SI.com’s photo galleries are usually pretty good, but their current “Greatest College Football Players by Number” rundown offers a particularly rich lode of uni-related details. Here’s a rundown (several of which were also spotted by various readers over the past few days):
• I had completely forgotten about Texas A&M’s shoulder stripes.
• Was there a particular reason Oklahoma State was wearing a huge shoulder flag?
• I don’t think I’ve ever seen such small or high-positioned uni numbers as Iowa was wearing in the late 1930s. Also, note how the knee pads appear to be poking out below the pant cuffs.
• I’ve mentioned Ohio State’s big-ass TV numbers before, it’s always worth another look, just for the “Holy shit!” factor.
• Love this shot of Doak Walker wearing an all-star uni.
• Think monochromatic uniforms are a modern phenomenon? Then check out this old shot of Syracuse wearing solid orange. Plus note that the helmet stripes don’t match, and dig Jim Brown’s Lucite facemask.
• What’s the deal with Dick Butkus’s helmet stars? Were these early merit decals?
• I had no idea that Nebraska had worn this number typeface in the early ’60s.
• I love how football photos from the 1920s always seem to feature lots of little patches and rivets on the pants, like in this shot of Bronko Nagurski.
• Look at this shot of Buck Buchanan. Looks like he’s got “Bell” written on his elbow pad. At first I thought maybe this was a makeshift memorial for former commish Bert Bell, but he died in 1959, when Buchanan was still in college. Can anyone shed any light on this?
• Dig the stripes on Jim Seymour’s shoes — pretty cool. Also, it’s tough to say for sure, but it looks like the official may be wearing two-tone (i.e., non-striped) socks.
Too bad the gallery stops at uni No. 99 — they could easily have included an entry for Chuck Kinder, who wore No. 100 for WVU in 1963, to mark the 100th anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood.
We Can’t Make This Stuff Up: My ESPN.com colleague Patrick Hruby is looking to get his hands on a giant ear costume (something like this) as soon as possible. If anyone has any idea where to find such an item, please let me know, post-haste.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday’s item about the guy with the Patriots logo tattooed on his head led Jon Smith to send along this photo, taken in 2006. That’s Jon on the left, posing with what he describes as “the ultimate Chargers fan.” He says there’s a matching bolt on the other side of the guy’s head. Wonder how he felt when the team changed its bolt design last spring. … According to this item UGA’s black jerseys have helped the school’s recruiting efforts (with thanks to Greg Riffenburgh). … Did you know that American-style football is played in Italy? I didn’t, until Travis McGuire sent me this photo from the Italian Super bowl. Not sure what the temperature was, but dig that ref in shorts! … Fun NOB find by Caleb Borchers, who notes that Richard Wigglesworth (of the Sale Sharks rugby club in Manchester) wears “W’Worth.” … Dude, you forgot your mouthguard (as spotted by Glenn Chamberlain). … Several Canadiens and Black Hawks old-timers were honored before last night’s Habs/Hawks game. Happily, the oldsters got to wear CCM jerseys, not newfangled Reebok models. … Maryland wore yellow alts last night (thanks to Bryan Duklewski for the screen grab). … Remember yesterday’s Ticker item about basketball gloves? Turns out that idea was first floated (and presumably sank) way back in 1991, as you can see toward the bottom of this page (great find by Matt Shevin). … Just as I was about to post today’s entry, this query came in from Matt Weber: “Recently a friend told me that Arizona State’s football team wore gold jerseys for one game vs. University of Arizona, a game that they lost. I believe it was in 1989. However I can’t find any pics of these jerseys. My friend said that since ASU lost that game, they would never wear gold jerseys again.” Can anyone confirm and/or provide more info? … Every now and then it’s good to remind people that I don’t just write about uniforms.