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It’s Time for the 2023 Uni Watch NFL Season Preview!

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

By longstanding tradition, the day after Labor Day is when I publish the annual Uni Watch NFL Season Preview, which is always one of my most popular pieces of the year. As you know, there’s been a lot of uni news during the offseason, so this year’s Season Preview is a doozy, jam-packed with info on all the new uniforms, logos, helmets, throwbacks, patches, field designs, and more, along with deep-cut info on certain players’ uni numbers, NOBs, facemasks, and so on. It clocks in at over 6,000 words.

You can read the first part of the Season Preview here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also allow you to access my full Substack archives). If you know someone who you think would enjoy the Season Preview, you can get them a gift subscription.

Thanks, and enjoy the NFL Season Preview!



Too Good for the Ticker

The sports teams at Helix High School in California are called the Highlanders, and they have a Scottish-style tartan pattern on their football pants! I really like that.

(Big thanks to Bruce Jaynes for this one.)



Also Too Good for the Ticker

Don’t you love this sign? It’s for a set of batting cages in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Awesome!



Can of the Day

What a beauty! I love everything about it — the colors, the typography, the word “valvetop,” etc. First-rate!

• • • • •

Sorry, no Ticker today, because the Uni Watch staff had yesterday off. The Ticker will return tomorrow. — Paul

Comments (37)

    Looks like no hyperlink for “here” so no way to access the article from this page

    Paul, the Brandiose guys went to Helix and designed the logos. Not sure if they had a hand in the tartan choice or not. Looks sharp!

    Guess it’s time to move elsewhere for my uniform news. The first article in a while that sounds interesting and it’s behind a paywall. But I guess I get free pictures of cans? Great. Enjoy everyone.

    Guy has to run a business. Maybe UNICEF will get into the uniform preview business. If it’s not important for you enough to pay for no problem. But you can’t really complain when people want to be paid for a product/service.

    Thanks for having my back, Alex, but it’s OK. If he really thinks the NFL Preview is the “first article in a while that sounds interesting,” then he’s clearly not into Uni Watch. (Which is fine, of course.)

    Just wanted to add to your voice since apparently voicing disagreement gets peoples’ feathers ruffled.

    I used to come to this website for uni previews. Now I have to add ANOTHER paid subscription to the already endless list of subscriptions that are out there? In addition to having 90’s-esque cheap pop-up ads? Enough. Subscriptions are another example of late stage capitalism’s shortcomings. Not everything in life needs to be subscription based. Jeez.

    Actually, contrary to your assertion, the Big Four season previews have never appeared on this website.

    For many years they appeared on ESPN, and then briefly on SI, and then for a couple of years on InsideHook (all of which paid me to write them). In 2022 I decided to move them to an ad-free paywalled site, so that my readers could purchase the content from me directly and I could maintain better control of the content.

    This arrangement has worked out well for me and for many Uni Watch readers, but I understand that no situation is ideal for everyone. If you prefer not to read things unless they’re available free of charge, for example, I completely understand. Similarly, I’m sure you can understand that I prefer not to sink lot of time, effort, and expertise into long-form journalism unless I’m compensated for it. We each make our choices. Sometimes those choices align; sometimes, as in this instance, they don’t. Such is life.


    I appreciate your response here Paul. Charter member, forever reader. Bummed I can’t read these articles (two kids in law school make it tough to afford to get out of bed).

    Continue to appreciate whatever you put out in the ether, both in front of, and behind paywalls.

    Continued success and good health.

    Totally respect your (or anyone else’s) financial/budgetary choices, Jon. Also appreciate your generous-spirited tone.

    All best to you and your kids — kudos to you for underwriting their education, which is certainly a more important expenditure than Uni Watch!

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, Cassandra. But Greg could have made his point without saying “The first article in a while that sounds interesting”, which was just plain sad.

    For anyone who has a complaint, I suggest they work their day job for free for a while. Give it a good 3 months. Or 6 months.
    Now how ridiculous do you sound?

    Work close by and pass them everyday! Very often thought about sending in a photo to Paul! Cheers :)

    Why has Nike gone to the new F.U.S.E. template? Have they listed any benefits? Since the old template has almost no seams, it appears to be superior.

    Lack of seams is certainly *aesthetically* superior, but not necessarily from a performance standpoint. Seams can allow for different stretch rates at stress points, allow for different fabric panels, etc.

    I’m not saying that’s necessarily what Nike has done here; I’m just explaining that “no seams” is not automatically better than “seams” (at least from a performance standpoint).

    I know it was Labor Day weekend but just curious if we aren’t getting the Sunday morning college recap like we did in the past? That’s one of the highlights of the site that I look forward to.

    SMUW traditionally begins the weekend after Labor Day (the entire SMUW crew has that weekend off). We’ll begin this Saturday (9/9) with a recap of week “0” and this past weekend (as we’ve done for a decade or so), and then kick off Sunday Morning Uni Watch this Sunday (9/10) with all of Week 2’s action, and continue SMUW through the end of the Bowl season.

    Obviously, I haven’t had any issue with subscribing, but I do have some feedback regarding the premium side of this blog. Admittedly, it’s been something I’ve been meaning to address for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to it until now.

    So, every so often (roughly a week or so) my saved login gets timed out, and I have to log back into the site. The timing out isn’t an issue for me, but having to find the log in link between the ads on the right is a bit… well, it’s annoying. It’s something that can easily be missed. Granted, it’s not an issue on mobile, as the log in link can be found under the “hamburger” menu icon. Still, it would be helpful to have the log in link be more visible. Usually such links are in the menu at the top of the page to begin with… maybe add a button next to the subscribe button? Maybe include the log in link on the subscription pop-up?

    The other thing is where my logging in takes me – to my account page. I honestly don’t know what the purpose is of that; it’s really counterintuitive to me, as I would only need to go to that page if I actually needed to update something on my account. It would make more sense to be sent to the home page, or even to whatever page I was on when I clicked the log in link.

    We are in the process of addressing this. You know the little pop-up that prompts you to sign up for UW+? It will have a button that says, “Already signed up? Log in here.”

    Thanks for your feedback! (And if it makes you feel any better, I periodically get logged out just like everyone else!)

    Seeing this get bumped up to the top, I checked for updates, and while there were some, the one I’m most interested in right now hasn’t been updated yet, suggesting that neither the Browns nor 49ers have replied to Paul’s inquiry about the October 15th uni matchup.

    More paywalled content. I guess we can all see what really matters to the Uni Watch staff. It’s not about getting out quality content to lots of people. It’s about lining their own pockets. I guess Uni Watch is just something for the economically privileged.

    Hi, Horatio! If you don’t want to pay for the NFL Preview, that’s fine, of course — it’s your money, and you can decide how to spend it.

    But I’m sorry you seem so aggrieved. With that in mind, I have a few questions for you:

    1) When you go to a store, do you expect them to give you products off the shelf for free?

    2) When you go to a restaurant, do you expect them to give you food for free?

    3) When you go to the dentist, do you expect them to clean your teeth for free?

    I don’t usually like to make assumptions or try to read people’s minds, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that your answers to those questions are no, no, and no.

    So why do you expect me to spend weeks working on long-form journalism, which is how I make a living, and then feel entitled to read it for free?

    I look forward to your response.

    Hi Paul,

    I am a returning (card-holding!) reader that is happy to pay to support Uni-Watch. I paid for an annual subscription in order to read your NFL uniform preview, only to discover that I need a separate (additional?) subscription in order to do so. I’ll probably just end up paying for the additional subscription, but I have found it to be a confusing and frustrating system. I’m also aware that on your Uni-Watch post re: the NFL preview it says a Substack subscription is required, it’s just not clear that that is different than a “normal” Uni-Watch subscription.

    I’m aware that you’re typically thoughtful about how these types of things are implemented, so I’m not sure what can be done to remedy this for other returning / potentially new members going forward, but thought I’d bring it your attention anyway.

    Thanks for the feedback, Sean (and for your support!). I understand that the situation can be somewhat confusing, and I’d probably do it differently if I could start over. But it’s now too late for that, unfortunately!

    Here’s an explainer that I hope will help: link

    Paul- long time reader and newer subscriber. Love your work!! Question for you about the Eagles: I understand that the new word mark can’t be on the jersey yet due to the NFL/Nike rule that gives the manufacturer 2 years notice on jersey changes, but have you heard anything about any other updates? The Eagles have been very protective (rightfully so?) of their brand/identity, which has allowed the midnight green set to feel almost classic at this point. That said I can’t shake the feeling that maybe some minor updates are coming (maybe new number font? Updated pants striping? They’d probably stay with midnight green, right?). I know you probably haven’t heard anything, but if not do you think it’s a possibility? Seems like a strange move to announce the word mark but not have it on the jerseys for 2 years. It also seems strange to kickoff a 2 year redesign window to only change the word mark with nothing else… am I crazy?? Thanks!!

    I agree that the way they’ve handled this is strange.

    I’m not aware of any other changes, except their nose bumper (as covered in my NFL Season Preview).

    I rarely comment here, but the batting cages sign reminded me to mention indoor batting cages in the western suburbs of Pittsburgh that poached the University of Hawaii athletics logo (not once but twice).


    Pass that Base…Ball sign everyday after work and very often have thought about sending a photo to Paul for UniWatch, just never can pull over to do it, haha! Glad someone did, classic sign! Cheers!

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