How Long Was That Jersey Sitting in a Storage Closet?

Screen shot by John M.

Reebok’s vector logo on NHL jerseys was replaced with the company wordmark at the start of the 2011-12 season — a full three years ago — so it was surprising to see Rangers forward Chris Kreider wearing a vector-emblazoned jersey during last night’s game in St. Louis. Even odder, Kreider made his NHL debut in April of 2012, so his entire career has been in the wordmark era, but he nonetheless wore the vector last night. (He got an assist in the first period, so he might want to keep that jersey.)

That screen shot makes two things very apparent, at least to me: First, If logo creep is unavoidable, logos look better than wordmarks. And man, the Rangers’ NOBs looked sooooo much better when they were direct-sewn instead of nameplated.

Speaking of the NHL: My annual survey of goalie gear will be up today on ESPN — check it out here.

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Swooshie Thursday update: Yesterday’s entry about the NFL considering a proposal to make teams wear new Nike-designed alternate uniforms for Thursday-night games prompted a note from a league source, as follows:

Last year I heard rumblings of a league-wide throwback program. The idea was that each team would have a designated throwback in addition to their “normal” alternate jersey (if they had one). I never really heard if the teams were expected to wear them a certain number of times or on certain days. But when I read your entry about the Nike proposal, one thing came to mind: “Throwback Thursday.” Maybe that’s what they’re planning.

For those of you who aren’t part of Generation Hashtag, Throwback Thursday is this phenomenon in which people who already spend too much time on social media end up spending even more time there by posting old/nostalgic/etc. photos (often of themselves, apparently in the mistaken belief that anyone gives a shit about what they looked like as a seven-year-old, or where they lived in 1998, or whatever). Nobody owns the term “Throwback Thursday,” so there’s no reason why the NFL couldn’t use it, and it would definitely put an interesting spin on the Thursday-night games.

Not sure if this has any connection to the current Swooshie Thursday proposal, but I’m trying to find out. Stay tuned.

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Raffle reminder: We’re currently raffling off a bunch of Nolan Ryan-related items. Details here.

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’Skins Watch: Here’s another high school, this one from Savannah, Missouri, that calls its teams the Savages. That is seriously fucked up. … ESPN.com fantasy football analyst Matthew Berry is a lifelong ’Skins fan, but he’s stopped using the team’s name in his columns. And now he’s explained why (thanks, Phil). … The University of Minnesota, which will be hosting the upcoming Vikings/’Skins game in early November, has invited the ’Skins to a debate about the team’s name on Oct. 30 (Phil again). … In what surely qualifies as a huuuuge surprise, the Native American guy who the ’Skins have been using lately as a human shield probably isn’t a Native American after all. … Here’s a good overview of the situation involving that Pennsylvania high school whose principal and school board insist that the school paper use the word “Redskins” (from Robert Silverman).

Baseball News: Designer/historian Todd Radom has written an excellent piece on the origins of the Orioles’ cartoon bird. … New logo and identity system for the Nashville Sounds. … A bunch of memorabilia from the Yogi Berra Museum has been stolen (from Adam Herbst). … With the Mexican Pacific League about to start, here are some of the new uniforms and caps for the Obregon Yaquis (interesting pullover with partial headspoon on the left), Mazatlan Venados, and Culiacan Tomateros (from Alec Pappas). … Several 1970s MLB players appear in this old clip from the TV show Fantasy Island. “Interesting that Steve Garvey a batting helmet with no logo and George Brett is wearing No. 25 for some reason,” says Jonathan Daniel.

NFL News: While looking for something else, I came across this great 1970s item on NFL players who wore glasses on the field. … The Bengals have posted their home jersey schedule for the rest of the season, and it calls for them to be wearing the orange alts this Sunday (from Andrew Mundhenk). … Here’s another article on that mask that’s believed to be the inspiration for the Seahawks’ logo (from Paul Dillon). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Packers LB Julius Peppers has been fined for wearing unauthorized shoes. … In a related item, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has been fined $10,000 for wearing non-Bose headphones after last Sunday’s game. This is the part where I’d normally say, “Douchebags,” but walking around all the time with headphones is almost as bad as corporate branding bullshit, so let’s just call it a wash and say that the headphone makers, the headphone wearers, and the NFL’s branding police all deserve each other. … David Dinsmore III found a children’s book shaped like a Seahawks jersey. … Here’s a look at how the Bucs travel for a road game (from Wayne Koehler). … Twitter polls/votes/etc. are obviously very imperfect barometers, but Phil ran an interesting one last night about the Rams’ throwbacks. … Texans RB Arian Foster’s pink mouthguard last night was not exactly the best look. … Broncos DE Marvin Austin is going JrOB. … What if NFL team logos were rendered in their starting QBs’ college alma maters’ colors (from Jared Buccola).

College and High School Football News: Michigan will be wearing the all-blue unis with the “window blinds” numeral font this Saturday night (from Phil). … I like this weekend’s look for UAB. … New throwback-logo helmet for NC State (thanks, Phil). … Chrome-accented homecoming uniforms for South Dakota (from Cody Schuiling). … Homecoming unis for Vanderbilt, too. … Minnesota’s gold alternate helmet will make its on-field debut this weekend. … White helmets tomorrow for Cincinnati (thanks, Phil). … Remember Tennessee’s attempt to get fans to make a checkerboard pattern in the stadium? That’s nothing compared to what Missouri has in mind: a tiger stripe! … I don’t follow college football, so I didn’t realize that Notre Dame QB Everett Golson often grips the ball without the laces until Matt Mariglia mentioned it to me. Then I did a bit of googling and learned that it’s something that’s been written about quite a bit. Still interesting, though. … Guess we won’t have to worry about the color Todd Gurley’s captaincy patch this week. … Throwbacks upcoming this weekend for Arkansas and UTEP. … Here are this week’s uni combos for Illinois and Washington. … If you’re one of the few teams allowed to wear a slogan on your back, I suppose you may as well do it. … UCF wore gold jerseys last night — except for the guys who were inactive, who wore black. What’s up with that? (Screen shot by Eric Wright.) … North Dakota has a helmet cart (from Brad Reissig). … For the second straight day, the Ticker includes an item about a memorial for an Alabama high school player: “Hazel Green High wore No. 11 helmet decals last night in honor of junior Julian Jones, who died Monday,” says Clint Richardson. “They also placed memorials on the 11-yard lines. Last night’s game against Huntsville was also the now-annual blackout game, so black jerseys and pants were worn. I believe they made this the black game after Monday’s news.”

Hockey News: Rogers SportsNet, the NHL’s new primary network in Canada, has introduced a “ref cam” (from Dane Drutis). … Goalie detail not covered in today’s ESPN column: Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has added his daughter’s name to his backplate (from Aaron McHargue). … Also from Aaron: Wanna see a pizza with the Penguins’ 1990s logo? Sure you do!

NBA News: The Cavs have now confirmed that this pleasant but unremarkable design, which had leaked earlier, is indeed their new alternate uni. As several readers have pointed out, it’s almost the same as this recent CavFanatics uni. It’ll make its on-court debut for the team’s home opener on Oct. 30. … “During their exhibition game against Maccabi Tel Aviv, players on the Nets’ bench wore T-shirts that read ‘Shalom Brooklyn’ in Hebrew,” says David Landesberg. “The shirts were made available for sale in the team stores and were sold out by halftime (with many still looking to buy them).”

College Hoops News: New home uni for Notre Dame. … Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the shoe companies have had a huge impact on college hoops recruiting. Pretty depressing stuff, but worth reading (from Patrick O’Neill).

Soccer News: Is there a link between artificial turf and cancer in soccer goalies? Shmaybe (from Tommy Turner). … “Landon Donovan plays his last game for the USA men’s national team Friday night — 10/10,” says Harvey Lee. “In honor of his longstanding wearing of the No. 10 jersey, here’s a composite of 14 years’ worth of his jerseys.”

Grab Bag: Pinktober has spread to cinnamon bun frosting. “My wife brought those home,” says Jory Fleischauer. “I couldn’t believe it, so I stopped by the store. Turns out they have pink-iced sugar cookies as well. And no, it’s not strawberry-flavored.” … This is pretty funny: a look at the internet’s best “404 Error” pages. … Super-cool new currency designs for Norway (big thanks, Brinke). … Second day in a row that we’re gonna Ticker-mention the new movie Gone Girl. Today’s issue: an erroneous golf club mention (from Tremaine Eto). … Russian volleyball player Ekaterina Gamova wears her wedding ring on the court. And another Russian volleyballer Nataliya Goncharova wears a ring of some sort, although I’m not sure if it’s a wedding band because it’s on her middle finger. Additional photo here (from Jeremy Brahm). … Hey, speaking of that last photo: Look at the arms on No. 14 and No. 8. Would you say they’re double-jointed? My arms sure can’t bend inward at the elbow like that! But I know someone whose arms do bend like that but insists that that’s not double-jointedness. What say ye? … Garmin-Sharp pro cyclicst Dan Martin will be sporting a bamboo-themed helmet at the Tour of Beijing. “The design is a tip of the visor to the relationship between Garmin-Sharp and the World Wildlife Fund,” says Sean Clancy. … All F1 drivers are wearing helmet decals this weekend in honor of Jules Bianchi, who was seriously injured in a crash at the last F1 race (from Matt Walthert). … “I was reading a book about the summer of 1927 and the author mentioned that ushers working Soldier Field during the Dempsey/Tunney ‘long count’ fight wore armbands that said ‘Tunney-Dempsey Boxing Exhibition,'” writes Phil Johnson. “Sure enough, a quick web search turned up one of the armbands.” Odd that they’d call it an “exhibition” — that was certainly a competitive, professional bout. … Not sports-related but fascinating: “I was fascinated to see the detail on a remote control that my optometrist’s staff uses to project eye tests on a screen for patients,” says Clint Wrede. “I know him well enough that he only thought it was slightly strange for me to ask to take a photo of it.”

All My Swooshie Friends Are Here on Thursday Night

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Got a late-afternoon note yesterday from reader Peter Kuzdal, who wrote, “I am in my office, but I thought I just heard the reporter on NFL Live say something about Nike wanting to make the Thursday-night games feature alternate uniforms in 2016. Did I hear that right?”

That was news to me, and it seemed like something I would’ve heard about if it were true, so I was a bit skeptical. But after a minute or two of searching I found that my ESPN.com colleague Dan Graziano, who’s been covering the fall owners’ meetings, had sent out this tweet the day before.

Well, then.

I got in touch with Dan last night to find out more. I think what I learned from him is best handled in FAQ mode:

How did Dan learn about this Thursday/Nike proposal?

He was talking to an NFL owner at the owners’ meetings — just getting some basic background info — and the owner mentioned the proposal and said it was an item on the agenda for the meetings.

How did the proposal get on the agenda?

It’s not clear who came up with the idea (although it’s not hard to guess) or who put it on the agenda, at least for now. I’m trying to find out more.

Which owner did Dan hear this from?

Sorry, can’t tell you that. But I can tell you this: The owner said he expected the proposal to pass.

So did it?

Dan isn’t sure. He’s trying to find out and will be in touch with me as soon as he knows more.

Would the Thursday-night alternate uniforms be a requirement or an option?

As Dan understood it, they’d be a requirement. It would essentially be a way for the league to package and brand the Thursday-night product.

Would the teams have any say in the designs?

As Dan understood it, Nike would create all of the designs, with input from the teams. It’s not clear how much leeway or veto authority the teams would have.

Could the alternate designs include new throwbacks?

I don’t know yet.

Would teams that already have alternate uniforms be able to wear those on Thursday nights, or will they have to get additional alternate designs?

I don’t know yet, but I suspect the latter.

Does this mean the NFL might be retreating from the rule limiting players to one helmet shell and/or the prohibition on alternate helmet designs?

I don’t know yet.

You and Dan both work for ESPN. Why didn’t he tell you about this as soon as he heard about it?

He said he immediately thought of me when he heard about the proposal (which is nice, given that he and I have never met and had never even communicated until yesterday) but was too caught up in the other aspects of the owners’ meetings to get in touch.

So now what happens?

Wheels are turning, calls are being made, etc. Hope to have more info soon.

So what do you think of all this?

It sounds like an interesting back-door way for Nike to create a slate of new designs, even for traditionalist franchises that would normally want no part of that (Packers, Raiders, etc.). It also sounds like a semi-desperate attempt by the league to add some sizzle to the Thursday-night product, which most folks seem to agree has been rather lackluster. Personally, I almost never watch those games (I usually have better things to do on a Thursday night than sit on the sofa), so in a way I’d almost welcome the idea of Thursday nights becoming a Nike ghetto. Keep all that shit penned up in one place and leave Sundays alone. Works for me.

Wouldn’t it be mean to make the Eagles wear an alternate jersey in 2016 when their green jerseys might finally be ready by then?

Hey, that’s my joke.

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NFL Superhero Project

By Thomas Correia

No guesses were made last week on which superheroes would represent tonight’s match-up between the Colts and Texans. Understandably, it is tough to find a well-known “horse” hero and a popular “bull” hero, and I think you’ll find that the choices I made here are the most “outside the box” combinations I’ve created so far (click to enlarge):

Allow me to explain my thinking. What to do about the Colts? I’ll just flip the horseshoe upside-down, add some cables to it, and then place it on the head of a bald man, and voila — it’s Professor X of the X-Men using his mutant-finding device, Cerebro. Note the circular X-Men logo as a final touch. How’s that for creativity?

Now the Texans: Spider-Man has always been my favorite character, so I had to find a spot for him in this project. Based on the team colors alone, the Texans made the most sense. The “star/bull’s eye” becomes a web-swinging Spidey and the entire bull’s head shape is turned into New York City. The crane is a wink to the climax of the 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man, and the three lines across the white plain are to represent the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges. Overall, this one logo could either be my best or worst of the bunch. I’ll just let you decide.

Next week: Jets vs. Patriots. Should be a really easy guess for both heroes.

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Mike’s Question of the Week

By Mike Chamernik

What’s your favorite football helmet, either in the NFL, college, or high school? For me, it’s tough to top the old blue-and-yellow Rams helmet. The Houston Oilers come close, though, as do Bucco Bruce and the funky 1975 Giants helmets.

And on a personal note, I’m looking to get a game-worn Milwaukee Brewers jersey at a decent price. Doesn’t have to be a superstar or even a current player (I’d actually prefer a journeyman from a dozen years ago or something). What are some of the best websites for that? Any other websites that sell cool sports knickknacks?

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Raffle reminder: We’re currently raffling off a bunch of Nolan Ryan-related items. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker

By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The MLB.com Shop is selling team-themed “Always October” gear. “There’s an interesting uni element to them,” says Jim Santel. “In spelling ‘October’ in each team’s font, we see different franchises’ design elements applied to a word other than a team or city name, which leads to some interesting lettering (a capital ‘O’ and a ‘t’ in the Dodgers script, e.g.).” … A cleaning crew stole thousands of dollars’ worth of Mariners jerseys from Safeco Field. … Ben Affleck chose to wear a Mets cap instead of a Yankees cap in the new film Gone Girl (from Marc Rivlin).

Pro Football News: After exploring the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 1995 uni reveal yesterday, Paul asked if there were any other unveilings featuring athletes from a completely different sport. Greg Aquino noted that during the 2011 NFL Lockout, the Bills used United States military personnel to model their new uni set. … The company that created logos for the Fall Experimental Football League and the A-11 Football League has some Browns redesign concepts (from Ryan Hess). … Giants DBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara helped lay a sick burn on the Eagles (from Patrick O’Neill). … Austin, Texas has its own take on the NFL logo. That’s the city’s area code (from Joey Breeland). … Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has banned his team from postgame jersey-swapping (from Phil). … Here’s a good shot of the Cowboys’ old triple-striped sleeves from the 1966 Playoff Bowl. … FXFL refs have a blacked-out logo on their sleeves. Anyone know what it might be?

College and High School Football News: The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame recently put up an exhibit on the evolution of the football helmet (from Jordan Poland). … Fans can vote on the uniform combination Arizona State will wear against Utah on Nov. 1 (from Marc Altieri). … Temple might wear all black unis with white helmets this weekend (from Phil). … Orange and pink are on tap for Tennessee on Saturday. … McDonald’s enjoys Iowa State’s all-yellow unis (from Jack Coyier). … New alternate chrome helmets for South Dakota (from Phil). … Stanford will go all-black Friday (from Phil). … Auburn’s sleeve stripes are really, really truncated (from Caleb Weaver). … Northwestern State wore some bizarre two-tone unis in the 1930s. Let’s find some more photos of this design (from Phil). … Fresno State is going red-blue-red this weekend (from Richard Paloma). … After the death of a player at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama, all the players on the team are wearing his No. 10 on their helmets (from Raymie Humbert).

Hockey News: “Since the NHL mandated player numbers on the front of the helmet, the Bruins have been wearing black numbers outlined in white on both their black and white helmets,” says Bobby Pinkham. “They kept this up for the preseason, but in tonight’s opener they switched to yellow numbers to match the style used on their black sweaters.” … Tiffany & Co., which designed the Kings’ championship rings, also made a bunch of expensive trinkets with the Stanley Cup Champions logo on it (from Matt Shevin). … Here’s a good look at Notre Dame’s new jerseys (from Joe Reimers). … Wisconsin is honoring the late Bob Suter, a former Badger and player on the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic team, with a shoulder patch (from Nate Neumann). … Here’s the history behind every NHL team’s nickname. … Three guys dressed up as the Hanson Brothers showed up at last night’s Flyers/Bruins game. “They were seated, of course, right behind the penalty box,” notes Ed Gefen.

Soccer News: The fan vote to decide the Diamondbacks’ team name, as Paul also described yesterday, reminded Brice Wallace about the naming of Salt Lake’s MLS team. “I was covering a business event and the team owner did an informal, applause-based survey of the audience for a few names he was considering. Real Salt Lake got, by far, the least applause. Most of the crowd just looked around and giggled because it was so obtuse. But only a few weeks later, that officially became the team name.” … New logo for the Columbus Crew (from Phil).

Pro and College Basketball News: Gah! There are still some horrifying issues with NBA 2K15’s face scanner. … Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert tweeted a pic of a possible new jersey (from Phil). … New black uniforms for Georgetown.

Grab Bag: New logo for K-Swiss. … David Firestone started a NASCAR paint scheme tracker for the 2015 season. … Fans can vote on the Carlton Blues’ new jumper (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). … “Back in 1981 the Victorian Football League released an LP called ‘Footy Favourites,’ which consisted of the captains of the 12 teams in the league ‘singing’ popular songs,” says Graham Clayton. “The best part of the album was the album cover, which showed all 12 captains wearing their club colours.”

One of History's More Interesting Unveilings

When the Dallas Mavericks recently unveiled their 2015 alternate uniform more than a year in advance of its on-court debut, I quipped that it was one of history’s earliest unveilings. But reader Joey Artigue quickly corrected me, pointing out that MLB’s two most recent expansion teams — the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays — unveiled their inaugural uniforms on Nov. 1, 1995, nearly two and a half years prior to the teams’ first games in 1998. (Here’s an AP report on the unveilings, which really shows how much the uni-verse has changed in 20 years.)

But as Joey explained to me, there was something else very unusual about the D-backs’ unveiling. Obviously, team ownership couldn’t have players on hand to model the new unis, because the expansion draft hadn’t yet taken place — the team didn’t have any players yet. But they wanted the uniforms to be worn by athletes, not just by models, so they went across the street — literally — and got some Phoenix Suns players to wear the uniforms. Both teams were owned Jerry Colangelo, so it made sense.

The Suns personnel who participated in the unveiling included Kevin Johnson, who was the Suns’ captain at the time; Danny Ainge, who had just wrapped up his playing career (and who, of course, had been an MLB player with the Blue Jays); Danny Manning, the team’s big free agent signing from a few months earlier; first-round draft pick Wesley Person; and head coach Paul Westphal. Joey says he’s certain there’s a group photo floating around that shows all five them, but for now we just have these shots of Johnson and Ainge (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):

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That last photo is from this article, which has more info on the uniforms:

Personally, I’m fascinated by this. Have there been other unveilings featuring athletes from a completely different sport? Maybe, but I can’t think of any. Anyone..?

Meanwhile: As you know, this unveiling took place smack in the middle of the uni-verse’s purple-and-teal phase. One Diamondbacks fan, quoted in the third and fourth grafs of this article, noted the trend and predicted that the team would end up with buyer’s remorse and have to change its colors — and he was right! Check it out:

Joey Artigue — the reader who provided me with all this stuff — is 23 years old, so he was just a wee nipper when the unveiling took place. How was he able to cobble together all this stuff? His father, Ray Artigue, worked for the Suns and the D-backs for 16 years. He’s quoted at the beginning of this article, which has more to say about the team’s color scheme and also the choice of its name:

Speaking of the team’s name, Joey offers the following additional information:

“Diamondbacks” was the third-favorite team name option out of four or five options. My dad swears he and Jerry Colangelo were the only people to vote for “Diamondbacks” in the initial vote on the three finalists, with the other two options receiving about four or five votes each. For some reason they kept voting and the numbers kept changing, so Colangelo became fed up and said, “That’s it, I’m deciding — it’s Diamondbacks. I’m gonna go call Bud.”

The two favorite options of the club’s other executives were Scorpions and Rattlers. In both cases, they were going to take the logo, colors, and fonts of the Scottsdale Scorpions (a fall league team) or the Arizona Rattlers (an arena football team) and rename one of those teams. Jerry owned the Rattlers, so that would have been the easier option. They even had prototype uniforms and caps made.

Finally, there’s this: As you probably know, the team’s inaugural white home jersey had purple pinstripes. But Joey provided a mock-up showing that it was originally supposed to have copper pinstripes:

Sensational stuff all around. Big, big thanks to Joey and his father for sharing these materials with Uni Watch.

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Books and Bobbles Raffle: When intern Garrett McGrath isn’t slaving away on Uni Watch stuff, he works at the book publisher Little, Brown. He worked on The Nolan Ryan Beef & Barbecue Cookbook, which was published earlier this year, and now he has some promo items to share with the Uni Watch readership.

First up are two copies of the book signed by Ryan. And then there are 10 Ryan bobbleheads, showing him in a Mets uni:

We’re going to raffle these off like so: Two randomly chosen winners will get a signed book and a bobblehead; an additional eight winners will get a bobblehead.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address with your shipping address in the body of the email by 8pm Eastern this Sunday, Oct. 12. If your entry is chosen and you did not include your shipping address, your entry will be discarded and we’ll pick someone else. One entry per person. We’ll announce the winners on Monday.

Let’s hear it for Garrett for making this stuff available — thanks, buddy!

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Uni Watch News Ticker

By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: Yesterday we mentioned that Eric Hosmer’s compression sleeve has a subtle stripe pattern. Reader David Dinsmore says that striping is on all of last year’s Nike baseball line merchandise. … Not sure how I feel about this. A Cardinals fan wore a jersey with an “I am Darren Wilson” NOB during a Ferguson/Michael Brown protest at one of the Cards/Dodgers NLDS games. Watch the video in that article at your own risk (thanks, Paul). … “During last night’s NLDS game, the green screen ads behind home plate and the tape wrap on Pablo Sandoval’s bat weren’t getting along very well,” says Brian Hesise. Great job on that animated GIF!

Pro Football News: Seahawks CB Richard Sherman accused Washington WR Pierre Garçon of pulling his hair. … “Seahawks punter Jon Ryan tweeted their Oct. 7 flight menu compared to the Orioles’ menu from the day before,” says Chris Flinn. “Interestingly, Delta used the old Seahawks logo colors that haven’t been used since 2011.” … The FXFL launches tonight. Here is a roundup of the logos and helmets. … A not-very-funny installment of the comic strip “Close to Home” recently showed an NFL player wearing glasses (from Alex Allen). … Kevin Kilby reports that his local CBS affiliate in North Carolina is promoting tomorrow night’s Colts/Texans game with a very odd Colts logo. SportsLogos.net shows that as an “unused” logo from 2001, and a commenter on the page posted the following: “Logo created for Union Federal Banks, once the team’s official bank, as well as primary sponsor of the Colts’ practice facility. Only used in advertising, never intended for use as an official logo.”

College Football News: Two University of Florida players had a fight, and one was injured, over a pair of cleats (thanks, Paul). … MIOB: “Temple has two Nate Smiths on the roster, Nate D. And Nate L., so they go with full names and middle initials,” says Andrew Hoenig. … Here’s Purdue’s DayGlo helmet for their Hammer Down Cancer game this weekend. But they apparently won’t have DayGlo jerseys (from Eric Johnston). … Misssissippi State will be wearing these patches for the 100th Anniversary of Scott Field (thanks, Phil). … “I caught a bit of the Iowa State versus Oklahoma State game on Oct. 4 and noticed something odd on the NOB of senior LB Drake Ferch,” says David Prestwood. “His nameplate reads “Dr. Ferch” even though there is no other Ferch on the team. He is a kinesiology and health major, so maybe he’ll get that MD eventually. I can’t recall every seeing a FNOB shortened to Dr. before — is this a first?” … This Saturday Iowa State will be wearing mono-gold! … “Key from Key And Peele (a sketch show on Comedy Central) was honored at Penn State and they made him a custom jersey for Hingle McCringleberry, which is a character from a skit on their show,” says Chris Flinn.

Hockey News: Ring Watch: The Los Angeles Kings received their Stanley Cup championship rings yesterday (from Brian Smith). Lots of diamonds. … Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fluery wore yellow pads and a new mask, which is a tribute and looks similar to the one Tom Barrasso used to wear (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Cool project from reader Denis Hurley, who’s launched a new blog called The Numbers Game, which will be focusing on uniform numbers worn in soccer. Good stuff.

NBA News: With the Nets playing the Maccabi Tel Aviv team last night, some anti-Israel protestors showed up, including someone in a Nets jersey with a “Palestine” NOB (thanks, Phil).

College Hoops News: New uniforms for Weber State basketball team confirmed in media day photo (thanks, Phil). … New uniforms for the Elon University men’s and women’s teams.

Grab Bag: Interesting lists: The Forbes Fab 40 consists of the 10 most valuable sports brands in each of four categories — businesses, events, teams and athletes — and quantifies the earning power of each brand relative to its competitors (from Tommy Turner). … “On a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow some guy had a military/athletic calendar with gorgeous art from 1919 made by an early version of Wilson Sporting Goods,” says Sean Clancy. “The expert, Nicholas D. Lowry — one of my faves — also talks about Wilson’s entry into sporting goods as a way to manufacture leftover slaughterhouse, umm, innards or something.” … DIY potential: “These vintage style jerseys from Orvis are just begging for a Uni Watcher DIY project,” says Jimmy Lonetti. … Paul covered Qalo wedding rings last year and reader Blake Pass saw that a member of Ryan Newman’s NASCAR pit crew name Cruz Gonzalez also wears one. … New logo, apparently, for the University of Portland. “That’s taken from the West Coast Conference store, so it should be legit,” says Kenny Ocker. … “The Red Bull-sponsored touring car team will have a one-off Royal Australian Air Force livery for this Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 touring car race,” says Graham Clayton.

Goths and Jocks Make Peace (at least in Under Armour's imagined fantasy world)

I you’re a fan of mono-black on the gridiron (or anywhere else, I suppose), yesterday was a very good day. Let’s start at Northwestern, where the Wildcats unveiled a new “gothic” costume that’ll be worn on Oct. 18 against Nebraska (click photos to enlarge):

A few thoughts:

• Hilarious that they’re calling this “gothic.” Anyone who’s ever spent five minutes in a high school knows that goths can’t stand sports and especially can’t stand football.

• What’s with the standard NOB lettering font? Doesn’t that undercut the whole design?

• No word yet on whether the players will come out of the tunnel on horseback while carrying Under Armour-branded jousting lances, but I’m sure Kevin Plank’s crew is working on that.

• The arch design on the back of the helmet is a shout-out to the archway at the campus’s main entrance. Storytelling!

• The “W.I.N.” on the nose bumper stands for “What’s Important Now,” which is problematic on two levels: (1) Everyone knows what’s important now for any college football player at any given moment is getting laid, period. (2) Sorry, but the use of “W.I.N.” as an acronym was officially retired when the whole country got finished laughing at this. Storytelling!

• What is Northwestern famous for again? Oh, right — Northwestern stripes. But hey, why bother to include that on a uni design when you can create a comic book fantasy about Sir Lancelot or whatever? Check that — those are indeed Northwestern stripes on the shoulders. Looks sort of like an afterthought.

So that’s our mono-black design news for the college ranks. Turning now to the NFL, there was some interesting news out o Philadelphia, where the Eagles announced that they’d be wearing their black alternate jerseys this Sunday night against the Giants. But according to Philly linebacker Connor Barwin, who did a radio interview yesterday, the Iggles won’t just be wearing black above the waist. They’ll also be wearing black pants.

The key quote from Barwin:

We will be wearing all black, for the first time ever, I think. We’ve always worn black jerseys with white pants, but we will be in all black, which is going to be very cool for Sunday night.

Actually, Barwin is mistaken on one point: The Eagles haven’t always paired the black jersey with the white pants. Back in 2003 and ’04, they went black over green.

Ah, but as we all know, green is a very problematic color for the Eagles and Nike this season. In fact, according to this item, the Eagles probably won’t be wearing their green jerseys until Week 10. Oh, but a brand-new set of black pants? Yeah, I’m pretty sure Nike knows how to manufacture anything in that color, no problem.

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Whoa, check out these 1960s NFL goalpost helmet kits! They have the old-style goalposts, and the boxes look to be in perfect shape. Two different auctions from the same seller — here’s Kit #1 (with the Browns’ “CB” logo) and Kit #2.

Those are tough acts to follow, but here are the rest of this week’s eBay picks:

• Even though I live in the land of In & Out, I still fondly recall going to Frisch’s Big Boy. So does reader Dennis Jones, who sent in the listing for this Chelsea Big Boy softball jersey.

• Look at the great cover artwork on this 1958 Cards at Cubs scorecard, signed by Mr. Cub Ernie Banks and others.

• Classic NHL team logos on this pair of 1970s thermal mugs.

• Eagles fans, here’s one of the 1970s helmet plaques with the green wings on white helmet treatment. Reminds me of Mel Tom and Pete Liske.

• This 1960s Yankees bobblehead is in pretty good shape considering its age. He’s in better shape than I am!

• Is this late-1960s/early-1970s Chicago Bears poster cool, or what?

• Here’s a 1970s NFL Thermos. But why didn’t they print those helmets in full color?

• These vintage Seattle Pilots pennants have lasted a lot longer than the team did.

• Nice-looking 1969 NFL uniform mini-poster!

• Here’s one of those cool copper 1960s NFL logo plaques. That one’s for the KC Chiefs. Speaking of which, I had this Chiefs poster back in the day. Bought it solely because I liked the graphics, not the team.

The Swingin’ Friar decorates this 1970s Padres/7-Up promo thermal cup.

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Baseball News: Royals speedster Jarrod Dyson has “Zoom” shaved into his hair. … Speaking of the Royals, Grady Harmon notes that Eric Hosmer’s compression sleeve has a subtle stripe pattern. … Here’s the towel the Nats gave out during their home playoff games a few days ago (from Tommy Turner, who appears to have quite the Nats collection). … Tristan Ridgeway plans to dress up as Kirk Gibson for Halloween. … Unfortunate typo last night on the Busch Stadium scoreboard (thanks, Phil). … In the past we’ve noted that Cardinals OF Jon Jay has worn argyle socks under his uni pants. He now appears to have switched to a groovy stripe pattern (from Scott B).

NFL/CFL News: Shame on me for not mentioning yesterday that the Titans added a “2” memorial decal for Rob Bironas on Sunday. Super-duper close-up here (thanks to Mako Mameli for setting me straight). … Officiating crews were all wearing pink ribbon patches on the backs of their caps on Sunday — except for back judge Greg Wilson, who was working the Bears/Panthers game and had the ribbon patch on the side, not on the back (good spot by Jamie Uthe). … Hmmm, is that a personal logo on Antonio Brown’s wristband? “Most like his ‘first down’ pose,” says Michael Korczynski). … Love the sleeve stripes worn by the 1972 BC Lions (good to hear from you, Ricko). … Visiting QBs who play in Seattle often tape up their earholes to help block out the crowd noise. Seattle QB Russell Wilson appears to have returned the favor last night in Washington (from Will Edge). … Don’t recall if we’ve mentioned this before, but Washington QB Kirk Cousins appears to be wearing one of those Qalo wedding bands (good spot by Chris Flinn). … Speaking of Cousins, they mistakenly showed him — or showed someone — wearing No. 12 during last night’s postgame show (from Travis DeMarco). … As noted yesterday, the league has banned any public use of non-Bose headphones, but that didn’t stop Seahawks DB Richard Sherman from wearing Beats prior to last night’s game. Michael Bennett also wore Beats, and Marshawn Lynch wore Monsters (all of this from Aaron McHargue — great work).

College Football News: In case you missed it in Sunday’s post: Georgia’s captaincy patches, which had changed from white to black the previous two weekends, changed back to white for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt (from Britton Thomas). … Super-cool throwback helmet this weekend for UTEP. Looks like the facemask and neck bumper are cream, or vintage white, or whatever we’re calling it this week. Have we seen that color used for those uni elements before? … Here’s this weekend’s homecoming uni for Georgia Southern. “They’re trendy but also have many of Georgia Southern’s traditions represented,” says Ryan Minter. … Not sure what this will entail, but Purdue will be wearing “neon yellow” this weekend. “Not looking forward to it,” says Michael Burnett.

Hockey News: Derek Jeter and Frank Sinatra are featured on Cédrick Desjardins’s new mask (thanks, Phil). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Some Flyers players wore striped socks to support the local Ronald McDonald House. … In an unusual move, the Islanders are bringing back a throwback of their infamous fisherman jersey — but only for pregame warm-ups. They’ll also wear their original 1972-73 uni for their final game at Nassau Coliseum next April. … Speaking of the Isles, their new alternate uni — which was last season’s Stadium Series uni — is in EA NHL 15, but it still has the Stadium Series patch.

NBA News: The NBA preseason began last night, and it appears that the referees have new uniforms. Looks like a significant upgrade (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: New red/black college hoops uniforms, with that weird color-blocking on the shorts, or Lousiville (thanks, Phil). … More than four decades after the fact, blood-stained guard and inmate uniforms from the 1971 Attica prison uprising are being returned to victims’ families. … UNC’s alumni association is asking its members to vote on their preferred shade of Carolina blue. “But everyone knows Carolina blue is Pantone 542, says Yusuke Toyoda. … Cyclist Michal Kwiatkowski debuted his world road race champ’s jersey at Il Lomabardia on Sunday (from Sean Clancy). … Blackout game tomorrow for Purdue volleyball (from Michael Burnett). … I bet you didn’t know this: October, in addition to being Pink-Saturation Month, is also Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Really! So a high school team in Paintsville, Kentucky, is wearing yellow socks because their coach’s son was born with the condition. Yellowtober! (From Josh Claywell.) … 75 years ago yesterday, these kids played football in Manhattan. Such a great photo! (Big thanks to Bruce Menard.) … New logo for the Aussie football team the Western Bulldogs. “This photo also shows a new jumper design, but I’m not sure if it will be a training top or clash jumper for next year,” says Leo Strawn Jr.