Tired of seeing annoying ads (like this one!) on Uni Watch? There’s a simple solution: Join Uni Watch Plus. You’ll get an ad-free site experience, plus exclusive access to our UW+ discussion forums, push notifications whenever a new blog post has been published, a special UW+ badge accompanying all your comments on the blog, and a 20% discount on our Teespring merchandise.
Good morning, and happy Halloween! Hope everyone had a good weekend, as I did.
Now then: We had a very uni-notable day in the NFL yesterday, beginning with the Bears and Cowboys going color vs. color in Dallas. I didn’t love the way this looked on the field — I felt like the colors clashed and vibrated more than they complemented each other — but there was something very Halloween about it, especially with the Bears wearing their orange alternates, so I’d say it was okay from a seasonal/holiday standpoint. You can see lots of additional photos here, here, and here. And for more thoughts on NFL color/color, check out Phil’s post from Saturday.
In other news from around the league yesterday:
The Broncos went ahead and wore their idiotic white/navy combo for the first time in team history, complete with the mismatched side panels. Unfortunately, they won, so we may have to see this combo again (additional info here; additional photos here):
The Jets debuted their new black helmets, which looked ridiculous, and also added black end zones (additional pics here):
The Lions wore their mono-grey alternates, which is probably my least favorite uni combo in the entire league:
The Bills ruined what could have been a beautiful game by going full Smurf:
Eagles center Jason Kelce had some Halloween fun, wearing a Batman mask on the sidelines and then exhibiting some cross-sport support by dressing up in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform for his postgame interview:
(My thanks to Michael Hochman and L.J. Sparvero for their contributions to this section.)
ITEM! Uni Watch on the Air
Longtime Uni Watch reader Trevor “Teebz” Alexander, who runs the Hockey Blog in Canada site, also has a radio broadcast called The Hockey Show. He had me on as a guest a few days ago, and we talked about Reverse Retro, the NHL’s post-Adidas future, and more.
Uni Watch reader Rich Meyer plays bass in a band called Ghost of Past Mistakes. The other night they were part of a Halloween-themed bill in which each band dressed up as a particular music act and played a full set of their music. Rich and his band decided to play as Ghost of Todd Rundgren, and Rich went the extra mile by DIYing himself a set of Rundgren’s mid-1970s “Cosmic Cowboy Chaps.” I also like his “Me” name tag — a reference to Rundgren’s 1973 hit “Hello It’s Me.”
“To make the chaps, I used a system of foam paper connected by double-sided Velcro tape,” says Rich. “Each leg had three panels, and the eyes were hand-drawn with pencil sketches, paint markers, and Sharpies. I wore the chaps via a belt made of shoelaces, which went around my waist.”
Not quite a uniform, but certainly uni-adjacent. Nicely done, Rich!
A Special Anniversary
It was 35 years ago today — Oct. 31, 1987 — that I attended the Halloween Parade in Manhattan for the first time. While I was there, someone gave me a quarter with a hole drilled in it, which I put on my key ring. After I told that story a few times here on Uni Watch, reader Jeff Barak suggested that I do a project about the special objects that other people keep on their own key rings. That was the genesis of Key Ring Chronicles, which I edited and curated for four-plus years on the McSweeney’s website.
I still have the “emergency quarter” on my key ring, just in case I ever need it.
And Speaking of Important Dates...
Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin turned 17-and-a-half yesterday. I don’t usually celebrate half-birthdays, but I’m doing it for her this year because she’s reached the age where the half-year mark seems notable, plus she’s had a few health issues lately and is finally starting to slow down a bit after a lifetime of seemingly endless kittenhood.
That said, she’s still a bundle of happiness, the World’s Greatest Purring Machine™, and a daily joy in my life. I hope we have lots more half-years together. Happy 17.5, Caitlin!
Jerry Lee Lewis, 1935-2022
Jerry Lee Lewis died on Friday at 87 — a surprisingly advanced age considering the life he led. He was, by all credible accounts, a megalomaniac, a borderline psychopath, a wives-beater, a tax delinquent, a bigamist, a child abuser, and one of the greatest and most important American artists of the 20th century. The odd dualities of his existence are captured nicely in this excellent obit — highly recommended.
Lewis gets lots of well-deserved credit as a virtuoso pianist, but I appreciated him even more as a vocalist. Like a lot of singers who had little formal education, he had a supremely naturalistic style, easily sliding up and down the vocal scale and finding little microtones here, little nuances there. I never get tired of listening to him sing, even on his middling material (and he cut a lot of middling material in the latter stages of his career).
I never saw Lewis. I certainly had plenty of opportunities — when I moved to NYC in 1987, he was still touring through the city every year or two, as were Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Fats Domino. But although I loved all of those guys’ music, and still do, I decided I didn’t want to see them going through the motions on the oldies circuit (Berry, in particular, was notorious for giving uneven performances while backed by hastily assembled local pickup bands). I now regret this a bit, especially for Lewis, because I’ve been told in recent years that he still gave his all onstage, maybe because his narcissism wouldn’t allow him to do anything less.
As for all his well-documented personal problems, I always got the distinct impression that Jerry Lee was a profoundly unhappy person inside, and that all the misery he caused other people was a reflection of the pain he felt in his own life. I’m glad that pain is over now. R.I.P.
What Paul Did Last Night on Saturday and Sunday
One of my favorite things about Halloween weekend in New York is Bike Kill, an annual event in which lots of artists, punks, bicycle activists, anarchists, radical queers, and other freaks (as well as comparatively normcore but freak-friendly people like myself) gather on a dead-end Brooklyn street and ride custom-made mutant bicycles. Most of the participants wear Halloween costumes, which adds to the spectacle. Sometimes I ride a few of the bikes, but this year I just enjoyed the show.
My favorite bike this year was this amazing bicycle sofa:
Bike Kill always makes me happy. So much creativity! The best thing is seeing the people who bring their children — I can only imagine how amazing Bike Kill must seem to a kid, like being in the middle of a circus! Plus it plants the seed of art and adventure in young minds, which is a good thing. You can see a few dozen photos I took here.
Speaking of creativity, I went to a friend’s house for a party yesterday afternoon, and one of the other attendees did a great job with the Halloween-themed snacks: