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Monday Morning Uni Watch: ‘2023,’ Week 18

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a good weekend, as I did. Thanks again for all the thoughtful, often moving responses to last Tuesday’s announcement — I continue to be blown away by the outpouring of emotion. Due to the volume of comments, emails, and even handwritten cards (!), I’ve been able to reply to only a small fraction of the communiqués, but I assure you that I’ve read every one of them. Thanks so much, people. It’s all very Special.

Now then: Yesterday marked the conclusion of the NFL’s “2023” regular season, and the Jets and Pats marked the occasion with an old-fashioned snow game in Foxboro. Lots of cool photos here, here, and here, and here are some fun video clips:

As for the uniforms in that game: Last season, the Jets went white over black — a combo I really dislike for them — eight times. They’d done it only once this season, and that was more than two months ago, so I was hoping that maybe this combo was being mothballed, but they wore it again yesterday. Grrrr.

Prior to the game, the Patriots honored special teams captain Matthew Slater — widely assumed to be playing his final game with the team — by wearing pregame hoodies with his number and the word “Captain,” both rendered in the team’s old Brady-era fonts:

Slater’s tenure with the team dates back to 2008, so you could argue that using the old font makes sense. But as we all know by now, the Pats have had major typeface-inconsistency issues over the past several seasons, so it’s hard to be sure if the font choice on the hoodie was intentional or a goof.

In other news from a fairly uni-quiet day around the league yesterday:

  • The Lions wore their awful silver alternates — hopefully for the last time ever, as they’re due to get a new uni set for next season (additional photos here):
  • Speaking of uniforms we might be seeing for the last time, the Broncos wore their white/white combo, presumably bringing down the curtain on the uni set they’ve been wearing since 1997 (or at least I hope so):
  • The Bengals and Browns did the inverted-combo thing (well, almost — brown pants for Cleveland and black jerseys for Cincy; additional photos here):
  • The Panthers went mono-black, but with their primary silver helmet, not their alternate black helmet (additional photos here):
  • The KC/Chargers and Bears/Packers games showed that the classics are classic for a reason. Very easy on the eyes:

  • CBS had some, uh, interesting info on its Ticker during the Jags/Titans broadcast:

Wild Card Weekend begins on Saturday. Here’s who’ll be playing, but we don’t yet know what they’ll be wearing.

(My thanks to Rob Gugliotta and Eric Voglmayr for their contributions.)



Universary Patch Reminder

In case you missed it last week, our new 25th-universary logo is now available as an embroidered patch (plus it’s also available on T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and pint glasses). Full details here.



Membership Update

Not sure if it’s because of my impending departure or if people just made New Year’s resolutions to finally get a membership card already, but we’ve had a nice little spurt of card orders over the past week. The most interesting order came from Joseph Bonafilia, who wanted his card based on the 1999 American League All-Star BP/Derby jersey — a design we’ve never done before and whose existence I had completely forgotten about. Cool choice, Joseph!

Since a few folks have asked: The membership card program will stop when I leave Uni Watch, at which point I will finally retire my trusty laminator. So if you want your own custom-designed card, you have until May 26 to get on board. (And yes, we’ll allow one last round of purple orders on May 17, as usual.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.



Mascot Watch

Oh, man — look how handsome they are, that sparkle in their eyes! They’re really good cats.



Can of the Day

Did you know that humbugs are a confection throughout much of the UK Commonwealth countries? I didn’t until I saw this can. Details here. Anyway, a very nice can. “With the exciting soft centres!”

Comments (39)

    Forever holding out hope that the Jets will follow the Browns’ and Buccaneers’ lead, correct their mistake, bring the classics back, and keep the ’80s throwbacks as alternates…..

    Vice-versa for me- Namath’s as the alt, Sack Exchange (keeping the current emerald helmet) as the go-to’s…though I think the current set will be sticking around for a while longer, which a couple of tweaks away from being made good (1st order of business: bye bye stealth black!).

    I could deal with the ’80s version as the primary and the classics as the alternate, which would also be a significant improvement over what they have now. Obviously I prefer the classic white-helmet/inverted-sleeves look, which is unique and the Jets own it, but YMMV.

    In the alternative, if they insist on keeping the current design, then getting rid of the black — all of it — shortening the shoulder/collar stripes and lengthening the pants stripes would be a step in the right direction. They can even keep the stupid chest wordmark but it will still be stupid.

    Apart from the BFBS and other aesthetic shortcomings, two things have always bothered me about the 2019 redesign:

    (1) It was completely unnecessary, no one wanted it, and no one really asked for it; Jets fans by-and-large were perfectly happy with uniforms as they were, see this 2017 article and poll for example: link Seriously, what made the Jets’ management think they needed, or that anyone really wanted, new uniforms? (I know, I know; it was Nike’s difficulty with the green coloration and sleeve treatment, but still….)

    (2) The Browns were a team that had just made an ill-advised uniform change and quickly reverted back because it was terrible, everyone hated it, and what they had before was perfectly fine. Barring that, the two worst things about the Browns’ jerseys — sleeve stripes extending too far toward the collar, and the chest wordmark surmounting the numerals — were the two things that the Jets made sure to adopt for their new jerseys.

    Anyway, I agree that the current design will probably be around for a good long while as the franchise tries to infuse it with some positive cachet (so far it symbolizes nothing so much as relentless failure, embarrassment, ill fortune, and unwatchable football). It’s just a shame that their classic look, which they were right to revive in 1998, goes unseen.

    I too prefer the Sack Exchange set with the huge Champion numbers. The Jets already cycled through the Namath uniforms during the Parcells Era.

    I subscribe to this as well. As a fan in my 30’s of the NY Rangers/Yankees/Jets/Knicks, it’s by far the worst uniform I’ve had to look at consistently (followed by black-panel era Knicks).

    I’m a Jets fan, and I agree. The Sacks Exchanges throwbacks need to be the primaries (with a green version for home). I don’t really care if they want to do a black alt if they feel like that will help them sell a lot black gear, but make it a good, strong, uniform. Would love the Namath-era jerseys in kelly green as an alt though. A secondary white shell with the Sacks Exchange logo would also be awesome.

    My question: Any rumblings that way? If you look on the Twittersphere (the X-sphere?), fans seem to think it’s going to happen just because the five-year window is up. Any truth to that?

    I don’t think anyone has seen or heard anything from the team itself suggesting that it intends to rebrand or even tweak the current uniforms. What we’re seeing on social media is mostly wishful thinking (myself included) vis-à-vis the five-year window being up and the team’s ongoing awfulness, perhaps in an effort to nudge the team in that direction.

    Thanks! I’m hopeful that either something is flying under the radar or is in the works for 2025!

    Given their intertwined history, the Bengals/Browns should always be inverted from each other.

    Now that both teams have mono white alternates, going forward it would be great if whoever is wearing white in these matchups wears their white helmets. Uni matchups always look best when there is contrast. Both teams wearing orange helmets, and then going inverted for brown/black on the jersey and pants is not a visually pleasing game.

    My wife, who is more against football than for it, even managed to look up during the Lions’ game yesterday and commented about how horrible the grey over grey uniforms looked. I tried to introduce the word “unitard” into her vocabulary, but I don’t think she’s going to start using it quite yet.

    hey hey, Unitard.. that’s what you call those over-educated liberal elites in college, AMIRIGHT?!?!?!

    I mentioned my feelings about the Broncos’ impending uniform change in yesterday’s comments, but it bears repeating here. As a lifelong Broncos fan who prefers the old “Orange Crush” uniforms but who has also defended their current “Flaming Lizard” look, I think I’m nevertheless ready for a change. But I also realize I should be careful what I wish for. Fingers crossed they wind up looking something like what they did from 1968 to 1996. And for Jimmer Vilk’s sake (and mine, too) I’m hoping they have orange pants that can be worn with their white jerseys.

    Or, if they don’t want to give us orange pants, they could go back further in time and give us the orange helmets!

    Speaking of helmets, along with firing the coach, Atlanta should have fired the black helmets and bring back the red ones.

    And I’m so glad the Saints and their stripeless pants didn’t make the playoffs. This could be one very nice looking postseason. Rooting for the Bucs to upset the Eagles so the midnightmare green will go away.

    Hoping for something similar to pre-1997 look. Orange pants with white jerseys good. For the blue it doesn’t need to be as light as pre-1997 but don’t want navy either. A royal blue shade in between the two would be nice.

    My favorite part was the snow angels in the end zone after the Jets TD late in the game. Big guys returning to being little kids. Chargers/KC and Packers/Bears were the nicest looking games with the Ohio Derby as number three (but orange pants for the Browns would have been even better).
    Well, Paul, this is your last regular season MMUW. That must feel kind of special, I guess. Thanks for all the effort you put in reviewing the uniform matchups every monday morning during regular NFL seasons!

    Yup, I was thinking that yesterday — my last time spending a big chunk of my Sunday working on MMUW. I’ll miss chronicling the on-field action, but it will be nice to reclaim my autumn Sundays!

    That Jets and Patriots game also had Fox using that digitally added gridiron over the field when it was covered in snow, although they only seemed to show it for a few seconds as the teams lined up at the line of scrimmage and took it off screen prior to the snap.

    I liked that. I’ve always been appreciative of all the innovations Fox has brought to NFL broadcasts.

    To the best of my knowledge, last night was only the 4th time since the merger that the Dolphins chose to wear white for a home night game (’77 vs. Colts, ’96 vs. Steelers, ’96 vs. Bills, and now ’23 vs. Bills). There were three other home night games where they wore white but those were day games rescheduled at the last minute due to hurricanes (’03 vs. Steelers, ’05 vs. Chiefs) or a World Series game 7 (’97 vs. Bears).

    Question re: Bills TE Dalton Kinkaid …

    Does anyone know what he was wearing around his neck? Never seen it before…

    I cannot post an image, but if you look here, it’s on the video of his 28-yard catch.


    I blame the late 1990s U. of Saskatchewan Huskies for making the green helmet/white jersey/black pants combo a thing. I wonder if this influenced the early aughts CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders who wore the same combo as an option until 2007. Using their black alternate uniform pants with road look much like Jets now. Was there a college team in the States that had this combo before late 1990s?


    On a completely unrelated note, it’s so nice that you got Biscuit & Waffles a nice big cat bed!

    Look at that shit!

    I’m admittedly a traditionalist, so when I see my Marshall University with black pants, black helmets or black jerseys (not to mention black end zones), I weep inside. Not only is it just plain ol’ ugly when paired with green, but it’s about 15 years late to the BFBS party. There have been times when their green and white jerseys were trimmed in yellow and later replaced with silver trim, along with matching pants, and those were much better than black. If you go to the website about MU uniform colors, there are a ton of options listed and several MU fans have argued, “Hey, black is a team color, old man!” I refer them to the last line of the school fight song, “Sons of Marshall”: “It’s the green and white of Marshall U.”

    I’m genuinely thrilled for the Detroit Lions’ success, and I honestly hope it continues through the playoffs. Honest. They’re the most snake-bitten franchise in the league (even more than the Browns) and they fully deserve their moment in the sun. But whenever they take the field in those hideous home greys (the ugliest uniforms in the league by a long shot) I WANT them to lose. Badly.

    I wish! It’s just ornamental. But the spirit of its presence is very much along the lines that you stated — start the day, clock in, get crackin’.

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