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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.
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NHL Preview

Ah, Fall is officially here, and hockey season is HERE, and we have quite a few uni-related changes for this upcoming season. League-wide, teams are recieving new versions of the Reebok EDGE jersey (which was last updated in 2007) and more importantly, we have the Atlanta Thrashers (and their God-awful uniforms) being relocated to Winnipeg and debuting a brand new uniform set. Let’s run down the changes we will see on the ice this season

Most important new feature about new edge jerseys is the logo change, teams formerly used the Reebok logo vector on the back of the collar, but has now switched to the Reebok wordmark.

Let’s see who did what with their uniforms in the offseason:

Edmonton Oilers – After going classic with their home jerseys in the 2009-10 season. The Oilers decided to complete their ‘retro-ization’ this spring by unveiling their new, retro road jersey. The team completely scrapped their 2000’s look and is now emulating the jerseys worn by the Great One.

Los Angeles Kings – The Kings decided to flip their home and third jerseys, making the ‘Captain LA’ jersey their official home sweater, and their crown jerseys their alternate sweater.

Nashville Predators

The Predators took a few steps backwards in my book, they went from having a fairly solid navy blue and gold color scheme to going ALL GOLD, needless to say I am not a huge fan of the change, but since the Preds are a rival of my beloved Red Wings, I don’t mind seeing them dress a bit worse. The away uniform took a few steps in the right direction, dumping the starter jacket effect the former away jersey had for something a bit more clean. However, I do think that could have kept the script ‘Nashville’ on the front of the jersey.

Ottawa Senators have even more reasons to hate the rival Buffalo Sabres now. Thanks to a misplaced shipment, the team’s new batch of third jerseys was sent from Indianapolis to the Buffalo Sabres team shop instead of Ottawa. An alert shopper in Buffalo kindly obliged to the faux pas by taking pictures and posting them on the internet, leaving the Sens’ front office to admit that these were indeed their new third jerseys.

I think the Barberpole design is actually a very nice touch. The team says these jerseys are a tribute to the original Senators franchise, who played in Ottawa from 1917-1934 and won 11 Stanley Cups during that period. Two things to point out are that first, the O on the front is a little bit too Oregon Ducks for my liking. Second, the jersey has gone bilingual in its jersey patches, the right shoulder reads ‘Ottawa Senators’ and the left shoulder alternately reads ‘Senateurs d’Ottawa.” I think these will be warmly received by the fans in Ottawa, but the team needs to wear them only for special occasions so that they do not become overused and undervalued.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has given the Lightning’ a new look suspiciously familiar to the team he spent his entire career with. The team dumped black as their primary color, and switched to royal blue, going for a much simpler look.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs unveiled these new third uniforms as an homage to their uniforms worn in the late 1960’s and during their last Stanley Cup victory in 1967. I think they look great, the tie up collar is an excellent retro touch, the stripes look great, and I much prefer this to the Leafs’ most recent third sweater

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are back and I am thrilled about it, however, I am not completely thrilled with the new uniforms. I think they are a solid, modern design, but are too plain for me. I think the old design the Jets had until 1996, when the original team departed for Phoenix. I think over time these will grow on me, and I’m sure to celebrate the team’s return by investing in a Dustin Byfuglien jersey. And remember, they are still a HUGE upgrade over the garbage they wore in Atlanta

And of course, my favorite part of Hockey season besides seeing my beloved Red Wings play, the Ice Girls are back.

Ink Stains:

Happy Hockey Season Opener To All! – J

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