It’s not exactly a secret that I love stripes, so it’s probably no surprise to most of you that I totally dig the throwbacks that the Steelers unveiled yesterday. Loud? You bet. Borderline ugly? Arguably, but they stay on the proper side of that border. I wouldn’t want them to wear this every game, but I love it — love it — as a one- or two-game alternate. It’s a dynamite history lesson, and all those stripes on the field are gonna look fucking amazing. Kudos to the team for having the guts to do something this bold.
The Steelers have produced a good slideshow here, and I’ve made my own slideshow of screen shots from the unveiling:
A few thoughts:
• No TV numbers — I like.
• I’m a little surprised and disappointed that they’re sticking with their regular helmet for this uni. The Packers have shown us that plain brown isn’t a good way to simulate a leather helmet, but how about plain black? No striping, no logo, no numbers — just plain black. Would’ve been a better option.
• The anniversary patch doesn’t work on this jersey. Gets swallowed up by the stripes and just makes things look too cluttered. Duh, we already know it’s your 80th anniversary — that’s why you’re wearing the throwback jersey to begin with! The patch will look great on their regular home and road jerseys, but they should’ve done without it here.
• I reaaaalllly wish the jersey didn’t include those black side panels.
• Surprising that they’re going with mesh, no?
• An odd detail: Most of the stripes on the jersey are printed, but each shoulder has a sewn-in stripe that extends a little way down the sleeve. Sure enough, that was part of the original 1930s design.
• I said, “1930s,” rather than listing a specific season, because there seems to be some dispute over this design’s year of origin. At the unveiling, they described it as being from 1934. But the Gridiron Uniform Database lists it as a 1933 design (and yes, the team was called the Pirates back then). The GUD guys have already whipped up an article addressing this discrepancy.
• I’m hearing a lot of chatter about how this is “a Nike design” (some people mean it as a compliment, some as an insult). But Nike had nothing to do with this design. The Steelers decided what they wanted and told Nike to make it for them, the end. It would’ve looked exactly the same if Reebok was still making the NFL’s uniforms.
• When the Broncos wore their 1961 throwbacks with the vertically striped socks, they wore the stripes from knee to shoe, which was inaccurate, because the players used to wear white crew socks on their lower shins back in the day (Reebok could’ve easily simulated this by making the socks partially white, like most other NFL socks). Now, these Steelers throwback socks are also being worn with no white area on the lower shin, but that appears to be historically accurate.
• Here’s something that may not be accurate, however: Several sources indicate that the uni number panels originally had a yellow background, but the throwback numbers have a white background. Frankly, I think it’s an improvement, and throwback jerseys already have lots of other inaccuracies built into them (NOBs, short sleeves, etc.), so this doesn’t bother me.
• You may have seen this shot of Isaac Redman modeling the new uni in a bathroom prior to the unveiling. He later Tweeted that the lavatory locale “was because we had to hide from the media assholes!” Hey, man, I wasn’t even there.
The small images that I’ve scattered around this entry all reflect various negative reactions that various people expressed to me last night. I understand these reactions, and I think they’re funny besides, but I still think this uniform is a hoot.
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The Steelers weren’t the only team to unveil a throwback yesterday. If you’ve been wondering what the Yankees will be wearing for Friday’s 1912 throwback game at Fenway, wonder no longer:
Take another look at that jersey. Seems like it’s missing a button (or at least a buttonhole), no?
(My thanks to Matt Harris and Matt Shevin for their contributions.)
Your ad here, continued: Richard Sandomir of the Times has provided an excellent inside look at the uni advertising presentation from last week’s NBA Board of Governors meeting. Apparently they had three kinds of mannequins on display: one with an advertiser’s logo in place of the team insignia; one with an ad patch beneath the uni number; and one with an ad patch “on the jersey strap.”
I confess that that’s a more serious (and disturbing) level of consideration than I had anticipated. Still sounds like nothing is imminent, though, and much of the article consists of the standard lame-o attempts at self-fulfilling prophesizing (“We recognize it’s only a matter of time”), apples/oranges comparisons (how can you talk about jersey advertising in the English Premier League without mentioning that soccer games on TV have no commercials?), and selective reporting (two words that don’t appear in the article: David Stern). Still, there’s some decent info in here — recommended reading.
Remember Edmund Burke. #NoUniAds
Uni Watch News Ticker: Packers news from Jeff Ash, who writes: “On the bottom of the first page of a “Dope Sheet” that accompanied their schedule release, the Packers quietly announced, ‘In 2012, the Packers will forego using their historic third jersey.’” Too bad — I dig that bulls-eye design. … Turns out Reebok isn’t the only company whose familiar logo will be absent from NFL games next season. Motorola will no longer be the official headset sponsor. No new sponsor has been announced yet, but I’m hoping the coaches just use a tin can with a string going up to the guys upstairs. … Had to go see a podiatrist yesterday (nothing serious). It was my first time in the guy’s office, and at one point he asked what I do for a living. I explained Uni Watch to him and asked who he roots for. “The Yankees,” he said. “Oh,” I said, “not much going on with their uniforms — they never change!” To which he replied, “Yeah, but they’ll be wearing those throwback in Boston this Friday.” Pretty sharp, right? If it’s absolutely necessary for someone to be poking around at my feet, it’s good to know that he’s uni-aware. … Disgraced former Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels got off easy the other day. … Several readers noted that Missouri’s new football jerseys have a circular SEC logo patch, instead of the pennant patch. A little birdie now tells me that all SEC teams will be wearing the circular patch this fall. … Bruce Menard found a listing for this old Angels suitcase with the team’s original logo. … Dan Ballance was watching this video clip about the Seahawks’ new uniforms and spotted possible evidence of green pants being in the mix. Yikes. … “My brother won a basket of stuff at some golf tournament or something, and he gave me one of the items — a Joe Namath action figure that from the early 1990s,” writes Jeff Jacobs. “The back of the package has photos of the other action figures in the product line. But they got Lawrence Taylor’s team wrong.” … Anyone with half a brain knows that the best part of a chicken is the dark meat, and white meat’s for suckers. Luckily for me, most people don’t have half a brain, so dark meat always costs less, because there isn’t as much demand for it. Or at least that’s how it’s always been, but now people seem to be developing half a brain after all. I’m glad to see folks wising up to the pleasures of dark meat, even if it means I may end up paying a bit more (big thanks to Tom Mulgrew for the tip). … New football uniforms in the works for Rutgers (from Mike Edenzon).