I spent the weekend out of town, attending my friends Rob and Stephanie’s wedding, so I didn’t see any football. But I got home in time to catch the Giants/Cowboys game, which I watched while catching up on all the NFL observations you folks had made during the course of the day. Here’s a rundown:
• 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh may be getting a fine, because he was was wearing a Reebok pullover in the first half of yesterday’s Niners/Packers game. He did switch to a Nike model for the second half, however, so maybe someone from the NFL leaned on him.
• Speaking of the Niners, sure looks to me like Frank Gore wasn’t wearing any knee pads. So much for all the “Wear the pads or we’ll keep you off the field” bluster.
• From that same game, some of the Packers — but not all of them — had seriously wide pants striping. An odd inconsistency.
• Moon over Kansas City! That’s Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson suffering an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction during yesterday’s game against the Jags.
• I believe this was our first on-field look at the Vikings’ white-over-purple format, and I think it looked pretty good — well, except for the leotard effect. Get them some striped white socks!
• Some very classy Buffalo fans showed up for the Bills/Pats game wearing Aaron Hernandez prison uniforms.
• No photo, but several folks on Chris Creamer’s site said the Lions have a new end zone design. Does anyone have a photo, screen shot, or whatever, so we can all see? (Update: Here it is.)
• “Beloved” watch: During the Niners/Packers game, Joe Buck referred to Steve Young as “beloved.” I’m tellin’ ya, people, this thing is spinning out of control. Zero “beloved” tolerance!
Turning to the NCAA, Phil and his contributors already had extensive coverage of Saturday’s college action in yesterday’s post. But here are a few additional items:
• Arkansas State was penalized 15 yards for wearing insufficiently contrasting uniforms. They should’ve been given another 15 yards for the unis being so ugly.
• Was this the first time Okalahoma State wore orange-white-orange?
• San Jose State and Stanford went color-vs.-color.
• Just what the world needs: logo creep from an undershirt that’s visible through a dress shirt. That’s Miami Head Coach Al Golden being interviewed after the ’Canes upset Florida.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Alex Allen, Colin Butler, James Connolly, Brian Davis, Breyon Harris, Justin Montello, Richard Paloma, Dave Rakowski, Spartan Smith, Kevin Wang, and of course Phil.)
’Skins Watch: It had previously been reported that Peter King’s new SI website wouldn’t be referring to the ’Skins by name. Now it turns out that other writers on the site will be free to use the name or not, as they see fit, but King himself won’t be using it. He explained why, in a very reasonable tone of voice that I think even those who disagree with him will be able to respect, in his column last Friday (you have to scroll down a little bit to get to the relevant section).
Meanwhile, that same day, Bill Simmons avoided using the ’Skins name in his Friday column, instead referring to them as the Washington D.C.’s (scroll down to No. 17). Turns out Simmons had already mentioned this, if only in passing, on his podcast last Tuesday (skip ahead to the 51:45 mark).
Whatever else you may think of King and Simmons (I don’t actually read either of them too often myself), they’re two of the nation’s most
beloved popular and influential sports media figures. When they both kick off the NFL season by boycotting the ’Skins name, you can see where this train is heading. So can Matt Yoder at AwfulAnnouncing.com, who writes:
More and more sportswriters around America will refuse to use the Redskins nickname as the season progresses now that King and Simmons are on board. What happens when other ESPN, or SI, or Fox personalities make the same decision? What happens when a SportsCenter anchor refuses to say “Redskins” during an NFL highlight? It’s inevitable. … As “Redskins” gradually disappears from the mainstream sporting culture, sooner or later the nickname won’t be worth the negativity attached to it.
As if to reinforce Yoder’s point, I’m told that Max Kellerman, host of ESPN2’s SportsNation, announced on Friday that he too won’t be using the ’Skins name, although I haven’t been able to confirm that. Kellerman obviously doesn’t have as much clout as King or Simmons, but his move, assuming he actually made it, is another push toward the tipping point on this issue.
This is the part where I’d normally say, “Slowly but surely, people.” Not gonna say it today, though, because this thing isn’t moving so slowly anymore.
…but I know what I like: I don’t often talk about art — like, visual art that hangs in museums and galleries and such — but on Friday evening the New Girl and I attended a Manhattan gallery show that I think Uni Watch readers might like.
One of the artists being featured was Mark Wagner, who makes currency collages — literally collages made from pieces of $1 bills. You can get a very rough idea of what he’s up to in these images, which don’t even come close to doing justice to his work (when you see the artwork up close, you can see all sorts of small details that aren’t visible here):
I’d heard about Wagner before (the New Girl used to date him a long time ago, and he once made a life-sized currency portrait of her), but I’d never seen his work in person. Having now seen it, and having also read a bit of his writing about his art, I think it’s fair to say that he’s a genius, or whatever term you care to use for someone who can run rings around your head until your mind is blown. Count me as a big fan.
The other artist whose work I really liked is David Poppie, who does something very simple but really effective: He takes colored pencils, slices them in half lengthwise to expose their colored cores, and arranges them in abstract collages. The effect is really graphic and striking (again, these images don’t capture the full effect):
You can see Wagner’s and Poppie’s work (along with some work by a third artist whose stuff didn’t wow me) from now through Oct. 5 at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea. Highly recommended.
Thanks, buddy: Many of the Ticker items you’re about to see were compiled by Phil. Big thanks to him for dealing with that while I was away for the weekend.
NFL News: The Pats appear to be using very inconsistent spacing for their helmet numbers, apparently depending on the type of helmet (from Mike McBride). … Nathan White saw a commercial — not sure what for — that shows Wes Welker in a current Broncos jersey while one of last year’s jerseys, complete with the neck roll, hangs in the locker behind him. … Popular Mechanics ran a good piece on the evolution of pro football helmets (from Jeff Proctor). … Brian Jud notes that one of the current “Superstition” ads that the NFL is running features Rams fans in the team’s old retro colors. Given that the Rams have a redesign in the works, could this provide a hint regarding what’s in store? … Is Calvin Johnson wearing JrOB this season? They’re selling his jersey that way. Jared Patz recently spotted that at a shop in Traverse City, Michigan.
College Football News: Check it out: team-colored tortilla chips. Can’t wait to see the BFBS versions (from Brice Wallace. … Two Ohio State players have switched uni numbers (from Tyler Nees). … USC fans are taking some creative liberties with the “Fire Lane” signage around the L.A. Coliseum (rare non-Notre Dame contribution from Warren Junium). … Tyler Maun points out something interesting about the four QBs on the Nebraska roster: Their names are Taylor Martinez, Tommy Armstrong, Jr., Ron Kellogg III, and Johnny Stanton IV. “Just bizarre that not only would there be three of four QBs with generational suffixes in their names but that they go in order from Jr. to IV,” he says.
Hockey News: Very nice old-school uniforms for the St. Louis Jr. Blues (from Joe Mueller). … Ken Pilpel is the commissioner of a pee-wee hockey league that uses three-digit uni numbers. “Seeing a three-digit number on an 11-year-old is interesting,” he says.
Grab Bag: NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said in a Friday radio appearance that she “wouldn’t rule out” selling corporate naming-rights sponsorships to the city’s subway stations. I already knew I wasn’t voting for her in tomorrow’s primary election, but that really seals it. … “What do you do when your New Hampshire high school’s goal post pad won’t reach all the way to the ground?” asks Tris Wykes. “You slap together three extra corner pylons with duct tape and voila!” … JT Marvelous — that’s a Japanese volleyball team — wore their uniforms while throwing out the first pitch at an Orix Buffaloes game (from Jeremy Brahm). … Funny semi-pro football photo from Greg Netherwood: three players, on the same team, in the same game, on the same bench, all in 3 different jerseys! … This is odd: F1 driver Nico Rosberg has an image of a watch on his glove. Turns out it’s because Rosberg is sponsored by Oris, a Swiss watchmaker (from Omar Jalife and David Firestone). … Check out this Russell Wilson soda display at a Seattle Safeway (thanks, Brinke). … Cricket note from Graham Clayton, who writes: “In regard to the piece about the Sacramento Solons wearing shorts, back in the mid-1990s the Victorian Bushrangers wore shorts when competing in the Australian domestic one-day series. The shorts were shelved after one season, and the Bushrangers wore long pants like all of the other teams for the following season.” … The CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers have new 1970s throwback jerseys. Just one problem: Some of the sleeves have gold stripes with white outlining and some have it the other way around. “I talked to team officials about it, and they seem to have honestly not known at all,” says Darrin Bauming, who covers the team for TSN. “The communications director didn’t believe me when I asked him about it.”