Relatively uni-unventful day in the NFL yesterday, but here are a few items of note:
• Just like last week, Eli Manning was wearing an old-style (i.e., non-super-stretchy) jersey. But instead of his NFL Equipment shield being stitched onto a little red triangle of fabric, as used to be the case for the Giants’ pre-stretchy blue jerseys, Manning’s jersey had a blue triangle instead. I hope to get the full scoop from Joe Skiba shortly.
• Two things you don’t often see: the Bears in throwbacks and the Vikes in purple pants.
• Kyle Orton’s NFL Equipment shield was missing. Also: No photo, but reader David Marucheau says Orton had his sideline hat tucked in the back of his pants on the final kneel-down play of that game. If anyone DVR’d the game, let’s see a screen shot.
• Joe Haden was wearing some seriously high whites — and they would’ve been even higher if he’d pulled them all the way up.
• NBC apparently didn’t get the memo about the new conference logos.
• Turning our attention to Saturday’s college action, Northwestern saluted outgoing equipment manager Bill Jarvis by wearing “Jarv” on their nose bumpers.
• Texas Tech wore red pants, I believe for the first time.
• And Miles Burress of San Diego State lost one of his helmet decals on Saturday.
Sox appeal: Lots of unhappy campers in Chicago, where word leaked on Friday that the White Sox are replacing their road uniform’s excellent diamond-shaped sleeve patch with the “Sox” insignia. Chisox message boards have been abuzz with negative reaction to the switcheroo and several fans e-mailed the team to complain. That apparently got the attention of Sox marketing VP Brooks Boyer, who sent several bloggers and fans the following note (which was forwarded to me by reader Scott Schaaf):
I want to thank you all for your notes about the road uniforms. Although none of you are happy with the decision, I do appreciate the feedback, good or bad. …
We have talked quite a bit about the road greys for a few years after getting input from our players, staff and even some fans. The most alarming thing I received from a fan was the stat showing how little we are wearing our road greys in favor of the black uniforms. That is something we plan to correct going forward.
After looking at the road greys, we determined that the uniform should contain our main logo, our brand, and have decided to replace the flying sock with the White Sox primary S-O-X logo. This was one of several possible options.
I know this is not a popular decision with you guys and I am sorry to disappoint. In the event any or all of you are at SoxFest, please find me if you would like to discuss further.
Again, I truly appreciate the feedback. Sorry this email response was not what you wanted to hear.
All the best,
A few quick thoughts:
1) Boyer’s explanation notwithstanding, it’s hard to fathom what the Sox were thinking here. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that scripts and related insignia do not look good on sleeves. Plus the diamond-shaped sock patch was one of the better sleeve adornments in the game. This feels like change for change’s sake. Disappointing.
2) Although he didn’t say what fans wanted to hear — and acknowledged as much — I think it’s fairly impressive that Boyer put together a fairly substantive response (on a weekend, no less). And while I saw some message board comments along the lines of “Sure, I’d be happy to talk with him at SoxFest — if I could afford the $250 to go,” that seems a little unfair. I mean, is Boyer supposed to show up at every disgruntled fan’s house for a chat? He’s making himself available to fans in one of the few settings in which they get to mingle with him. I wish every team exec could be this hospitable.
3) Seems like a big fuss over something as inconsequential as a sleeve patch, no? Then again, maybe not.
Gold rush: After last Thursday’s Falcons/Ravens game, I got quite a few queries asking about the gold stripes on the Falcons’ helmets. One guy even asked if it was a special gesture for Veterans Day.
As I explained to everyone who asked, the Falcons wore those same gold stripes on their throwbacks last season, and of course they also wore them back in the late ’60s. The story, as I think most of you know, is that the gold stripes were a shout-out to Georgia Tech, because the team had basically chosen Georgia Bulldog colors.
I was a little surprised to get so many questions about this one — I thought most people knew that story by now. I’m always happy when people are curious enough to ask, though.
Star chamber: As you may recall, Robert Marshall offered the stirrup design shown at left back around the Fourth of July. One of the many readers who bought a pair was longtime DIYer David Frost, who recently decided that the design was lacking something — so he added it. Those are white tackle twill stars, which Frosty added to his hose as a patriotic gesture. “I wore them to work on Thursday for Veterans Day and they got a great reaction,” he says.
Now here’s the best part: If you bought a pair of these stirrups, Frosty will add a pair of stars to your set — free of charge. Just pack up your stirrups, include your address and $3 for return shipping, and send it to David Frost, 510 Callalily Ct., Myrtle Beach, SC 29579. Thanks for the super-generous offer, Frosty — I’ll be curious to see how many folks take you up on it.
Quick Candela update: One of the many puzzling and frustrating things about the Candela project is that there’s an official New York City Parks Dept. sign right next to the structures that provides some quick info about them — all of it inaccurate (for details, scroll down to the bottom of this page). This misinformation initially sent us off in several wrong directions with our research, and it’s also contributed to the fog of mystery and confusion about the structures over the years.
When our research turned up conclusive evidence that the sign was wrong, we informed the folks at the Parks Dept., who thanked us and said they’d update the sign. That was about 18 months ago. In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have expected much from the municipal bureaucracy, but it’s still been really frustrating to see the sign sitting there just a few feet from the structures, trumpeting its inaccuracies month after month.
So yesterday Kirsten and I took matters into our own hands and affixed a waterproof (we hope) patch onto the sign. As you can see, we didn’t quite match the right shade of putty, but at least the text is now accurate. Much better.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Charlie Samuels, who had been suspended by the Mets, has now been fired. … Ever wonder what a wolverine looks like? Look no further. That’s what Michigan will be wearing for the Big Chill game on Dec. 11. Not quite as good as the design it’s based on, but still very cool. … Who’s the ballplayer with the Joe Cool shades? That’s none other than Joe Willie Namath in a rare baseball shot. Looks like his team had some very inconsistent jersey typography (great find by Dan Cichalski). … The Wrigley marquee will be painted purple for the Northwestern game on Saturday. … New women’s hoops coach at Morehead State has some funny ideas about how to dress (with thanks to Scott Gleeson Blue). … My college hoops roundup column included a mention of Tulsa’s new uni, but now Kyle Grooms has provided better photos and additional info: “The blue road uniform will be worn with red shoes; white home uni with white/blue shoes. Tulsa will also wear different warm-up tops and shooting shirts that reflect different eras of Tulsa basketball. I believe the plan is one that says ‘Kendall’ (the original name for University of Tulsa was Henry Kendall College), then one reflecting the Nolan Richardson-era teams, and the last representing the Bill Self Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen teams.” … Remember that fuss about Clinton Portis wearing a Phillies cap? Shouldn’t happen again (with thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … As many of you know by now, there’s a interesting detail on the Rangers’ third jersey: All of the team’s retired numbers are shown on the inner rear hem. “I understand that’s only available on the on-ice authentics and the jerseys sold exclusively in the MSG team store — not at retail outlets like Modell’s,” says Terence Kearns. Personally, I think that kind of gimmickry — and also the “Established 1926” on the inner rear collar — is precisely the sort of thing an old-school New York franchise like the Rangers should not be doing. Leave those gewgaws to the amateurs. You’ve got a nice sweater, a decent anniversary patch, and plenty of history — that’s enough. … Meanwhile, Joe DeAngelis doesn’t like that the Rangers’ new jersey is being paired with the regular everyday pants. “The red on the pants is clearly not the same shade of red used in the new jersey, and the pants’ bright white stripe pattern is overwhelming against the jersey’s off-white details.” He’s right. … Joe Lombardo watched the Pacquiao/Margarito weigh-in and spotted something odd: “There was a guy in the background wearing a jersey that looked like it was half NFL (white Cowboys, maybe?), half Notre Dame home. It had the NFL crest on the collar and the interlocking ND below it. The number on the front was 88, but the sleeve numbers were 81 (I think) on the white side, and 18 on the Notre Dame side.” Anyone know more? … New look for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Want to see more? There’s a photo slideshow, a video clip of the unveiling, and this article, which includes the following tidbit: “[T]he Timber Rattlers are part of a select group of minor-league teams — roughly 30 out of 160 — whose logo and jersey can be purchased by youth baseball teams around the country. ‘Because of that, we see a huge influx in sales,’ said [a team official]. ‘And because of all these Little League teams buying our jerseys, we’re getting royalties on all those jerseys'” (with thanks to Caleb Bentz and John Okray). … Lots of spectacularly detailed and evocative old baseball portraits on this page (great find by Andy Kanzer). … Here’s a good article on how the South Carolina football equipment staff gears up for a road game (with thanks to Charles Hall). … Raleigh McCool spotted something I hadn’t been aware of in Lipscomb’s new hoops uniforms: subscript NOBs! …. We often gripe about how today’s NFL players — esp. receivers and defensive backs — wear their pants too short. But Mike Braam found an old photo of Fred Biletnikoff wearing short pants back in the day. … I’ve never seen an old satin night-game jersey show up on eBay until now. And scroll down to see the sensational chain-stitched design on the back! Reasonably priced too, for what it is. Alas it’s too small for me — grrrrr — or else I’d already have bought it, but I hope one of you out there will snap it up. If so, let me know once you get your hands on it. … I don’t know about you, but my sock drawer runneth over thanks to all the stirrups I’ve ordered from Robert Marshall — it’s a serious mess. So I got all excited when I saw this spectacular vintage sock rack on eBay. Wouldn’t a stirrup collection look great in that? Unfortunately, I got outbid. Double-grrrr. … Speaking of eBay, Jeff Flynn, Jr. found this, which I’d totally bid on if I didn’t already have something very similar. … Still more eBay goodies: a chevron-striped basketball warm-up; a groovy old Durene jersey in Redskins colors; one of the most interesting all-star jersey designs I’ve ever seen; and a really nice 1960s baseball undershirt, complete with off-center buttons, three-quarter sleeves, and cool Russell Southern tagging. … Good article about the rebranding at North Dakota (thanks, Brinke). … Lots of poppies last week in the EPL. … Steve Johnston was at the U. of Chicago over the weekend and took a coupla snaps of some of their sports heritage displays. … Someone named “John,” who didn’t give his full name and who managed to contact me without disclosing his own e-mail address, says, “Baylor basketball will be debuting a yellow alternate uniform for Tuesday’s 24-hour hoops marathon. The color scheme looks kinda like the Seattle SuperSonics alternate uniforms before they moved to OKC.” Might be true, might be bogus — either way, let’s hope “John” is a little less cloak-and-dagger next time. … Injured Patriots player Bret Lockett can’t spell “Patriots” (with thanks to Seth Horowitz). … Here’s a bizarre one: Eric Feingold was at a Chinese restaurant in Dublin — you know, in Ireland — and was surprised to find the Minnesota Wild’s logo on the cover of the menu. … Coupla college hoops teams broke out new alternate uniforms yesterday: gold for Purdue and BFBS for South Dakota State (with thanks to Andrew Weintraut and Tom O’Connor, respectively). … New hoops uniforms for Penn, too (with thanks to Evan Smith). … Still more college hoops news: New uni number assignments and sneakers for UNC. … If you go to ESPN Australia, you should see two banner ads featuring Aaron Rodgers wearing a Photoshopped No. 211 jersey. And if the ads aren’t there, you can see them here, because Katie Kopo took some screen shots for us. … Lots of soccer fuss in Kansas City, where word has leaked that the Kansas City Wizards will be renaming themselves Sporting KC on Wednesday. The new logo leaked last night on a Wizards blog, but a little birdie just sent me a much cleaner version of it.
Teevee news: I appear as a talking head in an NFL Films segment that’s currently airing on the NFL Network. The topic is the “Top 10 Uniforms of All Time,” or something along those lines, and readers who’ve seen it say it’s pretty good and that I don’t make a complete fool of myself (I don’t get the NFL Network myself, so I haven’t seen it, although the producers are sending me a DVD). For those who are interested, there’s one remaining showing of the program, at 1pm Eastern on Tuesday.