Okay, so maybe the red-trimmed uniforms aren’t so bad after all.
Pretty good game, right? After it was over, I went out and did what any Giants fan would do: overturned some cars, lit some bonfires, that sort of thing. Then I started drunk-dialing random phone numbers in Boston and singing “We Are the Champions” at the top of my lungs to whoever answered the phone. Good times.
Not much of a Super Bowl from a uni-related standpoint, unless you count David Tyree catching that ball on his helmet, or maybe that weird-ass Bud Lite commercial with the dude in the ABA-ish hoops uni.
Aside from those junctures, the closest thing to a Uni Watch moment was the odd sight of Bill Belichick in a red sweatshirt, instead of his usual gray. Several Pats fans e-mailed me early in the game and said they felt this was a bad omen. Brent Anthonisen went further and noted that Belichick used to wear a red windbreaker when he was the Giants’ defensive coordinator (including their victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV), to make it easier for the defensive captain to find him on the sidelines and read his signals. So the Giants are undefeated in the Super Bowl when Belichick wears red on the sidelines.
I don’t know any of the Giants’ players personally, but two of them have always struck me as particularly decent people — class acts who make me proud to be a Giants fan. One of them is Amani Toomer, a 12-year veteran who never showboats, always respects the uniform, and has expressed more awareness and thoughtfulness about the non-sports world than most contemporary athletes. The other is Jeff Feagles, the oldest active player in the league and now the oldest to have appeared in a Super Bowl — his first, after 21 seasons. Good for him.
One guy I do know personally is equipment director Joe Skiba, who gave me all kinds of access this past season, fed me lots of inside info, and taught me lots of stuff (not the least of which was that I didn’t know nearly as much about the uni world as I thought I did). Enjoy the victory, Skeebs — you da man and all that.
But I’m happiest of all for my father, Irwin Lukas, a lifelong Giants fan who turned 84 years old two weeks ago (he actually attended one of their games in the Polo Grounds, which is where they played up until 1955). It was a treat to watch the game with him yesterday, to shout alongside him when Plaxico caught that touchdown pass, and to hug him when Brady’s final pass fell incomplete. Hope you had as much fun as I did, Pop.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Hilarious uni-blooper moment in Thursday night’s Cavs/Sonics game, as Cleveland’s Donyell Marshall tried to enter the game wearing only an undershirt, not his jersey. Check out the video here. … Also from Friday, we can add a new member to the exclusive club of MLB players who’ve worn facemasks: Al Cowens. … Ask and Ye Shall Receive Dept.: Here’s a shot of Dick Allen with his “Wampum” NOB, courtesy of John Moist. In case you don’t know the story, Wampum was the name of Allen’s hometown high school, and he was in the class of ’60. … Great 1921 girls’ hockey team photo here (with thanks to Mike Kemezis). … Yikes (courtesy of Roy Ellingsen). … Tucker is a star. … “Pitchers and catchers report in a little more than 10 days,” says Nick Hanson. “So in the spirit of spring training, check out the simultaneous crotch grabbing going on behind Big Papi in this picture I took last year.” … Interesting note from Jim Mischler, who points out that according to the Basketball Hall of Fame’s page devoted to Mendy Rudolph, “Rudolph’s uniform number 5 has not been worn by another NBA official since his passing.” Didn’t realize the NBA had essentially retired his number. Have any other officials in other sports had their numbers taken out of circulation, either officially or unofficially? … Nicole Haase was at a hockey game in Madison recently and momentarily thought this guy might be me (no doubt because of the stripes). Of course, a careful observer would note that the gent in question is wearing his watch on his left hand, which means he’s right-handed, which means he’s not me. … Mario Fontana made these cakes for his Super Bowl party. … Awesome story here about the Ohio factory that makes the NFL’s footballs. … Kevin Brotzman has created a web site devoted to the Orioles’ uni numbers (modeled after the wonderful Mets by the Numbers site). Check it out here. … Final Super Bowl thought: Anyone who watched Tom Petty during halftime instead of switching over to Puppy Bowl IV on Animal Planet has some seriously misguided priorities.