I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The most important and most underrated change in the passing game over the past 15 years or so is the increasing prominence of gloves.
I usually talk about football gloves in the context of receivers (did you see Ronnie Brown’s TD catch yesterday?), but I was thinking about them over the weekend because of Kurt Warner, who wore gloves on both hands on Saturday. He’s been doing this pretty much all season long, even when warming up. In fact, the only bare-handed shot of him from this season that I’ve been able to find is this one — and as you can see, even in that shot, he’s holding his precious gloves in his left hand.
Warner isn’t the only gloved QB out there, but it’s still something of a novelty. When David Carr started wearing gloves in 2007 (white ones on the road, black ones at home), it was such an eyebrow-raiser that he quickly gained a nickname that became the basis for a blog. That was apparently just a one-season thing: Carr had previously worn a glove on his left hand but not on his right, and this season he’s gone bare-handed.
A QB wearing gloves in a snow game is one thing, but wearing them in good weather doesn’t sit well with me, because it fundamentally changes the dynamics of passing. A baseball pitcher isn’t allowed to have anything between his hand the ball; why should a football passer? Am I the only one who thinks this?
Speaking of gloves, several readers noted that Alabama and USC had special glove designs for their respective bowl games. Some of the ’Bama players had houndstooth-patterned gloves (additional views here, here, and here), while USC wore a pattern modeled after Tommy Trojan’s kilt (additional views here and here). But no special gloves for Kurt Warner — yet.
Membership News: Thanks to a nice little run of recent orders (including Brian Russell’s Baltimore Claws-themed card, shown at right), the Uni Watch membership program is closing in on its 700th enrollee. As with all past century-mark multiples, the 700th member will have his or her card emblazoned with a special seal. My continued thanks to everyone who’s helped make the membership program so successful.
Holiday Raffle Update: Holiday raffle prizes will start mailing out today, and I hope to have all of them out the door by Wednesday-ish, so you raffle winners should watch your mailboxes, OK? OK.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Karlos Dansby lost his helmet and skullcap on a play on Saturday. … Jeremy Brahm reports that the International Cricket Council has unveiled a new centenary logo. … Also from Jeremy: Norway wore an interesting reverse bib design in the FIVB qualifying round. … And in what may qualify as Jeremy’s most obscure contribution yet, the Turkish Volleyball Federation has a new logo. … How has the U.S. military marked the turning of the calendar? By making their uniforms mosquito-proof (thanks, Phil). … Roy Helu of Nebraska had something written on his arm during the Gator Bowl. “Most likely ‘Delight in the Lord,'” says Brian Hansen. “That phrase is from Psalms 37:4, and Helu is a devout Christian.” … The Oregon State marching band uniforms remind David Muir of another kind of uniform. … Under Armour designed special shoes for Utah to wear in the Sugar Bowl. Additional photos here. … The girls’ hoops team at King’s Academy in Woodstock, Georgia, has some funny ideas about socks (with thanks to Kevin Marks). … The Chargers wore their powder blue alts on Saturday, which prompted a good question from Tim Fry: Aside from Niners in 1994-95, has any other NFL team ever worn alts or throwbacks during the postseason? I can’t think of any other examples. Anyone..?