As you may have seen in my ESPN column last Thursday, Bengals equipment manager Rob Recker had a few things to say about the difficulties of imposing uniform and equipment guidelines on millionaire athletes (including Chad Johnson, whose orange chinstrap was benched yesterday).
Recker told me a bunch of other stuff, but I didn’t have room for it in the column. Fortunately, there’s plenty of room for it right here, so here’s a bit more of what he had to say:
I’ve seen guys come in here with black chinstraps, and I just say, “Hey, they’re illegal.” It’s like the socks that are too low, it’s like the pants that are too high. Every week, during pregame, you see a bunch of guys with their socks pulled down, on purpose, just to draw attention. It’s all about drawing attention. And they are told to pull their socks up, tuck their shirts in, and do all those things they’re supposed to do so they don’t get fined.[…]
Everyone wants to be different. We used to have white shoes, but when Marvin [Lewis] came in, he said we’re switching to black shoes. Fine, no problem. Now I’ve got all these guys who want white shoes, or white and orange. It’s the same thing with the visors — everyone wants the dark-tinted visors, because it’s all about the look, and then on Friday I’m taking six or eight of ‘em off and replacing ‘em with the clear ones, because that’s what’s legal on the field. […]
I think the uniform [police] are pretty cool, and for the most part the NFL is cool. They’re not looking to be, y’know, assholes — they just want to keep the uniform code pretty consistent so it doesn’t get out of control.
Poor Recker. As if to prove his point, T.J. Houshmanzedah wore white cleats yesterday, instead of Cincy’s usual black. If you want to see what being an NFL equipment manager was like before the era of the modern showboating athlete, look here.
Lump of Coal: In case you missed it on Friday, I’m thinking of having a Uni Watch party here in Brooklyn this Saturday afternoon (figure around 3pm, give or take), but I realize people have shopping and other holiday-related obligations to deal with, so I’m trying to gauge how many people are interested. I received only a few positive responses to this idea when I first mentioned it last Friday, so I’ll just scrap the whole thing if I don’t get better feedback today and tomorrow. If you want in, please send a note to uniparty at earthlink dot net.
Helmet Giveaway Reminder: Tonight at 9pm is the deadline for entering for a chance to win a free non-autographed college helmet from our friends at Gridiron Memories. If you haven’t already done so, just send an e-mail to helmetraffle at earthlink dot net. One entry per person, but everyone who’s ordered Uni Watch temporary tattoos will automatically have their names put into the hat a second time. (To get in on this, PayPal $1 apiece for the first five tats, 50 cents apiece after that, with a five-tat minimum, to paul_lukas at earthlink dot net.) The winner will be announced tomorrow.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Check out these Girl Scout uniforms (featured last week in this eBay auction). … Stadium naming rights have reached a new level of absurdity. … Jason Halpin recently attended a Devils game and snapped this shot of backup goalie Scott Clemmensen wearing a cap with the wrong NHL logo. … Several NFL players are on notice for having worn unauthorized gloves (with thanks to Cork Gaines). … Want to create you own Bengals helmet? Turns out there’s actually a decal kit for that (great find by Dan Smith). … Soccer query from Dennis Abrams: “I was very surprised to see this when I was watching highlights. When Adelaide’s starting keeper was red-carded, the backup came in with a baseball-style cap on. I don’t know what kind of logo was on the front. Apparently he has done this before, but for all I know, he could do this every game. I’d like to know if this is common practice in soccer or if this is the Daniel Beltrame’s trademark.” … In light of Wisconsin’s aggressive pursuit of high schools appropriating the university’s “motion W” logo, this PDF file of logo-use guidelines is particularly interesting (with thanks to UW grad Brian Temke). … Florida’s football jerseys have looked like this this season, but they’ll drop the 100th-anniversary patch and go with this for the BCS title game. … Buried in last Friday’s Comments section: the coolest pole vaulting socks ever. … Found this cool jacket at a thrift store. Probably would’ve bought it anyway, what with the excellent breast pocket patch and all, but what sealed the deal was this great interior lining. … “I was just watching the movie Necessary Roughness,” writes Ethan Oster, “and I noticed that almost all the players for the Armadillos wear a facemask I’ve never seen before.” He’s referring to the mask being worn by two of the three players in this shot. Looks kinda like a Dungard 205, but with a bigger cage. Anyone know more about this design? … That’s quite an outfit being worn by the Canadian speed skaters (an uncharacteristically non-Asian contribution from Jeremy Brahm). … Radically divergent approaches to NFL hosiery on display here. … Speaking of which, was Cedric Griffin taking cues from Jane Fonda yesterday? … More hosiery follies: What the hell’s going on here? … Remember our discussion a while back of the Philly tag? Double-barrel example of it here. … Warrick Dunn usually gets attention for his necklace, but he also appears to have major belt-flappage issues. … Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio both wore their suits again. … R.W. McQuarters is still wearing that SpongeBob Band-Aid (as previously seen here). … Michael Rich notes that Georgia Tech’s home nameplate typography is very different from what they wear on the road. “Sorry I couldn’t find a better example of the home jersey, but the difference is much more pronounced than the photo might suggest,” he writes. “Notice that on the road, the nameplate is so large it actually crosses into the blue trim, whereas there is clearly white between the name and the blue trim of the home jersey. I’ve seen this in multiple games, so it wasn’t just a one-game uni snafu or anything like that.” … That was one weird-ass loincloth that Rachid Drilzane was wearing on Saturday night. … I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: White boxing gloves are lame-o. … Kassim Ouma’s green gloves and green trunks, however, looked great. … Reprinted from last night’s Comments section: Jose Mesa, who matches his glove’s color to his team’s color (as seen here, here, here, here, here, and here), has just signed with the Tigers. Get ready for that orange glove when Detroit goes on the road. … I was looking again at that Chad Johnson photo from yesterday and noticed that two of the sideline guys are wearing “9″ anklebands. Anyone know what that’s about?