What Will the Rams and Bengals Wear in the Super Bowl?

Well, this probably isn’t the Super Bowl matchup most people expected, right? Naturally, I’m disappointed that the 49ers didn’t advance, but I was just happy that they made it that far. With the two teams now determined, let’s get to the crucial question: What will they wear?

The AFC is the designated home team this year. If KC had won yesterday, they would have worn red over white and that would’ve been that — done and done. But with the Bengals representing the AFC, that opens up a wider range of possibilities. For one thing, they wore white at home one time this season (Week One, against the Vikings), so it’s not necessarily a lock that they’ll wear color. Moreover, because they have two different sets of white pants — one with black/white striping and one with orange/white striping — they wore an unusually large number of jersey/pants combos this season (click to enlarge):

Obviously, they won’t wear orange. But that still leaves them with a lot of other combos to choose from. Would they dare to go mono-black in the big game? (Hope not.) “White tiger”? Standard black over white?

If you’re into superstitions, here are three things the Bengals might be thinking about:

• Teams wearing white have won 14 of the last 17 Super Bowls.

• Super Bowl home teams sometimes superstitiously opt to wear white if they wore white throughout their postseason runs. It’s true that Cincy wore white yesterday and also in their Divisional Playoff win against the Titans — but they wore black over white (with the orange striping) for their Wild Card win against the Raiders. So while they’re currently on a two-game white winning streak, they didn’t wear white throughout the entire postseason. Hmmmm.

• The Bengals have appeared in two previous Super Bowls and lost both of them — one time while wearing black over white and the other time wearing white over white. So another superstitious angle would be for them to avoid those two combos.

As for the Rams: If the Bengals choose to wear white, the Rams would have to wear their blue jersey, presenting them with three combo options:

I suspect (and dearly hope) they’d choose the yellow pants, since that’s what they wore for all three of their playoff wins.

But if Cincy choose to wear black, the Rams would have to wear their dishwater jersey — unless they asked the league for permission to wear their white alternates. Let’s assume for a moment that both of those options are on the table. If so, here’s what the Rams could wear:

Obviously, the white jersey would be a much better option. My biggest fear is that we’ll end up with mono-black vs. mono-bone, which would be a visual nightmare for the ages. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen!

A few other quick thoughts:

• Remember how KC captains had a very crowded patch situation two Supes ago, because of the Lamar Hunt perma-memorial patch? The Rams will be in that same predicament because of their stupid “Hello My Name Is” patch.

• Both teams use the “make the helmet look like an animal” approach, instead of just putting their primary logo on the sides. Never had that kind of matchup in a Super Bowl before.

• Both projected starting quarterbacks wear No. 9. We’ve definitely had same-numbered starting Supe QBs before (Bradshaw and Staubach in Supes X and XIII, for example, and also Staubach and Griese in Supe VI), but I haven’t yet had time to research whether it’s happened since then.

• The Rams will be playing in their home stadium but will be the designated visiting team. Will they have to move to the visitors’ locker room? (I doubt it.) Will they have to use the visitors’ sideline? (That seems more plausible.)

• The two teams’ uni sets have played a combined total of three seasons. I’m fairly certain that’s a record for the newest unis to appear in a Super Bowl.

Once we know what both teams are wearing, I’ll have a lot more to say about the uni matchup in my Super Bowl Preview, which will run on Bulletin next week.

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As for yesterday’s games, I spotted only one uni-notable detail, but it was a fun one: During the national anthem prior to the Niners/Rams game, one of the kids holding the giant American flag was wearing a throwback Jack Youngblood jersey, complete with the historically appropriate double-decker NOB. You can see him at lower-right here (click to enlarge):

Hey, it’s the little things, am I right?

Also: Shortly after the Niners/Rams game, workers were already removing the Rams’ midfield logo and preparing the field for its Super Bowl makeover (click to enlarge):

Also-also: As you can see, the Rams leave a little bit of green between the goal line and the colored end zone (here’s a better look at it). That little bit of green bugs the shit out of me — just make the whole end zone blue! Will they do something like that for the Supe? I assume the field design is dictated by the NFL office and the Rams will have no say in a detail like that, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it!

Finally: ESPN tweeted a bizarre Photoshopped image of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford hugging himself, with one Stafford wearing a Rams uni (although not the combo they wore yesterday) and the other Stafford wearing a Lions uni:

No word on whether they swapped jerseys afterward.

(My thanks to Andrew Cosentino and Antonio Losada for their contributions to this section.)

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• • • • •

Bulletin subscription reminder: I think most of you know this by now, but just in case: Beginning this week, you’ll need a paid subscription in order to read my weekly feature-length articles on Bulletin (which will include my annual season preview columns for the Big Four pro leagues). The price is $4 a month or $35 a year, and the revenue will also help to support operations here on the blog. You can sign up here, but you’ll need a Facebook account in order to do it (I know, I know).

I want to thank all the people who have already subscribed — I’m grateful for your support!

Here’s a quick FAQ, based on some feedback I’ve received:

Will you still link to each week’s Bulletin article here on the blog, so we can at least see what the topics are?

Yes. I’ll still promote the Bulletin content each week, just like I’ve been doing all along. And when I provide the link to each week’s article, I’ll mention that it’s subscriber-only, or something along those lines.

What kind of content will you be putting on Bulletin?

The MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA season previews, which in recent years have appeared on InsideHook, will now be on Bulletin. In addition, I plan to do Uni Watch Power Rankings pieces for the Big Four pro leagues; periodic “Ask Me Anything” piecees (like this one); periodic design contests every year, the annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide; the Super Bowl and World Series previews; lots of interviews with interesting people from the uni-verse; and so on.

Do you know what the next few Bulletin pieces will be about?

Things are always subject to change based on breaking news and such, but my current plan is that this week’s Bulletin piece, which will come out on Thursday, will be my assessment of the WFT’s new identity and uniforms. Next week’s will be the Super Bowl preview. And the one after that will be a deep dive on the new Riddell Axiom helmet.

I want to subscribe, but the requirement that I have a Facebook account in order to pay is a dealbreaker for me. Is there some other option?

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• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: Phil had this in yesterday’s Ticker, but I couldn’t resist showcasing this amazing shot of the 1977 Australian national hockey team. Obviously, I love the color scheme, but I also love the kangaroo crest — so simple, so good!

Also: Check out the awesome Hudson Bay coat on the guy at far-left. Spectacular!

Meanwhile, someone get these guys some team-colored gloves.

• • • • •

• • • • •

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

Culinary Corner: We knew well in advance that NYC would be getting a fair amount of snow on Saturday (about 10 inches, as it turned out). And it wasn’t going to be a fun, pretty snowstorm — the forecast was calling for a nasty day with really high winds. In short: We knew we’d be spending all day inside.

So I decided to make a stuffed pork rib roast — a fun project for a snowbound day. Here’s how I did it (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):

1. First, I made a stuffing. I began by putting a cup of golden raisins and a cup of dried cherries in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them to plump them up a bit. (You can use any dried fruit — apples, cranberries, apricots, whatever.) While the fruit was soaking, I melted some butter in a skillet over medium heat and used it to sauté some chopped onions and minced garlic, along with some dried thyme, salt, and pepper. After about five minutes, I drained the fruit and added it to the skillet, along with a cup of plain breadcrumbs and some chopped walnuts:

I added more butter and stirred a lot to make sure the breadcrumbs got moist and after a few minutes, everything was nicely blended:

I put the cooked stuffing in a bowl and set it aside for later.

2. The day before I had bought a nice bone-in pork loin (also called a pork rib roast, or a rack of pork). Pork is ridiculously inexpensive to begin with, plus this item happened to be on sale — a little over five pounds for $13 and change:

My first task was to “French” the ends of the rib bones (which means removing the meat from the bone tips) — in part because it looks nice but also because it would be necessary for a later step in the process. It’s a fairly straightforward operation (if you’ve never done it before, there’s a good video tutorial here). First you remove the meat that sits atop the last two inches or so of the rib bones:

Then you remove all the meat around and in between the bones:

Obviously, I saved all the meat that came off the bones. We’ll use it later for chili or something like that.

3. Now that the rack was Frenched, it was time to “unroll” it. This entails cutting down fairly close to the bones and then turning the knife horizontal when you get about an inch from the bottom of the meat, so that the whole thing opens up, almost like a book (big thanks to the Tugboat Captain for taking these next pics):

Then you do the same thing with the thicker part that just opened up, creating another flap or “page” to open:

When you’re done, you’ll have a nice, flat surface of meat, about an inch thick:

I realize it may seem risky or stressful to deconstruct a nice piece of meat like this, but honestly, it’s not that difficult — you can do this!

4. With the meat now “unrolled,” it was time to apply the stuffing to the flat bed of pork I’d just created:

5. As you can see, I left the far-left inch or so of the meat uncovered. That’s because the next step is to roll everything back up, and it’s easier to do that if the edge of the roll isn’t covered with stuffing:

6. The final prep step is to tie the rolled roast with twine, so it stays shut:

Now you can see why it was necessary to French the bones. If I hadn’t removed the meat that originally covered the bone ends, it would’ve been much, much more difficult to tie the roast back together, because the twine would have to go all the way around the meat’s original shape, instead of just going around in a circle.

7. I seasoned the exterior of the roast with salt and pepper. There are a few ways to cook this, but I opted for the slowest way — about two hours at 250º followed by 10 minutes at 500º to give the exterior a nice crust. (This is sometimes referred to as a “reverse sear.”) Then we cut the roast into chops and served it with some Brussels sprouts:

———

Isn’t that nice? A really nice project for a snowy day. (And, obviously, we still have leftovers!)

And remember, the meat cost me just 13 bucks! Fancy food — or at least fancy-seeming food — doesn’t have to cost a lot.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen


Baseball News: For the second year in a row, the Mets are doing a jersey giveaway for Taiwan Heritage Night (thanks, Phil). … Virginia baseball has two new blue and white jerseys planned. The team also got rings for last season’s men’s College World Series appearance. … Division III Lebanon Valley College baseball also has a new mono-blue alternate (from Mike Williams). … A Puerto Rico player at the Caribbean Series was wearing a pair of Reds socks (from John Exby). … In Japan, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo arrived to spring training wearing a very glove-themed jacket (from Jeremy Brahm). … Back in the late 1930s and early ’40s, if the weather in Pittsburgh was iffy on game day, fans routinely looked for a white flag with a large red circle atop the First National Bank building. If the flag was there, it meant the Pirates’ game was still on; if not, the game had been postponed. But in 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s subsequent entry into World War II, the flag design was changed because the original design looked like the Japanese flag (from Greg Mays).

Hockey News: Reader Todd Morss DIYed a jersey concept for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. … The WHL’s Spokane team wore allegedly military-themed jerseys on Saturday. “Rather curious design. Really a plain-looking sweater,” says Wade Heidt.

Basketball News: Pistons G Cade Cunningham was missing the gold championship patch on his jersey yesterday (from @bani_adamX).
 

Soccer News: Teams at the ongoing women’s Asian Cup in India have been wearing sleeve patches with the tournament’s motto, “Our Goal for All.” … Canada goalie Milan Borjan sometimes wears sweatpants while playing for the men’s national team. He did it yesterday, but I couldn’t find any pictures of him doing so at club level for Red Star Belgrade or previous stops (from @Spottschrift). … Japan’s Tokyo Verdy released a new second shirt for their men’s team, but also got players from some of their other sports departments to join in, even though I’d imagine they’d all wear something else.

Grab Bag: A men’s volleyball match on Saturday between Long Beach State and Penn State had both teams wearing white. “The liberos were the only way you could tell” them apart, says Andres Cardenas. … Haneen Zreika, a Muslim member of Greater Western Sydney’s AFL Women’s team, sat out GWS’s game on Friday so she wouldn’t have to wear their pride guernsey, reportedly out of fear that participating would compromise her standing in the Muslim community. The initial explanation was “personal reasons” until after the game. … Fun Fact: Newly crowned Australian Open women’s singles champion Ash Barty briefly took a break from tennis to play professional cricket. Here she is in uniform for the Brisbane Heat in the first season of the Women’s Big Bash League in 2015.

• • • • •

Our latest raffle winner is Micheal Wunderlich, who’s won himself a complimentary Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks again to John Benal for sponsoring this one. We’ll have another raffle (non-membership-related) tomorrow. See you then! — Paul

93 comments to What Will the Rams and Bengals Wear in the Super Bowl?

  • Memal | January 31, 2022 at 8:46 am |

    I never heard of the Pirates flying a flag like that before. Interesting way to let the fans know whether or not there will be a game! Pirates could do something fun with that as the flag they fly in centerfield can be seen for a good direction all around.

    • BurghFan | January 31, 2022 at 9:06 am |

      It made sense to fly a flag Downtown so people would know before hopping on the trolley to Oakland. (I don’t remember hearing about this before.)

    • GH | January 31, 2022 at 5:25 pm |

      I’m trying to figure out how you have a flag-based notification system for the Pirates that doesn’t utilize the Jolly Roger.

      • Tom | January 31, 2022 at 9:03 pm |

        Absolutely correct!

  • Derek | January 31, 2022 at 8:47 am |

    Given the Rams wore blue jersey yellow pants for all 3 games, Im sure Bengals will take that into consideration. Id say Bengals do Black Jersey/White Pants/Orange Socks vs Rams Bone or White (if nfl allows) Jersey/Yellow Pants/Blue Socks.

  • Phil Hecken | January 31, 2022 at 8:48 am |

    Unless the Bengals believe in the “dark jersey jinx” … they’ll go with black jerseys/white pants/orange socks, like they did in their Wild Card win. Calling it now.

    Hopefully the Rams can get approval to go white/sol yellow. Any other combo will be horrible.

    I think the best matchup, aesthetically, would be Rams in royal/yellow (as they have worn for all three playoff games) v. Bengals in tiger white (which they wore the past two games).

    Nice roast!

    • Patrick B | January 31, 2022 at 10:27 am |

      I think Cincy’s black/white/orange is their best look. That with Rams going white over yellow would be ideal for me. Although I’ll be happy if there’s no mono/unitard looks and no dishwater.

  • Lou | January 31, 2022 at 8:58 am |

    The locker room thing should not be an issue as Sofi Stadium has two home locker rooms; one for the Rams and one for the Chargers. Would make sense for the Bengals to use the Chargers locker room.

    • Shaftman | January 31, 2022 at 9:10 am |

      The more I think of this the more I believe the Rams SHOULD use a visitors locker room. The point of a neutral field is to ensure fairness (and nice weather).

      Letting the Rams use their locker room might give them comfort and therefore a competitive advantage.

      • Lou | January 31, 2022 at 10:45 am |

        Given COVID precautions I am fairly confident the Rams will remain in their own locker room.
        Yes, fairness would dictate otherwise, but the Bucs got to use their own locker room last year, at least in part for the same reasons.

        • J.D. | January 31, 2022 at 11:00 am |

          The Bucs were the designated “home” team last year, so it makes sense that they were given the “home” locker room, even aside from it being their stadium. This is a more interesting situation because the Rams are the designated “visiting” team.

        • Lou | January 31, 2022 at 11:19 am |

          There are two “home” locker rooms.
          It is not an issue.

    • JohninKC | January 31, 2022 at 9:52 am |

      I’m sure the original plan was for the NFC team to use the Rams locker room and the AFC team to use the Chargers locker room. But I also suspect they have a contingency plan for if either (or both) teams made the game. There is one visitors locker room that – based on the photos Jon Gruden tweeted last year is pretty dumpy.

      • Ben Miller | January 31, 2022 at 9:08 pm |

        I believe Inglewood has two visitor’s locker rooms; four total. Could have sworn it was mentioned in the SSL sales materials at some point.

  • Defo Maitland | January 31, 2022 at 9:01 am |

    The jacket worn by the fellow in the Aussie hockey team photo is a Hudson Bay jacket. It’s sometimes called a blanket jacket because it features the same distinctive striping as blankets sold by the historical Canadian company (and still available to this day)

    https://www.thebay.com/product/hbc-stripes-iconic-multistripe-point-blanket-0600001019439.html

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 9:03 am |

      I was searching for that term but was coming up empty! Will add it to the text now.

  • Trehih | January 31, 2022 at 9:01 am |

    The Canadian goalie looked like he was wearing yoga pants.

    Also: the lime green and orange “first responders” jersey the New York Riptide wore over the weekend was Just Plain Yuck.

    https://newyorkriptide.com/news/orlin-cohen-postgame-report-riptide-defeated-in-overtime-by-buffalo/

  • Moose | January 31, 2022 at 9:14 am |

    “Obviously, they won’t wear orange.”

    Why is that obvious? I mean, they could if they wanted to, right?

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 9:16 am |

      It’s obvious because (a) it’s their alternate jersey, so they’d need special permission to wear it, and (b) they’ve never used orange for special occasions like the home opener, so there’s no reason to expect that they’d make that special request.

    • Jeano Roid | January 31, 2022 at 11:25 am |

      Let’s just pray they don’t because that is flat hideous.

  • TIm | January 31, 2022 at 9:15 am |

    Paul, I’m probably missing something, but why is it obvious the Bengals won’t wear orange? Is that their alternate (so there’s a limit to how many times they wear it)?

    Also, I noticed in one of your cooking photos there’s what looks like a large collection of CDs. Not sure if those are yours, Mary’s or a combo, but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one stuck with way too many of those damn things! Can’t even play them in my car any more!!!

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 9:27 am |

      We still play CDs (and vinyl LPs, and digital streams).

      Orange question address in another thread!

      • TIm | January 31, 2022 at 10:40 am |

        I swear that thread answering the “orange” question was not there when I posted! LOL

  • NVendetti | January 31, 2022 at 9:22 am |

    First off…that stuffed rib roast looks amazing. Will be stealing that recipe for sure.

    Second, some NFC Champ game observations: skinned knees and elbows…

    Cam Akers ripped knee tights:
    https://www.therams.com/photos/game-action-rams-san-francisco-49ers-nfc-championship-2021#b09d49f2-9edd-4cdf-9318-db10557c6431

    Stafford double whammy (knee and elbow):
    https://www.therams.com/photos/game-action-rams-san-francisco-49ers-nfc-championship-2021#98d501e2-41d5-4e78-b388-dfe37f7b1517

    Deebo bloody elbow:
    https://www.49ers.com/photos/san-francisco-49ers-vs-los-angeles-rams-game-images-nfc-championship#aa322af3-64df-4031-8ae8-dd11cbf2ee7b

    Seems like an unusual amount of abrasions inflicted by the field, which begs the question of why wouldn’t they go natural grass in LA, where it’s temperate all year round? Likely answer is the wear and tear of two teams using the field, but still unfortunate for those who enjoy a natural surface.

    • Greg Lamm | January 31, 2022 at 10:56 am |

      Very few if any players wear any extra padding anymore. It was very common not that long ago to see elbow and hand pads as well as hip, knee and tail bone pads. Does anybody still wear a neck roll? Now they just stick those adhesive strips down the back of the arm. Does that even work?

  • Mike S | January 31, 2022 at 9:25 am |

    I absolutely hate that green gap around the colored end zone design. There are so many teams that do it, there must be a reason for it but I can’t figure it out.

    There are also enough teams that don’t have a gap, so it is obviously legal in the NFL to have color go directly to the white line. I really wish I knew why it happened!

    Picture of the Giants’ color filling the full endzone:
    https://twitter.com/uniwatch/status/1301169489849978881

    • Ken H | January 31, 2022 at 9:53 am |

      I think the reasoning for Rams/Chargers leaving the green border is that they paint (and therefore have to scrub off) the end zones when they change it over. The border gives them that wiggle room to save the goal line/end zone border paint. The Giants/Jets roll in and out their own end zone turf, so they don’t have to worry about that!

      As a Rams fan, I wish they filled it all the way in. I’m also curious to see if they will save one of the end zones from the NFC Championship game (probably the one with Rams in it) for the Super Bowl, while repainting the other for the Bengals.

  • Omar Jalife | January 31, 2022 at 9:30 am |

    I’m pretty sure the Broncos reached the Super Bowl in 1997 in their first year with their new uniforms (although that was a bigger overhaul that included a logo change).

    Tennessee also got to the big game on the first year as the Titans, so that makes, by my account, Cincy the third team to reach the SB on it’s first year with new uniforms.

    • Jeano Roid | January 31, 2022 at 11:28 am |

      Second time The Bengals have reached the big game in new duds. First year in stripes they played in the Silverdome SuperBowl

    • Joel Keller | January 31, 2022 at 12:24 pm |

      The Giants did, too. They got wiped out by the Ravens in the SB for the 2000 season, the first year of their current helmets/blue unis.

    • Corey | January 31, 2022 at 3:09 pm |

      This year it’s *both* teams with new uniforms. Off the top of my head, the 1997 Broncos played the Packers, who at that point had had the same uniform for several decades.

      • Jeano Roid | January 31, 2022 at 9:51 pm |

        You mean the throwback The Rams added? They did the actual overhaul the year prior..

        • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 10:38 pm |

          Please please please — let’s not call it a “throwback” (or a “modern throwback” or any of that nonsense).

          Just because the team falsely markets it as a throwback doesn’t mean we have to parrot their nonsense. It’s an alternate, not a throwback.

    • Jeff | February 2, 2022 at 8:47 am |

      The Buccaneers reached the Super Bowl last season in new uniforms. The final year with those hideous video-game numbers was 2019.

  • Mike S | January 31, 2022 at 9:39 am |

    There was an interesting commercial that ran during the championship games on Sunday. It starred Eric Dickerson running from NYC to LA for the superbowl. The UniWatch interesting part is that about halfway through it showed him running through a neighborhood with 2 young kids following him on bikes. At least one of the kids was wearing Dickerson’s iconic goggles. As someone who was slightly too young to watch Dickerson play, I definitely knew him as the old guy who used to wear goggles when he played, but I wonder if the actor playing the kid even knew who he was before the shoot?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwd08Cw5BxU

  • Morris Belleville | January 31, 2022 at 9:43 am |

    This is in fact the first Super Bowl since XII (Staubach / Bradshaw) that the starting quarterbacks have the same number.

    • Morris Belleville | January 31, 2022 at 9:48 am |

      Oops I meant XIII.

      • Tim | January 31, 2022 at 7:18 pm |

        Here’s all 4 of the SB’s with Matching QB Numbers

        VI – Staubach v Griese (12)
        X – Bradshaw v Staubach (12)
        XIII – Bradshaw v Staubach (12)
        LVI – Burrow v Stafford (9)

  • Charlie | January 31, 2022 at 9:49 am |

    Apologies if this has been noted in the article or above, but a potentially noteworthy aspect of this game is there is a decent to strong chance that it is the first Super Bowl with neither team wearing TV numbers. If the Rams wear either of their blue or white (non-dishwasher) jerseys neither team will have TV numbers. A quick scan of The Gridiron Uniform Database’s SB page shows no SB with both teams lacking TV numbers.

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 9:55 am |

      Great point!

    • Scott Johnston | January 31, 2022 at 10:47 am |

      I can only think of one SB where even one of the teams didn’t wear TV numbers and that was SB 29 when the 49ers wore their 75th-anniversary throwbacks.

    • Dave | February 1, 2022 at 8:20 am |

      Another notable thing about the matchup, and I also apologize if I missed this mentioned but neither team is wearing a logo, word mark or even a number on their helmet. Both are wearing “animal costume” helmets. This must be a rarity since only one other team does this (the eagles) and one other team is devoid of all helmet decor (the browns who wear an orange helmet, so I don’t know what to categorize their helmet design as, same as the entire franchise, I suppose. Uniquely generic and underwhelming?).

  • Josh Hinton | January 31, 2022 at 10:11 am |

    Who Dey, Paul! Here’s to hoping the Bengals do indeed wear white jerseys in a couple weeks. And, I’m with you on the end zone paint leaving that slim green sliver of turf! Tennessee football does it, too, with the checkerboards and as a Kentucky fan, it drives me insane having to see that when we go there.

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 10:17 am |

      Josh! Great to hear from you. Hope college is going well (or as well as possible during the pandemic).

    • Greg | January 31, 2022 at 10:37 am |

      Tennessee usually (but not always) leaves a more pronounced gap between the endzone line and the painted endzone. However Tennessee does have a legit, and possibly regulatory reason for doing it. They paint their endzone orange and white. So along the sidelines and back line of the endzone you can’t have the white endzone paint right up against those lines, or else on plays along the boundaries it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to use the lines to determine if the player is in bounds or not. You need that green unpainted area to mark off the boundaries.
      Obviously the Rams blue endzones don’t have this problem.

  • Brian | January 31, 2022 at 10:40 am |

    • Both teams use the “make the helmet look like an animal” approach, instead of just putting their primary logo on the sides.

    One key distinction. While both teams use the animal elements on the helmet and jerseys, the Rams wisely avoid trying to create a pants stripe out of a ram horn. As a Bengals fan, I wish the Bengals would do the same and quit trying to make a vertical pants stripe out of tiger stripes. It does not work.

    • Jeano Roid | January 31, 2022 at 12:28 pm |

      Agree. The pants are really the remaining messy spot on their Tiger Man costume. Even a couple vertical stripes would have looked better than the super busy horizontal stripes. The orange w-black outlines stripes being particularly absurd. I will say having seen a dozen or so bengals-themed high school uniforms recently that what the Bengals wear now is definitely better than what may have been.

    • Dave | February 1, 2022 at 8:43 am |

      I don’t outright hate the tiger stripe pants although I’ve often felt they could do a “tiger man” look with something less on-the-nose. Slashes (thin, tapered to a point at both ends) instead of realistically shaped tiger stripes would be nice over the shoulders and across the helmet. When a team has a conceptual uniform (something more than basic stripes or color blocking) I often feel like plain pants with no striping at all is preferable to attempting to translate whatever the concept is to the pants. The bengals and chargers are great examples of this. The jerseys are pretty great up too and the helmets also work well with the concept but the pants always feel like either too much, or simply a poor execution of the theme. One thing that does bug me about the new bengals set is the lack of orange on the white jerseys. I know that the Cincinnati zoo is responsible for the worlds fascination with white tigers but when the helmet is orange it ruins the “white tiger man” costume. Also the white uniform as a whole including pants looks less interesting without a significant pop of orange to go with the black.

  • MaL | January 31, 2022 at 10:48 am |

    Paul, I feel like I remember you doing some writing on Cincinnati Chili at some point. Can’t seem to find it…did you once have a recipe for that? Would love some for the Super Bowl.

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 10:50 am |

      I don’t think I’ve ever made Cincy chili from scratch. Might try it for the big game, though!

    • ChrisH | January 31, 2022 at 11:34 am |

      I seem to recall Paul making goetta (Cincinnati Scrapple?)…like, a lot of it.

      • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 11:35 am |

        Yes! Gonna do that again soon.

  • J.D. | January 31, 2022 at 11:04 am |

    The three matchups you mentioned (Bradshaw/Staubach twice, Staubach/Griese once) are the only three Super Bowls so far, until this year, where both starting QBs have worn the same number.

  • Rufus | January 31, 2022 at 11:10 am |

    Quick thought I had after watching the NFC championship game. The 49ers NOB reminds me of the preseason Detroit Red Wings NOB, before they switched to their usually for the regular season.

  • Jeano Roid | January 31, 2022 at 11:21 am |

    Bengals best home combo is toned down black over white (black-only stripes). Those orange combos are absolutely abhorrent – like the most hideous sneakers down at the mall shoe store. Rams are a mess no matter what. How do you switch away from what they once wore in the Eric Dickerson days?

  • Adam W | January 31, 2022 at 11:33 am |

    Paul – is there any history of a team coming out of a rebrand/major uniform redesign (or brand new team) making it to their respective finals in the first year of the uniform? Is this the first time of that happening with the Bengals?

    • Paul Lukas | January 31, 2022 at 11:37 am |

      It’s not even the first time the Bengals have done it! When they first adopted the tiger-stripe helmet in 1981, they made it to the Super Bowl that year.

      Broncos also did so after their 1997 makeover, and the Titans following their 1999 makeover.

      • Adam W | January 31, 2022 at 12:11 pm |

        Wow! Did not know that. Thanks Paul!

      • MC | January 31, 2022 at 2:11 pm |

        Giants also made the Super Bowl in 2000 after a small redesign (“ny” helmet logos and deeper shade of blue).

      • dave | February 1, 2022 at 9:05 am |

        As you (and others below) note this does happen a decent amount. I think redesigns/refreshes often come when a franchise is ready to “take things seriously” “usher in a new era” or feel that an effort to make the team successful is about to pay off. So (while certainly not frequently the case) there are quite a few examples of teams that are basically poised for success and use a visual refresh to make that statement (basically it’s a manufactured coincidence). Also as Nike says (yikes) cool new uniforms attract talent and make players feel good on the field. Plus so many teams refresh every year that it’s bound to happen from time to time. So it’s timing, morale, and pure coincidence, perhaps.

    • Neeko | January 31, 2022 at 12:01 pm |

      If the Bengals qualifies as a rebrand/major uniform design change then you could put last years Bucs & 2000 Giants in as well

      • Adam W | January 31, 2022 at 12:11 pm |

        I thought about bucs but wasn’t sure if they made year 1 or 2 of the current design.

        • Jeff | February 2, 2022 at 8:51 am |

          Bucs were still wearing the garish uniforms with video-game numbers in 2019, so the championship year of 2020 indeed was their first after the redesign.

    • Wade Heidt | January 31, 2022 at 2:13 pm |

      With regards to the other Big Four leagues, 1995-96 Colorado Avalanche come to mind right away but there must be others.

      • Wade Heidt | January 31, 2022 at 2:28 pm |

        2006-07 Anaheim Ducks.

      • ChrisH | January 31, 2022 at 2:48 pm |

        ’87 Twins.

      • Neeko | January 31, 2022 at 3:17 pm |

        ‘02 Angels

        • Neeko | January 31, 2022 at 3:18 pm |

          Rays too i believe

      • mike 2 | January 31, 2022 at 5:17 pm |

        Vegas Golden Knights – first year in the new uniforms :)

      • Tim | January 31, 2022 at 7:11 pm |

        NBA – Every Year. They have like 18 different uniforms…

  • Marc | January 31, 2022 at 11:33 am |

    In an effort to have the most trivial observation of SB 56, the Bengals join the Bills and Bucs as teams that have played multiple SB against multiple opponents, but all of their opponents come from the same division.

    Bills vs NFC East (NYG 25, WSH 26, DAL 27 & 28)
    Bucs vs AFC West (OAK 37, KC 55)
    Bengals vs NFC West (SF 16 & 23, LA 56)

    Also, AFC North is 4-2 against the NFC West.

  • Jeff Stark | January 31, 2022 at 11:49 am |

    Please, dear God, don’t let the Rams wear those horrible “bone” jerseys. I am pretty fond of the new white alternate one. Paired with the yellow pants and it’s pretty cool.

  • Brandon B | January 31, 2022 at 11:53 am |

    Paul, this is what I would truly love to hear/see/read from you. A historical ranking of uni match ups for all 55 previous Super Bowls, maybe your opinion, maybe a vote, but something. I think it would be very interesting.

    At the very least, I’d like a 5 & 1 of previous Super Bowls. My current vote for worst is Super Bowl XLIX, but my mind can be changed.

  • Bud | January 31, 2022 at 12:02 pm |

    So I know this isn’t necessarily the same thing because these are ‘standard’ uniform combos that can be worn compared to a sort of fun, tongue-in-cheek one-off program, BUT…

    IF mono-black vs mono-bone should occur, what are the odds that it’s a matchup that would be looked upon in 20ish years as sort of endearingly awful, the way that the MLB TATC program has aged with this site? Like that it’s a uniform matchup that sticks out SO much amongst other Super Bowl uniform matchups that it sort of ends up being noteworthy in its own horrible way, but ends up (eventually) being sort of a funny lone chapter in Super Bowl history that ends up making Super Bowl history a tad richer.

    Maybe I’m doing a horrible job of explaining it, but hopefully you get what I mean?

  • walter | January 31, 2022 at 12:07 pm |

    Jamie, I’m going to have to chide you for using the newspaper quote “the Japs’ flag of the rising sun” in citation of the Pirates’ “sun” flag. Just because it appeared in a newspaper over seventy years ago doesn’t mean you’re obligated to repeat it verbatim. You would never have said “The Redskins’ flag” in reference to American Indians; you’re better than that.

  • Jasper | January 31, 2022 at 12:28 pm |

    I wish I could come here to read about uniform news without having to be subjected to the problematic photos of animal corpses that Paul likes to subject us to.

    • Tom | January 31, 2022 at 9:18 pm |

      Scroll wheel, buddy.

  • Andrew L. Berry | January 31, 2022 at 12:28 pm |

    The Rams should make their white alternates their road uniforms and make the dishwater ones their alts. Also, I like their yellow pants too.

    • Chris Weber | January 31, 2022 at 5:36 pm |

      Even better, they can designate their dishwater jerseys to use on dishes in dishwater. ;) -C.

  • Patrick | January 31, 2022 at 12:47 pm |

    Does anyone know what color uniform the NBA all star players will be wearing? Its confusing because Nike is selling both color uniforms for the players. (eg. Lebron and Curry both have a grey and red uniform for sale).

    The traditional East/West game was a lot more straight forward.

    • Marc | January 31, 2022 at 12:56 pm |

      So was white at home/color on the road, but swoosh is gonna swoosh.

  • Daniel Shank Cruz | January 31, 2022 at 1:19 pm |

    It was mentioned in some earlier comments that the Bucs played in their home stadium last year and the Rams will this year. However, it’s worth noting that this is happening two years in a row after never happening at all in the previous 54 Super Bowls.

  • Ted | January 31, 2022 at 2:32 pm |

    One random notable thing from yesterdays Bengals game is that after the game we caught a glimpse of Icky Woods on the field congratulation players. He was wearing one of his old jerseys. It was quite fun to see him, and that he was just rocking the jersey. Alas, I neglected to take a quick screen grab.

    • Tom | January 31, 2022 at 9:21 pm |

      It was also notable that when Woods went up to Burrow on live TV to congratulate him, Burrow broke into a quick Icky Shuffle, applauded by the interviewer.

  • ChrisH | January 31, 2022 at 2:33 pm |

    Cincy and LA have 2 terrific helmets, but from the neck down this SB will be a tough one to uni-watch.
    I’m supposing the Bengals (my rooting interest for this matchup) will go ‘white tiger’/black socks and we will be spared any combination of LA ‘dishwater’.
    Not that it determines outcome, but mono-white has a significantly better SB track record (worn 15 times, won 7, all by AFL/C teams) than mono-dark (worn twice by Seattle, lost in both iterations of their ‘scuba gear’)…I do consider the all-black/black-black-orange combinations their best options because the Bengals botched the striping on both sets of white pants.
    I really like their orange jerseys enough to see them added to Super Bowl uni-history, but that jersey color isn’t a winner…Denver wore them 4 times and got beat each time they did.

  • pedro | January 31, 2022 at 3:03 pm |

    It appears one of the Australian goalies has silver duct tape on his stick. I don’t think I have seen that before, outside of pick up games. Maybe his name is MacGyver?

  • Ted Mark | January 31, 2022 at 4:49 pm |

    University of Virginia gives their baseball team participation rings for making it to the College World Series, but not winning it. I guess that’s better than a little plastic loving cup on a tiny faux-wood base.

  • Joe | January 31, 2022 at 6:37 pm |

    Fun rabbit hole: Jersey colors and starting QB numbers
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sOXBUQ_PZa1Sd7ctEvgwiCCUOnY-G5_VBBmTCK5KlA4/edit?usp=sharing

    Only 4 instances of both QBs wearing same number
    VI: Griese-Staubach
    X,XII: Bradshaw-Staubach
    LXVI: Burrow-Stafford

    Bonus: #6 is the only legal QB uniform number that has never been worn by a starter

  • Anthony N. | January 31, 2022 at 10:49 pm |

    Was I the only one who noticed the severe flag desecration of the flag used on the field for the Bengals-Chiefs game? It looked like they specifically cut a flag to look like the Lower 48 states.

    https://espnsiouxfalls.com/chiefs-vs-bengals-afc-championship-pics/

  • JP | January 31, 2022 at 10:51 pm |

    Patriots and Rams in the SB36 was year 2 for both those rebrands. Uniform and color (darker blue) changes and logo too for St Louis. Just another record associated with Tom Brady!

  • Daniel | January 31, 2022 at 10:59 pm |

    How rare is it for a team to wear an ‘alternate’ in the Super Bowl.

    Across playoff games, the only one that came to mind was in the 2008 Wild Card game against the Colts, the Chargers wore powder-blue alternates.

    I’m sure that can’t be the only one?

    Also if the Rams do wear white – is that a tacit admission by them that the ‘bone’ color is just a mistake?

  • Jeremy Baxter | February 1, 2022 at 12:05 am |

    I’m pretty sure this is not completely correct:

    “The two teams’ uni sets have played a combined total of three seasons. I’m fairly certain that’s a record for the newest unis to appear in a Super Bowl.”

    The 2000 Giants wore new uniforms and appeared in the Super Bowl against the Ravens, who were in their second year after changing their helmet design in 1999. It’s debatable whether the Ravens count here, since the helmet is the only thing that changed, but if they do, that’s also three combined years. (I’d argue it counts, the helmet is a significant part of the uniform.)