Sean Taylor, who died last night after suffering a gunshot wound, was no angel. Off the field, there were drunk driving and weapons charges; on the field, he once spat in an opponent’s face and was known as a late-hit artist. But whatever else you can say about Taylor, this much is certain: He loved his stripes. If there was a part of his uniform that didn’t have stripes, he simply created his own — on his fingers, on his facemask, and, of course, on his socks.
Taylor’s signature moment came on November 6th, 2005, when he and Clinton Portis engaged in some serious sock shenanigans during a game against the Eagles. Portis, who went solid-burgundy on one leg and striped-burgundy on the other, just looked ridiculous, but Taylor looked spectacular in his candy-striped hose. He was fined $5,000, but I’m sure he felt it was worth it, and of course I agree.
The ’Skins will no doubt wear some sort of memorial for Taylor for the balance of this season. If anyone in the team’s front office is reading this, please, don’t take the boilerplate route of a helmet decal or jersey patch. If you really want to honor Taylor, have the whole team go with candy-striped socks or some other stripe-driven tribute. He would’ve wanted it that way.
Shorts Breezers Pants Update: Remember our recent discussion of the Belleville Bulls and their uni-numbered pants? Jonathan Deery was curious, so he contacted the team to ask what was up with the unusual number placement. Here’s what he heard back from the team’s communications director:
I spoke with Bulls Equipment Manager Tom Frater today about your questions regarding the numbers on the pants, as he is the one who makes those decisions. He informed me that his reasoning for adding numbers to the pants were twofold.
First, he always likes to try to add something unique to the uniforms and he liked how the numbers looked. Secondly, he uses it as an identifying tool, as he has found that just numbering the tags with a Sharpie does not prevent players from taking equipment from each other. He’s used the same sort of logic with adding players’ names on the back of the helmets this year as well.
“I was quite surprised by his last comment,” writes Jonathan, “so I went looking at the team’s photo gallery to find evidence of the names on the helmets. It looks like the equipment manager has matched the font used on the jersey to the helmet. Nice touch if you ask me.” Agreed.
Austin Reminder: By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on my way to Austin. Looking forward to meeting lots of you tonight at the Salt Lick. There’s a 7:30 reservation for Lukas, so just ask for that.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like River Hill High School in Maryland has is using the U. of Iowa helmet design (nice find by David Cline). … You may have been too busy gorging on leftovers last Friday to have seen the lnk to this story about a high school hoops team that was called for 18 technical fouls due to a uniform violation. That reminded a Chris Willis of a story from his student days at Alabama-Hunstville in 1979: “Our team came out in unis that had either ‘Chargers’ or ‘Huntsville’ with a tail sweep [i.e., a flourish-y underline — PL]. After the shootaround, we watched in amazement as the trainer went and cut the tail sweeps out of each jersey. The story was that the opposing coach had talked the officials into believing that the jerseys violated a ‘simplicity rule,’ and that a technical foul would be called for each player who checked in with those jerseys on. We lost the game, and pictures in the paper next day showed a UAH player in a uni with a hole in the middle of the chest.” … According to a small item in the middle of this page (sent my way by Jeffrey Soderberg), Boston College’s Jamie Silva, “who normally wears No. 44, wore No. 31 yesterday in honor of Jay McGillis, a defensive back for the Eagles in the early 1990s who died of cancer. A scholarship is endowed to the athletic department in his name and each year it is bestowed upon a BC defensive back. That DB then wears McGillis’ jersey number during the final home game of the season.” … Good article here on how the Hawks’ new look was developed (with thanks to Chris Mercanti). … The Mets officially unveiled their “Shea goodbye” patch yesterday, although it had actually been leaked months ago. I like it (and not just because it was designed by Uni Watch pal Todd Radom). … Speaking of the Mets, Greg Prince notes a mistake in that press release I just linked to, which mentions that the team wore this patch for “America’s Bicentennial (1976).” But as the patch itself notes, it was actually for the National League centennial. … Peter King earned himself some major Doesn’t Get It™ points with this column. Key quote: “[The Browns’ throwbacks were the] weirdest, most inconsequential throwback outfits ever. The only way you could tell was the numbers on the helmets.” I guess King doesn’t care about sock stripes, helmet stripes, or pants piping. … Lots of chatter here about Bowling Green’s brown uniforms (with thanks to Tom Konecny).
Gone Fishin’: I’ll be off the grid for most of today and tomorrow. Bryan will be minding the store, so e-mail him if you have any site-related issues (abusive commenters, spam filter problems, etc.). Ticker material can still come to me.