For all photos, click to enlarge
Good morning and greetings from Fun City, where we got just a wee bit of rain last night. Even stadiums with roofs weren’t immune (to say nothing of stadiums without roofs). Fortunately, everything is fine here at Uni Watch HQ, at least for now, and of course all of this is nothing compared to what New Orleans and Tennessee have recently gone through. But between hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and the pandemic, the world sure does seem broken these days. Dang.
Okay, enough of that. Now then: When my College Football Season Preview was published yesterday, the entry for Florida State mentioned that “some sort of uni-borne memorial for former coach Bobby Bowden, who died on Aug. 8, seems likely, but no word on that yet.” Sure enough, FSU announced a bevy of Bowden memorials yesterday, beginning with his signature on the team’s rear helmet bumper.
Other Bowden tributes will include the following:
• All coaches will wear a memorial patch:
• A memorial banner has been added behind the south end zone:
• A on-field memorial logo has been added on the 25-yard lines:
A few other late-breaking FBS items that didn’t make it into the Season Preview:
• New helmet setup for Purdue.
• UNC is keeping the social justice patch that they added last year.
• Pitt is yet another ACC team with a new nose bumper graphic (and a particularly lame-o one).
• And still another ACC team with a new (and fairly lame-o) nose bumper: Virginia Tech.
• Speaking of front bumpers, Louisiana-Monroe, which previously had the Riddell logo, is now going with the Sun Belt logo.
• UNLV has added a new mono-black uniform.
If you missed the CFB Season Preview, it’s available for your enjoyment here.
(My thanks to James Gilbert, Matthew Petit, and @Kurzy17 for their contributions to this section.)
ITEM! New Bulletin article: One of the more interesting uni-related developments in football over the past several years is the rise of thigh pads imprinted with logos, uni numbers, and other messaging (as seen on Steelers wideout Juju Smith-Schuster, above). Some fans mistakenly think these are made by Nike or one of the other sportswear giants, but they’re actually produced by one guy in Kentucky, who I interviewed for my latest Bulletin article. Those of you who’ve subscribed to receive my Bulletin content via email should already be seeing this piece in your in-boxes. Everyone else can read it on my Bulletin page. Enjoy!
ITEM! September pin update: As I mentioned yesterday, the Uni Watch Pin Club’s design for September isn’t yet ready for ordering (maybe tomorrow, but more likely next Tuesday). But as you can see in the video above, at least today I can show you what it looks like.
Isn’t it cool? A perfect complement to the baseball bobblehead pin we did last year. All credit to my pin collaborator, the great Todd Radom, for perfectly capturing the old-style bobble look!
Baseball News: When the Rockies retire Larry Walker’s No. 33 on Sept. 25, they’ll give away what might be MLB’s first-ever TATC bobblehead, as shown at right (from Ron Ruelle). … MLB teams wore yellow ribbons yesterday for childhood cancer awareness. … Dodgers P Max Scherzer wore teammate Albert Pujols’s batting gloves last night (from Eric Suttle). … The Atlantic League has approved a new team in Hagerstown, Md. … My best wishes to Mets radio announcer and card-carrying Uni Watch member Howie Rose, who’s undergoing a medical procedure tomorrow that will keep him on the IL for the rest of the season. Here’s hoping for a full and speedy recovery.
NFL News: The Giants announced that they will retire Michael Strahan’s No. 92 on Nov. 28. On Good Morning America, where Strahan is now a co-host, his former teammates Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, and Jessie Armstead all wore No. 92 jerseys as the announcement was made (from Neil Vendetti). … Good WaPo article on how the new uni-numbering rules have played out (thanks to all who shared). … The Athletic has a paywalled article about Walter Payton that includes the following passage: “Payton took the insoles out of his KangaROOS cleats and wore only a thin baseball-style sanitary sock so he could feel the seven cleats on the ground against the sole of his foot” (from Jason Hillyer). … A Denver grocery store prints the Broncos’ logo on its receipts (from @elephantghost). … The four projected starters in the 49ers’ secondary have changed their uni numbers to 1 through 4 (from Claude Langford).
College and High School Football News: Here’s an unusually strong analysis/critique of Nebraska’s 9/11 uniforms. Recommended. … DB Chamarri Conner will wear Virginia Tech’s No. 25 this week (from Andrew Cosentino). … Here are this week’s uni combos for UNC, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Northern Arizona, Tennessee, and Bowling Green (from James Gilbert, @ForrestJPage86, Phil, Chad Lehman, Nick Lough, @Kurzy17, @kobe24_kyle, Jake Taylor, and Chad Fields, respectively). … New helmet for FCS school Southern Illinois (from @mrmichael21).
Hockey News: New gold jersey for the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers (from Andrew Warford). … Here’s an analysis of the NHL’s plans for jersey ads (blame Phil). … Here’s the Wild’s latest Winter Classic jersey tease (from Ben Hagen). … The QMJHL’s Cape Breton Eagles are retiring Chris Culligan’s No. 7 (from Wade Heidt).
Soccer News: “Scottish club Livingston did a photoshoot where their teams modeled some of their old shirts dating to 1995, which is when they moved to Livingston from Edinburgh and were renamed from Meadowbank Thistle,” says our own Jamie Rathjen. … USL Championship club Rochester Rhinos will henceforth be known as Rochester New York FC (from Ed Zelaski). … The Chile national team will now be outfitted by Adidas (from Germán Cabrejo).
Grab Bag: New home kits for defending Premiership Rugby and Premier 15s champions Harlequins (from Sy Hart). … Also from Sy: Rugby union team Colorado Raptors are now the American Raptors. … “This weekend is the first Formula One Dutch Grand Prix since 1985,” says our own Jamie Rathjen. “A certain Dutch beer company is an advertiser for F1 and now also the W Series, so the trophies being given out this weekend are made from recycled beer bottles.” … New 100th-anniversary badge design for the Massachusetts State Police’s patrol division. … New women’s volleyball jerseys for Japanese team NEC Red Rockets (from Jeremy Brahm). … New uniform and grooming rules for the U.S. Navy. … Check out the unusual placement of the dollar sign in this ad. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it done like that before.
An amazing look pin!
General rule about football helmet nose bumpers. They should at least make sense even to the casual football fan. This seems to be getting nonsensical rather than just having the team or city/school name.
Singling out Pitt here. The general public is not going to know what H2P is. I, as a sports fan, had to be educated today to know what it is. I understand not an ad for HP Sauce. Getting too cute.
So, as a PSU alum, let me tell you just how obsessed Pitt fans are with the “Hail to Pitt” motto. Probably even more than PSU fans are with the “We Are” bit. They can’t get enough of it.
Any team, particularly college teams, exist for the fans; and in that vein, so too should the uniforms. So if there are little quirks in the uniform that speak straight to their fanbase as like a little inside thing that only they can appreciate, I don’t mind that as a concept. It’s like being in a club, almost. “I understand what the nose bumper means because I’m a real Pitt fan”.
Still, I get what you mean; watching another team on TV and wondering why the heck they picked that word for their bumper, and why it’s somehow unique to them. It can be a little frustrating.
Anyone at UniWatch wanna lend a hand and replace that first link that doesn’t work in my comment with this one?
Can delete this comment too after it’s replaced. Thanks!
Laughable take Bud. Never I have I ever heard random “HAIL TO PITT” chants like when I walked from my car to Beaver Stadium and heard multiple random “WE ARE” with “PENN STATE” responses.
Nothing like anecdotal evidence to completely throw out a claim as ‘laughable’, amirite?
Pitt alum here, and “Hail To Pitt” is like… the single most ubiquitous thing in Pitt athletics. It’s really the only memorable rallying cry for our frankly lame-o athletics department.
In my opinion the general the need to plaster nose and rear bumpers with logos, word marks, tributes, or whatever goes into uniform excess. Not every part of every piece of equipment needs to be branded. To me it feels like overkill and ruins the aesthetic of the design.
I would compare it to the Dodgers putting their interlocking LA on their jersey sleeves. It is just repetitive of the cap, and really doesn’t serve any design purpose other than filling available space on the canvas with branding.
Speaking to your Dodgers example, the Los Angeles Angels uniform bothers me because of the logo on both sleeves. Even if just on one sleeve for the Angels jersey I could handle it better but it is overkill on both sleeves.
As an Angels fan, I completely agree with this assessment.
Regarding the Dodgers LA sleeve patch, I’ve always assumed it was about selling the jersey – wanting the iconic LA logo on the jersey somewhere if it were in a store, on a fan, etc. without the hat. Same reason the “city connect” series is really not a uniform – but jersey and hat – pants and helmets have really been less thoughtful in the design, because nobody buys helmets and pants. I agree the LA sleeve patch looks terrible on a player in full uniform. Sigh.
You could google or twitter search and find out what H2P stands for in less than ten seconds.
Not sure if VA Tech is hitting a new low or a new high with there nose bumper Ad space sellout. :^)
Correction to Soccer News in the Ticker: Rochester Rhinos (or whatever they’re called now) are in the USL Championship, not USL League One.
Good idea to add New York to their name. I always just assumed they were in Minnesota.
Just here to reiterate the proposition of “Here’s an unusually strong analysis/critique of link.” It’s a really well thought out and presented piece. As a lifelong Husker hating Mizzou alum and fan, even I wish that the football part of the football program worked as hard as the marketing part of the football program. Thanks for the link.
I haven’t really perused SI since “The Mavening,” but I’m glad I read that analysis of NU’s 9/11 unis. It was a very well-written argument. Thank you for posting that. I hope that many other readers will also check it out. It is well worth the time.
After watching the situation in Afghanistan the last few weeks, as America ends 20 years in that country, I’ve had enough of the camo bs on uniforms. I’ve had enough of the flyovers, and the football field size flags, too. There’s probably never any turning back from tying sporting events in with patriotism but I for one, have had enough. This is one case where I would love it if we just stuck to sports.
Agree. There is a time, a place, and respectful manner for either patriotic or military tributes or recognition in sports.
The themed uniforms always come off as lame costumes, and it is obvious they aren’t driven as actual tributes or recognition, but as merchandising. When it comes to sports uniforms now, it is always the tail wagging the dog, it is designed based on what they can sell to people, be it for patriotic or military “celebrations” or just alternate uniforms in general. Inappropriate. Appropriate alternatives: patches or decals.
Flyovers, giant flags and all that stuff generally feel over used and as a result not meaningful, and thus inappropriate. I do think there is a place for at least the giant flags on certain days. Be it Sept 11th or Independence Day. Likewise I think a moment of silence is appropriate on Memorial Day. Perhaps fly overs exclusively on Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day?
Given how sporting events double as civic events, I certainly think it makes sense to use those events for recognition, when they fall on or near the dates of certain important days. But the way so many of these “tributes” are done now, they don’t feel like to be genuine at all.
I may have missed the RSS link for the Bulletin articles. If so, could you please post it here? Thank you!
There is no RSS link that I’m aware of. You can subscribe to receive each article via email here: link
It’s amazing to me that Nike keeps making the same 2008 model batting gloves for Pujols for so many years.
I realize that I’m breaking something of a social taboo to criticize an effort to memorialize somebody who is recently deceased and greatly admired…but damn if FSU’s multiple tributes to Bobby Bowden doesn’t seem like a bit of overkill.
And I have nothing against Bowden himself, it’s more like there seems to be a trend with schools/teams attempted to outdo each other in this aspect. IMO, memorials should be subtle and tasteful, for example I like the signature on the back of the helmets. I think they should have left it at that.
Agreed. There’s a line between tribute and idolatry, and I’d say FSU is on the wrong side of it here.
Your article about treDCALS on Bulletin is a great story. Pure small business success for them!
Paul – when you do a story for a company like treDCALS do you ever worry that you will blow up “their spot”. Like they are chugging along and people notice, but the league office doesn’t bother to notice. something like this story grabs the attention of the wrong person and suddenly they can’t produce them anymore w out a nike swoosh or NFL logo/license and wrecks the company? would you feel guilty – just curious. great story by the way.
I actually asked him about that beforehand, and he said he wasn’t concerned about it. Glad you liked the story!
Is there a pin club just for the bobbleheads? Looks great!