Now that the first slate of NFL preseason games has been played, a few new developments have come to light (aside from those green dots on QBs’ helmets, which we’ve already discussed at length). Let’s take a look:
• At first glance, it appears that the Chiefs are wearing an AFL logo patch. But upon closer inspection, it turns out that the patch includes little “LH” initials at the bottom, in memory of Lamar Hunt. Personally, I’ve always loved the AFL logo and am happy to see it in just about any context, and I realize Hunt was a prime mover behind the AFL’s inception, but this still seems like an odd memorial choice, especially since it’s so hard to see the “L.H.” initials. Maybe if all the original AFL teams were wearing the patch..? Visually pleasing conceptually puzzling.
• Nice catch by Chad Wilcox, who notes that many of the Redskins with non-Riddell helmets are wearing the team’s stylized “R” secondary logo (the one usually seen on Joe Gibbs’s cap) on their nose bumpers Here’s another view. I like. Meanwhile, we’d all seen the team’s 75th-anniversary patch before, but it’s worth noting that it looks plenty sharp on the field.
• Speaking of anniversary patches, the one being worn by the Steelers doesn’t look as good. And although this is still appearing on the Bengals’ home page, it’s not on their jerseys, at least for now.
• There’s something weird about opening your season — even your exhibition season — in your alternate jersey.
• Subtlest change of the year: Motorola has outfitted the coaches with new headsets this year. The microphone bar is much thicker and clunkier-looking than last season — apparently so the Motorola wordmark can be printed on it as much as possible. Just in case anyone’s missing the point, the wordmark is also now appearing on both sides of the upper strap. (Note, incidentally, that while Joe Gibbs wears earphones on both ears, most other coaches only have an earpiece on the mic side.
That’s enough for now. Look for further developments in the Ticker as more games are played (like tonight’s Eagles/Ravens and Niners/Broncos tilts).
Charge It: The story behind this commercial and its inconsistent lightning bolt designs (compare this view of LaDanian Tomlinson, in which the upper-front point of his shoulder bolt is pointing forward, to this one, in which it’s pointing backward) continues to evolve. Last week I posted a note from Steve Due of AIS Uniforms — the company that made the unis — which didn’t fully explain the inconsistencies. Now I’ve received a dispatch from Due’s AIS colleague Bob Halfacre (who, as elephant-memoried readers may recall, had some very strong opinions a while back on the subject of nameplate initials), which I think finally closes the book on this story:
We made the bulk of the uniforms in a week with no help with patterns from the NFL. All we had was a replica-style jersey from Reebok. So the jersey itself isn’t perfect. … When the commercial was filmed, the Chargers sent Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers, and LaDanian Tomlinson with their actual tailored game jerseys. The shots of those three players are a mix of footage of those players in their actual uniforms along with footage of actors in the jerseys made by AIS, edited into what looks like continuous football action. I noticed the problem when I saw the commercial the first time also.
This shot is actually LT in his real jersey. Now that I have studied it a little more, I can see the problem. We put the bolts on backwards. If you look, the actual pictures of Gates and Tomlinson have the bolt with the first jag inside low and outside high. The AIS jerseys have the bolts the other way.
This explanation matches up with yesterday’s Chargers/Seahawks preseason game, where all of the Chargers’ shoulder bolts had the upper-front point facing forward (additional views here, here, and here). So there you have it: an all-too-rare case of someone taking responsibility and admitting his mistake. Thanks, Bob.
Membership News: We’re almost caught up on membership designs. Lots of good new stuff in the design gallery, including, as you can see at right, our first Bad News Bears treatment. Also newly added: a San Diego Chicken design. (I confess that I had never noticed the Chicken’s jersey logo until member Michael Rawson asked for it on his card.)
The next batch of designs, which Scott should have ready in a day or two, includes a really brilliant request that’s gonna look sooooooo cool — stay tuned. Meanwhile, new members are still welcome, so keep those orders coming.
Uni Watch News Ticker: No photo yet, but David Conley reports that Tiger Woods’s baby girl, Sam, “was actually wearing a red jumper with a large Nike swoosh on it when they showed her on TV yesterday after Tiger won the PGA.” And if you’ll excuse me for a second, I need to go throw up. … Okay, I’m back: The Celtics have announced that Scot Pollard and Eddie House will be wearing Nos. 66 and 50, respectively. Why? According to Friday’s Boston Herald: “‘Because all the other (expletive) numbers were taken here,’ Pollard said, looking around a conference room that had the numbers of Bill Russell (6), Tom Heinsohn (15), John Havlicek (17), Robert Parish (00), Larry Bird (33) and Kevin McHale (32) hanging on the wall.” (With thanks to Matt Englander.) … If you’re into modifying the uniforms on your video games (as discussed in detail here), you’ll want to check out the customization videos on this page (with thanks to Trev Ulmer). … Shorpy continues to be a great source of old uni photos, including this shot, captioned as follows: “Opening Day at Hilltop Park, April 4, 1908. New York Highlanders and Philadelphia Athletics” (as forwarded by Bob Andrews). … Brilliant catch by Peter Fahey who notes that Red Sox uniforms often have an upside-down 8 (the bigger opening should be on the bottom). … Elena Elms reports that the Durham Bulls will be wearing Livestrong jerseys, to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, on August 19th. … While doing a bit of membership-related research, Scott Turner came across this photo, taken in 1984. “How come Dorsett’s got a big star on his chest?” he asks. Good question. Anyone..? … If you haven’t read Game of Shadows, some of its most damning evidence about Bonds concerns his uniform: “[Giants equipment mananager Mike] Murphy could document Bonds’s physical changes via the changes in his uniform size. Since joining the Giants, Bonds has gone from a size 42 to a size 52 jersey; from size 10 1/2 to size 13 cleats; and from a size 7 1/8 to size 7 1/4 cap, even though he had taken to shaving his head” (with thanks to Matt Schudel for forwarding that quote). … Bryan Redemske notes that Chris Duncan, like all the other Cardinals, wore red shoes on Friday but switched to black on Saturday. … Matt Algeo reports that the Russian national baseball team wore throwbacks the other day. “Who knew there was a Russian national baseball team, or that they were around long enough to wear throwbacks?” he writes. Details and additional pics here. … Not often that you see “Sr.” on a nameplate. The player in question is Nebraska wide receiver Chris Brooks, whose young son is Chris Brooks Jr. (nice find by Brian Hansen). … Small item about Rick Ankiel’s uni number history about halfway down this page (with thanks to Tom Chalifour). … Dave Gardner sent along a few hockey-related links I hadn’t seen before, including a discussion forum for vintage goalie masks and a gallery of Russian jerseys. … “Found a cool gallery of lacrosse photos from the Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association, a semi-pro summer box lacrosse league in Canada,” writes Thomas Langan. “Looks like some of the jerseys get recycled, as evidenced by the tape over the name. Some nice retro-looking jerseys too.” … “This blog entry has two uni-related tidbits,” writes Kim Kolb. “One is about a United midfielder trading jerseys with Beckham, the other is about some guys trying to steal the Galaxy’s laundry, leading to a chase through the bowels of RFK Stadium.” … The Twins’ recent I-35W memorial decal provides a uni-related connection for this excellent story about how a new signage typeface is being used on American highways. … Soccer note from Jeremy Brahm, who reports that Montreal Impact goalie Matt Jordan was injured with a broken jaw a month ago but is now playing with a mask. … My worst nightmare recently came true down in Virginia, where the Richmond Braves had a purple jersey promotion (with “thanks” to David Rosenthal). … Latest MLB team to pull the totally bush move of wearing their BP jerseys for a regular-season game: the Mariners, who did it yesterday, apparently because it was so hot and muggy and they don’t have a Cool Base road jersey option. … Speaking of the M’s, many of them are wearing a custom-designed undershirt. Details here (with thanks to Jerry Gardner). … Amusing column here about the PGA’s no-shorts rule (good spot by Alan Kreit). … Eyebrow-raising note buried in Phil Mushnick’s Sunday New York Post column (as spotted by Seth Horowitz): “The University of Utah’s new basketball coach, Jim Boylen, could be the guy we’ve been looking for. At Boylen’s urging, black has been eliminated from the team’s uniforms. ‘Our [school] colors are red and white,’ he explained. ‘Black is not one of our colors.’” … The Texans are the latest team to publish their jersey schedule for the upcoming season (good find by Seth Harris). … No photo, but Morris Levin reports that Bruce Froemming is still wearing his All-Star Game cap. … “Adam Gaylord plays his college baseball at Stanford, but this summer he’s been playing for the Waterloo Bucks of the Northwoods League,” writes Matt Nelson. Sunday he sported these nice stirrups.”