As you may have noticed, there was an extra color on NFL gridirons yesterday. We all knew it was coming, and it was pretty much what we expected. In other words: snoozers.
My general feeling was: (1) It looked like crap, and (2) I didn’t really care because it was 75 degrees and sunny here in NYC, so there was no way I was gonna spend the day watching teevee. Caught about 15 mins. of the Giants game before going hiking in Staten Island. (Yes, hiking in Staten Island — it exists! We even saw three whitetail deer. In Staten Island!)
Anyway: It could have been pinker, because Chad Johnson/Ochocinco had been toying with the idea of a pink chinstrap, but instead he just went with standard white — something of a surprise, because at various points in the past he’s gone with a black version and an orange version (most recently during a preseason game a little over a month ago, which earned him a fine).
Ochocinco’s chinstrap maneuverings have been of particular interest to reader Henry Chan. I’ll let him explain:
In 2007, I came up with the idea to make Johnson an orange and black “Bengal-striped” chinstrap. The idea didn’t come completely out of the blue: Back when I was in University in the late ’90s, I created a company called “Strap It On Sports” — “SioSports” for short — with the idea of making custom-painted chinstraps for NCAA football teams (I figured I would start with college and hopefully work my way up to the NFL). I made a couple of prototypes based on my hometown CFL Calgary Stampeders and then sent letters with hand-drawn mock-ups to various NCAA schools. The chinstraps were customized with the school logo on the chin cup, along with the player’s name and/or number. Unfortunately, I received no response and the idea kind of faded. I no longer have the mock-ups, either.
Anyway, back to Chad Johnson. I figured if he was willing to wear an orange chinstrap (which incidentally was an Adams 50 “youth” model and not a Adams 100 “pro” model), then he might be willing to wear one with black tiger stripes, so I ordered an orange chinstrap and began to customize it. Unfortunately, the paint didn’t adhere very well to the plastic chin cup or the straps, and the idea again faded.
However, this past summer I tried using a black Sharpie instead of paint, and it worked perfectly. After experimenting with a few different designs, I was able to come up with the first Bengal-striped chinstrap, customized for Chad Ochocinco. On September 17th I sent the chinstrap to Chad, c/o of the Bengals, in the hopes that he might wear it for a game (hopefully he won’t make me pay for the fine), or at least a practice.
Very cool. Personally, I’m surprised the NFL has been so tight-assed about chinstrap colors and designs. They already allow bright-colored gloves and color-trimmed shoes, yet they cling to plain white chinstraps. I’m not saying I want them to allow other colors and patterns; I’m just saying I’m surprised they haven’t done it. And I bet the eventually do it in the not-too-distant future, whether Ochocinco wears Henry’s chinstrap or not.
Research Reminder: In case you missed it last week, I’m trying to gather as many different hockey red line designs as possible. I’m not talking about the center ice logo — I mean the red line itself, which is sometimes solid, sometimes checkered, and sometimes imprinted with little icons relating to the home team. If you have any red line designs to contribute, please send them here. Thanks.
Culinary Corner: Why pay 50¢ at the convenience store for a bag of chips when you could spend far more time, energy, and money making your own, as Kirsten and I did on Saturday? The great thing about cooking them yourself is that you can make them as dark as you want — and believe me, I want.
So here’s what you do: Go buy a few nice-sized baking potatoes (preferably russets, but any tuber will do). No need to peel them — just slice them really thin with a mandoline or food processor or whatever. Soak the slices in water for two hours and then dry them as best you can. A salad spinner is ideal for this, but only losers eat salads so I assume you don’t have one of those. Just use paper towels.
Meanwhile, take the widest pot you own, pour in a few inches of vegetable oil, and heat it until it registers 380º on a candy thermometer (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, just stick your finger in the oil until nothing’s left but the bone). Working in batches, put the spud slices in the oil. Don’t crowd them in the pot — if they touch, they’ll stick together. When the chips reach your desired shade of golden brown (figure three-ish minutes), use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a rack or paper towel. Let the oil heat back up to 380º and then start the next batch. While those slices are cooking, transfer the first batch of cooked chips to a big bowl.
Repeat all steps until the bowl is full or you run out of potato slices. Toss cooked chips with salt. Transfer chips and self to sofa in time for Monday Night Football. Serves 1.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Padres wore jersey patches promoting their charitable foundation yesterday. … New masks for Jonas Gustavsson and Dan Ellis (with thanks to Matthew Gahm and Dirk Hoag, respectively). … Jeremy Lewis reports that Pearl Jam’s current tour features team-based T-shirts for each stop on the tour. “The number corresponds to the date the show was played,” he explains. … Sanchez-o-rama! That’s Jonathan at bat and Freddy on deck, as recently snapped by James Allen at Dodger Stadium. … Totally gorgeous basketball warm-up shirt available here. … Man, if you’re gonna steal an NFL team’s design, why would you choose the Bengals? Those are the Lincoln University Blue Tigers, a historically black college in Jefferson City, Missouri (with thanks to Jason Walker). … So now Adidas logo creep has spread to deodorant. “Guess which brand was on sale?” says Timothy McGlone. … And speaking of Adisas logo creep (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … More NOB inconsistencies, this time for Pitt (with thanks to Chris Hilf). … Mike Menner notes that the Twins have already produced a printed version of their 2010 schedule, and that it includes this logo. A sensible person might reasonably conclude that this logo will be worn as a sleeve patch next season, but of course I can’t confirm anything of that sort. … How do you make the lame-o blackout thing even lamer? Put a nickname on your jersey and color-reverse your helmet stripe (as noted by Brian Davis). … One one-handed D1 hoops player? Sure, why not? (With thanks to Chad Todd). … Chris Speakman, who runs the excellent Sports Propaganda operation, has a new line of screen prints available from Topps. … Hmmm, is hockey headed for its own Gazoo helmet? The funny thing about using Messier as your helmet spokesguy is that he looks the same without a helmet as he does when he’s wearing one (with thanks to Ryan Harrington). … Interesting NOB available here. “Looks like a FNOB, but it’s actually the jersey of Ovince Saint Preux — who, according to my research, is now an MMA star,” says Nathan Haas. … Four of Southern’s football jerseys were stolen prior to Saturday’s game against Jackson State, prompting a quick uni switcheroo (with thanks to Prentice James). … Now that the UFL has unveiled its helmet designs, Bill Jones has gumball-ized them. “Also,” he adds, “I have been working on sets of NCAA helmets. I have recently uploaded some the FCS and D2 sets that I have completed, as well as the Asian baseball sets that Jeremy Brahm helped me with, to my Flickr stream. I hope to have my FBS and FCS throwbacks uploaded this month, and then I will start on a D3 set.” … Showtime has aired the third installment of its AFL series, so Mako Mameli has added new images to his screen shot set. Dig the alternating-color yard line numbers in KC! … Also from Mako: Really interesting article here about the Broncos’ throwback field design. Highly recommended reading. … Texas A&M went with white helmets on Saturday. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Rochester Amerks wore some awesome throwbacks on Saturday. … “I was browsing eBay today when I came across a photo slide being sold by the Topps Vault,” writes Paul Carr. “The picture shows Don Zimmer, supposedly from 1972, wearing a very strange Padres cap I have never seen before. The cap is similar to the one they wore for most of the 70s, but the yellow panel in front is HUGE, going all the way back to Zimmer’s ears.” Anyone know more about this? … It’s gotta be the shoes, or something. … Hmmm, is this a hint of what the 2010 BP caps will look like? … Classy move by David Wright, who closed out the season by wearing blue stirrups yesterday — nice (pics courtesy of Steve Wojtowicz). … Kellan Walski spotted this guy at yesterday’s Pats game. “Turns out the guy knew someone who worked at a sporting goods store and was willing to put in the work on the custom job,” he says. “The numbers were custom-cut to be able to fit three across without looking too squished. Beneath all of that customization is a Lawyer Milloy jersey.” … Apple (the computer company, not the record label) is suing Woolworths (the Australian supermarket chain, not the defunct five and dime retailer) due to some logo similarities, although that seems like a stretch to me (with thanks to John Muir). … The Capitals have made changes to their banners and retired numbers (with thanks to William Yurasko). … NOB of the year, right? And yes, it’s his real name, although maybe he should change it to “Ah, Shit,” given the state of the Rams this year (nice find by Tyler Hull). … Hey, did you know there’s a blog that’s tracking the demolition of Yankee Stadium? Love the straightforward URL (with thanks to Kevin Rozell).