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Bizarre Incident Gets NFL Season Off to Good Uni-Related Start

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The 2023 NFL season is now officially off and running, as KC opened the defense of their Super Bowl title last night against Detroit. And as you can see above, we already have a serious contender for the most bizarre uni-related moment of the year. It took place during the second quarter, when KC punter/holder Tommy Townsend tried to put a helmet over his own helmet. As detailed here:

After a successful extra point conversion, Townsend came across a stray helmet on the field. Inexplicably, Townsend tried to place the helmet on his head while already donning his game-issued protective equipment, which provided a moment of levity in an otherwise nerve-wracking tilt.

Did Townsend forget that he had his helmet on? Was this some kind of inside joke? Could it be that he wanted an extra layer of protection? Whose helmet was it anyway?

(Regarding that last question: According to this item, “guard Mike Caliendo had his helmet knocked off” during the conversion attempt. You can see Caliendo without his helmet in the screen shot above.)

Here’s a very short video of the incident:

As far as I can tell, nobody followed up with Townsend about this after the game (maybe because KC lost, so asking about the helmet might have seemed frivolous). Here’s hoping one of the KC beat reporters asks him about it at some point over the next few days.

In a more conventional development, we got our first on-field look at KC’s Norma Hunt memorial patch (which was announced yesterday):

We also got our first look at the NFL PREM1ERE patches that rookies will be wearing this season when suiting up for their game (more on that here). Here’s how it looked on the KC jerseys:

That’s a lot of patches! But the rookie patch is just a one-game thing, so those guys’ jerseys will be a bit less cluttered next week.

The rookie patch looked a bit more at home on the Lions’ jerseys, in part because they didn’t have as much pre-existing patch clutter (although they do have that big 90th-season patch) and in part because the rookie patch matches Detroit’s color scheme:

Okay, enough about patches. In my NFL Season Preview, I said the Jets and Bills would almost certainly wear 9/11 ribbon decals for their game next Monday night (Sept. 11), and that 9/11 decals might also be worn by the 28 teams playing this Sunday (Sept. 10), but it didn’t occur to me that KC and Detroit might wear 9/11 decals last night. But they did:

Also: Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. became the first NFL player to wear No. 0 in a regular season game since Saints defensive back Obert Logan in 1967:

KC doesn’t currently have a zero-clad player on the roster, so for now Jones stands alone as the NFL’s preeminent hero of zero. (That will change on Sunday, of course.)

That last photo also shows (a) how ridiculous the Lions’ stripeless pants are, and (b) how even more ridiculous the NFL’s hosiery situation has become. Jones appears to have been wearing white leggings, white leg warmers, and maybe blue wristbands. And if you think that’s bad, look at all the different lower-leg stylings KC was sporting:

And then there’s Lions defensive back Brian Branch, who just went bare-legged:

Interestingly, that caught the eye of Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who was apparently watching the game on TV and didn’t like what he saw:

Also: You know how visor tabs have Oakley logo creep? Just to make that more annoying, Oakley has apparently added its wordmark to the tabs for the regular season. On the plus side, however, the tab colors have been changed so they no longer contrast so much with the helmet shell:

I’ve added that change to the NFL Season Preview.


And that’s a wrap for the first game of the season. I’ll be fixating on those visor tabs all around the league on Sunday!

(My thanks to Bryan Prouse, Twitter-er @SportsPSD, and Phil for their contributions.)


Too Good for the Ticker

Longtime reader Chris Weber recently took a flight on Cape Air — a small regional airline — and was amused by the old-school design of their airsickness bags — or, rather, their Sic-Sacs. Fun brand name, great illustration! Here’s a closer look:

Look how much happier that little fella is after he barfs in the bag!

Interestingly, these same bags are available on Amazon, in case you want some for yourself.



Can of the Day

What do you take with your coffee — milk? Sugar? Horseshoe?

Comments (43)

    I had not read this post before I put the other one up, spot on… very very underwearish

    Quite approrpiate to include the Sic-Sac following the uni wrap. As bad as Detoilet’s white leotards were, they were still more consistent than KC’s lower-leg stylings. I’ve quit yelling at clouds re: socks & untucked undershirts, but from the looks of things, it’s gonna be a long uni-slog this season.

    The Lions uniforms are so awful I turned off the game after flipping it on for about 5 minutes. Unwatchable.

    Ehh, as much as I griped yesterday afternoon about them, it stopped bothering me… mainly because for the first 3 quarters, I just had the game on in the background while focusing on other stuff. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter that I was done with all that and focused on the game itself.

    The plain white pants are still a poor choice, in my opinion, but they didn’t make the game painful to watch for me. Not like the gray Rash unis – last Thanksgiving against the Bills was actually painful to watch, especially knowing both teams had throwback options they could’ve gone to that would’ve made for a beautiful game.

    Same here. Any uniform element last night had a faint tinge of powder blue, KC’s pants included. I’m assuming it was the stadium lighting. My wife even asked why the Lions were wearing pajamas.

    It might also be your TV’s white point – they’re usually set too cool (too blue) out of the box because that’s more eye-catching for display models. I’d pull up a test pattern and adjust your settings if you haven’t already.

    More of a tech-support comment, but this blog constantly logs me out, which means I always see the ads and have to find the log-in button (then go through two additional clicks to get to content.) I always click the “remember me” box, but it doesn’t matter. It randomly logs me off. Sometimes it’s when I access a post via Twitter/X, but there doesn’t seem to be a pattern. It’s extremely annoying, and defeats the benefit of being a + subscriber. I’d say that it could be on my end, but I don’t experience this with other blogs/forums that I belong to. Any advice? I’ll have to quit my sub after this year since it’s actually *tougher* to access content if I have to log in more than 50% of the time I access the site.

    I have the same issue on desktop – I’ll have to log in every 4 or 5 days. It’s only a mild annoyance, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless.

    No issues on mobile, however.

    Same. Log in seems to time out intermittently. I’ve also never been able to get the subscribe to notifications feature to work from any device and have sent about three or four email requests for help on that.

    I say do away with the hosiery altogether. If they are going to wear bicycle shorts, it looks pretty stupid anyway. If they are going to try and look like the college teams, might as well do it right.

    I was thinking the same thing. However, some college players are now wearing high socks. My school USC, most players don’t wear high socks, but some wear black high socks, some yellow, and some red. I’d like to see the NFL fine be way more than “a few thousand dollars.” They also need to fine heavily for all the improper variations players wear. Teams like KC with sock stripes are especially hosed, pun intended.

    The Lions have such a nice palette to work with its a shame they can’t get uniforms right these days. I’m a fan of mono white, probably from my days as a Baltimore Colts fan, but the pants need color. A proportional version of their NWern stripes down the side of their pants would make that combo so much better.

    Lots of little things to dislike about what should have been a great uniform matchup.
    The presence of a player wearing #0 always looks amateurish and goofy.
    The plain white pants on the Lions look like they forgot to pack their pants and are just wearing some practice gear they found available. They should just wear silver(gray) pants 100% of the time.
    The Chiefs’ perma memorial Lamar Hunt patch just clutters an otherwise great uniform, especially when additional temporary patches are added. The Lamar Hunt patch should just go on the sleeve, much like the Bears’ Halas memorial. In fact there should be no permanent chest patches as part of NFL uniforms, just an unclean look.

    The plain white pants with bare legs is a very college/high school look. Imagine paying a $5400 fine to deliberately look that bad on national TV.

    Count Chiefs Wire Guy as another who does not understand how to use “donning.”

    “Don” means “to put on,” not “to wear.” It is literally the act of putting on an article of clothing. Once you don it, you have donned it. You are no longer donning it. This “…tried to place the helmet on his head while already donning his game-issued protective equipment” thing is incorrect, yet you see it everywhere in sports media.


    I was a bit put off with “game-issued protective equipment”. I get that you don’t want to use ‘helmet’ twice in the same sentence, okay. But wasn’t that contrived?

    Kinda feel similarly about people calling helmets “hats” on this blog. “Lids” is better if the goal is to mix it up but helmets aren’t hats.

    I say “hat” for helmet. I also use lid, bucket, topper, and probably a couple others.

    You know when I won’t use the word “hat”? When I’m referring to the cloth head covering on a baseball player.

    That is a CAP. The use of “hat” for “cap” is perhaps more annoying to me than “hat” is (not really) a synonym for helmet.

    I’ll make a deal with everyone. If NO ONE ever refers to a baseball cap as a “hat,” then I won’t call helmets “hats” either.


    Okay so a cap is part of a sports uniform and a hat is part of an ensemble or outfit…that makes sense
    [In Army basic (not sure of other branches) the BDU “hat” is referred to as headgear and is actually punishable offense when a soldier refers to it as a hat…(Phil smiles)]

    Heh. (cracks smile)

    I don’t care what the Army does, but I’d love for it to be a punishable offense to refer to a baseball cap as a “hat”

    I totally agree with your “donning” thing, and yet, something inside tells me it might not be quite wrong the way he used it. I mean, he could have meant “tried to place the helmet on his head while already donning (having put on) his game-issued protective equipment”. Being a present day football announcer, I doubt it though.

    Sorry, I’m just fascinated by words and the many ways we try to use them. Often it all collides in a big, beautiful, imperfect mess!

    Lions in silver or blue pants would’ve been glorious.

    This is hilarious and I’m leaning towards he did this intentionally to be funny. I would’ve

    What do you take with your coffee — milk? Sugar? You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? Well then, horseshoe it is.

    It’s sad that the bare legs looked better than the rest of the Lions.

    Silver pants, blue socks, rinse, repeat.

    Just when I thought I was the only one bothered by the Lions “pants”…
    It took me an entire quarter to figure it out but it’s because they look like LONG JOHNS, like it was really cold and they forgot to put uni pants on over them

    I don’t know why the white pants don’t have stripes when all of the Lion’s other options do.

    Saints do this crap too. Their gold pants have black stripes, but their white pants are stripeless. link

    Of course, the Saints black pants are also stripeless, so that’s a *bit* different from the Lions, but still. Both have white, stripeless pants they insist on wearing with white stripeless socks.

    I think I may need a new TV. I thought the Lions uniforms were a very light white hued with a blue/grey rather than straight white. I did not take issue with no stripes on the pants. Just happy to see the Lions win.

    I’d much prefer the Lions silver pants. Any team with silver or gold helmets should have their helmets and pants match. New Orleans has probably my favorite NFL uniforms when wearing gold pants, and one of the worst when wearing black pants. However, white pants would look fine for Detroit if they had silver & blue stripes, and blue high socks.

    I kept thinking about the Lions helmet last night. Something about the blue-silver-blue-silver-blue seems off to me. I think if the blue stripes were all the same size and spacing it would look greater. Similar to the way the Oilers and retro Dolphins have essentially five stripes using the helmet color. I know a lot of people want the Barry Sanders era blue-white-blue stripes to return, but I think that is too close to the Cowboys. Detroit has such a beautiful color palette and the updated logo is great. They are just a few tweaks from being top tier.

Comments are closed.