Obviously, the biggest NFL storyline was Jovan Belcher’s murder/suicide in Kansas City. Interestingly, the Chiefs didn’t wear a team-wide uniform memorial for Belcher yesterday — no patch, no helmet decal.
At first I thought this was simply a matter of logistics and priorities. After all, Belcher’s death took place barely 24 hours before yesterday’s Chiefs/Panthers game, and team officials obviously had more important things to deal with than rushing a decal into production. But I also wondered if it might have to do with not wanting to honor Belcher after he’d murdered his girlfriend. Turns out I was right. (Although that item was posted prior to the game, I didn’t see it until after the game was over.) But at least two Chiefs — Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson — wore makeshift black armbands anyway.
It was a largely uni-uneventful day around the rest of the NFL, but here are a few items worth mentioning:
• The Rams wore their 1980s/’90s throwbacks — but with the accursed Nike neckroll (additional photos here). What the fuck? I suppose you could say they were channeling Eric Dickerson, but still. The imposition of this particular jersey element on a throwback design feels really wrong.
• Speaking of the Rams, did they change the shade of their throwback yellow from cheddar to highlighter? Maybe it’s just the lighting, but it looks different this season.
• Devin Hester was injured and inactive for yesterday’s Bears/Seahawks game. So why did he wear eye black and a Breathe Right strip while sitting on the bench?
• The Ravens wore their black alternates.
Turning to Saturday’s college action, you should start by reading Phil and Terry’s coverage from yesterday. Once you’ve finished with that, here are a coupla additional items of note:
• The 20 yard lines in the SEC title game were painted to match the pants stripes for each team.
• A UGA fan’s sign, visible on College Gameday, had just a slight typo.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Cork Gaines, Derek Hempel, Britton Thomas, John Turney, and Kevin Wright.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Name change possibly in store for the Phoenix Coyotes (from John Muir). … The winning Powerball numbers matched the uni numbers of players in the Royals Hall of Fame (from Stephen King). … If the NHL lockout is ever settled, Marc Andre Fleury will have a new mask. … Otis Malibu points out that the Baylor black-to-green colorization wasn’t the first time Sports Illustrated had played fast and loose with photos in recent weeks. “A few weeks back, they had an image of Dr. J. wearing a Nets uniform on their cover. Instead of using one of their many great Nets photos of Erving, they reversed/rotated the famous Neil Leifer 76ers shot and changed the jersey.” … Neil Vendetti notes that all three Packers QBs — Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, and BJ Coleman — wear two-point chinstraps, just like Brett Favre did. An interesting team-specific trope. … What might some famous logos look like 100 years from now? Here’s one observer’s speculations (from Carl Schultz). … Good story on high schools’ relationships with Nike, adidas, and the like (from Tommy Turner). … A freaking gold mine of style guides, including some from colleges, here (major thanks to Yancy Yeater). … Remember how the Padres dressed up San Diego Little Leaguers in Padres uniforms last spring? The White Sox are planning to do the same thing with Little Leaguers in Oak Park, Illinois (from Josh Eisenberg). … This photo of a Jordan-branded plane was posted on the Georgia Tech Athletic Assn. page on Friday with the following caption: “We can only assume Michael Jordan is here to watch the Jackets play for the ACC Championship!” Michael Rich says, “Wonder if it’s in fact his plane or if there is more at work here.” … Want to get lacrosse jerseys on the cheap? Here’s how (from Jeff Brunelle). … Good interview with the Penn State football equipment manager (from Chris Flinn). … Here’s a Portuguese-language site devoted to soccer jerseys (from George Chilvers). … “I always thought the cover of the 1982 Tigers yearbook was interesting,” says Robert Martin. “Note that Kirk Gibson and Lou Whitaker appear to be wearing solid blue socks. This is about a decade before MLB began moving away from stirrups. I’m certain that Lou and Gibby never wore solid blues during games, at least not until the nineties, if at all.” … Gavin Orobko has started a blog to document the construction of his DIY table hockey game. … Tom Brady paid off a bet to Mike Vrabel by wearing an Ohio State jersey during Pats practice the other day (thanks, Brinke). … Oooh, check out this old 1948 Rams helmet with painted-on horns (from Leo Straw, Jr.). … Paul Baumgart attended the Brewers’ annual clubhouse sale and was intrigued by a table full of official uniform letters and numbers. After spelling out his name, he noticed that there were two different versions of the blue numbers — one with gold trim and one with a more bronze trim. “The guys working the table confirmed that there are two versions of the blue numbers,” he says. “I think one’s for the home white jerseys and one’s for the road grays.” Maybe, but the MLB style guide shows them wearing only one gold tone for all of their numbering. Hmmmm. …. This photo of Bo Jackson being tended to by a Memphis Chicks trainer shows the trainer wearing what apears to be white slacks with baseball pant striping (from Kevin Zdancewicz). … What’s even better than a color-on-color football game? A color-on-color game in December with Christmas colors. That’s Mater Dei in red vs. Long Beach Poly in green. They played in the Southern Section Pac-5 championship game, which was held at Angel Stadium. Here’s how the ballpark was configured for the game (from Ethan Kassel). … Here’s a mystery: Brooks Baker was at the Reds Hall of Fame and saw a photo of Barry Larkin with four numbers and a question mark written on his jersey. I’d think it might be a shout-out to injured teammates, except for the question mark, which doesn’t really make sense in that context (or any other context I can imagine). Anyone know more? … “Pilsener Beer is the primary sponsor for several of the larger soccer clubs in Ecuador, including Barcelona,” writes CJ Hague. “Last week Barcelona clinched the national championship, so for Saturday’s game (the last of the season) they wore a jersey with a tweaked version of the Pilsener logo, with ‘Campeón’ in place of ‘Pilsener.’” … Here’s more about Rick Reilly polishing and patching Notre Dame’s helmets. … Amar’e Stoudemire brought his kid to a Knicks practice and gave him an Eddie Gaedel-esque uni number (from Robert Silverman). … Speaking of Stoudemire, what was he doing to his shorts the other day? Odd look (from Chris Perrenot). … Portland State hoops player Michael Harthun’s uniform must have gotten lost or damaged on the way to Saturday night’s game at Loyola Marymount, because he wore a T-shirt and the wrong shorts. Portland State was assessed an administrative technical foul for this, giving Loyola two free throws before the opening tip-off. Loyola sank both of those shots but ended up winning by a score of 66-56, so those two points didn’t affect the outcome of the game (big thanks to Charles Pannunzio). … RIP, Nicholas. I had so much respect for you and learned so much from you. Didn’t realize you were in so much pain. Hope you’re at peace now.