When I was taking part in that Ping-Pong tournament last week, I ended up yakking a bit with a chick from Buffalo named Aimee. At one point she asked what I did for a living. When I told her, she said, “Really? Uniforms? Because let me tell you, coming from Buffalo, I have some issues.” To which which I responded, “I know, I know — you wish the Bills would wear their throwbacks full-time, right?” She said, “Yeah. How’d you know?”
Aimee said she was heading to Buffalo on Thanksgiving Day and coming back to Brooklyn on Sunday, which means she probably missed at least part of yesterday’s Bills game — a pity, since they were wearing those throwbacks she (and everyone else) likes so much. She also said she’d bring me back a beef on weck sandwich from Schwabl’s, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
In other NFL news from yesterday:
• Both of the sleeve patches on Falcons kicker Matt Bryant’s jersey were facing backwards. They must’ve gotten swapped at the Reebok factory. Some quick photo research reveals that Bryant has been wearing the wrong-facing patches for quite a while now: This shot is from September, and this one is from a preseason game way back on Aug. 19!
• Texans fullback Vonta Leach had some problems with a peeling helmet decal.
• The folks at Schutt can’t be happy that Jimmy Claussen is still wearing a Riddell chinstrap with a non-Riddell helmet.
• One additional point about the Bills’ throwbacks: I’m amazed that they continue to keep their throwback helmets completely blank on the back — no NFL logo, no American flag, no fine-print warning, no nothin’. They’ve been doing this for several years now and I’m pleasantly surprised that they’ve stuck with it. I like the clean look.
• The Chiefs dusted off their red pants, I believe for the first time this season. (As an aside, the four KC players in that photo have four different knee treatments. From left to right: red, bare, black, and white.)
• The Ravens wore their black alts. Have they paired them with white pants before?
• The Broncos really ought to know better.
• See that orange crown on the back of the Virginia Tech helmet? The Hokies added that to celebrate their ACC Coastal Division championship.
• And here’s one last Thanksgiving leftover: When Brad Smith returned that kickoff for a TD against the Bengals, he did with with one shoe.
My thanks to all contributors, including Jamal Wilburg, Jeff Moulden, David Merrill, Jason Henke, and Ben Melancon.
Gift sourcing reminder: I’m working on my annual holiday gift guide column, which will appear later this week on ESPN. If you know of good uni-related gift ideas — or if you’re offering some product or service yourself that you think might be appropriate for this year’s rundown — please let me know. Thanks.
The Terry Proctor Files, cont’d: While poking around on eBay, I came across old copies of a trade magazine called Sporting Goods Dealer. I wasn’t familiar with this publication, so I asked Terry Proctor about it. Here’s his response:
Yes, we subscribed to Sporting Goods Dealer. The magazine was owned by The Sporting News — all you had to do in those days was to sign up for it and you received it free. Because it was a trade publication, the corporate advertisers paid for it. It had feature articles about new products or trends. Smaller companies that didn’t have a factory rep or a rep group pushing their wares used the magazine to get their name out there.
Once a year they’d publish a book they referred to as The Sporting Goods Dealer Bible. This small desk-reference manual listed all of the companies that were in the industry. It was like a sporting goods phone book. …
Another publication that is still put out by the National Sporting Goods Association is Sporting Goods Business. It’s another trade publication containing inside info on new products and the like without the glitz. The tabloid-style magazine is where I first learned about nylon micro-mesh back in 1987. I know the date is correct because I sold Livonia High School a set of micro-mesh basketball uniforms for the 1987-88 season and we won the Section V Class A title that year. I was the team statistician, back-up scorekeeper, and PA announcer in those days.
Culinary Corner: I did some work outside in my back yard yesterday (cleaning up leaves, tearing out the dead tomato plants, picking up all the toys that the autistic kid next door habitually tosses over the fence, etc.). It was chilly outside — not, like, super-cold, but pleasantly nippy. Afterward, as I sat down on the couch to look at the Sunday paper and watch a little football, I thought to myself, “A chilly late-autumn day like this is perfect for a braise.”
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to braise some beef or some lamb, so I did what I usually do when I can’t decide between two good choices: I chose both. What you see there are two beef short ribs (about a pound each) and two lamb shanks (ditto). Although the cooking procedure I’m about to describe may look lengthy on the screen, it’s actually quite simple and takes very little time. Here’s how I did it:
1. I started by taking half a pound of bacon, cutting it into small-ish pieces (about an inch square), and cooking it over medium heat in my biggest Dutch oven.
2. While the bacon cooked, I cut a pound of onions and four large-ish shallots into medium-thin slices.
3. Once the bacon got crispy, I removed it from the pot and set it aside on a plate. I had hoped to end up with about two tablespoons of rendered bacon fat, but it didn’t look like I had enough, so I cut up another quarter-pound of bacon and cooked that too. While it was cooking, I seasoned the beef and lamb with salt and pepper.
4. When the second batch of bacon was done and removed from the pot, I definitely had enough rendered fat. So I put in the sliced onions and shallots, tossed them in the fat, and set them cooking over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally as they browned.
5. Meanwhile, I got out a heavy skillet, added two tablespoons of olive oil, and set it over high heat. When the onions had been cooking for about 10 minutes, I added the meat to the skillet and began browning the pieces on all sides for 10 minutes.
6. When the meat had been cooking for 10 minutes and the onions for 20, I removed the meat from the skillet, set it aside, and deglazed the pan by adding a cup of dry red wine. As soon as it came to a boil (which took only a few seconds), I poured it into the Dutch oven with the onions.
7. I added another cup and a half of wine to the onion pot, followed by 2.5 cups of beef broth (canned is fine), two tablespoons of tomato paste, two bay leaves, some dried rosemary, eight or nine new potatoes, and all of the cooked bacon. Then I added the browned meat (making sure it was fully submerged in the liquid), brought the whole thing to a boil, put the lid on the pot, reduced the heat to a low simmer, and went back to the living room to read more of the paper and watch more football. It was now exactly an hour after I’d started.
About an hour later, my friend Carrie came by with a nice loaf of crusty bread. We sat, talked, drank (wine for her, oatmeal stout for me), and nibbled a few pieces of the bread. After about an hour of that, the house was smelling really good and we were both getting hungry, so I took the lid off the Dutch oven and turned the heat up to high, to help thicken the sauce.
I should’ve left the pot on high heat for a half-hour, but we were both too impatient, so I only waited 10 minutes before bringing the pot to the table. We started by splitting a short rib — sensational. Also filling. We weren’t really hungry anymore, but we both wanted to try the lamb, so we had a few bites of that, and it was a bit of a revelation — such a different consistency and flavor than the beef (which I knew would be the case but it was still sort of amazing). All in all, a swell dinner.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the food on the plates, but here’s a shot of what was left in the Dutch oven after we were done. As you can see, I won’t have to cook again for the next several days.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s a repeat of something from Saturday, because I initially messed up the link in the Ticker: If you look at this 1973 Indians team portrait, you’ll see that the coaches and skipper in the front row appear to have had piping on their caps. I hadn’t been aware of the Tribe using special headwear for their coaching staff, but that appears to have been the case. … And speaking of the Indians, what’s with this little right-sleeve patch? It’s from 1981-ish. … Here are the finalists for the fan-designed Toronto FC kit contest (with thanks to Michael Orr). … We often talk about multiple-letter situations at the point where chest logos are crossing the rubicon. But if you don’t double up on the letters, you can end up with something like this (screen shot courtesy of Ari Cohen). … Good rugby equipment video on this page — click on “Behind the scenes with All Blacks baggage man” (with thanks to Caleb Borchers). … Brady Ivie points out something I hadn’t noticed before: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick wears his captaincy “C” on his thigh. Do other Nevada captains do this? Does any other team do this? … Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona is yet another facility using Dodgers-branded seats. Scott Friend took that photo while attending Friday’s ASU/UCLA game. … Here’s another article about the growing trend of college suing high schools for ripping off their logos. … Two college hoops teams honored their national championship squads on Saturday by wearing throwbacks UMass (evoking their 1995-96 team) and Cincinnati (1960-61) (with thanks to Joe Kling and Mark Fightmaster, respectively). … Two great eBay finds by Mike Hersh: a Canada Dry hockey jersey and a cool Junior Rose Bowl jacket. … Major, major find by Brinke: a magnificently hideous WFL coach’s polo. … Also from Brinke: an Expos radio and a Mr. Met cereal bowl. … The Cincinnati Reds: the headwear choice of New York street gangs (with thanks to Alan Tompas). … Purple and camo, two crummy tastes that taste even worse together. Those are the Texas Brahmas, who wore special uniforms to “honor” the troops (with thanks to Mark Graban). … I just landed these three uni catalogs. Further details when I receive them from the seller. … Another week, another round of EPL kit reviews from Michael Orr. … Former Flyers player John LeClair now runs a shipping company. Not sure about the quality of their shipping, but at the very least they should invest in a better Photoshop guy (nice find by Nick Hanson). … The Hornets have officially unveiled the yellow alternates that everyone’s already known about for the past month. … The Blue Jackets wore their new thirds for the first time last night. Lots of additional photos here. In case you missed it over the weekend, I gave my full assessment of this design and the new Anaheim thirds on Saturday. … Here’s what next year’s MLB All-Star Game logo will look like (with thanks to Justin Kerr). … Here’s a sensational article + photo about Dave Concepcion getting his captain’s “C” (great find by Daren Landers). … Also from Daren: The 2007 Reds yearbook included a little Reds uni-history pictorial. Some good bits in there (including a mention of Noodles Hahn, one of the all-time great baseball names), but also several factual errors (like saying that the 1976 sleeve patch was for America’s bicentennial, when it was actually for the National League’s centennial). … New BFBS alt uni, complete with silly sublimated pattern on the back, for Miami hoops (with thanks to Chris Groves). … Chad Bengal is currently being featured in a commercial for pistachios, in which he wears a very Bengals-ish jersey, but trimmed in green instead of orange (with thanks to Matt Cunningham). … Holy moly, look at this completely amazing roller derby jersey! … A bit pricy, but what a beautiful jacket.
SALE!: For a “limited time” (read: as long as I feel like it), I’m knocking down the price on the white Meats tees to a mere $11. Grays still go for $13 (which, let’s face it, is still a bargain). Full details on ordering here.