By Phil Hecken
And now, for the final eight pro combat teams in the AFC. If you missed the NFC or the first half of the AFC, check ’em out. The short versions of the writeups are below, and the more detailed writeups can be found here. This week we go in alpha order from the Chiefs to the Titans.
Kansas City Chiefs: Home, Road 1 & Road 2. Chiefs don’t see much of a change, and why should they, in the 2012 pro combat world. Uni is kept largely in tact but for the comp sleeves, which make full use of proper stripage.
Miami Dolphins: Home & Road. The fish (and yes, I know a Dolphin is a mammal) get a bit of a retro-treatment, ditching the completely unnecessary drop shadow and reverting to a sort of cross between the early Marino years and the Super Bowl seasons. Basically left this classic alone.
New England Patriots: Home, Road 1 & Road 2. Of all the unis I’ve done, this is the one with which I am the least happy. I didn’t want to put the Pats back in red, so instead I opted for a blue version of the current throwback, which was probably a mistake. I hate their current unis, but I probably could just have tweaked those instead of farting around with a new uni that bears no resemblance (other than a color swap) to anything they’ve worn in the past. I’ll definitely be redoing this one at some point.
New York Jets: Home & Road. Now this one I love. Better the Jets should try to throwback to the days of Namath, Schmitt & Maynard than Todd & Lam Jones. This one was tough to “work” with the pro combat, but I’m pretty happy with how this evokes the feel of the Super Bowl uniforms.
Oakland Raiders: Home & Road. Until Al Davis dies (he’s still alive, right?) the Raiders won’t really ever change. So pro combat is just a natural extention of their current sets. The only change was to give the roads throwback numbers, via the black outline around a silver number.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Home & Road. I seriously debated putting the Steelers in a gold lid…and white pants…for about 10 seconds. But really, there’s no more appropriate uni for Steeltown than basically what they have now. I had to get rid of the stupid “slash” font (which Nike introduced), and which purports to match the front helmet numbers, and return them to the varsity block font of the Swan-Bradshaw-Harris (and so many others) days. They never should have gone away from that look — and now it’s back. Comp sleeves work perfectly with their striping pattern, which now looks like complete garbage. It’s a perfect marriage.
San Diego Chargers: Home & Road. When most people think of the Chargers, they think navy, white, gold and/or powder. But there was a time in the 1960s when the Bolts wore a color closer to royal, and Lance Alworth (among others) did it proud. This is what this set is attempting to recreate. There’s nothing really attractive about the Chargers current set, other than the powder alts, but the new lightning and the new age fonts just don’t do it. This is how they should begin 2012.
Tenneseee Titans: Home, Road 1 & Road 2. The Titans biggest mistake was not keeping more of their Oiler heritage, leading to their current uni mess. This new-for-2012 uni takes the two (IMHO) best elements from the old Oiler days, but keeps the current logo on the helmet — the original font (looks great, even today) and the perfectly matched striping they had during their Earl Campbell days. Helmet, sleeve, pants — whether on powder or white — it was always perfectly aligned. Not every team should do this (although my OCD would be soothed), but the Titans really should. Man, I really like this one as well. Oh yeah — Love Ya, Blue!
OK — that’s it for the pro combat concepts (until I start fixing stuff and doing alternates, of course). But seriously, I thank you all for indulging me these past three weekends with my own sets of tweaks. I still think that, if done well (and if the teams, not the Nike designers, dictate the terms), pro combat can really bring out some tremendous looks for the NFL in 2012. The “Ricko comp sleeve concept™” is something that is such the perfect answer to today’s disappearing sleeves — and it could also genereate some serious extra revenue, since they could simply sell the compression shirts (in short, 3/4ths and full length sleeve) as a supplemental item. Seriously, it’s a no-brainer.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Didn’t run a “Colorize This!” last weekend, but we did have that wonderful spot with George Chilvers, who was kind enough to share all of his tips and techniques. Prior to that, I had posted three photos I had hoped you guys might take a crack at: Colts Kickoff, Giants vs. Steelers, and of course, the Marines vs. Army photo from Shorpy that George colorized so beautifully. However, I only got one taker (Michael Ferry) who took on the Colts & Giants vs. Steelers. We’ll take a look at those in a minute.
However, I did get some unsolicited (well, that’s not the right term, since I did solicit B&W’s which you folks have colorized — more like “off the board”) submissions.
Jeff Barak, who runs the Third String Goalie blog, sent me a bunch of his hockey colorizations. Jeff says, “Quite often I am unable to find color photos of a particular day’s featured jersey and I have developed a format to colorize just the jersey to make it stand out from the photo and admittedly save me some time since I am usually working on my blog late the night before that entry posts the next morning.” Here’s a few of his efforts:
1986 Montreal Victorias [I think that date is wrong — PH]
1937-38 New York Americans, Ching Johnson
1902-03 Rat Portage Thistles, Tom Hooper
1934-36 St. Louis Eagles, Ralph Bowman
1920-21 Toronto St. Pats, Babe Dye
I also received the following from Joe DeAngelis, who sent in this:
I took on colorizing the holy grail of baseball cards, theT206 Honus Wagner. The b&w image attached was the actual photo-proof used by American Tobacco Company to produce the most sought after baseball card that is currently worth in excess of two million dollars.
Notice that the original photo lacked the “PITTSBURG” lettering found on the distributed card, and what appears to be a birthmark over Honus’ right eyebrow remains. I colorized the background golden, and redden the cheeks a bit in the tradition of the original card.
Thanks for looking,
Since that’s all I received, I’m hoping that’s only because these last few were difficult, and the holidays kept everyone busy. So, I won’t provide any new b & w’s this week, but if anyone wants to take their shot(s) at the three earlier photos, please do so. As always, if you folks have any killer B&W’s you think would make for good colorizations, please send them my way, or if you have any colorizations you’ve already done, I’d love to see them and post them as well. Of course, send everything directly to me.
Happy colorizing, and I’ll be back with some new B&W’s soon.
5 & 1 – Final 17 Bowl Edition
We’re just about done with Mr. Mothersunbowlker’s 5 & 1’s for this season, and he’s about to give us his wrap up of the final 17 bowls. If you really care about the first 18 bowl 5 & 1, you can click here and scroll down.
I haven’t looked to see what’s coming, but I can guarantee on thing — Oregon and Auburn won’t be on there. And that’s actually fine by me, since the U of Zero didn’t come close to approximating some of their better unis of the season. Let’s see what he did pick:
Honorable Mention to the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin/TCU — Frogs missed out on a national title, and the black jerseys denied them a 5&1 title as well.
5. The “Car Bowl,” Clemson/South Florida — This year’s Color Palette Special Bowl.
4. Formerly known as the “Mobile Alabama Bowl,” Middle Tennessee/Miami (OH) — With those steak-knife pant stripes on MTSU, they should have played in the next game…
3. The “Steakhouse Bowl,” Florida/Penn State — Five quality B1G TEN unis this bowl season, but only one faced a sartorial equal.
2. Orange Bowl, Stanford/Virginia Tech — We’ll probably never see the orange helmets again after that performance, so let’s enjoy them one last time.
1. Cotton Bowl, LSU/Texas A&M — Too bad it wasn’t actually played at the Cotton Bowl…on New Year’s Day.
And the bad one, The game played at the Cotton Bowl that’s not called the Cotton Bowl, Northwestern/Texas Tech — Not really THAT bad, but since Auburn stayed classy, I couldn’t put Phil’s Ducks here.
I know most of you didn’t agree with them, but I hope you at least enjoyed this year’s lists. Thanks to Phil and to Paul for putting up with me. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s basketball season. See ya!
Gee Jim, thanks for keeping the Ducks out of the “1” spot. I’ll agree that it was far from their finest effort, but Auburn certainly held up it’s end of the bargain. And there were a couple that were far worse, including your “winner.”
Thanks for the weekly 5 & 1’s. None of us will ever understand how or why you pick what you do…but that’s half of the “fun,” innit?
Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
Got a big set of tweaks today…so lets get right into it.
Now, on to today’s tweaks:
Starting off the show is Dave Johnson, who has new unis for the entire Big West Conference:
I was immediately inspired by your Tweaks blog and learned about Teambuilder from there, so I went to work!
I wanted to make new uniforms for my hometown’s Pacific Tigers, who unfortunately dropped football in 1995, but then I kept going and made uniforms for their entire current Big West conference rivals! Good times!
I love your blog, keep up the great work!
Next up is Brandon Sims, who has some thoughts on the Boise Community College, er, Boise State University Pro Combat:
So I’m sitting here watching the Maaco Las Vegas bowl and getting totally disgusted with BSU’s gradient numerals. The biggest change is obviously the pants, I would also have taken the name off the side if you could see it. I added those basic stripes to the sleeves and socks (and I took off the weird pattern). The only thing I don’t like about the changes is that now it looks like a Florida uni.
And finally we have Taylor McGillis, who has some MLB creations for us:
I’m new to the uni tweaks. I actually just began messing around with uniforms the last few months, so I have quite a few tweaks saved up. Also, I’m not sure if all of these would be considered tweaks, as some of them are an entirely new uniform. My tweaks include new unis for the Mariners, Yankees, and White Sox. Some of them better than others, but overall I like the concepts I implemented. However, I am just a beginner with programs such as Photoshop and Fireworks so to you experts these may not be very good. But I thought I’d send them anyway, and I’d love some feedback.
Home: Changed to a “braided pipe” on the jersey
Home Sleeveless: A sleeveless jersey with the “S” logo on the chest. “Starball” logo on hat with silver bill.
Home Northwestern Green: added stripes on the stirrups.
Navy Alternates: Can be used either at home or on road. Braided piping.
White Sox- Removed the current “Sox” logo from every uniform and replaced with old.
A whole bunch of new designs and new alternates. Home, Road, Home White Throwback, Home Alternate Sleeveless Throwback, Home Alternate Sleeveless, Road Black Alternate, and Alt Road Sleeveless
That’s all we have for this week. Check back next week for more.
OK. Because I hope by the time you all read this, I’ll be on my new mac, I put up these predictions before any of yesterday’s games had been played. So we’ll just go on the assumption that I was wrong with both sets of predictions.
Anyway, two more big games today, with the Seahawks traveling to the windy city to take on da Bears in the early game and the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets and Fireman Ed making the trip up to Foxboro. We’ll start with the first game.
Seahawks vs. Bears (1:00 pm EST, FOX). The Seahags come off a stunning upset of the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints last week, but will they have anything left, on the road, against the Bears? Probably not. While at least we can be sure they won’t be in their suicide blue monochromes, they will be in their all white getup, which is infinitely better. Sadly, that cannot compare to the beautiful classic that is arguably the NFL’s best uni. The better uni will win, for sure, but by how much? Vegas has the Bears favored by 10 points, with an over under of 41.5. I can’t see the Bears not overcoming that spread, possibly by the half.
The Pick: Give the 10, take da Bears. Final score: Bears 28 – Seahawks 13
Jets vs. Patriots: (4:30 EST, CBS) “This is personal,” chirped sexy Rexy this week (sound familiar), but hey, he and Gang Green knocked off the Colts, so maybe he’s onto something. Clearly, the men in green (well, mostly white with lots of green accents) have the better uniform, as this > this. Last time they met, in Foxboro, Tom Brady sent the chirping Jets home with their tails behind their legs, 45-3. It won’t be that bad today. For the Jets sake, it better not, anyway.
If the Jets can make use of their
shock and awe ground and pound and keep Mr. Bundchen off the field, like they did with Peyton, they have a chance. Their chances, unlike their coach, are slim, but they’re there. Even though I am a Giants fan, I despise the Patriots (sorry good people of Boston, I just do), so I’ll actually be rooting for the Jets today. God, that’s gonna feel weird.
The Pick: Pats win, but they won’t cover the 9 point spread (over/under of 45), with a final score of Pats 28-Jets 24.
There you have it. If you are visiting your bookmaker, be sure to take the Hawks & Pats, just to be safe.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST my doubles partner, Brinke Guthrie, is here with his rundown down under…for the Aussie Open:
While 49 of the 50 states have snow, it’s sizzling Down Under, time for the Australian Open. As always, new looks galore. Let’s get the important one out of the way first — Caroline Wozniacki, aka The Woz. Her signature Stella McCartney Adidas line has been updated, here. Wozzie’s also sporting a new Yonex frame. Of course, some pros use frames disguised to look like a completely different model or even make. Hard to do with a Yonex, though, due to the distinctive squared off head. The definitive word on this shabby practice known as PJ’s (paint jobs) is here. As mentioned on Friday, Maria Sharapova’s bringing out a new Nike look to go with her new Head frame. Maria’s been playing with an unmarked Head for months now, even with her “lifetime” Prince deal, which is now history. Andy Roddick’s shoes are now very, very red. The Fed’s look is here. Nadal, here. Kim Clijster’s Fila line is here. Justine Henin’s kit is here. This is Ana Ivanovic’s Adidas line, here’s the UK’s Andy Murray, and more on the Adidas stable here. Melanie Oudin’s gone all-Wilson. And finally, I just don’t know what this is.
That’s it for today. Everyone have a good one!
I just wanted to use the word climax in the same sentence as Jim Vilk. — Coleman Mullins