By Phil Hecken
As you’re all no doubt aware (or should be), this past Thursday evening, the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars met up for the second of four “Color
Rush Rash” encounters this season. Last week’s debacle featured the Jets (clad in shoulder-to-toe kelly green) and Bills (in shoulder-to-toe red), and was a mess in more ways than one. It was particularly difficult for those with red/green colorblindness, as it was difficult for those with this impediment to distinguish the two teams…and made even more difficult by the fact that both teams were fully monoclad (save for their helmets, both of which were white).
Thursday night, the NFL didn’t have that problem. And yet, the game was still a mess.
Unlike the Jets/Bills game, where Nike created two completely new uniforms, Thursday’s game actually had the Titans wearing their current (alternate) light blue jersey paired with light blue pants. It’s actually not a bad look, when its worn as it should be, with contrasting high socks and low whites, with contrasting colored cleats. But this being color rash, Nike had to crank it up a notch and put the team in ALL light blue accoutrements (except the helmet, of course — wouldn’t want any concussions). For any photos below, click to enlarge:
The new uniform (jerseys, pants, socks and shoes) was worn by the Jaguars, and while they described it as “gold” (or “bold”), it was an interesting shade resembling mustard:
The need for an additional new uniform aside, and the fact that the team was forced to go mono-gold from shoulders-to-toe, this was actually not a terrible looking uniform. Not that I am recommending this, but they could probably pair those jerseys with black pants (or the black jersey with the gold pants), add some contrasting socks, and have themselves an “OK” uniform (I use the word “OK” because the Jags regular unis are so awful, this new combo might be less awful).
The game looked, depending upon your perspective, anywhere from awful and unwatchable, to “on point” though there were many who would disagree with the latter classification.
The uniforms didn’t clash or anything, and it was easy (enough) to tell the teams apart — and hopefully there are no powder/gold blind folks out there (or would those be the lucky ones)? But (unlike almost all TNF games this year), I actually watched a good chunk of the game. I never had a problem telling the teams apart, though it wasn’t the most visually appealing game. Oh, and of course, there were lots of sweatboxes:
Of course, reaction on social media to the uniforms was swift and severe. And probably on point (unlike ESPN’s tweet):
— Todd Radom (@ToddRadom) November 19, 2015
— Todd Radom (@ToddRadom) November 19, 2015
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) November 20, 2015
— BarDown (@BarDown) November 20, 2015
There were also more jokes (good and bad) about Guldens mustard and the Smurfs than I care to count.
It’s clear there was a lot of disdain for the uniforms, but don’t expect them to go away soon — there was enough positive response (and likely “gear” sales) to justify (in the eyes of the NFL and Nike) keeping them around — and of course, by the end of next season, all 32 teams will have been outfitted with color rash uniforms. There’s only two more games to go this year — including one next Thursday (Thanksgiving). And that leads us to…
Next Thursday’s Color Rash Game…
As announced at halftime during the TNF game, next Thursday (which also happens to be Thanksgiving), the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers will participate in the third (of four) Color Rash games. The Cowboys will be “bringing back” their white “double star” jerseys and pairing those with white pants, socks and shoes, while the Panthers will be wearing their alternate
Carolina Blue tops, and adding new Carolina blue pants (plus Carolina Blue socks and shoes). So, they will actually look very similar to the Titans from this past Thursday. Here’s a look at the unis both teams will wear (click to enlarge):
I think this one is actually going to be a pretty decent looking game — if only the Panthers weren’t forced to wear
Carolina Blue for their entire uniform (look at how much better the uniform would look if only there were contrasting socks). But the Cowboys uniform will look great — I know, I know…they’ve had their silver pants (either the blueish-green jobs or the current ‘road’ pants they wear with their navy blue jerseys) forever, but I REALLY like them with white pants. They wore a similar look in training camp and I thought it was a pretty fine look then, and still do. The Panthers will look a lot like the Titans last Thursday, and that’s not an awful look (sans-full-mono of course). Should be the best looking (so far) of the color rash games anyway.
OK, guys — what do you think?
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko
Previously in Classic Football Scoreboards there was mention of another “scoreboard” located within Ohio Stadium. In this edition the “mystery” scoreboard is revealed!
Scoreboard Party, Ohio Stadium 1924
Location: Ohio Stadium
Gameday: November 10, 1922; Ohio State at Purdue
The mystery scoreboard was known as a Grid-Graph (sometimes called Grid-o-graph) and, as the illustration depicts, it was located beneath the stands in Ohio Stadium. The size of these fan gatherings was quite large; often in the thousands.
Remember, college football radio broadcasts were just beginning in the early 1920s. By the 1928 season radio broadcasts were starting to expand, but you were unlikely to hear a broadcast of most away games for a decade or more. So the Grid-Graph without any alternatives survived in many college campuses well into the 1930s. By the 1940s Grid-Graph had faded from the college scene as this 1938 University of Illinois student newspaper article highlights.
Back to the Future Experience
Long time Uni-Watch readers may recall this past lede, Photography of Playography, that covered the baseball version of these electronic game simulations, including the football variant, Grid-Graph.
The Grid-Graph simulation enabled you to experience your favorite football team’s away games in near real time – not unlike using a mobile digital device today to access college games on Fox Sports GameTrax or a similar online game tracker app. Student admission to Grid-Graph games was typically 15 to 25 cents (about $3.50 in today’s dollars).
How did the Grid-Graph actually work? This Dartmouth College Library article summarizes the operation. The article refers to a Dartmouth Alumni Magazine article “What It Was, Was Grid-Graph,” written by an alumnus that was involved in the actual scoreboard operation. It’s worth reading.
The Grid-Graph Company
The Grid-Graph was invented in 1914 by Ohio State alumnus Howard Bryan, an electrical engineer. About this time the Grid-Graph Company was established in Columbus, Ohio. The records show the company applied for a U.S. Trademark in 1924, but other than that there’s little information I could find.
Still, it appears the $1000 or so (about $13,600 in 2015 dollars) Grid-Graph apparatus was a successful venture. By the early 1920s a substantial number of Grid-Graph equipment installations were found on college campuses across the U.S. And it appears there were several design variations as the product develop, such as a translucent playing field with light bulbs tracking ball movement.
Here’s a sampling of articles and photos mentioning Grid-Graph:
University of Oregon (mid 1920s), Indiana University (1937), Iowa State University (1920s), Davidson College (1933), Columbia University (1928), Virginia Military Institute (1933), University of Wisconsin (1922), Colorado University (1924), Hardin-Simmons University (1935), University of Nebraska (1923), University of Southern California (1927), University of Michigan (1920s), Cornell University (1924), Clemson University (1933).
The Grid-Graph electric scoreboard depicts the Buckeyes away game against the Purdue Boilermakers played on November 10, 1923 at Stuart Field, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Ohio State players are displayed on the left side with Purdue’s lineup on the opposite side. The players are listed by position according to this stacked arrangement:
There were no records found covering the actual lineups for this game, so I used the Ohio State lineup from the previous week’s game against Denison University as found in this game program. The Purdue lineup was a best guess based on the 1923 team roster.
The play simulated in the illustration might be described as a “Running Play Thru the Line” by Ohio State Right Halfback Harry Workman. “Tackle” made by Purdue’s J.T. Bolan. Ball advanced to the Ohio State 15 yard line. The Buckeyes lead the Boilermakers 32-0 in the Fourth Quarter with four minutes to play in the game.
Grid-Graph must have been fun back in the day, …I think. Probably depends if adult beverages were available.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Some New Unis on the College Gridiron today…
A couple of new uniforms (for sure) will make their debuts today.
Florida State will finally be breaking out their alternate black uniform against Chattanooga, after having it in their ‘arsenal’ for almost two full seasons:
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) November 19, 2015
— Addison Lynch (@CoachLynchFsu) November 19, 2015
— Bud Elliott (@TomahawkNation) November 19, 2015
Interestingly, the original black/garnet helmet had the spears “crossed” at the back, but since that release, they’ve removed the crossing:
— Clint Kalinec (@ckalinec) November 20, 2015
Notre Dame will be wearing full green unis (and special helmets) for their “Shamrock Series” game today against BC at Fenway Park. The unis were revealed much earlier this year, but just in case you forgot…
— miguel lozano (@mlozano9) November 20, 2015
Here’s a look at how Fenway sets up for the game:
— MLBcathedrals (@MLBcathedrals) November 19, 2015
Boston College, the opponent of the Irish, will be wearing a throwback uniform of their own (back to the “Flutie Hail Mary” unis):
— Mark Majewski (@markmajewski) November 17, 2015
Another look at Doug Flutie modeling the BC Eagles *throwback* to be worn vs Notre Dame at Fenway this weekend pic.twitter.com/JjRg3sIA1p
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) November 17, 2015
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) November 17, 2015
Virginia Tech will we wearing an all-black uniform against UNC, for coach Frank Beamer’s final regular season home game at Lane Stadium:
— VT Equipment (@VTEquipment) November 16, 2015
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) November 16, 2015
Talking Color Rash and more…
On Thursday evening, I was interviewed for the SND Podcast Show, run by a couple of sports fans who are enamored with Uni Watch and uniforms. The taping was right before the Titans/Jaguars came was about to kick off, so the banter was heavy on the color rash, but we delved into a bunch of other uniform-related topics. If you have a few free minutes, give it is listen.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it, on Friday, Paul had his latest “Friday Flashback” column, which is quite timely as it delved into the Jacksonville Jaguars uniforms throughout their (relatively short) history, leading right up to Thursday night’s gold color rash combo.
Great read, so be sure to check it out if you missed it!
Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil, with a bit from Paul (stuff that would have gone into yesterday’s ticker, plus ‘skins Watch)
’Skins Watch: Teams at the University of North Dakota will now be called the Fighting Hawks. That name won an online vote against the other finalist, Rough Riders. … Meanwhile, “Redhawks” has won the vote to replace “Redskins” as the team name for the Goshen school district in Indiana. … Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission says it’s time to get rid of indigenous mascots (from Aaron Husul). … Amherst College’s mascot, Lord Jeff — based on Lord Jeffery Amherst, who had a role in giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans — appears to be on its way out. … Residents of an Oklahoma town, including some Kickapoo tribe members, are fighting to keep their high school’s “Redskins” team name (from Paul Deaver). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s an article on mascots, buildings, and other things on college campuses whose names have been changed due to “pressure from students.”
Baseball News: Spectacular vertical arching on this vintage flannel jersey. Love the “Nat’l,” too. Too big for me, unfortunately. … This is pretty awesome: The Dayton Dragons, whose mascot is a dragon named Heater, packaged their 2015 season tickets in a box of “Heaties” cereal. Wonder what they have planned for 2016! (From Munch Suchland.) … New caps for Fresno State (from Jared Buccola). … I’m sure we’ve seen this baseball card featuring Pirates’ Manager Jim Leyland before, but I’m always struck by the mesh (must be a Spring Training cap) material (and the height of the stovepipe!). Photo from High Heat Stats). … “Marlins Man” (as he likes to be known) is still getting a lot of TV face time — he was in the pool during the Jags/Titans game Thursday night. Hey, buddy — your 15 minutes were up…14 minutes ago. … WHOA! Check out this Vintage 1960’s/70’s Chicago White Sox vendor’s striped shirt, Beach Boys style (great find by Bruce Menard)! … This segues nicely with Gary’s scoreboards piece today: “Never mind the tightrope walking chimp, it shows one of those baseball boards you discussed a few years ago,” writes Bo Baize “It was on the Denver Post building back in the day. I’d like to have seen that in action, with all those lights.” … The Mets are installing new turf at Citi Field, to replace the original grass.
NFL News: Are you interested in knowing the 5 best-selling NFL rookie jerseys this season? The top 2 shouldn’t surprise you, but you might not have guessed #3-5. … The Washington football club wanted to wear white jerseys and white pants for Sunday’s road game against the Carolina Panthers. But team president Bruce Allen denied the request Friday afternoon (from Tommy Turner). … In baseball (MLB), you “hit white balls for practice” — even if they’re not straight from the box — and in the NFL, you kick breast cancer balls for practice (nice find from Steven Auclair).
College Football News: Looks like the Virginia Tech field is going to have a special 25-yard line marker (in orange), featuring retiring coach Frank Beamer’s signature (via VT Grounds Crew), for today’s regular-season home finale at Lane Stadium. … If you thought the Color Rash uniforms were bad, check these things out. … Northwestern to wear black helmets, white jerseys at Wisconsin. … The Boston Red Sox’ David Ortiz (Big Papi) asked that Torii Hunter, Jr occupy his Fenway Park locker for today’s Shamrock Series game (ND vs. BC), via Warren Junium. … Arizona State will be wearing copper and gray unis today. For a rivalry game. At least their opponents will be in school colors. … Here’s a look at the unis worn by Lehigh University during the 2015 season. … UW will be going white/white/white today (h/t Nolan McCotter). … Also doing the all white look is UNC (via Christopher Jaques). … Sam Houston will be going orange/white/orange (h/t Sam Houston Athletics). … Here’s a look at Pitt vs. Louisville (h/t Rex Henry). … Wazzu will be wearing white/crimson/white. … South Carolina will go white/garnet/white. … Clemson, as they are wont to do once a year, will be wearing orange/purple/purple. … Ohio State & Michigan State will wear “#ChadTough Decals” on their helmets in support of Lloyd Carr’s grandson. … Baylor will wear white helmets with a kneeling cowboy in support of Oklahoma State. … William Yurasko writes, “Good ESPN article on “The Big Uglies” — 3 brothers who dress up in Penn State uniforms with masks their mother bought for 30 cents at a garage sale. I never knew that part of the story.” … As noted above, the VT Hokies are wearing all black uniforms today, but here are the 1987 helmets that the Hokies will wear against UVA next weekend in honor of Frank Beamer (from Andrew Cosentino).
Hockey News: Here’s the logo for the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game (from Kyle Clauss). … The Swedish team HV71 has yellow numbers against a white background — very hard to read. … “In this video the 83-84 Regina pats have NOB below their numbers,” writes Jay Danbom. “The link is about the 84 kamloops junior oilers but in the chynoweth cup (whl finals) the pats jerseys can be seen and their NOB are below the numbers.” … There’s going to be a new minor league hockey team taking the ice in 2016-17, and they will be called the Rail Yard Dawgs (from Brian Mazmanian). … The Ottawa Senators wore their Heritage uniforms Thursday evening. … Color on color game last night between the Milwaukee Admirals and Rockford Ice Hogs (from Admirals Roundtable). … New sweater for Maine Hockey (via Biddy). … Quinnipiac Hockey wore these camo-esque sweaters last night (via Michael). … Good spot from Brian Wulff who asks, “doesn’t it look like the space between the two O’s in Brooklyn is larger than the other letters, and between the “LYN” part?”
NBA News: Oops: I’m not entirely sure what the name in this caption should read, but it probably shouldn’t say this — submitter OdiferousEmination asks, “What millennial should lose his job tonight?” … Anthony Davis and Kevin Love ask for NBA Christmas jerseys in this new ad. … Beautiful color-vs-color game Thursday night featuring the Cavs and Bucks (with the Cavs in their throwbacks). Thanks to Jimmer Vilk. … The Orlando Magic have twitter handles on the backs of their warmups (from Zach Fischer). …. Ooooohhh — nice score by Jack Connell who found these logo stickers at a local family owned store, and bought all of them at 50 cents each. He “think(s) they might be a collectors item.” … The Dallas Mavericks wore their awesome green throwbacks last evening (pic via Robert Behrens). More photos here. … A tiny gadget could make or break the Washington Wizards’ season — that gadget is known as a “Viper Pod” (from TommyTheCPA).
College Hoops News: “I’m not sure if this is a trend or just a one-time thing, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a player roll both the top and bottom of their shorts,” writes Kyle Martinek. … Iowa and Marquette played a beautiful color vs. color game the other day (h/t Jay Wright). … Auburn hoops broke out their orange alternates for the first time this season last night (h/t Clint Richardson). It made for a real nice color vs. color game against Georgia Southern (h/t Tod Meisner). … NAU was wearing these jerseys last evening (via Travis Holland). That game was played in Window Rock on the Navajo Nation — I’m assuming the jerseys reflect this, but I couldn’t find any further information. Anyone?
Soccer News: Newcastle United FC, from the EPL, has been remaking old game programs this year. Says About The Tune, “Very nice” and I’d agree. … Nottingham is also doing throwback covers this year (h/t Andrew Cairns). … Here’s a look at the Spain Euro 2016 Home Kit (h/t Tim Cross).
Grab Bag: Expensive running shoes are no better — and are sometimes worse — than cheaper ones (from Tommy Turner). … Couple uni notes from Chris Cruz: The Oxford University women’s rugby team went uni-less for a tasteful calendar shoot to raise money for charity. Also, Barbarians (a British-based rugby team) have paid homage to their founder on their 125th anniversary with some throw-back unis/photos. … What’s wrong with this picture?
And that’s going to do it for this fine penultimate Saturday in the month of November. Enjoy the games today. Thanks to Gary for the scoreboards and to Steve and Dan for having me on their podcast. Back with the usual SMUW fare tomorrow, so make sure you check in then.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The Titans last night reminded me of the male pieces in the Game of Life.”