I didn’t intend to use the same headline for the third consecutive Monday, but it’s not often that a simple mid-season NFL gameday offers as many uni-related observations as yesterday did.
• I’m more conflicted about the Eagles’ throwbacks. I loved the striped hose, natch (although a few players took them a bit too far), and I like the basic graphic scheme, but I’ve gotta believe this design looked a lot better when it wasn’t rendered in shiny fabric. Also, it’s hard not to notice that a uniform with such pale colors works a lot better when worn by someone with, um, pale skin. Compare this to this and you’ll see what I mean. Remember, these uniforms were based on a design created back in the 1930s, when the league was almost completely white. Also, the color scheme was based on the Philadelphia city flag, which was in turn based on the Swedish national flag, and Swedes are pretty much the palest people on earth. No surprise, then, that the design looks a bit odd on black players, who currently comprise about 70 percent of the league. (And please: I know there are some people who can’t read anything about any aspect of race without getting bent out of shape, but there’s absolutely nothing in the preceding paragraph that’s even remotely racist.)
• At first I thought Marvin Harrison had a little piece of black tape on his lower-right chinstrap hookup (his right, our left). Then I looked at photos from last week and saw that it’s actually a little pice of rubber tubing with either “89” or “68” written on it. Anyone know what that’s about?
• Another week, another game with LaDainian Tomlinson not wearing the American flag on his helmet (it’s tough to see there, but trust me). Willie Parker, however, appears to be back among the flag-clad.
• As expected, Morten Andersen made his 2007 debut with his old Dungard facemask present and accounted for.
• Antonio Pierce usually wears a red “ny” on his chinstrap. Yesterday it was blue (“Just to change it up,” says Jints equipment director Joe Skiba). No photo yet.
Membership News: Some new designs in the membership card gallery, with more to follow later today. Incidentally, if you’re looking for something unique, the following numbers aren’t yet represented on the membership roster: 48, 62, 64, 69 (!), 70, 73, 74, 82, 84, 85, 90, 91, 95, and 96.
Research Project: I’m thinking of doing a column that will basically be a Uni Watch glossary — definitions and explanations of uni-related terminology. Entries could include everything from fabric and embroidery terms (tackle twill, soutache) to striping designations (UCLA inserts, Northwestern stripes), typographic terms (vertical arching), uniform and equipment element names (nose bumper, nameplate), and slang-ish terms that have gained parlance here on Uni Watch (logo creep, Ree-box). Most of these are already familiar to people who read this site ,natch, but I think it’ll make a good topic for the larger ESPN audience, which isn’t quite as savvy (yet).
If you’d like to nominate a term for inclusion in the glossary, let me know. Please don’t invent any new terms — what I’m looking for here are words and terms that are already somewhat established. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: “I was watching Little Big League (the movie where the kid inherits the Twins from his dead grandfather) on cable the other day,” writes Matt Usedom. “I noticed that they actually made a ‘TH’ sleeve patch for their ‘dead owner,’ Thomas Heywood.” … Decent article on jersey-wearing protocol here (with thanks to Alan Kreit). … Several readers have noted that Nike’s recent NFL-related commercials (first the one with the Chargers and the Bears, and now the “Leave Nothing” clip with Shane Merriman and Stephen Jackson) are very strange, because the Reebok logo is clearly visible on the uniforms. Now Austin Cochoon has picked up another uni-related oddity: “In the ‘Leave Nothing’ spot [available on YouTube here], at about the 47-second mark, while Jackson is running against the Seahawks, the second Seahawks player coming off the block is wearing #80. It’s hard to see in the YouTube version, but trust me, it’s clearly visible on the television [indeed it is — PL]. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The only person allowed to wear number 80 for the Seahawks is Steve Largent. I don’t count the brief Jerry Rice stint. Not only is the number 80 retired for the Seahawks, but he player appears to be a defensive back, which makes the number choice even more ludicrous.” … “There’s a change in the official patch licensee for MLB,” reports patch maven Brad Bierman. “The new company is a Dallas company called the Emblem Source [taking over for National Emblem — PL]. They work directly with Majestic, and did the RFK stadium-closing patch, for example. I have assisted them in lending original patches from my collection that are being replicated to the exact detail.” … Here’s something the NHL and Reebok apparently didn’t count on: Many of the Penguins (and, presumably, other teams) are complaining that the new water-resistant jerseys are repelling moisture so well that all the sweat and ice spray ends up in the players’ gloves and skates. Details here. … Still more NHL problems: The red part of Scott Gomez’s “A” began peeling off and then vanished completely the other night. … And speaking of the Rangers, what’s with the inconsistent name typography? Also, note that Steve Hutchinson and Mike Rupp are wearing tape on their socks — wasn’t that supposed to be unnecessary with the new hose? (With thanks to Jesse Spector, who took that photo himself.) … Remember the upside-down 8 on Fenway Park’s exterior wall? Greg Niforos reports that it’s now missing. Maybe someone in the Sox front office is a Uni Watch reader..? … No photo, but Joe Skiba reports that USC linebacker Keith Rivers was wearing a “10” helmet decal the other night, presumably in honor of injured teammate Brian Cushing.