Figuring Out How to Remove Deodorant Stains

Before and After (flash makes for weird shadows)
Before and After (flash makes for weird shadows, but the one on the right is pure white)

So, I know the immediate reaction is to say “how gross!” but let’s just get it out there that not wearing deodorant is significantly more gross, and, hey, being a human is gross.

I’m writing this review to address a few outcomes of a typical search for this issue:

  1. Most articles mention that it’s the aluminum in antiperspirant that causes the yellowing and/or blackening on white undershirts, and deodorant doesn’t have aluminum in it, so use that instead. Problem 1) this doesn’t address removing the stains on your clothes now, Problem 2) maybe some people prefer antiperspirant.
  2. Other articles say “switch to a natural alternative to antiperspirant which doesn’t contain aluminum.” Again, 1) this doesn’t address existing stains, 2) many comments in such articles talk about how they tried it (sometimes with some crazy “natural” oil or something), but the inefficacy was obvious (as in, they stunk), 3) this is what hippies do.
  3. Some articles provide a thorough analysis of the chemistry of the canonical deodorant + antiperspirant stain types (whether the yellow or black variety), then provide a list of home remedies (ground-up aspirin solution, pretreating with normal laundry detergent, vinegar, NEVER CHLORINE BLEACH – it makes the staining worse!, Borax, rubbing dryer sheets on it, using a dedicated anti-stain spray which says “great for protein stains!”, etc. These articles often end with a note that switching to something without aluminum is a great idea… As if that suggestion retroactively removes stains or provides the benefits of an antiperspirant.
  4. There are even some articles that say the solution (pun?!) is to use (much) less antiperspirant, and to let it dry (absorb?) before putting on that first layer of clothes. Girl, I wake up like this. I don’t have time for that.
  5. Articles say “use OxiClean!” Now we’re getting somewhere! But you’re still searching for “how to remove deodorant stains,” which means it probably didn’t work for you when you tried it. Hint: just adding it to your normal wash cycle won’t take care of stains. Maybe it’d take care of the issue if you had used it from day zero of wearing your bright white new shirt, but, at this point, you’re searching for how to remove stains, not avoid them.

This is what you need to do to get deodorant stains out of clothes (note that I’m referring to deodorant and antiperspirant as synonyms here):

I believe the normal OxiClean would've had the same results, but I got this because the shirts were white. I've since used this for all my laundry, and it's been 100% fine on all colors.
I believe the normal OxiClean would’ve had the same results, but I bought this because the shirts were white. I’ve since used this for all my laundry, and it’s been 100% fine on all colors. Note that despite the “White Revive” branding, the product is color safe.

You probably have a number of items which need to be “de-stained.” So, get a big bucket (I used a 5 gallon example). Fill that thing a bit less than half-way with hot water. Put two full scoops of OxiClean into your bucket of hot water (it comes with a scooper). Stir it around to make sure it dissolves. Put your deodorant-stained clothes in that bucket. Make sure you get them all the way drowned in there. You’ll find that some items will rise to the top, so have a stirrer handy (I used metal tongs every 30ish minutes… I’m not 100% sure on the chemistry, but metals + acids are bad news. OxiClean means metals + bases, but I kept the tongs out of the solution when not stirring, just in case).

5 gallon bucket with stirrer
5 gallon bucket with stirrer
BBOS (big bucket of soaking)
BBOS (big bucket of soaking)

The key part (and why you’re looking this up) is that it takes a while. Give it at least four hours in the bath. Immediately after the bath you’ll see the stains are almost gone, but the soaked fabric makes it tough to tell. After the soak, put your items directly in the washer, and do a cycle which matches the care instructions on the clothes label (specifically the water temperature). Use the normal amount of detergent but also an amount of additional OxiClean to match the instructions on the OxiClean container (note that the soak, detailed above, uses WAY more OxiClean than a normal wash cycle). Based on my OxiClean container, that was “line 2” which is the lowest mark on the included scoop.

After - with flash
After – with flash

Seriously, look at these results. We’re talking about “like-new” levels of whiteness… even in the most-stained areas. This is why I’m spending so much time writing this up. It’s an awesome result without much work.

After - no flash
After – no flash.  Any “questionable” areas are due to lighting only.

Some additional info: everything I put through this process was white and used as an undershirt. (OxiClean is color-safe for most fabrics, though just getting it out there…) All items were Banana Republic t-shirts, and most were 96% cotton, 4% spandex (gotta make the show muscles s-h-o-w), and three (of the eight in the bucket) were 100% cotton. Same (great) results for all. I didn’t have any unexpected fabrics which show up in undershirts in my testing … My Slix polyester + spandex undershirt doesn’t seem to have the staining issue, and I don’t have any shirts made from blends of modal or “bamboo” (for undershirts and underwear, “modal” = fancy Rayon, “bamboo” = fancy modal).

*****

Figuring out how to remove deodorant stains gets FIVE big stars because it makes clothes look like new, and it’s very inexpensive; the entire container of OxiClean was $8, and I used… um, at most, 5% of it(? two full scoops) to “fix” eight shirts. Also, the opportunity for rock solid SEO adds at least half a point.

TL;DR Get a big bucket. Fill it half-way with hot water. Put two full scoops of OxiClean in the bucket and stir it to make sure it dissolves. Put the stained clothes in that bucket for 4 hours, and stir every now and then. After the soak, wash as normal, but add OxiClean per the instructions on its container.

The Nike Basketball Christmas Pack 2010-2015. An Overview.

What?! They have Christmas sneakers now? Yep. Kids these days. Seems like they could use some holiday opinion-ing.

Nike’s basketball branch has been releasing a “Christmas Pack” every year since 2010. Each of their “signature” athletes gets a Christmas colorway. From 2010, that’s been Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. Though he had a “Christmas” colorway last year (actually more of a “PE,” or “player edition,” which saw formal release later in the year), Kyrie Irving wasn’t part of the 2014 marketing blitz. This year, he is.

Onto the reviews:

2010

sgsdg hgdshdh e
KD 3, Kobe 6, LeBron 8V2

Not much Christmas-y about the bright yellow (and now dated-looking) KD 3s, but the Kobe 6s are considered classics, and have been nicknamed the Kobe 6 “Grinchmas.” Red and white clearly get the point across on the LeBrons which really kicked off the mid-[sneaker]-career golden age for Lebron James (8 V2, 9, 10, 11), though the black mid-sole looks out of place and not very festive. Evaluating on just on a hit-or-miss ratio,  a weaker than it sounds: 2 out of 3.

Overall: ***

2011

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KD 4, LeBron 9, Kobe “System Supreme” 7

I’m never digging a strap on sneakers, but the usually under-used copper color on the KD 4 looks quite warm and, thus, Christmas-y. I wouldn’t say that copper is the warmest metal (hello, that’s nickel… duh). Again, LeBron James isn’t messing around: lots of red and green on the 9s, with a “frosty” (read: transparent blue-ish rubber) sole. Kobe Bryant is doing… that over there from that weird time period when Nike was using very thin flywire in the paneling itself instead of on or around the paneling (the LeBron 8 V2 is the same way. Look at the LeBron 11, below, for comparison). A stronger 2 out of 3 than 2010.

Overall: ***½

2012

LeBron 10, Kobe 8, KD 5
LeBron 10, Kobe 8, KD 5.

Look, the Kobes and KDs just… are. They’re neat, but not festive. BUT, those LeBron 10s with the metallic red with green laces and transparent green rubber; the full length max zoom air; the backwards swoosh (back when that was actually notable); the ruby-colored plastic support above the speckled mid-sole… Christmas! Let’s take a closer look:

nike-lebron-x-10-christmas-2012-541100-600-02

A REMARKABLY strong 1 out of 3.

Overall: **** on the strength of the LeBron 10 alone.

2013

Clockwise from left: KD 6, LeBron 11, Kobe 8
Clockwise from left: KD 6, LeBron 11, Kobe 8

The best of Nike’s Christmas packs so far; Kobe’s doing whatever he’s doing over there, so let’s ignore him while we focus on the others. Each deserves a deeper dive.

KD 6 – metallic red and mint green with gold accents. That’s “Christmas” with a capital “let’s all gather by the fire and sing Christmas carols.” Some finer points: the “KD” badge in the heel decorated with Christmas lights (!), the “snow” flecks on the green mid-sole, and the flannel pattern on the heel. Oh, wait, they also included an “ugly sweater” pattern in retroreflective (“3M”) ink on the medial side, so it only shows up if the light is just right.  Perfect. (though maybe so Christmas-y it may look out of place on December 27)

kd6-2 KD6-1

LeBron 11 – lots of green and snowy scenes to be found.

lb11-1

Overall: ****½ Kobe’s too good to be celebrating Christmas, I guess.

2014

2014
KD 7, Kobe 9 Elite, LeBron 12

Whoa! Three Christmas-themed sneakers in the “Christmas Pack” for once. Kevin Durant went with an “eggnog” theme with his. The strap is unfortunate, but it’s neat execution if you like your sneakers to be two-tone. The white of the front is actually an off-white, eggnog color. Kobe Bryant has a quite festive Christmas stocking theme that is executed nearly ideally (the black carbon fiber sticks out visually, but Nike wants the carbon fiber to look like carbon fiber). Finally LeBron James has a white birch tree printed pattern (think of birch bark). The ad copy is a bit… convenient “white birch like he saw when he was a kid in Akron!” or something like that, but it works. A big 3 for 3.

KD 7 detail:

kd7

Kobe 9 Elite detail:

K9

LeBron 12 detail:

LB2014

Overall: ****½ None are as nice as the Christmas-themed options in the 2013 pack, so a tie is in order.

2015

LeBron 13, Kyrie 2, KD 8, Kobe 10 Elite
LeBron 13, Kyrie 2, KD 8, Kobe 10 Elite

Nike’s theme this year is “Fire and Ice.” Notice two white and blue colorways (ICE!!!) and two black and red colorways (FIRE!!!). Of note is that the medial sides of the KDs and Kobes don’t match the lateral sides:

KD (this is the same pair of sneakers!). The medial is completely different. The speckled pattern on the mid-sole is supposed to be hot coals… hmm. Close enough.

KD8-1

Kobe: red on the medial side, black on the lateral side. Funky.

Kobe-2015

Somehow, white and blue are 2015’s “Christmas Colors.”

Some details of the LeBron 13 — brr! But some neat snow and ice details in the fabric:

lbj2015-2 lbj2015-1

And to give him some attention, here’s a close-up of the Kyrie 2 — eh, a lot of textures going on there. Good execution on both the “cold” and “snow monster with a taste for mammal blood” themes [check out that strap]:

kyrie

kyrie3

Despite the KD 8 and Kobe 10 being very cool (pun!) models, these colorways are not Christmas. I don’t love the whole blue and white thing, but it’s growing on me. A very weak 2 out of 4 hit to miss ratio.

Overall: **½ This isn’t a good year for the Christmas Pack. Sorry, Nike.

Here’s the Phillies 2012 Stars & Stripes Hat (Minus any Stars & Stripes)

2012
As has been the pattern since 2008, Major League Baseball will be using special hats for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and September 11 as part of their “Stars & Stripes” program. Mixing the design up every year, they’re actually eschewing the namesake “stars and stripes,” replacing them with a digital camouflage pattern. (Let me say that I think it’s the Army’s “Universal Camouflage Program,” but military uniforms are outside my uniform wheelhouse. In terms of straight-up trivia, I’d give the designers lots of credit if the camouflage pattern for the Blue Jays followed one of Canada’s CADPAT designs or if the Padres used one of the US Marines’ patterns instead of what I assume is the US Army’s pattern, but it doesn’t look like either is the case.)

History

click to enlarge

This year, thankfully, MLB says they will donate “ALL NET PROCEEDS” from sales of the hat to the Welcome Back Veterans fund (previously, Kyle gave MLB heat for the shamelessness of contributing only $1 from a $37 MSRP item in order to play the “for the troops” card).

The Stars & Stripes hats are made in China, unlike the normal on-field New Era hats which are made by folks you’d normally see when there’s an aggressive Clint Eastwood voiceover talking about it being half-time or 7th Inning Stretch or Second Intermission in America. USA!

So… how do they look? In a word, ugly. Oddly, instead of just framing the camo pattern with the normal white of the “P,” they added an extra blue stroke on top of the white to frame the camo. Odd (and unnecessary). With just red and (generally green) camo, I’m stretching, but you get a nice “Christmas comes to Winter’s Bone” effect. Red+Blue+Camo? Nope. Looking through the rest of the league, they just look like dirty versions of the normal hats. Also, like the Phillies, other teams, such as the Blue Jays, have gotten vestigial strokes added to the design for some reason. 

For some positivity, a detail I’ve always liked on the Stars & Stripes hats is that they also drop-in the pattern in the “batterman” logo on the back of the hats, and they’ve continued that this year.

Looking at the Phillies hats since 2008,  the 2009 hat is the best (being that it looks just like the normal hat, minus the red button on top) with the navy blue 2008 as runner-up. 2010 is hideous and 2011 looks missed the retro fad by about 4 years. For those interested in such things, the 2009/10/11 versions are easily found on ebay, but the 2008 hats are extremely rare (as in there hasn’t been one on ebay in either hat size I can wear in the last 3 years). Last season,  I offered a middle aged man at a Phillies game $60 for the one he had one his head, and he even knew not to sell it. I am not proud of any part of this anecdote…

Anyone out there planning on buying one of these? If so, you can line Kyle’s pockets by clicking this link to purchase.

Pictures via lids.com and the very cool, but not-updated-since-2o1o Fittedelphia, which chronicles Phillies hats made by New Era.

**

$1.1 Billion Gets You… Brand Synergy! (and Pretty Cool Eagles Sneakers)

Eagles

Eagles Air Max 95 (No-Sew) – NFL Draft Pack – picture via counterkicks

For those wondering what Nike would do with the NFL license after the disappointingly and expectly overhyped unveiling ceremony, they finally showed some of the benefits of their freshly enacted apparel deal with their 2012 “NFL Draft Pack” of sneakers. Gimmicky, but I like it.

You say you love the Eagles but your team-related footwear options are limited? Boom– NFL Draft Pack. Simply, Nike chose eight signature sneakers, either classics from the past or noteworthy current shoes, assigning one to each division, then laying out a custom colorway for each team within each division. Luckily, Nike chose one of their all-time best designs, the Air Max 95, for the NFC East.

Two notes: (1) nitpickers will notice these are actually the Air Max 95 No-Sews which, well, don’t have the color panels sewn together as on the original design from 1995, (2) The Air Max 95 is my favorite sneaker of all time—yes, people have such things—so I’m not the fairest judge. Heck, I wear Air Max 95s on an almost a daily basis (thank you job with minimal dress code). But come on, with both Midnight Green and Kelly Green present and prominent, what isn’t to like? (well, the list price is $150, so that’s something to not like…)

Here are the rest of the NFC East Air Max 95s (No-Sews). The Redskins version is fantastic. I’m not sure I’d be able to pull off actually wearing them, but it just proves how well their color palette comes together. The Cowboys and Giants aren’t quite as interesting, but I can’t really find fault with either of them, with the Giants, well, “Big Blue” approach working quite well, though I wouldn’t have minded some silver on the Cowboys [editor’s note: I see purple?].

Nfc east
Counterkicks has close-ups of each team’s sneaker. Some notables: the AFC West in the Nike Air Trainer SC (you may know them as “Bo Jacksons”) and the NFC North in the Air Max 90 (also known as the original Air Max). Also, the Buccaneers’ Free Trainer 5.0 and the deceptively complex Free Haven 3.0 looks good in any color (even neon green) are new designs which are only enhanced by this NFL tie-in program.

Here are all of them for the entire league. I’m giving this whole pursuit a big thumbs-up. Which ones do you like?

All

via Nicekicks and Counterkicks, two great sites for sneaker news.

*****

This Week in Yinzer Fashion: 2012 Steelers Throwbacks

Detail

from the Steelers.com Gallery of the Press Conference

Adding one last dig to our neighbors to the west before tonight’s (hopefully) decisive hockey game, the Steelers did us a favor showcased their new-for-2012 throwbacks yesterday. Yikes.

Gone is the 60s-inspired alternate with its trademark yellow helmet. I never loved the previous throwback, but they were perfectly harmless, and a nice rearrangement of the design of the Steelers classic (hate to admit that one, but it’s true) uniforms.

This new one? Well, the good news is that it’s tied into an 80th anniversary celebration, so it’s a safe bet it won’t be seen after this year. The bad news is that it introduces a new type of “ugly” NFL uniform. Let’s look at the types of ugly uniforms that are currently out there:

Old_blue_blue_2

 

There’s “modern does not always equal good” ugly: the prime offender being the 2000s Bills, with their non-white monochrome uniforms, inexplicable paneling, yokes, and a general sense of “this is over-designed.” Less egregious offenders: the Cardinals and Falcons.


 

Old_v_newThere’s “why did you have to break something that was perfectly nice?” ugly: the current Jaguars uniform isn’t particularly… well, it’s not particularly anything. It just exists, devoid of any character. But, it replaced one of the best modern uniforms without improving it in any way (except maybe gimmicky color-change helmet). Another example would be the Vikings current uniforms.

 

Eagles-throwbacks

 

There’s “old teams used weird colors” ugly: the 2007 Eagles throwbacks (yellow and light blue – together on a football uniform at last!) were harmless except for the ridiculous (though historically accurate) color scheme. It’s still funny to see these in the stands, serving as proof that Eagles fans will buy and wear anything associated with the team. Lesser offenders: throwbacks worn by the Packers in 2010 and 2011 (not to be seen in 2012, though).

 

Alternates_bothUntil yesterday, the last type of “ugly” was “so bad it’s good” ugly: I like the Bengals orange alternates, whether paired with white or black pants. There’s a lot not to like there, but somehow it works. Sue me. (I know that liking the orange over black combo isn’t particularly philosophically sound given my previous opinions about odd color combos, but somehow that one is passable. Maybe due to my love of Halloween.)

 

The Steelers have managed to create a new kind of “ugly.” Welcome to “so bad it should be good, but it’s just bad” ugly. Everywhere you look, there’s something that would be noteworthy (possibly in an endearing way, more likely in an annoying way) if it were the only abnormal feature on a uniform.

  • Horizontal stripes like you’d see on a rugby shirt.
  • Putting the numbers in a box, then filling that box with white like it’s a letter on Wheel of Fortune
  • A non-color (light beige?) color for the pants, probably in an attempt to mimic an olde timey fabric like canvas or whatever real men wore (probably loosely woven burlap or similar) when they played real football.
  • They’re going with their normal black, logo on one side, helmets. It’s actually nice they’re not trying to match a leather helmet by going with brown (like the Packers did to middling results) but at least use a solid black helmet without a logo. I may even approve of the use of matte black for this special case.
  • Striped socks are good. Alternating stripes the entire length of the sock? Not good.
  • Finally, the historical accuracy of whether this was the actual uniform worn 80 seasons ago is under considerable debate. (to be fair, I’ll point out that conclusively deciding anything about NFL uniforms before 1970 is a black art due to lack of records and care.)

The 2009 Broncos AFL Throwbacks are thought to be in this category due to their vertically striped socks, but notice that aside from the socks and the jarring colors (see above about olde timey colors), the uniforms are pretty ho-hum.

Final words:

It’s a ballsy move on the Steelers part to choose this look as their alternate uniform this season. Sure, it’s hideous (and is actually technically a “Pittsburgh Pirates” uniform from before the name change), but it’s the type of risk that gets fans engaged and the type of risk Eagles management would never take. The Eagles won’t even wear their black alternates which are about as safe as can be in terms of rocking the boat. Sure, these are just uniforms, I get that, but as Kyle detailed previously, they’re one more component of a team which, since the trade of Donovan McNabb, has gotten complacent about almost every facet of the organization.

Go Flyers.

*½

Breaking Down The 2012 NFL/Nike Uniform Unveiling

I’m really, really surprised Kyle managed to not open his earlier article with one of his patented, lengthy comparisons between some sports-related event and some (hypothetical) relationship or “girl” story with expectations as high as they were. It would’ve practically written itself.

Of course, the high expectations were generated completely by Nike (and some widely circulated fan renderings made in the style of Nike’s “Pro Combat” NCAA uniforms which were frequently and erroneously reported as “the 2012 Nike uniforms” well after they were confirmed to be fanmade), as there’s simply too much money in the NFL to rock the boat. Patting myself on the back, I’ll point out that I predicted the uniforms generally wouldn’t change.

For what you care about, as far as we know from what we’ve seen so far, the Eagles uniforms aren’t changing at all this season. Being that Nike only showed the green over white combination (more on this below) and it didn’t change anything on that combo (in fact, according to Nike Corporate write-up for the Eagles, they “have chosen to stay with their traditional design aesthetic as well as their former uniform fabrication this year,” it’s safe to assume the Eagles other components (white jerseys, green pants, black alternates, assuming those ever make an appearance again) aren’t changing either. That’s it. End of story.

Allteams

Photo: Nike

The best way to analyze today’s event is to figure out what it wasn’t.

Yesterday’s event was not for football fans. Every fan wanted to know what their team’s “new” uniforms looked like. Nike only showed one combination for each team. Of course, the reason for that is twofold.

1) With 32 teams and multiple jersey/pants combos for each team, there are simply too many combos to show in-person (the Rams have seven combos which they regularly trot out, for example), but even the Nike website and store show only the primary/color jersey for each. OK, maybe the merchandise/material isn’t available yet (these are two of the largest brands in the world, get your stuff together), but computer renderings could have been made for publishing on the Internet, a la an official style guide. Oddly, there are some substantial uniform updates for 2012 which weren’t even mentioned on the 3rd. The Jaguars will be adding a black alternate to their current set for the 2012 season, so there could be other notable updates for which teams want to control the release as opposed to Nike or the NFL.

2) There was nothing “new” about the uniforms from a fan’s perspective (other than for Seahawks fans, of course). If recaps of the event included lines like, “And after showing the Rams 5th effectively unchanged combination of 7, this reporter’s eyes began glazing over,” it’d ruin the coverage. Instead, we get reporting(?) on how these uniforms will “usher in [a] new era of sportswear” (note: they won’t).

Yesterday’s event was not for the NFL. The event was a Nike commercial where they could push their brand values of performance, etc. in exchange for the $1.1billion they (reportedly) spent for the NFL license. That’s all well and good (capitalism!), but that’s all it was. Fans don’t care that the new fabric is however many percent lighter or better at wicking moisture (unless they’re materials science engineers). It’s simply means to an end for associating all of Nike’s products with “faster, lighter, stronger.” Again, that’s fine, but the “new” uniforms aren’t a big deal to anyone other than Nike (or Seahawks fans). To talk about this “changing everything” or “the game never being the same”…geez, slow down, Nike.

Speaking of the Seahawks and their new design… they actually did post a complete set of pictures showing all combinations. Generally, the new uniform is an evolution of the current design, not a throwback-inspired 0r clean sheet redesign (don’t tell Nike that). They did add a grey alternate jersey (as well as pants), but the Seahawks generally wore monochrome White or Blue in the last few years in the current uniform, so let’s see if the actually exercise all of their combinations. BUT, with 3 pants and 3 jerseys, that’s 9 combos, so we could see an Oregon-typeeffect where they’re in something different almost every week (though the alternate is worn at most twice a year per NFL rules), especially if Nike pushes for it (and they probably will – fans seem generally supportive of Oregon’s non-uniform uniforms. For the record, I actually like the Oregon uniforms, though I wouldn’t mind if they stuck to an NFL-like Color/Home/Alternate, but I guess I’m old-fashioned. Note: this is slightly sarcasm. The NFL didn’t have predictable alternates until 2002.) The new Seahawks uniform is not awful, but in terms of emotional statements that can’t easily be refuted, it doesn’t look like an NFL uniform. In some big picture (let’s say 10+ years), it will look as dated as the current Bengals set, which was also a “product of the [2004] times” type of design, lots of black, inexplicable paneling, non-white monochrome combinations, you name it.

My prediction (UniDiction?) for the Seahawks is that the trendy grey alternate will survive for three or four seasons, then be replaced with a throwback from this style (or similar), which will  become a fan favorite and eventually replace the “this smells like 2012” design that was unveiled today. (note: if the Seahawks somehow become a dynasty in the next few years, fans will latch onto the new 2012 design, similar to how Boston fans like the generally ugly Patriots uniforms in which they won all those Super Bowls. Note: The Seahawks are not going to become a dynasty.)

And a quick word about the grey alternates: this was obviously a push from Nike to which the Seahawks did not say “no.” I say “obviously” because it’s the new “trend” color Nike’s been pushing. Look at this year’s special NCAA basketball uniforms… all made by Nike. Look at their Lunaracer sneaker. Look at the Kentucky NCAA Basketball Championship gear (made by Nike – you’d think Kentucky’s color was blue. Hmm…) This fad will die, and someone in the Seahawks marketing department will say, “Wait a minute. These grey jerseys and pants just look like slightly dirty versions of the white uniforms.” Really. Look at the grey over white combo. There’s so little contrast that it’s useless. There is no reason for this to exist other than Nike’s push for grey to be the next big thing, like the late 90s/early 00s black boom (which is beginning to finally fade away, though maybe just “fading” to grey…)

And finally, another pattern seen on the new Nike uniforms is the swapping of grey for silver for some teams. Nike claims this is due to limitations of the new fabric, but, not so coincidentally, look at Nike’s high profile “Pro Combat” NCAA uniforms. Nike loves matte colors. Not to get all conspiracy theory-ish, but if they’re billing the new fabric as the greatest thing ever, they couldn’t have figured out a way to keep the Patriots and Lions in silver instead of matte grey? (It looks like the Raiders are still in silver, so…conspiracy!)

On top of both of those reasons, grey has no place on a sports uniform other than “away” uniforms for baseball teams. It’s why I always complain when the Eagles play the Giants, and that’s not coming from a place of Giants-hate, if they wore white pants, I wouldn’t complain as loudly.

During an odd time in last year’s Eagles season, Kyle wrote a multi-step plan for how to fix the Eagles, one of which included the uniforms. In the next week or so, I’ll be looking at a few strategies for how that could’ve/should’ve taken place, and what changes would have helped the Eagles’ look

½

UniDiction 2011: Week 17 – Eagles vs. Redskins and Week 16 Round-Up

Follow me on twitter for a variety of uniform related updates during today’s NFL games (@dancfuller).

Week17
Click to enlarge.

First off, Happy New Year! What’s even less inconsequential than a regular unidiction? One for a game taking place after the Eagles have been mathematically elimated from the playoffs! (OK, let me first brag about predicting last week’s Eagles win, then move on to the round-up and this week’s unidiction.)

Week 16 Round-Up

Orange_black_1Orange_white_4Actually, last week was a little more eventful than was expected. The Bengals wore their orange alternates over their white pants, keeping the everyone safe another year from  the “world’s worst Halloween costume” orange over black combo (last seen in 2005, so consider that one likely retired). The Bengals get A LOT of hate from the internet sports uniform community (yep, it’s  a thing), but their whole get-up is just uncaringly, unredeemingly goofy, and, especially in orange, it just works in it’s own, well, goofy way.

Purple_black_7

Though it’s not an alternate jersey, the  Ravens paired their (normal) purple jersey with their black pants, something they did in 1996, then out that combo in their current uniform set for one game last year. It’s a great trivia answer, but it’s an awful uniform combination. It combines the issues of dark/black pants which don’t have any contrasting features (off-color socks, stripes, etc.) with a dark jersey. It’s all the issues of the Seahawks standard monochrome blue uniforms made even worse due to the black/purple combo. Blech.

 

Your Week 17 UniDiction (Eagles, Redskins – for bragging rights only!) is after the jump. 

Week 17 UniDiction – Eagles vs. Redskins

The Redskins have deceptively nice uniforms. I say “deceptively” because they’re almost always forgotten in “best of” lists because they’re neither stuck in an “old timey” football aesthetic (Colts, Browns) nor do they have a whole “heritage of winning” in a specific uniform set (Packers). They’ve just been quietly wearing one of the best uniforms in the leage for a while. Last year, they added yellow pants, solidifying their status as having one of the best looks in the league.

[note: I apparently can’t read a football schedule, and I thought they were playing in Washington. Oh well, I like the graphic I put together, so I’ll go with it…] The Redskins usually pair their yellow pants with the maroon jersey at home, but they don’t always. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason, so I’m assuming they’re going with their best combo, maroon over yellow. I’m feeling particularly spiteful, so I was harsher than usual on their helmet and intangibles this week.

Being that the Redskins are actually visiting and in white over maroon, let’s call that combo…18 points. Not loving the dark pants, but still a good look, better than white over yellow.

Week17
The Eagles will be in their best combo, “midnight” green over white (OK, so the Eagles only have two possible regular season combos this year, but it’s obviously the best one). Let’s say it’s worth 22 points.

EAGLES 22

REDSKINS 18

Relevant Redskins-related Uniform Trivia

  • Yellow pants have come and gone (mostly “gone” during the lifespans of the majority of the readers of this site) throughout the Redskins uniform history.
  • In my picture above, I called out the “double headdress” effect on the helmet. I think that’s a product of keeping the ’70-71 helmet logo motif, but adding the head for the ’72 uniform update.
  • They were generally a White at Home team until they added the yellow pants in 2010. Since then, they’ve exclusively worn their maroon jerseys at home.
  • The maroon color is called “burgundy” by the team. Too bad. It’s not burgundy. It’s maroon.
  • Same as previous except “gold” is actually yellow.
  • The addition of the yellow pants in 2010 (temporarily?) retired the great white over white combo. (and also the not-so-great maroon over maroon combo).
  • Each pair of pants has its own, unique socks.

This is the last UniDiction of the season! Look for a 2011 baseball uniform/logo round-up sometime during Spring Training, as well as write-ups if anything else noteworthy from a uniform perspective pops up in Philadelphia.

ALSO — remember, I already did a lengthy review of tomorrow’s Flyers Winter Classic jerseys.

UniDiction 2011: Week 14 – Eagles vs. Dolphins and Week 13 Round-Up

Week14_match

I lost; the Eagles lost. It was an ugly game for every possible reason. Let’s just not talk about it.

Week 13 Round-Up

Throwback_4

 

The Buccaneers wore their Creamsicle throwbacks against the Panthers, which are ugly, but in that “so bad it’s good, but no more than twice a season, please” sort of way.

 

Blue_blue_1

Red_red_2In less positive news, both the Texans and Cardinals went monochrome in their respective games, navy over navy for the Texans and red over red for the Cardinals. Neither is a good look, but it means that the Cardinals may trot out their rare (though not particularly appealing) white over red combo now that their red pants are available this season.


 

White_green_4

Finally, for trivia lovers, the Redskins and Jets mixed it up by having the Redskins wear their maroon over white (instead of yellow) combo at home and the Jets in their, again, rare (and, again, unappealing) white over green.

Eagles vs. Dolphins UniDiction

Lots of details in the picture, but the main take-away is that the Dolphins are an “almost always” White at Home team. Every now and then, they pull out their orange alternates for home, night games, but the Eagles announced they’d be in green this week, so the Dolphins are in white. Though not rigidly defined, the Dolphins generally wear white pants with the white jersey for home games and break out aqua pants for away games when they wear White jerseys (meaning: almost any away games).

Check out the Dolphins Uniform history on the Gridiron Uniform Database, and notice the 1997 “tweaking” which changed the shade of Aqua and added the 90s-riffic drop-shadows on the numbers. Generally, their uniforms have been adjusted numerous times (striping and logo tweaks, mainly), but no significant changes since 1966. Pretty impressive for a design to last that long and still look good.

Week14

The Eagles are in their typical home combination, Green over White. I’ll omit the full break-down, but in short, it’s their best combo of the current uniform set, and worth, let’s say, 22 points (generally, the Midnight Green is simply too dark).

Dolphins – 21

Eagles – 22

****½

It’s actually going to be an unexpectedly great uniform match-up. Let’s hope the game is OK, too.

 

 

 

 

UniDiction 2011: Week 13 – Eagles vs. Seahawks and Week 12 Round-Up (new format!)

Week13_lead

follow me on twitter (@dancfuller)

Well, I was wrong for last week’s game, too. 3-8. Of course, there was nothing right about the Eagles on-field performance, either.

There’s an all-new format for the UniDiction section which I think you’ll like, so let me know what you think in the comments.

Week 12 Round-Up

The Chargers wore their very nice Powder Blue throwbacks. I think the color’s odd enough that it shouldn’t necessarily be their primary uniform (and the Titans use light Blue, though in a very different way), but the Chargers normal uniforms are among the least notable in the league (neither good nor bad…they just…are), helmet with electricity on the sides notwithstanding, so file the “should the powder blues be the Chargers’ normal uniforms” under “let me think about it.” I covered the Thanksgiving uniform happenings in last week’s article.

Eagles vs Seahawks UniDiction (new format!)

Week13
click to enlarge

No full write-up for the Eagles this week because of the new format, but they’re in White over Midnight Green, and that looks awful and needs to be removed from their locker room. BUT, the Seahawks uniforms are awful.

Seahawks – 12

Eagles – 13 

Some random Seahawks uniform info:

Seahawks helmet logo in image above from Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net.

*

An awful uniform match-up this week.

UniDiction 2011: Week 9 – Eagles vs. Bears

This was cross-posted on Crossing Broad.

2011_week9
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Well, they may have blasted apart my uniform-generated spread (25-15),  but a win (real life: 34-7) is a win. I’m 3-4, the Eagles are 3-4. Not too shabby after a dicey start for both of us.

We had a surprisingly lively debate in the comments section for a review of the Marlins new logo on Tuesday, and the uniforms will be officially and fully unveiled on Friday 11/11, so check back next weekend for a full review. But, we’re hear to talk about the NFL today, so let’s start this footbal thing by looking at last week’s NFL uniform action with the help of the always-greatGridiron Uniform Database.

For Halloween (?), the Broncos wore their Orange alternates. I’m not a big fan, but they’re going with Orange as their primary color jersey color next year, so get used to it. Of course, the kicker is that they’re rumored to be changing uniforms completely next year with the arrival of the Nike contract, so it’s anyone’s guess what they’ll look like next year. Unfortunately (due to lack of being the home team and general non-funness in the NFL), none of the BengalsDolphins, nor Bears wore their Orange alternates. So close, yet so far.

The Texans wore their rare Red alternate over White pants combo (the Red jerseys are usually seen as part of a “Red Out” with Red pants), which is a great look, even better than their unfairly-overlooked-on-best-of-modern-uniform-lists Blue over White combo.

Sporting their Blue over Yellow throwbacks, the Rams showed that their “heritage” look is as interesting as their current uniform, though had they chosen to wear their standard uniforms, there’s a chance we could’ve seen Gold pants vs. Gold pants, as the Saints showed up in White over Gold (their best White jersey combo).

Rounding out the throwbacks/alternates were the Panthers in their Blue alternates for the second week in a row. The less that’s said about those 90s disasters, the better.

And, finally, in terms of trivia, the Redskins wore their new-for-2010 White jersey over Yellow pants combo against the Bills, creating a bit of an “old school” type match-up.

Writing these articles has shown me that there’s much less diversity in the NFL schedule than I expected, with inexplicable* repeat opponents such as the 49ers, Cardinals, Falcons, and Bears (*note: I am fully aware that NFL scheduling is actually rather scientific, thank you very much, but how often do I really want to write-up the Cardinals uniforms?). Because the Eagles played the Bears last year (though in Chicago), I’ll borrow from the 2010 write-up as needed.

As a quick primer on the Bears uniforms, their standard color jersey combination is Navy over White. For their White jersey, they usually pair it with Navy pants. An Orange alternate appears every now and then (always with White pants). In recent history, they’ve worn White over White (the double set of stripes on each leg is against the uniform rules, so he has probably fined) as well as Navy over Navy as well as a Throwback in 2010 in place of the Orange alternates.

The Bears have one of the classic “This is the NFL”-type uniforms, so let’s find out how they’ll do against the Eagles.

The UniDiction

Either 2, 3, 6, or 7 points awarded for each category (safety, field goal, touchdown, touchdown+point after, of course)

Helmet

Eagles: 7 — Same as always.  Definitely one of the best helmet designs in the league.  I’m a sucker for “functional” helmet designs, and the wings fit the bill.

Bears: 6 — In terms of design details, the wishbone “C” logo has just enough going for it to not look like a plain letter cop-out.  But, they really need something to break up the two halves of the helmet.  Maybe a White or Orange stripe (or a combination of those).  The helmet is just slightly a bit more “old” than “classic.”

Jersey

Eagles: 6 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing the Midnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, with detailed strokes on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar. I’ll remove a point due to the use of drop shadows.

Bears: 6 — This is a classic NFL template. No yokes (Titans), framing features (Jaguars, Cardinals), drop-shadows (Eagles). Orange stroke around Navy fill on the typography makes the letters and numbers visually interesting, and the Blue-Orange-Blue stripes on the shoulders keeps them from looking like an unfinished field of White (Colts and Giants, I’m looking at you). Nothing I’d change on these except that Navy Blue looks Black-ish (like the Eagles “Midnight Green”) in poor lighting, such as a night game. Like this week.

Pants + Socks

Eagles: 6 — The White pants provide nice contrast with the solid green of the jersey, and instead of plain white, the thick Black ad Green stripes (with the pencil thin grey stripe) on the side of the pants gives them a slightly modern touch.  Black over White socks also break up the White from the pants. I wouldn’t mind if they swapped the Black socks for Green, though.

Bears: 3 — Again, a classic design with an Orange-White-Orange sandwich stripe and no frills. Here’s what isn’t so clear about the uniform’s details. Why are the stripes spaced on the jersey and socks, but flush on the pants? Also, the Navy and Orange jerseys and Navy socks (which are paired with White pants) use triple stripes of the same color with strokes, while the White jerseys and socks use spaced Navy-Orange-Navy. Consistency people!

Intangibles

Eagles: 6 — Obviously the best combo from the current uniform set. The Green needs to be a few shades lighter (if they wouldn’t do a straight return to Kelly Green) for it to really work in the poor lighting of a night game, though.

Bears: 6 — Well, I normally complain when the Eagles wear Green pants due to how dark they are, so the Bears in Navy pants are definitely not any better here, especially for a night game, even if they have bold, obvious stripes on the side (unlike the Eagles with Graphite and Black). But, Bears fans, these are still nice uniforms. For “classic” uniforms, I prefer the Packers in Green over Yellow, but the Bears in any combo (except Navy over Navy) give them a run for the money. If they show up in White over White (they probably won’t), bump this to a full 7 for outside-the-box thinking.

Final Score

Eagles 25

Bears 21

This will be one of the better-looking Eagles games this year.

****½