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Picking The 2024 Conference Championship Winners by Better Uni

We’re down to the final four teams seeking to win this year’s Super Bowl, and today is what many consider the best weekend (even better than the Supe) in football: the AFC and NFC Championship Games. Two of the combatants should be very familiar to you: KC and San Francisco, and another who’ve had relative success (and two Supe wins) over the past couple decades, the Baltimore Ravens. The final team — the Detroit Lions — haven’t seen much post-season success, and almost none in the Super Bowl era. But two of those four will play in two weeks for a chance to snag the NFL title in Super Bowl LVIII (58).

If you’ve been following along the past two weekends, you know I’ve been picking the winners “by better uniform,” against the spread. After a successful first weekend, where I went 4-2, last weekend I came back down to earth, going 1-3, so I now sit at 5-5 overall. And when we’re done with today’s games, I hope to remain at .500 — you’ll see why below (however I can still move to 7-5 with one specific outcome).

To quickly recap last weekend’s games, the Ravens — dressed in their “lucky” black/purple/black — easily dismissed the Houston Texans, for my sole win. In the second game, while the 49ers did take down the Packers, they didn’t cover. It got worse on Sunday when KC eked by after Buffalo fans were about to be haunted by “Wide Right” once again, and the Monolulu-clad Detroit team kept their dream run alive by dispatching with Tampa.

Sartorially today we have two classic looks and two more modern combinations. Let’s get started!

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SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2024

AFC Championship Game: Kansas City at Baltimore Ravens
Time: 3:00 pm ET
TV: CBS

SPREAD: Ravens -4

My rooting interests in most NFL games are — perhaps unsurprisingly — often dictated by rooting for the team with the better uniform (although I’ll always root for the NY Giants regardless of their attire). Not so here. For myriad reasons, I cannot bring myself to want to see Kansas City in yet another Super Bowl; no offense to the legions of Swifties out there who may feel differently. I wasn’t surprised when Baltimore announced they’d stick with their “lucky” black/purple/black combo and KC would be in their classic red/white/red, and I knew rooting interests would be colliding with “better uni” dictates. Fortunately I have a slight out — Baltimore just has to win by three points or less, which means I can pick the better uni but have the team I’m rooting for still win. I cannot in good conscience say the Ravens have the better uniform in this matchup (had they chosen white pants instead of black I might have gone with them) — KC’s is better looking, even if I like them better in white over white. So I’m going to pick KC and take the points, but I’ll be rooting for a Baltimore win by a field goal or less. Even if you’re on the fence about this game — do we really need two more weeks of a non-uni storyline of Tay-Kel (or whatever fans are calling the power couple, plus what is certain to be multiple views of Taylor Swift cheering on her beau from her suite)? No. We don’t need that. I have no problem with Miss Swift (in fact, what I know of her and her music I rather like), but that’s a storyline we can do without.

THE PICK AGAINST THE SPREAD: KC +4

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NFC Championship Game: Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers
Time: 6:30 pm ET
TV: FOX

SPREAD: SF -7.5

The NFC Championship Game features the Niners in their classic gold/red/gold (one of my most favorite NFL home unis) against the Lions in what many of us feel is their absolute worst look: white jerseys, stripeless white pants, and white socks, for that scuba-suit look. It’s at least as bad as their blue over mono-gray outfit, if not worse. I was really hoping they’d decide to wear their gray pants or blue pants (with white socks — their blue yoga pant look isn’t much better than mono-white)– but alas, they will not. The Lions have been a revelation and a feel-good story, and I definitely wouldn’t be upset if they somehow take down the 49ers to reach the Supe, but in the uni-game matchup, this is going to be a blowout.

THE PICK AGAINST THE SPREAD: 49ers -7.5

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And there you have it: My picks by “better uni” for the Champ Games. Feel free to disagree in the comments below.

 
  
 
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Comments (37)

    “against the Lions in what many of us feel is their absolute worst look: white jerseys, stripeless white pants, and white socks, for that scuba-suit look.”

    Oh, no no no no. There is a Lions combo that is not only their worst, but perhaps the worst in the league. And no matter what the team says, it is not “chrome.”

    The Saints and Commanders plain white pants are also awful. I call them “Penn State pants”-and that is where they should stay.

    Seriously the NFL needs to mandate at least one stripe on the outside of each pant leg.

    When the Lions tweeted their uni choice I reminded them they’re not the Nittany Lions. So I’m in total agreement with you.

    The Saints and Commanders plain white pants are also awful. I call them “Penn State pants”-and that is where they should stay.

    Seriously the NFL needs to mandate at least one stripe on the outside of each pant leg.

    I like the Ravens in purple jerseys and black pants, but I wish they would wear purple socks with this combo to eliminate the “leotard” look.
    Totally agree on the Lions. Their entire uniform set is pretty good – minus the stripeless white pants (they look practice pants). Their best combos, IMO, are blue jersey/silver pants at home and white jersey/silver pants on the road, although their white jersey/blue pants combo isn’t bad either.
    Why they insist on wearing their worst combos most of the time is baffling to me.

    I’d love to know why teams think pants look better without stripes. The Ravens inaugural season black pants had a pretty bad stripe, but it was better than these. And the Lions just look like they’re running around in thermal underwear.

    “I’d love to know why teams think pants look better without stripes.”

    There is actually a reason (though I contend it’s somewhat specious). One of these days I’m going to do a deep dive into this phenomenon.

    Teams wear what the manufacturer gives them. If they had white pants with blue stripes they would look better. Of course they should be wearing blue socks today also but we know how that will turn out. And the Lions worst look is obviously the mono grey with that stupid alt helmet.

    At this level(and many others), teams wear the designs they signed off on. I know, Nike Nike Nike…I’m not defending their business practices, marketing speak, or over-looking their influence, but if the Lions wanted striped whites, they’d have them.

    Why have the Lions abandoned their silver pants, which nicely match their silver helmets. Both with blue or white jerseys, silver pants look so much better.

    They still wear the silver-gray pants (with white and blue jerseys), just not particularly often. (They also wear gray pants with their CR, but those pants are stripeless link )

    In the 2023 season (not counting playoffs as they’ve been in Monolulu blue for those so far), the team wore white jerseys in eight games. The records:

    White Jersey/White Pants: 4-1 (their only loss being the Cowboys game, in which they tried for a 2-pt. conversion to win the game, but came up short)

    White Jersey/Silver-Gray Pants: 1-1

    White Jersey/Blue Pants: 0-1

    As we’ve seen with the blueberries in the post-season, the Lions appear to go with their “lucky” combos, and clearly they must feel their luckiest combo is white jersey/pants.

    “(their only loss being the Cowboys game, in which they tried for a 2-pt. conversion to win the game, but came up short)”
    Correction. The Lions did not come up short. They converted the 2 point conversion. But a referee not paying attention to a lineman reporting eligible, incorrectly called an illegal touch. “Robbed by the refs” would be more appropriate than “came up short.” With that win, Lions would have been 13-4, thus #1 seed and perhaps the NFC Championship game would have been at home instead of CA. Hmmm
    Really, they just choked the game away in the 2nd half to 9’ers. But don’t say they “came up short” in Dallas. Them’s fightin’ words.

    Chiefs and 49ers for today. In SB, Chiefs and Lions if they wear blue pants or jersey (depending on which conference is “home”)

    AFC is the designated “home” conference this year. One would assume Baltimore (or KC) will wear their dark jerseys, so if the Lions were to make it, they’d be wearing white jerseys.

    Baltimore suffers from attempting to make black and purple equal partners. I’d be absolutely fine if they were a purple and gold team with black trim, or a black team with purple and gold trim, but black and purple in equal amounts don’t really compliment each other or create enough “pop” So any white and gold just tends to look like clutter to me. Also they have always had awful logos and wordmarks.

    Break out the mustard pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Am I the only one that actually thought that was kinda cool? LOL

    Dave is correct on all points here. Baltimore should pick either purple or black and make the other a trim color. And probably should drop gold altogether since three-color combos almost always look cluttered. Getting rid of that arena league font and logo would also be a massive upgrade.

    Wouldn’t that be a Chiefs-Colts game played in Indianapolis? In the 1970s, these two franchises were wearing red & white and orange & brown.

    Take a look at the graphic again. That game was played in Baltimore.

    I know the Colts and Browns/Ravens are different franchises. I was referring to location.

    Let’s see here-
    I think the purple/black Baltimore eyesores are much worse than KC and The Red Road Pants. Advantage: Chiefs.
    There is no doubt that the Niners are dressed to win today. Sorry, Detroit-you had lots of ‘luck’ in the Lulus, but your white lion look is also the color of surrender. Advantage: SF

    Being a Bears fan, it has been hard for me to pull for the Lions. But, since they have never been to the Super Bowl, I have. Until today. How could they possibly take a chance at history and wear those horrible white pants? Do they really want to go back years from now and see highlights of that crappy combo? Geeeeez………..

    I still don’t understand why they have to get a panel of 5 or 6 people and laugh uncontrollably every time someone says something? And, it’s not just CBS. It’s every network. Just go back to having two people talk about the upcoming game and be done with it. LOL

    49ers vs Chiefs with 49ers winning it all and it’s not even close. Now, if the Lions go back full time to their nice simple silver and Honolulu blue uniforms that they’ve worn this season as throwbacks, then it will be a close call in the NFC. But as it stands now, both championship games are blowouts based on uniforms. I’d say SF vs KC goes easily to SF too.

    The way-too-loud sound system at work plays a curious mix of (mostly bad or overplayed) music that is very Taylor Swift/Led Zeppelin-heavy.

    Taylor’s is among the most listenable stuff. She can dance around all she wants in two weeks at the Super Bowl. Won’t bother me at all.

    My next job is going to be in a quiet place.

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