The most visually interesting NFL game yesterday was the Packers/Browns tilt at Lambeau, where the Pack wore their Acme Packers throwbacks and the Browns wore their brown britches (lots of photos here). Aside from both teams deviating from their usual looks, this game also gave us the unusual spectacle of both teams wearing blank helmets. When’s the last time that happened? Did the Jets ever wear their Titans throwbacks against the Browns?
Anyway: I really liked Green Bay’s use of the plain yellow helmets — much better than the brown ones they’ve previously worn — but it was disappointing to see that they used their usual green facemasks, which clashed with the rest of the throwback uni. Would’ve been better if they’d gone with navy or gray.
I spent the weekend in Wisconsin, so it would have been great to watch that game in a neighborhood tavern, surrounded by Packer backers (many of whom, no doubt, would have had some priceless comments about the uniforms). Unfortunately, some annoying travel restrictions and work responsibilities forced me to fly home just as the game was starting, so I only got to see hightlights and look at photos after I got back to NYC. Dang.
In other news from around the NFL yesterday:
• The Jags wore their teal alts for the first time. This would actually be a serviceable design — a silly one, but serviceably silly — if not for that absurd helmet, which ruins the whole thing. Additional photos here.
• It’s surprising we don’t see more torn socks in the NFL, but it rarely happens. It did happen yesterday to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, however.
• In the Jets/Pats game, it looked like the name of the down marker’s manufacturer had been covered up with an NFL logo and some black tape.
• Why was one of the Colts’ coaches wearing football gloves — to get a better grip on the play-calling card?
Turning to Saturday’s NCAA action, Phil and his contributors had detailed coverage in yesterday’s entry, but here are a few additional items:
• Yesterday’s entry mentioned the unusual NOB for West Virginia linebacker Russell Haughton-James. He’s listed on the WVU roster as No. 73, but on Saturday he was wearing No. 89. And it wasn’t just a one-play switcheroo for special teams or anything like that, because, as you can see, his helmet was No. 89 as well.
• Eastern Michigan added a “#2” helmet decal in memory of wide receiver Demarius Reed, who was killed on Friday.
• Since I was in Wisconsin on a Friday night, of course I went to a fish fry for dinner (at the excellent Fritz’s Pub). So imagine how hard I laughed the next day when I saw this photo of two South Carolina players, which turned out to be the perfect capper to my weekend:
(My thanks to all contributors, including Jeff Bowers, Andrew Cosentino, Andrew Domingo, Jason Greening, Chris Perrenot, and especially Phil.)
’Skins Watch: The Oneida Nation has been running a radio advertising campaign urging Dan Snyder to change the ’Skins name, but two DC-area stations have refused to air the ads (thanks, Phil). … Neshaminy High School, outside of Philadelphia, calls its teams the Redskins. Now there’s a movement to change the name, which has inspired a counter-movement to keep the name. I learned all this from Neshami alum Brandon Andrus, who’d like to see the name changed. … If you missed College Gameday over the weekend, then you missed this jaw-dropping sequence. “Boy is that uncomfortable to watch,” says David Sonny. “But remember, it isn’t racist. In fact, I’m sure you could have done with any other race and people would giggle and love it.” … A third-generation ’Skins fan has decided that his family will no longer use the team’s name (from Tom Mulgrew). … The libertarian magazine Reason says ’Skins critics are “unhinged and divorced from reality” (from Gregory Koch).
Baseball News: “I was at a Cal baseball alumni game, and the team has a new cap based on the new Nike fonts,” says John Furstenthal. “Here’s the new on the left, old on the right.” … Pretty funny story about why Red Sox closer Koji Uehara is beardless, which isn’t for the reason you might think.
NFL News: Check out this shot of a young Andrew Luck. Unusual to see the logo on one shoulder like that, right? Not sure I’ve ever seen that format before. Anyone know of any similar examples? (From Chris Flinn.)
College Football News: Colts running back Lenny Moore of was nicknamed “Spats,” because he spatted his cleats. Now Ricko has found a photo confirming what he had long suspected but never been sure of: Moore also spatted while at Penn State, where his senior year was 1955. “That would make him one of the very, very earliest to do so,” says Ricko. “Don Clark spatted at Ohio State a bit later (you can see him and his spats in the 1958 Rose Bowl here). Other early spatters I know of were Art Baker and John Mackey at Syracuse (time of Ernie Davis).”
Grab Bag: Here’s a look at high school uniforms in the Cincinnati area (from Dwayne White). … Two of Scott M.X. Turner’s great loves — uniforms and amplified music — converge in this old amp, which makes interesting use of a wishbone-C. … Here’s more info, including some video, on the football uniforms in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie (from Christopher LaHaye). … Jim Vilk was watching an episode of The Fall Guy on YouTube and noticed that Lee Majors’s character was wearing an L.A. Express shirt. “He was part-owner of the team and co-producer of that episode, so there’s some early-’80s cross-promotion for you.”
Click photos to enlarge
What Paul did
last night over the weekend: As I mentioned earlier, I spent the weekend in Wisconsin, primarily in the company of Comrade Robert Marshall (shown with me in the top photo), who came up from Chicago to knock around with me. Among our highlights was a meet-up with longtime Uni Watch reader and contributor Jeff Ash (the gent in the other photo), who covers the Packers for the Green Bay Press Gazette. We had originally planned to have a few beers at one of my favorite taverns on the planet, the magnificent Sessler’s Meeme House. Unfortunately, it turned out to be permanently closed (we appear to have been a year too late), so we drove off in search of another watering hole and quickly found the completely awesome Pine Grove Bar and Lanes. We didn’t bowl, but we could have, as the four lanes in the back are still fully functional (and, according to proprietor Glenn Miller, still used for leagues every night). Instead, we just sat at the bar and had a fine time knocking back beers for a few hours. Thanks for the treats, Jeff — it was a pleasure to meet you after all these years.
Afterward, Robert and I headed to Sheboygan to check out the reception for an art show by my friends/heroes Julie and Johnie. This was all way too personal and special for me to capture or expain here, except to say that I love it when life imitates art (click to enlarge):
Finally, just to bring this back to uniforms, I also spent a few hours poking around a Milwaukee antiques shop. Saw this great old photo of a long-ago bowling team, which was cool. But the real prize was this beer stein showing the historical evolution of the football uniform:
I didn’t buy it — two pricey, plus the lid was way too cheesy — but I enjoyed finding it. (My thanks to Robert for rotating the stein during the video.)