (one trick pony)

    Neither had *any* answer to the Buc’s defence!

    And it became increasingly apparent through the NFL playoffs just how much the Hoody was holding Brady back with that ultra conservative offence.

    No Risk it – No bicuit Billy Boy…..we saw it multiple times where they let Toms arm do the talking, and looky what happened….all those point in 2 minute drill time!

    Merry Christmas fellow TB fans !

    I’d hold off on Mahomes being “exposed”. His lack of healthy offensive line was exposed, and 3 of those on the run “did he really make that throw” hit receivers in the hands in the end zone. Those are plays the Chiefs usually make. Reid did get exposed by not adjusting protection schemes, etc. Tampa Bay soundly beat them, but I’d hold off on declaring Mahomes a “One trick pony”. Congrats on the win and enjoy it.

    As a Bucs fan I enjoyed the game and the result. I don’t necessarily agree with all the points Sandman is trying to make, but Brady and defense win championships. Good looking game too.

    Had the late-game fourth-down pass that Mahomes threw while horizontal been completed for a touchdown, we would still be talking about it today. Mahomes is the real deal, he will get his chance to rival Brady in the years to come, but for now Brady is the GOAT.

    A mural of ’70s Edmonton QB Bruce Lemmerman was discovered in a Canadian family’s basement.

    There was a link at the end of that story to this article,
    which helps to confirm my theory about teams polling their fans on what name to use. In a nutshell, they’ll give you their choice (in this case, I’m assuming Elk, which I highly support), followed by a list of lame other choices. So they’ll get their way while letting fans think it was their idea.

    Again, it’s just a theory. But I’ve seen enough of these to think I might be on to something.

    I know…”Eagles” wouldn’t be a lame choice, but let’s face it, it’s “taken.” It may not be a hard fast rule amongst North American sports teams, but in general you don’t use a name that’s already being used.

    Just say you’re calling them the Elks. I highly doubt you’d lose more than one fan over this decision.

    The announcement and request for feedback on the 7 names released earlier today. Agree with your theory. I am really sure it will be Elk. The other options not great and don’t have a chance in comparison.

    I am disappointed that they have listed the name as Elk and not as Elks like the old Edmonton team that played in the 1922 Grey Cup. My preference is Elks over Elk.

    What the Eski,…err, Edmonton CFL team is doing, or appearing to do(offering set options, promoting majority rule), seems more transparent than straight-up contests where someone submits an entry and then waits to see if it’s selected. Meanwhile, it probably likely that said team already knows full well what they are going to use (or more likely, what’s not an option) and awards some lame prize to a contestant that essentially ‘guesses’ the right name.

    Also, I like the Evergreens. Hope it ‘wins’.

    When I clicked on the image and zoomed in I could see the flakes. Absolutely beautiful. Hope you enjoyed it!

    Its been ~67 during the days recently here in San Francisco. When I see your snowy porch photos I have to keep reminding myself “its February and he is in New York City!”.


    How are you supposed to pack for a trip to San Francisco??? Parkas in the summer, flip-flops in the winter: Is it simply opposite whatever the weather is in New York?

    Layers! Many! And bring a backpack to either bring or put extra clothes into as needed.

    And ALWAYS remember, no matter what the weather is like, or where in the city you are, the temperature is almost always going to plummet 20 degrees between 4-5pm. Don’t get caught out.

    Perhaps those who bet the over thought the game was a stinker. But I, for one, loved it. Maybe it’s the goalie in me, but I love seeing high-scoring offences get completely shut down in the Super Bowl. See 2013 Broncos, 2001 Rams, 2018 Rams, 83 Skins. It’s a thing of beauty.. and watching Mahomes run for his life was thoroughly entertaining. Defense wins championships!

    I’m a huge fan of franks and butter, but also try tabasco green (or any jalapeno based sauce) for a nice change of pace.

    Also, I’m going to echo the sentiments of others and say the podcast is a winner. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

    Interesting, watching Brady’s very purposeful hiding the Nike swoosh (a great Uni-smart observation, btw). Also makes me wonder if Brady’s “can you move closer” comment to Jim Nantz, during the award presentation, was an honest “I can’t hear you” question or a mask baiting question, similar to what Giuliani and other have used to highlight their distaste with others wearing masks and maintaining distance. Brady has been a golf buddy and somewhat close associate with Trump and that whole mob. It may have been an honest question, but he couldn’t hear the stadium audio?

    Agreed. That’s why some of us are opposed to camouflage uniforms, military flyovers, the playing of the national anthem, and so on.

    Given your stated position, I trust that you agree!

    No need to respond, as little good can come of this thread. Let’s move on. Thanks!

    Steve’s Bucs shirts look great. Seeing his Kap version in 2013 is what reignited my interest in making jerseys, which had been dormant for decades.

    That’s awesome! From what I’ve seen of your work, your skills far surpass mine. But it’s nice to know I inspired you somewhat!

    I had no idea this was my 10th year! I appreciate you pointing that out, Paul.

    The photo of that Manning jersey makes me crack up – that’s such a terrible photo! And I forgot I painted that one. It hadn’t yet occurred to me to use iron-on paper.

    I think the jerseys are a fantastic project. In all my years on this site, I have not seen your work before. Kudos. I think that I will try this with my kids next year, they will love it and it will be a fun little project for the family.

    Have you ever tried to use v-neck shirts? I think that might give better aesthetics for a jersey. The Shaq Barrett jersey sort of looks like the t-shirt is on backwards because of the distance between the numbers and the NFL logo. Because the Evans jersey has the Buccaneers wordmark, it doesn’t have the same distant feel. Such a great way to celebrate the big game. Well done and thanks for the idea!

    Great work on the shirts man. I was trying to figure how you could take it to the next level, Dan nailed it. V-necks

    In reply to Dan – Yes, I noted the spacing issue in my email to Paul. I placed the 13 on the front of the Evans jersey first, and when doing so totally forgot the wordmark needed to fit there. I should’ve taken some more time to lay them out before ironing, but I was kind of in a hurry. I also don’t do any measuring when placing them, which results in sometimes leaving too much or too little space. I’ve thought about V-necks too, maybe I’ll try that next year.

    I’m a little surprised no one has mentioned yet that the pirate ship on the left sleeve is facing the wrong direction. :)

    One of my family’s favorite easy meals is to throw 2-3 pounds of chicken breasts in the Crockpot with a bottle of Frank’s Wing Sauce. Let it slow cook on low for 6-7 hours, shred the chicken and let it soak in the sauce, and you’ve got yourself shredded buffalo chicken for days.

    It’s always better the second day when the chicken has had more time to soak in the sauce.

    Paul, if you are seriously going to say that Brady is “soulless” and that it makes you queasy that he covered a Nike logo, my God get some help. Good grief.

    Actually, I didn’t say Brady was soulless. But the action he took, and corporate culture that led to it, is pretty damn soulless. And yeah, the fact that that douchey corporate theater had to play out in the middle of a special moment was pretty sick-making, at least for me.

    If you disagree, that’s fine. It would be nice if you could do so without stooping to petty insults.

    Stay well.

    Proofread: George Shultz, not Schultz.

    Not a mortal sin, because the AP obituary made the same error (since corrected), mixing the correct spelling with the incorrect one numerous times. The obit also notes that the AP diplomatic writer who had undoubtedly contributed the pre-decease details of Shultz’s career died in 2015.


    I love Steve’s DIY Super Bowl jerseys! It’s one of the things I look most forward to this time of year – especially when the game winds up being a dud like this year’s. I hope you keep the tradition going long into the future, Steve!

    Loved the podcast. When I saw that it was nearly an hour long, I wasn’t prepared to watch, but thankfully I did. From now on I’ll make sure I make the time to watch. As an aside – Both you and Chris said, “you and I” an number of times. To me it sounded like UNI. I like that.

    I thought the guy who ran across the field was pretty Uni-Notable if you listened to the play by play from Kevin Harlan.


    The pink women’s swimsuit (or wrestling singlet, I could tell which) offset with black shorts complimented each other quite well.

    Heck, the dude even wore a mask!

    Paul – please forgive me if this has previously been mentioned, but was Sunday the first time that Tom Brady has been spotted wearing a Nike base-layer shirt?

    For someone as meticulous as Brady, I was surprised that he didn’t have it completely covered up like his play-call wristband.


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