It remains one of the sports world’s enduring mysteries: Every year the NFL selects the best players at each position, gathers them together for an all-star game in Honolulu, and then humiliates them by dressing them in the most god-awful uniforms imaginable. I’m not gonna bother going over every unsightly detail of this year’s design, because it’s pointless — every new Pro Bowl uniform is the worst ever, until the next one is unveiled. It’s almost like the league is saying, “Yeah, okay, so you get your free trip to Hawaii, you get to party with hula girls, you get to drink piña coladas out of a coconut shell, but don’t think you’re gonna get out of this without paying a certain price.”
As you know, medical research has concluded that only 17 people on the planet have the gene required to watch the entire Pro Bowl without falling asleep (and five of them, perversely, are African tribesmen who don’t own television sets), so there’s a good chance you missed at least a few of Sunday’s more noteworthy details. Here’s a quick guide:
• By far the most significant development — and I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, boys and girls, either in the comments section or in e-mails to me — is that all the players were wearing a new pants design, with added seams and panels on the rear thigh (here’s the AFC version), kind of like a football version of MLB’s Cool Base jersey gussets. I’m not sure if this was for added flexibility, ventilation, or both, but man did it look like shit. Let’s hope this wasn’t a test drive for league-wide implementation next season.
• As many of you are already aware, Derek Anderson had quite a little adventure with his jersey patches. A few days prior to the game, he was photographed with his left shoulder patch upside-down. On game day it was fixed (or, more likely, he’d just switched to a different jersey) but now the patch on his right shoulder was askew. Not only that, but compare that last photo, which shows the facemask pointing down roughly to five o’clock, to this shot, which appears to show the facemask oriented more toward four o’clock. Just how many defective jerseys did Anderson wear in one week? (Big thanks to Dominic Atencio and John Boris for the screen grabs.)
• The Chargers’ official lightning bolt logo use to be white outlined in gold, but this season it was changed gold outlined in light blue and navy. So why were all the San Diego players in the game wearing the now-defunct white logo on their shoulders? Interestingly, the jerseys for sale at NFL.com got it right.
• Speaking of cleats, look what Tony Romo was wearing.
• That’s quite a pustule Peyton Manning had on his knee.
• No photo, but Osi Umenyiora still had the Super Bowl XLII decal on the back of his helmet. Anyone notice if the Patriots players had it too?
• The new NFL logo finally made its on-field debut, on the MVP trophy (although it looks like they used the old logo here). And it’s good to see that Adrian Peterson’s uni number gets gunked up in the Pro Bowl, just like in a regular game.
• And that‘s finally that.
Next year, let’s have some throwbacks, shall we?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Check out who’s wearing striped socks — the astronauts who are currently up in space (with thanks to Rob B). … A nice selection of Karl Ehrhardt’s sign work is shown in this video clip (a forwarded by Matt Edwards). … Got an on-site query yesterday morning from Ryan Perkins, as follows: “I’m in a restaurant in Jackson, Mississipi, sitting by a huge picture of Kent Hull (who was from Greenwood, Mississippi). I can clearly read ‘Wet Rat’ printed on the tongue of each side of his Reebok Pumps. Did some Googling and found nothing. Any idea if this was on all the pumps or if this was custom-done for Hull? And either way, what did it mean?” Anyone..? … Wake Forest was wearing new kicks on Saturday. Lots of interesting details on these sneakers, including a very subtle Skip Prosser memorial — for the full scoop, check out this page, written by Uni Watch charter member Zach Smith. … Northern Kentucky’s women’s hoops team will be wearing 1970s throwbacks this Saturday. Full details here (with thanks to Steve Hensley). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Lots of coverage here about Rick Pitino changing suits in the middle of a game the other day. … The Aussie rugby team sure looks sharp — yes, even with that little purple ribbon on the guy’s leg. Anyone know what that’s for? … Good interview here with the principals of Plan B Branding, the San Diego-based design firm that’s responsible for a lot of current minor league uni designs (with thanks to Greg Victor). … The Staten Island Yankees have unveiled a new logo for every day of the week. Okay, not quite, but almost. “Looks like a cartoon version of the classic Yankee stuff,” says Tyler Kepner. “I’d actually like the block SINY thing, if it were for a sleeve patch and not a cap logo. Also: A short-season class A team with FIVE cap styles? That’s a little much, no?” Indeed. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Fascinating college hoops game recently, featuring Grand Valley wearing throwbacks against Northern Michigan, whose jerseys have no lettering — just huge uni numbers fore and aft (and those aren’t throwbacks — those are their regular unis!). … Seth Horowitz spotted this at a Yankees game last year. … Doug Keklak reports that Penguins fantasy camper get to wear the team’s original scarf-clad penguin (although the color scheme is an odd choice).