If you asked me to compile a list of things I never thought I’d be writing about as a lead entry topic, I’m fairly certain “college football practice togs” would rank fairly high up there, right after “raised helmet squatchees” (but above “a gorilla pulling a gun on a librarian”). And yet here we are. Life is full of surprises, no?
Another surprise: the massive number of e-mails I received regarding this new Longhorns practice attire. Some of it was of the “Check these out, they’re cool!” variety, and some was more along the lines of “As a UT student, I’m embarrassed.” I guess that’s what happens when you have a conservative uni design that hasn’t been changed in decades — your fans go bonkers over the slightest scrap of uni-related news you can toss at them, even if it’s about something as inconsequential as practice garb.
Maybe the biggest surprise of all: I really like these jerseys, especially the white and orange ones, at least when viewed in a vacuum. I don’t think they’re a good fit for Texas, mind you — too bold, too BFBS. But taken on their own terms, I dig. I’ve always liked contrasting yokes on football jerseys and wish more teams would use them. Again, I wouldn’t want to see the Longhorns use this design in a game context, but I wouldn’t mind seeing other teams going this route. If this is any indication of Nike’s latest design direction, sign me up.
A bombshell a minute: Big Nike/NFL news yesterday, as someone leaked a carefully staged, high-res photo of the new Jags uniforms. I dunno, looks like it could be a sophisticated Photoshop job, but let’s assume it’s legit until proven otherwise. And boy howdy, are those revolutionary or what?! The two jerseys on the left are practice jerseys (big day for those yesterday, eh?). As for the other three, looks like they’re adding a black jersey this season, and the other two look basically unchanged. Which is exactly what their equipment manager said would be the case more than seven months ago.
Meanwhile, it’s now being reported that the Seahawks will have a gray alternate jersey, which continues the trope of the most unlikely trendy color ever.
I will presumably get a better look at these uniforms — and all the other NFL uniforms for 2012 — at the Nike unveiling event next Tuesday. There’s some chatter that certain teams may show their new jerseys on their web sites at midnight on Saturday (although I’m also hearing that this may only apply to non-jersey merch). If that’s the case, Phil will have coverage of it on Sunday and will update that coverage throughout the day if additional designs are revealed.
Tuesday’s unveiling event, incidentally, will take place in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. This means, among other things, that I will probably be the only person in attendance who traveled to the event by bicycle.
Uni Watch News Ticker: More late-breaking MLB news: The Giants and Cubs will be wearing these 1912 throwbacks on June 2 (from Mike Brown). … It’s nothing new for catchers to paint their fingernails white for better visibility. But Kurt Suzuki of the A’s put a uni-notable spin on that phenomenon yesterday, as his nails were painted in A’s gold (big thanks to Chase Llewellyn). … The Sports Design Blog has been running an NCAA logo tourney. Voting for the Final Four games will be available on Saturday at this URL (which is not working now, but I’m including it just so you know where to go if you want to participate). … Sesquicentennial logo in the works for Boston College (from Dave Levy). … Here’s our own Ryan Connelly as a Little Leaguer. Nice blousing, RyCo! … Very amusing development in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets have signed a goalie who played for the U. of Michigan — and who still wears his Wolverines mask! “The local Buckeyes fans probably didn’t know whether to cheer or jeer,” says Steve Vibert. … Can never see enough pics of those gorgeous 1970 Jacksonville hoops uniforms (big thanks to Ryan Bohannon). … My new favorite object is something called a conformateur. What’s a conformateur? It’s a very steampunk-looking hatmaker’s tool for precisely measuring a customer’s head shape. Further info here and here. I’d love to have one of my own, but they’re a little pricey (major thanks to my longtime pal Robin Edgerton for turning me on to this one). … Jason Hoberman notes that if Jamie Moyer pitches next season and keeps wearing his usual No. 50, he’ll be wearing his age. Of course, first we should wait and see if Moyer actually makes the Rockies’ final roster cut this season, but it raises an interesting question: Who’s the oldest player to have worn his age, in any sport? I’d prefer not to include one-off promotions (if Gordie Howe wore No. 72 while playing a shift with a minor league team a few years ago, e.g., I don’t think that should count). If we leave those out, who’s in the running? … Jemille Weeks of the A’s, who’s a switch-hitter, either couldn’t find his right batting helmet yesterday or else he grabbed the wrong lid. Either way, he was wearing a left helmet while hitting right-handed. “The problem was corrected in his next at-bat,” says Zach Brady. … Throwbacks on tap for Louisiana Tech baseball. And here’s the accompanying cap (from Chris Mycoskie). … A new play about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird is about to open on Broadway. Here’s an article about the company that made the uniforms for the cast. … West Carrollton, Ohio’s town logo owes more than a little to the National Flood Insurance logo (from Todd Herzog). … A bank in Washington State was robbed by a guy wearing a Nuggets throwback jersey (from Victor Yoshida). … Dan Cichalski won this very cool-looking baseball volvelle. … Also from Dan: an amazing photo showing tons of Giants minor leagues in their various uniforms. Click on the photo for a much larger version. … New logo for Quaker Oats. … Throwbacks on tap for the UK soccer club Kettering Town (which, incidentally, was the first English team ever to have a jersey sponsor). “Throwback games are extremely rare over here,” says Matt Beahan. “I only know of a couple of other times it’s happened.”