I can’t imagine why anyone would want to watch something as completely irrelevant as the Hall of Fame game, which is pointless even by NFL exhibition standards. But it’s a good thing someone watched, because now we have our first real uni-related development of the football season. As I first mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker, several people who watched the game reported seeing a little green dot on the back of some of the quarterbacks’ helmets (here’s a larger view). Most people seemed to think it had something to do with the radio sets that the QB helmets are equipped with, and it turns out they were right — sort of.
ProFootballTalk.com reported yesterday that the green dot “to help officials confirm that only one player on offense is wearing a helmet with a radio receiver from the coaching staff. So, if a team plans to put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time [for a trick play], one of them must change helmets before entering the game.” (You can see the full report by searching for “green dot” on this page.)
But how does the dot end up on the helmet? Is it embedded into the plastic by the manufacturer, or is it just a decal applied by the team? If the latter, what’s to stop a team from beating the system by “forgetting” to slap on the decal? I posed that question to NFL spokesman Dan Masonson, who responded thusly: “It’s a decal. The team’s equipment manager puts the decal on. Officials will make random spot checks throughout game to make sure they are on proper helmets.”
I meant to ask Dan why green was chosen as the operative color, but I forgot. I didn’t want to bug him again, so instead I e-mailed Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba (soon to be the subject of the next Uni Watch video report, incidentally), who responded, “Why green? I guess they said, ‘Let’s give the equipment guys some of the ugliest decals to throw on a helmet.’ Personally, I like the idea of having defenders spot the green dot from the backside and hitting the QB.”
I kinda like the idea of color-coded decals. Maybe they could impose the same “only one on the field at a time” rule for the following decals:
- Red = Only player allowed to make stupid TD celebration
Blue = Only player allowed to make stupid sack celebration
Gray = Only player allowed to make first down signal
Orange = Only player allowed to whine when flagged for a penalty
Brown = Only receiver allowed to lobby for pass interference call
Plaid = Only player allowed to have one chinstrap buckle unsnapped
And so on. Admit it, it’s a brilliant system. Mr. Goodell, I await your call to discuss the financial particulars.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Did you realize that pine tar rags have team logos on them? I didn’t until last night, when Matthew Lepke sent me this note: “The camera crew from Fox North caught the Indians using a Tampa Bay(!?!) pine tar rag in the on-deck circle tonight. Very strange. As the Twins’ announcers said, ‘No wonder they aren’t scoring many runs.'” … Pulitzer-worthy move by the Houston Chronicle, which is providing a very amusing tutorial on how readers can convert their David Carr jerseys into Matt Schaub jerseys. Of course, the best move might be not to spend $250 on a jersey to begin with, but maybe they’ll run that bit of advice next week. … “Fanbanta.com has been having a ‘Design a Kit’ contest to publicize the launch of their website and to possibly outfit a Scottish 3rd Division team they are sponsoring,” writes David Walker. “Most of the designs are, as it turns out, horrible. But interesting.” … Good site dedicated to 1978 World Cup uniforms here (good find by Denis Hurley). … Intersting shot here of UConn players being fitted for their football helmets without facemasks (kudos to Matt O’Brien). … We’ve all heard about how the “armor” worn by Barry Bonds and others allows hitters to lean over the plate with impunity. But according to this analysis Bonds’s armor may also aid the mechanics of his swing (thanks, Vince). … Speaking of Bonds, several people have mentioned to me that he had his fly unzipped while on deck about a week ago. I couldn’t find a good shot, but it’s plainly visible in this video clip. … And speaking of XYZ issues, remember that item last week about Kerwin Danley umpiring with his fly unzipped? Here’s the visual evidence (with thanks to Vince for poring over the game video). … Great find by Scott Turner, who stopped designing membership cards just long enough to find this great photo of early-’70s White Sox stirrups. … A week or so ago I briefly linked to a photo of the Redskins’ 75th-anniversary throwback jerseys, but then I had to take down the link. It must be kosher now, though, because the jersey is being shown on the NFL’s own site. Let’s hope the sock stripes match the sleeves. … Wyoming is apparently moving to a Broncos-style template. Full unveiling on Friday (with thanks to John Eisel). … Good rundown here on the history of the Cork jerseys in the Irish sports of hurling and football (as forwarded by Denis Hurley). … “A buddy of mine named Michael Carasik lived in Chicago during the early 1980s,” writes Morris Levin (whose Victory Pennants site sells some great throwback pennants, incidentally). “He was part of a group of Cubs fans who were active in the Jewish community. Ivan DeJesus played shortstop so they had T-shirts made up that read, ‘Jews for DeJesus.'” … Rick Porter reports that the Penguins and Sabres will wear throwback uniforms for their New Year’s Day game, which may be held outdoors. … Yesterday I linked to this commercial (and noted that the Chargers’ lightning bolt designs were inconsistent). That prompted a note from Steve Due of AIS Uniforms, which manufactured the unis for the commercial: “The Bears jerseys were cut on an older pattern that is baggy. The Chargers were a new-style jersey that we had to make patterns for and had three days to do everything. As is commonly the case, since Reebok, Nike, Under Armour and the rest aren’t manufacturers, but promotion-driven, they plan to have things ready for commercials and often can’t, so they have to rely on AIS/Sportsrobe to make them. Usually with the knowledge that a cast and huge crew are going to be shooting in a very short turnaround. Often with nothing to go on but some pictures.” None of which really explains why the lightning bolts were inconsistent — stay tuned. … Latest minor league team to wear pink jerseys: the Portland Beavers. … An Australian Rules Football team was recently fined for wearing the wrong uniform (cheers to Steven Russell). … After a few weeks of back and forths, it looks like the logo creep on NFL photographers’ vests is here to stay. … Speaking of logo creep, people who wonder why I get so worked up over corporate marketing logos should take a look at this. … Jeremy Brahm reports that skullcaps are becoming increasingly common in Japanese baseball, but the players wearing them seem to lose their caps and helmets with distressing regularity. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Steve Prudente reports that the announcers in last night’s Giants/Nats game mentioned that Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum keeps track of his strikeouts by writing tally marks under his brim. Gotta find a visual of that. … Also from last night: Jarrod Saltalamacchia wore a logo-free helmet for part of last night’s game (he later wore a proper one), and he’s switched from No. 23 to 25, but I’m only showing that because it’s fun to see his name on the back of a jersey. … The 49ers will wear throwback uniforms for their season-opening game on September 10th, in honor of Bill Walsh. … Soccer news from Nick Noyes, who writes: “Freddy Adu’s new club in Portugal, Benfica, will be sporting new kits this season, with the road variation featuring pink.” Further details here.