As you can see above, one of the chief pleasures of New Year’s
Day Weekend is the rare sight of eye black during an NHL game. But the Winter Classic was just one of the many, many uni-relevant events over the past few days. Let’s take a look, one major category at a time…
• Isaac Redman of the Steelers had some nameplate problems on Sunday.
• Did Larry Fitzgerald wet his pants, or did it just look that way?
• During Sunday night’s Giants/Cowboys game, reader Zak McGinniss sent me the following: “I keep noticing four white threads coming from underneath Corey Webster’s jersey. Almost looks like a tzitzit worn by orthodox Jews. Ideas?” I couldn’t find a good shot of Webster from Sunday’s game, but I did find shots of him — and other members of the Giants secondary — showing the dangling threads in previous games. I sent a quick note to Joe Skiba, who replied, “Usually a player ties down his sweat towel down during a game. When it’s too long/too short or not in the right place, we gotta cut it off and the string remains. Guess they got the idea from that. Like anything else it’s a copycat locker room.”
• The Broncos’ socks are supposed to be navy on top and white on the bottom, with an orange stripe in between. But for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, Quinton Carter went with — well, see for yourself.
• Speaking of sock shenanigans, the Bengals wore solid black, with sock stylings ranging from a whole lotta white to no-show whites to no whites to misplaced whites. The NFL should just do away with socks altogether, because the situation has gotten ridiculous.
• Outgoing Jags owners Wayne and Delores Weaver were given gold Jags helmets at a farewell ceremony on Sunday. Rumors that the gold lids were designed by The Jeff are almost completely untrue.
NHL Winter Classic
• Another great note from the alumni game: Remember former Rangers goalie Dan Blackburn, who suffered nerve damage and in left arm a few years back and briefly tried to play with two blockers, instead of a blocker and a mitt? He was going with the two-blocker format in the alum game.
• As for the Winter Classic itself: When the Rangers and Flyers unveiled their WC gear in November, they wore straight-hemmed jerseys. So it was disappointing to see both teams wearing the scoop-hem Edge template. Pfeh.
• Personally, I think the Rangers would’ve been better off with white helmets, instead of blue.
• I’m sure everyone enjoyed the Flyers’ keystone-shaped captaincy designations.
• The players weren’t the only ones wearing eye black.
Eh, whatevs. Nikegon mostly looking silly + Wisconsin mostly looking like Wisconsin = dog bites man. Personally, I think it would’ve been super-cool if Nikegon had pulled the old-school move of adding a rose to their helmet. Simple, elegant, and it would’ve had way more shock value than the latest superhero costume maneuver. Everyone would’ve been all “Wow, modern but classic, who’da thunk?” But hey, they didn’t ask me, go figure.
Incidentally, several readers pointed out that this was the fifth consecutive year that the Big 10 team wore its road uni in the Rose Bowl. (Last one to wear its home design: Michigan in 2007.) Anyone know why the Pac-12 has always been the designated home team?
Corporate Snack Chips Bowl
• Bit of overkill by Stanford, which memorialized former coach Chester McGlockton with a jersey patch and a helmet decal. Interesting that they used “Mc” instead of just “M,” no?
(My thanks to all contributors, including Brian Alexander, Ben Gorbaty, Jake Hurley, Robert Lim, Frank Mercogliano, Rick Rutherford, and Matt Stern.)
By Brinke Guthrie
As we know, come April 1, Nike takes over the NFL. A lot of us recall when the swoosh wasn’t as dominant as it is now. Other brands had huge profiles, like Starter. That jacket doesn’t appear to be a retail item, showing just the NFL shield, and being offered by a former Eagles employee. (And contrary to the ad copy, I don’t think Starter was around the NFL in the 1970s.)
In other eBay finds for this week:
• Absolutely outstanding 1960s NFL poster here. [Wow, that’s a beauty. — PL]
• Nice lot of old MLB team decals.
• It’s always back-to-school time with this 1965 Cleveland Browns/NFL helmets book cover.
• Let’s go back to 1935, when Dizzy Dean’s “Super Baseball Shoe” was featured on this baseball rules guide. What, no Skittles graphics or holograms?
• We all know MLB silhouetted batter logo, but does anyone remember when they used the logo on this lapel pin? I’ve never been able to trace the exact time frame of this logo. Anyone know more?
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Vintage Pleasures, Part 1: I’m all house-proud and kid-with-a-new-toy because I got this groovy 1960s chair a few days ago. Totally in love with it. … Vintage Pleasures, Part 2: While you were watching college football yesterday, I stopped in at my favorite clothing shop, where I scored this totally swell Gulf jacket (which isn’t dirty, even though it kinda looks that way in that photo). The best part is the manufacturer: Unitog! … New logo in store for Utah. … Looking for galleries of old college football program covers? Go here and scroll down to “College Football Programs & Other Memorabilia” (from Justin Eller). … Kansas and North Dakota hoops went color vs. color on Saturday (screen shot by David Trett). … The mighty Fleer Sticker Project just ran a killer post about some MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL placemats from IHOP (thanks, Brinke). … Big East basketball refs are wearing memorial patches for Dave Gavitt, who was the conference’s founding commissioner (from Eric Stoker). … Good article about Chris Canty’s unusual facemask. … Great contribution from Wayne Koehler, who sent along this sensational photo of two Tigers spring training ticket-takers, circa 1982 or ’83. … New secondary logo for the Grand Junction Rockies. … Someone on eBay is selling a ton of old military patches, many of them really beautiful. … I have a fairly large collection of vintage bowling-themed beer ads, like this one. Until now, however, I’d never seen one featuring Canadian-style pins, complete with the black rubber bands. … Latest college hoops team to go gray: New Mexico. Actually, the color is technically designated as silver, but come on — it’s gray. “Also, coach Steve Alford wore his cherry blazer the other day, which he wears for big games,” says Frank Mercogliano. … No photo, but Ryan Gast says Keyon Dooling of the Celtics was wearing a pair of Rondo’s shoes — complete with number 9 embroidery — during Sunday’s game against the Wizards. … Good story about uni numbers in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and what they mean to recruits (from John Gworek). … Marshawn Lynch’s was fined for wearing his Skittles cleats. … Fun fact from Kevin Schell: “This season will mark the first time in the Super Bowl era that there will be no white-helmeted team in the NFL playoffs.” … In a truly gross development, you can now melt a Super Bowl logo onto your pizza (blame Jon Solomonson). … In the wake of Santonio Holmes “quitting” (or whatever) on Sunday, Rex Ryan announced yesterday that the Jets won’t have captains next season. So that’s one team that won’t have to worry about captaincy patches next season. … Alex Rocklein was watching last night’s Celtics/Wizards game and spotted someone wearing a Bruins/Celtics hybrid jersey. … One of the prexydential candidates is getting attention for his sweater vests.
Uh, pretend that cake says “Phil” instead of “Rob”: Easily lost amidst all the holiday hubbub is the fact that our own L.I. Phil Hecken turns 29 (again!) today. It’s no exaggeration to say I couldn’t produce Uni Watch without him, plus he’s a good friend, a tireless worker, a straight-A grad student, a sharp dresser, and a lot more. Seriously, most of you have no idea what he’s gone through in the past year, but let’s just say he worries a lot more about AP style and canine insulin levels than the average fella. But that’s no surprise, because he’s no average fella.
Phil doesn’t like to be fussed over, which is just one of the many reasons he’s worth fussing over. Please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays today. Here’s to you, buddy.