The fallout from last week’s ESPN column about Robert Griffin III’s RNOB and a brief history of nickNOBs continued over the weekend. One thing at a time:
• Reader James Nagasawa points out that Earl Thomas of the Seahawks has been wearing RNOB on his practice jersey, as you can see at right. That Roman numeral looks like an aftermarket addition, no? Anyway, I got in touch with the Seahawks PR guy and asked if Williams planned to wear RNOB on his game jersey, and was told, “No. He just put it on his practice jersey last year.” So while Griffin isn’t the first NFLer to have worn RNOB in practice, he’s still on pace to become the first to wear RNOB in an actual game.
• Shawn Klis has alerted me to a nickNOB I hadn’t previously been aware of: “Back in the ’70s, the Buffalo Braves had a player named Ernie DiGregorio. I remember him specifically because he was the first guy that I ever saw with a nickNOB.”
• Last Friday I wrote this:
[A reader told me] that 49ers running back John David Crow wore a nickNOB — “Goober” — in the early 1970s. That claim is clearly false, since Crow’s last game in the league was in 1968, and the Niners didn’t even have NOBs yet at that point. I’m only bothering to mention it here because maybe Vinnie got some players mixed up in his head and there really was someone out there (not Crow) wearing “Goober” in the early ’70s. Anyone know more?
Just as I hoped, someone was able to connect the dots. “49ers running back Doug Cunningham was the one who was nicknamed Goober,” writes Richard Lewis (true enough — confirmed in this SI article). “Obviously, the 49ers would never have put ‘Goober’ on the back of his jersey, as you can see here.” Thanks for shedding some light on this one, Richard.
Finally, there’s an additional development arising from that ESPN column, but it’s too big to be summarized in a simple bullet point. I’ll have a full entry on it soon, and I don’t mind saying it’s gonna be epic — stay tuned.
Culinary Corner: I had a few friends over in the back yard on Sunday to celebrate the holiday weekend and my 25th anniversary of moving to Brooklyn (the exact date was May 29 — today). I usually try to experiment with new things in the smoker, and this time around I revisited a concept I began developing last summer, namely that anything that’s usually braised can also be smoked. Last year I successfully applied this concept to smoked short ribs and smoked lamb shanks. This time I tried it with something new, which you can see in the pan on the right side of this photo — see if you can tell what they are (click to enlarge):
Could you figure it out? They’re oxtails! I coated them with a coffee-based spice rub and then they got all blackened in the smoker, so it’s hard to recognize them, but they turned out really well. All my guests liked them (even a few folks who I thought would be squeamish about them). Another “If you can braise it, you can smoke it” success!
The other things on that platter are beef short ribs (the big, blackened nuggets) and lamb ribs, all of which were also smoked. On the grill, I had a steak, a pork chop, and a few dozen clams. Quite a feast!
By Brinke Guthrie
Tommy Lasorda’s been a Dodger for so long that it’s hard to imagine him in any other uniform. But here’s a cap and a pair of cleats from his days cap and cleat set from Tommy Lasorda with the Montreal Royals. Too bad they don’t have his old Montreal pants or belt — that might make for an interesting then-vs.-now comparison. (Thanks to Allen Yelent for sending that one in.)
In other eBay finds for this week:
• Fantastic 1968 Eagles poster, still in the factory packaging. Why can’t they switch back to this look?
• Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before — a decal set for an NFL helmet, right down to the green dot. (What’s that for again?)
• Pat Patriot looks a bit crazed on this early-1970s Patriots button, doesn’t he?
• Here’s a pretty cool 1967 Baltimore Colts autograph book.
• Mal Alberts of KRON TV probably did not know back on September 29th, 1968, that his Falcons/49ers game program and media pass would end up on something called eBay.
In case you missed it on Sunday, voting is underway for Phil’s contest to redesign the Redskins. Cast your ballot here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Well, that was embarrassing. Noteworthy details: The Rockies’ pandering cap was purple (first time the Rox had worn purple lids in many years); the Reds’ pandering cap was black (Cincy’s first time in black lids in many years); Orioles infielder Robert Andino forgot to pander, plus he does that thing where he wears his cap over his ears, like former Mets pitcher John Maine used to do (screen shot by Paul Gaiser). … Was Dusty Baker managing in jeans on Sunday? Sorta looks that way, but it’s just the black mesh screen on the railing making his uni pants look darker. … The Giants wore their headspooned “SF” road jerseys on Sunday, but Nate Schierholtz’s headspoon was MIA (good spot by Roger Hodges). … What are the Olympics all about again? Oh, right: athletic excellence. More detailed info here. … Here’s a video on how Nike soccer jerseys are made. … “We had our helmet fitting at the Toledo-area high school where I coach,” says Jacob Kubuske. “I was talking to the local Riddell representative, and while he was showing me his schedule I saw he had an appointment coming up at Bowling Green. As I mentioned the new matte orange BGSU helmets I’d just seen on Uni Watch, he went on to mention that BGSU will also debut a new white helmet at some point this year. He said it’s to keep up with all the other schools doing it.” … For reasons that aren’t clear, the Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro soccer) changed from their black/white stripes to their yellow alts during the break in Friday night’s game (from Kenn Tomasch). … Kevin Tiessen made himself a groovy little John Elway Cubee. … Unusual uni tracker of sorts from Jon Gates: “On the NBC comedy Community, Dean Craig Pelton (played by Jim Rash) has been known to wear a variety of ‘uniforms’ throughout the series. Cartoonist Dennis Culver is participating in a Community-themed art show and has created this poster, which features each one of the cross-dressing Dean’s costumes throughout the series so far.” … The James Caldwell High baseball team in West Caldwell, New Jersey, is wearing some nifty stirrups this season. That’s thanks to a donation by an anonymous Uni Watch reader who’s a Caldwell alum (class of ’87). “I ordered the stirrups through Comrade Marshall,” he says. “I did not tell the coach in advance, so he must have wondered what the hell was going on when a box with six dozen stirrups showed up unannounced, like Twin City Knitting was trying to flim-flam him for stuff he didn’t order.” Awesome work. We should all do this for our hometown high schools! … Ike Davis had some helmet decal issues on Saturday (screen shot by Steve Dodell). … Aussie footie news from Leo Strawn, Jr., who reports that the Western Bulldogs recently wore a one-off jumper to honor the club’s Hall of Fame members. “The letters ‘FFC” on the jumper stand for Footscray Football Club, which is the former name of the Western Bulldogs, and still the official corporate name for the organization,” Leo explains. … More Aussie footie news from Leo: “Two big manufacturing changes were quietly announced, both dealing with Adidas. First, Adidas will pick up Hawthorn for next season, although the official announcement won’t come until later in the year. The Hawks have been with Puma for over 30 years. Second, the Collingwood Magpies announced that they will drop Adidas after this season and make their own jumpers. That could mean no more manufacturers logos on their kits, among other changes.” … “I’m visiting my parents’ house in Minnesota, where I rediscovered these old Kellogg’s giveaway posters from 1993 showing the evolution of baseball jerseys and caps,” writes Erik Siemers. “I can’t remember the exact circumstances of how I originally got them, but I thought they were cool enough to share.” … Check out the similarity in Bob Ojeda’s stirrup stylings as a Little Leaguer and as a pro. … Although the auction ended last night, it’s worth checking out the eBay listing for this 1967 box of NFL miniatures, if only for the gorgeous box. “Never seen that one before,” says Brinke. … Don Larsen plans to sell the uniform from his perfect game (Leo Strawn again). … Lots of great stuff in this huge batch of Braves wire photos. Among other things, it looks like the Braves once experimented with “air-conditioned” mesh caps during spring training, just like the Reds did (from Jerry Wolper). … Ooh, check out this old Coast Guard hockey team — the Cutters! Here’s a color close-up of the jersey crest (great stuff from Willie Gabel). … Brookwood High in Georgia wears a rather minimalist baseball jersey. Seems more like a BP jersey (from Mike Raymer). … New logo for the Coca-Cola 600 (from Clint Ricahrdson). … Was Hammerin’ Hank getting some hitting advice from Chief Knock-A-Homa? Sure looks that way (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a video of new football turf being installed at Missouri. “Interesting that they shave out turf for numbers and logos,” says Terry Wehrend. … I’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie, so I’m not even sure what this means, but here are the 2012 Olympic Quidditch team uniforms. “Totally legit event going to take place,” says Andrew DeFrank. “Probably the biggest Quidditch tournament since the World Cup on Randall’s Island in November.” … Now that’s a football uniform (nice find by Jeffrey Allen). … Looks like Bob Lanier of the Pistons wore a captain’s C (Jerry Wolper again). … New 125th-anniversary jersey for Celtic. “If you fold over the sleeve, it shows the Irish Tricolour,” explains Daniel McLaughlin. … Kellogg’s has been producing throwback packaging for Frosted Flakes. Not bad, but I always preferred this version (from Bob Williams). … LetsRun.com is having a T-shirt design contest with a $250 prize (from Anthony Gonsalves). … Boy howdy, check out the solid gold uniforms that Southeastern Louisiana baseball wore on Saturday (from Chris Mycoskie). … Fresh on the heels of Randy Choate wearing orange sannies last week, the Angels wore red sannies for Saturday’s throwback game in Seattle. I figure they probably just wore the stirrups over their usual red socks (from Kerby Bealle). … A guy in St. Louis is trying to change the name of the Rams and their stadium (from Marty Hick). … Miguel Cairo apparently sweats a lot. … Take a close look at the uni number on the back of Michael Bourn’s helmet. Kinda looks like the Padres’ number font, no? (Good spot by Terry Duroncelet.) … Also from Terry: New uniforms for the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (“which is not a marching band,” he adds). … Michael Orr held another of his KitNerd gatherings in Portland on Friday. Full details, including photos of the soccer jerseys that everyone wore, here. … Remember our recent discussion of J.P. Walters etching his deceased daughter’s initials into the back of the mound? Someone in yesterday’s A’s/Twins game etched a cross into the mound. “It was definitely not there in the top of the 1st with Minnesota pitcher Scott Diamond on the mound but was there in the 2nd and even more clear in the 3rd,” says Jared Wieseler. “A safe assumption is that you could rule out Diamond and say that A’s pitcher Travis Blackley did it in the bottom of the 1st and then added to it later on.” … I don’t know what “thinclad” means, but that’s one hell of a track uni (Jerry Wolper yet again). … “The University of Arizona will come out with another helmet color this upcoming season, most likely red,” says Kenny Abbey Jr. “I’m not sure when it will be made public, but I’m hearing that it will be included with a Pro Combat uniform that will be gray. Also, there will be a jersey to go with the copper helmets that were introduced last week. Sorry, I can’t give up my source, who is close to the football program.”