The photo that I used at the top of yesterday’s entry isn’t a particularly remarkable shot, but there’s something about it that I find extremely pleasing: Darian Stewart’s NOB lettering is a different color than his uni number. It’s a small thing that goes a long way toward adding more visual interest to the back of the jersey.
It’s fairly rare for the lettering and numbering on the back of a jersey to be executed in different colors, at least in the NFL. Leaving aside the Rams’ throwbacks, there are only a few current examples: the Steelers (both jerseys), Rams (blue jersey only), and Texans (white jersey only). We could also include the Bengals’ and Cardinals’ white jerseys, but those are a different type of situation, because the contrasting shoulder yokes almost necessitate a different NOB color.
What about other sports? Let’s take a look (for the purposes of this exercise, if a team’s uni numbers are, say, navy outlined in orange but the NOBs are just navy without the orange outlining, I counted that as being the same color):
• MLB: There are seven teams with numbers and NOBs in non-matching colors: the Diamondbacks (all jerseys), Braves (all jerseys), Cubs (road only),
Marlins (black only), Twins (all jerseys, except for the throwback alternate, which is NNOB), Rays (navy and powder blue alts), and Padres (G.I. Joe only).
• NHL: Eight teams: the Flames (home only), Hurricanes (black alt only), Oilers (home only), Wild (road only), Rangers (alternate only), Senators (road only), and Blues (home only). We can also add the Flyers to the mix (both jerseys), but that’s sort of a different animal, because they use contrast-colored nameplates.
• NBA: A whopping 15 teams — half the league! — go with non-matching rear-jersey typography, although in some cases the color variations are somewhat subtle. The teams on board are the Bobcats (home only), Pistons (both jerseys), Rockets (alt only), Lakers (home and road), Clippers (all jerseys), Heat (home only), Knicks (both jerseys), Wizards (both jerseys), Nuggets (alt only), Hornets (home and gold alt), Raptors (home only), Sixers (home only), Jazz (all jerseys), Kings (all jerseys), and Mavs (road and alt).
Personally, I think most of these number/NOB pairings look really good. Not all of them, but the vast majority of them. I’m not saying every team with matching number/NOB colors should necessarily switch to non-matching colors, mind you, but most of the teams that have gone this route have made it work for them. Or at least that’s my take. What do you think — do you like this style as much as I do? Does anyone specifically dislike it?
Also: If anyone can come up with a snappier name for this phenomenon than “non-matching number and NOB colors,” I’m all ears. I think the term I’d like to use for this is contrasting name and number, which could be abbreviated in any of the following ways: CNN, CN&N, or CN#. Thoughts?
By Brinke Guthrie
Ever see something on eBay, and you just know you’ll never own it or anything like it? Behold, My Giants Holy Grail: the Duane Kuiper/Mike Krukow bobble. These were from summer ’03. Now, if I recall correctly, these weren’t stadium giveaways, but I think they were a limited-edition item sold in the newspaper. But I had just been laid off from my job at CNET and didn’t want to spend the money. Big mistake — they rarely surface on eBay, and if they do, you need a bank loan for them. They’ve done subsequent announcer bobbles for Jon Miller and stadium voice Renel Brooks-Moon, but Kruk ’n’ Kuip is in a whole ’nother league.
In non-Holy Grail discoveries:
• Here’s one from way back: an NFL/Sears boys winter cap that the ad calls 1970s, but the Redskins spear tells me it’s from a bit earlier than that.
• From the same era, a football game I’ve not seen before, called the “NFL Quarterback Transogram Football Game.”
• Do NFL teams send out Christmas cards to season ticket holders anymore? Got one from way back when from the Bengals. this one is from the 1970s San Diego Chargers, and that blue and gold looks terrific, eh? It pairs nicely with this 1974 Chargers poster!
• The Mets sent out Christmas cards in the 1960s, as evidenced by this one with Gil Hodges’s name on it.
Nice collection 1960s-1970s MLB decals right here.
• Pat Patriot always looked good on the Pats’ helmets, and he also looks sharp on these Mobil glasses.
• Reds fans will want this 1990 World Series champions coffee mug.
• And from reader Richard Stover, here’s a 1964 Boston Bruins calendar.
PermaRec update: A gorgeous 1930s military jacket that washed up on the beach after hurricane Sandy has been reunited with its original owner’s 98-year-old widow. Get the full scoop here.
Also: Remember, I’ll be doing a live lecture/slideshow presentation on the PermaRec report cards tomorrow night, 7pm, at the Housing Works Bookstore Café. One of the other presentations on the bill is described as “[an examination of] the secret depth and weirdness hidden in the seemingly benign text on the back of sports trading cards,” so that could be up your alley as well. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Coupla follow-ups from yesterday: First, I had mentioned that Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson of the Chiefs wore black armbands on Sunday. But Tim E. O’Brien says those weren’t armbands — they were the straps from shoulder harnesses. Jamaal Charles also wore it the previous week. So my bad on that one. … Secondly, I asked about the four numbers and the question mark on Barry Larkin’s jersey, which prompted Joseph Owen to post the following comment: “Larkin removed his captain’s patch in 1998 following the trade of close friend Lenny Harris. In place of the captain’s C, he wrote the uniform numbers of traded/released teammates David Weathers (49), Jeff Shaw (41), Dave Burba (34), and Harris (28). … The question mark is meant to be a ‘Who’s next?’ commentary, perhaps indicating Larkin himself, as he demanded a trade shortly after Harris was dealt.” … Saint Louis basketball added a black memorial strip for Rick Majerus on Sunday. The other schools for which Majerus coached — Marquette, Ball State, and Utah — haven’t yet played since his death on Saturday, so it remains to be seen if any of them will add uniform memorials. … Here’s a superb article about how Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes modifies his shoes. Highly recommended. … A Tennessee-based freight company’s logo looks a lot like the SEC logo (from Cody Dannen). … LaSalle basketball will wear 1968-69 throwbacks tomorrow night against Penn State. (The “Gola 15” T-shirt is a fan giveaway for that game.) … Some Starbucks employees in Brooklyn are being required to wear caps with Nets logos. Or maybe they’re not required to wear them — depends on who you ask (thanks, Kirsten). … When Yanks GM Brian Cashman announced A-Rod’s surgery yesterday, he was wearing a polo shirt from the new rebranded Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, who of course are the Yanks’ triple-A farm team (good spot by David Greenwald). … Rangers backstop Mike Napoli began wearing black catcher’s gear last season because he thought it looked cool. Wonder if he’ll keep wearing it now that he’s signed with the Red Sox. … New uniforms for the Peoria Chiefs (from Joe Ringham). … Remember all the Gatorade nonsense from the MLB playoffs? UGA coach apparently doesn’t suffer that kind of crap gladly, at least judging by the start of this video (from Brent Hardman). … The Redskins use clear facemask clips. But the clips positioned just in front of Robert Griffin III’s earholes are yellow (good spot by Andrew Domingo). … Here’s more about that Greek soccer team being sponsored by a brothel.