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There was a bit of confusion earlier this week when the NFL tweeted a graphic showing all of the new throwback and alternate helmets that had been released so far for this season. The confusing part was that it showed two different white helmet designs for the Cowboys: the standard throwback model with the solid-blue star, the grey facemask, and the blank nose bumper, which the team unveiled last week, and a separate design with the team’s primary outlined-star logo, a white facemask, and a “Cowboys” bumper, which was listed in the Twitter graphic as an alternate.
Many fans quickly surmised that the Cowboys planned to use the alternate version with their Color Rush uniform. That uni design has a white jersey, white pants, and white socks, and of course it’s not a throwback, so using the primary logo and a white mask seemed like a logical move.
But the Cowboys hadn’t announced anything about that, and I hadn’t heard any chatter about it either. Could the graphic have been wrong? I emailed the Cowboys — no response. I followed up — still no response.
Yesterday, however, I was interviewing a league executive about something else and got confirmation: The Cowboys will indeed be wearing both versions of the white helmet this season — one with their throwback uni and one with their CR uni. The league hadn’t initially planned on this when it allowed teams to add a second helmet color, but the Cowboys asked if they could give the white shell two different design treatments. Since the throwback and CR unis are both alternates (which means it’s permissible under league rules for them to be paired with an alternate helmet color), the league said yes.
It’s not clear to me why the Cowboys haven’t simply announced this themselves. But in any case, that’s the deal.
Giant Talent: The Man Behind Big Blue’s Uniforms, Field Graphics, and More
Last week I wrote about the Giants’ new throwback uniform. One of the people I interviewed as I was preparing that article was Doug Murphy, the team’s longtime director of creative services. I’d never spoken with him before, and he was a revelation — knowledgeable, friendly, detail-oriented, and very uni-enthusiastic. In short, he totally Gets It™.
I soon learned that Murphy oversees the team’s uniforms and a whole lot more. His portfolio also includes designing all of the the team’s commemorative patches, on-field graphics, stadium-wall graphics, publications, ads, the ring of honor, tickets, season ticket packaging, and a lot more (he worked on everything shown in the photo above). He’s probably had as much of an impact on the Giants’ visual culture as any one person has had for any team over the past generation — but he’d never even been on my radar until two weeks ago.
I often refer to equipment managers as the unsung heroes of the uni-verse, but front office creative staffers like Murphy are arguably even more obscure and, depending on how much responsibility they’re given, more important. They get very little attention and work almost completely behind the scenes.
With all that in mind, I’ve done an in-depth interview with Murphy for this week’s Bulletin column, and I don’t mind saying it’s one of the best, most informative interviews I’ve ever done (mainly because of Murphy, not because of anything I did). We talked about all the stuff I just listed, plus things like why the Giants wear grey facemasks, why they wear blue at home and red on the road, and more. If you’re a Giants fan, it’s essential reading; for everyone else, well, it’s also essential reading, because Murphy provides so much great info. (Even proofreader Jerry Wolper, who’s definitely not a Giants fan, went out of his way to tell me how much he liked this one.)
On Aug. 21, 1985 — just shy of 37 years ago — I was just starting my senior year of college in Binghamton, N.Y. I opened that day’s New York Times and read a very enthusiastic review of the quirky debut album by a New York band called The Scene Is Now. It sounded like my kinda thing, so I mailed a $10 bill to the address listed in the review, and I can still remember how I was sitting on the front porch of my off-campus house about a week later when the mailman brought me a package. Inside was the LP by The Scene Is Now, a poster, and a few dollars (the change from my 10 bucks). I ran upstairs to my bedroom to play the record and instantly fell in love with it.
About two years later I moved to NYC, where I went to see The Scene Is Now every chance I got (which, sadly, wasn’t very often — they played rather infrequently). Several years after that, I became friends with the band members, several of whom quickly ranked among my Very Favorite People Ever.
Although their lineup has shifted a bit over the years, The Scene Is Now are still together, still recording and performing, and I’m still one of their biggest fans. (In 2014 I was even asked to make a little speech at their 30th-anniversary show!) Last night they played their first show since before the pandemic, and they were as special as ever. Whenever I see them, I remember that day the mailman brought the package, and I smile.
On a somewhat related note, and to follow up on the Bengals story from a few days ago, has anyone gotten full clarification on what happened with their all white roll out?
It very much seems like their current white set was specifically designed knowing they’d be able to pair it with the white helmet this year. But they are being forced to use the color rush from their previous set when going with the white helmet?
I suppose it is possible they just think the current white set looks good in general, but really it doesn’t match with their orange helmet, and seems like an even worse design in the context that they cannot pair it with the white helmet. Could they have been unaware of the specifics of the second helmet rule when designing their uniforms?
And if the Bengals cannot pair their alternate helmet with a standard home/road uniform, how do the Panthers get a pass to pair their black helmet with their home black jersey?
Alternate helmet can be worn only with alternate uniform. CR = alternate. So there you go.
Panthers’ black/black combo is their CR uniform. So even though the *jersey* is primary, the mono-black combo is not.
If you think these distinctions are silly, I don’t disagree. Just explaining the league’s position.
Thanks, was unaware that a CR could just be a standard jersey with matching pants. Seems like Carolina might be the only team that has as a standard dark/home jersey that also acts as their CR. I think it is fair to say the policy on this is now just pretty malleable to what a team wants to do with their uniforms.
Which makes the Bengals situation even more interesting. Presumably if the Panthers can designate their standard black jersey as a CR when paired with black pants, the Bengals could claim their away/white uniform is white jersey with black pants, and white with white pants is their CR, thus eligible for pairing with the alternate helmet.
What a mess. Can we just go back to home, away, and once a year throwback for uniforms?
The Cowboys should have included silver in their CR helmet stripe. Maybe their planning on changing their pants.
Pretty sure I met that guy on the mic (The Scene is Now) in Brooklyn back in March. If correct… very nice fella.
Yes, Chris Nelson — he was at the birthday shindig. One of my All-Time Very Favorite People Ever.
What are the odds a Dallas player will wear the wrong white helmet at least once this season? Stay tuned. -C.
Please let this happen!
I would say very low, since there is only one white helmet, with different treatments, but anything is possible I suppose.
Agreed; it’s my understanding that teams must wear the alternate helmets all week in practice leading up to the game they are worn in so it’s up to the equipment manager to put the right face mask and decal for that week on the helmets.
Never knew Yellow Sarong was a cover of this band (when performed by YLT). Thanks for the recommendation.
Ira & Georgia were at that show last night! (But the band did not play “Yellow Sarong.”)
Their best albums are the first three: ‘Burn All Your Records,’ ‘Total Jive,’ and ‘Tonight We Ride.’ The group is admittedly not for everyone — some people don’t care for frontman Chris Nelson’s vocals. Personally, I *love* his voice, but I wouldn’t try to convince anyone.
Shouldn’t this be three posts? I liked the new format. It feels to me like the Cowboys helmet, giants field design, and a sax band are 3 subjects. But I’m not that bright, I like it when teams have 3 different colours for helmet jersey and pants.
With possible rare exceptions, I don’t plan to publish “What Paul Did Last Night” as stand-alone posts. They will be addenda to the lede.
I may indeed promote the Bulletin piece as a separate post. But I also wanted to get it in front of some extra eyeballs as part of this morning’s lede.
Here’s the problem… if the lead post is about something of little interest to me (maybe soccer, for example, no offense to footie fans) I will likely skip that post but then miss the other items that might be of great interest to me. I feel it needs to be one way or the other.
Raffles and such will also be bundled with the lede. You snooze, you lose! That’s just the way it is.
“Here’s the problem”
The problem is yours, not ours.
Phil, that is not a very generous thing to say to a reader/customer/asset.
I tend to agree with Ron, though I don’t think it is that big of a deal.
The multiple post per day format makes this much more like a news site than a once a day blog type site. Given that, it makes far more sense to have “news” or “feature” posts only include that topic, and the daily ticker to be the go to spot for non-feature worthy uni news AND various other minor uni-watch related content.
It is your site, do with it as you wish, but I would assume as we are all settling into the new format you would 1) be a little more open to reader feedback on the ideal way to manage info, and 2) not insult readers by claiming changes to format are the readers’ problem, not yours. I can assure you when businesses start saying their customers’ concerns aren’t their problem, they can quickly become their problem.
I apologize for sounding snarky, perhaps I should have included Ron’s full complaint — that being, if the lede article is not of interest to him, he won’t scroll down to see the remainder of the post. He states that’s “the problem.” While we’re all still getting used to the new format (myself included), the “problem” to which Ron alludes is his own refusal to read a post not to his liking and not scrolling past it to see if there is any additional content. I don’t see that as a problem. And as one who’s almost as averse to change (perhaps more so) than Paul, I realize the new format will take some getting used to. But I don’t feel it’s a valid complaint — it’s not like Paul is hiding any content. If you see a lede you don’t like, scroll past it, just like you (I would assume) used to. Then you’ll see what else is in the “main” article for the day. If that’s too much of a “problem,” then I don’t know what to say.
But it is an organizational issue and one YOU created… It the lede post a singe article or is is multiple items? It varies day to day. Readers need consistency. The old site was geared towards me reading the entire post even if the lede wasn’t of interest to me because that was the design. Then they became separate things. And now, some articles get buried.
In response to this being MY problem… if your website doesn’t work for everyone it doesn’t work for anyone.
Without getting into who is being snarky or entitled or whatever, I do think it would be in the site’s best interest to include a bit in the blurb mentioning what else is included. In this case something like “Plus: New Bulletin post, and What Paul Did Last Night”. More clicks for you, easier for us to find what we’re interested in. I don’t see a downside. (If you want to exclude raffles/giveaways from that, that’s reasonable.)
Thanks, Brett. Will consider including that in the home-page blurb for each day’s lede.
The photo of the Cowboys/Panthers match-up is one of the greatest arguments against color rash that I’ve ever seen. Two teams with the potential to look very good, if not excellent, and they both look like shit. What a joke.
Is there a way to get an e-mail notification of new posts on this site?
Working on it.
I just realized (I’m slow) that all the new alternate helmets were design to be part of a mono-uniform (except the Bears, because they don’t have *yet* orange pants).
The Cowboys helmet situation makes me hopeful that the Patriots can add the current logos on the white shell.
Thank you for explaining the Dallas helmet situation Paul.
I hope you are mending up well.