Good morning! If your favorite NFL team punched its ticket to the postseason yesterday, congrats! If they were eliminated, please accept my condolences.
As you’d expect, the league was awash in Damar Hamlin tributes yesterday, the most obvious of which was the “3” patch being worn by the Bills. (As an aside, I heard some grumbling in various quarters about a patch being worn for a living/active player, but that’s actually not so unusual. I ran down several examples in this 2014 ESPN piece, and there have been a few others since then.)
Here are some of yesterday’s other salutes to Hamlin:
- Bills sideline personnel wore “3” caps and pins:
- Home teams had the option of outlining the “3” on the 30-yard line markers in either royal blue or red. For the weekend’s full slate of games, 12 teams used blue (Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Las Vegas [on Saturday], Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington), while four used red (Denver, Indianapolis, Jacksonville [on Saturday], and San Francisco).
- Players around the league warmed up in “Love for Damar” pregame T-shirts — blue for the Bills, black for everyone else:
- The black T-shirt design also appeared on a hoodie that some coaches wore on the sidelines during their games:
Meanwhile, in non-Hamlin-related news from around the league yesterday:
- For the first time in 37 seasons, the Saints paired their black jerseys with white pants. They wore that combo quite a bit from 1975 through 1985, but the white pants during that period had side striping, while the pants they wore yesterday were just plain white, which looked really bad:
- The Bears went mono-navy — with inconsistent socks:
- In that same game, reader Jonathan Safron, who wrote about his game photography for us last Friday, got these shots of the Vikings’ sideline:
- The Eagles went mono-black, including their new black alternate helmet:
- The Dolphins went aqua over aqua:
- As you can see in that last photo, the Jets went white over black. That means they managed to go the entire regular season without wearing their once-standard combo of green jerseys with white pants. In the end, Gang Green wore their green pants just twice this season, and their green jerseys just once.
- I loved the look of the Browns/Steelers game. The colors complemented each other really, really well (lots of photos here):
escapes the pocket and improvs for 6
📺: #CLEvsPIT on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/GiSFjkTR63
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 8, 2023
- Speaking of the Steelers, running back Derek Watt and lineacker T.J. Watt wore jerseys to salute their brother, Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who played his final NFL game yesterday. But their jerseys didn’t have J.J.’s usual captaincy patch or Walter Payton Man of the Year patch:
- Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis wore faux Chuck Taylors:
- Just one home team wore white: the Commies.
And that’s a wrap for the regular season. Next up: Wild Card weekend.
(My thanks to John Turney and our own Jerry Wolper for their contributions to this section.)
Curious what the red appliance in the helmet hole is for.
Granted I haven’t played football since 1999 (and that was high school football), but I believe that pumps air into the helmet to give a tighter fit. Or at least that is how it worked 20+ years ago. Not sure if the new helmets even use air anymore.
The mono aqua for the Dolphins is just not a good look. Aqua jersey over white pants should be the combo. I certainly prefer the traditional white pants with the white jersey as well but I do admit that the aqua pants work with the white jersey.
Meanwhile, how can the Jets go an entire season wearing their green jersey only once?!? That’s just so… wrong.
Pairing the aqua socks/hose with the mono-aqua unis is what really turns me off. When Miami first went mono-aqua back in 2002, it didn’t look as bad because they wore white with aqua/orange striped socks.
More disappointing than Miami going mono-aqua yesterday was the fact that they only wore their throwbacks once this season.
OMG why can’t the Saints just wear their gold pants with their black shirts? It’s one of the best unis in the league!
I agree they should stick to the gold pants with the black jersey and not do the mono black look, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them try white pants with stripes down the side once or twice instead of the plain black pants.
Totally agree. This would work.
Dear Saints brass:
It’s not that difficult.
Ghost of Sam
The link has some great photos! Thank you, sir.
I browsed some Saints blogs and apparently Saints fans dislike the beige (“gold”) pants. Can’t do shiny pants anymore, so Saints fans (at least the ones who blog and comment) would rather have them stick to white or black
I was at the Saints/Panthers game at the Superdome (my birthday!) and couldn’t see the outlined 3 from the top row, visitor’s side, near the 50. I took a zoomed in photo and then zoomed in on that, still couldn’t see it. Maybe they only did it on the Saints side for the TV cameras? An investigation must ensue?
Different font on the hat, but I wonder what Chance the Rapper’s legal team must be thinking these days … -C.
Hopefully they’re telling him to ditch to new flavor and start MC-ing for real. The Ol’ Boom Bap.
The old-timey basketball uniform in Uni Watch colors is from Richland High School in Richland Washington. The Bombers were known at the time they used these unis as Columbia High. The team mascot has made news as the Bombers in past years. Richland is part of the Hanford Project which was a key part of the Manhattan Project in WWII. The school adopted the name Bombers after adopting a B-29 “Payday” during a War Bond drive.
The Richland Bombers also use a mushroom cloud logo, which has survived numerous attempts to eliminate it over the years, as the decision has been left up to the students. My disgust with that has nothing to do with losing the football state championship by one point to them 41 years ago, in uniforms that were replicas of the Packers, creating a very Lukas matchup.
Bad link to the photo of the Colts field.
THanks — fixed. Here’s the proper link so you don’t have to scroll back up:
Have serious concerns about the upcoming NFL Wild Card games. My serious concerns are the Bills will wear blue over blue and the Jaguars will wear teal over teal.
I’m not concerned about the Bills. I’ve grown to like white/blue/blue on them. Why? Proper pants striping.
I think the Jags’ teal pants and the Ravens’ black pants are my only exceptions to the “Wear proper pants stripes!” rule.
So glad the Saints didn’t make the playoffs. With their generic black or white pants, they look more like a MAC team than an NFL team. The 75-85 gold/black/white was SO much better than what they wore yesterday.
I just wish the Bills blue pants had the same striping as the blue jersey. White on the inside with red outline.
Given that the Saints previewed white socks with the white pants, the black socks they actually wore helped to make the white pants a little less awful. Still nowhere near as good as if they’d had pants striping, but not as bad as the Lions’ mono-white.
Bad look for the Lions last night, whose white pants lack any team identifier. Say what you want about the Jets, Eagles, and Browns, at least their different trouser colors are linked by a common striping pattern.
I agree that the Lions’ stripeless white pants looked bad but did the helmet and jerseys not Identify them?
Thank God the NFL season is over. My eyes couldn’t handle another Sunday of hideous uniforms. Absolutely brutal. That’s it, no more monos. No more sleeveless jerseys. No more biking shorts or yoga pants. Consistent socks are mandatory. No more BFBS. Eagles go back to kelly green. Stop following the NBA and its endless (and too often ugly) uniforms.
This isn’t complicated. Take a look at what NFL teams looked like in the 60’s and 70’s and mirror that.
Again, I say …
Ganz for Commish!!!!!
… and don’t forget to stay off the lawn as you proceed!
Seriously, you make great points. Unfortunately, the choir is your only audience.
Let’s hope teams avoid the mono look for the playoffs
Haha. I know I’m entering grumpy old man territory, but it’s so irritating to remember how much better NFL (and MLB) uniforms looked and fit in the 70’s. Equally irritating to know the good ol’ days of classic uniforms are gone for good.
No arguments, especially because the majority of the uniform issues involve gear that isn’t sold to or worn by the public.
Make the pants knee-length.
Put some stripes on the pants.
Contrast-color or stripes on the upper sock – or make tights underneath to match appropriately.
Get rid of the contrast-color base layer that looks sloppy and ALWAYS gets torn before the first drive is over.
The league makes too much money and obsesses over minutia like this, you would think they would care that their most visible employees look bad.
From the lede, misspelling of Hamlin: “Here are some of yesterday’s other salutes to Hablin:”
Another case for these teams not going mono (as if it is needed) is how clearly the mismatched stripe patterns demonstrate these pants and jerseys do not belong together.
Bills’ blue jerseys have stripes that are red/white/red while their blue pants have white/red/white stripes.
Bears’ navy jerseys have white/orange/white stripes while their navy pants have orange/white/orange stripes.
Clearly both teams’ designs are not constructed for their dark jerseys to pair with their dark pants.
Admittedly, I am a Bills fan, so please take my comment with that in mind.
The tributes to Damar Hamlin as a living player could just as easily be tributes to him in a poor condition or worse. The fact that he’s okay doesn’t change the fact that we all watched a man die on the field in game. The subsequent process of watching properly performed CPR is traumatic and thousands of people watched it in person. That it looks like he’s okay makes the tribute heartwarming and inspiring, but it could have just as easily been in mourning. I think it was a really hard moment for the NFL and sports in general. We’ve seen accidents and even death before in games. Usually, those horrors are either within the parameters of the risks of the sport (like being cut with a skate in hockey or even being paralyzed from a hit), or a kind of inevitable medical event (Christian Eriksen’s heart attack during the Euros). You can usually sort of have this “well stuff happens” attitude. Even Eriksen, who we knew was okay leaving the pitch, was traumatic though. I don’t think we’ve ever seen the game itself cause that level of horror. A routine hit has potentially caused death. (If it is commotio cordis…they have to rule out any other cause to say that is what it was.)
I can think of no better time for the league to come together like they have rallied around Damar. Visual tributes to him are a way to sort of process the trauma the whole league has gone through- the risks assumed by playing the sport have a greater weight right now.
After all, what is a tribute for? It is a way for someone to show gratitude and respect, have reverence. Right now, yes, we’re out here showing love and support for Damar, medical staff, etc. However, I think more than that, it’s a way for us to show our reverence for life as a whole. What does it mean to watch sports? What does it mean to play them? What’s the purpose of life, even? Maybe it’s not that deep to some people, but to me it is. In two years I’ve seen death twice (Eriksen and Hamlin) on my own tv. I’ve lived through so much loss in my own circle of family and friends in that time. I know people who have died and been resuscitated, and now I have somewhat of an idea what kind of medical effort goes into that process now. When someone has a heart attack and receives CPR, it feels a lot less hypothetical to hear about it now. In theory I’ve known “2 inch chest compressions! break ribs!” with first aid training, but this moment made it hit what that really means, how violent that is, and the reality that it might not work out okay. I can’t imagine I’m the only one thinking this. The Bills locker room, while they played and won yesterday, they’re still not really okay. There was a lot of active choking up in the post game pressers. I can think of no better time to have a tribute to a living player.
Agree with all that you say, very well expressed!
Bills did not wear their throwbacks for the first time since 2004
Great call — hadn’t thought of that!
But yet they did manage to wear their mono-blue (except helmets) superhero costumes EIGHT times. And I’m pretty sure we can expect that look for as long as they have home playoff games as well.
The biggest difference with the Saints, other than the pant stripe, for me, is the lack of the beautiful striped Sox the Saints wore during their 75-85 period.
They’ve completely ruined (both football and baseball) the look that a consistently worn striped sock provides for the entire uniform. Even the Bombers basketball uni, above, has awesome striped sox…
How long will it take for the Commanders to get back to a traditional color uniform after Bezos or whomever buys the team after Snyder is ousted? What’s the NFL uniform rule these days?
Four more years! (You have to ride out a uniform set for minimum five years. here’s hoping they pull a Browns/Bucs and return to normalcy).
’75-85 was an odd stretch for the Saints. No gold pants at all… on the road they wore black pants with their white jersey.
Here’s hoping that Jets never again wear green-over-white…if that will translate to them redesigning their look after next season (year 5 for their current uniforms).
Sack Exchange, anyone?
The Jets were really close to a solid uniform set. But, as usual, most of the modern elements make it look ridiculous. The pointy stripes on the jerseys and pants, the big city wordmark on the chest. All they have to do is put traditional striping on the jersey sleeves and pants, take the NEW YORK off the chest, and maybe add the jet silhouette to the top of the helmet wordmark and you have yourself a solid uniform.
take the NEW YORK off the chest
East Rutherfordians would join me in agreement. ;)
As a Long Islander, I’d be happier to keep the New York on the chest and get the team out of East Rutherford ;) But I have a feeling your way is easier.
I wish New York would rebuild the Polo Grounds for football and bring back at least the Jets.
Sweet Jesus yes!
Jets Uni Things that need to be fixed
2. Either make the BFBS match or preferably kill it
3. Give us an actual logo
All that said would prefer to go back to the Namath Style just with the lighter shade of green, but if that’s off the table either the Sack Exchange or their 90s updates would do nicely.
In checking for the Hamlin outline in the Raider game, I noticed that the Raiders’ yard line markers use basically the same font as their iconic Sand Knit TV numbers, which they have worn consistently for 60 years. Love it! If you like the font, own it.
The Jags make no sense. They look like three different teams like the Commanders.
The only time they represent their team colors is when they go white over teal or teal over white, And even then, there’s way more gold than teal on their helmet.
In regards to what uniform a team wears, who makes that decision? Is it the owner, the GM, the coach, the equipment guy, or the players?
Varies. Marketing dept. often has input as well (e.g., for which games get selected for throwbacks).
I’m trying to think if I complained about any teams uniforms being so ugly back in the 70s and 80s. How could the Jets go an entire season and not wear their primary color jersey? Why do the Giants think those stripes look good on pants? The last 2 Super bowls they were in where they wore gray pants both with different combination red blue red stripes and both times looked so much better than now.
As long as we’re piling on the New York Jets, they lost 11-6 yesterday. Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets beat the Canucks 7-4.
The Winnipeg Jets outscored the New York Jets.
(I know its not uni-related, it just made me laugh)
Winnipeg one image of a jet on their uniform, New York zero.
Why in the world do so many NFL teams have stripeless pants? That looks so cheap and bush league. They look like practice pants. Who in the world thinks this looks good?
I’m with you.
Nike (and other companies) brainwashed a whole generation with their lighter/faster/
strongerunis into thinking that minimalism = “clean.”
I can’t stand that word when it comes to football. You’re supposed to get out there and get dirty, not stay “clean.”
The swooshketeers (and other companies) are putting out minimal effort in designing unis but making you think that’s a good thing.
I know Twitter isn’t a real reflectiion of society, but it always amazes me when two college teams go ninja black vs icy white and the Twitterverse just goes nuts. So what? You look like two other teams that did the same boring thing last week.
Repeating myself: it is the practice gear aesthetic that appeals to a lot of players and younger fans. Minimalism and almost no distinctive team colors or logos. I think suppliers of both football and basketball uniforms would love to teams to play actual games in practice style reversibles. Saves in raw materials so they can add a greenwashing twist to the storytelling as well.
Commies’ white over white with white socks is just…terrible. I mean, the whole Commies uni set is awful except – and I’m sorry for saying this- the BFBS. As a lifelong R#*&^+% fan, I still haven’t warmed up to the new name or uniforms. Go black over black as much as possible, wear only the black helmets, and save the white jerseys for the road.
I couldnt even tell the eagles were wearing their black helmet since their midnight green helmet almost looks black too.
I can’t believe all this time the Eagles were pushing for the end of the one shell rule just so they could wear the black helmet? For crying out loud, do the kelly green throwback already.
As for the Jets it was some dumb superstitious thing where they won a game wearing the white over black and kept trotting it out. Awful uniform. Please go back to 10 years ago.