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As you can see above, the Bucs wore the creamsicle throwbacks yesterday. If you click on the photo to see the full-size version, you’ll see something interesting: They used an old-school mesh with screened numbers (for another close-up view, look here). Not my favorite look from an aesthetic standpoint, but it shows an impressive dedication to period-appropriate detail. Speaking of which, look what they used for their midfield helmet graphic — a two-bar facemask. I think they’ve done this before, but it gets me every time. Very, very nice.
Other notes from yesterday’s games:
• The Texans wore their red alternates.
• Carolina wore white at home, forcing the Cowboys to wear their seldom used blue jerseys.
• The Rams wore white at home, leading to the rare sight of Green Bay wearing green on the road. I’m told that the Packers brought their white jerseys along to the game, just in case there was some sort of snafu. (I have a hunch that the Rams wore white because tomorrow they’re flying to London, where they’ll be the home team for next week’s game against the Pats. So they may have packed the blue jerseys already.)
• The Patriots wore their Pat Patriot throwbacks.
• A few weeks ago I mentioned that Mark Sanchez was wearing either black tape a taped-over ring on the ring finger of his left hand (which would be odd, since he’s not married). He was wearing that again yesterday, along with something similar on his right middle finger. Hmmmm.
• Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw had his uni number on his eye black stickers.
• No photo, but Eli Manning ran to the sideline after a second-quarter play and swapped out his helmet for a new one. Apparently the radio function wasn’t working properly in the first one.
• The Bengals wore their orange alts>
• Look what happened to the NFL logo on Heath Miller’s jersey. Hard to tell if the logo finish got scratched off or if it just got covered with white paint from the field. Either way, looks better this way!
• There was a lot less pink yesterday. It was still there, but it was no longer so in-your-face. Did someone issue a “Let’s not overdo it” memo? In any case, it looked a lot better.
Turning to Saturday’s college action, you should start with all the info from yesterday’s post. After you’ve chewed on that for a while, here are some additional observations:
• Someone on Notre Dame was wearing a rather disconcerting mouthguard during Saturday’s game against BYU.
• Also in that ND/BYU game, someone on the sidelines was wearing a Big East vest. Obviously, the Irish and Cougars are not Big East teams, so what’s that about?
• UMass wore a black helmet with the school’s old 1990s script, even though the jersey and pants still had the current wordmark.
• Here’s something you don’t often see: FiOB and JrOB on the same NOB. That’s Arthur Brown Jr. of Kansas State, from Saturday’s game. Seems like overkill, no? Like, unless there’s another Brown Jr. on the team, he doesn’t need the initial.
• Georgia Tech painted its field logos pink.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Chris Batzinger, Richard Eddleston, Andy Henderson, Jon Solomonson, Britton Thomas, Rob Ullman, and of course Phil.)
Cupspiracy update: In 2005, Darren Rovell wrote a book about Gatorade, called First in Thirst. I read it at the time (it’s good!), although I no longer have my copy.
Robert Saunders was recently looking through First in Thirst while doing some research for a marketing paper, and he came across a passage I’d forgotten about — a passage that’s pretty relevant to our recent Gatorade discussions:
In 1989, during the week leading up to Super Bowl XXIII, the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers were practicing in Miami. A few days before the day of the game, a trainer called [Gatorade marketing exec] Bill Schmidt to tell him that the coolers had Diet Coke logos on them. Schmidt soon found out that Diet Coke was the official beverage of the Super Bowl and the sponsor of the halftime show, which it paid for NBC to broadcast in 3-D. Part of the deal included the coolers and Diet Coke logo cups, an inventory that Gatorade helped define. When Schmidt found out about it, he told the NFL that under the terms of their deal, Gatorade had to be on the sidelines. They couldn’t put Gatorade in the Diet Coke cups, Schmidt reasoned, because that would constitute something called palming off, a term used to describe a situation in which one brand was representing something manufactured by another brand as its own. [Emphasis added.]
I guess it’s “palming off” if another company does it, but not when Gatorade does it, eh? What a surprise.
Research project: A friend of mine is involved in a project in which he’s examining inconspicuous visual symbols of achievement and/or status — sort of like college football merit decals, but he’s looking for examples that are less well-known than that (and not necessarily sports-related). Stealthy signifiers, if you will. If you have any suggestions, please send them this-a-way. Thanks.
PermaRec update: A coin with a swastika on one side and a Star of David on the other is our starting point for the latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog.
C-section revisited: I’ve written a follow-up to my recent ESPN column on the history of the wishbone-C.
Video reminder: In case you missed it on Friday, here’s the Bloomberg TV spot where I talk about all the Gatorade stuff.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like we may be seeing a very different kind of World Series cap patch this season. They’ve never used the Commissioner’s Trophy as the basis of a patch before. … The Chargers may have been caught with their hands in the stickum jar (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s something you won’t often see: Pat Patriot and Flying Elvis being worn at the same time. That’s from last Thursday’s practice (from Tom Roddy). … Why limit yourself to selling off the name of your building when you can sell the names of individual entrances to the building? (From Paul Wajgel.) … Here’s a video clip that shows the making and maintenance of an LSU football uniform (from Jay Sullivan). … Also from Jay: In case you couldn’t guess, this kid just committed to Alabama. … Michael Orr has written a good piece about soccer coaches wearing sponsors’ logos. … The Indiana Fever have become the sixth WNBA team to have uniform advertising. … There’s something endearingly awkward about the script placement on these old uniforms for a Philadelphia department store baseball team (big thanks to Jacob Lipp). … Marc Mandin has a Bucco Bruce night light. “Had it for 18 years — still works,” he says. … According to this article K-State football coach Bill Snyder, “When he arrived [at K-State], he changed the offices and the practice schedules and the equipment and the logo and even the color purple. The old shade was too light, he decided, and light purple looked like a loser. He wanted it darker, and based the uniforms on the Dallas Cowboys” (from Britton Thomas). … Remember Greg Allred’s DIY project involving squares of artificial turf? Here’s the latest development in that project. “It has hashmarks with sort of a photo timeline of the years the turf was in use,” he explains. “This is on display in my office.” … Jason Mohr was watching an Erie Otters game and noticed two teammates with inconsistent Reebok logo creep. … UNO wore some pretty crazy hockey jerseys the other night. “The side panels have UNO’s interlocking O all over,” says David Westfall. … After last week’s ESPN column about the jersey-rental company JerseySquare, I’ve now been made aware of a company called Gearfoot, where people can buy or rent used athletic gear. … Good story about the local response to this season’s Rutgers football uniforms here (from Michael Romero). … A Giants fan in New Jersey misses Giants Stadium so much that he’s built a massive replica of it (from Mike McLaughlin). … Aussie football news: Club trainers and medical staff, who are often on the grounds during play, must now wear neutral colors, not team colors (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). … Also from Leo: New clash jumper for the Carlton Blues. … Cal is planning a gold-out for Nov. 2 against Washington. “Not sure how well it will go over with fans,” says Ethan Kassel. “Cal fans have had trouble all wearing the same color in the past. I do know that they’ll be handing out gold towels and some other gold merchandise.” … Here’s a good story on that four-eyes South Carolina placekicker. … What the hell is A-Rod wearing here? Chris Jowdy says it appeared in ESPN’s recent Broke feature. … Kenn Tomasch was taking in some Arizona Fall League action and spotted some lengthy NOBs. … Does the Minnesota football team’s new font really have a backwards-seeming lowercase n, as shown on this souvenir hot chocolate cup, or did the manufacturer just get it wrong? (From Jon Beckmann.) … “I didn’t even know it was possible for a soccer player to have no number,” says Tyler Johnson. “Probably a blood jersey.” That’s from Queens Park Rangers vs. Everton in the Premier League. … Interesting Warner Brothers studio basketball jersey here. … Rory McIlroy is supposedly on the verge of inking a deal with the Swooshkateers (Brinke again). … With all signs pointing toward the Astros going back to their old logo, Matthew McCormack knew just what to make for this year’s Jack-o-Lantern. If anyone else is carving sports logos into their pumpkins, let’s see ’em! … Gregor Blanco has a big ol’ patch where he slides (screen shot by De Rice). … “Each year Hallmark selects players in various sports, past and present, to depict as Christmas ornaments,” writes Michael Wissman. “This year, Walter Payton will have the posthumous honor of appearing on Christmas trees everywhere. But as a proud Uni Watch member, I found a fatal flaw in Hallmark’s rendition — the NFL logo on the collar didn’t start appearing until 1991, and Sweetness retired after the 1987 season.” … New road hoops uni for Georgia Tech, and I really like it (although Michael Rich finds it “too 1990s”). … “I was watching Sesame Street with our kid and thought I’d turned on a Maryland instersquad scrimmage,” says Grant Reeves. … This is really unfortunate: The girls’ volleyball team at Rainier High School in Washington, like most high school volleyball teams, wears SNOB — but the school name is misspelled. “The company that made the jerseys refused to correct the mistake, and the small high school couldn’t afford to replace them, so the Mountaineers have been forced to wear this misspelling whenever they need a white jersey,” says Brandon Sparks. Maybe we should take up a collection or something. … RIP, George. Good man, decent man.