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It’s Time for the Uni Watch Super Bowl LVI Preview!

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Good morning! Super Bowl Sunday is now just four days away, which means it’s time for the Uni Watch Super Bowl Preview. I don’t mind saying that this year’s edition is a doozy, jam-packed with deep-cut fun facts about the Rams’ and Bengals’ uniforms, including the annual knowledge-drop by Super Bowl scholar Jay Braiman — perfect for impressing and/or annoying your friends while watching the big game on Sunday.

My premium subscribers can read the article here. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do that here (you’ll need a Facebook account in order to pay). If you want more info on what you’ll get for your money, you can find that here. And if the Facebook requirement is a dealbreaker, email me and I’ll keep you in the loop about developments regarding non-Facebook payment options and possible workarounds. Thanks!

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Start ’em young: It’s hard to see, but the jerseys in the photo above say, “Wayne Speech.” The photo was sent to me yesterday by reader Dwaine Spieker, along with the following note:

I’m a high school English teacher and speech coach in Wayne, Neb. It’s typical for teams like mine to design a team T-shirt each season, but every year I try to do something unique. Because we compete in the winter and don’t have an actual hockey team at our school, I’ve been wanting to do some kind of hockey jersey for a long time.

For years, my kids didn’t seem interested, but I floated the idea again this year, and this group of kids was excited! Thanks to your blog’s connection with AdelphWear [which has produced the Uni Watch hockey jerseys we’ve offered in the past — PL], I contacted Nathan Haas, who designed these hockey jerseys for us.

Very cool! Here are two additional pics, including a rear view:

“It’s amazing the kind of camaraderie a well-designed uniform can help create!” says Dwaine. “And I’m proud to say that No. 84 is my son and No. 11 is my stepson-to-be.” How great is that? Congrats to Dwaine and his team, and I love that he used AdelphWear to produce the jerseys. A real Uni Watch feel-good story!

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Start ’em really young: Twitter-er Grant Hewitt posted this masterpiece yesterday. It was created by his six-year-old nephew, and I love it so much — that kid is gonna grow up to be a great uni-watcher!

Also: It’s hard to be sure, but it appears that the Ravens logo is the original one that the team scrapped after a lawsuit. The kid is going deep, I tells ya!

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Membership update: Can you guess which uniform served as the basis for Evan Fleming’s new membership card? It’s the Spurs’ current City design — a really fun choice!

Evan’s card is part of a new batch that’s been added to the membership card gallery. I have a few slots open on the current sheet and I recently reduced the membership price, so what are you waiting for?

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch, and fun to boot. And remember, a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in the Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,200 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: The Tigers will retire Lou Whitaker’s No. 1 in August (from our own Brinke Guthrie). … Also from Brinke: Here’s the story of how the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League wore unis with shorts 26 years before the White Sox did. … The new Atlantic League team in Lexington, Ky., will be called the Wild Health Genomes. Wild Health is a clinic in Lexington (from multiple readers). … The Single-A Hickory Crawdads have a new jersey with a glaring apostrophe catastrophe (from Scott Rogers). … New home whites — or maybe creams, it’s hard to be sure — for Princeton (from Trevor Williams). … Today’s Google Doodle features Toni Stone, one of three women who played for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League.

Football News: New logo for Thursday Night Football, which will now stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video (from multiple readers).

Hockey News: Caps C Nicklas Bäckström’s gloves were misdelivered to someone’s house in Arlington, Va., so the team traded a bobblehead for them (from Brandon Weir). … The Lightning teased their Stadium Series uniform (from @joeinthehat). … A couple of graphic designers showed viewers on YouTube how to make a hockey sweater on Photoshop (from Stephen Schapansky). … Last weekend’s NHL All-Star Game featured the rare sight of Flyers mascot Gritty wearing the team’s road whites (from @PhillyPartTwo).

Basketball News: Wisconsin SG Johnny Davis, who wears No. 1, had his jersey ripped toward the end of last night’s game against Michigan State, so he finished the game wearing a No. 51/NNOB jersey (from Garrett Van Auken). … NBA numerologist Etienne Catalan has the latest in NBA uni number assignments.

Soccer News: Huddersfield Town’s color choice for today’s English men’s Championship match against Preston North End was influenced by colorblindness considerations. They wore their mint green-colored third kit at the beginning of the season against another white-clad opponent, Derby County, and it caused problems (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Shelbourne FC’s new away shirt features the names of all of the club’s season ticket holders (from Ed Zelaski). … The next three items are from Kary KlismetNew kits for the Suwon Samsung Bluewings of South Korea’s K League 1. … New kits for C.S. Emelec of Ecuador’s Serie A. … New away kits for Paraguayan Primera División side Club Olimpia.

Olympics News: Following up on an item from yesterday, five women ski jumpers were disqualified for wearing uniforms that were too baggy (from multiple readers). … Here are some of the brands that are supplying uniforms for the Olympics (from Kary Klismet).

Grab Bag: Uni Watch reader Gene Biros is involved with Jerseys of Hope, a charity that collects donated sports jerseys and then gives them to hospital patients. On March 12 they’re holding a fundraiser event in Cleveland, which seems like it would be a good opportunity for Uni Watch readers to meet up while supporting a good cause. Full details here. … New livery for the Haas F1 Team (from Kary Klismet). … New logo for the University of Rhode Island athletics (from Timothy Finnegan).

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Today is the Tugboat Captain’s birthday, so I’ll be busy trying to make the day special for her. If I don’t respond quickly to emails or comments today, that’s why. Thanks for understanding. — Paul

Comments (40)

    Have a Happy Birthday (aren’t they just anniversary celebrations?) to the Tugboat Captain! Enjoy the day!

    Oooh, good point – should one celebrate one’s 48th birthday, or one’s 49th year? I think I’ll stick with the lower option, now that the numbers are getting noticeably big.

    Happy birthday celebration!

    The Wild Health Genomes are the SECOND Atlantic League team in Lexington, KY. The league sits at nine teams while it awaits Hagerstown to join, so a sister-team was added to play alongside the Lexington Legends to bring the league to 10.

    Maybe (maybe?) it’s more forgivable if this is a placeholder team, but using a corporate trademark as a place name is unusual outside of beer league softball teams. Is this a slippery slope that eventually leads to the Mud Hens?

    Recently there was some discussion of Cincinnati style chili on here. Was planning on making some for the game Sunday, but have never made it or even had it before, so looking for some feedback. Putting my own spin on it was planning on swapping out the pasta for sweet potatoes (which seem like a good pair given the use of cinnamon, all spice) to create something similar to a chili version of shepherd’s pie. Also considering putting some finely minced caramelized onions in there, either directly in the chili, or between the layer of sweet potatoes and chili.
    Thoughts, has anyone had/made something similar, is this Cincinnati chili sacrilege?

    I’ve made it before. It’s good home-made, but not quite like the real thing (Skyline or Gold Star, that is). If you’ve never had it, you won’t know that, of course.

    The chili isn’t particularly sweet or overly spicy, in spite of what’s in it, but using it with sweet potatoes would probably be good. Caramelized onions will make it even more sweet. FYI, it’s often served with chopped white onion, cheese, beans (if you want) and, if it’s on a coney, yellow mustard. IMHO the chopped onions really add to the overall, so I’m not sure I’d like it as well with caramelized o’s, but again, I’ve had it the customary way many, many times (I absolutely love it).

    What you are thinking is not sacrilege (it’s your chili, do what’s good for you), but what you are planning isn’t traditional. It sounds really creative though, and I imagine it would be quite tasty.

    I agree with Tim, especially with regard to the onions. Raw onions are pretty key to my enjoyment of Cincy chili. So I’d consider perhaps having both some chopped raw and some sauteed on hand and sample the chili each way. Either way, though, the onion will add sweetness. With the sweet potato also adding a bit of sweetness, would it be worth dialing back on the onion, either in terms of quantity or maybe substituting shallot?

    Thanks for the tips. May reconsider how I add the onions, maybe have the caramelized onions as a topping option.

    Regarding the Backstrom gloves story, I’d rather get nothing than a freaking Tom Wilson bobblehead. And a gag one at that.

    No Kidding.
    Kind of a crappy way to say thanks – but that was from the corporate level perhaps.
    Maybe the player will step up with something nicer, but I had to laugh at that original
    “Finder’s Fee”.

    So sad to see that the beating heart of the Uni Watch page is being subsumed by the subscription-based Bulletin. Business is business and I’ll never argue with someone who needs to do something to make a living but as a reader, this is just such a sad time. I can’t subscribe to everything and I guess we all make our choices. Anyway, I’m so sad today to see this happening. Best of luck, Paul.

    Actually, one article per week is on Bulletin, which hardly qualifies as anything being “subsumed.”

    I get that it’s a drag to suddenly have to pay for things you used to get for free, and of course your choice to subscribe or not is up to you. But let’s please not mischaracterize the situation with exaggerations and distortions. Thanks!

    In the interest of being fair & balanced, long-time reader and occasional commenter here. Not a big merch guy (I have one UW hat but just don’t need more “stuff”) – and totally okay with paying a subscription fee to get the weekly premium article. Paul & the team give away a lot of good content and I see no problem with paying extra for the extra effort of the weekly articles which have been consistently superior reading.

    Agree with MplsMike –

    Been reading for (can’t believe it) 15 years now for free. The $35 annual fee is peanuts compared to what I’ve consumed in the past and what I’ll read going forward.

    When I compare it to what I get/will get out of any other subscription service I have (Netflix, HBO Max, Slate, Digital Corridor, etc…) it ranks at the top of value.

    Agree as well.

    I’m happy to support Paul and other creators of quality content.

    Frankly I’m a little bit happier to support with a subscription for content than I am to continue to buy merch. I love the shirts and pins but my wife is starting to get a little tired of all the shirts, tote bags, pins and other assorted tchotchkes I’ve been purchasing to support the various things I enjoy (not just this site but others). We’re getting a bit overrun in stuff in our house.

    And it’s cheaper…

    $35 annual for the subscription versus $150 for annual pin sets, etc.

    Yeah, but on the other side of the aisle it is frustrating that the higher profile content is on another site and the daily stuff is here. I don’t blame you, Paul, for that reality – in fact, I paid for a yearly subscription today because I wanted the Super Bowl preview and your thoughts on the Commanders uni – but I would have rather paid you through patreon or some similar avenue and have kept all of your content together. It FEELS like a move made for profit maximization (which is totally understandable – a worker deserves his wages) that hurts the integrity of your brand.

    Now, wait a minute. Let’s think about this rationally:

    1) Are you saying that you think the *lower*-profile stuff should be paywalled instead? Really?

    2) The higher-profile stuff has almost *always* been on another site. In past years, the Super Bowl Preview ran on ESPN, or SI, or InsideHook. In fact, if you look at this blog post from two years ago, it’s very similar to today’s post:

    The headline says, “It’s Time for the Super Bowl Preview” (just like today’s headline) and then it links out to InsideHook, which is where the SB Preview was running that year. Same thing as this year — except this year you have to pay to read the preview (and, in return, you don’t have any ads interrupting the flow of the text).

    In short: Having the feature-length, higher-profile pieces appearing on an outside site is nothing new. It’s actually how things have worked for the vast majority of Uni Watch’s existence. If the addition of a price tag makes people think a bit more about value and labor and things like that, I count that as a plus, even if they choose not to subscribe.

    As for the “integrity of [my] brand,” I think it makes a lot more sense to have my work appearing on Bulletin (a dedicated page devoted exclusively to my work) than on InsideHook. Of course, your conception of what my “brand” is may be different than mine — which is fine.

    Thanks for subscribing — appreciated!

    I would say the easiest way to look at it is that uni-watch on its own is probably not something that can fully function without Paul having another paid outlet for uni-writing. Thus, in paying for the higher profile stories that used to run on the bigger websites that paid Paul, now we just pay Paul directly for them. And in paying for the higher profile stories, you are also subsidizing the daily uni-watch content. In reality it is like $0.10 per day to fund the uni-watch content and community. That seems fair to me.

    “The Tigers are offering a …ticket package,…plus a guarantee to receive Whitaker replica 1984 road jersey being given away to fans that day”.

    I get that it’s probably easier (aka-cheaper) to issue attendees ’84 away pullovers, but it’d be way cooler to hand fans “authentic” Whitaker ’85 ASG tops!

    Didn’t Whitaker pull up to MLB union negotiations in a limo when he was a player rep?
    Talk about tone deaf.

    And I hope Paul does as well! (Rim shot)

    “Huddersfield Town’s color choice for today’s English men’s Championship match against Preston North End was influenced by colorblindness considerations.”

    – Is colorblindness really a factor when it comes to viewing soccer? I would think the myriad of different advertisers would make the two teams easily distinguishable.

    “Twitter-er Grant Hewitt posted this masterpiece yesterday. It was created by his six-year-old nephew”

    – We talk about the “aesthetics of athletics” on this site. I’m glad a kindergartener is young enough to enjoy the KC Chiefs arrowhead design simply because it looks cool.

    I would hope soccer teams, in picking their kits, would use the formula: How would this look on a black & white TV?

    Last weekend Ireland played Wales in the Six Nations Rugby tournament (which now streams live on Peacock…I LOVE IT). Ireland in Green/White/Green versus Wales in Red/White/Red.


    For someone who is Red/Green colorblind they can’t make the distinction between Bright Red and Bright Green, making it tough for them to distinguish the two teams from each other.

    As I have people who work with me who are R/G Colorblind, I have to be sure that analytics I create are distinguished by both Color and Shape.

    For reference,

    Bulletin – It’s not the money for me. It’s giving money to FB. They own Bulletin, so no way would I give them a cent. I already struggle with all the Twitter links on here as it is (another terrible company and toxic platform). I will never understand the people that are outraged at those companies, yet continue to use them on a daily basis. It’s pretty weird. Old habits die hard I guess.

    As I’ve said all along, Steve, I fully understand and respect that position. If you haven’t already done so, please email me ( so I can let you know about possible updates and workarounds to that situation.

    Paul – I know you have and I understand completely why you are doing it. Definitely not easy for journalists and bloggers these days. I’m also more stubborn than most, ha ha.

    Just for shits and giggles, someone ought to take the original Bengals 1967 uniforms, take the lettering off the helmet and replace it with the leaping tiger/tiger head. Or combine the old uniform with the new helmet. It would probably look great.

    I’ve never liked the helmet stripes, and was so let down when they created the tiger head and leaping tiger logos, only for them to not be on the helmet. My ideal Bengals uniform would be the tiger head on the helmet, their 2004-2020 orange jerseys / white pants, but without the white side panels, orange sleeves instead of black, and ditch striped B logo on the chest.

    Damned if they do/Damned if they don’t: Four NFL teams are named after big cats. The Jags have an isolated head, the Panthers have a head & neck, the Lions have a leaping full body. If nothing else, the Bengals’ helmets have guaranteed they never tread on other teams’ I.P. toes.

    Man, I thought I’d found an anomaly when I noticed that Rams’ OL Andrew Whitworth’s captaincy patch was below the Rams’ patch unlike all of the other captains. I thought that would be at least Ticker-worthy but I guess not.

Comments are closed.