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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Good morning, and happy October! The NFL rolled out its new international diversity initiative yesterday, as players were permitted to wear a non-USA flag decal on their helmet if they lived in that country for at least two years or have a parent or grandparent who was born there. Two hundred and five players participated (including Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, shown above, who wore the national flag of the Philippines), with over 50 non-USA flags represented.

Different teams took different approaches regarding the positioning of the flags, as you can see in these next few shots:

In addition, 20 coaches and executives participated in the program by wearing pins or patches, including Pats coach Bill Belichick:

You can see the full breakdown of participating players, coaches, and execs, and the countries they were representing, here. The program will continue next week.

In other news from a very uni-eventful day around the league yesterday:

  • The Saints debuted their new black helmet, which looked pretty good, against the Vikings, who unfortunately opted to go mono-purple (additional photos here). Oddly, this is the third time in four seasons that Minnesota has gone mono-purple against the Saints, having previously done so in 2020 and the 2019 Wild Card round.

  • That Saints/Vikes game was played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Here’s a time-lapse video showing how they did the changeover from soccer to football:

  • The Commies debuted their new BFBS alternates, which looked pretty ridiculous — especially from behind:
  • Gorgeous game in the Meadowlands, as the Giants debuted their 1980s-90s throwbacks against the Bears (lots of additional photos here):
  • The Giants also used throwback locker nameplates yesterday:
  • The Ravens wore their purple Color Rush uniforms:
  • Yesterday was the Panthers’ “Keep Pounding” game, so they wore “51” rear-helmet decals for Sam Mills and also used throwback designs in the end zones and at midfield:

  • In that same game, the Cardinals went blood-clot:
  • The Falcons went mono-black:
  • The Jags wore their teal pants for the first time this season:
  • The Jets wore the completely nonsensical color combo of green-white-black:
  • I can’t honestly say I keep track of such things myself, but I’m told that Raiders coach Josh McDaniels was wearing a 2021 hoodie and a 2019 visor:
  • Four teams wore white at home: The aforementioned Saints (who were the designated home team in London) and Panthers, and also the Bucs and, of course, the Cowboys. The Bengals also wore white at home on Thursday, so that’s a total of five home teams opting for white this week.

Tonight: The 49ers host the Rams, and the Niners will be wearing their red throwbacks.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Gabe Cornwall, Rudy Gutierrez, Don Ingram, Lee Wilds, and @PanthersUnis.)


Soccer Jersey Reminder

In case you missed it last week, I’m collaborating with longtime Uni Watch reader Austin Chen on the first-ever Uni Watch soccer jerseys. We’re now taking pre-orders on them, for delivery around the start of the World Cup, but you have to get your order in by this Friday. Full details here.


Culinary Corner

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

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Almost every chicken wing recipe says, “Remove wing tips and discard and save for stock,” which is total bullshit because wing tips are so fucking good.

Sometimes I just leave the tips on the wings. Other times (including this past weekend), I remove the tips, toss them in a spice rub, give them a quick skillet-fry treatment, and enjoy them on their own. Such a treat!


What Paul Did Last Night

Who was that at the Pavement show last night at the magnificent Kings Theatre in Brooklyn? None other than myself and longtime Uni Watch reader and all-around peach of a guy Gordon Blau, who very generously hooked me up with free tickets for the show. Thanks so much, Gordon — it was a treat to see you and Chrysse!

Pavement was great, but they weren’t the best music I saw yesterday. That’s because in the afternoon I caught a set by the great psychedelic-folk pioneer Peter Stampfel. He’ll turn 84 later this month, and various larynx problems have ravaged his voice, which is now little more than a hoarse croak, but his incredible energy and spirit are completely undiminished. Fittingly, the song I caught on video yesterday was a new one called “I’m Getting More Like Me Every Day,” which pretty much sums up his creative trajectory (and includes the great line “Mirror, mirror on the wall / I’m the me-est me of all”):

There’s more joy and artistry and life in this man’s pinkie toenail clippings than most of us will have in our entire existences. Personally, I find it very inspiring. Cheers, mate!

Comments (62)

    Love a good field changeover time lapse! “Get this grass out of the way so we can play football.” I can’t get behind the artificial turf.

    I am more College than NFL, but that said, absolutely love the Saints look. IMO, this should be their permanent uni (keeping the gold helmets for when they wear black jerseys)

    I second that. The numbers on the jerseys have black outlines so the pants did make sense and now they bring luck as well.

    They don’t bring luck if you didn’t know the result of the game and were planning to watch it later! :(

    Exactly. I’m not sure if they’ve worn this combo before, but the black pants definitely work well with the black accents on the rest of the uniform. Hopefully the good luck it brought will make them wear it more!

    Jersey B got dressed in the dark ; )
    There’s no shortage of teams that do (or could) look great if they’d stick with just 1 set of pants…including the Jets, who should simply stick with white legwear full time.

    I think multiple sets of leg wear are fine. Don’t the Ravens have like four sets? (white, black, purple & gold). The Jets white on white with their newer set looks particularly bland to me. I thought it worked much better with their pre-2019 set, going all the way back to the Joe Willie era.

    The Saints fan in me (who thinks the Color Rushes are the best unis ever, a notch above their 1967-68 home whites) didn’t like the new black helmets when unveiled, because all the millions of mini-fleurs-de-lys instead of a gold-on-white stripe, like in ’69. But on the field, they looked great. Too bad the game ended the way it did.

    And the Giants fan in me enjoyed, at least for one game, seeing the Parcells-era throwbacks. But I’m surprised they didn’t do up the field ’80s-style — the bold GIANTS in the end zones and the Meadowlands logo in the center.

    And let me just throw in the suggestion that from now on, the Bengals’ all-white outfits be known as the Siegfried & Roys.

    The Giants’ end zone yesterday was their end zone for Supper Bowl XXI so it was a throwback.

    The Giants field was meant to replicate the field from Super Bowl XXI. I agree that it would have been a nice touch to mix in the old midfield Meadowlands logo, which was gloriously ugly.

    Had the same Siegfried and Roy association when they painted the field in black and white logos last week. The Bengals should actually play in Las Vegas in this S&R outfit instead of the Raiders (who should have stayed in Oakland or should have moved to San Antonio but that point is completely moot).

    Hoera voor Kio Kieft, Thomas Odukoya en Corliss Waiyman repping the Netherlands and Suriname! I used to work for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe and we had flags on helmets of non American players as well. Even flag patches on jerseys I think. Hey, but who is the Suriname player on the Packers in the pic? He is not on the list. Or is it the previous/current team of Corliss and is the list not up to date?

    Not a Spurs fan but their stadium is so impressive. I watched Spurs beat Leicester City 3 weeks ago and it is an amazing place. Must see for stadium fans, as much as Craven Cottage (which is totally the opposite of modern but also impressive). This time lapse video is great, but being there for a game is an experience.

    I actually had to click through to the post to see who the team in the feature image was. My first thought was Grambling, but why on Monday morning, and why so many white guys? What a horrible uniform.

    My first thought seeing those Commanders mono-black unis was, “That looks like a prison team.” My second thought was, “This is garbage.”

    That’s funny because my son likes to refer to the Falcons (when they go mono-black) as the “Mean Machine”.

    Too me, it was way over designed.

    I mean, there was an element on all side of the jersey and helmet.

    One or two of them, you can get away with it. But the “use it or lose it” approach with design elements just really doesn’t work.

    I was totally surprised to see the under and over line on the commies NOBs. I’m sure it’s been revealed before but I didn’t take note. This team got jerseys befitting the franchise. Clown costumes.

    As an Eagles fan, I definitely enjoyed seeing those teal pants on the Jags yesterday. Real nice look.

    Fellow Eagles fan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how different the teal and midnight green looked. It seems to me that Nike has allowed midnight green to drift away from green toward teal but when paired against actual teal, there was a visible difference.

    Were some letters in the NOB font updated on the Giants legacy jerseys, after people had pointed out some letters were inaccurate? Didn’t watch much of the game but the difference in font came to mind after reading it in the Bulletin article some time ago.

    Oh wow, I forgot about that — thanks for the reminder!

    The letter in question was “M.” Unfortunately, it appears that they did not fix it. Here’s a comparison — original on the left, throwback on the right:

    Amazing that I pointed that out on July 20 and they could not fix it in time. Not everyone has an M in their name either…or did they not bother to try?

    Just a hunch, but I suspect it had to do with not wanting a mismatch between retail (which was already set in motion, too late to change it) and on-field.

    Good point…The wrong M actually looks better to me aesthetically. Wonder if that came into play, but of course the aim here was accuracy.

    Supply chain issues. All the Ms are stuck in a shipping container in the Port of Los Angeles.

    How good would those Saints helmets look paired with actual gold pants and black/gold striped socks? Among all of Nike’s many sartorial crimes, eliminating metallic pants is as bad as any. Even the Raiders and Cowboys would look so much better if they had the old metallic sheen on their pants.

    Raiders and Cowboys still wear what you call metallic pants, I like to call them shiny pants. The only 2 teams that still wear them I believe. I cant post photos, on work computers so images are blocked. (to clarify referring to Cowboys’ blue pants only, not sure about the other ones)

    Does anybody else get the idea that Daniel Snyder decided to troll the NFL by giving the team the dorkiest possible name and uniforms as revenge for him being pretty much forced to change from the R**skins?

    Dan Snyder might – MIGHT – be that intelligent; definitely that petty and small-minded. Really, I can’t tell if he’s dumb as a bag of hammers, or just evil personified.

    It’s easy to name-call Snyder (personally, I go with gutless)…but after seeing what was rolled out for the re-brand, tasteless comes to mind.
    Assuming he doesn’t sell, I still hold out hope that his whole Commanders disaster will go away and they’ll re-brand again once a stadium deal is reached and the team moves to NoVa (I doubt they’ll be going back to DC).

    Ditto. I just wished he or the organization could’ve come up with something that still would have still allowed them to pay homage to their past uniform history. Logo and team name for those offended aside, Washington always had some of the best looking unis in the NFL.

    That’s exactly the thought I had. He’s petty enough to do it. Force me to change the team name? Well here’s some real generic garbage for you.

    It helps a lot to be in a league where you make about the same amount of money no matter whether you’re popular or not because of all the revenue sharing.

    Not that I’m against that – up to now most owners have had enough self-respect not to take that to its logical extreme, and the NFL also makes it a lot easier to dig your team out of the gutter than some other pro sports.

    Certainly not an impossibility.
    I certainly believe that he trolled the NFL by going TWO WHOLE YEARS with the Washington Football Club identity, with no logo or anything really, and then after the huge build up and wait for an identity launch, “The Commanders” and particularly Meh set of uniforms and icons.
    Or, he could be as dumb as many say that he is. Who knows?
    What we DO KNOW, is that he most definitely gets a full 1/32 of that NFL TV Money.
    No matter how dumb he really is.

    Two mono-purple teams seemed very unusual, so I checked – This is just the second time that both the Vikings and Ravens went mono-purple in the same week (Week 16, 2020) BUT yesterday was the first time we’ve had two mono-purple teams on the same day (Vikings played on a Friday Christmas Day in 2020).

    As a 50-year Washington fan, and the father of several 30-somethings, we walked long and hard about the mono-black Commanders uni’s. Consensus: not bad at all and definitely different than other teams in a good way (especially if you put aside the dislike for Snyder), plus a decent conveyance of the military theme. Better than the home whites—no question.

    The problem is the lack of commitment. Are they the burgundy team that tries to preserve a scrap of the old identity, a black team that looks like a reasonable new expansion team, or a red team that I don’t get at all?

    You’re right on the money—no question the uniform mix is confusing and disjointed. I would have been most happy with the burgundy jerseys, gold pants, and burgundy helmet with the new “W” (or some version of for the home and away) with the BFBS uni’s as a heckuva alternative. No other variables. No differences between home and away (like weird trendy fonts, etc) besides the colors of the jersey and pant combo. No other team would have those combos.

    Seeing Washington’s new alts reminded me of Pittsburgh’s mono-black unis but with their current number font and not italicized.

    Most will forget week 4 NFL action by next week, but seeing great live music is food for the soul; no brainer on missing sports for music, plus it also kept you away from watching the Mets, so double whammy!!

    I did watch the first half of the Giants/Bears game before scooting off to see Peter Stampfel. But yeah, my feeling has always been that if I’m living in NYC, with all it has to offer (and the high price of living here), it doesn’t make much sense to sit on my ass watching teevee when I can be out and about seeing/doing stuff.

    Of course, I still *do* sit on my ass watching sports quite a bit. But I try not to let it be the default.

    The way that the Packers are applying the other country flag stickers in relation to the US flag is incorrect, according to the flag code. The US flag should always be to the viewers left and any other flags should be to the right of the US flag (or below, in the case of the Steelers).

    The easy answer is not to apply any flag stickers at all but of course that is not going to happen.

    The even easier answer is to remember that the flag code is simply a suggested set of etiquette guidelines — no more, no less. (Also in the flag code: Don’t ever wear the flag on a sports uniform.)

    I always laugh when I hear flag code cited to private citizens “doing it wrong”.
    Though it was always my understanding that flag code was in fact law, however there were no penalties for breaking the flag code. Are etiquette guidelines and laws with no consequences for enforcement the same? Can’t even really think of any other laws that don’t have an enforcement mechanism.

    As a veteran, I can tell you for a fact that it is most strenuously enforced on military bases. I mostly like to point it out to “patriots” when they get it wrong. I can understand if civilians don’t know or care.

    There’s no enforcement mechanism because any such enforcement would obviously run afoul of the First Amendment.

    In practical terms, the Flag Code is no different that “Hold the door for a woman” or “Don’t wear white after Labor Day.” The military can enforce it if they like, just like they enforce all sorts of other things that don’t apply to private civilians. But it has exactly zero bearing on how (or whether) decals are placed on a football helmet.

    I was interested to find the Flag Code *is* a law, though there is no enforcement mechanism.

    U.S. Flag Code is officially written in law and appears in Title 4 and Title 36 of U.S. Code. It was written and approved by Congress and is officially a law. But, unlike many other laws, there are no federal punishments or enforcement for citizens who don’t follow the code.

    I knew it wasn’t enforced, therefore I thought it was classified as something different than a “law”, guess not!


    I never said anything about enforcing it. I simply pointed out the Packers were doing it wrong. My point is the NFL, which is extremely nationalistic, doesn’t bother to make an effort to even follow etiquette. To my military mind, if you’re not going to do it right, then take it off the uniform.

    Paul — I spotted you and your partner at the Pavement show last night. No joke: it occurred to me as I entered the venue that a Pavement show at the King’s Theater carries an approximately 70% chance of a Paul Lukas sighting.

    Honestly, it was a 0% chance until Gordon generously provided me with those tix. Shows at Kings Theatre are out of my price range! Anyway, good to know that another Uni Watch reader was there. Hope you enjoyed, and feel free to say hi if you spot me again!

    With the white helmet and the blood clot unis, the Cardinals look like an outbreak of giant pimples. The NFL’s version of the Zit Look.

    Loved the Giants throwbacks. I am all for going back to that look instead of the muddied current modern throwback they’ve put together. The Super Bowl XXI end zones were a good touch as well. But man those Washington uniforms are hideous. They need to add piping to all of their pants sets for starters. I guess they were going for a pseudo military look on the back but yikes. Given ownership’s reputation however is anyone surprised these are a disaster?!?!? The Saints black helmet with the color rush uniform is an outstanding set that would make a magnificent contrast to the 49ers home uniform or the Dolphins throwbacks.

    I like the Giants 1980-99 throwback set a lot. My wish (although I’m skeptical it will happen any time soon) is that one day they dust off the 1975 one-year set with the super wide pants stripe and “disco” NY helmet logo. That set – especially with the white jerseys and royal blue pants – was killer. Unfortunately it reflected a nadir in the team’s history, so for that single reason there would be a lot of pushback against it.

    Anyone know what the story is behind these new facemasks that don’t wrap up to the top of the opening on the helmet? Here’s a good shot of how it looks on Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.


    I was surprised the Panthers didn’t put the throwback logo on the helmet. I know if wouldn’t have matched their sleeve logo, but it’s the least they could have done to match the field.
    Or did the wacky NFL rules prevent them from doing that?

    On Bill Simmons weekly podcast with Cousin Sal that’s recorded on Sunday nights, they briefly discussed teams wearing new alternate unis, particularly the Commanders. Sal, half-jokingly I presume, said since the point of these jerseys is to make money selling them as merchandise, they should instead ask fans who want them to stick to their normal uniforms to pay like $25. He said he’d personally pay to keep teams from wearing such alternates. He particularly didn’t like that Washington wore them in a rivalry game against the Cowboys.
    I thought it was an interesting idea, even if not completely serious or feasible. I personally don’t like most alternates but wouldn’t pay such a fee because I ultimately don’t want to give money to the NFL just for not being terrible. But it does highlight the fact that in a sense the NFL is already making money from one set of fans by “punishing” those of us who think most of these gimmick jerseys are an eyesore.

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