Most of America had shifted out of Christmas mode by last night, but the Saints apparently didn’t get the memo. As you can see above, half a dozen New Orleans players — Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Robert Meachem, and Tracy Porter — wore red and green spatting tape and/or arm tape. Yes, it looked silly (my eyes kinda popped out of my head, cartoon-style, when I first noticed it while watching the game), but at least it provided some welcome chromatic relief from the black hole of the Saints’ solid-ebony uniforms.
Someone at the NFL must have blown a gasket over this (or else just pointed out that yesterday was the 26th, not the 25th), because the Christmas-themed tape had disappeared when the players came out for the second half. That supposition was confirmed by Andrew Lopez, who was covering the game for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and sent me the following note at about 2am:
Talked to Henderson after the game and he told me that someone called down and told the players that if they didn’t remove the tape at halftime, none of them would be allowed to retake the field. Thus, none of the players had any red or green on to start the second half.
Okay, but if the NFL really cares about this stuff, why wasn’t that directive issued before the game started? Halftime
tantrums ultimatums notwithstanding, this incident is just the latest in a long string of evidence indicating that the league has completely lost control of the lower-leg region — an impression that was reinforced last night by the many Saints who had solid-black socks (no whites) and by Falcons linebacker Sean Witherspoon, who wore solid whites. Like I’ve been saying all along, some sort of reckoning is bound to happen soon, because everything south of the knee has become a freestyle zone.
Also, as you’ve probably heard by now, Pierre Thomas pulled a Terrell Owens move after scoring a touchdown by producing a gold bow, sticking it on the football, and handing it to a fan. My favorite part of this story is that Thomas kept the bow hidden in his hand-warmer pouch, which should have been a tip-off that some monkey business was afoot, since the game was played indoors.
Also-also, for the second straight game, Jonathan Vilma didn’t have the fleur de lis on his sleeves.
Meanwhile, we have a lot of NFL stuff dating back to Saturday to catch up on:
• Mathias Kiwanuka of the Giants had some helmet decal issues.
• Nike made a pair of Skittles-themed shoes for Marshawn Lynch, who loves Skittles. Gee, ya think they made the Nike wordmark big enough?
• You probably noticed that the little Fox score bug was decked out with little Christmas lights. What I didn’t initially realize, however, is that the lights were illuminated to indicate how many timeouts each team had.
• Nice to see that the Lions have finally gotten it together this year. Well, mostly.
• Let’s hear it for Frank Walker of the Cowboys, who used a blue arm sleeve and some white wristbands to create the hoop-striped effect of my dreams:
• In uni-notable NBA action from Christmas Day, the Mavs celebrated their championship by wearing gold outlining on their chest insignia and NOB lettering, along with the O’Brien Trophy patch. All of that was a one-game thing — they won’t be doing it for the rest of the season.
• All the other teams playing on Sunday wore the snowflake-patterned NBA logo on their jerseys. But Jason Richardson of Orlando must have changed jerseys at some point during the Magic/Thunder game. He started out wearing the snowflake, but then it disappeared.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Brinke Guthrie, Marcus Hall, Rob Holecko, Chris LaHaye, Adam Sgriccia, Kevin Vaugh, and Neil Vendetti.)
By Brinke Guthrie
Leading off with the 49ers this week because, well, I love ’em and they’re having an incredible season. After many years in the dumper, they’re 12-3 and looking really tough. So let’s check out this 49ers Starter pullover. The listing says 1980s, but that’s wrong — this is mid-1990s issue. And here’s a Niners bonus: a photo of Y.A. Tittle’s “kitchen sink” facemask, famous for its appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
In other eBay finds this week:
• Can you imagine any current NBA player wearing shorts this short?
• Speaking of helmets, will ya look at this huge set of 1969 NFL/AFL mini-helmets.
• From reader Tom Farley, check out this 1961 LP of Steelers wide receiver Buddy Dial singing religious songs.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Oregon’s Rose Bowl uni design
will be unveiled this morning has been bestowed upon a breathless world. … Neglected to mention on Saturday that the Heat have unveiled their Floridians throwback. … Ghana’s soccer team is having trouble getting its uniforms out of customs (from Michael Volkovitsch). … I’m sure this wasn’t intentional, but the typography on the cover of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine looked a lot like the new Marlins logo. … New uniforms for the Japanese men’s and women’s soccer teams (from Jeremy Brahm and Kenny Loo). … Ooooh, check out this amazing shot of the Mets’ 1964 usherettes (major find by Jon Helfenstein).