LaDainian Tomlinson doesn’t play in preseason games. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing anything uni-notable — it just means most of us can’t see what he’s up to. Fortunately, reader Ryan Luz — who happens to be an assistant equipment manager at U. of San Diego — has been paying close attention, and he’s noticed a some interesting new developments regarding LT’s headwear:
Okay, so you know what LT’s normal facemask and visor look like — just the standard dark tint and a standard three-bar facemask, like this. Within the last week or two, however, he began wearing a new at training camp. This new visor was reflective and blue.
Then he did something I’ve never seen before — well, two things, actually. First, he wore this new facemask that’s like nothing I’ve seen before. Just very odd, very unique, something I’ve never seen in all of my football equipment managing days.
But the weirdest thing isn’t the facemask. If you look closely at this photo again, you’ll see he’s wearing TWO visors. It appears as though he’s wearing the new blue, reflective visor underneath the old standard tinted visor. This is another thing I’ve never seen before.
Since LT doesn’t play preseason games, it’s not yet clear if this is just some practice thing, or if he will use this configuration in games. Meanwhile, I’m currently scouring the internet trying to find what type of facemask that is, but neither Schutt nor Adams shows that mask on their sites, and I’m 90% sure it isn’t a Riddell, because they stick mostly with the traditional masks.
Some quick background: Wearing a tinted visor requires special permission from the NFL (in Tomlinson’s case, it’s because he has a light-sensitivity condition that can lead to migraines), but nobody is allowed to wear a colored or reflective visor. Ronnie Brown, for example, was fined for wearing this sunburst-patterned visor in 2005. So is Tomlinson’s dual-visor setup a way for him to hide the contraband visor behind the kosher one? Bizarre.
Tampa Struck by
Lightning Crummy Uniforms Again: The Lightning unveiled their new jerseys over the weekend (there’s a slideshow here and a short video clip here). No question that the new chest logo is better than the old one, if only because it’s more legible, but it still looks like clip art. This isn’t so much an upgrade as a correction — it’s what the original design should have looked like in the first place. The rear view is neither wonderful nor objectionable — compared to the old version, it strikes me as a wash. The really weird thing, which nobody has yet adequately explained: The road jerseys have front uni numbers, but the home set doesn’t. Is this the NHL version of the Red Sox wearing player names on their road jerseys but not at home? Very strange. All in all: Still a dreadful-looking team, although marginally less dreadful than before.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Can’t understand why I make such a fuss over corporate sponsorships? Look here. … Must be a real joker in the ESPN.com art department. As of about midnight eastern last night, the site’s front page looked like this. Take a closer look at the photo composite — credited as an “ESPN.com illustration” — and tell me what you see under the dog’s eye (good spot by Erik Kenerson). … As you may recall, about 10 days ago Jeff Francoeur began a game with his name misspelled on his back and then switched to a properly spelled jersey later in the game. David Sonny reports that similar situation unfolded yesterday in Cincinnati, where Ryan Jorgensen came to the plate in the 1st inning with his name misspelled as ‘Jorgenson.’ After hitting a grand slam, he returned to the game with his name spelled correctly. … Nice site here devoted to soccer footwear (with thanks to Brad Elliott). … Classic promo giveaway at last Thursday’s Tigers game: a cap with an attached wig, in honor of Magglio and his locks. … Interesting sponsorship-logo dispute unfolding in NASCAR. … MLB coaches may start wearing helmets next season. … Good vs. Stupid Alert: According to a small item buried in this blog entry, the Blues’ new uniforms will have “stripes on the front of the pants” (good find by Kyle Joecken). … This trend of teams wearing BP jerseys for actual games is getting way out of hand. … Two Bears observations from Chris Radford: “(1) Rex Grossman is buckling both chin straps this preseason. The first time ever (including college). (2) Devin Hester has switched to a Schutt/AHIR style helmet after wearing a Riddell his rookie year. Most likely due to the fact that University of Miami players wore Schutt/AHIR style helmuts in college and he finally felt comfortable to ask for that style of helmet.” … The Red Wings wore this throwback jersey back in 1993. But John Baranowski was looking at this photo and noticed that the top stripe appears to have been a lighter color. Anyone know more about this? … Some really cool Blackhawks patches here (as found by Mike Priest). … A little “Los” goes a long way. … Luke Larson was clicking through GoalieCards.com (which looks like a really great site) and came across this. Was it common for practice jerseys to have corporate sponsors back then? … Here’s a bit of Mariners news I hadn’t heard before, from Jon V. Buerstatte: “In 1992, when the new owners completed their purchase in mid-season, the M’s had an ‘opening day’ celebration. To mark the occasion, the M’s wore their usual white home uniforms, but with ‘Seattle’ on the jerseys instead of ‘Mariners.’ That had great significance at the time, because the team was constantly the subject of relocation rumors and the new ownership wanted to send a strong message that the team was the Seattle Mariners, not just the Mariners.” I’ve never seen these “Seattle”-ized home whites, and they’re not shown in either the Okkonen or Henderson guides. Buerstatte hasn’t been able to provide a photo yet, but he did come up with this article, which confirms his account. Anyone got a photo? … On Friday I mentioned that the Steelers used block lettering for their nameplates for the first game of the 1997, before switching to their rounded font. That prompted the following from Ryan Hemminger: “In a related tidbit, the Steelers also used black type for the names, instead of their customary gold, for their road jerseys during the entire 1997 season. I was excited to see them return to the gold names in 1998.” … My recent ESPN column about uniform prototypes included coverage of the black helmets that the Saints wore during the 1969 preseason. Now Tim Fesmire has found this poster — check out the Saints player at lower left. You can bid on that poster here. … In 1964, the Jets wore this helmet design, with a white logo decal instead of the more familiar green decal they began using the following year. I’d never seen any photos or video of the ’64 design until Saturday, when Jay Braiman sent a bunch of screen grabs from the new Jets Complete History DVD. “It’s no wonder they reversed the colors of the decal the following year,” says Jay. “Whether because of the film quality or otherwise, it’s barely visible. Unfortunately, no footage on the DVD of the 1963 jet-plane helmets.” You can see a slide show of Jay’s screen grabs here. … The Astros retired Jeff Bagwell’s number yesterday, and Nicholas Roznovsky got some good pics of the three jerseys Bagwell was presented with, his number inscribed in the infield dirt, and the great little jersey pin that all fans received. As for Bags himself, nice to see him dressing so formally for the occasion. … Speaking of retired numbers, great story here from my friend George Ferrandi, who grew up in Baltimore and attended the game when Brooks Robinson’s number was retired: “They gave out little ‘one size fits all’ jerseys for kids. Alas, I don’t have mine anymore, unless it’s buried in my mom’s attic. This was during my high fandom period, when I went to every home game and wore a hoodie covered with O’s buttons to middle school. (O yeah. “O” was also my rating on the coolness and popularity meter.) This was also the period when I personally took in a wounded Baltimore oriole and named it Brooks. I nursed it back to health but then tried to make it a pet — with tragic results. A traumatic story for another day.” … If you go to this page and scroll down the section headed “The Longest Name” (it begins two paragraphs from the bottom), you’ll find some excellent info about how the Rangers’ equipment manager handled the challenge of fitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s name on a jersey. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: a Bengals-themed corn maze. Details here. … The Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison is currently running an exhibit called World Series Wisconsin, with special emphasis on the 1957 Milwaukee Braves (who won the World Series) and the 1982 Brewers (who won the A.L. pennant). Plenty of uniforms and other memorabilia. There’s a really good video clip about the exhibit here (with big thanks to Uni Watch organic farming priestess and Badger State booster Julie Lindemann). … Braves pitcher Jose Ascaino had some serious undershirt tag issues yesterday (screen grab provided by Jeff Scott, who says, “How could you not feel that on your neck? Wouldn’t it be a distraction?”). … Scott Turner and I were playing softball yesterday, and he mentioned how the Mets used to suit up at their hotel during spring training, take taxis to Al Lang Field, and then climb out of the cabs in full uniform. This was all news to me, so Scott provided this photo. How cool is that?! … Wisconsin isn’t the only school policing its school logo (with thanks to Andrew Flynn). … Not uni-related, but Brett Myers’s latest attempt at community building is too good not to mention. Priceless audio link (NSFW) here.