NFL butt cheeks used to make on-field appearances once every few years or so, but now it’s becoming a near-weekly phenomenon. The latest culprit: Browns wideout Travis Benjamin (shown at right), who fired a moonshot during yesterday’s game against the Vikings, treating the nation to a view of his gluteus gridironus. With this type of thing happening more and more frequently, here’s a question worth considering: Given that today’s jerseys are skin-tight and impossible to grab onto, are players grabbing at their opponents’ pants instead? Hmmmm.
Aside from that, it was a fairly uni-uneventful day in the NFL yesterday, but here are a few =notes:
• Alameda Ta’amu of the Cardinals had a torn collar, with the tear running right through the NFL logo. It’s not immediately clear if this was an accidental tear or an intentional jersey modification, although it’s hard to imagine the logo tearing like that on its own.
• The Bengals wore their orange alts against the Packers.
• Speaking of the Packers, some of their players are still wearing that super-wide pants striping (which I assume means those players are wearing some sort of super-stretchy pants).
• Cam Newton wore some seriously weird shoes while warming up for the Panthers/Giants game.
• The Titans wore white at home against the Chargers.
• The Saints wore white at home against the Cardinals.
(And yes, the Dolphins and Panthers also wore white at home, but that’s nothing new.)
Turning to Saturday’s NCAA action, Phil and his stable of contributors had lots of good coverage in yesterday’s entry, but here are some additional items:
• CMU wore very nice throwbacks against Toledo.
• Check out this shot of the UCLA squad from Saturday night’s game against New Mexico State and compare the “5” in Jake Brendel’s No. 54 to the “5” on Xavier Su’a-Filo’s No. 56. Is Brendel’s jersey just stretched and distorted, or is his “5” actually an upside-down “2”? Sure looks like the latter.
• Tom Brandt of UMass was wearing FNOB, even though he’s the only Brandt on the roster. I think it’s because his brother Tim was on the team last year — Tom must be wearing last season’s jersey.
• Did Johnny Football give Indiana cornerback Kenny Mullen permission to wear his arm sleeve?
• Grand Valley State — that’s a D2 school — went G.I. Joe, with camo numbers and military branch NOBs.
(My thanks to all contributors, including Stephen Boyd, Erkki Corpuz, Don Diaz, George N., Forrest Page, Nik Streng, and of course Phil.)
No mo’ Mo: As you’re probably aware, the Yankees saluted Mariano Rivera yesterday by wearing a Rivera patch on their sleeves and caps. Can’t say I’m in love with that move — Rivera has been a special player, but he’s still just a player, and it strikes me as unseemly to honor an active player on a uniform. I was wondering if Rivera himself would wear the patches, and sure enough, he did, which seems particularly ridiculous. If he’s as dignified and humble as everyone says, I’m sure he was embarrassed by that.
So will the Yankees do this again when Derek Jeter retires? Should the Braves have done it for Chipper Jones? Should the Rockies be doing it for Todd Helton? Let’s hope this doesn’t start a trend.
As for the patch design, I don’t think it needed the words “New York Yankees,” but aside from that it’s not bad, since it captures Rivera’s familiar game-entrance trot and can also be interpreted as his trot off into the sunset. But here’s something to consider: There’s nothing particularly unique about Rivera’s trot from the bullpen to the mound — scores of other relievers do the exact same thing he does. His entrance has achieved iconic status because a TV director at YES chose to show it again and again and again, making it Rivera’s signature image. But the signature really belongs to that TV director, not to Rivera.
Meanwhile, the Yankees brought in Metallica to play Rivera’s entrance tune, “Enter Sandman,” for the occasion. The band members wore pinstriped Metallica jerseys and used Rivera-themed picks — nice.
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it last Friday, I had a really cool column about former NFL logo designer Stevens Wright’s archival files. Lots of amazing stuff here, including the revelation that the Chiefs were pursuing a logo redesign in 1983 (although they eventually decided against it).
’Skins Watch: This is so awesome: Remember Brittain Peck’s Whiteskins project? Thanks to some help from Owen Good of Kotaku, the Whiteskins are now available for video game use. … So here’s something interesting: Rick Reilly, who wrote a spirited defense of the ’Skins name last week (albeit one with lots of holes), had a completely different take on the subject back in 1991. Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with changing one’s mind over the course of 22 years — thoughts evolve, mindsets expand, new evidence comes to light, etc. Hell, my own take on the Native American thing has evolved over the years (I addressed that evolution here), so why not Reilly’s? But it would have been nice if Reilly had at least acknowledged his earlier stance and explained how and why it had changed. His failure to do so strikes me as intellectually dishonest. Disappointing. … The Nepean Redskins — that’s the Canadian football team that recently agreed to change its name — is making preparations for a new identity (thanks, Phil). … According to a placard that Tommy Turner saw at FedEx Field, the idea of changing the ’Skins helmet logo from an “R” to an Indian profile in 1971 came from the President of the National Congress of American Indians. … Brad Phillips, who trains PR reps on how to deal with the media, thinks the ’Skins should change their name (from Jude Seymour).
Baseball News: Jason Heyward of the Braves is now a member of MLB’s Masked Men fraternity. … Terry Duroncelet came across this shot of the 1978 Tulane baseball team wearing a tequila sunrise-ish jersey with an unusual uphill chest insignia, plus the cap logo is similar to a design that the football team has been experimenting with. … Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud had been getting hit in the side of the head by batters’ backswings, so he’s switched to a more protective catcher’s helmet. … Speaking of the Mets, Daisuke Matsuzka has worn socks with a swoosh and an outline image of his uni number for his past two starts. He’s also been wearing an orange undershirt over a blue undershirt. … In case you missed it in the Sunday Ticker, here’s the Wrigley Field centennial logo. … The Giants wore their “SF” gray jerseys for yesterday’s game at Yankee Stadium, but someone — maybe a batboy? — wore the “San Francisco” jersey instead (from Ethan Hopkin). … The Red Sox unveiled a new statue for Yaz (thanks, Phil). … Dave Long is a fan of the New Era by You site. “Despite the high price tag ($60+) and any New Era hang-ups, it seems like a cool opportunity for some of those who submit uni tweaks/concepts to you,” he says. “You can even change the thread color of the MLB logo.” … It’s rookie hazing season, so Mets rookies had to dress up as a bridal party for their current road trip to Cincy.
NFL News: The Browns might wanna think about changing the featured player on their mobile app (from Kenny, who didn’t give his last name). … Andrew Domingo notes that Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been wearing a glove on his non-throwing hand all season long. … Here’s something that just occurred to me: As we all learned last week, the Packers will be wearing their Acme Packers throwbacks on Oct. 20 (albeit with a plain yellow helmet, not the brown throwback helmet they’ve worn in the past). But Oct. 20 is, you know, in the month of October, when NFL teams will be wearing pink accessories for breast cancer awareness. Can you imagine how the pink will look with those throwbacks? Yeeesh. … I only caught part of last night’s Bears/Steelers game (too bad, since it was a very good-looking uni match-up), but I did see a Bears punt play in which their punter, Adam Podlesh, set up only 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage, instead of the usual 15. On another occasion, he lined up 11 yards behind the scrimmage line. Is this normal practice for the Bears? When you think about it, it’s kind of amazing that the standard snap lengths for the kicking game — 15 yards for a punt, seven yards for a placekick — have remained unchanged for so long, even as players have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. … The Raiders have a new sideline mascot. I kinda like him!
College Football News: Throwbacks on tap this Thursday for Georgia Tech (thanks, Phil). … Butler has used little dog bone icons as merit decals on the back of their helmets for a while now. But now they’ve also added two dog bones to the front of their helmets as a tribute to their mascot, Blue II, who died earlier this month. Meanwhile, Blue II has been replaced by Blue III (from Tris Wykes). … Louisiana Tech will be desecrating the flag this Saturday (thanks, Phil).
College Hoops News: Okay, I realize this happens at every school now, but it’s still disappointing to see that my alma mater is going BFBS (from Benjamin Joshua Ramos).
Soccer News: Two items from Yusuke Toyoda: First, The Guardian asked its readers to post pictures of their old soccer jerseys, and the results are entertainingly garish. And 1860 Munich, copycatting Bayern Munich, has released an Oktoberfest kit.
Grab Bag: Here’s a short, informative piece on how the T-shirt was invented. … All the gorgeous signs in Times Square have been joined by a new sign that’s also a very interesting art project. … David Firestone has written a good piece on auto racing helmets. “I am also working on a Power Rankings-style setup for NASCAR,” he says. … Two Indian cricket teams — the Rajasthan Royals and the Mumbai Indians — wore very similar uniforms the other night. “Pretty strange given this is the richest cricket competition in the world,” says Kerry Hudson. Uniform clashes probably aren’t as important in cricket, given how the game is played, but it still did not make for fun viewing.” … Also from Kerry: The Fremantle Dockers — that’s an Aussie rules football team — will have to wear their white clash strip for this Saturday’s grand final. … Here’s a nice piece about a Seattle artist creating a font based on a name on an old building (from John Kimmerlein). … PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem showed up at the Coca-Cola Tour Championship tournament wearing a tie with the tournament logo (from Mike Davis). … “The Seattle Globalist had a great piece earlier this month,” says Tom Mulgrew. “The goal was to trace a single University of Washington hoodie back to the person who made it — in Indonesia.”
By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to ESPN HQ up in Bristol. Gonna be there all day plus a chunk of the evening and won’t be home until pretty late, so please go easy on Ticker submissions today and play nice while I’m away, okay? Thanks.