Uni Notes from the First Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

From a uniform perspective, the most notable thing about last night’s NFL draft proceedings is what didn’t happen. I thought for sure that the Browns’ throwback jersey (which we know is in the works) and/or the 49ers’ throwback jersey (which we strongly suspect is in the works) would be revealed at some point yesterday, but that wasn’t the case. Niners first-rounder Trey Lance posed with the team’s regular home jersey (as shown above), and Browns top pick Greg Newsome II wasn’t even at the event.

I’m a little disappointed that these two throwback designs remain under wraps. But in a sports world where so much seems scripted and rehearsed, it’s a bit refreshing to a have a situation where they’re keeping us guessing.

A few other notes from the draft:

• Speaking of the Browns, super-fan Pumpkin Head was on hand, and let’s give him credit for wearing the team’s socks exactly how they should be worn:

• Many readers noticed that the Cowboys’ draft room had two helmets on hand — the standard silver design and the white helmet that they used to wear for throwback games before the one-shell rule went into effect:

Is this a(nother) hint that the one-shell rule may soon be lifted? Too soon to say, but it’s definitely an interesting detail.

Update: Reader/commenter Clint Richardson says the Cowboys have included the white helmet in their draft room display for many years (and he’s right, as you can see in this 2019 article), so it turns out that we shouldn’t read anything into the white helmet’s appearance last night.

• Meanwhile, over in the Bills’ suite, they displayed a helmet with a grey facemask, even though the team announced earlier this month that they’re switching to white facemasks:

• ESPN Photoshopped Bengals first-round pick Ja’marr Chase into the team’s now-obsolete uniform, which he’ll never wear:

• Speaking of Chase, he says he wants to wear No. 1. Somewhat incredibly, he’d be the first Bengal ever to wear that number!

• A few uni combos we’ve never seen before appeared on mannequins. First, a Falcons mannequin was decked out in a black jersey with red pants:

If those red pants don’t look familiar, it’s because the team didn’t wear them in 2020. They were included in the uni unveiling, however, so maybe they’ll make their on-field debut this season.

• Meanwhile, in a potentially major development, a Patriots mannequin was shown wearing grey pants:

As you may recall from previous Uni Watch reports, the team considered having grey pants as part of its current uni set, and a collector even managed to score a set of the grey prototype pants, but the grey britches were not included as part of the team’s official uni set last season. Is that going to change for 2021? Hope so, since the navy/grey look is sooooo much better than mono-navy. Hard to know how seriously to take that mannequin, though, since it also has the team’s old number font!

• The Bears announced that first-round pick Justin Fields — a quarterback — will wear No. 1. He joins the small but growing fraternity of QBs who’ve worn that number.

• At least two first-round picks — DeVonta Smith of the Eagles and Najee Harris of the Steelers — immediately began hawking personal merch in their new team colors:

(My thanks to John Dankosky, Sam McKinley, Trayton Miller, David Slivka, Jonathan Sluss, John Stark, and Phil for their contributions to this section.)

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Sweet 16: Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin turns 16 today — that’s about 78 in human years. Lots of cat toys and catnip in store for her today!

I know I say this every year, but you’d never guess how old Caitlin is, because she’s still the same frisky little biscuit she’s always been. For proof, check out the video shown above, which was shot yesterday afternoon. Granted, her vertical leap isn’t quite what it once was, but she’s still plenty playful and aggressive. Awwwww, li’l killer.

Here’s hoping your pets bring you as much joy, and for at least as long, as Caitlin does for me. She’s the best!

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Podcast reminder: With the NFL Draft taking place this week, Chris and I have an (almost) all-NFL episode, including discussions of why Tom Brady doesn’t like the league’s new uni-numbering rules, the 49ers’ new 75th-anniversary patch, and the role of jerseys and caps at the draft. Plus the Question of the Week and more.

As always, you can listen to us on Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify (but not Apple, because their app is currently messed up for a lot of creators, including us — grrrr), or just use the player below:

The show notes for this episode, which include photos of many of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos (and some additional ones) also appear in the video version of the episode, which you can see here:

Please consider supporting this episode’s advertisers, Streaker Sports (get 20% off any order with checkout code UNIFIED), Homefield Apparel (15% off with checkout code UNIFIED), and AcedOut (20% off with checkout code UNIFIED).

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for listening.

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

Culinary Corner: Tomorrow is the first Saturday of May. That means it’s time for the Kentucky Derby, and that means I’ll be making the dish I always make for for Derby day: a derby pie. (And this year I can even call it that without fear of trademark litigation.) Here’s how to make it:

1. If you know how to make pie crust, make some dough and position it in a 9-inch pie pan; if you don’t know how or just can’t be bothered, a frozen 9-inch pie shell is fine.

2. Set your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s heating up, get a big mixing bowl and beat together four eggs, a cup of light corn syrup, 3/4 cup of light brown sugar. and 1/3 cup of melted butter. Then add 3 tablespoons of decent bourbon (or maybe a smidge more than that, if you’re so inclined), a tablespoon of vanilla extract, a tablespoon of flour, 6 ounces of chocolate chips, and a cup of chopped walnuts.

3. Mix all of that together, pour it into the pie dough or frozen shell, and pop it into the oven for an hour. It’ll puff up high like a soufflé, but it’ll settle back down while it cools, which you should allow it to do for an hour or so.

That’s it! If you like, you can also make this amazing bourbon sauce, but that’s definitely verging on lily-gilding territory.

You’re welcome!

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Mariners continue to have NOB kerning issues on their navy alternate jerseys (from multiple readers). … The St. Paul Saints, new Triple-A affiliates of the Twins, have unveiled their new unis (from multiple readers). … Here’s a rundown of the new MiLB team and ballpark names for this coming season (from Kary Klismet and our own Brinke Guthrie). … New caps for the American Association’s Cleburne Railroaders.

NFL News: Wednesday’s piece about facemasks noted Eric Dickerson’s seemingly custom facemask. But reader Brice Wallace sent in this photo of a player at his high school wearing the same facemask in 1978. Hmmm. … Bills WR Emmanuel Sanders is taking advantage of the new numbering rules by switching to No. 1 (thanks, Brinke). … Robert Hendricks discovered an awesome mid-’90s NFL clipboard at Goodwill. Judging by the Eagles, Buccaneers, Ravens, Broncos and Oilers logos, I’m guessing this was produced in 1997. … During Kings of Leon’s NFL Draft performance, drummer Nathan Followill was wearing golf gloves (from Travis Cuomo).

Hockey News: Canucks rookie F Kole Lind will become the first player in team history to wear No. 78 (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: Panthers G Spencer Knight debuted a new mask last night. … One more from Wade: On Wednesday night, the Kings wore warm-up jerseys that will be auctioned off to support the Kings Care Foundation. … Still more from Wade: During Ryan Miller’s retirement press conference, the Ducks put up a backdrop featuring the logos of every NHL team he played for, plus his college and national team logos. The Ducks logos were highlighted, but it’s pretty surprising to see a team acknowledge their nominal rivals like this. … Last night the Caps wore GI Joke warm-ups, but with a camo pattern so dark it’s basically impossible to tell (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … UConn’s Board of Trustees have given their seal of approval to a new hockey arena (from Kary Klismet). … Oh man, check out the gorgeous artwork on this cover of a Belgian program for a 1959 Bruins/Rangers exhibition game, one of 23 games the two teams played throughout Europe in 1959 (thanks, Brinke).

Soccer News: German third tier side Dynamo Dresden are moving to Umbro in the new season (from Ed Żelaski). … As Norwich City prepares to return to the Premier League, they’ve added a new costumed mascot called “Captain Canary” (from Kary Klismet). … Like the Baseball Hall of Fame, the new Premier League Hall of Fame will give really unattractive jerseys to new inductees (from @texastrev).

Grab Bag: Following up on an item from a few days ago, the AFL has decreed that Port Adelaide cannot wear their “prison bar” heritage guernsey due to similarities with Collingwood’s guernsey (from Kenn Tomasch). … Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc has a new helmet for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix (from Jeremy Brahm). … The New York Times has an article on the fashion waves Vice President Harris and Dr. Jill Biden are making (from Tom Turner). … The rest of these are all from Kary Klismet: Falmouth (Me.) High, a stone’s throw from where your friendly Friday/Saturday Ticker-er is located, has decided to drop their “Yachtsmen” team name. … The Brown Daily Herald has a tremendous article on the history of athletic uniforms at the university, but unfortunately only one photo is included in the piece. … New logo for Prince George, British Columbia. … New mascot for Tulsa Welding School.

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Speaking of birthdays, Uni Watch team member Lloyd Alaban, who produces the Tickers that run on Wednesdays, is celebrating another trip around the sun today. Enjoy your special day, Lloyd!

And that’s a wrap for this NFL-themed week. I have some really good MLB stuff planned for next week — until then, stay well, enjoy Phil’s weekend content, and I’ll see you back here on Monday. — Paul

55 comments to Uni Notes from the First Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

  • Clint Richardson | April 30, 2021 at 8:50 am |

    The Cowboys have displayed the two helmets on Draft nights for years. That’s not new this year.

    The Jaguars even displayed the white Riddell alternate helmet during last year’s Draft. Many fans thought it was a sign, but it was simply more product placement.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 9:04 am |

      Thanks, Clint. I’ll add that to the text.

    • ThatRodneyGuy | April 30, 2021 at 12:32 pm |

      Came here to say just this about the Cowboys.

  • Charlie | April 30, 2021 at 9:05 am |

    Is it me, or is the Patriots mannequin in the article also sporting a jersey with the old font? I know it is just one (kinda grainy) picture, but the shape of the “2” looks like the old font to me.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 9:07 am |

      Someone didn’t read the text very carefully!

      ;)

      • Charlie | April 30, 2021 at 9:08 am |

        Oops. Getting another cup of coffee now…

        • Jasper | April 30, 2021 at 12:38 pm |

          Speaking of the text, I found myself wondering if the phrase “Hard to know how seriously to take that mannequin…” has ever been used before in the history of the English language. :)

  • Tom | April 30, 2021 at 9:07 am |

    The Patriots mannequin has the wrong jersey on again! The numbers are their old number font. You can especially tell from the 1, since the new font does not have the line on across the bottom (look at pics of Cam Newton for comparison). Although the grey pants would be a welcomed development, the jersey is wrong, so who knows how much stock we can put into this!

  • Marcus from Baltimore | April 30, 2021 at 9:17 am |

    I wish I would have gotten a screenshot, but there was a draftee who was home who had every team’s draft hat line up on a table. When he got drafted, he went to the table to grab his new team’s hat and posed for the camera. It felt as if the 4th wall was being broken.

  • Joel Frank | April 30, 2021 at 9:20 am |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin! The five Frank cats wish you many more.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 9:32 am |

      Thanks, Joel!

      But man — five cats? That’s a lot!!

  • AJ Kane | April 30, 2021 at 9:38 am |

    On the scale of “is it good or is it stupid” has anything been more stupid than the Budweiser ad on the premier league hall of fame shirt that:

    –Is being displayed in a frame with the back of the jersey facing out
    –Isn’t a retail item

    Ads on soccer shirts are (sadly) a way of life these days, but this is just on another level of dumb.

  • Eric S. | April 30, 2021 at 9:46 am |

    The Bears #1 is always fun to see because the font is just a straight vertical line with no serif. I don’t believe any other NFL teams have that.

      • Eric S. | April 30, 2021 at 10:37 am |

        Doh. Thought it could be the case with one of the new designs.

        In my defense, the Jets haven’t had a #1 on their roster since they’ve had the current set. :-)

    • TIm | April 30, 2021 at 12:06 pm |

      God I hate that. Traditional block numbers look so much better.

    • walter | April 30, 2021 at 5:56 pm |

      Wrong sport, but I came to say the Phillies’ ring-spun numbers (that pre-dated 1970) featured a serif-less “1”.

  • TIm | April 30, 2021 at 10:04 am |

    -Paul’s Derby Pie recipe kicks all kinds of ass, in case you’ve not tried it. Derby Pie is one of the best concoctions ever.

    -I really like the Atlanta black over red combo. Hope they wear that and avoid the silly gradient crap. Also, ditto on loving the Pats’ grey pants, if they are really a possibility (even though I hate the Pats).

    -Glad to see Paul’s kitty is still so frisky! My dog is 11, so he’s getting up there, but I’m glad to say he still has quite a bit of puppy left in him. Just in shorter bursts. Pets are one of the best things we can have, and I’ve come to appreciate mine particularly during the pandemic. I’m hoping my company doesn’t send me back to a physical office any time soon. My poor pooch will be major-league depressed if so!

  • John | April 30, 2021 at 10:05 am |

    That culinary corner image is one of my favorite things on this site!

  • Jim Vilk | April 30, 2021 at 10:10 am |

    Happy Birthday, Lloyd!

    I have never ever liked the Falcons with black helmets or jerseys. But with red pants…that would be OK.

    Nice clipboard in the ticker. I’d prefer if the midfield logo and the bottom endzone were aligned properly though, as they would be on an actual field.

    • Jim Vilk | April 30, 2021 at 10:43 am |

      And Happy Birthday, Caitlin!

    • Wade Heidt | April 30, 2021 at 11:56 am |

      Happy Birthday Lloyd and Caitlin.

      That will be a good combo with the black jersey over red pants. Don’t see that often. Brings back memories of when the Calgary Stampeders wore that combo with their alternate black jersey a few times many years ago.

      https://cfhof.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/KelvinAnderson_HOF.jpg

  • Ray Barrington | April 30, 2021 at 10:16 am |

    Happy birthday Caitlin! Our LBKC (little black kitty cat) left us after almost two decades this year so I wish Caitlyn n many more happy days with you.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 10:19 am |

      So sorry about the loss of your pet, Ray — please accept my sympathies.

  • John | April 30, 2021 at 10:29 am |

    Happy birthday Caitlin! So happy to see her well loved and happy! I lost my 15 year old Mitty in February 2020 and still mourn her every day. Probably always will.

    • Don | April 30, 2021 at 10:50 am |

      Sorry to hear that, John. I know your pain… I lost my Pinky just a month short of her 14th, in December of 2019. There’s a cat sized hole there but I’m glad we had the time together we did!

  • Don | April 30, 2021 at 10:45 am |

    Congrats on Caitlin’s birthday! I hope you’ll be together a few more years at least and that she stays healthy and happy.

  • Brett | April 30, 2021 at 10:57 am |

    I get that the draftees were given jerseys with the number one because it was the first round of the draft. But it just seemed cold that Mac Jones posed with a number one Patriots jersey, given that he will likely replace Cam Newton, who wears number one now.

    • Stan Bunting | April 30, 2021 at 2:12 pm |

      Yet another reason why players should not wear number 1.

  • Brian | April 30, 2021 at 11:22 am |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin!

    Granted with the jersey number font being off we probably can’t put too much stock in the grey pants, but man I would love them for the Pats. Instantly elevates that uniform set.

  • ThatRodneyGuy | April 30, 2021 at 12:38 pm |

    Ok Ok I think this is the year I make derby pie.

    Does the alcohol cook out? This will determine if I have to adjust to make it gluten free for the minor in the household.

    Either way it sounds so good every year.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 12:43 pm |

      I don’t really know how much of the alcohol cooks out. You can certainly skip that ingredient if it’s problematic.

      • ThatRodneyGuy | April 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm |

        I don’t know that I would want to skip the bourbon. I’ll use my best judgement. Thanks Paul.

  • Shawn W | April 30, 2021 at 12:39 pm |

    Wasn’t the Bills white facemask announcement an April Fool’s Joke?

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm |

      No.

      There was a video of players saying how much they loved the grey facemask — THAT was the joke.

      • Shawn W | April 30, 2021 at 1:59 pm |

        OOOOOOH, gotcha!

  • ChrisH | April 30, 2021 at 12:44 pm |

    Happy Birthday to Lloyd and Caitlin – Cheers!

    That Derby Pie is absolutely outstanding.
    Frozen pie shells (which I use, I’m lazy) are typically sold in pairs…you won’t regret putting both to good use.

    I’ll settle for gray-pant Patriots if Pat won’t be returning this upcoming season.

  • Michael Gray | April 30, 2021 at 12:45 pm |

    RE: The “Eric Dickerson” facemask . . . my dad was equipment manager for our jr. football league from about 1970-1975 and I know we had several of those facemasks around for kids that wore eyeglasses. I certainly associate the look with Dickerson, but I’m sure they were around before he showed up on the scene.

  • BvK | April 30, 2021 at 12:47 pm |

    Happy birthday to Caitlin! Cute as ever!

  • Nate | April 30, 2021 at 12:54 pm |

    I played high school sports against the Falmouth Yachtsmen. I thought they had some of the best uniforms in our state, but I can’t even remember seeing a logo of a yachtsman. Their hockey jerseys were based on the St. Louis Blues’ early 2000’s template with a logo that was, I think, based on the old Quebec Nordiques logo. It was a unique mishmash.

  • Marcus Ramsey | April 30, 2021 at 1:18 pm |

    Happy Birthday Caitlin from the 4 Manx cats here, Peach, Pumpkin, Coconut, and Cherry!

    Also, I use this Derby Pie recipe every year. The pie doesn’t last long!

  • BvK | April 30, 2021 at 1:36 pm |

    Apparently, I’m the only one who will miss the Bills’ grey facemasks. Not because they are grey per se, but because they provided a bit of contrast to the helmet shells.

    The white facemasks are going to wash out the helmet and make it look bland. I wish they’d chosen blue facemasks instead. Those would have looked much better.

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm |

      I agree with every word of this.

    • Stan Bunting | April 30, 2021 at 2:15 pm |

      I totally agree. White facemasks on a white helmet will look ridiculous.

  • Munch Suchland | April 30, 2021 at 1:43 pm |

    Culinary Corner has never done me wrong so count me in as another Derby Pie First Timer this year. Looking forward to it!

  • Andrew | April 30, 2021 at 2:14 pm |

    So that’s what’s up with Apple Podcasts…I’ve been trying to get my new podcast into there all week. At least I have it up on Spotify/Anchor (I’ll put the name up if it’s ok with Paul and if anyone is curious! I’m not trying to spam his comment section).

    And a happy birthday to Caitlin! Our black and white Olaf just turned 1 earlier this month (and our 6 year old beagle mix Molly that we rescued in December turned 6 on Valentines Day! I’m not sure how old the Red Dragon Beta is!)

    • David Raglin | May 1, 2021 at 10:18 pm |

      When I could not find Unified on Apple Podcasts, I found a lot of people recommended Overcast. I downloaded it and found it a lot more intuitive than Apple Podcasts.

      • Andrew | May 4, 2021 at 11:57 pm |

        I found Unified on Spotify, but I’ll look at expanding my distribution to Overcast too.

  • Joe P. | April 30, 2021 at 2:30 pm |

    If the 49ers announce the red throwback they will do it like when they did the white throwback at the State of The Franchise they have at the end of May beginning of June.

  • Le Cracquere | April 30, 2021 at 6:00 pm |

    Happy birthday, Caitlin!

  • Liam | April 30, 2021 at 6:34 pm |

    ATL red pants look awesome. Pats’ grey pants as well. Great examples of contrast beating mono all day. I also dislike white pants as much as mono pants. I hope they both implement these.

  • Patrick in MI | April 30, 2021 at 6:35 pm |

    I’m not much for sweets or even horse racing but hey, bourbon! I may have to make it this weekend. Now how about a recipe for a hot brown sandwich?

    • Paul Lukas | April 30, 2021 at 8:47 pm |

      I’ve eaten a hot brown but never made one. Good idea!

  • Clint Maxwell | May 1, 2021 at 12:35 pm |

    Along with a new mascot and over the top YouTube video, Tulsa Welding School is poaching Tiger Woods’s logo.

  • Frank Doyle | May 3, 2021 at 8:32 am |

    So what will the pack do about nameplates for Aaron & Amari now?

    AA.RODGERS
    AM.RODGERS

    or will they just use RODGERS for both?