Good morning, and welcome to the first Monday Morning Uni Watch report of the new NFL season!
Let’s start here: Like many folks, I was surprised that the Browns wore a rear-helmet Jim Brown memorial decal — instead of a jersey patch — during the preseason. It turns out that they were planning to add a patch all along, but they waited until a few hours before yesterday’s season opener to announce it. The patch design matches the sideline graphic that had been announced several days earlier. Now that they have the patch, they’ve removed the rear-helmet decal. Lots of game photos here.
In another surprise memorial move, the 49ers have added a “64” rear-helmet decal for Hall of Famer Dave Wilcox, who died earlier this year. To my knowledge, there was no announcement for this one, although maybe I just missed it:
I’ve added this, and the Browns patch, to my NFL Season Preview, which is now final.
In other news from around the league yesterday:
- The Vikings debuted their throwbacks, including the gigantic Bud Grant memorial patch, which will be repurposed as a rear-helmet decal for their non-throwback games (lots of additional pics here):
- The Colts debuted their “40th season in Indy” patch (which was announced way back in March but wasn’t worn during the preseason):
- We got our first look at the Titans’ 25th-season rear-helmet decal (which had been announced last month but wasn’t worn or even photo-previewed during the preseason):
- The Patriots retired Tom Brady’s No. 12 during halftime. Brady wore an era-appropriate jersey from his time with the team, while his kids wore the team’s current jersey design, which I found odd. At least they used the right number fonts:
- Notable for its absence: I was wondering if the Cowboys might add a memorial decal for longtime director of player personnel, scouting pioneer, and Hall of Famer Gil Brandt, who died on Aug. 31, but they opted not to.
- Speaking of Dallas: I heard from a lot of people last night — like, a lot of people — who were convinced that the Cowboys’ pants were a darker-than-usual shade of blue. I was pretty sure nothing had changed (they looked the same to me), but the sheer volume of comments led me to double-check. I looked up their game against the Bucs from last season (a night game, so the lighting conditions would be similar to last night). Yup, same as last year, just like I thought:
- As you may have noticed in the 49ers and Titans photos higher up on this page, all teams wore a rear-helmet 9/11 decal, although the positioning varied:
- In addition, Giants coach Brian Daboll and Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy wore first responder caps (I’m assuming we’ll see the same thing for tonight’s Bills/Jets game):
- Lots of rookies across the league wore the new NFL PREM1ERE patch. This was mostly routine, except that a few rookies are also team captains (something I find surprising, frankly), so they were also wearing captaincy patches, which affected the positioning of their rookie patches:
- Confirming what we observed in Thursday night’s season opener, visor tabs now match the color of the helmet shell (yay!) and the Oakley wordmark has been added to the maker’s mark (boo!). Here’s how it looked for all 28 teams that played yesterday:
- Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt had a pretty cool-looking shoe design:
- Packers defensive back Jaire Alexander appears to be going with longer, roomier sleeves this year:
- Socks continue to be a shitshow, as captured in this 49ers photo:
- The best-looking game of the day was the Packers/Bears matchup in Chicago:
📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/aQSMxx4eDU
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 10, 2023
- As for the worst-looking game, it was definitely the Cards taking on the Commies in DC. Blood clots vs. white unitards — woof:
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) September 10, 2023
- Speaking of that game in DC, the Commies were the only home team to wear white. That’s surprising, because we often see a lot of home teams wearing white early in the season, when the weather is still warm.
As for tonight: The Jets are slated to debut their throwbacks while hosting the Bills.
And there you have it — the first MMUW report of the season!
(My thanks to Twitter-er @AjikaOfficial for letting me know about Jaire Alexander’s new sleeve style.)