The Patriots are setting all sorts of offensive records this season, but they may also be leading the league in unusual regulatory sanctions. First there was the video-spying incident. And now comes the news that two of the Pats — including Tom Brady — have been fined for not buckling their chinstraps.
Players have been going partially unsnapped for years now, of course (for further details on this and other aspects of chinstrap protocol, look here), a problem that the league has apparently made a concerted effort to eradicate this season. League officials say the issue is safety, not style, but I kinda think that’s just a smokescreen. After all, a few players still wear the old two-point strap, so wouldn’t this still offer more protection than the two-pointer? Methinks to NFL brain trust just doesn’t like seeing those straps flapping around out there.
The league is supposedly issuing chinstrap warnings before levying penalties, which means anyone fined for this infraction is a de facto serial offender. That’s hard to believe in Brady’s case, at least based on the photographic record. Do a Google image search on him and about 90% of the pics that come up show him fully buckled, with only the occasional exception. Sudden thought: Most of the players going unsnapped these days are black (including Ty Warren, the other Patriot who’s been fined). Could the league have singled out Brady simply to avoid charges of racism? Hmmmmm.
Speaking of Warren, he was fined for going unsnapped in the Pats’ game against the Bills on September 23rd. Must not have made a particularly big impression on him, because he was unsnapped again this past Sunday.
For more info on these and other uni infractions, visit our friends at UniformViolation.com.
Intern Position Available: I’m pretty much a self-sufficient guy. I work for myself, and by myself, at home. Delegating has never been my strong suit. When something needs to be done, I’d usually rather do it myself than explain the task to someone else.
About a year ago, however, I was lucky enough to encounter someone who helped bring me out of my shell — someone who showed me that I don’t always have to do everything myself, that it’s okay to trust others, and that I don’t need to maintain complete autonomy over every little thing. For the first time in ages, I allowed myself to surrender a bit of control. I don’t mind admitting that I was a bit nervous about it at first, but in the end it turned out to be an eye-opening experience.
And that’s how I started dating Jenny Strasburg. Lovely gal, but it didn’t work out. Too bad.
Oh, and around that same time I hired Vince Grzegorek to be the first Uni Watch intern. Pretty good hire, right? But after nearly a year of making my life easier and making Uni Watch a much better project than it would otherwise have been, he’s now getting ready to move onward and upward in the media world. So I’m gonna need a new assistant, starting roughly at the end of November.
Here’s the deal: I’m looking for someone who’s passionate about sports in general and uniforms in particular (duh), with a really good eye for detail (double-duh) and an affinity for historical minutiae. A big part of the job involves research, so please be adept at creative googling, willing to go to the library, and unafraid to pick up the phone and call a team’s media relations office. The right person will also be a good writer who wants to become even better, will have some interest (and maybe proficiency) in graphic design, and will be willing to commit substantial time and energy in return for no pay and meager non-cash benefits (how’s that for a great deal?). Ideally, this person will also have a bunch of wonderful qualities that I didn’t even realize I was looking for. Helpful but not essential: HTML literacy, Mac fluency, NYC-area residency.
Also: If you don’t have good writing or research skills but live in NYC and still want to help out, I’d be willing to sign someone on to assist with other tasks, like processing membership orders and basic site maintenance. I promise you’ll never have to make me coffee, primarily because I don’t drink coffee. I make no promises about asking you to run out for a 12-pack of Diet Coke, however.
Interested? Then e-mail me with a short explanation of why you’re the right person for the job. Please note that I don’t want to see your résumé, I don’t care how big your jersey collection is, and it makes no difference to me whether you’ve been reading Uni Watch since 1999 or just discovered it last week. I simply want to hear you tell me why you’re the right choice to be my right-hand man (or woman, as the case might be).
Finally, if you want to learn more about the job from the guy who currently holds it, feel free to e-mail Vince with any questions. He’ll be happy to give you the inside scoop, and he’ll keep your discussions confidential if you don’t want me to know about them.
Uni Watch News Ticker: USC’s John David Booty is trying to protect his broken middle finger with a glove. … While looking for a FNOB photo of Brent Sutter, Chesky Bevo came across this. What’s that symbol above the uni numbers? … Captaincy note from Giants equipment director Joe Skiba: “The NFL sent us blue [captain's] patches for home and road jerseys, and some red ones for the red jerseys. But I called the league and got permission to use the red patches for the away uniforms. Are we the only team with two different-colored patches?” Not sure — anyone..? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Daniel Sedin was showing some garter the other night. … Also from yesterday: As if NHL players haven’t been complaining enough about too much moisture ending up in their gloves and skates, there’s now talk of them using heated skate blades. No, really! And Wayne Gretzky’s a big fan. … Thank god we’re more than halfway through the month of October, which means all pink uniforms will soon be behind us. For now, though, Sharks goalie prospect Thomas Greiss is wearing a pink mask. Details about two-thirds of the way down this page (with thanks to Paul Locatelli). … Loads of NHL patches for sale here. … Longtime Uni Watch pal Kevin Walsh is showcasing some awesome terra cotta uniforms on about two-thirds of the way down this page on his awesome site, Forgotten NY. … Nick Maibroda reports that NASCAR driver Patrick Carpentier was given a Canadiens jersey with NASCAR-style numbering the other day. … You think maybe Indians pitcher Jenson Lewis’s parents have a lot of furniture from these guys? … Oregon has been practicing in white helmets this week, and the white lids (which appear to have green nose bumpers) may finally make their long-threatened game debut this weekend. Details here (with thanks to Dan Coleman). … Paul Locatelli notes that Joe Thornton’s helmet appears to have a old-style downward-sloping NHL logo, not the new version. … This year’s World Series cap patch will look like this. … Lots of great White Sox uni footage, from many different eras, in the second half of this video. … Bizarre and disturbing photo here (as spotted by Eric Distenfeld).