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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend, as I did.

Now then: You’ve heard of Black Friday? It was Black Sunday throughout much of the NFL yesterday. Let’s start in Philadelphia, where the Eagles went mono-black, complete with the on-field debut of their new black alternate helmet. Such a shame, because this would have been a gorgeous game if Philly had worn their standard green-over-white combo. Lots of additional photos here and here.

In other news from around the league on Black Sunday:

  • The Jets also wore their mono-black alternates (and still have not worn their green jerseys at all this season):
  • The Commies were yet another team wearing their new black alternates. They also wore a rear-helmet “21” memorial decal for Sean Taylor because yesterday was the 15th anniversary of his death (plus they unveiled a bizarre memorial “statue” for him, which is so bad that I had to give it its own post):
  • In that same game, the Falcons went white over white, creating a black-vs.-white matchup:
  • The Browns, thankfully, don’t have a black alternate uni, so they couldn’t go mono-black. But they did go mono-turd:
  • In that same game, as a G.I. Joevember move, the Browns dressed their Brownie the Elf midfield-logo character in digital camouflage:
  • In that last photo, you can see that there were some tire marks on Cleveland’s field. That’s from a vandalism incident that took place last week. Here’s a broader view of the marks:
  • In a weird chromatic coincidence, two games — KC/Rams and Cardinals/Chargers — both featured the same color matchup: red over white vs. white over yellow.
  • Speaking of color matchups,  when was the last time we had a purple-pants team against a turquoise-pants team? That’s what the Ravens/Jags game gave us:
  • The Titans wore their light-blue alternate jerseys:
  • Only one home team wore white: the Dolphins.

Looking ahead to tonight, the Steelers will be in Indy, where the Colts plan to wear their throwbacks.


Broncos, AMA Reminders

In case you missed it last week, here are two reminders for you:

  • First, I’m now taking entries for our latest design challenge, which is to redesign the Denver Broncos. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 2. Full details here.
  • Also, my next quarterly installment of “Ask Me Anything” — the bit where you can ask me anything about uniforms, sports, myself, or anything else, and I do my best to answer — will be coming up next month on Substack. If you’d like to submit a question, feel free to email it here. (Please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address.) One question per person, please. I look forward to seeing your queries!

 

An Annual Ritual

Per longstanding tradition, on the day after Thanksgiving I hung the plastic mistletoe that I bought for $2.99 at the now-defunct Woolworth’s at Herald Square in 1993. As usual, it will remain in place through the 12th day of Christmas. Faux ’toe remains the best purchase ever — let the Yuletide necking commence!

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Comments (37)

    I really like the Jags in the black over teal combo.

    I usually like whatever the Browns wear, except the Color Rash. The uniforms are so plain. The Browns already have no logos on the uniform/helmets and the Color Rash has no stripes to go with that.

    Can’t believe I would ever beg to see the Jets in green over white because that should be a normal thing. I am begging to see it now.

    I was surprised how good the Ravens/Jags tilt looked, and in a non-traditional way.
    I know it won’t happen but the Browns’ color rash jersey would look good with the orange britches.

    How long until all these team going mono-black devalue the appeal of doing that? I’m fine with the Cardinals and Jaguars doing it time from time, and I think the Ravens look great in all black, but I can barely recognize any other team when I’m flipping channels or watching highlights when they go all black.

    “How long until all these team going mono-black devalue the appeal of doing that?”

    Unless and until the retail market for black jerseys dries up, the answer is probably “never.” The generation of players wearing BFBS (or just black, if that’s a team color) was brought up right when getting an alt black jersey/uni was “cool” and the fans who have disposable income have never stopped buying them. Unless and until the next generation (demographic) decides BFBS is “what their fathers wore” it’ll remain popular. The NFL (or any league) isn’t going to scrap a uni gimmick that literally prints money for them.

    The Lakers recently had a “fan vote” for the Lakers’ best jersey from throughout the history of the franchise and the greatest Lakers jersey of all time voted by the fans was the Black Mamba City Edition jersey from 2019-2020. I bet a lot of that vote comes from emotions of Kobe passing away, but I still think this shows what you’re describing, Phil.

    The younger generation loves black uniforms (I’ve coached for 12 years and our teams colors are red black and white.. the all black uniforms always get the most love from our players and just in general, I’ve noticed other teams adopting black). A lot of people also wear black daily, so I guess it also is easier to match/wear a black jersey to their wardrobe. I personally like all black with certain colors but I can also say some of the bfbs can be confusing at first glance if that team doesn’t have black as a team color. Would love for the panthers to go with all black/Carolina blue and drop the silver.

    Being in attendance for the Eagles/Packers game last night I can report you really cannot tell the difference between the “green” and black helmets worn with with the black jersey/pants.

    I can also confirm that watching the broadcast on TV you can’t tell a difference either. On close ups, the helmet even looked to be more charcoal than black. Overall the helmet was just bad. It almost had the greyscale effect that Eastern Michigan’s field has. The Eagles all black uniform, as bad as it is, at least has green trim. The helmet had no color at all. If anything, they should have had some green in the wings.

    I still think the Eagles are on their way to a 2024 rebrand with all new uniforms. No excuse for the owner who pushed the 2 helmet rule just to wear Kelly Green to miss the deadline to wear them. Then they announce new wordmark that doesn’t match anything else within the team brand AND that it won’t appear on the uniform until 2024…not even 2023. It’s wishful thinking on my end but I just have a hunch. Hopefully I’m not wrong about it.

    Based on the wordmark, and the long refusal to listen to fans desire to bring back kelly green (aside from the occasional throwback), I have a feeling any Eagles rebrand is going to be more Rams/Jets/Falcons than something tasteful that would hold up for a few decades.
    They would look great by simply recoloring their current template to kelly green and silver, and possibly going back to block font numerals.
    Given that won’t happen, I’d rather they just stick with the current uniform, which is good looking in spite of the drab midnight green, than have some new Nike designed nonsense.

    My biggest fear is what you mentioned. The Eagles uniform isn’t BAD by any means, the colors are just so blah. I do think Jeff Lurie really listens to the fans and the fans have been very vocal on not just wanting Kelly Green but wanting the 90s era a la Randall Cunningham. At least that’s how I’ve been reading the situation. With Nike you never know though and that’s the scary thing. Best case scenario, they do what Tampa Bay did and just resurrect a past uniform (even though Tampa Bay should have gone creamsicle). Worst case scenario is they go Rams/Falcons/Titans and while thinking they do the right thing actually create a disaster. Like you said, they need to make a uniform that lasts for decades, not just a current fad.

    I’ve been working on a little side project for a while now tracking how many alts/throwbacks are worn each week, and I think this week had the most in 18 years and tied for 3rd most ever! Week 12 of 2004 also featured 10 alternate unis.
    In case you’re curious, the crown of most alts/throwbacks belongs to Week 3 of 1994 wherein 24 teams wore some degree of throwback.

    If you really want BFBS to flourish, the disapproval of a group of old fuddy-duddies like myself is a great way to start.

    He says exactly what I’ve been saying. With TV’s now and the way that color pops off the screen, having all of these all black uniforms is silly. The original AFL would look incredible with today’s TV technology. So many teams would look incredible in their traditional colors. Glad to see the Seahawks announced a 90s throwback. The royal/green/silver should look great…and be their fulltime look.

    What was up with the field turf (or whatever the hell they call it) at Seattle’s Lumen Field yesterday? It looked grey to me. Maybe a hint of badly faded green but mostly a hideous grey. At first I thought it was my set but I switched devices a few times and on all of them it looked like I was watching the game in B&W. It’s a relatively new surface, I believe. Installed just a few years ago. And already it looks like crap. Unless that’s what they were going for, to which I’ll tip my cap and say Congratulations on a job terribly done.

    I agree it looked gray. The contrast when flipping back and forth with the Rams-Chiefs was striking. Much greener field in KC, and more colorful team uniforms.

    I agree with the perception of the field turf at Lumen Field. I too was wondering if there was something wrong or what it could be to cause that visual uncertainty and hoped someone would bring it up in the comments and that it just wasn’t me. Maybe just a lot of rain discoloring it over the few years it’s been in place ? A cloudy day not giving it some proper sunlight to enhance the color ? The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was the bad lighting and turf in St. Louis’ dome, the games always looked bad there.

    I’ve never seen a field look that grey before. It reminded me of the Nets floor at the Barclay Center, which really is grey. I don’t like that floor and I absolutely hated the visual of the Seattle game. It was really off-putting and distracting. Boise State’s blue field is better, which is really saying something.

    You’re not alone…I too was wondering what was up with that game. Between the grayish field, the Raiders silver and black (and white), and the darkness of the Seahawks mono-blue, it really did look like I was watching a black & white TV, especially when compared to the other games on Red Zone. The whole thing had a washed-out feel.

    Ugh. So many bad looking matchups this week. Either not enough contrast, or extreme black vs. white contrast.
    – Detroit mono-gray
    – Too much white in Giants-Cowboys, with Giants wearing white shirts and pants, and Dallas wearing white helmets, shoulder yokes, and pants. Giants should have worn gray pants.
    – Vikings mono-purple, plus white only on the helmet horns, but no white on the shirts or pants. Purple pants vs. Patriots navy blue pants.
    – Commanders all black, Falcons all white, both teams in black helmets
    – Jets in all black. Bad enough, but why do it against Bears with dark navy helmets and pants?
    – Broncos and Panthers both wearing white pants. Panthers should have worn silver pants.
    – Texans and Dolphins both wearing white pants. Dolphins should have worn teal pants.
    – Browns in mono-brown. Brown pants vs. Bucs pewter pants.
    – Ravens vs. Jaguars looked strange.
    – Cardinals always look bad.
    – Not a huge fan of the Seahawks uniforms. Grayish field plus the Raiders silver and Seahawks monochrome uniforms led to a dull look for this game.
    – I don’t really mind this one, but another example of low contrast was Saints and 49ers both wearing gold helmets and gold pants.
    – Eagles in all black.
    – Colts will have weird helmets with the horseshoes on the back instead of the sides. I know it’s a throwback, but it looks stupid.

    Rams-Chiefs was easily the best-looking game of the week. Maybe the only good-looking game. Which is saying something considering the Rams have a strange uniform set with their name tag on chest and segmented helmet horns.

    Bengals/Titans was bad though. The only orange in the Bengals all white uniform is the orange number trim. The helmet no longer matches that uniform and sticks out like sore thumb. If the tiger stripes had orange borders it would improve that look tremendously.

    None of the Titans looks are good. Everything from their helmet to their socks looks bad. The horrible pants “stripe”, the shoulder blade yoke thing and so on. What a trash uniform.

    The “armpit stripes” on the Titans jerseys are really bad. The pants stripes are awful as well. While they may have looked good on paper, they really look out of place on the field.

    Does anyone know why Laurie of the Eagles was so adamant of changing the color to Midnight Green? Especially if someone has a link to his words.
    My opinion, I don’t like BFBS, but I have to admit the Eagles black lid looked better than the Midnight Green when paired with the black unis. Really don’t want to see either Midnight/Black/Black or Mono Black again. Kelly Green/Kelly Green/Silver should be the main uni with Midnight Green/White (or reverse) as alternate.

    From all accounts, she was a disaster for the team (and her husband). If anyone cares to read about her relationship with her husband, and her effect on the team (especially in the early days, just after they bought the team), this is a good read. It’s from 2010 (when they were still married): link

    Key quote (of many):

    “”It’s been an interesting road. It’s been a really exciting road, but it’s been an interesting road. We both learned a lot on site.”Like how Philadelphians love their hoagies. And how they loved kelly green. Not that that mattered.

    “When we bought the team, Jeffrey and I were like, ‘We can’t live with the kelly green color.’ ”

    So they changed it, crushing a fan base that identified the team with the color. It was an early example that the Luries didn’t get Philadelphia.”

    …and they’re long divorced. I would think that the new Mrs Lurie would have agitated for dumping the midnight green shortly after the honeymoon. My wife would not be cool with me keeping around stuff from the first wife.

    I believe Lurie’s ex-wife still hold some ownership of the team via the divorce. Additionally, I think Lurie probably sees the midnight green look as his version of the team. Finally winning a Superbowl in with these colors also probably cements this in Lurie’s mind. Unfortunately, short of something drastically changing I don’t see them going back to kelly green full time. At most I could see them adding in kelly green as an accent color to the midnight green, which would be an interesting look if done right.

    It seems like it was also just part of a general trend of the era to use darker shades of colors generally.

    It was when BFBS was at its trendiest. A lot of teams that didn’t go wholly or even partly BFBS (the Eagles did incorporate black) still went darker with their colors around that time. I think it was a mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s reaction to the bright tones that dominated the 70s and 80s; earthy ones in the 70s and plasticky, bright Lego-like colors in the early and mid-80s. A lot of royal blues gave way to navy blues. Teams that wore athletic gold/yellow dipped toward a Vegas or old gold. And so on. You can come up with umpteen examples across all of sports of teams that generally darkened their color schemes at least a few shades in that era. Among the ones I can pull from a quick glance at logos of 1995: The White Sox, Reds, Astros, Royals, Brewers, Mets, Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Mariners, Blue Jays, Arizona Cardinals, Broncos, Lions, Oilers/Titans, Patriots, Eagles, Niners, Seahawks, Rams, Buccaneers, Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons (kinda), Warriors, Rockets, Bucks, 76ers (their black ‘Sixers’ overhaul), Suns and Kings.

    Maybe it’s just my age and my preference for doing things at night when things are darker, but I liked it. I think dark colors convey a greater sense of seriousness and permanence. I didn’t care for BFBS, per se, but I prefer navy and old gold to royal and yellow, particularly if the old gold has some sheen to it. The Brewers’ hats and pants piping, for instance, actually used thread that was kind of shiny. It was darker, but it still reflected light. I thought that was cool.

    I also think this is the sort of thing that will probably be cyclical. Watch — the Eagles will go back to kelly green and, in 15 years, fans will want midnight green back. Stuff just goes in circles.

    Wish the Colts would stick with these jerseys/socks! So much better than the truncated UCLA stripes they have today!

    Well, Jaguars-Ravens looked refreshingly nice but the winner was KC against the Rams. I think it was the worst looking weekend of the season so far with all that practice garb in BFBS being worn as official uniforms. But it is a generation thing, this penchant for BFBS.

    I’m biased as an Eagles fan, but I kinda liked their all-black look. Probably because it’s a relief to see them actually wear a black helmet to complement the look…

    the browns need the stripes on the jersey and the pants…..the all brown is so dull. just curious, have the titans ever gone all light blue alternate jerseys and light blue pants?

    Was it because it was a night game? But, I really couldn’t tell much difference in the Eagles black helmets vs their midnight green ones.

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