And I’m back, just in time to get snowed in.
First and foremost: Major, major props to Phil for keeping everything running without a hitch during my absence. You da man, buddy.
Pittsburgh was a hoot. I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow, but today I want to showcase the work of reader Steve K. As you may recall, he’s the guy who provided us with a bunch of amazing 1970s NFL screen grabs back in December. He’s back with more, and there’s some killer stuff in this batch. Dig:
• Check out the directional hashmarks in these shots from Arrowhead Stadium — they’re shaped like little arrowheads. And the sideline yard markers were printed in Chiefs colors! Never seen that before.
• Remember that shot of Mike Williams with the initial at the end of his NOB? That was from 1975, and it turns out they were still using that same format for him in 1977 (good shot of Joe Washington’s double-decker FNOB, too). Even better, here’s a similar NOB treatment for Gary “Big Hands” Johnson in 1975. “Interestingly, he was the only Johnson on the Chargers that season,” says Steve.
• Great view here of Bob Griese as four-eyes. Also, note his orange-filled TV numeral — different than what his teammates were wearing in the same game. Just one of many Miami inconsistencies during that 1970s.
• “There have only been four players in NFL history with the surname ‘Seymour,’ and Paul Seymour was the only one to play for the Bills,” says Steve. “So why did he need an initial for this 1974 game against the Raiders? Interestingly, his white jersey did not have the ‘P.'”
• Here’s a weird one. “That’s Barty Smith from the 1975 Packers,” says Steve. “Green Bay also had a Barry Smith, who wore ‘B. B. Smith,’ but I couldn’t get a clean shot of his NOB.”
• Still more Packers NOB minutiae: Steve thinks John Hadl’s nameplate was very off-center. It’s a little off, but if you measure it, I think you’ll find that it’s not as bad as it looks. I agree that it feels off-center, though, because of the white space in the “L” and unbalanced weight between the “2” and the “1.” Scott and I wrestle with this sort of issue all the time when working on Uni Watch membership cards.
• The interesting thing about this goalpost shot is that it’s from a 1975 game in Minnesota. I have a vague recollection of home teams putting the visiting club’s name on the goalpost like this back in the day, but I wouldn’t swear as to how common it was. Seems almost quaint by today’s standards, no?
• Who’s even more anonymous than a replacement player during the 1987 strike? A replacement player with no NOB. The other St. Louis players were fully nameplated, including Leonard Smith (who went FNOB because the team also included Lance Smith).
• “That same game was probably Ray Brown’s only FNOB game in his 20-year, 261-game career,” says Steve. “Why the first name? Because the Cardinals also had Ron Brown that day (a replacement player, not the former Rams sprinter). He was released after the game.”
Big thanks again to Steve for taking the time to prepare these screen grabs, and for his eagle-eyed attention to detail.
March Raffle: Our friends at SoccerPro.com are back on board for another raffle. The winner will get his or her choice of any soccer jersey shown here, home or road. To enter, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to the raffle address (not to the usual Uni Watch e-mail address, please) by this Friday, March 6th, at 10pm eastern. One entry per person, but anyone enrolled in the Uni Watch membership program at the time of the drawing can send four entries. I’ll announce the winner next Monday.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Okay, so I’ve tried to catch up on all the e-mails, comments, and news that went down while I was away, but I’m still catching up on a few things, so forgive me if this Ticker overlooks some obvious stuff and/or repeats some stuff you already know. … The Phillies are going to wear gold-trimmed jerseys on Opening Day (with thanks to Joseph Chiaccio). … Good background info on lots of college mascots here (with thanks to Ryan Connelly). … Check this out: An untucked jersey was up for auction and nobody bid on it (great find by Scott M.X. Turner). … And hmmm, what have we here? Possibly a Royals prototype. … Here’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Revolution helmet used as a windshield decal (good spot by Alan Borock). … Here’s a Blackhawks goalie who doesn’t have thicker sleeve stripes than his teammates (with thanks to John Muir). … Lots of great old Tennessee football pics here. If you check out the links toward the bottom of the page, you’ll find lots of program covers, ticket stubs, and so on (great find by Luke Pellegra). … Aaron Stilley has created a Kansas City Scouts blog. Among his finds is this passage from the 1/27/75 edition of the Kansas City Star: “The Scouts will wear players’ names on the back of the home uniforms for the rest of the season. The road uniforms will remain nameless. The home team, for reasons of program sales, has the option of forbidding them.” … Aaron also turned up this photo of Gary Bergman. Look closely at that helmet decal — is that a men’s room symbol? … Jason Terry wore a protective glove on his non-shooting hand on Sunday (with thanks to Michael Korczynski). … I recently asked if anyone could get pics of the Pacers prototype jerseys rumored to be displayed at Conseco Fieldhouse. “That didn’t sound right to me, as I have spent HOURS perusing the cases at Conseco, and would have been struck by something so awesome,” says Tim Lofton. “But I checked it out anyway. There are a few pieces that look like prototypes, and a couple more things that might have fallen under that category. Anyway, I took about 45 pics and I’ve got a GREAT gallery of vintage barnstorming and pro jerseys from the ’20s to today.” You can see his tremendous photo gallery here. … “I went to Phillies Phantasy Camp last month,” writes Rob Riegert. “Prior to the trip, all the campers go to Citizens Bank Park to be fitted for uniforms. I overheard someone ask about stirrups, only to be told, ‘No, we only give you redsocks. No one wears stirrups anymore, except maybe Moyer.’ Now that I knew the trip was BYO-stirrups, I bought some online. I didn’t wear them the first day — I was afraid of being brought up on charges in Kangaroo Court for the non-standard uniform. But I was feeling more sure of myself on days two and three, so I busted them out and got nothing but compliments. I did bungle it somewhat with the black cleats, but I still thought the look was pretty sharp. One of my teammates followed my lead on the last day. You can see him in the background. I think we were the only two out of 140 campers.” … Paul Kalomiris says he was recently at a hockey game and saw someone wearing a Blackhawks jersey with Homer Simpson’s face in place of the Indian’s profile. No photo, alas, but I think he’s referring to this. … Glossary question: Someone suggested that I add the term “squatchee,” which supposedly refers to the little button on top of a baseball cap. Two thoughts here: (1) I could find only one mention of this term on the web, and (2) I once asked a New Era exec if there was any special term for the button on the cap, and he said, “No, it’s just the button.” I’d be willing to add “squatchee” if a decent number of people use it, but I don’t want to use it just because Bob Brenley once used the term on a broadcast. Anyone out there familiar with this term? … Gumball helmet king Bill Jones has started a gumball blog, which looks really good. … Also from Bill: The new Ottawa entry in the Can-Am Baseball League is conducting a logo-design contest. … South Carolina has a new baseball uni set, which can be seen in the background here. They also have a new stadium, which is showcased in this photo album. … Remember how Southern Miss added logos and stripes to their facemasks last year? Here’s the company that came up with that concept. … The Chiefs will supposedly wear a Dallas Texans throwback next season. … There’s a new independent baseball league in Japan. The uniforms are nothing special, but I really like the league logo (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … New crest for English soccer here (with thanks to Mark Coale). … Martin St. Pierre of the Providence Bruins has his nickname — Saintsy — embroidered onto his gloves (with thanks to Tris Wykes). … Justin Bowers and his wife were recently in Ireland and visited Croke Park, the national stadium for Gaelic games (Gaelic football and hurling) and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. “The stadium is incredible,” he writes. “An 82,300-capacity stadium set right in suburban Dublin, bordered on all sides by houses, not parking lots. They have an excellent museum that details the history of Gaelic Games and their importance in Irish culture, plus we also toured Croke Park itself. One very cool area we got to see was, of course, the dressing rooms. In Gaelic games, the teams that compete are divided up by county, so the dressing room had jerseys from all the counties. I also bought myself a County Kerry jersey [here's the rear view].” … Chris Edwards notes that the Stetson hoops team has an interesting NOB format: white lettering on a colored nameplate. … Hosiery observation from the Rev. Nørb, who recently had a very good seat for a Bucks/Wizards game and noticed that Nick Young of the Wizards had two NBA logos on the outside of his black road socks — an upper one and a lower one. “Now you’re saying, ‘Well, geez, Nørb, he was probably just double-bagging his socks for some reason, which is curious, but not necessarily newsworthy,'” says Nørb, “to which i respond, HA! I don’t believe this is the case! Nick Young has only got the ONE logo on the INSIDE of his socks, which would not be the case if he were wearing two pairs of socks!” Hmmmmm. … Mike Chamernik reports that one of Comiskey Park’s old pinwheels is at the Sports Authority on La Salle Drive in Chicago. … Bryan Duklewski notes that Cool-Flo helmets are nowhere to be seen at Orioles camp this spring. “Even players who used Coolflo last year have been using the normal helmets in spring training this year,” he writes. … The Nats’ new mascot is wearing the team’s “DC” sleeve patch on the wrong sleeve (with thanks to William Yurasko). … “How many games did Kevin Durant play as a Texas Longhorn?” asks Matt Mitchell. “It’s easy to remember since it’s the same as his jersey number, which was retired prior to last Wednesday night’s win over Texas Tech. Current Longhorns wore T-shirts emblazoned with the number 35 on the back and the initials ‘KD’ on the front during warm-ups.” And then there were these sneakers. … Bit of a typo on Roque Santa Cruz’s NOB (with thanks to Marcio Kogut). … The NBA’s annual Noche Latina promotion kicks off tonight, with Los Lakers hosting the Grizzlies (who’ll just be wearing their regular road jerseys). The full Noche Latina schedule can be found on this page. … I’m sure you’ve all weighed in on this. My take: Thanks to the patch design, it makes the cap look like an adjusta-strap model. … “We got this mailer from a politician who’s running for Rahm Emmanuel’s vacated seat in the House,” says James Huening. “The rip across the infield dirt is courtesy of Erin, my wife. She took one look at that pink Cubs cap, declared that she will not be voting for this candidate and started to tear up the leaflet. I managed to get it away from her before she could do any more damage.” … Last week I linked to photos showing LSU baseball’s new chest patch, commemorating their new stadium. But now Chris Mycoskie reports that the patch has moved to the right sleeve and has been replaced on the chest area by an SEC patch. This change appears to hold true throughout their uni set. … Tough to see in these pics, but Spencer Pierce says Betis goalkeeper Ricardo’s NOB is actually R1CARDO. … Two accused bank robbers tried to use uni-numeric code while communicating with each other, but it backfired. … Very odd to see Nate Odoms wearing a wristwatch during practice (good spot by Greg Riffenburgh). … You like risky sports? Try auto polo (big thanks to Jay Winkler). … Okay, this Reebok wordmark thing has officially gotten out of hand (disturbing find by Brooks Simpson). … Remember how LaTroy Hawkins initially wore No. 21 with the Yanks last season, as a tribute to Roberto Clemente (before Paul O’Neill fans hounded him to change it)? Obviously, he can’t wear No. 42 while playing for an MLB team, but he can — and is — for the WBC (with thanks to Dan Cichalski). … Good article here about Indiana’s basketball uniforms (courtesy of Dan Netser).