Here are some observations from yesterday’s NFL action.
• Speaking of the Packers, Brett Favre appears to be wearing history’s wimpiest-looking thigh pads. Like, are those just pieces of cardboard or what?
• The Steelers’ anniversary patch looks a lot worse on a white jersey.
• I stand by my prediction that the league’s new captaincy initiative will be a one-year thing, especially now that we’re seeing how many teams aren’t even bothering with it. I haven’t yet compiled a definitive breakdown of which teams were and weren’t wearing the new captains’ patches, but my unofficial count (based on the admittedly imperfect method of looking photos of quarterbacks, since QBs are usually — but, I know, not always — captains) indicates that there were at least 10 “C”-free teams yesterday: the Vikings, Pats, Packers, Eagles, Browns, Chargers, Redskins, Falcons, Cowboys, and Jaguars. Plus the 49ers and Cardinals, who are playing tonight, have announced that they’re going “C”-less. So that makes 12 out of 32 teams — more than a third of the league — that were smart enough to ignore this silliness. (As an aside: Michael Strahan was one of the Giants’ captains, which tells you everything you need to know about how meaningless NFL captaincies are to begin with. This guy’s idea of “leadership” was holding out through the entire preseason.)
• Speaking of LT, this is a bit much, no?
• Steve Smith’s sleeves are so short that the Reebok logo has to go next to his panther head sleeve patch, instead of above it.
• Shaun Rogers’s uni number appears to have been riding mighty high (credit Bob from Akron for that one).
• If you’re gonna make a big fuss about wearing a suit, shouldn’t you at least straighten your tie?
Uni Watch Book Club: I’m one of the contributors to a new book called Taking Things Seriously, which consists of 75 short essays, each one devoted to a specific object that has special and unexpected significance to the writer (in my case it’s a light bulb that I scavenged from an abandoned steel mill nearly 20 years ago). Although the book isn’t the least bit sports-related, its emphasis on finding big pleasure in small details resonates in a very Uni Watch-ish sort of way. The entries, which include contributions from such geniuses as Tony Millionaire, Luc Sante, and Bill Griffith, are consistently wonderful, and I’m proud to be in their company. Highly recommended, and not just because I was involved with the project.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I’ve heard of high whites and low whites, but what about wrinkly whites? (As spotted by Brett Baker.) … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Aramis Ramirez’s helmet decal was missing on Friday night (with thanks to Clint Fransen). … Shawn Knowles points out that Carlos Guillen’s neckwear is perhaps a bit much. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: Good video clip here on the company that makes the Bills’ jerseys, among others. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Texas football team is wearing blue wristbands, to commemorate their running backs coach’s fight against prostate cancer. Details here. … I’ve been waiting for a good photo of stirrups-clad Pirates call-up Nyjer Morgan, and here it is. Let’s hope this kid becomes a star. … Dave Zalatoris was up at Cooperstown recently and took a nice shot of Honus Wagner’s flip-down shades. … What’s better than a team with cool socks? Two teams with cool socks in the same game (in this case, Mission Prep, from San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Coast Union High, from Cambria, Calif., as spotted by Greg Riffenburgh). … Wade Phillips was wearing the new Motorola headset design during preseason. Last night, though, he was wearing a different version, with a thinner strap up top and a much thicker one going behind his head. … Speaking of the new headsets, check out this note from Greg Patterson: “Motorola plasters their name all over the headsets but they don’t even make them. I work for the company that makes the entire system for each NFL team, including the quarterback helmet receiver. Motorola is the ‘Official Communications Provider’ for the NFL, so they get the advertising space. If you want to find out the maker of the units, look at the belt-pack (the black box on the coach’s belt) all coaches wear, or look for a black, flattened octagon on a pole along the sidelines.” … Colorado State Pueblo is running a contest to design the school’s football uniforms. Details in this PDF file (with thanks to BJ Lanier).