I still think it would’ve been more entertaining to put Knight and Plank in the octagon and let them settle it like men. Until someone recognizes the obvious genius of that proposal, I suppose we can discuss some of the more uni-notable aspects of last night’s game:
• After all the speculation about the new Auburn pants striping that appeared in that Under Armour commercial and at the Under Armour truck, I was surprised that the Tigers stuck with their usual pants. Good for them. (To repeat, though, Auburn equipment manager Dana Marquez has told me that the team will have new pants striping next season, along with “War Eagle” printed on the back of the pants. I don’t know for sure that the new stripe pattern will be the same as the one in the Under Armour promotions, but that seems like a logical conclusion. Then again, it had seemed logical that they’d use the new striping last night. Whatever — I can wait six or seven months to find out.)
• As for Oregon’s pants, they sure looked better than the white-on-white look they were originally slated to wear. Major upgrade. Only surprise was that they didn’t come out with yet a different set of pants in the second half.
• For weeks I’ve been hearing how Oregon’s DayGlo socks would “blend into” the DayGlo trim on the cleats. I still don’t understand all the fuss about that — football teams have been wearing white socks that “blend into” their white cleats for nearly 40 years now. Does it look sleek? Yeah, it does. But it’s not like Nikegon pioneered anything unique here.
• Blending notwithstanding, I thought all the DayGlo — on the socks, cleats, number outlines, sternum crest, helmet, knee braces, do-rags, etc. — looked like shite. Great way to ruin an otherwise decent uniform. That goes double for Cliff Harris, who really overdid it with the socks (now there’s a phrase you don’t often hear me saying).
• Ducks RB LaMichael James started out wearing this helmet (which I believe is a brand-new design, no?). By the second quarter he’d switched to this one, which I believe he stuck with for the rest of the game.
• Auburn kicker Wes Byrum wears No. 18, but reader Stefan Spasovski notes that his helmet is number 118. I think we’ve discussed this before (not about Byrum, but about other Auburn players), but I can’t recall the explanation for it. Little help..?
• Michael Koch points out that the battle between Nike and Under Armour was officiated by a crew wearing Adidas.
• EA Sports produced video game previews of all the major bowl games, including last night’s. “What’s interesting,” says Patrick Runge, “is that the jerseys have NOBs. Thanks to Sam Keller (the least popular Nebraska quarterback ever) and some of his friends, EA is currently involved in a lawsuit for using the likenesses of college athletes without their permission. And that’s with using, for example, ‘QB #9′ instead of ‘Keller’ in their games. Given that the suit is ongoing, I thought it a little strange that EA Sports would include NOBs in their preview. Wonder if this was the work of some overexcited intern and it slipped through the lawyers.”
Meanwhile: Over the past month, ESPN produced two “BCS Champs” iPad apps — one for each school. I know, because I contributed an article to each of them (very odd to write two pieces and know for sure that only one of them will be published). The Auburn one is now available at the iTunes App Store, or whatever it’s called; the Oregon one, as I joked in last night’s comments, will be distributed for free to impoverished iPad users in the Third World.
Now then: How long until pitchers and catchers?
Contest reminder: Today is the last day for the Grey Flannel Auctions photo contest. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Disturbing report in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, where it was reported that the iconic Brannock Device — such a pure piece of functionally specific design that I have one tattooed onto my right arm — is facing a flood of cheap knock-offs. … Yesterday I mentioned that Willis McGahee appeared to be wearing gloves with cut-out palms. As literally dozens of readers told me, those are Cutters. McGahee is even one of the players featured on the company’s home page. … The Blackhawks celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1961 Stanley Cup on Sunday night, which apparently explains the little decal they wore to the left of the helmet numbers (as noted to Ryan Mandel). … Here’s a great rundown of all the Playboy All-American photos (with thanks to Christopher Smith). … Recent Twitter chatter from Jets executive Matt Higgins suggests that the team is considering going with a Klecko-era throwback (with thanks to Brian Erni). … Fascinating women’s gymnastics leotards at Arizona State. The football motif, the jeweled pitchfork — weird! And I assume the uni number refers to the desired score (nice find by Erkki Corpuz). … Here’s a rarity: a football field with black yard markers. “That photo is from McLaurin High School in Star, Mississippi,” writes John Benal. “When the grass dies in mid-fall, white lines are hard to see on game film, so they paint the lines black.” … Kevin Durant will be wearing special sneakers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (with thanks to Arin Mitchell). … It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I really, really love this old basketball jersey. … One of the odder chapters in MLB uni history is the Dodgers’ use of green trim in 1937. That design was the subject of this cartoon back in the day (great find by Bill Francis). … Check out the 1977 NBA All-Star Game patch. Love that they used a beer mug motif for a game in Milwaukee. … FNOB alert. That’s Bert Jones (duh) from his LSU days. “They also had, I believe. Ben Jones and Dub Jones,” says Ricko. … New uniforms for Princeton lacrosse (with thanks to Warner Bailey). … The Philadelphia Union will announce a new jersey sponsor today — and apparently it will be Bimbo (with thanks to Marc Malfara and Bernie Langer, respectively). … Tried to win this football uni catalog yesterday but got outbid. Mike Hersh, were you the winner on this one? … You know how the Eagles and Steelers had to merge during WWII and become the Steagles? Here’s what it’d look like if the Steelers and Jets became the Stets. Kyle Napiontek was so upset by that illo that he actually admitted seeing it in the new issue of Maxim. … A little birdie who’s friends with someone close to Miami football coach Al Golden sends the following report: “[The person who’s close to Golden] says Golden plans on getting rid of the current uniforms next season and going back to the uniform template of the ’80s. He also said they would only break out the Pro Combat uniforms for one game — home versus Ohio State.” … Great gallery of old Rice football program covers here. … The knees have eyes. That’s Noora Raty, the University of Minnesota’s goalie (with thanks to Chris Fogler).