The NFL began rolling out the details of its AFL throwback program yesterday, and there’s a lot to like. The jerseys and helmets look pretty damn sweet, no? (For the full effect, check out this larger version.) Here’s a bit of additional info and observations:
• Some details still need to be worked out. For example, that photo shows a white Pats jersey and a blue Bills jersey, but the Bills and Pats are supposed to be wearing throwback gear in Foxboro on Sept. 14th. So will the Pats be wearing white at home for that game? I posed that question to an NFL rep and was told, “Not necessarily.” Not sure if they’re being coy or if they haven’t laid all the groundwork yet.
• Speaking of the Broncos, I’m sure you want to know if their 1960 throwback design will include the vertically striped socks. I asked about that and was told, to my surprise, yes. I have a feeling this plan may go the way of the Texas Rangers’ two-tone helmets once fans and players make their feelings known, but we’ll see. It would be a major coup if they actually went through with it. And then, as James Craven suggested in last night’s comments, they could hold a throwback bonfire.
• Aside from the Denver hosiery news, no other pants or socks info is available yet.
• As we all know, the Chiefs used to be called the Dallas Texans, so their throwback uniform features a Texans helmet. This has ruffled some feathers in Kansas City, where some idiots think the team would be “betraying Missouri” or something like that by wearing the shape of Texas on their helmets. A KC sports station apparently spent most of yesterday afternoon trying to stoke the fires on this one, and the station has even launched a petition drive. When you all stop laughing, could someone please tell these people that franchises sometimes like to honor their history, even if that history was in another city? I realize this probably says more about a talk radio blowhard who’d rather stir up phony outrage over a phony issue for an afternoon instead of actually thinking (much less working) than it does about Kansas City fans as a whole, but still, you’d think KC — which was lucky enough to get the Kings/Royals from Cincinnati and the A’s from Philly and then didn’t support either team enough to keep them from relocating again — would be less uppity about this kind of thing. Just sayin’.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Back in January of 2008, I ran this entry about a curling team that bought some vintage sweaters on eBay and adopted them as their official team attire. Now Nolan Thiessen, a member of that team, has checked in with an upsetting story: “One of the sweaters was stolen out of our second’s truck a week ago, so we can’t wear them anymore — can’t wear only three of four (you wouldn’t be impressed with our threads that we have to wear now). We’d love to hear from anyone if they ever see the sweater turn up.
Not sure how much anyone could end up getting out of it — tough to sell a sweater with our names and sponsor cresting on it.” So if you see one of these on eBay or at your local vintage shop, give me a holler. … The Nuggets’ green jerseys, slated to be worn in early April, will look like this (with thanks to Kayce Harris). … The NFL is considering lots of changes to its schedule and playoff format. … Ladies and gentlemen, your Miami Marlins. … A little birdie has generously photographed an entire Niketown employee handbook for our enjoyment. Many pearls of wisdom to appreciate here, including the suggestion to greet the consumer “in an authentic way,” such as by saying, “Cool tee! Where did you get it?” Sounds good, but I wore my “Nike Can Blow Me” tee to one of their shops the other day and nobody said boo. Phonies. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Weird scene in the final WBC game, as Yong-Kyu Lee slid head-first into an infielder’s knee and shattered his helmet. You can see video of the play about one-third of the way into the clip on this page. … I have a parking meter in the corner of my living room, so I was disappointed to hear that someone in Chicago is defacing parking meters (with thanks to Kenny Keil). … Slow news day at Deadspin. Basically, a food blogger set up his own meat bracket nine days ago, and now he and some of his readers have their bratwursts in a twist cuz I ripped him off or didn’t credit him or whatever. The truth, of course, is that meat brackets have been going on for years, so neither of us was exactly splitting the atom here. In any case: Yes, his bracket came out before mine, and I would’ve happily credited him if I’d seen it. But I hadn’t, so I didn’t. … Long-overdue shout-out: I never would’ve been able to attend the Super Flush at the Mets’ new stadium if John Vivino hadn’t told me about it a few weeks ago. Thanks, buddy! … And speaking of the Big Flush, my T-shirt is a hit on eBay. … Dwyane Wade gave away a jersey to a disabled kid the other day (with thanks to Dominick Carfello). … Chris Warfford reports that the UNC baseball team, which usually wears black cleats, went with white on Sunday. … The baseball team at Jesuit High School in Sacramento wears these stirrups. “Many of the boys like to wear the pants low,” says Jesuit alum Germano Diniz, “but there is one thing that is always true: The ship must show.” … TV note from Mark Wolven, who writes: “In Monday night’s episode of Rules of Engagement, Jeff (the character played by Patrick Warburton) comes in after a softball game wearing his uniform, which has ‘Buttermakers’ script (an obvious reference to coach Morris Butermaker, played by Walter Matthau in the original Bad New Bears) and a Chico’s Bail Bonds sleeve patch.” … “Went to a stanford baseball game recently and noticed a memorial (embroidered) patch on their uni,” says Paul Wiederecht. “Here’s the info from their media guide.” … “My wife and I were visiting her family in Taiwan in November when I came across a note that shows the Taipei Little League team when they won the Little League World Series,” says Jeff La Hie. “The note is actually quite impressive in person, with the sanitaries showing up very clearly.” … Michael Orr was watching a girls’ high school soccer game and noticed that the captain of one team was wearing her captain’s band on her calf instead of on her arm. “Maybe her arms were just too small, or maybe it’s common in girls soccer,” he says. Anyone know more about this? … A few days ago I mentioned that Ozzie Guillen wrote “OPD” (for Oakland Police Dept.) on his cap. Now James Huening has provided a photo. … Remember how Chase Utley hiked up his pants when playing in a minor league game, because the Phils require all their minor leaguers to go high-cuffed? Cole Hamels did the same thing yesterday (with thanks to Kevin Riley). … In other Phillies news, sort of, Sarge Matthews now has his own line of hats (as reported by Mario Carr). … Larry Bodnovich likes to colorize old black-and-white photos — especially old shots of Ohio State football. … “As you may recall, Bob Knight coached the ’84 Olympic basketball team,” writes Mark McGinnis. “I don’t know whose idea it was, but that team wore familiar warm-up pants, at least for Indiana fans. I had forgotten this completely.”