Forget about Black Friday — yesterday was Black Sunday in the NFL, as game after game featured uni-notable aspects. One at a time:
• The Jets did the stupid-ass solid-green thing. At least they wore the right socks this week.
• The Rams did the stupid-ass solid-blue thing.
• The Texans did the stupid-ass solid-blue thing.
• The Bills wore their home AFL throwbacks.
• The Eagles wore their black alts.
• The Bengals wore their orange alts, and Bernard Scott marked the occasion by playing with his belt unbuckled. (And look, we all know the Bengals have different jersey cuts for different positions, but come on. [Screen shot courtesy of Jack Krabbe.])
• The Chargers wore their powder blue alts (not to be confused with their powder blue AFL throwbacks — similar but different). They also honored their 50th-anniversary team before the game. Cool to see all the different jerseys.
• The Vikings wore their throwbacks. Can someone please steal their regular set so they can just wear these for the rest of the season? Thanks. Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson began the game bare-handed, but after fumbling in the first quarter he came out with purple gloves — first time all season he’s worn gloves. He later switched to a black set.
• Even by today’s standards, Frank Gore was really pushing the biker shorts look yesterday.
Aside from that, it was a completely normal Sunday.
That thing I won’t stop talking about, update: Here’s the latest on those 1956 Portland Beavers striped undersleeves. According to Dave Eskenazi, who hepped me to this story in the first place, an opposing team protested the striped sleeves at some point during the ’56 season (presumably because the stripes could be distracting to a batter). The PCL office upheld the challenge, and one of Eskenazi’s sources says the team continued to wear the sleeves with red fabric patches covering the stripes until new solid-red sleeves could be procured.
The tragedy of this, of course, is that it’s unlikely that any of the striped-sleeve shirts survived in an unsullied state. Still, I’d love to see photos of the patched-over stripes. Eskenazi hopes to be able to comb through his source’s 1956 scrapbooks, which may yield further info and imagery — stay tuned.
Too Good to Get Buried in the Ticker: You know the famous 1928 Tigers road uni with the tiger’s head on the back? I’ve always been so fixated on the back that I’ve never paid much attention to the front. See how the letters seem to run slightly downhill? Turns out the declination was pretty significant! So rare to see a chest insignia running downhill like that.
That photo was provided by Bruce Menard. Interestingly, it’s not from 1928 — it’s from spring training of ’29. The Tigers would switch to a different road uni when the regular season started.
I showed the photo to uni designer Todd Radom, who of course had an even better photo of that uniform. “Whenever I see this jersey, I can’t help but wonder about the sobriety of whoever created it,” he says.
Membership Update: Recent enrollees in the Uni Watch Membership Program may have noticed that their names haven’t been added to the active roster page. The short version: When we upgraded the site’s architecture a month ago, we lost the ability to update that table (something to do with a plug-in). Johnny Ek is working on fixing it as we speak, so hang in there — we’ll get you all listed on the roster page soon.
Meanwhile, some great new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Martin Fox’s Wrigley Field outfield wall treatment, which falls outside our usual parameters but I allowed it because it was an inspired request. That’s easy for me to say, of course — turned out to be a lot of work for Scott. Thanks for persevering on that one, buddy.
As always, you make the membership scene yourself by signing up here.
Sponsor Shout-Out: Our friends at Distant Replays are running a one-day sale: 40% off college sports T-shirts (which brings the price down from $29 to $17.40). Enter the code CYBERT at checkout. Offer expires at midnight, Pacific time.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Good article about blue being the new black in the NHL (with thanks to Jonathan Trapp). … Here’s the new LZR swimsuit from Speedo (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Here’s a football uniform that probably would have ranked highly in Phil’s “Worst Uni Ever” poll — look. That’s from the European Federation of American Football (big thanks to Tim Friedrich). … Hey, check this out: a vintage Byron Nelson Classic jumpsuit. … Oooh, and dig this old Philly A’s elephant patch. … Gumball helmet maven Bill Jones knows I’m a fan of No Mas’s Jewboys tee, so look what he sent me! So cool. … Who’s that? It’s none other than our own Robert “RPM” Marshall and his better half, Kate Perryman, in Chicago’s Turkey Day parade. … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Every team doing a blackout should be required to wear these socks. Actually, every team should be required to wear those socks, period. That’s Crystal Falls, a Michigan high school. … The Predators unveiled their new navy alts on Friday night. Lots of photos here, and a good article here (with thanks to Wade Harder for the article). … Jared Camden points out that both Alabama QBs wear McNOB, but with differing treatments for the “c”. … Cool soccer mask. That’s Aberdeen FC’s Davide Grassi, who’s nursing a triple cheekbone fracture (with thanks to Steven Taylor). … Single-digitized pitcher! That’s George Brunet of the Pirates — a real pitcher, not a position player — in 1970. Here’s a shot of when he was warming up for that appearance (big thanks to Dan Cichalski). … Mike Cooperman reports that the old 1980s Chisox logo is being put to good (if unauthorized) use by a California batting cage operation. … Lou Sherwood was watching a replay of the 1971 MLB All-Star Game and noticed that the batboys were wearing American and National League uniforms — faaaascinating! Also, from that same game: Dock Ellis wore a very odd-looking helmet. Anyone know more about that? … Buried at the bottom of this 1955 Yanks/Phils spring training game recap is the following note: “The Yankees will not be taking risks this season. They ordered a half-dozen protective helmets today. ‘I’ll wear one only when I face left-handers,’ Yogi Berra remarked.” Sounds like these were the first batting helmets the Yanks ever used (genius find by Morris Levin). … Having two players with the same uni number worked out well for South Carolina on Saturday (with thanks to Trevor Williams). … Michael Princip recently added these two awesome paintings to his collection. I particularly like the one on the right — Ollie Matson, as painted by Lon Keller (an illustrator I’ve written about in the past). … Absolutely tremendous footage of Tom Seaver’s first MLB game, on 4/13/67, here. Particularly notable because it shows (a) how starting pitchers at Shea used to warm up in front of the dugouts, not in the bullpen, (b) Shea’s short-lived green outfield wall with black distance markers, which only lasted one homestand in 1967 (best view of that begins at the 4:25 mark), (c) Seaver’s original roundhouse wind-up, which he streamlined soon thereafter, and (d) Jerry Grote finishing an inning by dribbling the ball to the Mets’ dugout side of the mound, so the opposing pitcher would have to walk a bit farther to retrieve it at the beginning of the next inning. Oh, and the video also shows how the Mets’ uniform is supposed to look, but you knew that already. … Michael Kinney wants to know why the football players at Wheaton Warrenville South High School in Illinois all wear a little “77″ on their helmets. … Ethan Ritz, the Technical Operations Manager for the NFL Network, has graciously filled us in on the pom-pom microphones we’ve been seeing on the officials’ caps lately. “The microphone is a Sennheiser ME104, and the pom-poms are windscreens,” he explains. “The two mics are necessary because we broadcast in stereo. As you can see, the hats are retrofitted to carry the mic, and the transmitter goes onto the wearer’s belt. NBC uses the same setup.” … Mike Kennedy notes that Demaryius Thomas’s TV numbers appear to be positioned too far forward, especially when compared to his single-digit teammates.
In your face, chickenpox!: I’m officially back to normal health. Thanks to everyone who sent encouraging words during l’affaire du pox.