Category Archives: Football

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Total Recall: Recapping the newest Uniforms in multiple sports

Hey everyone, I am finally back online. I know its been a few months, but I have been tied up in school, and my new television program that I co-host and co-produce, Ultimate Sports Show (watch the entire first season here). But there has been a flurry of uni-related news these past couple weeks that I had to give my two cents about, so let’s dive right in

Yes the Washington Redskins, just over a month after Nike unveiled their slightly altered home uniforms the Washington Redskins unveiled their new 80th anniversary throwback uniforms which they will wear during two unspecified home games this season.

According to the presser from Nike – the uniforms are a modern take on the team’s uniforms worn in 1937. I for one think they do look sharp but have some Florida State overtones, ironically, the last Redskins anniversary uniform worn in 2002 and 2003 to celebrate the team’s 70th anniversary also bore a resemblance to the Seminoles. Overall, I really like these uniforms, the helmets, which are supposed to resemble the leather helmets worn back in the ’30s, have a nice touch with the matte brown paint. Overall though, I do not like them as much as the 70th anniversary uniforms, but these are pretty good.

Arsenal

Well, this certainly is a case of two steps forward, one step back. After splendid kits for 2010 and 2011, Arsenal have decided to add blue back to the home strip for the first time since 2000. That 2000 home kit is one of my favorites of all time. This one is by no means terrible, just a bit surprisng to see the blue come back. Overall, it looks sharp, and I am not one of those die-hards who insists Arsenal must have the same red shirt white sleeves home kit every single season. So change is refreshing, but I still prefer the 2011 kit. JJB Rating: 7/10

 

Chelsea

I do have to say, this kit is MILES better than this past season’s atrocity for the blues, however, one has to feel Adidas may have stolen a page from Umbro’s playbook, as this bears a strong resemblance to Chelsea’s centenary kit from 2005 but at least this year, the sponsor agreed to go for the gold so the kit matches. Overall, a sharp kit, I do wonder however if it will make its debut when Chelsea takes on Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final on May 19, normally Adidas teams will debut the next season’s strip on the world’s largest stage in the Final, as they have with Bayern Munich in 2010 and Chelsea in 2008. JJB Rating: 8/10

Liverpool

The back of Liverpool's new shirt

Hello Nurse was my first response when I saw this absolute beauty of a kit. I, like many other kit enthusiasts, wondered how Warrior sports – new to the kit game, would make Liverpool’s first kit, and they rewarded Liverpool fans with this retro number that harkens back to the European cup winning teams of the 1980s. The use of the Liver bird in place of the traditional club crest, which has angered some of the family members of those who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago, the eternal flames in Liverpool’s club crest recognize those who died in the incident, however the tribute has been shifted to the rear of the shirt along with a ’96’ to commemorate the 96 lives lost. I for one love the kit, the only change it could use would be a switch back to Carlsbeg as the sponsor. JJB Rating: 9.5/10 (best Liverpool kit since 2006)

Manchester United

My first question about these kits to United fans – U MAD BRO? because these are the most hideous United kits I have seen in a very, very, very long time and the fact that they resemble a tea-towel makes me do this . The team claims it is an homage to the ‘gingham’ check pattern that pays an homage to the history of  the cotton industry in the city of Manchester. To all Man U fans: do the right thing, boycott this kit by NOT buying one this season and let all the fair weather fans and bandwagon hoppers sport this atrocity. JJB Rating: 1/10 (because at least they got the colors right)

Ink Stains:

  • In sad news, as I’m sure you all know, Junior Seau sadly took his own life last week, rather than draw judgement, I pray for his family and if you would like, watch this touching tribute to a great man whose life was tragically cut short. RIP Junior.
  • Liverpool wore a special ‘Seeing is Believing‘ sponsorship in their rout of Chelsea this past week
  • Texas Rangers rookie Robbie Ross forgot to change jerseys during a doubleheader against the Orioles
  • Both Everton and Manchester City have agreed to deals with Nike to be their respective kit providers, Everton for the upcoming season, Manchester City for 2013-14

Super Bowl XLVI: REMATCH

Well its almost the best day of the Sports Calendar, Super Bowl Sunday. The New York Giants will face off against the New England Patriots in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII (42 for those of you who don’t speak Roman Catholic). The teams, ironically will be wearing the same uniforms that they did in their last match ups (They played during week 9 this past season in Foxboro (Pictured Above) and also wore these uniforms in Super Bowl 42). and neither team has made any notable uniform changes since their last confrontation on the grandest stage of them all. The Patriots will be in blue again, and the Giants in white. The only notable changes will be the Patriots’ patch they are wearing this season, in loving memory of Myra Kraft, wife of team owner Robert Kraft, who passed away during this past offseason. Since with last year’s Super Bowl I picked the winning team by the past ten matchups and seeing who was better dressed, I decided to change my method for this year. Since these teams have played in a combined eight Super Bowls, I thought we’d look back at the uni history of those games and decide in that manner.

Super Bowl XX: 1986 – Chicago Bears 46, New England 10

One of the most dominating defense’s of all time Shuffled their way to a 15-1 record and the Bears first Super Bowl win by curb-stomping the AFC representatives. Uniform wise this was a very aesthetically pleasing matchup. The old Patriots uniforms are very easy on the eyes, and by actually sticking to Red, White and Blue, feel a little more patriotic than the current ensemble. However, the team does wear near replica’s of these as an alternate uniform. The Bears road uniform has gone unchanged to this very day. However, if the uniform combinations were switched, this would allow for a Bears win, but I have always liked their home more than their road, so the win here goes to New England. NE: 1-0

Super Bowl XXI: 1987 – New York Giants 39, Denver Broncos 20

Just one year after New England was destroyed by Chicago, the Giants reached their first Super Bowl, led by a fearsome defense and one scary mofo in Lawrence Taylor. The Broncos were dressed in their all whites, which the only problem I had with them is the lack of orange compared to the orange crush home uniforms of that period. The Giants had a spectacular and classy home uniform, with the block “GIANTS” across the helmet, a design I much prefer to their current setup. The Giants not only took home their first Lombardi, but did so being the best dressed team on the field. NYG: 1-0

Super Bowl XXV: 1991 – New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19

The Giants faced off against the Bills in a battle for New York state bragging rights in 1991, and again were dressed as the home team. The Bills lost only because Scott Norwood’s aim was just off and the Giants took home their second Super Bowl championship. This game was very close-uniform wise, but I will take the Giants here again, I just like their home uniforms *that* much more than the Bills. NYG: 2-0

Super Bowl XXXI: 1997 – Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21

The man they used to call Brett Favre’s first Super Bowl apperance ended with a victory over a New England Patriots side that really should have fired their graphic desinger for this uniform atrocity. It did see the introduction of “Flying Elvis” who still resides on the Pats’ helmets today, but the fact that he was on the shoulders was just too much. These uniforms looked too cartoon-y to be taken seriously as an NFL uniform. Victory easily goes to Green Bay here. NE: 2-1

Super Bowl XXXV: 2001 – Baltimore Ravens 35, New York Giants 7

Ah yes, the first Super Bowl I ever watched in full, when my beloved Ravens took down the Giants 34-7 (who ironically had dismantled the Vikings the week prior in the NFC Championship game). The Ravens, who finally had figured out their uniforms after multiple botches and black pants, were looking good in their first appearance. The G-Men on the other hand made a decision to downgrade their classic look for something more modern. This game in my eyes is as big of a blowout as the game was Ravens take the victory. NYG: 2-1

Super Bowl XXXVI: 2002 – New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17

The dawn of the Tom Brady legend occurred in New Orleans on a mild February night. This was a very aesthetically pleasing Super Bowl. The Rams old away uniforms looked sharp with just the right mixture of blue and gold along with white. The Patriots were looking MUCH better than their last trip to the Superdome vs Green Bay. However, under those lights, I have to go with New England here. NE 2-1

Super Bowl XXXVIII: 2004 – New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29

One of the more epic Super Bowl’s, the Patriots won an exciting game 32-29, but they were the second best dressed team here. I have always LOVED Carolina’s road uniform. The balance of white and that almost Tar Heel blue with black accents, along with a silver helmet, looks absolutely spectacular. Not to knock the Patriots constantly classy home uniform, but Carolina has a good modern classic uniform. Carolina takes the uniform win in their losing effort. NE: 2-2

Super Bowl XXXIX: 2005 – New England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21

The first time during the Brady/Belichick dynasty that the Pats find themselves as the designated “Road” team, and it came up against the high-octane 2004 Eagles team, featuring Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens before their messy divorce in 2005. This was a very aesthetically pleasing uniform matchup, both teams featured clash in blue and green, and it was good seeing clash pants as well (White  for Philly, Blue for New England). This is one of the more difficult matchups to pick, as I like both teams uniforms. But New England takes it in a close one. NE: 3-2

Super Bowl XLII: 2008 – New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14

And finally, we reach that fateful day from 2008. My mantra as a pseudo-Patriots fan about this game is  “Never Forgive, and NEVER FORGET.” The Giants prevented the Pats from becoming the first undefeated NFL team of the modern era, and that still gives me sour grapes today. This, much like Sunday’s game, will be a very uni-pleasing, and patriotic matchup (Both teams wear Red, White and Blue). However, looking at the Giants royal blue, they look more like France compared to the Patriots American Navy Blue. Like some of these other matchups, if the uniforms were reversed, I might go in favor of New York, but you can’t beat that Pats home uniform. NE 4-2

Final Counts: NE 4-2 NY 2-2

Its simple, both teams have two losses, but New England has four wins, giving them a 2/3 winning percentage compared to the Giants 2/4. This Sunday, I am also picking New England to take care of business, for Tom Brady to cement his legacy as a GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and for the Patriots to honor the late memory of Myra Kraft with a Super Bowl victory. Patriots 28, Giants 21. I hope everyone enjoys watching the game, and I’ll be back next week with a Champions League primer.

Conference Championship Pick ‘Em

Well, the most magical weekend in the NFL season, the divisional round, passed us by, and the New York Giants became the first road team to win during these playoffs. This week, we have two conference championship games that really could go either way, so as usual, I am splitting hairs the only way I can – picking them by uniform.

(2) Baltimore Ravens at (1) New England Patriots Sunday, 3 PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Above is a photo from the last time these two teams met in the playoffs, during the wildcard round of the 2009 postseason, a game which the Ravens absolutely punched the Patriots in the mouth in a 33-14 win. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens have worn black pants in all seven playoff games, including going for a TCU-esque look in last week’s home win over the Texans (The Ravens rarely go Black on Purple at home). The Patriots on the other hand, know to never touch their good looking home uniform (they last did in 2002, with dire consequences). Really this game is a very tough choice for me, I have been a Pats fan since Tom Brady joined the team in 2000 (We are both Michigan men). But the Ravens were involved in the first pro football game I watched on television in FULL (Ravens Broncos, 2000 Wild Card Round) and I have always been partial to their black and purple colors. I am going to go ahead and call this one a draw but if I HAD to choose one, I would only give it to the Patriots for being at home, their blue and silver is just *that* much better than the Ravens road ensemble.

(4) New York Giants at (2) San Francisco 49ers. Sunday, 6 PM, Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA

This game has an air of nostalgia to it. Not just the fact that these teams played a great game during week 10 earlier this season (49ers won 27-20) but that they have participated in some epic playoff duels in the past, with the most recent coming nine years ago, a game in which the Giants blew a 24 point lead and lost on a botched snap, so these teams definitely do not like each other to say the least. New York comes in wearing a uniform set they have had since 2005, when the team ditched the red white and blue for a more red approach, which does not look bad by any means, but leaves me wanting more, its a bit boring. The 49ers on the other hand, have worn their current uniforms since 2009, and are an homage to the uniforms they wore during the glory days of Joe Montana and Steve Young, and replaced the Jeff Garcia/Terrell Owens era uniforms worn from 1996-2008.This is pretty easy here, I like the classic vibe from San Fran’s unis, and Red & Gold >> Red & Blue here. Give me the 49ers.

So there you have it, I have Ravens/Patriots vs 49ers in the Super Bowl. I will have a much more detailed Super Bowl article regarding both participating teams ready about a week before the game. Until then, stay tuned for more – J

Ink Stains

  • The Miami Lebron Show (Heat) wore their new all black uniforms in their win over the Lakers last night
  • The University of Minnesota football team will be unveiling new uniforms on Monday
  • Tyler Hansbrough of the Indiana Pacers has been wearing his idea of Stunna Shades in practice
  • The Chicago Fire signed a sponsorship deal with Quaker Oats
  • the LA Galaxy have an awesome, sashtacular new home kit
  • Mockup of what Liverpool’s 2012-13 home, designed by new supplier Warrior, may look like.
  • Nike unveiled their latest piece of equipment, the Nike Plus Fuel Band, and your faithful author will have one in hand on Feb. 2

Also, some friends and I put together the video below for the television show I produce – Ultimate Sports Show. SHOW YOUR FRIENDS!

The Numbers Game: When a Legend Returns, Should he be granted his old number?

As an Arsenal fan, I am sheerly ecstatic about the return of the legendary Thierry Henry on loan for the next two months, and obviously, you can bet that I am getting his jersey.

However, I was led to wonder, Theo Walcott inhereited Henry’s #14 shirt after the close of the 2007-08 season, leaving Henry to choose a different number for the first time since he wore 17 at Juventus in 1999. Henry announced that he will take the #12 shirt, the same shirt he wore with the French National Team. Now this leads me to wonder, does anyone else think that in situations like this, where a legendary player returns to his old team, that he should be granted his old number? or should they have to follow the rules like everyone else? Let’s see some cases and decide.

There isn’t much better of a way for the man who was voted greatest player in Arsenal history by the fans to return. All Hail The King.

Legend: Paul Scholes

2011:

Scholes made a shocking return to Manchester United on Sunday, January 8, 2012, after retiring in May of 2011, and announced he would return for the rest of the season. Scholes old 18 shirt was picked up by new signing Ashley Young in the summer of 2011, leaving Scholes to wear number 22, which he had not worn since the 1995-96 season.

Verdict: The Ginger Prince’s case is somewhat more unique for these two reasons: A. He just left the team eight short months ago, and B. he has worn 22 before in his career, so in this case, I do NOT believe Scholes should be granted his old number back.

2012:

Legend: Michael Jordan

Returned in 1995 to the Bulls wearing #45 instead of #23 because his #23 was retired in 1993 when he retired.

Jordan made his triumphant comeback in 1995 after a failed career in baseball, but was forced to wear number 45 due to the “retired” status of his old 23. This did not last long however, as at the beginning of that legendary 1995-96 season, His Airness was granted his old number, and it came in handy, as the 95-96 Bulls had the NBA’s best single season record (72-10) and Jordan began his second run of three straight championships.

Verdict: MJ almost singlehandedly transformed the NBA into a massively popular and worldwide league, so he is completely justified in getting his old number back.

Local Legend: Ben Wallace

2000-10

Wallace left the Pistons in 2006 in poor circumstances after wanting a larger contract, which the rival Bulls were offering, however, nothing changed the fact that Wallace was a dominant defensive force during his six seasons in Detroit and was definitely a fan favorite. After three failed seasons in Chicago and Cleveland, Big Ben found himself on his way back to Detroit, but his familiar #3 jersey was picked up by 2007 draft pick Rodney Stuckey. Rather than rock the boat, Wallace took #6. Being a Pistons fan, it was obscure seeing Wallace in a different number, but I did not feel he deserved to ask for it from Stuckey.

Local Legend: Hugh Douglas

In mentioning the name Hugh Douglas around Philadelphia Eagles fans, you will always hear a warm reception. The monstrous defensive end is still highly regarded by the Philly faithful to this day even though he is long retired. What some do not realize is that Hugh Douglas spent ONE failed season in Jacksonville in 2003 before rejoining Philadelphia for his swan song in 2004. Douglas was given #53 upon his first arrival in Philadelphia in 1998, and when he returned during training camp 2004, he found Eagles linebacker Mark Simoneau was wearing his old number, Simoneau gladly gave up the number for a new one.

Verdict: Hugh Douglas was an absolute beast in his first five years in Philly (51.5 sacks with three double digit sack seasons) so I would say it was a nice gesture by Simoneau to grant him his old number back for his final year.

FINAL VERDICT: Really we are split 2-2 here, Douglas and Jordan got their old numbers back, Scholes and Wallace did not, so really, I guess unless it is a true legend, like a Michael Jordan, there is not a huge reason that an old legend, whether league famous or fan favorite, deserves his old number upon his return.

The Second Season Beings: NFL Postseason Picks for Wildcard Weekend

Its that magical time in early January, the snow is flying, people are taking down their Christmas trees, and the next significant holiday on the calendar is Valentine’s Day (or in my case, my birthday, in 25 short days). How will we ever pass the time? Simple answer, the NFL PLAYOFFS HAVE ARRIVED! This season we have had 50% turnover in postseason teams, with the Falcons, Packers, Saints, Patriots, Ravens and Steelers returning, joined by the 49ers, Giants, Lions, Bengals, Broncos and Texans. The team I’m most excited for on that list is obviously my Lions, making their playoff return for the first time in TWELVE years. This weekend, we’ll run through the wildcard weekend matchups and I’ll pick them by uniforms, specifically by which uniforms the teams will be wearing for the specific game, as opposed to their uniform set as a whole.

#6 Cincinnati Bengals @ #3 Houston Texans – 4:30 PM Saturday, January 7

The Bengals will definitely be wearing their white road jerseys, but the question is about the pants. The black pants are considered the team’s “standard” road attire since this uniform was introduced in 2004, but the team frequently wears their white pants on the road as well. In my opinion, the white on white look is much better even though white on black provides more contrast. For the Texans  they will be in their standard home blue and whites, which is one of my favorite home looks in the league, so I am gonna go with Houston here.

#6 Detroit Lions @ #3 New Orleans Saints – 8 PM, Saturday, January 7

The picture above is from the Lions vs. Saints game from December 4, 2011, however, common knowledge dictates that the Saints will wear their standard black and gold (pictured below) as they have for their past few home postseason games. Regardless, this is a probably the most asthetically pleasing matchup of the first round. You have the Saints intimidating black complimented nicely by their varying shades of gold, and the Lions very bright away uniforms of white and silver, complimented by their trademark Honolulu blue. Now as a Lions fan, I do love our uniforms, and I will be cheering on my Motor City Kitties on Saturday, but its hard to top the look that the boys from Bourbon Street have. Black and gold makes for a classic, yet still intimidating look, especially with an offense piloted by one of the most prolific QB’s in NFL history in Drew Brees. I am going with New Orleans here even though it hurts me to.

#5 Atlanta Falcons # #4 New York (Football) Giants – 1 PM Sunday, January 8

Ah yes, there is always one of these matchups in every playoffs, the shite vs classic look. You’ve got the Falcons, who back during the Michael Vick era, felt the need to modernize their uniforms from the 1990’s into what you see above. Now I was, and still am a fan of those older uniforms, especially because the old Falcon seemed a bit more intimidating than his modern brethren. Now the Giants have not messed with success and have kept a look similar to what you see above for their entire history. If I were to make any tweaks, I would replace the “NY” on the chest with a GIANTS logo like the team had from 2000-2004, because the only problem is that nowhere on the uniform does it say “GIANTS” just a few New York logos. Regardless though, I am taking Big Blue here, give me the Giants.

#5 Pittsburgh Steelers @ #4 Denver Broncos – 4 PM Sunday, January 8

Ah yes the final round, Denver is back in the playoffs, and literally backed in as they have lost their last three. The Steelers only lost out on the number 1 seed in the AFC due to tiebreakers. The Broncos have worn the same uniform since the end of the John Elway days but it is a look that has worked for them, especially with the orange striping going down the side. The Steelers probably have the most timeless look in football after the Bears, very simple black and yellow, nothing fancy. Now here as a uni-head I am almost torn, but the navy blue and orange is a bit more forward, but has become modern classic, so I will take Denver here.

Roundup: So there you have it, my four picks (uniform wise) are Houston, New Orleans, New York and Denver

Ink Stains:

  • For the first time in the Super Bowl Era, there is not a white-helmeted team in the NFL Playoffs this season
  • Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be wearing a Spanish-themed jersey tonight for their game against Lamar
  • Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch was fined $10,000 for wearing his unique skittles cleats on Sunday.
  • The Michigan Wolverines won the Sugar Bowl wearing their one-off jerseys. Could not help but notice how skinny the numbers looked.
  • Last Sunday at the Chiefs Broncos game, Ann Colquitt, mother of KC Punter Dustin, and Denver Punter Britton, wore this hybrid jersey to support both of her sons.

Bowling Bowling Bowling, College Football Bowling, Picking them all by Uniforms

Well it is a new year, 2012, and here at JJB, as some readers can see, I fell off towards the end of the year, but being a college student, that sadly tends to happen while taking two upper level writing courses, but my New Years Resolution is to get back to providing the best of the best for all uni and jersey related coverage this year, and my goal is a new article every 7-10 days. Today, I’m picking the BCS Bowl Games by the Uniforms teams will be wearing in the games, we’ve got 5 solid matchups to go through, so let’s pick the best way I know how – through my somewhat biased eyes.

Rose Bowl – Jan 2. Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Oregon

Oregon will wear a different uniform combination for the fourteenth straight game this season, this tends to be what happens when you are owned by Phil Knight, tradition is re-made every week. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Oregon has had some cool uniforms, but others have been absolutely horrific. I think these new ones are pretty cool, and unlike last year, this one is actually green, which is the school’s official color (unlike the steel gray of last year). Now my favorite part is the helmet.

This looks awesome, now it does lack the official “O” school logo, on both sides, which is untradtional to say the least, but it reminds me of a cooler version of the Philadelphia Eagles helmet. If I could, I would definitely buy a mini-helmet replica of this helmet. Overall, Oregon’s uniforms aren’t bad, but I would prefer if they wore something a bit more traditional with this being college football and the “grandaddy of them all”

Wisconsin

Wisco has a very solid uniform, you may think it looks very similar to the regular away uniform, but if you look closer, there are rose accents in the details of the numbers, very subtle, but VERY nice. Again, like Oregon, I am a huge fan of the helmet.

This works out PERFECTLY, Wisconsin Red = Rose Petal Red, this may not seem as cool as Oregon’s helmet, but at least it keeps the tradition of Wsiconsin’s standard uniform with minor tweaks.

My Verdict: I have to go with Wisconsin here, for Oregon, their uniforms are cool, but they make new ones every single week. Wisconsin’s uniforms are simple, but provide just enough change to merit the win.

Fiesta Bowl – Jan 2. Oklahoma State vs, Stanford

Oklahoma State

OSU has announced they will wear Black and Orange, however I am not sure if that means that the Cowboys will wear their uniforms they wore against Kansas, or the uniforms they wore during the Bedlam game vs Oklahoma, my assumption is the Kansas uniforms, since in a very Oregon style, OSU has not worn the same uniform in consecutive games this year. Oklahoma State has had very colorful uniforms this year to match their electrifying on field play.

Stanford

Their opponent in Stanford, will be donning their much more traditional road uniforms as Andrew Luck hopes to (potentially) end his Stanford career on a high note with a Fiesta Bowl victory. Stanford, much like my beloved Wolverines, keeps their uniforms simple and classy, (except when they cave to Nike’s pro combat demands).

The Verdict: I do like the simplicity of Stanford’s uniform set, but I am gonna go with Oklahoma State because they are probably going black on orange, which looks quite sharp on the team.

And a special side note: The Winter Classic – Jan 2. Rangers vs. Flyers @ Citzens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Flyers

This is a true Flyers uniform, orange base, white name plate, black accents. Now for those of you who did not know, the last time the Flyers played in the Winter Classic, in 2010, following the season, they made their uniforms from that game, based on their 1973-74 uniforms, into the official away uniform for 2010-11 onwards. Now I do like this uniform, but I don’t like it as much as the regular Flyers home uniform.

Rangers

I am a gigantic fan of the Rangers standard uniforms, I think the slanted lettering is great. However, for one game, this is a nice throwback to the 70s uniforms. They use the old shield, but it still looks great, and the cream color is a very nice touch as opposed to traditional white.

My Verdict: As much as I love the Flyers, especially Jaromir Jagr, I am gonna go with big blue and The Rangers here, Philly’s is solid, but New York’s is just that much better.

Allstate Sugar Bowl – Michigan Vs Virginia Tech

As a Michigan fan, I am a tradtionalist when it comes to our uniforms, up through 2010, we had seen one home and one away each year. However, at the finale of the 2011 season, I have seen Michigan take the field inf FIVE different uniform combinations. The Home, Away, Legacy Home, Legacy Away, and now the Sugar Bowl uniform you see above. I am not a huge fan of this uniform, the two stripes make us resemble Virginia Tech turned horizontal, and the M seems out of place on the front.  The cool feature is the yellow block “MICHIGAN” across the back neck of the jersey. Now overall, I do not mind some experimentation with the Michigan uniform, after seeing the same two uniforms for so many years, its just after the two excellent legacy uniforms, this one flopped in my opinion.

Virginia Tech

Since they are sponsored by college football overlord’s Nike, Virginia Tech could be wearing a variety of uniforms in the Sugar Bowl, but assuming they wear their home duds, not too bad. When matched with white pants it is a fairly solid uniform, classic, if not a bit bland, and the dual color shoulders are my favorite feature.

My Verdict: I mean is this really debatable? Geaux Blue

Discover Orange Bowl – Clemson vs. West Virginia

I am not dignifying this game with an actual roundup, because A. West Virginia’s uniforms are awful and they play in a joke of a conference, and B. This is a sham of a BCS bowl, and therefore Clemson easily takes this matchup.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game – LSU vs. Alabama

As much as the fact that Alabama backed into this game makes me ill to my stomach, this is a uni-nut’s dream, two of the classic looks in college football going head to head. For this one, I am going with LSU, and like the Rose Bowl, I am basing this on the helmet. Alabama’s team name is the Crimson Tide, this is a good name, but my questions are A. how do you show this on the uniform? and B. why is an Elephant the mascot? For these reasons, and the fact that LSU actually has their mascot on their uniform, I am saying Geaux Tigers.

Ink Stains

The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe: A Michigan vs. Michigan State Uni-Retrospect

Its that magical time of year here in Michigan, Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry week. There have been a few famous pranks between the schools over the years during this famed week, the most notable of which is the multiple occasions that Michigan State’s ‘Sparty the Spartan’ statue has been painted by Michigan Students under the cover of night (it is supposed to be guarded by Members of the Michigan State Marching Band, or ‘Sparty Watch” but sometimes, they fall asleep). On Michigan’s campus, the Theta Xi Fraternity has done their ‘Defend The Diag‘ initiative every rivalry week for the past few years and protected the inlaid brass, Block ‘M’ in front of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library from vandalism. As you know, your faithful writer is True Blue all the way through, so today, in honor of this hallowed matchup, I decided that we will go through the football team’s respective uniform histories and suppliers for a look back before Saturday’s epic clash in East Lansing happens.

Michigan State

1933: Believe it or not, Michigan State actually adopted winged helmets a year before Michigan, but no one knows this because Michigan has gone on to win the most games all time in College Football history wearing the Wings.

1947: Michigan State abandons winged helmets after losing to eventual National Champion Michigan in the season opener 55-0.

1964: Block ‘MICHIGAN STATE’ is placed on uniform for the first time.

1965: Spartan Head logo makes its official debut

2002: Ugliest. State Uniforms. EVER. Killed off after one season.

2003: Spartan Helmet Logo makes its return after two year absence

2010: Drastic Redesign after two year study by Nike.

2011: Nike unveils Michigan State’s awful Pro-Combat uniforms, which look like the odd result of Notre Dame‘s color scheme on a USF uniform template

Michigan

1891: Michigan wears tan vests over blue and yellow striped shirts, probably where the sleeve inspiration for 2011 night game uniforms against Notre Dame came from.

1932: Jersey numbers are added for the first time, famous number 48 was worn by Center Gerald Ford, who would become the 38th President of the United States

1940: Jersey worn by Michigan’s first Heisman winner, Tom Harmon. Maize pants made their debut this season, winged helmets debut in their current incarnation.

1974-75, 1976 Orange Bowl against Oklahoma: Michigan wears white pants with their away uniform for the only time in school history under Bo Schembechler

1996: Nike logo vector appears on home uniforms for the first time as does Block M on the pants

2000: Nike Vector moves from the right shoulder to the center of the chest

2004: Nike logo shifts up to collar, navy blue piping added to jersey

2008: Adidas takes over the contract in the biggest supplier deal in collegiate sport history (8 years, 60 Million Dollars)

2011: Adidas adds Block M to back of uniforms near collar

Coach Brady Hoke adds helmet numbers as of Minnesota game on 10/1 (Says they will remain for the rest of this season at the very least)

Adidas debuts ‘Under The Lights” fauxback uniform, recieved warmly by M faithful and worn in rollercoaster victory over Notre Dame in first night game at Michigan Stadium.

In Summary:

Well there we are, a quick uni-retrospect for each school, as you can see Michigan has made fewer alterations to their uniforms over time, and State has dealt with experimentation far more often. This saturday, Michigan will wear their traditional away uniforms against State’s Pro combats.

Ink Stains

And on a final note, my prediction for Saturday is Michigan 35-28 Michigan State, and for a sendoff, here is your epic Michigan .gif for the game. GO BLUE!

NFL One Day Late Primer: A Reflection of the Patriotic First Weekend

It was a busy opening weekend for the NFL, the games started on Thursday with a huge season opener between the last two Super Bowl Champions in Green Bay. The big day was Sunday, which involved some huge games, as well as some excellent tributes from fans and players alike (see above) to commermorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks. Overall, I had to say it was a great way to welcome back football after the dark cloud that was the lockout hung over us for the spring and summer. Let’s run through each match up and see what changes or special things teams did for their uniforms

League Wide

  • Players that have been captains for five seasons for their teams are now wearing Gold captaincy patches with four stars filled in

  • Every player’s uniform featured the flag bow tribute (which you can see above on Eli Manning and Brian Urlacher’s jerseys)

The Matchups

Green Bay 42, New Orleans 34

Standard uniform matchup, Packers won in a great game to kick off the NFL season, including a very parkour-like move on a kickoff return from one explosive Randall Cobb of the Packers. Notable Fact: Saints were featured in the last intraconference (AFC vs. NFC) league opener in 2007 against the then Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts.

Chicago 30, Atlanta 12

The Bears opened the season at home in their blue home jerseys for the first time since 2002, and that game was played at Memorial Stadium in Champaign while Soldier Field underwent renovations, meaning the last time they played their season opener in Chicago AND wore blue jerseys, was in 1999, a 2o-17 win over Kansas City.

Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 17 

Cleveland, after not wearing White jerseys at home since their 2008 opener against the Cowboys, new coach Pat Shurmur announced that the team will wear white in all eight home games this season, and with the exception of their November 6 game against Houston, the team may wear their white jerseys in all 16 games this season.

Buffalo 41, Kansas City 7

Buffalo debuted their excellent new uniforms in style, making the defending AFC West champions look like a pee wee squad in their most humiliating home loss in years.

Philadelphia 31, St. Louis 13

St. Louis elected to wear their all blue uniforms at home (instead of their usual home attire) and the Eagles went with their normal away uniform.

Detroit 27, Tampa Bay 20 

Tampa opened the season in their traditional all white ensemble, The Lions wore their standard home uniform as Matt Stafford stayed in for the whole game and showed some of the skills that made him the number one pick of the 2009 draft (305 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)

  • Brandon Pettigrew elected to change his number from 84 (assigned in 2009) to his number from Oklahoma State, 87.

Jacksonville 16, Tennessee 14

Jacksonville wore white at home for the first time since the 2007 season, and Tennessee wore their normal home uniforms. Tennessee running back Chris Johnson celebrated his brand new 6 year, $56 million dollar contract with 24 rushing yards, this was only the third time in his career he had less than 25 total yards in a game.

Baltimore 35, Pittsburgh 7 

Baltimore wore their Away uniform at home for the first time since their 2009 season opener against Kansas City, and absolutely demolished Pittsburgh, hanging a franchise record 35 points (most they have ever scored against PIT) on the Steelers and forcing 7 turnovers. Most importantly, many people know Hines Ward is a crafty dirty player, but yesterday, he finally got his from one Jarrett Johnson, see the video below.

Houston 34, Indianapolis 7

Just like last season, Houston wore their all white uniforms against Indianapolis at home. However, the results were different, as the Colts played their first game without Peyton Manning since 1997, and looked like a bottom 5 NFL team without their fearless leader.

San Diego 24, Minnesota 17

Much like their last season opener played at home in 2008, the Chargers wore their standard White/Navy away combination against Minnesota in the blistering California heat.

Washington 28, New York 14

Mike Shanahan continued his new tradition of the Redskins not wearing white at home under his tenure (Under Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn, the team wore white at home much more often than red) and the team kept their throwback look of burgundy jerseys paired with gold pants.

San Francisco 33, Seattle 16


In a game that the rest of the country really could care less about, Ted Ginn provided the excitement and became the first 49er to ever return a Kickoff and a Punt for a touchdown in the same game. Both teams wore their regular uniforms, but an interesting note is that Pete Carroll and John Harbaugh faced off for the first time since 2009 when Stanford played USC.

Arizona 28, Carolina 21

Cam Newton set University of Phoenix stadium alight by breaking Otto Graham’s record for passing yards in a rookie debut, tied Matt Stafford’s for most ever, and was the first QB to wear number 1 and start a game since Randall Cunnigham played for the Ravens in 2001. However it was not enough as the Cards prevailed.

Jets 27, Cowboys 24

Easily the most emotional game of the day, The Jets had some great luck and were able to abuse Tony Romo’s mistakes into a win for New York on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Patriots 38, Dolphins 24


The Dolphins opened the season at home in their green jerseys for the first time in more than ten years. The Patriots wore their standard road white and blues in a duel of Michigan Quarterbacks that ended with Tom Brady having the 5th most passing yards in a game in NFL history (517 yds) Chad Henne throwing for 416 yards, and Brady/Wes Welker combining for 65 pts for my fantasy football team, the Dallas Diamond Cutters

Raiders 23, Broncos 20

Denver’s streak of winning 11 straight home openers was snapped by Oakland last night, making them 2-0 in the Mile High City this decade, and leaving Broncos fans chanting for Tim Tebow by the end of the game.

Offsides: Some Below The Fold News

As I mentioned last week, I said I was attending the Michigan vs. Notre Dame Under The Lights match up at Michigan Stadium, and I have never been through a bigger roller coaster ride in my entire life. From the start of the game when the entire stadium sang God Bless America in memoriam of the September 11 attacks, which sent chills down my and many other people’s spines, to the absolutely horrendous first half that had some people wanting to leave, to an absolutely electric final 1:12 which had me going from absolute joy, to near tears, to wanting to cry tears of joy with that final touchdown. I left that game in absolute shock with how Michigan won it, and I don’t think I will ever go to a more exciting game. I posted this photo of Jeremy “Tiny” Gallon on catching his touchdown to show the THREE Block M’s between his gloves and jersey, as well as showcasing Michigan’s excellent uniforms. For those of you that watched the game, remember it, because you may not see a better college football game in your lifetime.

Michigan State’s New Pro Combat Uniforms make them look like Notre Dame and USF had an ugly baby #HALOL

The Michigan State Spartans unveiled their Nike Pro Combat Uniforms that will be worn against Michigan for their clash for the Paul Bunyan Trophy in East Lansing on October 15. Even without my full Michigan bias in play, these uniforms don’t really look like Michigan State. The bronze (which they say resembles their Spartan roots) gives them a resemblance to USF and Notre Dame. The team is also wearing black pants which gives them a weird Mid 90’s Ravens/Northwestern look. At least I can take comfort in knowing the Spartans will already look ridiculous when my Wolverines beat them in just over a month.

First Weekend of College Football Reveals Some Uni Designers Have Lost Their Minds

First off, an apology to my faithful readers here on JJB, I’ve spent the last few weeks moving into my new apartment and getting ready for the new school year, as well as taking care of some personal business, but I’m back to bring you the breaking, most important news, and damn funniest sports jersey blog you will read on these here internets. Now to paraphrase Rex Ryan, let’s go talk about some damn new uniforms! (Quick side note, Oregon did wear new uniforms in their loss to LSU, but the team literally breaks out a new uniform combination every week, so I will not discuss them after this.)

Georgia – My Initial Reaction

Ok, Georgia did do one thing right, they put the team name on the back of every uniform for team pride, which I think is ALWAYS a classy move.  But besides that, they look absolutely ridiculous. The red and silver helmets are a big downgrade from the team’s standard look. And as far as alternate Georgia football uniforms go, these absolutely tank compared to the Matthew Stafford era blackout uniforms. The all red is very ugly and the black and white accents do little to help that. Poor effort here from Nike.

Boise StateMy Initial Reaction

You know, some people complained, but I actually liked Boise State’s new pro combat uniforms from this weekend. Do I think it would be cooler if that Blue Bronco were on both sides of the helmet? yes, but the first thing that jumped into my mind were the Pittsburgh Steelers helmets, they are only one sided and they have one of the most beloved helmets in the NFL. The all white jersey looked pretty crisp with its blue and orange accents, and I like that the BOISE STATE is a different color than the numbers. The only creepy part was the one blue shoulder, as it harkens back to Nike’s failed orange shouldered alternates of the Mid-2000’s. Regardless, of all the new uniforms this weekend, this one I would not mind seeing again later in the year.

Oklahoma State My Initial Reaction

Its not that I hated Oklahoma State’s new uniforms, its just that thanks to the OTHER OSU (Yes, the one you’re thinking of) wore their white/grey uniforms last time they came to Michigan Stadium in 2009. Thus turning me foul on the color. Also, grey is not very intimidating, its just kind of meh, its like Oklahoma State’s away whites were dipped in dishwater or into a puddle and then put on the players.

Maryland – My Initial Reaction


First you need to watch this in case you missed the Miami v. Maryland game from Labor Day

These new Maryland uniforms worn against Miami in their 32-24 win last night set all social media on fire. Twitter hated them, Facebook loved them, and the country was instantly divided by a team’s football jersey, as your faithful author, seeing so much controversy stirred up by a uni made me all bright eyed and eager to jump back on the grind, and you can also thank my friends over at BSPN for asking me to write this post. Here were some of the reactions to last night’s controversial unis

Twitter – Comments ranged from the good, to the bad, to the just plain confusing

“Diggin Marylands color scheme tonight! By far the most unique I’ve seen!” –  Oklahoma Reciever @RyanBroyles

“OH GOSH! Maryland uniforms #Ewwwwww!” – Miami Heat Forward @KingJudas (err..James)

“The 1970’s Houston Astros have just released a statement that they would not be caught dead in the new Maryland football uniforms.” – ESPN Basketball Analyst @JayBilas

Facebook – Info pulled from this CNN post

“From the moment they (Maryland) entered the stadium, there was a collective “huh?” from most people watching.  Depending on which side of the aisle you fall, you see it as either an affectionate nod to their undying love for the state or a group of men headed to a Medieval Times joust.”

  • “Did you know if you held your smartphone up to a Maryland helmet last night, it would have scanned it as a QR code?” –  Toby Srebnik
  • “It looks like a really bad trapper keeper from 1994” – anonymous
  • I blame the (Frederick, Maryland) power outage on TVs overloading from trying to display Maryland’s uniforms.”

Google – Read excerpts from John Talty’s article on International Business Times from this morning.

“At one point during the game, Maryland was the No. 1 Google Trend and multiple Maryland related hashtags were trending on Twitter. those are usually the spots reserved for Justin Bieberor Kim Kardashian, but on Monday, it was all Maryland...It’s an incredibly old cliche to say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but it directly applies to this situation. When one of the major issues a team faces is a lack of relevancy, getting into the news for a gimmicky uniform design is absolutely brilliant…For once Maryland is relevant and that’s all that really matters.”

New Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said on SportsCenter this morning – “We are THE state university of Maryland and are very proud of that, we want everyone in this state to feel a part of what Maryland football is doing, it is our Maryland pride uniform. By putting this one we know that we are playing for every person that lives in this state and every person to every don a Maryland football uniform.”

Most of you are probably wondering now, what do I think about these jerseys? Personally, I was shocked when I saw Maryland come out in these. From the top, I think the split helmet is cool, but is too confusing when the team switches sides of the field, Under Armour needs to leave this idea with other sports. The jersey is not as bad, nor are the pants. I think that these uniforms are a nice homage to the state of Maryland, IF and only IF they are a one time ordeal. My idea is to move to what their NFL siblings do up in Baltimore.

If you look at Ray Rave’s right shoulder, you will see the Ravens secondary logo, which incorporates the team name as well as the Maryland state flag into one nice and tidy coat of arms. If Maryland wants to make a permanent homage to the state they represent, they should figure out a way to incorporate a subtle logo like this onto every uniform combination.

Now as for the upcoming week in College Football, there are two important uni-related notes

The Arizona State Sun Devils will be breaking out their beautiful new ‘Blackout” uniforms against Missouri this coming Friday, September 9. Fans will be wearing black in the stands to make Sun Devil Stadium as intimidating as possible.For my full review of one of my favorite college football uniforms, look here.

And finally, I have to include the fact that I will be attending the Notre Dame vs. Michigan “Under The Lights” matchup at Michigan Stadium this weekend. Both teams will be donning special uniforms which I talked about in a post earlier this summer, which you can read here. I’ll be back with my first NFL primer of the new season after the weekend, but for now, may all of you enjoy the wondrous weekend that is about to be upon us in 3 days, the NFL returns in 2, and Michigan plays ND in 4. Till the next time – J

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