Time for another round of classic NFL photos by David Boss. Without further ado:
• God, this Rams uni looks just about Perfect, no? The deeper blue, the soft gold pants stripe, the white-laced high-tops. Deelish.
• Speaking of the Rams, it just never seems right to see Joe Willie in this uniform.
• Here’s a decent shot of the NFL’s 50th-anniversary patch. I also like the yellow elbow pad.
• As much as I like the NFL stripes on the pants in that last shot, I think I like this earlier Packers striping even more.
• Was Vince Lombardi wearing a UCLA visor?
• Surpring to me that anyone was still using an old-fashioned leather chinstrap in 1965. Makes an odd counterpoint to that cheapo-looking white-plastic facemask that so many of the Bears wore during this period.
• I always loved watching John Jefferson — and yes, that was in part because of his goggles.
• On the other hand, I always hated — hated — the Seahawks’ mesh jerseys. Looked too NCAA. C’mon, you’re a pro team, dress like one!
• One great strength of the Boss archive is that it has lots of color photos from early Pro Bowls, so we can see that the East and West squads wore simple blue and red uniforms in 1959 (note the blue/red goalposts!), 1960 (additional images here and here, more colored goalposts, and it looks like they just spray-painted over Jim Brown’s helmet TV numbers), 1963 (here’s another shot), and 1965 (here’s one more). Note that the East wore red and the West wore white in all of these games, regardless of whether it was an even- or odd-numbered year. Apparently that was just the way it always went.
And there we are. My continued thanks to Michael Princip for first alerting me to the Boss archive.
Helmet news, batting and otherwise: Spoke yesterday with Rawlings marketing exec Mike Thompson, who informed me that the “new” batting helmets I wrote about on Monday are actually the same old S100s from last year. “When it has the double earflaps, it does look smaller, so it’s a bit deceiving,” he said. “We’re working on a revision to the S100, which should be ready in about 60 days, but right now they only have the basic S100.”
Hmmm. So Norris Hopper and Kevin Mench (and some other players who I haven’t kept track of) just decided to try out the S100 on their own? “Yes,” he said. “And I’ve gotta tell you, there’s been no influence from us on that — that’s been all on their own.” Interesting. (Oh, and this just in: Francisco Cervelli is the latest S100 player.)
Meanwhile, I also asked Thompson about something a little birdie had told me earlier in the day, namely that Rawlings was planning to re-enter the football helmet biz with this helmet design. “Yes, that’s accurate,” he said. “It’s not going to be out until 2011. Most likely we’re going to seed some to high school programs around the country in the latter part of this year, but we won’t have a comprehensive program until 2011.”
And does Rawlings, which hasn’t been involved in the gridiron helmet market since the mid-1980s, plan to get back involved on the college and pro levels as well? “Eventually,” he said. “But we’re going where the numbers are, and the market right now is so much bigger on the youth side of the business.”
It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s Duluth: As most of you know, next week I’ll be competing in the House of Hearts Bonspiel at the Duluth Curling Club (and thanks to Phil, who’s given me an early birthday present, I’ll be wearing this sweater — thanks, buddy!). Several of you have asked if I’ll be convening a Uni Watch party while I’m in town. My dance card is pretty full, so I don’t think I’ll have time for a gathering at a bar or anything like that, but I encourage any of you in the area to come watch the bonspiel, which will be taking place next Friday (3pm to 9pm) and Saturday (11am to 8pm). Of course, anyone can attend any part of the ’spiel, but it might be nice to pick a day and time when Uni Watch readers can gather together at the club, yes? If this interests you, send me a note with your preferred day and time period (“Saturday, mid-afternoon,” or whatever). Whatever turns out to be the most popular choice, I’ll post that early next week and you can all meet up then. Cool?
And before you ask, I don’t yet know which team I’ll be on, which draw I’ll be in, etc., so I can’t tell you exactly when I’ll be curling. But I’ll try to keep everyone posted on that as the information becomes available to me.
Finally, one last ’spiel appeal: The House of Hearts is a charity event to benefit the St. Luke’s medical foundation. Many of you have already contributed small amounts to help sponsor me in the bonspiel. If anyone else would like to contribute ($5 is fine, although larger amounts are also welcome, of course), go to Amazon Payments and either log in to your existing Amazon account or, if you don’t have one, create a new Amazon account. Once you’re logged in, click on “Personal” and then on “Send Money,” and send whatever amount you deem appropriate to plukas64 at gmail dot com. Put “House of Hearts” in the memo line. Thanks.
Self-Promotion Alert: I’ll be doing a 10-minute interview this morning on ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, talking about the Packers’ new alternate uniform, which will be unveiled later this afternoon. My segment will begin at 10:30am local (central) time. Those of you who don’t live in Milwaukee
are missing out on America’s coolest city can listen to streaming audio here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: As many of us had speculated, this year’s MLB stars/stripes caps will be white — sort of. The crown will be white, but not every team will have the same visor color, and the visors won’t necessarily be team colors. That’s all I know for now. Further details as I get them. … Here’s a cool video of the Celtics’ 2008 championship banner being made (with thanks to Rick Subrizio). … UW-Eau Claire is on the verge of choosing a new mascot (with thanks to Joel Mathwig). … If you go to this link and click on “2010 Home Opener,” you’ll see lots of pics of Virginia Tech doing the tequila sunrise thing again. … Todd Eggert sent along some cool photos of himself working behind the scenes at Wrigley Field. “I worked for the Cubs part-time until two seasons ago,” he says. “The locker room we used was the old Cubs and Bears locker room that was positioned in the far left field corner (pre-dugout tunnel era). The lockers are original and date way back. The room you see is what is attached to our locker room — it hasn’t been updated/cleaned probably since the park opened. Notice in the scoreboard picture with the fan, you will see a small TV (with rabbit ears) and a ‘line to line’ printer — the printer would always be printing off little paper updates from MLB. The guys working in the scoreboard would use this info to update the scores. The Cubs were so cheap we would often run out of toner and would have to use a land line to obtain scores from the guys watching ESPN in our locker room.” … Peter Kurilecz reports that the West Bromwich Albion wore an anti-smoking logo on their jerseys in 1984. … New red soccer balls for the Premier League (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Lance Smith reports that the Rochester Lourdes (Class A Minnesota boys hockey) are wearing some very odd socks. Additional photos here and here. … The Cedar Rapids Roughriders are doing an ALS-awareness promotion, complete with Lou Gehrig-themed hockey jerseys (with thanks to Bill Mitchell). … Chris Jones has been wearing Chucks for his club lacrosse team. “I loved playing in them,” he sais. “Very light, felt like I was playing in bare feet, no ankle issues or anything either, at least not for me.” … Speaking of Chucks, check out this handball team. That shot is from the 1958 World Series of handball. I definitely need one of those shirts (great stuff from Jeremy Brahm). … Mike Hersh has been traveling in Vancouver, where he spotted a rotating sign that he knew I’d like. The flying pigs of value are a particularly nice touch. … Lots to like in this video clip of the NHL’s 1991 opening night, which was the league’s 75th-anniversary season. Lots of throwbacks, a color-on-color game, officials wearing wheat-colored sweaters, hilarious commentary, and more. Almost eight minutes long and totally worth it — highly recommended (very nice find by Steve May). … “I noticed the U. of Texas basketball team had a few mid-season uni number changes,” writes Ryan Maquinana. “After the season-ending injury bug hit Varez Ward and Dogus Balbay, who wore No. 50 and No. 4, respectively, two of their teammates took on their numbers. Gary Johnson, formerly No. 1, switched to No. 4 in honor of Balbay. And J’Covan Brown, who had worn No. 14, now wears Ward’s No. 50.” … The Yokohama Bay Stars will be wearing gold stars on their shoulders for Opening Day (thanks, Jeremy). … Jeremy also found some amazing softball photos in the Life archives. Highlights include a zebra-striped ump, a team wearing satin pants, a team with a question mark insignia, an awesome set of bell-themed uni numbers, a team of clowns (no, really), and some great rear-jersey sponsors, including an alarm service, a funeral home, and an antiseptic powder. … When you’re sitting out a lengthy suspension, you have time to ponder the larger issues in your life, like changing your uniform number.