I recently mentioned that there’s a ton of good NFL material now available on Hulu. Turns out reader Mako Mameli has busily been making screen shots from the Hulu footage for a few months now. This is the first installment in what I hope will be a running series of his captures.
• These two 49ers shots, both from a 1974 game against the Rams, both show players wearing two different number fonts.
• Looks like the Rams had some number font issues in 1974 as well, at least involving the numeral 5.
• So much going on here. For starters, I hadn’t been aware that the Lions used history’s biggest Dymo labels in 1991. The “60” decal is for Mike Utley, who’d been paralyzed earlier that season. And the “JRT” patch is for former GM John Russell Thomas, who’d died earlier that year. (Meanwhile, here’s another example of the huge Dymo labels.)
• Steve Grogan had the longest neck I’ve ever seen on an NFL player, so it makes sense that he also had the thickest neck cuff. Also: Look how high those helmet numbers are!
• Best view ever of Jim Burt’s corset-style jersey.
• Here’s a good shot of the Giants’ Spider Lockhart memorial patch, worn in Super Bowl XXI.
• The Lockhart patch is also visible in this shot from the NFC Championship Game, but what’s that “38” decal? Anyone..? (Update: Craig Greenwood has just posted a comment indicating that the “38” is for John Tuggle, who died in 1985 from cancer.)
• Two other memorials I’m unsure of: this Dolphins decal from 1983 and this one from ’84. Little help? (Update: From Kevin Gallo: “The Dolphins’ #50 memorial decal from 1983 was for linebacker Larry Gordon. I think he died of a heart attack in the off-season. The #20 memorial decal from 1984 was for running back David Overstreet. I think he died in a car accident in the off-season.”)
• McNOBS often have either a lowercase “c” or a space, but it’s rare that they have both.
• Speaking of McNOBS, here are two different approaches taken by the same team in the same frame. That shot’s from 1993. (And yes, I know the Ravens did basically the same thing more recently.)
• Two different Riddell logos shown in these two 1975 Rams shots.
• If windbreaker undersleeves look bad on a baseball player, they look even worse in the NFL. That’s Jeff Gossett, from 1992.
• Speaking of windbreakers, the Chargers had some with NOBs back in ’92.
• And speaking of the ’92 Chargers, I’d forgotten that they had an odd approach to captaincy designations. Actually, I guess it’s a straightforward approach, but it still looks odd.
• During a 1992 Cowboys/Raiders game, some Dallas players were wearing memorial decals and some weren’t. (Here’s a closer look at those decals, from a different game that year. Can’t say I recall who those were for either.)
• Not sure who this Oilers player is, but it looks like he was wearing a set of those “Say No to Drugs” wristbands.
• There are facemasks, and then there are facemasks. I believe that’s Harry Swayne, of the 1994 Chargers.
• The 2000 Ravens had Jermaine and Jamal Lewis.
• Anyone else think the 1993 Chiefs’ QB jersey pockets were positioned a trifle high?
Sensational stuff. And as if that weren’t enough, Mako also recently came up with some great wire service photos. Dig:
• You probably know that track and field stars like Bob Hayes and Renaldo Nehemiah played in the NFL, but I didn’t know the Eagles had signed a sprinter way back in 1962. Love the No. 09.2 jersey.
• Very odd shot here — read the caption for the full story. Mmmm, and look at that tasty raised NOB lettering.
Major thanks, Mako, and keep ’em coming.
Major Giveaway Announcement
Most of you are probably familiar with Maple Leaf Productions, if not by name then by sight. They’re the company that produces all sorts of products centered around historical uniform imagery — posters, clocks, fridge magnets, etc. Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll be posting a big interview with Maple Leaf founder Scott Sillcox, which will tell the very interesting story behind his company.
But while you’re waiting for that, Scott is currently in the process of selling off the original watercolor illustrations featured on his products — about 1500 individual paintings from over 100 teams in the NFL, NHL, MLB, CFL, and NCAA. Each painting is signed, and many of them have little handwritten notes that provide insights into the production process. It’s a unique archive of uniform artwork — and Scott has generously offered to give away one painting to a lucky Uni Watch reader.
And it gets better: The winner will have the choice of having the illustration delivered (a) unframed, (b) housed in a plain black frame, or (c) framed alongside a miniature print of the team’s uni history. Totally up to you.
The winner will be able to choose any illustration listed on this site, with two caveats:
• All of these paintings are one of a kind, which means an image that’s available today might not be available tomorrow. So everything is subject to availability at the time of the giveaway drawing.
I usually roll my eyes when someone says, “I’m really excited” about this or that, but I really am excited about this giveaway — hope you are too.
To enter, send an e-mail with your shipping address, your first illustration choice, and your second choice (in case the first choice is sold between now and the time of the drawing) to the giveaway address by next Monday, Oct. 4, at 7pm eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday the 5th.
Flippity-flop update: Remember my recent ESPN feature about the Gator Flop? My one major frustration about that piece was that I was unable to track down former Miami QB John Hornibrook, who scored the uncontested touchdown on the infamous flop play.
But we included a little “Help us find John Hornibook” note with the story when it was published, and one person who responded was one of Hornibrook’s former housemates. He was able to piece together enough of a trail for me to connect with Hornibrook this past weekend. I’ve written a follow-up piece, which you can read here.
Whistling Irishman update: Jerry Wolper has found another photo of Danny Murtaugh’s cover-up patch. That shot was taken on 9/9/73 in Philadelphia — two days after Murtaugh took over the Pirates’ managerial reins, and one day before the team headed to Chicago, where this photo was taken. It’s now clear, as I suggested yesterday, that they simply didn’t have time to get Murtaugh a proper road jersey with a proper patch in the middle of a road trip. Mystery officially solved!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Those Bears throwbacks were nice enough, but did you catch the subtle little detail? They took the George Halas memorial initials off of the left sleeve (in order to keep the jersey “pure” or something, I guess) and put them on the back of the helmet instead. … Coupla things regarding those Iowa throwbacks from Saturday: First, just in case you didn’t realize the design was a shout-out to the school’s 1959 Rose Bowl squad, they put a little note on the neck bumper. Also, many players had “Evy” on their nose bumpers a reference to ’59 coach Forest Evashevski. Others had the names of ’59 players who wore the same uni number (all photos by Dylan Buell). … All you marching band devotees will want to check out this vintage item. … Here’s a good story about the guy who designed Mathieu Garon’s mask (with thanks to John Muir). … Buried within this Bucks Media Day video is the revelation that the team will be wearing 1971 throwbacks in February (as noted by Nicholas Honeck). … Should be interesting to see how many teams wear memorial decals for George Blanda. The Raiders for sure, but maybe the Bears and Titans too..? There’s a decent slideshow of images from his career here. … Here’s the latest one of those “greatest player by uni number” rundowns, this time for the NHL (thanks, Brinke). … Soccer note from Greg Riffenburgh, who writes: “Manchester United’s Nani (No. 17) has been intentionally wearing his socks backwards, with the taper in the front. I don’t know for certain, but I doubt that he’s wearing the entire sock backwards. I’ll bet he cut off the foot and is simply wearing another or no sock under his shoes and holding the black ones in place with his taped ankle.” … Nice new book being published on the history of the Tottenham Hotspur kits (with thanks to Stephen Wong). … Get this: MLB now has its own team-branded champagne (as noted by Kurt Esposito).
And if it doesn’t work out, she can just work for Nike or Reebok: Let’s say you’re running for political office. Let’s further say that you lose the primary for your party’s nomination, but you’re not the type who takes no for an answer, so you decide to run a write-in campaign. The thing is, you have a tricky last name and people might misspell it when writing it in, which could cause problems. So you need a good PR push to remind people to write in your name correctly. And you do this, of course, with an illegible typeface.
The obvious conclusion: Your campaign is being run by a uniform designer.