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:
— alex (@highlightheaven) September 8, 2023
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:
Branch from Detroit who just had the pick six isn’t wearing high socks(mandatory). Sounds dumb but not wearing high socks is an automatic fine. He for sure was warned about this pre-game. Just giving away a few thousand dollars is the dumbest move of all time. This kills me.
— Justin Pugh (@JustinPugh) September 8, 2023
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.)