A Sock of a Different Color

Screen shot 2011-12-19 at 10.27.28 PM.png

full.jpg

Click photos to enlarge

The two images shown above, both of which are from last night’s Steelers/Niners game, really capture today’s NFL in a nutshell, at least from a lower-leg perspective. Depending on the player, the Niners’ sock color is definitely red. Or black. Or mostly white. Or mostly red. Or whatever.

The one player who appears in both shots is safety Donte Whitner (No. 31), whose black socks mark him as the roguest of the rogue elements here. It’s one thing tinker with your socks’ white-to-red ratio; it’s another to eschew your team colors altogether.

This is the second time in three days that we’ve seen this happen. As I noted yesterday, Aqib Talib and Mike Williams of the Bucs wore red socks instead of black on Saturday (maybe they traded their black socks to Whitner in exchange for his red ones):

Screen shot 2011-12-18 at 11.31.20 PM.png

These are just the most blatant examples of NFL players going way off the hosiery reservation. A week ago, Marshawn Lynch found a way to incorporate neon green into his hose, and Reggie Bush created a white calf stripe:

Screen shot 2011-12-19 at 10.59.01 PM.png

Screen shot 2011-12-19 at 11.03.09 PM.png

And then there’s the increasing number of players who have abandoned all sense of color and are going with solid white (or, as I like to call it, the mummified look):

Screen shot 2011-12-19 at 11.05.29 PM.png

Bush was fined $5000 for his antics, and most of the others probably were as well (the league doesn’t announce sock fines; we only know about Bush’s fine because he mentioned it to a reporter). But really, what’s five grand to an NFL player? The players are clearly treating these fines as the cost of doing business, at least insofar as “business” means dressing the way they choose. And the NFL doesn’t have much incentive to threaten players with higher fines or other measures (suspension?), because socks aren’t a licensed product like shoes or jerseys.

Sock shenanigans are nothing new in the NFL, of course (remember Sean Taylor?), but these latest developments feel different. In a way, they’re showing just how irrelevant socks have become as a uniform element. In short: The sock is no longer part of the uniform; it’s just a piece of equipment, an accessory to be customized, like an arm sleeve or a facemask or a mouthguard or a chinstrap.

This mirrors the lower-leg trends we’ve seen in other sports. In baseball, the area from the kneecap to the ankle is completely unpoliced, and most players have opted for a style that renders socks moot. Ditto for basketball, where most players now wear low socks or no-shows. In both sports, socks used to be an essential uniform component; now they’ve been reduced to the level of novelties. (Thankfully, socks are still indispensable in hockey.)

I think that’s where the NFL is heading, especially since most players aren’t even wearing socks anymore — they’re wearing some combination of tights, leg warmers, white crew socks, white tape, calf sleeves sewn into their pant cuffs, etc. And they’re pairing them, increasingly, with biker shorts instead of standard football pants. That isn’t just fashion or style — it’s form following function, as players try to find a combination of comfort and performance.

In other words, the standard pant/sock combo, which has served us well for about a century, is becoming obsolete. At some point, there will have to be a reckoning — maybe in the form of a Cooperalls-style pant design, maybe something else — because the old model simply doesn’t reflect the way the game is played anymore.

Meanwhile, there were two other uni-notable aspects to last night’s game, both involving footwear: Michael Crabtree wore gold shoes and Ben Roethlisberger’s ankle injury led to him wearing two different shoe colors. But hey, at least he wore his socks the proper way. He may soon become a dying breed in that regard.

(My thanks to Rob Holecko, Chris Jowdy, and Robert Wheeler for their screen shots.)

+ + + + +

Screen shot 2011-12-20 at 12.42.41 AM.png

Devil is in the details: After the Devils retired Scott Niedermayer’s number the other day, several readers pointed out that the numerals on his banner didn’t match the team’s jersey number font. According to reader Steven Wojtowicz, this is just the latest manifestation of a trope that’s been driving him bonkers for years (and will probably start driving the rest of us bonkers now that he’s pointed it out): The 7 that the Devils use for retail purposes is different than the 7 that the players wear on the ice.

Odd, right? I’ll make some inquiries and see what I can find out.

+ + + + +

Screen shot 2011-12-19 at 9.11.17 AM.png

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Last chance for holiday shopping! Unfortunately, the best eBay auction of the week doesn’t end until the 22nd, so there probably isn’t enough time to get this 1960s you-assemble-it NFL mini-helmet kit under the tree in time for Sunday. But hey, I hear there are 12 days of Christmas — you can take it from there.

In other eBay finds:

• I like the cover art logo on this 1970s Hockey Night in Canada album.

• Here’s a great 1967 NFL All-Pro board game from Ideal.

• Ah, I wish the SF Giants would go back to this 1980s orange design as an alternate.

• Never seen this before: the 1967 Cowboys/Packers Ice Bowl program. Just a buck!

• Reader Bob Andrews submitted this Baltimore Colts helmet radio.

• Got 7K sitting around? You’ll look great in this game-worn Fran Tarkenton Vikes jersey.

• Here’s a cool 1968 NFL Autograph Yearbook. [Never seen this before. What a great cover painting! — PL]

• Simple but satisfying: this vintage 1969 Chicago Bears coffee mug from Chase & Sanborn coffee.

• Speaking of vintage beverage vessels, here’s a Cincinnati Reds glass sold at Tresler-Comet, which was an early-’70s Cincinnati-area gas dealer.

• New York Football Giants fans will appreciate these older media guides. We’ve got 1952, 1959, 1967, and 1970, complete with groovy cover font.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

+ + + + +

Raffle reminder: This year’s Uni Watch Reader Appreciation Raffle is now underway. Full details here.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Wisconsin will be wearing a “modified uniform,” whatever that means, for the Rose Bowl (from R.J. Brachman). … Here’s everything you need to know about the new Minnesota football helmet. … Henrik Lundqvist had said that his Winter Classic mask would look like it had been sitting in a closet for 30 years or something like that, but it isn’t really that throwback-y. It just looks nicotine-stained, big deal. Doesn’t really fit with the team’s Winter Classic jersey. … Pretty cool new leg pad design for Chris Mason. I heard from a bunch of NHL fans about this yesterday, and most of them like it. So do I. … Temple’s football team goes NNOB, so they chose to wear their Sweatshop Bowl patches on the back. “Made a much cleaner look on the front of the uni,” says Andrew Hoenig). … Here’s a peek at some of the football uniforms that will be appearing in the new Batman movie. “That’s Hines Ward on the right,” says Cork Gaines. “Not sure if the guy on the left is an actor or a player.” … Holy moly, I wish I’d know about these amazing baseball-themed cards a few weeks ago. They’ll definitely appear in my holiday gift guide next year (big thanks to my pal Amy Fritch). … James Passannanti has put together a good college bowl game schedule. Here it is as a PDF and as a spreadsheet. … Yesterday’s mention of those new South Dakota high school football uni regulations promoted the following note from David Trett: “The new rules reminded me of South Dakota’s biggest rivalry, pitting Sioux Falls O’Gorman vs. Sioux Falls Washington. Every time these two teams play, O’Gorman always wears their green uniforms (their normal school colors are blue and gold), even if Washington is the home team. This has caused quite a controversy over the years. A playoff game played in the fog around 2000, during which Washington threw five interceptions, only intensified this argument.” … Tom Griffith was in Dublin over the weekend and thought I’d like the look of this butcher shop. He was right. … Jeez, ya think Ohio’s NOBs are big enough? “I was at the game on Saturday and you could tell which Bobcats were on the court from the nosebleed seats,” says Grant Pepper. Well, that is the idea, right? … Grant also noticed a bunch of alternates on the court in recent days: Florida in orange, Arizona in red, and Akron in — of course — gray. … Yesterday I mentioned that Ahmad Bradshaw had suffered a broken helmet decal, but I didn’t have a visual. Now Brendan Slattery has provided a screen shot. … Soccer note from Timothy O’Malley, who writes: “Everton wore special charity shirts on Saturday with the logo for ‘Power of Thai,’ a charity spearheaded by their usual sponsor, Chang Beer, to help raise money to rebuild Thialand after flooding.” … Interesting article about how those new front helmet numbers in the NHL were added mainly to help TV crews (from Jerry Wolper). … Several Rams fans wrote to me yesterday because of a passage buried within this St. Louis Post-Dispatch column: “Rumor has it that the Rams may go back to their classic blue-and-white look from the olden days.” Um, rumor that you heard where? And from whom? The columnist in question, Bernie Miklasz, is a longtime pro (been with the paper for over 20 years), so I’d like to think that he wouldn’t report something unless he had solid reason to do so, but that’s some really weak wording there. And for the record, I have not heard this rumor myself, although that may say more about me than it does about the rumor. … Happy Hanukkah to all who’ll be observing tonight (and thanks to Phil for reminding me, because I’d actually forgotten — don’t tell my Mom).

 

183 comments to A Sock of a Different Color

  • The Jeff | December 20, 2011 at 8:10 am |

    Do these players not look at themselves in a mirror?

    Hey Donte Whitner, you look like an idiot.

  • Dave from VA | December 20, 2011 at 8:12 am |

    I found it interesting that next to the story about the 49ers sock shenanigans was a picture in the sidebar of Dwight Clark making “The Catch”. In the pic, Clark is wearing those beautiful late 70′s socks, red tops with the three thin white stripes. He also had on a jersey with sleeve stripes that went all the way around the sleeve, instead of halfway on the super-stretchies of today.

  • Andrew Baker | December 20, 2011 at 8:21 am |

    The player on the left for the Batman movie. Is Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl

    • YP | December 20, 2011 at 9:20 am |

      Andrew’s right, that’s Ravenstahl. He was a kicker in college at (I believe) Washington & Jefferson College. There are supposedly a bunch of cameos in the football scenes, including Bill Cowher as coach and some other Steeler players.

      The Gotham team is, obviously, in Steeler colors, mainly to match the seats and signage at Heinz Field. No sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but the black and gold is also reminiscent of the original Keaton-era Batman, who wore an all black suit with a gold Batman logo.

      • Travis | December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

        According to Pittsburgh’s WTAE Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Colon, Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel were all members of the Gotham Rouges whose coach is played by Bill Cowher.

        There was a video from a newscast floating around earlier this year about the open casting call and the players who would be Rouges, but I can’t seem to find it.

        http://www.wtae.com/...

        • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

          The Rouges? Shouldn’t they be wearing red?

          Heh.

        • Travis | December 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

          Whoops. Rogues. My bad.

        • Attila Szendrodi | December 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

          I always thought the Rogues wore denim vests……

      • Mike V. | December 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm |

        I live in PGH and Ravenstahl is such a whore when it comes to this stuff.

  • Brendan Burke (bwburke94) | December 20, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    Please tell me that the use of the word “trope” was not an attempt to ruin our lives.

    • Connie | December 20, 2011 at 8:59 am |

      Ha!

    • jdreyfuss | December 20, 2011 at 10:50 am |

      Don’t worry, only TV tropes will ruin your life. Sports tropes are still safe.

      • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am |

        But let’s not get into topoi…

  • Rob H. | December 20, 2011 at 8:30 am |

    Got 7K sitting around? You’ll look great in this game-worn Fran Tarkenton Vikes jersey.

    For $7K, he better bring John Davidson & Cathy Lee Crosby to my house and film a very special That’s Incredible! reunion episode.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Holecki Holecko

    • Craig D | December 20, 2011 at 8:35 am |

      Ha! That just made my day. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have coffee on my monitor. :)

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 8:41 am |

      Oops. Your surname has now been fixed, Rob. Mea culpa.

      • Rob H. | December 20, 2011 at 8:43 am |

        no prob…

  • Morgan | December 20, 2011 at 8:47 am |

    You’re gonna and try and get information from my beloved but notoriously vault-like Devils Paul? When you’re done with that one why not try an easier Jersey task, like say finding Jimmy Hoffa?

    • jdreyfuss | December 20, 2011 at 10:51 am |

      Where did they move him to after they tore down Giants Stadium?

  • Jeff | December 20, 2011 at 8:49 am |

    Nothing like a Cooperall reference to start the day!

  • Chris Holder | December 20, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    Sock shenanigans aside, that really was a good-looking football game last night. Here in the East I don’t get to see the Niners a lot. They are doing (mostly) good things with their unis these days.

  • Oakville Endive | December 20, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    I’ve made this point once before, but does anyone else find it contradictory, that players are often mandated to wear proper dress on planes, and to the game, and yet when it really matters, on the field, can look like a complete mess.

    If the Rams go simply Blue and White – they’ll join Tampa Bay Lightning – essentially going to two colours (OK the Lightning have a little Black) – is this a new trend – will the Eagles go to simply Green and White?

    • The Jeff | December 20, 2011 at 9:20 am |

      I really hope that rumor is false. The NFL already has a team that wears nothing but blue & white, it doesn’t need another one.

      • Chris Holder | December 20, 2011 at 9:36 am |

        If they want to make a change, they should just go back to the royal blue and yellow, like the throwbacks they wear. Some of my favorite teams are ____ and white, so I don’t have a problem with it in theory. But the Rams need to have two colors.

      • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 9:46 am |

        Now, if they were to turn that blue and white uniform to blue and cheddar, then you’ve got my interest.

        And the Eagles should be only kelly green and silver.

      • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 9:53 am |

        I actually like the current color combination (Wikipedia calls it “Vegas gold”. Really?), but have a few problems with the combinations.

        I like the cheddar as well, but don’t think they should return to the solid blue and white. I like the seemingly coincidental continuity with the St. Louis Blues and the fleur-de-lis in the city flag.

        • Ry Co 40 | December 20, 2011 at 10:10 am |

          ugh, i HATE vegas gold!!! wish the penguins would change up their jerseys and switch back to “yellow”

          IMO, vegas gold works well ona helmet (painted on, or decal), but in mateirals, it looks horrible

    • pushbutton | December 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

      Having seen nothing but blue-and-white Rams in my short life, I kinda retched at the gaudy, clashy yellow on first sight. Dark blue and white. Do it, Rams.

      • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

        Rams have worn some version of yellow/gold since at least the 50s, haven’t they?

        • Valjean | December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

          Having previously worn it, they dropped the yellow in ’64, then went back in ’73. A little schitzo — kind of like the Niners with silver and gold.

        • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

          No. There was a brief period from the mid-60s to the early 70s that their unis that were, essentially, Colts colors.

          For some reason, a lot of people look back on that period fondly and consider it the Rams’ “classic” look.

        • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

          oops. shoulda reloaded the page before I posted that.

      • rhdii | December 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

        In my fantasy world, the Rams go back to yellow and blue with the blue and white as their throwback look. And yes, they wear white jerseys at home with the blue and white look.

      • SoCalDrew | December 21, 2011 at 12:34 am |

        “Having seen nothing but blue-and-white Rams in my short life, I kinda retched at the gaudy, clashy yellow on first sight. Dark blue and white. Do it, Rams.”

        +1

        • Douglas King | December 21, 2011 at 1:40 am |

          My vote is for Navy, White and gold accents, or royal white and yellow. Basically the horns would be white outlined with gold both on the jersey and the helmet, and the numbers would be outlined in gold. Blending the old with the new.

  • Craig D | December 20, 2011 at 9:14 am |

    Seems to me that if the NFL can threaten to sit a player out for wearing inappropriately colored shoes (Earl Bennett), then they can do the same for wearing non team approved lower leg stylings. Biker shorts, included. They have to realize that a 5k fine isn’t getting the results that they would like to see. Why is shoe color a suspendable offense, but sock/pant re-styling is not?

    • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 10:10 am |

      Really Michael Jordan… what the f*** are you wearing?

      • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 10:11 am |

        Whoops, didn’t mean to put that there. Oh well.

  • MRB | December 20, 2011 at 9:17 am |

    I’m down with the sock experimentation.

    I play ultimate frisbee, and personal uniform experimentation (usually in the form of varying hat and sock combinations) is “part of the game”.

    I’m also a fan of anything that moves Football *away* from the “Rich White Men Controlling Everything Young Black Men Do” aspect of football.

    • Connie | December 20, 2011 at 9:23 am |

      Awright. As a white man who covets great wealth, I’m not sure I’d like the visual results of a looser attitude toward “sock experimentation,” but I hear ya.

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 9:33 am |

      I totally get (and mostly agree with) your point. But if the Man was really keeping homey down, we wouldn’t have elaborate end zone dances, sack dances, players making a huge show of making a first down in the middle of the second quarter, players making grandiose responses to (and/or lobbying for) penalty calls, etc. In short: It’s not as if the game is devoid of self-expression.

      Asking the player to actually wear the uniform (or at least the uniform colors) issued to him doesn’t seem like such an oppressive policy.

      • Shane | December 20, 2011 at 9:50 am |

        I dunno, Reggie Bush DID get an excessive celebration flag for sliding into the end zone on Sunday.

        I still can’t figure out why, it seemed tame compared to everything else that usually goes on post-TD.

        • MEANS | December 20, 2011 at 9:58 am |

          yeah I don’t get that either but Packers players can jump INTO the stands it’s ok…..

        • The Jeff | December 20, 2011 at 10:11 am |

          I think that’s just individual referee biases. There really doesn’t seem to be much of an actual standard.

        • Ry Co 40 | December 20, 2011 at 10:15 am |

          i kinda get it. i think it’s because another idiot slid with him, and it almost looked coordinated. the NFL frowns upon that…

        • Craig D | December 20, 2011 at 10:25 am |

          Part of the celebration rules include players going to the ground as well as using the ball as a prop. Those are written into the policy. So that isn’t necessarily referee bias.

        • Attila Szendrodi | December 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

          Just another case of the No Fun League. I’m all for creative celebrations. So many people were up in arms about Stevie Johnson a few weeks ago while I thought it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year. If someone doesn’t like it then here is a novel idea: STOP THE OTHER TEAM FROM SCORING.

      • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 9:55 am |

        “Asking the player to actually wear the uniform (or at least the uniform colors) issued to him doesn’t seem like such an oppressive policy.”

        If we were talking about a UPS driver, or even a member of the military, would the same racial analogy be being made?

        • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 9:58 am |

          To be fair, those guys aren’t in the entertainment biz, so it’s a bit of an apples/oranges comparison.

        • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 10:02 am |

          Fair enough.

        • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 10:24 am |

          Not sure the different businesses have anything to do with questions of potential racial injustice here. In all three cases, we have a disproportionately minority workforce – possibly more importantly, a workforce drawn disproportionately from the poorest third of the American population – which answers to an ownership/leadership structure that is disproportionately white and disproportionately drawn from the richest fraction of the populace.

          Now, I don’t see any issues of racial injustice at stake in any of these three instances; wearing a uniform on the job is not actually a form of oppression, racial or otherwise. But regardless of whether one does or does not see issues of justice or liberty at stake, they are at stake alike in all three examples or in none.

    • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 10:09 am |

      But sock experimentation is not ‘part of the game’ of football as it is in ultimate. I play ultimate as well, and the sport would gain a lot of legitimacy if the sock and hat stylings were unified among teams. The various stylings of each make even teams who are at nationals wearing matching jerseys and shorts look very ragtag. Even if the entire team wore the same color socks, in various cuts (no-show, low-cut, crew and over-the-calf) it would go a long way. Don’t even get me started on how bad an image backwards caps portray for the sport of ultimate.

      • Connie | December 20, 2011 at 10:46 am |

        Andy, I’m kind of surprised that Ultimate has evolved into a game whose players (or, more precisely, some of its players, since I have no idea what constitutes a majority) care about “legitimacy” and not appearing “ragtag.” Perhaps that is the normal progression for any sport – the growth from sandlot to national TV – but I had assumed, maybe wrongly, that Ultimate players prided themselves on the game’s roots in the counterculture. How prevalent are your views among top-quality players?

        • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

          Quite. While the roots of counterculture are still evident (sideline drug use, anyone?), many teams and players seek to legitimize the game. This is understandably more common among the elite teams and players as they strive to distance themselves from the stereotypes of the sport and show the world this brand of dedication and athleticism, which is quite high, and has the opportunity to be even higher, that is, if the sport can legitimize itself and gain entry into the mainstream.

          There is a professional league starting up this spring, played on a full size football gridiron and featuring referees to make the game more spectator-friendly. No word yet on the status of the TV deal, though there have been meetings about it already.

    • Rob H. | December 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

      I don’t understand the whole “the Man keeping homey down” argument. It’s The Man’s league. It’s The Man’s stadium. The Man pays the bills. If The Man wants players that receive a paycheck from him dress professionally and adhere to certain standards that make his team look professional and not “ragtag”, that’s his prerogative. If homey prefers to look sandlot, homey can go back to the sandlot and let ‘The Man’ give his multi-million dollar salary to someone else.

      Self-expression doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. If there are (league or team) rules that socks must be a certain color or you can’t flop around like a madman when you make a great play (even though your team is trailing 38-7), then those rules should be followed. If not, then fine, self-express yourself all you want, but be prepared to face whatever consequences, whether it be a fine, or less playing time or getting cut. And if the consequences (~$5000) aren’t enough of a deterrent, then they have the right, I imagine, of increasing the punishment.

      By the same token if one team owner or league wants to tolerate certain behavior or self-expression more than another, than that’s fine too, it’s free enterprise system, baby! I notice on not all teams do you see players flaunting the uniform regs.

      I wonder if Donte Whitner’s solid black or the mummifed-Cleveland Browns look or other assorted non-uniformities would fly with Belichick/Kraft & Co. on the Patriots?

    • Desmond Jones | December 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

      Maybe I’m reading into this too much here, but in a sport where unity is most important, I think trivializing any element of the uniform is an expression of slight selfishness. If the team uniform includes a certain colored socks, it won’t hurt any player to just wear the socks. But since players are caught up in the endless attention grab that is playing a professional sport, they do whatever it takes to stand out.
      I think a team’s uniform looks much better, and the team looks like that much better of a team when they can manage to be unified and coordinated. But players now have such a need to stand out that they ignore that, and do their own thing. If a player decides to wear different colored socks than his teammates, he is almost shouting ‘Hey! Look at me! I’m bold, I take chances, I’m cool! I’m a rebel! Follow me on Twitter!!!’ as if the cleats gloves and accessories on his arms aren’t enough. That is individualism in a team sport. A player should not feel the need to make himself stand out aesthetically, because his play should do it for him.

      • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm |

        I don’t know… The idea of an athlete needing to stand out, by appearances, certainly seems more prevelant today (where there’s more focus on athletes, more documentation, more hype in general, over-saturation, IMO). But the practice of self-expression by altering some element of the uniform has been around for a while. I think of L.C. Greenwood with the great Steeler teams of the ’70′s and Joe Washington at Oklahoma and later the pros.

        http://hotcornerspor...

        http://farm4.static....

        As an impressionable kid I saw these guys as having nerve, spirit or a sense of fancy. It was cool. They were the few exceptions to the standard, to be sure.

        • BurghFan | December 20, 2011 at 6:29 pm |

          My recollection is that the NFL fined Greenwood for wearing the gold shoes, but the Steelers paid the fine.

  • Derek | December 20, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    according to the wisconsin article, wisconsin is wearing white as the road team. Find that wierd since wisconsin and ohio st wore white in the last two rose bowls.

    • TA | December 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

      It seems like the Rose Bowl has switched from alternating conferences to making the higher-ranked team the home team. I don’t have any source for that, but the Big Ten team has worn white for the last 4 years (Illinois 2008, Penn State 2009, Ohio State 2010, Wisconsin 2011) and in each case they were lower-ranked than their opponent.

  • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 10:38 am |

    I’m kind of equally troubled by two potentially quite different, though not mutually exclusive, implications and/or causes of hosiery heterogenization in sports.

    Hypothesis 1 is that it reflects the increasing monetization of American life, such that since socks are the one uniform element that cannot profitably be branded and merchandised, leagues and teams stop caring about socks and cease to uphold internal rules and longstanding traditions about their use as uniform elements. Even though as a practical matter, the functional needs for players to cover their legs and for players to dress in uniform style remain.

    Hypothesis 2 is that it reflects the decline of social regard for team sportsmanship as a virtue. “Back in my day,” he says referring to not really all that long ago, every kid on the little league or school team wore his socks just like every other kid and just like the coach instructed, because all shared a fundamental commitment to upholding team solidarity as a virtue unto itself. Not long ago, there was no I in “team.” Now, it all too often seems as though there’s no We in “team.” Individual aesthetic whim seems to trump commitment to the team, and not just in socks. See sleeves, shoes, tucked/untucked, jersey buttoning, and so forth across most pro leagues.

    I tend to think the fundamental causation is more about the effects of #2 on player attitudes and desires, and it’s been permitted to metastasize by the effects of #1 on team/league leadership priorities.

    • Geeman | December 20, 2011 at 10:59 am |

      In the early 1990s the company that made NFL socks at the time ran an ad in Sports Illustated that said something like, “Every player on every team in every game wears these socks.” I don’t think that ad could be run today, and, like baseball, it’s a shame.

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 11:04 am |

      Even though as a practical matter, the functional needs for players to cover their legs and for players to dress in uniform style remain.

      This statement is true (at least from my perspective), but many athletes would argue that there’s a competing — and stronger — functional need for them to be comfortable. Baseball players don’t go pajama-pantsed just because they think it looks cool; they do it because they find it more comfortable, lower-maintenance, etc., and therefore it improves their performance. Football players aren’t wearing biker shorts because it looks cool; they’re doing it because they want to wear as little fabric and padding as possible, because they think (rightly or wrongly) it will make them lighter, faster, more streamlined, etc.

      From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, I don’t like these developments at all. But from a functional standpoint, I understand them. Personally, I think the team identification that comes with hosiery colors/patterns/striping/etc. is also a legitimate aspect of uniform functionality (and I assume most people reading this agree). But it’s not the only aspect. And to many athletes, it’s a relatively small aspect when compared to aspects of functionality that pertain to their performance on the field.

      • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm |

        Understood and agreed; what I was getting at was not so much the divergence from past practice, but the divergence from uniformity. Point isn’t whether players are covering their lower legs with their pants versus socks; the point is that they still need to cover their lower legs with something, and it is no longer assumed that the lower-leg coverings should be uniform in appearance.

        I would like to suggest that maybe just once today’s players, team and league officials, and most of all the “designers” at Nike, Adidas, UA, etc look up the definition of the word “uniform.” I do not think it means what they think it means.

  • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    Whatever happened to players simply flipping the ball back over their shoulder when scoring a touchdown? To me, that was the coolest move.

    • jdreyfuss | December 20, 2011 at 10:57 am |

      Didn’t someone lose a fumble doing that, because he misjudged where the goal line was? I imagine something like that would put a damper on those types of celebrations.

      • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 11:09 am |

        Well, then that guy is an idiot. I don’t remember anything like that happening when the ball flip was the standard touchdown celebration, along with the spike, back in the 80′s and stuff. It was a foolproof move- the player, usually a RB, crosses the goal line and continues in stride with the nonchalant flip over the shoulder, followed by a few high fives, and then back to the sideline, LIKE YOU’VE DONE IT BEFORE. Badass.

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 10:58 am |

      Who did that besides Ozzie Newsome?

      • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 11:17 am |

        It was something I really remember big running backs doing, like Bo Jackson, Marcus Dupree, Eric Dickerson… dudes with big shoulder pads, turf shoes.

        • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 11:26 am |

          The truth is, the first time Homer Jones spiked the ball, people were pretty uptight about it. And they were uptight about it in exactly the same way that people like us now get uptight about end zone dances (or sock shenanigans), and with exactly the same undeniable racial overtones.

          Note that I said racial, not racist. You can point out and acknowledge cultural differences without being a bigot, and it’s a pretty basic fact that the white and black cultures in America have very different approaches toward self-expression. The tension between those two approaches has been manifesting itself on the field — and in discussions like the ones we have here at Uni Watch — for decades.

          What I’m getting at is that the whole “Flip the ball over the shoulder” thing, which you now view as cool, was almost certainly viewed as being disrespectful or classless (at least among a certain subset of the fan base) when it was first executed.

          I don’t like the way a lot of players comport themselves on the field these days. But I’m aware that this says as much about my cultural suppositions and biases as it says about the players. And I’m also aware that new types of behavior may come along later on that have me fondly remembering today’s styles, just like you fondly remember the ball over the shoulder.

        • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 11:39 am |

          Good point. You could write a dissertation on this stuff.

      • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

        Bengals great, Isaac Curtis…

        http://youtu.be/WfwN...

        • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm |

          Shit, that’s who I meant, not Ozzie Newsome.

        • Tim E. O'B | December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

          Actually, watching that, that seems like a super dickish move. Especially the time the ref is asking for the ball and he over-the-heads it anyway.

          But I don’t care about 95% of TD celebrations, a few go to far, but you just scored a TD, dance if you want to, leap if you want to or whatever.

          What pisses me off is the Roy Williams, “every f***ing time I get a first down, I’m going to be a dick and dramatically signal first down, even though I dropped the first three balls thrown to me.”

          Unless you just popped right back up from a huge hit and/or scored a TD, don’t start celebrating.

        • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

          Lynn Swann used to do it, too.
          http://www.youtube.c...

        • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

          Guess I was wrong about Running Backs usually doing it. Good stuff.

        • =bg= | December 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm |

          great watching the Curtis vid. I was at every one of those home game clips- I can hear the PA dude now.

    • Ry Co 40 | December 20, 2011 at 11:24 am |

      remember barry sanders super cool “hand/give the football to the ref” dance? that was my favorite!

      • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

        Understated brilliance.

        • Dumb Guy | December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

          Even the oft-self-agrandizing John Riggins simply tossed the ball the ref after scoring.

    • the scofflaw | December 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

      I always thought Willie Gault’s high hurdle/between the legs/over the shoulder spike looked graceful and inspired.

    • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

      You want to see some out-there end zone celebrations? Look north to the CFL:
      http://www.youtube.c...
      http://www.youtube.c...

      • Attila Szendrodi | December 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

        Fantastic. I might have to start watching the CFL….

        • LarryB | December 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

          A couple years ago I saw a high school kid do like players did in the 1920′s. Just touch the ball to the ground. Touch it down. OLD style. I figured the kid had to have just watched a very old movie or film clip maybe of Red Grange.

          And did’t anybody mention the Icky shuffle?

  • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 10:45 am |

    Does anyone know if the bears patterned their famous numerals after these old City of Chicago plaques? I don’t know how long the plaques have looked like this, but I found the similarity quite striking (obviously the numerals on the plaque are elongated in height).

    • Tim E. O'B | December 20, 2011 at 11:23 am |

      Since the Bears have been wearing their current font since 1950, probably not.

      http://img84.imagesh...

      • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

        Again, just because that plaque says 1968 doesn’t mean they didn’t making them like that before 1968. I was wondering if any Chicagoans could enlighten me on whether or not the plaques of that style predate the Bears’ numerals. Sheesh.

        • Tim E. O'B | December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

          Assume it doesn’t. I haven’t found any evidence that a single other Chicago Fire Department plaque looks like that.

  • Donnie K | December 20, 2011 at 11:25 am |

    On the occasion of ex-NHLer/current analyst Bill Clement’s birthday, here’s a look at what card manufacturers had to do in the pre-Photoshop days.

    http://www.puckjunk....

  • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    Jeez, ya think Ohio’s NOBs are big enough? “I was at the game on Saturday and you could tell which Bobcats were on the court from the nosebleed seats,” says Grant Pepper. Well, that is the idea, right?

    The numbers should be bigger, not the NOB. Any good-sized number with a decent font can easily be seen from the nosebleed seats. A long NOB, not so much.

    Then again, I’d be happier if every jersey were NNOB.

    • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

      How ’bout some big honkin’ TV numbers…
      http://www.fanbase.c...

      • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

        Man, those are even bigger than Austin Peay’s:
        http://cache.daylife...

        • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

          Those look pretty standard to me. Definitely not overtly large.

  • Jimmy L | December 20, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    The funny thing about that Niedermayer banner is that the name and number on the banner doesn’t match the jersey font. However, the years played at the bottom of the banner appears to match the jersey numeral font. Consistency?!?!?!

    • Rufus | December 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

      Niedermayer is also wearing a vector jersey not the word mark jersey that is the current format.

    • CWac19 | December 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm |

      My buddies and I have been texting about that banner for days. I’m pretty sure that the Stevens and Dano banners were done the right way. Someone just got lazy here.

      (Or, alternatively, the more conspiratorial among us might wonder whether Sweet Lou didn’t want Nieds’ banner to look quite the same as the guys who retired as Devils…)

  • hofflalu | December 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    OK, Minnesota’s changes are starting to scare me. Black facemask? How much black will end up on the actual uniform? It’s distinctly possible that my two favorite football teams (Vikings & Gophers) will end up with my least favorite uniforms. Here’s hoping for the best come mid-January.

    • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm |

      Agreed. I like the maroon helmet, I think I like the matte finish, I like most of the details. But dear god, a black facemask? Maroon or gold, please, those being the school colors. I’d write an outraged letter, if I thought anyone at the U of M cared about either the football team or the alumni.

      • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

        If EVERY team starts wearing black facemasks, then I am for it. It is not as neutral as gray–which I prefer–but it renders the facemask as simply a component of the helmet, leaving the shell as the canvas for a team’s colors and identity. But my feeling is that the stupid Gophers added black ’cause it’ll make them look, um, tough.

        • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm |

          Agreed. I’m cool with gray precisely because it’s neutral. As to the Gophers, I’m sure they opted for black because the “designer” at their lifestyle marketing supplier told them it would make them the toughest, manliest small rodents in the B1G.

  • Alan | December 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    I think it truly sucks that players don’t care about a teams traditional look. They are well paid and its an honor just to be on the field. Is it too much to ask to look like a player? The NFL has always been about image..I’m surprised how far this trend with socks has gone. It’s bad enough most of the guys in MLB wear those goddamn pajama pants. We don’t need this in the NFL. And in the NBA, ever since Allen Iverson wore protection on a bad elbow, a lot of guys are taking the protection thing too far. Dwight Howard looks ridiculous with double pads..as does Carmelo Anthony. Sweat bands had form and function..don’t know abou these designer compression pads.

    • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

      The NFL in the ’70s would have driven you guys nuts.

      I can remember the New York Giants in (maybe) four different color shoes, some with white taped spats and many varying sock heights. The team issue was black cleats, but Ron Johnson wore royal Pumas; Clifton McNeil, Fred Dryer and Spider Lockhart wore white (Puma, Adidas and Riddell, respectively) and someone (Pete Athas, maybe?) wore red Pumas. WR Rich Houston used all kinds of white tape on his black Adidas.

      I could go on about other players and teams where variety was common: Cardinals, 49ers, Raiders, Chargers, Broncos, Bears, Dolphins, Redskins, Jets…

      • Blake Pass | December 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

        Remember Billy “White Shoes” Johnson with the Falcons?

        • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

          He’ll always be an Oiler to me.
          http://www.youtube.c...

        • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

          And he’ll always be wearing that blue helmet.

        • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

          by the time he got to the NFL both the Oilers and Falcons already wore white shoes. He got that nickname in high school.

          Or did you mean his dance? He wasn’t the first. That distinction goes to Elmo Wright of the Kansas City Chiefs, and I believe he brought it with him from his days at the University of Houston.

        • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

          at 2:35 here…
          http://www.youtube.c...

        • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

          I’m sorry. At :16

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

      They are well paid and its an honor just to be on the field. Is it too much to ask to look like a player?

      They do look like players; they just don’t look like your idea of how players should look (or mine). But again, some of this is functional/performance-based, not fashion-driven. That’s why the longstanding pants/socks combo will eventually have to be changed.

      • Alan | December 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

        I concur..a lot of these guys wear what works when they are playing. Seems like every 10-20 years or so the equipment and the uniforms go through an evolutionary period. Just look at how sleeves have slowly vanished off just about everybody. Even leather helmets had to disappear sooner or later..I’m sure Ricko remembers when that happened.

  • pushbutton | December 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    Thank you for showing the NFL mini-helmet kit….I actually had that! I’m thinking I got it for Christmas 71 or 72…

    Those little bendy facemasks you attached…what a trip seeing those again!

    • =bg= | December 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm |

      That one is from the late 60s for sure—look at the ad, it shows a coupon to order NFL WEST, EAST, or AFL.

  • Flip | December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

    Sorry, I found the story about Minnesota’s new helmet wanting. There’s no reference to whether it’s lighter, tougher or faster. Can anyone help me? And what’s the historical reference for black facemasks?

    • Winter | December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

      “There’s no reference to whether it’s lighter, tougher or faster”

      Does it have to be? I thought they were just different.

      “And what’s the historical reference for black facemasks?”

      Again, I didn’t see that there was one.

    • Tim E. O'B | December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

      It’s not about technology, it’s design. It’s now a matte finish with black accents.

      as you can see here – http://nationalchamp...

      There is no historical reference for the black accents, but this is a new helmet, not a throwback. I would also expect BFBS elements on the new jerseys to be unveiled next year based on this helmet design.

      I’m just glad they stuck with the burgundy lid, the matte finish, I’ll have to judge on the field.

      • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm |

        The quote about the designer said that much historical research was done to create this identity.

      • LarryB | December 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm |

        Interestingly the Gophers have had an M on the helmets going back to 1968. Just changed other things about 37 times.

    • Flip | December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

      Sorry, forgot the sarcasm tags.

    • hugh.c.mcbride | December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

      I nominate Flip for QoTD, and also MSoTD (Missed Sarcasm of The Day).

    • Randy C | December 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm |

      You also forgot the piece also neglects to explain how it will wick away moisture 0.0012% better than the previous helmets.

      (I was also wondering where the same details were in the bit about the Wisconsin Rose Bowl 1-offs… surely the new uniforms will represent some quantum leap forward in athletic technology, reducing the weight by 0.1 ounce and improving aerodynamics and performance, since as Bielema so correctly points out the Rose Bowl is about 1 d-bag outfitter vs. another d-bag outfitter, and not just new unis to reward players for toiling away in just 1 home and 1 away uniform all year, which is just horrible since players on some other teams get to wear something ‘different’ every single game. Oh, the humanity!)

      • Andy | December 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

        You can blast tiny performance benefits all you want, but remember that when your cornerback misses that tipped pass by the smallest fraction of an inch or split second, some of those tiny performance benefits could have offset his delay in speed or reaction time and allowed him to make the play. A lot of that is also about delaying fatigue by forcing the body to carry less weight over the course of the entire game. That adds up. Would you rather run 5 miles in soaked sweatpants or synthetic running shorts?

        • Phil Hecken | December 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm |

          oh bullshit

  • Dane | December 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    Just saw this archive photo on SI.com. That is probably not the proper way to wear a helmet – even in Cleveland.

    http://siphotos.tumb...

  • iLO | December 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

    “In short: The sock is no longer part of the uniform; it’s just a piece of equipment, an accessory to be customized, like an arm sleeve or a facemask or a mouthguard or a chinstrap.”

    :(
    I am sad.

  • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

    My first recollection of an athlete using his socks as a form of self-expression was Pistol Pete Maravich with LSU around 1970. But maybe he wore them this way for functional purposes, I don’t know? Ricko?…

    http://fandemonium.f...

    • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

      As a 10 year old I thought, “Hmmm, that’s weird…and kinda cool.”

      In the NBA he went with standard calf-lenth socks mostly…

      http://www.secsports...

    • Flip | December 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

      I have the same recollection of Pete as the harbinger of sock expression … in basketball. In baseball, the ’60s were all about stretching the stirrup up, up and up. It was a trend that lasted through the ’70s and into the ’80s. Then the droopy look kicked in. Was that about the same time young kids started wearing their britches midway between their hips and knees?

  • Mike | December 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

    As a Niner fan, Dante’s socks really annoyed me and I hoped he would get a bigger than normal fine. But not sure that would stop things. So my idea is to start fineing the coach for players doing that. You think they will do it if the guy that controls if they get to see the field or even be on a team gets fined for your actions? That might be a great way to stop this.

    • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

      Some guy named Rice used to pull his white socks way up high…
      http://assets.espn.g...

      • Mike | December 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

        At least it wasn’t a hole different color than what they wear.

      • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

        ‘Tis true, tis true. The black last night was a little, “What the hell…?”

        Okay, more than a little.

        I know that historically NFL players get a little “sock, etc. goofy” this time of year…but typically it’s about the unusual wearing of the usual…not wearing the unusual.

  • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    If anyone is thinking about customizing your Winnipeg Jets jersey with their newest player, Antti Miettinen will be wearing #20 tonight in his first game as a Jet as he takes Bryan Little’s spot in the line-up.

    No? No one? Oh well. I tried.

    • interlockingtc | December 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

      Teebz, what’s it been like having an NHL franchise back in your city?

      • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

        Can’t speak for Teebz, but I know one thing is that after only a single Wlld game in Winnipeg, hockey fans here in Minnesota got themselves a brand new border war.

        Gonna be fun over the years.

        • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm |

          Border war? We’re 1-0 against you punks. We’re dominating. ;oP

          Seriously, I’m looking forward to more games against the Wild next season. Roadtrips might become a common thing for me.

      • Mike 2 | December 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

        (former Winnipegger watching from a distance)

        Selanne’s return was great, some fans are taking the nostaligia for the old days a little too far.

        http://www.tsn.ca/nh...

        • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

          I heard all about that, Mike. Honestly, I have little to say except for this. I basically said it all there.

        • Tom V. | December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

          Not sure about Canadian building codes but troughs are no longer allowed in new construction in the US. Grandfathered troughs are ok.

      • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

        Honestly, it’s like having a CFL team. I say that with all seriousness.

        People are pumped about anything that has to do with the Jets, so it’s mass hysteria when anything legitimate happens. But, for me, it’s been fun to follow what people outside of Winnipeg say about this new Jets adventure.

        “That building is loud” seems to be a common theme. “The raucous fans” is another over-used term. But they seem to hold true as we’ve filled the building for every single game and been loud for every play.

        Literally, it feels like the playoffs every game.

      • Phil Hecken | December 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm |

        “what’s it been like having an NHL franchise back in your city?”

        ~~~

        somebody please tell me, because mine’s been missing for like 2 decades

        • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

          I disagree. You’ve had one, but it has been masquerading as an ECHL team for a while now.

          This coming from a guy with a Fisherman and a Satan Islanders jersey.

    • Daren L | December 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |

      Unless something has changed in the past week, the Jets store has only one authentic jersey (size 56) left in stock, and even that may be long gone.
      They just can’t keep stuff like that in stock for any lenth of time – there’s so much demand. Good thing I pre-ordered mine back in September. :)

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm |

    I’m here with a video crew from CBS Sunday Morning! They’re here at my house to talk about football uniforms. The segment will air right before the BCS title game.

    • LarryB | December 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

      haha

      I dvr the CBS Sunday Morning show every week. Usually has something of interest on.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

    They want me to type, so it looks like I’m working. Hence these pointless comments I’m posting.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

    Yet another comment just to make it look like I’m working. Boy, this is hard!

    • Ricko | December 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

      Jeez. I do that damn near all day.

      Wears on you, doesn’t it. ;)

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    Caitlin just got into the shot by nuzzling me while I typed. What a Ham!

    • Ray Barrington | December 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm |

      Caitlin’s in there? Now I’m taping it!

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

    One more useless comment. I’ll delete all of these once the TV crew leaves.

    • Arr Scott | December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

      No! You’ve gotta leave these here for posterity’s sake, and as an easter egg for any Sunday Morning viewers who come here. Which my mom, an obsessive CBS Sunday Morning fan, is sure to do once she sees the segment.

      • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

        I don’t think my mom has ever missed an episode. Best theme song ever.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

    Man, this is show business? COulda fooled me….

    • Kyle B | December 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

      This is hilarious hahaaha

    • =bg= | December 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

      yes, but is there a shot of your bar be que setup.

  • Gary | December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm |

    The Rams’ navy & white uni was and always will be a favorite for its simplicity and clean aesthetic. So I’m hoping Bernie heard right. I disagree with commenter The Jeff; the NFL can indeed stand two classic blue/white looks, even if the Rams return to their darker blue vs. the Colts’ more royal approach, as we remember here:
    http://cache3.asset-...

    • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

      If the Rams must go back to blue and white, I’d much rather see them go with royal than navy. There are currently 9 teams that use navy as a dominant color (11 if you count the Bills and Dolphins who use it as a trim color).

      Only three use royal (4 if you include the Cowboys).

      • Gary | December 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm |

        But royal and white’s already been taken by the Colts! And while navy’s used in many other teams’ schemes, there is not now–nor has there been, as I can recall–a strictly navy-and-white ensemble since the Rams junked it for the ’73 season. They’d be unique among the navy-users in this regard and get major style points from us Rams fans who loved the Fearsome Foursome/Roman Gabriel era.

        • timmy b | December 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm |

          As a trivia note during the Rams blue and white era (1964-1972)…for THREE consecutive seasons (1968, 1969 and 1970), the Rams wore their white jerseys for every regular and post season game.

          In fact, not counting the Playoff Bowls (postseason 1967 and 1969), the Rams wore white for their last four regular season games in ’67 and then their playoff loss to the Packers at Milwaukee. This would be a streak of 48 games wearing white in games that counted. The streak would end in 1971 when they finally wore blue at New Orleans in Week 1.

          They did wear blue in the post 67 Playoff Bowl (vs Cleveland), but did wear white in the post 69 Playoff Bowl (vs Dallas).

  • dwight | December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

    its like that “talk to kids about drugs” commercial…
    “scathing accusation”
    “blatant denial”
    “threat ill regret later”

  • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

    So what’s this about a TV crew? I guess I missed something.

    • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

      You didn’t miss anything. There was a teevee crew at my house to film an interview w/ me, and afterward they wnated to shoot some footage of me “working on Uni Watch.” That’s all…

      • JTH | December 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

        Yeah, but did you mention it somewhere that I didn’t notice? Or was it in a comment you posted and then deleted?

        • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

          Now restored.

  • Christopher F. | December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Ha! Thats some funny shit there Paul. Don’t delete!

    /Usless comment to make it look like lotsa people post on Uniwatch all day long.

    //Hi Mr. Cameraman!

  • Pat | December 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm |

    Where is the tv crew from?

  • Wheels | December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    I thought of something else… does anybody remember players who would celebrate by placing the ball down on the turf and giving it a good spin with the flick of the wrist? If done right, the ball would jump up on its end and keep spinning for a while like a basketball on a Globetrotter’s finger.

    • Jim Vilk | December 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

      I did that…back in my street football days.

      • Phil Hecken | December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm |

        in the hood?

  • Eric | December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm |

    Did anyone else think the Devils’ “27″ jersey patch for Niedermayer looked more like a “memorial” patch than a tribute? The announcers mentioned it as a nice touch, and when I saw it, my first thought was that it was actually worn for Vasyunov and the announcer had goofed (who, it turns out, wore #18). If you didn’t see, it was just a black square with a number on it, over the right chest. You can see it in the photo gallery on the Devils’ website.

    • Teebz | December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

      I agree. Seemed more like Niedermayer had died rather than celebrating his hockey career and his accomplishments with the Devils.

  • Pete Walker | December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

    Talk about a league and Reebok not having a clue about uniforms. The 2012 NLL jerseys have been debuted. BFBS nightmare if you ask me. I don’t know how many around here are fellow lacrosse fans but I had to share this.

    http://insidelacross...

  • Pete Walker | December 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm |

    And to top things off my home town team, the Philadelphia Wings, is going to put Twitter handles on the players jerseys instead of their names for a game this season.

    http://www.wingslax....
    Is this the first time this has happened?

  • LarryB | December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

    Brian, I always enjoy the collectors corner. I started out helmet collecting with gumballs from Shredded Wheat box in the late 1960′s

    Always have some cool stuff in the corner.

    Thanks

  • Sam | December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

    The Vanderbilt helmet on the bowl schedule is wrong, the primary helmet for Vandy football is gold although they did wear the black helmet in half the games this year. Also they have not indicated what helmet Vandy will be wearing when they play Cincinnati.

  • Steve D | December 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

    The Niedermayer talk reminds me that Patrick Ewing’s banner at MSG doesn’t match the jersey font, nor the font of previous retired numbers. Couldn’t find a good photo of it. But that then reminded me of how the Knicks took down their original World Championship Banners, which were georgeous vintage art, and replaced them with this crap.

  • BurghFan | December 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    Reposted from late last night/early this morning, about the bowl system:

    Some numbers about who’s making money here. I’m not sure I agree with all of the author’s opinions, but the general idea seems right.

  • Phil Hecken | December 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm |

    ahhhhh….nothing says “bowl” season like the beef ‘o’ brady’s bowl from the anticeptic trop

    the announcers actually said, “they’re having trouble getting used to the field because it’s a baseball field”

    uh huh

  • Mike | December 21, 2011 at 1:02 am |

    Didn’t the font from Ohio U’s basketball uniforms also appear on some of the MLB Turn Ahead the Clock uniforms?

  • JessMan | December 21, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    The comparison of Kovalchuck’s on-ice jersey font with the retail is all well and good, but how about comparing the on-ice jersey font with an authentic retail jersey and not a replica?

  • Michael Roecklein | December 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

    Cycling’s sock trend is actually going away from lo cut socks to much taller almost mid calf height.

    Heinrich Haussler is known for being the pinnacle of style and requests a new pair of socks for every race as well as new shoes if the white gets dirty at all.
    http://www.fizik.it/...

    Tom Bonnen has awesome socks:
    http://cyclingshoeso...