The weather is getting colder, which means we’re once again seeing lots of helmet decal problems. The poster boy for this phenomenon yesterday was Lance Briggs, whose “C” was flapping in the breeze during Sunday’s Bears/Packers game.
But that’s nothing compared to what happened on Saturday to Minnesota RB Shady Salamon, whose helmet decal was literally knocked clean off of his hat by a vicious head-to-head hit. The play in question has been preserved for posterity here — wait for the slo-mo replay to see
a piece of Salamon’s brain Salamon’s decal landing several feet away from the point of impact. This ranks up there with this all-time great photo (here’s another view of the same play — the flying numeral is near the ball-carrier’s hands) in the knocked-his-block-off sweepstakes.
Please join me in thanking reader John Okray, who provided all of the Briggs and Salamon screen grabs and video captures. Great work, Johnny.
Vuke Revisited: No explanation yet regarding Pete Vuckovich’s mismatched cleats, but two readers had some interesting uni-related stories to tell about Vuke. First, from Jeff Ash:
I worked on the sports desk at the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper in Madison in the ’80s. One night, we ran a picture of Vuke from spring training. We picked the photo from a negative and didn’t see it full-size until the paper came up.
Unseen on the negative was that Vuke had drawn the finger on his glove. He was flipping our readers the bird in full color.
It is the only time in my 30 years in the business that we ever stopped the presses, but we stopped them immediately. One of our production guys grabbed the plates and etched out the finger as best we could. Those were the more primitive days before Photoshop. Wish I’d kept the papers as proof.
And then there’s this from Doug Keklak:
One of the things I always remember from Vuke’s days as the Pirates’ pitching coach was that no matter the weather, he always, ALWAYS wore that dugout jacket. And this was before all those breezers and windshirts and stuff were around — this was the heavy, quilted/lined Starter/Majestic jacket. One of the cool parts of this story was something his son once told me (we both worked at the Pirates clubhouse store in a Johnstown mall): The only time Pete went sans jacket was when they wore Homestead Grays Negro League throwbacks. He said that out of respect he didn’t wear the jacket and cover the jersey. Pretty cool.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Great 1937 Idaho Vandals team portrait here. Really interesting stripe patterns there (with thanks to Geoff Baker). … The Flyers will unveil their third jersey tomorrow. … Turns out I’m not the only one who thinks the words “Nike” and “toilet paper” belong together (courtesy of Brinke Guthrie). … Auburn’s Virgil Starks memorial decal, first worn on Saturday, looks like this. … While vintage-shopping over the weekend, I came across this beautiful nurse’s cape, which featured a really wonderful shoulder patch. … “I was at the Arkansas/Southeastern Louisiana basketball game last night and saw something I’d never seen before,” writes Charlie Shields. “SLU’s starting five wore uniform Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.” … Oh goodie, the first down line is now a vehicle for corporate advertising, hoo-fucking-ray (with thanks to Michael Romero). … Some very cool old footage in this video tribute to Herb Score (with thanks to Mike Menner). … Douchebags. … Good article here about the Pens’ light-blue alternates (with thanks to Chris Hilf). … Arizona State wore late-’70s throwback helmets on Saturday. Here’s a close-up, courtesy of Randy Policar. … ” Please, please, find a photo of the Mississippi Valley State basketball warm-ups,” writes Brian Cobb. “They are short-sleeve hooded (yes, HOODED) sweatshirts with ‘VALLEY’ printed midway down the back. They’re the most ridiculous garments I’ve ever seen grace a basketball court.” If anyone has pics, let’s see ’em. … Super-wide nameplate lettering on 1980s Giants center Jim Clack (as captured by Jere Smith, who says he spotted something similar on the jersey of Green Bay’s Randy Scott in footage of a 1985 game but wan’t able to get a screen shot). … Two nice finds by Josh Handler, both from Game 3 of the 1997 ALCS: Jeff Juden wearing No. 7 on the mound and Brady Anderson wearing a helmet-borne shout-out to teammate Eric Davis, who was battling colon cancer at the time. … My friend Rob Walker (who runs the excellent Murketing site) had a good column about logo creep in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine. … How does a placekicker’s jersey become a hot-selling item? When a rock star wears it (with thanks to Chris Flinn). … Jonathan Sluss reports an interesting detail regarding the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team: “It appears they wear merit decals on their right sleeves. I am not aware of any other soccer teams that do this. The decal they use is what’s known as ‘Hokie Tracks’ — basically turkey footprints, which are used around campus and by some club teams, but this is the first instance I can think of them being used by a varsity team.” … Rather rote video treatment of personalized eye black messages here (with thanks to Trey Phillips). … We all know the Padres almost moved to DC in 1974, which is why Topps made cards like this one. What you might not know — and what I didn’t know until Morris Levin told me about it yesterday — is that new uniforms had been made for the team’s new locale: “In the first edition of Total Baseball (published in 1989 and edited by John Thorn and Pete Palmer), the Padres team history on page 88 reads: ‘Owner C. Arnholt Smith decided early in 1974 to sell the franchise to a buyer who planned to move the team to Washington, DC. New uniforms had been manufactured and the club’s files were packed for the move…” Anyone know more about these uniforms? … New Sens alts have been leaked. … One of major problems in American pop culture right now is that every good idea gets overdone to death until you no longer remember that it was a good idea to begin with. Case in point: This was clever, but this is asinine, and you just know he’s gonna keep doing it every fucking week now. Way to go, Jevon — you’ve gone from creative to lame-o in the space of seven days. … Nice eBay find by Jared Peterson. Note the chain-stitched NOB! … The Pirates wore NOBs in 1991, so Doug Keklak want to know why Jim Leyland going NNOB on the day they clinched the ’91 N.L. East title. And in case you’re wondering: The right-sleeve patch is a memorial H for former equipment manager John Hallahan, and the left-sleeve patch is a now-forgotten alternate logo based on the team’s 1987 centennial patch.