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Best News of the Year So Far

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Ladies and gentlemen, our long national nightmare is over.

Confession: I’ve known about this change since early December, when a little birdie told me about it but swore me to secrecy. So if anyone recently spotted me with a big smile on my face for no particular reason, now you know why.

Everyone wants to know what the new threads will look like. I don’t have any visuals, but I do have a description from the little birdie, which he’s willing to share now that the Bills have gone public with the news. So here it is — a Uni Watch exclusive:

These new Bills uniforms are clearly modeled after the later Simpson-era design, including the white helmet, but they’ve been updated to include a tiny amount of navy blue trim.

In my opinion, the navy blue is probably not necessary, but the uniforms do look quite good, and any sort of socks are an upgrade in my book. I wish they would update that darn logo, though. I’ve always preferred the solid red standing buffalo to the blue leaping buffalo, but I don’t think the retro logo works seamlessly with this new set, either. It is what it is. An upgrade, for sure.

Interesting. A few thoughts:

• I am so happy about the helmet color switcheroo. Never liked red helmets for this team. As many of you probably know, the only reason they switched from white to red in the first place is that the AFC East was full of white-helmeted teams back in the day, and the coaching staff thought QB Joe Ferguson might throw fewer interceptions if his receivers were easier to pick out on the field. Didn’t help, but they stuck with the red lids for nearly 30 years. Thank god that’s over.

• Here’s a big thing to keep in mind: Many people have forgotten that the current set was originally worn — and meant to be worn — like this. Now, that isn’t a good uniform, but it’s nowhere near as bad as things got when they decided to go monochromatic at home. So while the new set definitely sounds like an upgrade, a lot of its advantages will be lost if the team insists on sticking with blue-over-blue.

• This is just the latest confirmation that Nike will not be giving the league a wholesale makeover. If that were the case, the Bills would’ve waited one more year. Instead, they’re making a uni change in the last season of the Reebok contract. As I’ve been saying all along, it ain’t Nike’s league yet. And even when it eventually is, don’t assume that they’ll be able to make drastic changes to the way the game looks.

+ + + + +

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Live free of hideously tacky colors or die: As if the Bills news wasn’t enough, there was also an extremely positive development yesterday in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, where a proposal to designate purple as the official state color died in committee after attracting only one vote. In your face, accursed color of death!

The lone “Yea” vote was cast by Rep. Brendon Browne, a state legislator who, in a mildly scandalous happenstance, also happens to be a Uni Watch reader. I spoke to him yesterday shortly after the purple proposal had gone down to a glorious defeat.

Uni Watch: First, let’s start with you. How long have you been a New Hampshire state representative?

Rep. Brendon Browne: I just started my third two-year term.

UW: And where is your district?

BB: I represent Dover.

UW: Hey, that’s where Lisa Carver is from! Do you know her or her family?

BB: No.

UW: Too bad — she’s quite a character. How far is Dover from Concord [the state capital]?

BB: About an hour.

UW: So you commute.

BB: Yeah.

UW: How many representatives does the New Hampshire House have?

BB: New Hampshire has the third- or fourth-largest legislature in the English-speaking world, behind the British Parliament, the U.S. Congress, and India, if you count them as English-speaking. We have 400 representatives and 24 senators.

UW: And how many of those legislators do you think are Uni Watch readers?

BB: Very few, I would imagine. The job pays only $100 a year, plus mileage, so it’s a citizen legislature. A good portion of the representatives are retired.

UW: So you’re one of the young bucks. What do you do for a living?

BB: I graduated from law school last year, and I’m still looking for work. So any Uni Watch readers need a lawyer, I’m available. One of the first things I learned about politics is that sometimes you just have to be shameless.

UW: OK, let’s talk about the color situation. Does New Hampshire currently have official state colors?

BB: No.

UW: How did the purple movement come about?

BB: A grade-school student named Kristyn Demers came up with the idea during a class trip to the Statehouse. And she asked her representative to introduce the bill.

UW: Did it ever gather any legislative steam?

BB: Not really. There’s sort of a consensus that we should take a step back from designating holidays and other official state designations.

UW: But you were a supporter of the purple legislation, right?

BB: Well, I was the one member of the committee who voted for it.

UW: What committee is that?

BB: The Legislative Administration Committee.

UW: And that’s the committee that a bill has to pass through if it’s about designating an official state this or that?

BB: Yeah, basically.

UW: And why did you choose to support this?

BB: Well, our official state bird is the purple finch, our state flower is the purple lilac, and our official state tartan is white, green, black, red, and purple. And I thought purple would just help us stand out a little.

But honestly, if you give me any state and any color, I can probably go on Google and in 20 minutes I can come up with a connection for it. This is the first color proposal that’s come to my attention, and there’s a benefit to being first. I think there’s something to be said for the fact that this schoolgirl was the first one to come up with the idea and got her representative to bring it up in the House. It’s important to reward our youth when they get involved in the political process.

UW: A good civic exercise.

BB: Exactly. Of course, as someone pointed out to me today, it’s also a good civic experience to see your bill lose. But I think its nice for her to know she got at least one vote.

UW: But what about the girl’s representative — the one who drew up the bill — didn’t he vote for it?

BB: He’s not on this committee. He would only be able to vote for it if it made it to the floor.

UW: Now, in this era of red states and blue states, New Hampshire is sort of famously non-aligned. And if you combine red and blue, you get purple. Was that part of your thinking?

BB: Not really, but it has been pointed out to me, yeah. I believe we were the only state that voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004, so we’re sort of the prototypical purple state.

UW: Now, purple is the color of royalty. And America’s founding was specifically based on a rejection of royalist principles. Don’t you think that makes purple inappropriate as a state color?

BB: I know you’ve written something to that effect before, so I figured you were going to bring that up. I suppose one could look at it that way.

UW: Did your office receive any calls or e-mails from your constituents regarding this matter?

BB: Well, I don’t really have an office.

UW: Oh. Well, did you personally receive any feedback?

BB: I think I got a couple of e-mails — a few in favor, a few against.

UW: If the measure had passed, what exactly what that have meant, in practical terms? Like, would you legislators all have started wearing purple sashes or something?

BB: I don’t know. We do have a Tartan Day — I forget when, exactly — when everyone in the legislature wears their tartan ties, tartan scarfs, and so on. And there’s a nice display in the visitors’ center that has little representations of the various state symbols, so I guess they would have added purple to that in some way.

UW: Now that the measure has failed, is that the end of it?

BB: Yeah, that’s pretty much it. But ever since this issue came up, I’ve been thinking, “I wonder what Paul Lukas would think about all this.” What are your thoughts? Would you have opposed it?

UW: Honestly, aside from the aesthetic considerations, I do think the royalty connection makes it inappropriate as a U.S. state color.

BB: You know, one thing worth adding is that the woman who conducts the class tours of the Statehouse says most of the fourth graders seem to be opposed to it — especially the boys, because they think it’s a girly color.

UW: Yeah, that’s the other problem with purple. The way it’s applied now in marketing, it’s used almost exclusively to appeal to women. I can’t say it’d be the worst thing in the world for men to be disenfranchised by something — we’ve certainly gotten more than our share over the years — but it still seems like an official state color should be for everyone, and purple just doesn’t feel that way.

BB: I can understand that. Although I do have a purple shirt and a lavender tie that I sometimes wear.

UW: Oh, wow. I wish you hadn’t told me that. Please tell me you don’t wear them together.

BB: [Long pause.] I try not to.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will be wearing a full-cage facemask when he returns from an eye injury later this week (with thanks to Ben Traxel). … Way back in 1998, I wrote a travel article about western Nebraska. Now a bar in that region is installing its own curling sheet. Might have to make a return visit (with thanks to Chris Bisbee). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The intersection of MLB and facial hair appears to be limitless. … Several readers have noted that when Mike Myers reprised his “Wayne’s World” character on SNL last weekend, he wore a current retail replica with the NHL shield removed, presumably so it would look more like period-appropriate. … The folks at Baseball Prospectus have used a bit of uni sleuthing to figure out which game Ferris Bueller was watching. … Someone on the Chris Creamer board posted photos of the Flames’ Heritage Classic gear. … College hoops news from Rob Montoya, who writes: “On Saturday, Colorado State will be wearing orange alternate uniforms in tribute to their days as the Aggies of Colorado A&M. To prevent an eyesore (even though it still may be one) New Mexico will wear their home silver alts.” … Interested in knowing what happens to game-used Oregon football uniforms? Look here (with thanks to Lee Clarkson). … Fiftieth-anniversary uniforms for WVU (with thanks to Joshua Exline). … Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — or better yet, stop Terry Mark, since it’s his story: “Strange scene in Goshen, Ind., on the opening night of the high school girls basketball playoffs. Central High brought their whites for their game against Concord, who were also wearing white, so Central borrowed backup jerseys from the host school, Goshen.” Further details here. … The Lightning have already put their new logo at center ice (as spotted by John Muir). … Kind of sad to realize that an MLB team with a doubleheader on its schedule qualifies as big news. … Darren Rovell is a very good reporter — much better than I am — but his work has always lacked any semblance of a moral compass. Like so many business writers, he operates from the premise that what’s good for business is good, period. Which is how he ends up putting out tripe like this. … Mmm, 1941 Cubs — tasty (big thanks to Jerry Wolper). … Fun DIY project from Peter Halbrooks, who writes: “I wanted to make some Red Sox shirts for my daughter and her cousins. But since the Sox’s home jerseys are NNOB, I had to think of a different way to personalize them. If I’d had more time I would have made proper stencils or iron-ons, but instead I got some fabric paint and blank shirts at Walmart (total of $14 spent for all three). I’m pleased with how they turned out.” … Some late-breaking eBay finds from Brinke, including an absolutely sensational Broncos poster, a set of AFC mini-pennants, and uh, whose jacket is this again..? … David Phelps thinks it was a little unprofessional for Digger Phelps to be calling last night’s Notre Dame/Louisville while wearing a Notre Dame sweater. Doesn’t Digger know all the cool kids are wearing Brent Musberger sweaters nowadays? … Nice bit of douchebag karma in this recap of last night’s Memphis/UCF game. Key passage: “UCF dropped to 0-8 since adding a Nike sign to their jerseys following their 14-0 start to the season. The Knights already had the ‘Swoosh’ on their shorts, but wanted to add it to their jerseys as well after drawing plenty of national attention with their undefeated start and No. 18 ranking” (big thanks to Brent Brezinger).

Twin Cities reminder: Two major figures from our comments section — Ricko and R. Scott Rogers — will be meeting up tonight, 7pm, at Bunny’s, where I had the pleasure of watching last year’s NFC Championship Game. All readers are welcome and encouraged to join them.

 

214 comments to Best News of the Year So Far

  • Scott | February 10, 2011 at 8:18 am |

    Digger wearing an ND sweater? Are you sure? His sweater has the ESPN logo on the front, and I guess that could be the monogram on the sleeve, but it sure doesn’t look like it.

    • Kyle | February 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |

      Agreed. I don’t think it is the ND on the sleeve. Does Digger have his own logo?

      • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 10:40 am |

        That was the interlocking ND logo done in gold on blue instead of the reverse.

        • Piping Mike | February 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |

          Sorry jdrey, but I disagree. That’s no ND logo. The picture’s not the clearest, but look at the right side of the logo. It’s a hard vertical right edge. If it was the ND monogram, the D would be sticking out to the right.

          Paul- given what the logo can’t be acurately determined, and evidence suggests it is NOT the ND logo, responsible journalism would suggest you at least reword the reference.

        • DJ | February 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

          Had Phelps really worn an ND sweater for the broadcast, don’t you think Rece Davis and Bob Knight would have given him on-air grief for it?

  • mike | February 10, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    The only bit of good news to come from the Bills since….well, since a hell of a long time ago.

  • Simply Moono | February 10, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    Paul, I know you hate purple, but what about Forum Blue?

  • The Jeff | February 10, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    Well that’s freakin lame. There’s already too many white helmets in the NFL. That’ll make 7 full time white helmets (plus 3 throwback ones), and leave us with only 1 red helmet, 2 if you include the Redskins burgundy. So much for being sorta unique, eh Buffalo?

    It may end up looking better than their current uniform, but that’s only because the current one is so bad. It still isn’t going to pass the good or stupid test, because going back to a white helmet is just stupid.

    • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 8:44 am |

      there’s good unique…and there’s bad unique

      i think you know into which category buffalo falls

      • The Jeff | February 10, 2011 at 8:53 am |

        Oh be quiet Phil. They could have fixed the (side panels/shoulder thing/too many colors/mismatched home & away number) issues and still kept the red helmet. The Jim Kelly era uniforms weren’t that bad.

        • SkinnerAU | February 10, 2011 at 9:07 am |

          White helmets with the right combo of striping/logo usually look ten times better than any colored helmet, but then again this is all personal preference brosef. I mean the way to fix your dilemma of no red helmets in the NFL is for the Falcons to switch to a red hat…

      • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 9:49 am |

        Where’d Phil say the red helmets were bad?
        Pretty sure he was simply saying—and most would seem to agree—that the current “ensemble” (especially the mono navy) sucks swamp water.

        —Ricko

        • traxel | February 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |

          I’ll say it. Those red helmets are awful. Have been since ninteen-eighty whatever. The old white ones were quite nice and the red ruined them. The white seems to compliment the cold snowy see-your-breath Rich Stadium feel. Great to see (well, when they get released) them back.

          Didn’t the Jets switch to a green helmet for the same reason?

        • anotherguy | February 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

          Ricko, “sucks swamp water” is putting it mildly. I can’t think of one non-white monochromatic look that I like in football (not many in baseball either, but I digress).

          I never did mind that the old 5-team AFC East was all white helmeted, and for that matter I could live with either the standing or charging buffalo as long as they eliminate the red swooshy stripe. I don’t know if that was meant to connote speed; it just looked silly to me.

        • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

          Didn’t the Jets switch to a green helmet for the same reason?

          Probably, but I don’t recall reading that anywhere. In fact, I don’t recall reading anything about why the Jets changed their unis in ’78. Namath threw a ton of INTs but he was gone by then, however Richard Todd had 12 INTs in 6 starts in ’76, 17 in 11 starts in ’77, so that could explain it. All five AFC East teams (Jets, Miami, New England, Buffalo, Baltimore) had white helmets until the Jets changed to green.

          The ’79 yearbook as a few shots of Jets players wearing the green helmets with the 1963-77 jerseys (from the ’78 preseason); it didn’t look terrible. Why they changed the rest of the uniform I have no idea.

    • Tank | February 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |

      I kind of agree, if not as vociferously. If you don’t want to go back to the AFL uniforms (which would be my preference), I’d use the Jim Kelly uniforms, with a tightened up helmet stripe. I’m not following the red helmet = automatically ugly logic. Should the Chiefs be wearing white? Southern California.

      But on the other hand, the O.J. Simpson uniforms really are a big upgrade. But after seeing the headline and the accompanying photo of this post (why mislead me like that?), I’m a little disappointed.

      • Cort | February 10, 2011 at 11:16 am |

        Those red helmets stirred up a lot of controversy in Buffalo when they were introduced in the mid 1980’s. T remember an old lady being interviewed on the WGR News, saying something like, “They took our beautiful buffalo off of his field of snow, and put him on a field of fire, like he’s in Hell!” Not many people liked them, at first. They’re beloved now, mainly because the Bills won while wearing them.

    • DavisJedi54 | February 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

      Dang I like the Red hats. Can’t they find a way to have the Joe Ferguson/OJ Simpson era uni’s with the red hats….Please do such Buffalo.

    • Marv L. Ous | February 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm |

      Isn’t this what is described?

      http://i8.lulzimg.co...

      • Nalin | February 15, 2011 at 1:50 am |

        Really like that helmet, but not sure I like that uni. I would love the AFL jersey with this new helmet maybe.

  • defrank | February 10, 2011 at 8:31 am |

    Yea I heard about this yesterday on sportslogos, they don’t sound that great. Although I was all hating on their uniforms, I don’t know if going traditional is the best way. It goes against what I would have said a few days ago, but I don’t know. I need to see em.

  • Alex35332 | February 10, 2011 at 8:43 am |

    I am not going to pass judgement or anything, but I wish there was a all white helmet conference again. That would look distinct, just like I wish there was an conference where every home team wore white jerseys at home. NFC east kinda had that for a while, with the exception being the Giants.

    • Andy | February 10, 2011 at 9:10 am |

      The Eagles and Cardinals wore white at home on a regular basis during this time?

    • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 10:33 am |

      I kinda remember the Fran Tarkenton Giants wearing White-at home for at least some games – But that pre-dates the Redskins going White-a-Home ….

  • pru | February 10, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    “If that’s the case, this year would mark Oregon’s second surplus sale without the Ducks’ coveted jerseys. Maybe it’s worth it for fans to just pony up the 80 bucks for a new one.”

    These are not authentic game-quality uniforms: http://www.shopgoduc...

  • Taro | February 10, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    I was all fired up for the Bills uniform change — until the bit about the “tiny amount of navy blue trim”. I get the feeling that it is going to be one of those pointless piping additions that does nothing but distract from the overall design, much like the ridiculous gray piping that the Sabres felt the need to put on their new uniforms.

    However — for both teams — I guess that’s a small price to pay considering how unbelievably awful the previous kits were.

    • Taro | February 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |

      I forgot — Any insight as to what style they are planning to use for the numbers? I know that most would prefer the standard block numbers, but again, I have a feeling that they will go with some wacky, modern stylized look like the Bengals or Chargers and ruin the look.

  • teenchy | February 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    I vfery much doubt that’s Theismann’s personal jacket; more likely either sold/given away as a promo or worn by a team sponsored by his restaurant in Alexandria, VA. In the early ’90s I worked in an office on one of the upper floors of the same building. I ate and drank (more of the latter) there often and Joe was an occasional presence.

    • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |

      I’ve never seen a varsity or dugout jacket with a turndown knit collar like that. Going back to when I was in high school I always remember jackets with knit collars being crew collars, not turndowns. Is that how they used to do it or is that just a style unique to Theismann?

      • Piping Mike | February 10, 2011 at 11:07 am |

        The turndown collar like that was somewhat common back in that era.

  • Frank | February 10, 2011 at 9:26 am |

    Good
    The Bill’s 60’s white helmets with the red standing buffalo = Great
    The Bill’s 80’s/90’s Red helmets with the charging buffalo = Great

    Bad
    The Bill’s current Red helmets with the charging buffalo and light blue accents = crap
    The Bill’s 70’s white helmets with the charging buffalo = crap

    The 70’s helmets look like kids toys, something from a gumball machine. I would welcome a change back to the way they looked during their Super Bowl years (you know, back when the Bills were GOOD). Those helmets looked great, but they ruined it by tinkering with the different shades of blue.

    Red, White, and Blue – America’s color scheme. Don’t mess with perfection!

  • Charlie | February 10, 2011 at 9:35 am |

    Along with the Sabres return to class, I’m happy for the Bills’ change but disappointed that somehow they decided to keep the Navy blue involved in the set. Hopefully the Nickel then is dropped. Those colors smashed together were ridiculous and the Bills “unbilleivably” ruined red white and blue in a uniform. Those helmet stripes were ridiculous, along with the away shoulder yoke, and monochrome. I think the team should have used the nickel to trim the uniform instead of navy, especially if they went with the grey facemasks.

    I hope it is indeed an upgrade and not some lateral fuck up.

  • Roger Faso | February 10, 2011 at 9:41 am |

    California’s State Tartan …

    http://en.wikipedia....

    Didn’t know one existed, until I read today’s post.

    • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 9:43 am |

      There’s a ton of them.

      I’m with the New Hampshire House – these “official” designations have become pretty silly.

      • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 9:43 am |

        forgot the link – http://en.wikipedia....

        • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |

          I’m kind of disappointed that the North Carolina tartan doesn’t feature Carolina blue more prominently.

        • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 11:03 am |

          Not one Midwestern state has an official tartan? This is an outrage.

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

          I’d say it might be because the ethnic backgrounds of those who chose to settle in the Midwest were cultures where men wore pants.

          Considering the winters, and the mosquitos in the summer, probably a good idea.

          Hence, not a great deal of tartan heritage.

          —Ricko

        • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

          Wisconsin get kicked out of the Midwest while I wasn’t looking?

          http://www.tartanreg...

        • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

          I was looking at the pictures on that Wikipedia page. There isn’t one for Wisconsin — or for Iowa and Ohio — but apparently they both have them as well.

  • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    This is very good news for Buffalo.

    There is something about the modern logo that I find disconcerting, though. The “speed line” (or whatever they want to call it) has always looked like a bullet track to me. That, plus the fact that the “charging” looks more like “stumbling to its knees”, gives me the impression that the logo depicts Buffalo Bill in the act of earning his nickname.

    • anotherguy | February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

      …That, plus the fact that the “charging” looks more like “stumbling to its knees”…

      Could not agree more. The little tweak of putting four legs in running motion (and I don’t know if that’s anatomically accurate or not) would be preferable IMHO.

    • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

      Upward angle of that blue buffalo logo always looked to me like the designer was going for “charging,” but ended up with a “leaping-over-a-fence-wearing-a-red-ribbon” effect.

      This, to me, is a problem because buffalo are not, to the best of my knowledge, great leapers of fences. Nrr are they typically festooned with red ribbons. Even on buffalo holidays.

      Native Americans would stampede them over cliffs, of course (far more efficient than running them down one at at time), but I don’t imagine that’s what was the designer was after.
      http://en.wikipedia....

      —Ricko

    • Bernard | February 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

      Oh, Ricko, you’d be surprised.

      It may not look particularly graceful, but that’s just kinda how they do their thing.

      • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

        Point taken.

        But something akin to the running/charging buffalo in your last link seems to me a whole lot more dynamic.

        The prevaling image/stereotype of a buffalo at its most powerful is when its on the run. In a stampede, even.

        Not hanging out with the hunters and jumpers at an equestrian competition.

        —Ricko

        • Bernard | February 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm |

          Oh, I agree. And to be honest, I’ve always looked at the Bills logo and understood it to be a buffalo in a position where they’re just about to strike heads with an opponent. I can’t find an ideal shot of a bison doing it but kinda what the rams are doing here.

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

          Oh, I agree with you that’s the intent of, if not always the impression given by, the current pose.

          But it could be argued that striking heads with an opponent is sort of design flaw in itself, because most times the opponent was another buffalo. About to butt heads with EACH OTHER?

          Not that a buffalo standing grazing (it’s predecessor) is anything chock full of energy, mind you.

          It’s just all sort of scrambled, sort of, “Well, we gotta do SOMETHING.”

          What I’m saying is, I’ve never though much of either of the Bills’ helmet logos. They’re both just…not quite there.

          —Ricko

        • anotherguy | February 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm |

          Agree, the “one foot on the ground” in the final illustration would be more acceptable to me than the current kneeling-style profile.

          But, first things first: get rid of the red swoosh/stripe/ribbon/whatever. ;-)

          Question regarding your 5:26 comment-would you prefer a different helmet logo? Here’s MHO on that: I can live with NFL teams having different a primary logo from what they put on their helmet. Bud Grant’s old baseball hats never had the single horn, and I’d imagine it’s the same for the Eagles. (Obviously the Browns have a very different primary logo from their helmet design too.) So if the Bills had a different logo on their baseball hats, golf-style shirts, etc. I could go with the OJ-style helmets.

  • Ledsker | February 10, 2011 at 9:56 am |

    Paul – Greatly enjoyed the piece on western Nebraska. It did a nice job of showing the natural beauty and straight-forward lifestyle without playing (too much) to worn-out stereotypes.

    As a Nebraskan (albeit 500 miles east of your travels) I heartily approve, and encourage you to come on back to The Good Life.

  • Chris Holder | February 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    Maybe I am just oblivious to Mr. Lukas’s life outside of uniforms, but as someone who does geography “stuff” for a career (and loves to travel, to boot), the article on western Nebraska was actually an interesting read. As a kid I used to sit around looking at maps of faraway places for kicks and giggles, such I can relate with the idea behind that trip. Paul, do you have any more of those articles floating around anywhere?

    As for the Bills, I was actually a big fan during their Super Bowls (poor me). I would not be upset at all if they brought back those unis. One thing I’m trying to figure out here – is the white helmet coming back with the red buffalo, or the charging buffalo they use now? Red buffalo, good, charging buffalo on white helmet… not sure if I like. I guess we’ll see. As has been said dozens of times, it has to be better (overall) than what we have now.

    • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2011 at 10:14 am |

      I wrote a travel column about American culture and subculture, called “Lost in America,” from 1998 thru 2004. It ran in Money magazine (a very odd fit, but that’s another story). The western Nebraska piece was from the first year of that column.

      Not sure how much of “Lost in America” is still web-available, but I’ll check later today and provide links in tomorrow’s blog entry.

      • Chris Holder | February 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |

        Awesome, thanks. I can relate to some of the things you seem to be interested in (travel, “local” non-chain restaurants, etc.), so I would probably be interested in reading some more of your work.

      • WSCopic | February 10, 2011 at 10:48 am |

        I agree with Chris. As another Mid-Westerner (even though I am 625+ miles east in the comparitively “booming” town of Dez Moynes, Ioway) I truely appreciated this article.

        I’d love to read more of the stuff you wrote on the traveling subject.

        It reminds me a lot of some trip reports I read on RoadFood.com , about people adventures through America.

        :) Great stuff.

  • Mark in Shiga | February 10, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    You know what I like about the current Buffalo uniforms? That on the white jerseys there’s a contrasting-colored shoulder yoke with the NOB in the opposite color. It makes the number stand out more, and also creates a cross-sport brotherhood with the Sabres, who did the same thing for a while.

    (Miroslav Satan — excuse me, Šatan — is a living, breathing argument for allowing eastern-European-style hačeks on jerseys!)

  • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |

    Now if someone in the Bengals organization with some design sense would take a look at THEIR uniforms…

    Nah, probably too much to hope for.

    I mean, it IS the Bengals, after all.

    —Ricko

    • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |

      Totally agree. Let’s end the long National Nightmare by re-dresing THREE teams at once. Bills. Bengals. Saints Black leotards.

      That will solve our uni problems for quite awhile 9maybe three months). We could then turn our full attention to the outlawing and purging of the color “Vegas Gold” from further usage in ANY athletic uniform context.

      We should allow, however, the use of that color for costume jewelry copies of Superbowl Championship Rings sold on the Shopping Channel ……

      • =bg= | February 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

        forgot the Falcons Cards and Vikes.

    • M.Princip | February 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |

      Add to that, bring back some silver to the Seahawks.

      I thought you liked the Bengals uniforms Rick?

      • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 11:46 am |

        Not with the black pants.
        And, generally speaking, they beat the tiger stripe pattern to death.
        I can live with them in orange jerseys and white pants, though.
        That, at least, is very tiger-ish.
        And, prior to Broncos returning to orange jerseys regularly, unique to the league

        —Ricko

      • Mickel Yantz | February 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

        Agree! Silver helmets and silver pants for the home unis.

      • Lew Holst | February 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

        Preferably the 1976 plain silver helmets.

  • Shane | February 10, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    I didn’t notice this during the game last night, but from the photos..it looks like Tim Thomas’s sweater has a fight strap, but Carey Price clearly doesn’t.

    http://sports.espn.g...

    Old time hockey, gotta love it.

    • Teebz | February 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

      Most goalies, since they don’t often fight, cut the fight strap and pants loop for the strap off for added mobility. Our beer league goalie does it, and he says that it gives him more upper-body mobility when leaning forward to cover pucks and/or play pucks with his stick.

  • Adam | February 10, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    Don’t forget that the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs team colors are purple, black, gold, and white

    • Teebz | February 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

      Outside of the gold, you mean they have the same colours as their NHL affiliate? I’m pretty sure the LA Kings wear purple, black, and white.

      There are only a few AHL teams that don’t follow this plan.

  • Andy Z | February 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    Just wanted to point out that Roman senators used to wear purple on their tunics and togas, so it at least has a bit of a democracy connection.

    That said, I wouldn’t want purple to be my state color.

    • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |

      The senators wore red. Purple was reserved for the Caesars. That’s why the Pope’s robes are usually trimmed in purple, while the cardinals’ are red or red trimmed.

      • DJ | February 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

        No, a pope’s cassock are usually trimmed in maroon or gold, if they have any trim at all (they’re usually pure white). Ordinary bishops wear purple.

        • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

          My mistake. The Roman senators still wore red though, while the emperors wore purple. Tyrian purple was the most expensive dye at the time.

  • Brian | February 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    Does anyone have photo of the Sonics Seattle Center Coliseum court, circa 1988-94? Even better if someone had a drawing of the old court similar to: http://www.flickr.co… that would be awesome This was before Key Arena and before the cartoony Sonics logo of 1995-2001. I am looking to do a DIY project with this. Thanks for any and all help.

    • Mickel Yantz | February 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

      Heres the one from the ’79 Championship team, but I cant tell what the circle logo is they used. http://www.historyli...

      • Gusto44 | February 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

        Those late 70s Sonics are one of the few sports teams to undergo a drastic uniform change during the season. It may have been 1978, when Seattle dumped their conservative Celtics type style uniform in favor of the look shown in that photo. It was a radical change, but in that era, changing during the season wasn’t a big deal.

      • Brian | February 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm |

        That picture is when they played in the Kingdome.

    • Mickel Yantz | February 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

        I believe that’s a Kingdome logo at center court. The Seattle Center Coliseum had a funky-looking SC thing going on instead.

    • Mickel Yantz | February 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm |

      Interesting shot from the NBAlive forum of the old court screenshot0014aj4.png

      • Brian | February 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm |

        Mickel, I can’t get this to open. Is this a link? I would like to check it out.

    • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

      How’s this, Brian?
      http://farm6.static....

      • Brian | February 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

        Best pic I have seen so far. I am hoping for something closer, and cleaner, but this is a good start. Thanks for your help.

        • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm |

          Upside down (I think) and bigger shot of that logo:
          http://farm6.static....

        • Brian | February 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm |

          Jim that picture is awesome. Can actually see the yellow in the center of the court and that it makes a basketball. Yes it is upside down, but that is okay. May I ask where you are searching in flickr? I have searched for Sonics by year, Seattle Center Coliseum and don’t get anything remotely close to what you have gotten. Thanks a ton for your help.

        • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm |

          I have my ways…

          Someone did screen shots of some games off youtube.

          Glad to be of help.

  • SeanMcSean | February 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |

    Mets Spring Training nameplates: http://twitpic.com/3...

    Glad to see they are using the blue skyline, not black. But I thought they were adding the NY back to the logo?

    • Mark in Shiga | February 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

      It’s interesting to see the NOB and number fonts side by side. Somehow, even though it feels like they’re the same font, they don’t seem to match up perfectly.

  • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    I hope Rice doesn’t have a similar result in baseball this season after featuring a garish and poorly placed swoosh so prominently on their new jerseys.

  • Agent Orange | February 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |

    Great news on the Bills uni changes, even if we have to put up with some useless navy piping. Now if only the Broncos would finall follow the Jets, Giants, Bills, Chargers and change their unis to something that recalls the Orange Crush of days past. I’m so tired of looking at those horrible Nike swoosh unis I could spit.

    • walter | February 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

      I will raise my tiny voice as one who likes the blue Broncos’ uniforms. Not that the old ones were bad, but the new ones are more coherent and unified– not a bunch of disparate elements. And don’t forget they got Denver over the Super Bowl hump.

      • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

        How about the Broncos keeping the Navy blue helmets & jerseys, eliminating the Nike Swoosh and having a solid Navy jersey, with orange numeral, collar & sleeve trim, (NO SIDEWALL STRIPES – NOT EVER!!! That goes for the Vikes & Jags & Bengals & EVERYBODY too – NOT EVER !!!!!), but going back to the “D” logo and eliminating the severed “Khartoom Head” from Godfather I. Have an Orange alternate jersey – how would that look?

  • Giancarlo | February 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |

    It would be interesting to see a ’60s-era Bills helmet inverted so that it’s red with a white standing buffalo.

    • Piping Mike | February 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |

      I bet it would remind many of the original Bronco helmets.

      • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 11:17 am |

        huh?

    • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 11:17 am |

      Isn’t that what they wore in ’94 as part of the throwback year…or is my memory just sideways on that?

      I dunno, seems to me I’ve seen a helmet like that on the field.

      —Ricko

      • The Jeff | February 10, 2011 at 11:19 am |

        Yes, that’s what they called a throwback in 1994. It was rather pathetic and lazy of them.

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |

          Yeah, them and the Jets, Cowboys and 49ers. Might have been others, not sure.

          They really swung and missed when it came to their helmets for that ’94 Diamond Celebration (or whatever it was).

          —Ricko

        • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

          In fairness to those teams, there were some safety concerns at the time.

          Nowadays, teams often break in their throwback helmets in training camp. But in 1994, there wasn’t any precedent, so many teams just put throwback decals on their standard helmets.

      • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 11:20 am |

        Thought so.
        http://www.i-nflhelm...
        (to the right)

        —Ricko

        • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |

          Game action (note that the Oilers used Columbia blue helmets and did not take the cheap/lazy/easy way out).

        • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 11:38 am |

          …and the helmet to match this uni should have been red with a single “silvery gold” stripe. No logo or numbers.
          http://withfriendshi...

          —Ricko

        • The Jeff | February 10, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          …and this: http://farm4.static.... which should have had a silver shield, not white

          and of course the Cowboys were something else entirely… wouldn’t really call it lazy since it was a completely new uniform… they just totally missed the point

  • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    I love the fact that after nearly 25 years, we finally know what game Ferris, Cameron and Sloane attended.

    Just knowing the score (and which team was winning) was not enough.

    • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |

      But can they tell us why Cameron wears a Gordie Howe sweater?

      • =bg= | February 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

        he’ll just keep CALLING and CALLING and CALLING..

  • Jet | February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    I had to check to make sure that story about the A’s doubleheader wasn’t an Onion story. Good grief.

    -Jet

  • Giancarlo | February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am |

    Don’t remember about ’94. But I threw that out there because my problem with the Kelly-era helmet was not the fact that it was red but that it had the red streak on top of the red. I don’t care for the color-over-same-color motif. The Texans do that too.

  • DJK | February 10, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    I really like the white helmet/white jersey/blue pants Simpson-era look, it’s my favorite from Bills history (though I confess to also liking the red buffalo more than the one with the speed stripe).

    I think it would be cool if all the AFC East teams had white helmets (the Pats going back to Patriot Pat is all it would require), and then all of them wearing white at home for division games. Would be unique.

    As for too many white helmeted teams, I kind of agree, but an easy fix would be for the Chargers to go back to navy, or maybe a powder helmet would be cool, and for the Cardinals to go to red, but I think black would be even better.

    • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

      I think black would be even better

      ~~~

      yeah, um…

      no

      • DJK | February 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

        Red Cardinal logo on a black helmet would look better than logo on the white helmet. I know many hate black just to hate on black, and I also hate it when it is just an add on and not a team color, but black is a Cardinals color, and the cardinal bird has black but no white on it.

        Red jersey/white pants at home, white jersey red pants on the road. Maybe even the black/red color fade kinda helmet like the Jags do with teal.

        • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

          That whole “the animal is X color, so the uniform should match” rationale is weak.

          Should the Bears, Broncos, Lions, Eagles, et cetera, et cetera scrap their current colors to comply?

        • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

          and then there’s the whole “cardinals were named for the COLOR of their jerseys” thing

          “The faded maroon uniforms, reddish in color, prompted O’Brien to declare, ‘that’s not maroon, it’s Cardinal red,’ and the team became known as the Cardinals.” (see 3rd graf)

          so while the bears, broncos, lions & eagles, et cetera should not change to the “color” of the animal for whom they are named…

          the cardinals are the exception, not the rule

        • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

          I’m just saying that the fact that actual cardinals have black feathers is not a good justification for the Arizona Cardinals to wear black as a dominant color.

          I’m not saying they don’t need to wear cardinal red. As long as they’re called the Cardinals, they absolutely need to wear the color.

        • Graf Zeppelin | February 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

          The Cardinals’ next uniform must be based on this

        • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

          I’m just saying that the fact that actual cardinals have black feathers is not a good justification for the Arizona Cardinals to wear black as a dominant color.

          ~~~

          and i agree

          but i’m saying that the cardinals should remain red because they’re named for the colour not the birdie

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

          Let’s follow what Phil (and history) is saying, okay?

          The bird is a visual manifestation (a mascot, even) of the color for which the team is named.

          Not the other way around.

          Much like the Browns’ brownie.
          And, to some extent, the Notre Dame leprechaun.

          —Ricko

        • DJK | February 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm |

          I wasn’t saying by any means that black should be the dominant color for the Cards, far from it. I don’t think they should have black jerseys (even as alts), nor black pants, just that the Cardinal logo set on a black helmet and worn with Cardinal and white unis would look pretty good (and better than it does with a cardinal logo on white helmet). The Browns DO have an orange helmet.

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

          Right.

          Because it’s entirely kinda likely we’d have heard someone say, “Brown and white is a little drab; we could brighten it up by adding an orange helmet.”

          “Red and white is a little bright; we could drab it down by adding a black helmet” ?

          Hmmmm…not so likely.

          —Ricko

        • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm |

          “Much like the Browns’ brownie.”

          They need to bring him back as an official symbol of the team. I have a winter hat with Brownie the Elf on it and everyone knows it’s a Browns hat, even in Houston where I was and here in central Virginia where I am now.

  • JessMan | February 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    I wish I had a little birdie that told me things

  • pflava | February 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

    I got all excited about the Bills finally going to their AFL throwbacks full-time, and then…letdown. What a missed opportunity!

    The OJ uniforms aren’t bad, and are certainly miles better than the current clown suits. But the addition of navy blue, along with royal and red, sounds potentially disastrous.

    • Paul Gaiser | February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

      i was thinking the same thing, and i agree with you. but still, it should be a huge upgrade.

  • johnbajuice | February 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    Re: the Bills uniform change this season… I wouldn’t rule out a Nike-driven league-wide uniform change just yet. Some NHL teams changed uniforms the season prior to the league-wide Reebok change (like Anaheim, and even BUFFALO!)

    • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

      Nike-driven changes may well happen. But Buffalo’s new uniforms don’t fit that bill (sorry).

      This change would have been approved by the NFL last year, before the 2012 contract had been awarded.

    • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

      Doesn’t the NFL have rules about how often a team can change its uniform options? Like every four or five years or something? If so, would the league suspend that requirement next year for any team that wanted a redesign under the new template?

      • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

        What new template?

        Repeat after me: THERE IS NO NEW TEMPLATE. At least not yet. It’s amazing how people take this as a given, as if Nike can wave a magic wand and change the face of the NFL. Ain’t gonna happen.

        • =bg= | February 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm |

          Correct! Look, NIKE doesn’t have control over the league.

          (snicker, snicker)

          As I understand it, the teams determine their look, with input from NFLP. All Nike does is interpret that info. I’m sure they can suggest, but that’s all the power they have.

          The team has the final call on their look. Any suggestion that Nike is just gonna unilaterally change every team to suit their whim is just a fallacy.

        • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |

          By template, I meant Nike’s way of constructing the jerseys, which has different shapes on the various panels, not necessarily a new design template.

  • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    re: digger’s “ND” logo…

    even blowing it up 400% doesn’t seem to conclusively show it’s a ND logo…

    anyone have any other shots of him wearing that jacket?

    • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

      Hmm, that could be a “DP” monogram in the style of Notre Dame’s interlocking ND. Maybe ESPN is letting its analysts wear customized jackets now.

  • twoeightnine | February 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

    I’ve got high hopes… that will probably come crashing down to the ground. The Bills just don’t do marketing/pr/design well at all. I’m hoping they didn’t see the fans yelling for a change and then make a quick, rash decision on the design.

    I really wish they’d update the charging Buffalo since they’re going to keep it like the Lions did. It needs to be modified and clarified. I remember when I was growing up I’d look at my hat and try and figure out where the swoosh was coming from. I didn’t know that bison had horns so I thought it was one giant eye.

  • Yeeb! | February 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

    I was hoping Buffalo would go silver, blue and white and remove all traces of red — like they were in the early days of the AFL.

    Oh, well.

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    “One of the first things I learned about politics is that sometimes you just have to be shameless.”

    Oh, come on…we’ve gotten this far in the comment thread and no one’s said, “He’d fit in well at Nike, then.”?

    Not saying I’d say that…just surprised no one else has…

    Nice interview, Paul.

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    Gotta say I like the (first) red helmets better. I liked the white ones with the charging buffalo, too, but there was something about that stationary buffalo that just didn’t sit right with me. The hollow eye reminded me of the cutout silhouettes in the opening of the old Ultraman TV show:
    http://www.youtube.c...

  • Pat | February 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    I just did the sportsnation poll on espn.com and the question was ‘should the bills change their uniform?’ or something of the like. I of course voted yes. It was only 60% yes and 40% no. I was expecting at least 75-25.

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

    After reading your travel article, I want to go to western Nebraska.

    After finding out they have DIY curling there…I HAVE to go to western Nebraska. Fantastic.

  • DenverGregg | February 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    One thing for Mr. Rovell to consider is that sports teams generate very heated emotions, not all of which are positive. Since Gillette has become so associated with the Boston Patriots, I’ve gone from using several of their products to using none of them. I doubt I’m alone in that. If the Boston baseball team had an ad on its jersey, you can bet I’d never buy that product, nor would other reasonable people. There are those who would have the same reaction to a product advertised on a Yankees uni, or Cowboys or other polarizing teams. That makes for a pragmatic reason for advertisers to avoid sports uniforms.

    • A.J. | February 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

      I am more inclined to not use a product that has the sports team’s logo that I don’t like on it (living in NY, in a market of 9 teams in the 4 pro sports, that happens more often than not) than simply because they advertise with a certain team.

      Example: The Pepsi can I’m drinking now has a Giants logo on it. I’m a Giants fan, so that’s fine. If it was a Jets logo, I’d be inclined NOT to buy that can of soda. Pepsi could have their logo front and center on the Jets uniforms and I wouldn’t particularly care either way, but if the product itself has the logo, that triggers the response in me.

      No particular reason, just crazy consumer and subliminal thoughts.

    • Mark in Shiga | February 11, 2011 at 7:17 am |

      One thing that really bothered me about Mr. Rovell’s comment was his presupposition that the *leagues* are the ones with the authority to put advertising on uniforms, not the teams.

      And I too would probably refuse to buy any product advertised on a team jersey. Whoever said there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right didn’t consider the emotion behind the love for your team.

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    “Interested in knowing what happens to game-used Oregon football uniforms?”

    I was hoping they’d get shredded beyond recognition, but at least some of them are being auctioned off for good causes. The silver lining in the cloud, if you will.

    • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

      or the “lightning” lining

  • iLO | February 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm |

    As a Dolphin fan, I dislike the Bills but love the fact that they’re switchin’ to a variation of the 70/80s uniform. Now only if the Dolphins/Pats switch to they’re 80s uni’s, we’ll have the best looking division. Back to the all white helmet division! ;)

    – I actually would like to see the Jets go back to the 80s version as well.

  • MN | February 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    Didnt the original Buffalo Red helmets come with a blue face mask? I seem to remember that from a poster that I had as a kid.

    • Jeff S. | February 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Mark K | February 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

      yes- lasted a few years before they switched to white

  • M. Sullivan | February 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    UCF 0-8 since the switch to Nike? That’s what you get for being Swooshbags.

    • M. Sullivan | February 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

      *adding the swoosh to the jerseys, not switch to Nike

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm |

    RIP, Emory Bellard. And may colleges around the country resurrect your wishbone offense to honor you.
    http://sports.espn.g...

    • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm |

      Emory Bellard also took the Texas A&M horizontal shoulder stripes with him to Miss. State when he coached there – Given that A&M is considering wearing that look again (reported here last month) they should at least wear it one game, or one season, in tribute to him ….

  • Simply Moono | February 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm |

    Paul, I have a question: A couple of months ago, you had mentioned this in the comments:

    “Not strictly uni-related, but…. Is anyone else puzzled by the use of “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as the template for Faith Hill’s Sunday Night Football theme song? (I’m also puzzled by the notion that Faith Hill is either talented or attractive, but that’s another story.)

    “I Hate Myself…” was a #8 hit for Joan Jett — in 1988. It’s not her signature song, or anything close to it, and it was from an album (Up Your Alley) that barely cracked the top 20. A hit, yes, but hardly iconic, and a lot of today’s young NFL fans weren’t even born yet when it was released.

    More to the point, its lyrical content is all about a guilty, self-loathing pleasure — it’s a dark song. Not dark like “Enter Sandman” or “Hell’s Bells,” but dark in that troubling, introspective way. And that is NOT the way sports leagues typically market themselves. If the NFL was gonna write itself a theme song, it would more likely be titled, “I *Love* Myself for Loving You.”

    I can’t stand “All My Rowdy Friends…,” but at least it MAKES FUCKING SENSE. I totally don’t get the use of “I Hate Myself…” Anyone else?”
    .
    .
    .
    I replied with: “Being born in 1991, I always assumed that it was SNF’s country-fied, half-assed (but up until now, original) theme song. Something always bothered me about that song, like it’s got this aura of smugness to it, if that makes any sense. That look on Faith Hill’s face doesn’t help, either.”
    .
    .
    .
    Back to you: “Original version:
    http://www.youtube.c...

    Not really one of Joan’s finer moments (and I say that as a big JJ fan).”
    .
    .
    .
    I was wondering what are your musical tastes? I noticed in that comment thread, you mentioned Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (side note: the proposed original debut single from that album was supposed to be “Holier Than Thou”) and AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells”. Are you a fan of those bands? Just curious.

    • Mike Edgerly | February 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

      I agree, a more appropriate song would be George Michael’s ‘(you gotta have) Faith’.

    • Paul Lukas | February 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

      Love AC/DC. Never liked Metallica.

      I’m a former rock critic, having reviewed records and shows for Rolling Stone, Spin, Newsday, NYPress, The Trouser Press Record Guide, blah-blah-blah. Stopped writing about music around 2000ish, because I felt I’d said pretty much everything I needed to say, but I still perceive music with a critic’s ear and have a critic’s tastes (read: I’m a snob). Some of my favorite writers — and biggest heroes — are music critics. Like a lot of young, geeky undergraduates, music was my gateway to learning about expressive/creative culture, and music writing was my gateway to learning about (and producing) cultural criticism.

      At heart: an indie/punk guy (which is why I linked to that great Apex Manor song in yesterday’s Ticker). But most of the music I listen to these days was made way before I was born — 1930s blues, 1940s western swing, 1950s bebop and R+B, etc. I remain ridiculously fanatical about certain very small subcultures (I traveled to New Zealand twice in the 1990s because I reallyreallyreally liked a handful of bands there, e.g.), but my favorite band is the Rolling Stones, so maybe I’m not so snobby and subcultural after all.

      It all gets very complicated……

      • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

        Speaking of Metallica, If he hadn’t died in 1986, today would be Cliff Burton’s 49th birthday.

      • walter | February 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

        Sports and rock music– if we were pitching pennies at a wall, it would be high school, again! Good times, good times…

      • DenverGregg | February 11, 2011 at 7:29 am |

        Western Swing, eh? Familiar with Spade Cooley?

    • =bg= | February 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm |

      JJ’s signature song: I love RnR. Period, end of story.

  • Macky | February 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    here’s something interesting. The Jumpman logo is finding its way onto NASCAR firesuits. Looks like Denny Hamlin, a huge Bobcats and UNC basketball fan, is the first to have it on his FedEx suit as well as his SportClips (Nationwide series) suit.

    http://plixi.com/p/7...

    • Macky | February 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

      Nike’s Jordan Brand Signs NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin – CNBC-http://www.cnbc.com/id/41511671 –

      Here’s some more info. No racing shoes because Denny is currently have a deal with Alpinestars for his racing shoes. And from what Rovell described, the placement of the Jumpman logo is where the suit branding are usually on.

  • Simply Moono | February 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    I should mention this: when I was riding back from Indio to Blythe, I saw a truck with the old GS Warriors Lightning Man logo on it (basketball and all) on the driver’s side door, only it didn’t say “Warriors” underneath, but something like “YND Trucking” or something.

    I only caught a three-second glimpse of it, so I wasn’t able to get a shot.

    • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

      Didn’t someone post of photo of such a vehicle here a while back?

      (Not saying “so what”, saying there’s a photo around somewhere)

      —Ricko

  • Geno Jamison | February 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    Possible changes to all NHL jerseys for Russian players:
    http://sports.yahoo....

  • All Hail The Swoosh | February 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

    just for the record, the new bills unis sound an awful lot like the ones i designed about a year ago.

    see for yourself
    http://thirty3grafix...

  • rpm | February 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm |

    i know most people are pretty excited about the new bills, but i am not so much so. was what they are ditching good? heck no. is what they are maybe going to better? heck yes. but i always thought they were pretty benign, they didn’t have the potency for me to hate them, i just thought they were silly.

    now stick with me, but i think the worst uniform in the nfl is the chargers, not because it is necessarily the ugliest, but because they missed the mark by so much when they went throwbackish rather then throwback. they messed up the bolts by making the stripe horizontal to the ground, added superflous strokes to the logo, stuck that miserable navy face mask on that white helmet, and that is just the start. worst uni in football. so i fear that the bills will do the same thing, and inso doing make a uniform worse then what they currently have. is that even possible? i fear it is.

    as for the red or white helmet debate. i don’t care that there is an increase in white helmets, it ruins nothing. and the bills classically wear white, so it isn’t like this is out of left field. i will also say that there is not a scarlet-red helmet in any level of football that i like, they are all miserable. yes, it does work for the chefs, but i am not a fan of their uni either. don’t want white? go blue, a white bufalo on a blue helmet wouldn’t kill me, the bills could look like the old giants. like the white or hate the white at least the bills will look like the bills again(maybe).

    • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm |

      I have this vision of the Bills coming out next year, at home, in white helmets with royal jerseys (the tight teeshirt Colts variety so the stipes make no sense at all) and white pants. A red and navy jersey side panel will continue around the back and under the number for a sort of “halter top” look (always good in a Buffalo winter).

      They’ll have kinds of navy, red and white piping going nowhere in particular, but with the charging buffalo logo large on each butt cheek (when jeans have pockets), facing forward to, y’know, indicate strength and aggresiveness, not to make us look at the players’ asses, and the new mid-shin length pants from the Pro Bowl to be really leading edge…with red socks.

      Then they’ll tell us how they are an “updated version of the classic Bills unis of some 30 years ago.”

      Just saying. It’s the Bills. What superb sense of taste in unis have the exhibited lately.

      —Ricko

      • JTH | February 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm |

        The impression I get is that they’ll have two sets of pants, blue and white. Instead of going blue over white and white over blue, they’ll continue doing what they do now — blue over blue and white over white.

        The all-white combo will look pretty good and the all-blue will not.

        It just occurred to me that I actually saw the Bills’ big presentation of their new unis back in 2002 live on TV.

        I remember actually posting something about it on one of the message boards I was frequenting at the time.

        • Ricko | February 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

          Yes, because they wore mono-blue so often during the Simpson era.
          (eyeroll).

          Jeez, who’s zoomin’ who.

          My “idea” would look even swifter with royal pants.
          Especially with those, “Mom, my big boy pants are too small for me now!” things from the Pro Bowl.

          Originally had it written that way, in fact.

          —Ricko

      • rpm | February 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |

        see, we can already pixture how they are going to eff this up, and like the chargers, it is going to make me hate these 10X as much as i hate the current set. too bad the chargers didn’t go in this direction. i have a feeling i will be able to say the same of the bills in that photo too

      • walter | February 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm |

        Don’t forget the “because we’re responding to what our fans want” pandering. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve read here in a while.

  • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

    Getting back to the Tiki Barber “Packers’ ‘G’ stands for ‘Greatness'” thing, I think I found where the confusion originated.

    It comes from Legend of Lambeau Field. If you have a copy, it’s at the 16:30 mark. Chapter 5, the section on the 1961 championshipgame. The narrator intones:

    “Lombardi added a ‘G’ to the Packers’ helmet in 1961. And it stood for ‘great.’ The team posted the league’s best record, and earned the right to host the championship game.”

    So if that’s what people are remembering, it’s as I thought. A rhetorical flourish. Not a serious statement of fact, and not indicating any intent on the part of Braisher, Lombardi or the Packers.

    Not to mention that Tiki/Wiki even get the word wrong – “great” instead of “greatness.”

    • Chance Michaels | February 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

      Sorry, should mention that I was pointed in the right direction by an anonymous reader on my blog. Didn’t want to imply that the detective work was mine alone.

    • Kyle Allebach | February 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm |

      Tiki Barber tends to get everything wrong. Just sayin’…

      • Dave Mac | February 12, 2011 at 1:55 am |

        Yeah I’ve seen the same DVD. When I heard about that, it’s immediately what I thought of.

  • Kyle Allebach | February 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |

    As much as I am happy for new Bills uni’s, I do cringe at the fact that the Bills are going back to a white helmet. I liked the red helmet because it stood out against the glaring background of everyone in the league wearing a white cap (exaggeration, but I hope it gets the point across).

    Maybe the uni’s will make the helmet look not as dumb, but I still want that red helmet to stay around.

    • walter | February 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm |

      These days, a uniform isn’t so much “retired” as it is “thrown on the potential throwback pile”. The Jim Kelly days were glorious enough to warrant some kind of tribute in the future. Count on it.

  • Chris | February 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    Im sure its the swoosh on the jersey that is making UCF lose and not their play on the court and their competition

  • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm |

    just out of curiosity (maybe i’ll even ask this over the weekend, seeing as how evenings are dead)…

    if you DON’T like a white helmet…are you under say….30?

    and if you don’t mind it…would you be in the older demographic?

    im just wondering if those who like colored helmets happen also to be younger

    this isn’t necessarily specific to the bills — just white helmets in general

    with apologies to mike gundy, im a man, im 40 45…and i like white helmets

    • Kyle Allebach | February 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm |

      I am under 30, actually 17, and I’m just not a big fan of white helmets for a lot of teams. I hated seeing the Eagles in their white helmet so long ago.

      I think certain teams shouldn’t be white capped, but conversely, there are teams who should be white, like the Colts, Jets, Chargers, etc…

      I like the Bills red helmet because that shade of red isn’t used for any helmet and it makes the Bills unique. Though I have to wait and see how the white helmet looks on the uni itself.

    • jdreyfuss | February 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

      I’m 26 and I like white helmets for some teams, but not others. The Jets and Chargers definitely look better in white than any other color and I like the standing buffalo on white, but the more dynamic current logo looks better on red and probably would look best on blue.

    • traxel | February 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |

      I’m 3 1/2 years old and I like the Bills white helmets. Okay, 41, maybe.

      Here’s the deal. The old predominatly blue and white unis with red trim have a cool (temperature) radiance to them. Add on the frozen concrete turf of Rich Stadium and it fits. When they switched to so much red, helmets and socks, it ceased being cool and took on more of a warm feel. Actually it was a competing warm/cool debate that just created a mess. Either red or blue needed to be dominate and neither was winning the battle. Until red goes back to being for trim only, or vice versa, they won’t have a good set. And dump the monochromes except for white. That’d help too.

    • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm |

      I’m over 40 and I like white helmets…but I loooove red helmets. The only thing better than the 80s Bills helmet is the Chiefs helmet. Correction, two things are better…forgot the ’72 Oilers blue helmet.

      • Kyle Allebach | February 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

        See, I never liked the blue Oilers helmet. I love their uni up until the moved and turned into the Titans when they had the white helmet. That is probably my favorite shade of blue, and the uni itself improved when they added the dark blue to kind of balance the brightness of the light blue and scarlet.

        This pic (http://bit.ly/5URXft) would be better if they had it as a white helmet, in my opinion.

        • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm |

          Oh no no no no no no no no…

          Let me put it this way. When the Oilers switched from silver helmets to blue in ’72, they went from just another team to my new favorite team. When they switched to the white helmets, they dropped down a bit. And when Billy White Shoes Johnson left and Ken Stabler and Dave Casper came in, they went back to being just another team.

        • Kyle Allebach | February 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm |

          Oh, I see where you are getting at. That blue helmet did make them stand out.

          No one in Oilers camp thought of a scarlet helmet? Too bad it would just make them look like a Bills knockoff…

        • traxel | February 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm |

          The Oilers white helmet was better than the blue one until they made the facemask red. That blew it. The blue was too much blue on the ensamble. And as you say jimvilk, no no no no no no no. The Bills helmet has bad written all over it. Red helmets can be good, Chiefs yes. Actualy any color CAN be good, but it has to be good in the context of everything else. Bills were an *epic fail*. Yes. I threw it out there. The EF. Kinda like the JT in Semipro.

        • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm |

          Gotta disagree on the Oilers’ Blue helmet – the 1972-74 Oilers uni was great – really nice colors and striping. Looked particularly well with Blue jerseys, pretty fair with White jerseys/Blue pants.

          Bills should go to early OJ Simpson – era (pre-1973) throwbacks, but late OJ (1973 onward) is still 10000% better than the current mess.

          Bills’ White helmet is great, Red helmet is OK at best, almost mediocre at worst …. Whatever they do, the helmet striping separation MUST END!!!!!

          And if the Bills want to wear Blue pants with White jerseys, let’s let them have an exclusive on it and let’s have the Chargers wear either White pants OR Gold/Yellow pants with their White jerseys – The White jersey/Navy pants look simply lacks any real positive quality to it.

          The Chargers’ solution is very simple.

          Navy jersey – White pants only.

          Baby Blue or White jersey – Gold/Yellow pants or White pants

          That is FIVE potential combinations, ALL better than the current White jersey/Navy pants.

        • Jim Vilk | February 11, 2011 at 12:13 am |

          Looked particularly well with Blue jerseys, pretty freakin awesome with White jerseys/Blue pants.
          /fixed
          http://cdn.bleacherr...

        • NickV | February 11, 2011 at 1:36 am |

          When the Superdome opened in 1975, the very first event was a Saints vs. Oilers preseason game, which happened to be the very first game where the Oilers broke out he White helmets that they have kept to this day.

          Needless to say, I did not know it was coming and I was horrible dissappointed, as the Blue-Helmeted Oilers wore my favorite uni, even more liked by me than the uni worn by my Beloved Saints. A terrible dissappointment.

          It was also Bum Phillips’ first game as Oilers’ Head Coach, and for years I subconciously hated him for getting rid of the Oilers’ Blue helmets – whether it was truly his decision or not ….

    • Bob A | February 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

      I’m nearing 60 and I love white helmets. Likely it stems from my admiration for the Baltimore Colts and Nebraska Cornhuskers.

      • walter | February 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

        The beauty of a white helmet– you know it will match at least one of the jerseys.

      • Jim Vilk | February 11, 2011 at 12:32 am |

        Nebraska, Penn State and Texas. Best white helmets ever.

    • Jim Vilk | February 11, 2011 at 12:23 am |

      Cardinals, Bucs, Colts and Dolphins look(ed) fantastic in white.

      Jets? I could go with what they have now, or the 80s helmets.

      Chargers? Original whites with numbers or 80s blue w/ yellow-gold bolts.

      Bills? The helmet isn’t the problem.

      Pats? Instead of standing pat, they should go back to Pat.

      Titans? Hmmm…

      Browns? Like the current helmet, but the old white one was cool, too.

    • Corey | February 11, 2011 at 12:32 am |

      I’m 22 and I love helmets with the right teams. The white Bills throwback helmet might just be my favorite helmet league wide, but at the same time I hate the Titans white helmet even though I loved the white Oilers helmet. If it’s a good looking helmet it’s a good looking helmet, regardless of the color.

    • DenverGregg | February 11, 2011 at 9:09 am |

      Don’t like white helmets, but I’m an old 47. However the reason I don’t like them is that I associate them with the Boston Patriots (I know, they changed to silver a few years back) and the Nebraska Bugeaters.

    • Seth F | February 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

      Phil,

      I’m 30 on the nose and personally think the white helmets are a good thing. The Chargers should stay white, the Bills will look better in white, the Jets look better in white and the Patriots never looked better than in the whites featuring “Pat the Patriot”.

  • Ted | February 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

    So no champion block numbers for the Bills? Bummer.

  • timmy b | February 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm |

    In a moment of hockey love…

    Penguins in the 1/1/11 Winter Classic fauxbacks against the Kings tonight at the ConSOL Energy Center with – what seems like – half the team injured.

  • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm |

    More DIY curling…in my old hometown!
    http://www.cleveland...

    • Jim Vilk | February 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm |

      Best line of the story isn’t even about curling:
      “One time, they played street hockey until past 2 a.m. using a doll’s head instead of a puck and using car headlights for illumination. When the car battery died, they simply lit the doll’s head on fire.”
      My kind of people!

      • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm |

        they played street hockey until past 2 a.m. using a doll’s head instead of a puck and using car headlights for illumination. When the car battery died, they simply lit the doll’s head on fire.”
        My kind of people!

        ~~~

        if that had appeared tomorrow…it’d be in the running for QOTD

        and i think that tells us all we need to know about “your kind of people” ;)

  • Jordan Sogn | February 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm |

    Oklahoma has added some nice artifacts to the Switzer Center (connected to Owen Field)…some may remember AD’s ‘no contact’ jersey here wore in the spring game before his junior year at OU. great team picture as well as few sweaters from the cheerleaders.

    http://www.facebook....

  • =bg= | February 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

    doing some detective work on Diggergate…back if I find anything.

  • jc | February 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm |

    are the lakers really wearing yellow on the road at boston?

    • scott | February 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm |

      Weird.

    • Jim Vilk | February 11, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • BurghFan | February 11, 2011 at 6:54 am |

      Sigh. They could have worn blue MPLS unis that (probably) matched the timeframe of the Celtic throwbacks. Or they could have worn purple throwbacks from the same era as the ones they wore. But no, that would be too correct.

      Is this the first time the Lakers have worn gold against an opponent wearing white?

  • Brendon Browne | February 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm |

    Hello Gang,

    Thanks for the feedback on the color purple. I expected to be skewered for my vote by readers, but fortunately the Bills took attention off me.

    Paul,

    Great talking to you. If your ever in New Hampshire let me know.

    Adam,

    Didn’t even think about the Monarch’s connection. But as Teebz says, probably more of a Kings thing than a NH thing.

    Jim Vilk,

    Love the Nike comment. Know anyone there? I’m available.

    Various people,

    I didn’t realize there were so many State Tartans. That might make an interesting weekend poll. Which state has the best tartan?

    Again, thanks for focusing on the Bills and not me.

    Brendon Browne

    • LI Phil | February 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm |

      Hon. Rep. Browne,

      Late to your party, but thanks for a great interview with Paul. Working as a communications analyst for a New York State Senator, in a state where politics is waaaaaaaaayyyyyy too political, I admire and respect your service to the Great State of New Hampshire.

      Live free or die — the way it should be.

      Best,

      PH

  • eethy | February 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm |

    Some madden cover humor I made. If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry.
    http://img.photobuck...

    • NickV | February 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm |

      LOL!!!! But for the realization that these idiots (BOTH SIDES) seem bent on missing at least half a season to see whose proverbative privates are the biggest ……

      Still, I’d copyright that is I were you, National Lampoon might pay you for it – it would make a good September, 2011 cover …….

  • Topher208 (Chris Powers) | February 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm |

    Only problem with the hypothesis about the Hawks jersey on SNL is that they were discussing the current Oscar picks. They weren’t pretending it was the ’90s at all. Perhaps there was an advertising issue even though NBC holds the TV rights to the NHL in the US?

  • George | February 11, 2011 at 12:54 am |

    http://arkansas.trav... Arkansas Travelers, AA affiliate of Los Angeles Angels got some new home threads for the upcoming season.

    • scott | February 11, 2011 at 6:36 am |

      Nice look, though the Travelers also looked good last season. It appears the main difference in the home uniform this coming season will be the addition of the pinstripes.

  • Fantasy Football | February 11, 2011 at 1:37 am |

    The uniform or helmets is really the last of this teams worries. I haven’t really hated any of their designs, and compared to the crappy color combos other teams sport, it’s hard not to be able to sport a Bills new jersey or throw back. My problem is wearing the jersey without somebody telling me the team sucks. When’s it’s our time for a quick-fix turn around season like Tampa or St.Louis?

  • NHLJersey | February 11, 2011 at 6:22 am |

    Good catch!

  • NHLJersey | February 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm |

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