If there’s one thing Gary Bettman has gotten right during his tenure as NHL commish, it’s the Winter Classic. Over 100,000 people packed the Big House yesterday the latest installment of the annual New Year’s Day event — pretty amazing.
The color-on-color game featured most of the elements we’ve come to expect, including eye black, balaclavas, old-school brown leather goalie gear, a goalie in a toque, varsity-style jackets for the coaches, a steady snowfall that necessitated shoveling breaks, and so on. By this point, these things are old hat, but they’re still plenty enjoyable. (You can see nearly 500 more photos here.)
A few additional items of note:
• There was an inconsistency in the Red Wings’ pants striping — some players had stripes and some didn’t.
• The Leafs had some discrepancies in the spacing between the Reebok logo and the NOB.
• The Wings wore their captaincy and alternates’ designations on their left sleeves.
(My thanks to Rick Cuzzetto, Benjamin Gorbaty, and Seth Moorman for their contributions to this section.)
Bowl roundup: Lots of college football bowl action over the past two days. Among the uni-notable moments:
• Baylor alum Robert Griffin III showed up at the Tortilla Chip Bowl in in an Adidas-branded Baylor shirt. Wonder who’s most upset about that — the NFL or Nike (which outfits Baylor and the NFL).
• Pretty gross bit of corporate-ism by the Stanford marching band, which formed the Snapchat logo during halftime of the Rose Bowl. Not exactly “script Ohio,” is it?
• In an exceedingly disappointing move, UCLA went BFBS in the Auto Manufacturer Bowl.
• Speaking of UCLA, linebacker Deon Hollins, who usually wears No. 8, was wearing an NNOB No. 43 jersey on Tuesday. Not sure if that was a special teams play with a duplicate-number situation.
• As briefly noted in yesterday’s entry, Rice had a new Oregon-esque helmet for the Auto Parts Bowl.
(Special thanks to Trevor Blank, Andy Henderson, and Phil for their contributions.)
Baseball News: Someone on YouTube is compiling a goldmine of old MLB footage. Who knows how long it’ll be up there before the MLB police shut it down, so check it out now and make screen shots of the good uni-relevant bits, pronto! There’s a ton of footage there — way too much for any one person to view — so pick the bits you find most interesting and report back with your uni observations (big thanks to Roger Faso for the tip). … Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts is changing his uni number (from Andrew Cosentino).
NFL News: The Chargers and Bengals will be wearing what you’d expect for this weekend’s playoff game. … William Moore of the Falcons was wearing a heart rate monitor during last Sunday’s game (from Douglas Ford). … The Panthers have a bye this week. But when they host their divisional-round playoff game on Jan. 12, they’ll be wearing solid black. … Benjamin Pickett spotted this 1990s NFL helmet poster at a gas station in Mauston, Wisconsin. The most interesting thing is that it includes a Browns helmet with a Ravens logo, although it looks like the logo was slapped on after the fact. … The Bengals have a doppelganger: Riverside Community College in California (from John Alexander).
Hockey News: Very cool move by the Lightning, whose players dressed in their junior and college jerseys for a recent road trip. Wouldn’t it be great if every team did this? (Big thanks to Bobby Pinkham.)
Soccer News: “In the Dec. 30 Arsenal/Cardiff City game, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott tucked his sleeves to display only the red portion of the sleeve striping,” says Nate, who didn’t give his last name. “His sleeves became untucked as the match went on. Not sure if this was just a comfort thing, or something to do with the ongoing protests against Cardiff’s change from blue to red. And in that same game, Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta’s shoe came off, revealing that the team’s socks have orange heels and toes.”
NBA News: The Nets have prepared the jerseys for next week’s nickNOB game against the Heat. … Starting next season, all NBA “heritage jerseys” — which seems like a fairly flexible term — will have sleeves (thanks, Phil).
College Hoops News: I glanced up at a TV on Tuesday afternoon and did a double take when I saw what Eastern Michigan was wearing. Click on some o those thumbnails to get the full effect. Personally, I kinda like it. … It had been announced that St. John’s would wear new jerseys with embarrassing “Beast” NOBs on Tuesday against Xavier, but there must have been a change of plans, because they went with their normal NOBs.
Grab Bag: A few months ago I was a featured participant in Jody Avirgan’s excellent Ask Roulette series. The podcast of my segment is now available at the top of this page. … More skiers are wearing helmets, but brain injuries and deaths haven’t decreased. … Newly inaugurated NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was wearing an American flag lapel pin during his first day in office. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s a one-day thing or his new standard look (good spot by Phil). … And in a related item, here’s an article on what the de Blasio family wore to yesterday’s mayoral inauguration. … Here’s a gallery of assorted new pro cycling kits (from Sean Clancy).