Monday Morning Uni Watch

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It was a sea of green yesterday at Lambeau, as the Packers debuted their 1950s throwbacks. Personally, I can’t get enough of green — it’s been my favorite color since I was three or four years old — so of course I loved these. Would it have been better if they’d gone with striped socks, like the original uniforms that the throwbacks are based on? Definitely. Still, this was a pretty sweet look, at least for someone who likes green as much as I do, although I understand why they might not have been everyone’s cuppa. Here are a few photos and video clips (more photos here and here):

In other news from what was a fairly uni-uneventful day around the league:

• The 49ers wore their home throwbacks:

• The Titans wore their light-blue alternates:

• Speaking of the Titans, several of their players (but not all of them) appeared to have something sewn into their jerseys, right behind the NFL logo at the base of the collar. Probably a tracker/tracer device:

• Kansas City players wore pregame shirts with their uni numbers spelled out:

• The “Crucial Catch” logo (not sure if it was a patch or a pin) on Bucs coach Bruce Arians’s cap was upside down:

• Two teams, both based in Florida, wore white at home: the Dolphins and Bucs.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Rick Ho, Ted Taylor and @SportsConcepts1.)

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ITEM! The toque is back: With the weather getting chillier, the Uni Watch Toque (or beanie, or ski cap, or whatever you’d like to call it) is available once again.

You can order the hat here. We’ll fill the orders in batches as they come in, probably every five days or so. If you want to receive the hat in time for Christmas, be sure to get your order in by Black Friday — Nov. 26.

Also: In case you missed it on Friday, I’ve revived this awesome “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom. It was originally available as a limited edition in February of 2017. Lately I’ve had a few requests for it (apparently some of the originals have gotten a bit ratty over the past four and a half years), so I’ve decided to make it available once again.

Short- and long-sleeved versions are available here. If you want any other formats (women’s, kids’, hoodie, V-neck, etc.), drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.

Here’s a closer look at the design (click to enlarge):

Again, the shirt is available here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our products.

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ITEM! Upcoming Uni Watch party in N.C.: I’m going to be visiting a friend in Durham, N.C., next month and have decided to convene a Uni Watch party while I’m there. It will be the first Uni Watch gathering since the 20th-anniversary bashes in 2019!

This event will take place on the afternoon of either Saturday, Nov. 13, or Sunday, Nov. 14. I’m currently leaning toward the Saturday, but that’s not finalized yet.

Haven’t yet chosen a venue either (the friend I’m visiting is new to the area and isn’t yet up to speed on all the local bars). Basically, I’m looking for a bar, preferably one that serves food, that’s big enough to handle an extra 15 to 20 people showing up. Definitely not a bro/meathead sports bar, please. Maybe a brewery..? If you have suggestions, I’m all ears. Thanks!

I’ll post more details about this event as my plans firm up — stay tuned.

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Nutty: I spotted these weird-looking nuts at the little Russian market around the corner from Uni Watch HQ. Their shells have so many wrinkles and ridges, at first I thought they were dried fruit.

The clerk didn’t speak English, so I just bought a few, brought them home, and discovered that the nuts inside the shells looked and tasted a lot like almonds:

Sure enough, some googling reveals that they’re Uzbek almonds (also known as “papershell almonds,” which makes sense because their shells are much easier to open those of conventional almonds). Really tasty! A fun find.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Former MLBer Alfonso Soriano donated an ambulance to his Dominican Republic hometown of Quisqueya. It features a picture of him in a Yankees uniform (from David Raglin). … Here is Division II Wingate’s 2021 baseball national championship ring (from James Gilbert). … A new college wood-bat team in North Carolina will be called the Sandhills Bogeys and will have a golf-themed logo (from Yehudah Powers).

Football News: A bank wants the naming rights for Memphis’s Liberty Bowl, as well as for the field at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium (from Timmy Donahue). … Two CFL teams had pink items on their fields this weekend: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ end zone logo and a ribbon added by the Calgary Stampeders (from Wade Heidt). … Wade also has Canadian college uni tracking in yesterday’s comments.

Hockey News: The Junior A British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express wore pink accents on Friday, which also included their 20th-anniversary logo as the crest (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The WHL Victoria Royals’ new goalie, Campbell Arnold, was still wearing his pads and mask from Spokane on Saturday. … Last season the Red Wings used black maker’s marks, regardless of brand, on their white helmets. This season the brand marks have changed to red (from @313HOF).

Basketball News: The Warriors gave SG Klay Thompson a tongue-in-cheek No. 77 jersey to wear during practice because he was left off the NBA 75th-anniversary team. The number was chosen because there were actually 76 players on the team due to a tie in voting (from multiple readers). … New uniforms for San Diego State’s men’s team (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Scottish men’s teams started the annual promotion for the charity Show Racism the Red Card by wearing a decal and warm-up shirts. I would imagine women’s teams will join next week. … Some women’s national teams showed solidarity with NWSL players and others before their games this weekend, usually by linking arms or forming circles pre-match, including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and New Zealand. … As it was Canada’s first game since winning the Olympic gold medal, they also wore gold accents. … In England, fans of Crystal Palace, Newcastle United’s Premier League opponents on Saturday, brought banners protesting Newcastle’s takeover by the Saudi investment fund. … North Carolina women’s coach Anson Dorrance got a framed No. 900 shirt for 900 women’s victories yesterday. He also previously coached the men’s team, so he’s already gotten a No. 1000 shirt for reaching 1000 total victories with both teams (from James Gilbert). … A new law in France requires French soccer to commemorate the anniversary of a stand collapsing at a Bastia/Marseille Coupe de France semifinal on May 5, 1992. Men’s professional matches are forbidden on that date, while amateur matches are not but players and officials must wear black armbands. … Meanwhile, in Ligue 2, AS Nancy had to wear a one-off shirt to avoid a color clash.

Grab Bag: College field hockey teams that wore pink included Bellarmine, Michigan State, and Towson. … Here are Virginia men’s lacrosse’s 2021 national championship rings. … New men’s lacrosse helmets for Oklahoma (from Sam McKinley). … Here is a look at the pink accents from this weekend on cars in the W Series, which supports Formula One. Additionally, driver Jess Hawkins had a pink helmet. … These are all the team logos in Japan Rugby League One, which despite its name is a rugby union competition that actually has three divisions (from Jeremy Brahm). … The original women’s Rugby World Cup trophy, which was replaced after the second tournament in 1994, went missing in 2006 but was recently found in an attic. … A restaurant in Logan, Utah, has some very vintage pictures of Utah State baseball and men’s basketball — years unknown (from Brett Thomas).

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What Paul did last night on Saturday: On Saturday Mary and I, accompanied by our friend Matt, went for a hike in New Jersey. After After climbing a trail to a high summit, we reached a graffiti-plastered ledge overlooking the Hudson River. Just as we were preparing to move on, Mary spotted something odd on the ledge. Do you see it in the photo above?

Here’s a closer look (click to enlarge):

You can see it there in the center of the photo — an old-fashioned beverage can pull tab (or “pop top,” if you prefer). Those have been out of production for about 30 years, so how did this one get to that ledge? How long has it been there?

Also, pull tabs usually end up curved after being removed from the can, but this one is straight. Hmmmm.

After the hike, we went to a beefsteak fundraiser being thrown by a nearby fire department. In addition to the usual all-you-can-eat/drink action, the firehouse setting added an interesting ambience. We particularly liked this rack of hoses, all neatly arranged with their couplings in the same position:

There was also a wall filled with framed covers from various firefighting trade magazines, including Firehouse, Fire Rescue, Fire Engineering and my favorite, Fire Equipment Journal, but I didn’t get any photos of that.

Also, in addition to the usual raffles and 50/50s (common cross-sells at beefsteaks), there was a horse racing game featuring an old track and really charming little game pieces:

I love the thought that this game spends most of the year tucked away in a closet and is then brought out for its annual appearance at the beefsteak.

All in all, a very good New Jersey day!

I also had a really fun Sunday. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

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Happy birthday to reader Nicklaus Wallmeyer. Enjoy your special day, Nicklaus! — Paul

24 comments to Monday Morning Uni Watch

  • Stephen Walker | October 25, 2021 at 9:00 am |

    I used to live in Durham but moved away, I would have loved to come meet some fellow uni watchers.

    There is a place called Fullsteam Brewery that could be a good spot to meet. it is right around the corner from the old Durham Athletic Park where the movie Bull Durham was filmed. It’s a charming old ballpark.

    someone else may know more places.

    • DRR | October 25, 2021 at 12:10 pm |

      Fullsteam is probably the best option. Ponysaurus worth considering as well.

      • Paul Lukas | October 25, 2021 at 12:18 pm |

        Appreciate the suggestions! But emailing me directly (which I’ll definitely see) is better than posting suggestions in the comments (which I might miss). Thanks!

  • Wade Heidt | October 25, 2021 at 9:18 am |

    I am not usually a fan of grey football masks but I think the Green Bay Packers wearing grey masks with their regular uniforms would be a good idea.

    My thoughts as to why. The Packers could make slight alterations so that their regular uniform would be similar to what was worn in Super Bowl 1. Keep the grey mask. Go with thinner pant stripes.

    This would be a refresh of the Packers uniform which has not had any changes for some time as well as a slight shift to more of a throwback look.

    • ChrisH | October 25, 2021 at 6:23 pm |

      Meh…I loathe the use of grays ‘for old times sake’.
      Return the ‘sleeve’ stripes to the proper quantity and keep the rest unchanged.

  • Wade Heidt | October 25, 2021 at 9:22 am |

    Liked the look from the Bengals this weekend with the white jerseys over black pants.

  • John | October 25, 2021 at 9:46 am |

    “I love the thought that this game spends most of the year tucked away in a closet and is then brought out for its annual appearance at the beefsteak.”

    I am an election worker stationed 1-3 times a year at a defunct Catholic school. This statement encapsulates the entire environment. Trophies in the display case all ending the same year, fundraiser games like the one you showed, racks of costumes rolled into the locker rooms. I’m glad to see this one in use!

  • Alex C | October 25, 2021 at 9:50 am |

    Re the pull tab, about 10 years ago one of my friends bought a case of Pakistani soda at a halal butcher in N Jersey that had pull tabs.

  • Greg | October 25, 2021 at 10:31 am |

    Those horse game pieces remind me of the horses that went with brio wood train sets when I was a kid.

  • Too Tall Paul | October 25, 2021 at 11:19 am |

    I have to admit that it bothers me that in the horse racing game the number 1 horse is on the outside rail rather than being on the inside rail. But I love the game!

    Also, a technical correction: On the rack of rolled fire hoses it’s the couplings that are all arranged in the same position. A nozzle would attach to a coupling at the end of the hose to allow the firefighter to control, depending on the type of nozzle, the flow, gallonage, and/or shape of the hose stream.

    • Paul Lukas | October 25, 2021 at 11:26 am |

      Paul, I was actually thinking of you when I wrote about the firehouse! Thanks for schooling me on couplings vs. nozzles — I’ll make that change now.

  • Nate | October 25, 2021 at 11:40 am |

    I can’t find any pictures, but Jakob Johnson of the Patriots had a little German flag underneath the American flag on the back of his helmet yesterday. Johnson is from Germany.

  • Tim | October 25, 2021 at 12:22 pm |

    In case you didn’t see it every time a Tight End touched the ball yesterday, it was National Tight Ends Day yesterday.

    https://www.nfl.com/photos/best-of-national-tight-ends-day

  • walter | October 25, 2021 at 12:36 pm |

    New uniforms for San Diego State’s men’s team (thanks, Phil).

    Cripes, those are god-awful. The smooshed lettering, the ugly bespoke font, the dissonant seam crossing the player’s chest. A university with a long name demands lettering above+below the player number, and I’m tired of seeing lettering in a straight line. That just looks cheap.

    • Tim | October 25, 2021 at 2:59 pm |

      The player selected to be the model looks thrilled as well.

  • Brian | October 25, 2021 at 1:21 pm |

    I was pretty excited about the Packers’ throwbacks, but I’m really disappointed in their sock choice. Plain green socks dragged the look down a lot. Stripes would have been so much more aesthetically pleasing, and of course more accurate.

  • James Gilbert | October 25, 2021 at 1:24 pm |

    The “30 years” for the pop-top didn’t sound right (partly because I can’t believe 1991 was 30 years ago) so I followed up. This site states they mostly went out of use around 1980, which agrees with my recollection: https://thetakeout.com/when-and-why-did-breweries-stop-using-pull-tab-cans-1837076463.

    Other interesting info, “only a quarter of beer in the U.S. was consumed in cans in 1953”.

  • Doug Malicki | October 25, 2021 at 2:14 pm |

    As a fan, I loved these Packers throwbacks. I do with they would have retained the single green helmet stripe and gone back to a more Kelly green, but these are just personal preferences and I thought they looked awesome as is.

  • Kurt | October 25, 2021 at 7:12 pm |

    Masks and vaccination cards needed for Uni Watch party?

    • Paul Lukas | October 25, 2021 at 7:49 pm |

      Good question! Not sure what the rules are in NC. Will find out!

  • wittnesss | October 25, 2021 at 8:27 pm |

    FYI, Dak Prescott last week (v. Patriots) also had something sewn into his jersey behind the logo. Hopefully someone can hunt down the story! ;)