By Phil Hecken & James Huening, with Adam Walter
Back again with UW pollster James Huening, who is here to tell us the results of our second Uni Watch poll, in which we asked you to rate the NFL road uniforms. At the conclusion of this piece, we’re going to describing our next poll, and it’s one that requires the ultimate in reader participation. Be sure to keep reading after the road uni review. With that, I give you James, who has his write up on the last poll. Here’s James:
The results are in for the second part of our NFL uniform survey. The turnout wasn’t quite as good this time around, but we still got a respectable number of responses (1,535). That was to be expected, though. I mean, the NFL road uniforms are pretty dull compared to their home counterparts, right? Of course I’m right. The numbers bear that out. We’ll get to that in a bit.
OK, let’s get to it. Here are our top ten and bottom five.
The Worst (from 5th-worst to absolute worst)
and the worst road uniform in the NFL, as decided by you, the reader:
When we compare the previous lists, the bottom 5 is virtually unchanged. The only difference is that the Vikings and Seahawks swapped places. The top 10, on the other hand, had quite a few changes. Most notably, the Bears plummeted all the way from the top spot down to #7. The Colts jumped from #4 all the way to the top. The Chargers dropped out completely and the Redskins move in to the ninth spot. The last major change is the Giants dropping from #7 to #10.
Again, no really big surprises here. I’m certainly not surprised the Bears fell from the top spot. However, I wasn’t expecting the drop to be quite so drastic. Are their road unis really that much worse than their home ones? As you may recall, when we asked for your choices for best and worst, we also asked for a brief explanation why you chose them. Perhaps this comment can partially explain this phenomenon: “I think they didn’t deserve the top spot early so I’m voting them last now. Revenge.” Hmmmm …
Anyway, I mentioned that the numbers will show that the road unis are far less interesting than the home versions. What I mean by that is in the home survey, we had four teams (Bears, Packers, Steelers and Colts) that averaged more than four points per response. This time around, NOBODY averaged more than four. The Colts came the closest at 3.988. Interestingly enough, the Bills road unis were actually rated a bit higher, but they still failed to average better than a full point (0.983).
And speaking of the Bills, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you chose them as the worst once again.
* They look like the Montreal Alouettes, which is french for ‘If it looks like crap and plays like crap, its probably crap.’
* again … it looks like a differet committee did each part — pants, jersey, helmet, etc. — in the dark.
* The only good thing I can say about it is that it would make an okay minor league hockey uniform.
* I cannot help but wonder if the person who created the design for the modern jersey bet his friends that he could create the worst jersey in the history of mankind and still convince the Bills ownership to give it the OK.
* Look like a semi-pro team sponsored by a used car lot.
* Jim Kelly is turning in his grave at these eyesores.
* They resemble toddlers’ pajamas
* This could be the worst uniform in ALL OF SPORTS.
* My roommate is a bills fan, and I honestly think the uniform alone makes him cry himself to sleep every night
* They aren’t modern; they aren’t classic; they can’t even figure out how to be bad correctly.
* They suck out loud. I think they let my mom design those uniforms, and she has a habit of wearing homemade bedazzled sweatpants.
OK, bottom line: what’s the lesson here? We need color-on-color in the NFL. Bears in their navy jerseys vs. the Packers in green? Not enough contrast you say? Take a look. Plenty of contrast, I say.
Again, thanks to all of you for responding. And an extra thanks goes to Adam Walter again. He’s the man behind the curtain. Take a look at the fantastic PowerPoint and PDF files he put together from the data we collected.
Oh, one other thing that I found interesting. When Paul wrote the Page 2 Column with his own version of the NFL survey, he linked back to our post with the results of the home survey where we introduced the road survey. At that point, the responses picked up. All of the top 10 teams on this list got lower scores in the responses submitted after the ESPN column went up than in the responses that came in beforehand and all of the bottom 10 teams got higher scores.
Thanks James and Adam. Awesome stuff, as usual. And now, on to the next poll: Worst. Uni. Ever.
OK, much has been made recently, on the UW boards, about these “Worst Uniform Ever” polls. We’ve rightly mocked them as incomplete, lame, or just not good — in fact, it was Ricko’s sending me one of those very same “Worst Uniform Ever” pieces that got us started on this whole polling thing.
So, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. Here’s how we’re going to do this, and it requires YOUR help.
We want to come up with a “Worst. Uni. Ever.” poll/survey that will once and for all put the eternal question of “what’s the worst uniform ever?” to rest. What do we want from you?
Please post, in the comments below, your nominee(s) for what you consider to be the worst uniform in the history of uniforms. There aren’t too many guidelines here (as our crack staff will narrow these down for next week’s poll), but there are a few:
(1) Professional teams (with the exception of NCAA Division I — or whatever it’s called these days — football or basketball) only. No high school teams. Sorry — we have to draw the line somewhere
(2) The uniform you are nominating MUST have been worn at least once and in a regular season game. This means you can nominate a “one and done” uniform, but it had to appear in a regular season game.
(3) Team sports only (so, no tennis or golf outfits, please).
(4) North American sports only. We apologize, but if a Zimbabwe rugby squad has a really awful kit, we can’t consider it. I know there’s a few french football (soccer) kits that are really terrible, but for the purposes of this survey, we can’t include them.
That’s pretty much it. The rest is up to you. We haven’t quite decided upon the parameters of the survey yet, but we will before we ask you to actually vote. For now, we want YOU to provide us with your nominee in the category of WORST UNI EVER. If you don’t know how to post a link, all you need to do is find a picture of what you consider to be the worst uniform, then “right click” your mouse on the address bar. Simply copy the address (you’ll be prompted with options — simply hit copy) and paste it into your post.
It’s that simple. We’ll keep this particular thread open all week, so if you’re reading this (or were directed to it through a link), please post your nomination IN THIS THREAD. If you don’t want to post in the comments, or if you have a question about this request, you can send me an email — simply put “WORST UNI NOMINEE” in the subject line.
Let the “Worst Uniform Ever” nominations begin.
Well, with two amazing polls already completed, and a third in the works (don’t forget to nominate your worst uni ever below), and we still haven’t “officially” met the man behind all this, James Huening, who is one of the stalwart posters on Uni Watch. But I couldn’t go any longer without giving “JTH” his Q & A due. So, let’s meet James in a little more intimate detail:
Phil Hecken: So James, what led you to UW?
James T. Huening: I don’t specifically remember what led me to the Page 2 column. I’m pretty sure I was doing an image search. Maybe something related to a throwback uni someone was wearing and I was looking for pics of the originals in action. I do remember how I ended up at uniwatchblog.com, though. It was the e-mail from Paul announcing the launch of the blog. I didn’t check my messages that day, though. So I can’t say I’ve been reading since Day One. It’s actually Day Two. I did submit one of the very first ticker items (before it was called the ticker) and I’m happy to report that the link I sent in is not dead yet.
PH: So how long would you say that you’ve been into athletics aesthetics?
JTH: Pretty much as long as I can remember. Most of the sports disappointments I had as a kid had nothing to do with things like tough losses, being on bad teams or favorite players being traded, but rather being on poorly-dressed teams, getting bad replica merchandise, etc. I remember my parents took me to a Cubs game when I was about 5 or so and they bought me a cap. The underbill was green plaid. When I complained about it, my mom assured me that it was exactly like what the players wore. But I knew better.
Then there were my little league teams. One year we were the Padres. We had replica jerseys of the previous year’s style. That was bad enough, but to make matters worse, the caps had the “swinging friar” logo instead of the interlocking SD. A few years later, it was the Tigers — replica road jersey with a white D on the cap instead of orange. In football, I was on the Redskins one year. Our jerseys looked like the real thing — almost. They were burgundy with the correct stripe pattern on the sleeves. But they had yellow numbers and we wore yellow pants with them. Such a letdown.
PH: I know you made some “specialized” Bears shorts — are you into the DIY scene?
JTH: Not so much. Other than the shorts, I doctored up a White Sox jersey to make it kinda look like a 1959 throwback. I helped my wife make a Hallowe’en costume for one of the kids tonight, does that count?
I did a fair amount of DIY stuff as a kid. The first one I remember was that I made a Cubs “jersey” out of one of my dad’s t-shirts using a marker. My dad was not pleased. I don’t know if he was more mad that I ruined his shirt or that I did a terrible job. It was supposed to be a Bobby Murcer jersey and he gave me a hard time for putting a serif on the 7 because “that’s not what the Cubs’ 7s look like.” Oh, and because I used a black marker, too.
A really cool DIY thing that I did with and a couple of my friends was a “baseball stadium” in the vacant lot across the street from my house. The lot was just about the perfect shape for a baseball diamond and my front yard had a chain link fence that faced it. We measured the distance from home plate to the fence at various spots — down the line, the power alley and as close to center field as we could get. Then we painted signs with the distances on them and hung them on the fence every time we would play. We also would mow basepaths into the grass.
PH: OK, last question. A lot of the folks who read and post on UW are jersey/uniform collectors, or cap collectors, or memorabilia collectors. What about you?
JTH: I don’t really consider myself a collector, but I do have quite a few jerseys and caps. You’ve seen the pic of my Bears jerseys. I have 7 of them. I also have some other random NFL teams’ jerseys. There are some baseball, basketball and hockey as well. Also, for some reason, I have quite a few soccer jerseys even though I never watch or play the sport. I played it for half a season in kindergarten and it wasn’t my thing (also, incidentally, that was another one of my uni-disappointments as a kid).
PH: Awesome, James. Thanks again for all your help with these UW polls. Really looking forward to seeing the nominations for the “Worst. Uni. Ever.” We should have some fun with that.
Design-A-Cap Winner! If you folks remember the Design-A-Cap Contest which resulted in over 20 OUTSTANDING nominees held a few weeks ago, I’m pleased to announce that Coach Jerome Nemanich and his Sartell Sabres have selected a winner. After careful deliberation and consideration (and really, they were all outstanding), Coach has chosen Dan Grieve as the winner! Here’s The Cap that Dan designed. All the nominees were great, but only one could be the chosen one.
Next week, I hope to announce the next contest, and this one should be a full-blown “Design A Uniform” contest for a baseball team. Prize(s) to be announced as well, so be sure to check back for that. Based on the outstanding submissions we received for the Design-A-Cap contest, I’m sure we can expect more great stuff when we move on to a complete uni overhaul! Thanks again to Coach Nemanich and all who participated.
Got a great E-Mail this week from Fred Strohm — you remember Fred, he’s the one who gave us this Seahawks mockup (plus some other great stuff I’ve used in the past). Fred sent me this, which is so awesome, I need to share it with you:
Hey Phil – I was at my parent’s house over the weekend and found a book that might be interesting to the Uniwatch community. It’s Richard Kaplan’s “Great Linebackers of the NFL” from 1970. I’ve scanned and uploaded the pictures from the book to here. Captions are added where provided, and they’re named in order how they are in the book, plus by the name of the person being discussed.
Man those are some purdy pictures, Fred. Thanks for sharing!
Ricko’s got a double header worth of Benchies today, since tomorrow we’re gonna have something really special from the man, the myth the legend. So, without further ado enjoy:
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: As the baseball season winds down, and the baseball winds are blowing towards the World Series every Mets fan absolutely dreams of (hint…hint), comes today’s Guess the Scoreboard game. Sure, the actual scoreboard might be a little difficult to make out, but all the clues you need are right there in front of you. And what a be-youtiful picture this is. The stadium and teams will be instantly recognizable. All that’s left if for you to figure out the date, and the final score. Please post the LINK to the answer, rather than the answer itself, in the comments. Good luck. Guess The Game From The Scoreboard.
That will do it for today. You have your assignment. Now, go out and find a pic of what you consider that “Worst Uniform Ever” and post it in the comments below. We’ll consider all the nominations and narrow it down for our next poll next weekend. C’mon Uni Watchers — give us your