How to be a Uniform Snob Part 2: Phillies vs. Padres (Throwbacks!)

2003 throwbacks

From 2003 against the Pirates in solid yellow—ladies and gentlemen: your 1970s!

The pictures with formal write-ups of the uniforms in question are from Bill Henderson’s excellent MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double-Knit Era. Buy it here. If you’re even remotely interested in the rest of this entry, this will be the best $25 you’ll spend all baseball season. AND, he’s from the Philadelphia/Delaware County area, so his Phillies chapter is made with special care. (That’s actually a joke, I think. Each team gets an amazingly thorough treatment throughout. Yes, even the Diamondbacks.)

Check out Kyle’s throwback-tastic write-up from earlier today for what he considers the Phillies’ best logo. I disagree, but I like his enthusiasm. Also, notice that he’s talking about a specific logo, not the uniforms of the 70s/80s in general.

It’s 80s night at Citizen’s Bank Park tonight, and even though they’ve had “70s night” and “80s night” promotions for the last few years, they’ll actually be trotting out throwbacks for one of the games. For those who were always disappointed that their recent “70s nights” never included the players dressing like the team of the 70s, consider this vindication for those times when you tuned in, only to see a few “retro” graphics on the broadcast but nothing else of note except for the ballgirls wearing something like this

This is the the third Phillies throwback game of the season (the Negro League throwbacks write-up and the write-up for the more-or-less “away” version of tonight’s uniforms). Of course, Uni-Watch has their write-up today (scroll down to the Phillies logo) and they’re so gosh-darn thorough that even if I would’ve come up with these points on my own (I was working on it, I swear!), they pretty much covered everything already. I’ll recap here and add some more sizzle (snark?).

In terms of impressing boring (I wasn’t sure which word to strike-thru) your friends, subtly work these factoids into a response every time someone says, “they should wear these uniforms all the time,” or “it’s so cool they’re wearing the uniforms from the 80s. These should be the new alternates.”

1)      The 1984 uniform (the “target” for this 80s promotion) included a zipper on the front; the change to buttons happened with the 1987 jersey. I’m sure this is just chalked up to Majestic’s current templates not having this feature… and, anyway, as a player, I’d cringe every time I did a head first slide with a zipper all along my torso.

2)      The players won’t “look” like 1984 players because they’ll be wearing the pants at shoe height or lower, the jerseys (and pants) will likely be extra-baggy, and no stirrups will be in sight (some players will actually wear them, but it’s unlikely to catch-on with more than a few guys).

3)      There will probably be a Majestic logo on the uniform somewhere (check the sleeves). The 1984 uniform was made by Wilson. Yep, someone keeps track of this (from the great MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double-Knit Era).

4)      New Era might put the “batterman” logo on the back of the hats. Judging by MLB Shop, the “on-field” hats will have it, but the “authentic” MLB Shop product does not always match what the players wear. There was some confusion about the “on-field” vs. MLB Shop hats the Mariners wore a couple of weekends ago. So just because it’s on MLB Shop and “authentic”… your mileage may vary. Also, the “P” logo on the hat is noticeably larger than it actually was on hats from the era.

5)      Will they pay for the correct helmets (see the picture above)? Or will they just don their normal (and clashing bright red against maroon) batting helmets. It’s on the Phillies to pay for these themselves, so let’s see how cheap they are (or hopefully aren’t).

The Padres will be wearing their 1984 uniform which is one of those wonderful “only in the 70s/early 80s” looks. A brown pull-over jersey with yellow and orange highlight details, yellow sanitaries with brown stirrups (though it’s doubtful that the yellow sanitaries, much less brown stirrups will be visible). Of special note is that they wore white pants as part of their road uniform, which isn’t something seen anymore. Teams sometimes wear their normal pants with throwback jerseys (check out the catcher’s pants in this picture), but I’m not sure the Padres normal grey + navy pants will work with the “colors of autumn” palette of the jersey and hat.

Fingers Speaking of the hat, the geometry of the paneling is meant to evoke a church bell. The interesting detail here is that that geometry is rather unique among other teams, so each manufacturer had its own take in the “right” way to make the hat, so you’ll see noticeable variation among time periods and manufacturers (even back when they weren’t throwbacks). Check out fellow uniform-enthusiast Paul Carr’s exhaustive (in a good way) search into tracking down these variations on The Ballcap Blog. Oh yeah, it’s a four part (ongoing?) series. One, two, three, four. (note: Padres fans, I’m not sure if the hat to the right accurately conveys the exact 1984 style — my guess is that it doesn’t)

I’ll give the edge to the Phillies. I like that uniform era, where “racetrack” stripes along the shoulders and up the sides were more common, and even though the powder blues don’t really do much for me, in whole, it’s still a good look. Some people harp on the fact that the Phillies are rather staid in their uniform options – with a simple home/away strategy from 1992–2007, then home/away/alternate since then – and how they need to add a solid red jersey (derisively called “softball tops” by some), but this conservative approach makes these throwback games more notable and really makes the special uniforms stand-out.

For the record, I’m still going to request that the Phillies break out the ’89-91 road grey jersey. It’s got the maroon/burgundy, funky “p,” but ditches the powder blue.

How to Be Uniform Snob: Phillies vs. Braves (1974 Throwbacks)

This is crosspost from Crossing Broad.

Quick note: some of the pictures are from Uniwatch’s write-up of last year’s Phillies-Brewers throwback game as well as the excellent “MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double Knit Era” by Bill Henderson.

Well then, other than the fact the Phillies got the “L,” that went pretty well, don’t you think? For the second part of their UniTastic series, both the Braves and the Phillies are throwing back to 1974. That’s right, the Powder Blues and whatever disco-tastic getup the Braves rocked back then.

But, what’s that? These teams already threw back to 1974?! Yep. In 2002. Today’s game will look something like this.

I get a lot of questions like this: “How can I be a uniform snob, too?” Thankfully, “turn back the clock” baseball games really offer the best way to let your snob flag fly.

Let me note that this tongue-in-cheek guide is a bit spoiled by the fact that this combination has been seen before, so there’s a good chance it’ll be a repeat of the 2002 game. Of course, that was nine years ago, so maybe it won’t be so cut-and-dry.

  1. Are the players wearing stirrups? Everyone wore them in 1974, few wear them today (or they just wear solid color socks without the sanitaries showing through.)
  2. Are the players wearing the old uniforms in the new style (the extra baggy, extra long pants look of the last ten years)? Note: the answer to this question is almost always “yes,” so make a comment about it not looking “right,” players’ comfort be damned.
  3. Did the teams spring for matching batting helmets? In 2002 the Phillies did, in 2010 they didn’t.
  4. Do the big details match? Traditional belted pants or Sansabelt? Pullover or buttons? (or for the 70s Phillies, zipper?) Are they wearing their normal pants because they’re “close enough” – see the Braves catcher above in Throwback jersey, normal pants.
  5. Are the little details correct? No Majestic logo on the sleeves? No MLB logo on the back of the hats?
  6. Do the tiny details match? Let me lift this quote from the UniWatch Blog (one of the “weekend writers,” Phil Hecken, analyzing the throwbacks worn last year against the Brewers:
    The Phillies, for the most part, got it right. They went with button-down jerseys (so, 1972-3, if we’re talking the period they were representing), but didn’t spring for the retro helmets. OK, it’s a one-off, no big deal. They wore period-correct caps in dark red (almost burgundy). Well done there. It’s tough to tell, but it appears they went with the closed loop logo on the jerseys, more closely approximating the 1987-1988 jersey. Meh. And they elected to go not only with NOB, but they again went with the 1987-88 radially arched nameplates. OK. Not a big deal, to be sure, but how difficult would it have been to get those details correct.
  7. Finally (and unexpectedly, after all the other analysis), how does the match-up, you know, look?

My quick take: It’ll be a fun match-up to watch. The powder blue Phillies uniforms are seen all-around Citizens Bank Park at each game, and they show up every few years in throwback games (and twice in the last two), so we’re a bit accustomed to them. I like the 89-91 away uniforms more (swap grey for powder blue, and the whole thing immediately looks much less “1970s”), but it seems fans prefer the powder blues.

The Braves 1974 uniforms are actually pretty neat – even more “disco-y” than the Phillies, being that they’re made from a template which is out of use. Raglan sleeves still show up, but not with the sleeves in a different color than the body of the jersey. Funky. So, if yesterday’s uniforms were described as “understated” and “classic,” today’s could be defined as “pass the coke.”

For completeness’ sake, let me point out that the 1974 Braves away jersey was the opposite of the home jersey (White sleeves, Blue body). Ahh, the 1970s.

****

It’s always good to see some uniform variety.

Uniform Analysis: Phillies vs. Braves (Negro League Throwbacks)

This is crosspost from Crossing Broad.

I usually stick to NFL uniforms and snide remarks in the comments, but the Phillies have a …UniTastic weekend series against the Braves, wearing Negro League throwbacks on Saturday and 1974 throwbacks on Sunday, so here’s a quick run-down and review for Saturday’s game. Some comments about Sunday’s game later.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much background on the Negro Leagues, much less their uniforms, so this is more of a seat-of-the-pants review than anything grounded in facts and history.

That said, on to the uniforms.

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The Phillies are wearing the uniforms of the Philadelphia Stars. You may have seen this logo floating around, but it doesn’t actually appear on the uniform. The uniform itself is plain, but has some nice details beyond just the novelty of them being throwbacks. Example, the old timey typeface of the arched wordmark and the numbers just gives the feeling of “old school uniform,” the simple, thin, and effective, red piping around the neck, connecting to the arm is a timeless feature which makes them look like a sports uniform instead of a shirt. The 1980s Mets and Indians (among other teams) experimented with this look, but the thin stroke does much more with less than the gaudy patches on those uniforms. Black (navy?) stroke around the lettering is a nice touch to increase contrast. The hat logo is extremely plain; it’s better than the Black Crackers hat, but it’s too plain to leave an impression.

 

 

 

 

A neat detail is that someone finally realized that “Philadelphia” has way too many letters to comfortably fit on a shirt and maintain readability, so they said “screw it” and abbreviated it to “Phila.” Genius. Really. For another example of the letter-overload hassle check out this prototype from the 1992 Phillies uniform refresh.

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Special Note: The slide detailing the prototype is from the guide “MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double-Knit Era” by Bill Henderson (who happens to be from the Philadelphia area). He’s hosting a “Phillies Uniform History” discussion on May 26 in Philadelphia. If you’ve read this far into this entry, consider it a “must attend.”

 


 

HqshkThe Brave’s Black Crackers uniforms, again, look like “classic” baseball without the old timey feel. It’s interesting to see that the letters and numbers get drop shadows instead of strokes (as drop shadows are generally considered a more modern look). Vertically arching the “ATLANTA” copy (contrast to the horizontal arching on “Phila. Stars”) gives a dynamic look considering it’s just a plain sans serif typeface with a drop-shadow. Unfortunately, the “A” logo, while unique is simply ugly and does not mesh with the typefaces used for the letters and numbers.

Closing out the review of the jersey, the most interesting detail is the piping down the placket is just like what the Braves have used since 1987. (well, maybe not “just like” – I can’t tell if it’s the same dark-red-dark pattern on both the Black Crackers and Braves uniforms because of the limited resolution of the single [thanks MLB!] picture released). The Braves also used this design in the 1930s, per this picture of Babe Ruth.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I’ll group the pants/socks discussion together. Most uniform aficionados are probably going bonkers (in a good
way) because the league (likely) compelled all player to wear stirrups. The Phillies are wearing solid red (not unlike what you see onOswalt), but the Braves are wearing Navy blue stirrups with spaced White-Red-White stripes. Very cool. BUT, the best part of these uniforms are the off-color pants pocket flaps. We reward attention to detail, and those are awesome.

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In terms of the game aesthetically, it looks good, but it’s not the most interesting combination if only because both teams are wearing uniforms where the primary color is Red with a dark accent color (either Navy or Black), but part of the appeal of baseball is the unholy number of games in the season, so even if they’re not the most interesting uniforms ever, it’s good to see variety on the Phillies (who have a pretty staid uniform “system”: one home/one away/one alternate) and it’s always good to point out and keep in mind that not all that long ago, the US still saw segregation to the degree that a whole portion of the population was not considered fit for the MLB for no reason other than skin color.

 

 

 

 

 

**** Kind of plain, but a good looking baseball game.

UniDiction – Wildcard Weekend – Eagles vs. Packers

Wildcard
Well, like the real Eagles, I didn’t end with the right kind of streak, but if the NFC West has taught us anything, anyone can make the playoffs this year.  (and FYI, I had a better record than the Seahawks).

We’ve seen the Eagles play the Packers already this year, but thankfully, unlike last week’s repeat game against Dallas, we’ll see a different uniform match-up for their sequel.  In week 1, the Eagles brought out their well-liked (not as much by me, but there certainly are worse options out there) 1960 throwbacks, but this week, we’ll see them in their normal Midnight Green over White combination.

The Packers did wear…. unique throwbacks once this season, but it’s more than safe to say that they will not be wearing them this week (or maybe ever again?).  Anyway, we’ll see the Packers in White over Yellow.  As I said in Week 1, it’s a good (maybe great?) look, but it’s not quite the look the way that their Green over Yellow combination is.

Sunday at 4:30 will be a match-up of perhaps the best “classic” uniform with the best “modern” uniform.  It’ll be a real barn burner.  (note: other finalists for “classic” and “modern” bests include the Bears and Texans, respectively.  Sorry Jaguars, you were in consideration for “best modern,” but your  post-2008 set is awful.  Also, sorry Buccaneers‘ fans, I just forgot about you until now.)

The Wildcard Weekend 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.

 Packers: 6 — Like I said in Week 1, there is nothing to change about this helmet, but in the mean time, I’ve developed an appreciation for what I’m calling “functional” helmets.  A static “G,” no matter how strong the proportions and supporting details, is kind of… static.  Maybe if the helmet had a net pattern with a cheese graphic inside.  Well, maybe not.

Jersey

Eagles: 6 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing the Midnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, detailed strokes and drop shadows on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar.  I’m sorry Eagles fans, but I’ve decided I’d prefer the use of stroke only instead of stroke and drop-shadow.  I guess the drop-shadow adds some visual depth to the letters, but how about just using a double-stroke instead of stroke+drop-shadow?  Oh well, it’s still better than most any other “modern” uniform.

 Packers: 6 — I generally don’t like White jerseys, but the Packers do have a few nice details, including Green-Yellow-Green sandwich stripes on the shoulders which aren’t quite contiguous, so the White jersey peaks through, increasing the contrast of each stripe.  The two color piping around the neck hole is appreciated as well.  I’m going to have to take a point away because the Green jersey is better, and even though the decision is out of the hands of the Packers because they’re the visiting team, I’ll still hold it against them.  (Go Eagles)

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.  Minus one because I’d be interested in seeing Midnight Green socks.

 Packers: 7 — I have to say, Yellow is risky pick, and they make it work.  The pants have a traditional sandwich stripe (White meat, Green bread), and with the high contrast of the Green socks, it all comes together perfectly.  That’s the full 7 points.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 7 — This is really a battle of who wears Green better.  And, because the Packers aren’t wearing Green this week, the Eagles win that battle.  Thankfully the Eagles aren’t at Lambeau for this game.

 Packers: 3 — See above about the battle of Who Wears Green Best, and their throwbacks this year were more-than-kind-of unfotunate.  Those throwbacks are the kind of things which silently damage a team’s chances.  Intangibles.

Final Score

Eagles 26

Packers 22

****½
This is going to be a good-looking game, folks.

UniDiction: Week 17 – Eagles vs. Cowboys

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Blech.  Like a huffy, post game Andy Reid, let’s just say I don’t want to talk about last week.  In fact, it was the worst uniform upset of the season.

So, that leads us to Week 17, when there’s a good chance the games won’t matter.  And true to form, that’s what we get this year.  The starters are resting, their playoff seeding can’t improve, and tickets are in the $80 range… for a home game against the Cowboys.  Really.  I guess the Cowboys could be playing for Jason Garrett’s continued employment,  but detailed analysis of anything but the Cowboys’ uniforms or of-field sucktitude is beyond the scope of Crossing Broad.

In general, fan reaction to the 1960 throwbacks worn in week 1 was immsensely positive.  Even for fans like me who didn’t particularly like the specific uniform, it was nice to see Kelly Green make an appearance (its first since 1995).  So, with an opportunity to make some aspect of Week 17 interesting by wearing the throwbacks (and in cynical terms, provide an advertising platform for them), the Eagles chose not to rock the boat, and they’ll wear their normal Midnight Green over White combination.  Boring.

Now, a quick word about NFL uniform scheduling: NFL teams must annouce the uniform plan for the entire season sometime in the summer, before the first preseason game.  (This is unrelated to when teams change their uniforms/logos/branding.  Those decisions are made years in advance.  I’m talking of the nitty-gritty “which jersey with which pants” schedule and deciding the up-to-two regular season games where they’ll wear wear the third jersey, whether it’s a throwback or a normal alternate that particular season.  This is why we didn’t see the Eagles black jersey this year.  They only get one “third” jersey in a given year.)  Uniform-enthusiast-friendly teams like the Texans publicly annouce the entire schedule in the summer, while other teams (like the Eagles) announce the uniform combinations the week of the game, and there are plenty of teams which announce nothing, making my job quite difficult if they have numerous uniform combinations (Redskins, Saints, Rams, etc. — though only the Redskins were on the Eagles’ schedule this year).  So, all that to say, the uniform decisions are made early in the season, so the Eagles couldn’t see that Week 17 wasn’t looking particularly compelling, then decide to switch from the normal uniforms to the throwbacks because of that.

 But, for some armchair uniform scheduling (which is almost as awesome lame as uniform-based fantasy sports), my pundit-ish comments are as follows:

  • Throwbacks for week 1 and week 17 would have been nice bookends for the season, which conveniently started and ended at home
  • It gives fans something to look forward to for a potentially dreary week 17 match-up
  • Week 17 was a Cowboys game, so it’s easily considered a “special” game.  (in retrospect, we can see that we fans really don’t give a crap about the Cowboys rivalry if the game doesn’t matter, and the Cowboys have a season which is known for nothing other than serial underperformance).
  • Merchandise.  (though maybe they should’ve worn them against the Cowboys in the away game which was pre-Christmas.)

So, punditry aside, this is the same uniform match-up we saw in Week 14.

In summary from last time: the Cowboys almost always wear White, and the Cowboys White and Color uniforms are horrendously inconsistent (see my image below):

Comparison

Click on the picture for the larger version.

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.

 Cowboys: 6 — It’s iconic and perhaps the most understated detail in a $1.3 billion shrine to American opulence.  One point is removed because the shade of Silver doesn’t match the Silver pants… either of them. (note: for color professionals out there, please spare me the “it’s difficult to match colors on different substrates, especially if metal fleck is a component.”  I know, but they’ve had 40+ years to get it right!

Jersey

Eagles: 7 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing the Midnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, detailed strokes and drop shadows on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar.

 Cowboys: 6 — There are few things Eagles fans hate more than the sight of a Cowboys jersey, especially if it’s White.  Objectively, it’s a 6 (the shoulder stripes break up the plain-ness of it, though the Black strokes on the sleeve stripes don’t match the stroke-less numbers), but subjectively, we’re giving it a 1.  Objectively, it’s a 6, so this week, it gets a 6.

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 

 Cowboys: 3 — OK, Cowboys.  Get your colors figured out, and we’ll talk.  I do like the sandwich stripes on the pants, though.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 0 — Sure, I was complaining earlier in the season that the Eagles should skip the White at Home nonsense, and get out their Midnight Green jerseys ASAP, and I know beggars can’t be choosers, but I’m going to beg and choose.  They should’ve worn throwbacks this week.

 Cowboys: 2 — I may have offered more points here if they were in their Navy over Silver combination (obscurity=points, people), but they’re not.  Generally, they’re a nice uniform set which is almost synonymous with “NFL” (similar to the effect of the Packers’ uniforms), but they’re still the Cowboys.  Hey Jerry.  How about making your uniforms…you know, uniform?

 Final Score

Eagles 20

Cowboys 17

See you next week for a special Playoff Edition UniDiction!

 

***
Sure, both uniforms are nice, but we’ve seen them already this year…

UniDiction: Week 16 – Eagles vs. Vikings

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So, it turns out that White is not really in either team’s official color scheme…

Another week, another win.  When will the Pro Bowl of unlikely prediction systems be held?

Simply, the Vikings have one of the least loved uniforms in all of sports.  The reason is they’ve got two big things working against them.  1) The color scheme.  Purple just doesn’t scream “sports!” to most people [especially this guy], and 2) The hideous, high school-looking uniform template.

Case in point, if you’re someone who can get past the Purple and Yellow, their current throwbacks are quite nice, with lots of classic football details (Northwestern stripes on the sleeves [I’m a sucker for the subtle Yellow stroke on the White stripes — details people!], sandwich stripes on the pants, and even if you hate Purple out of Principle [hey, that could be the name for an awful band], it’s not like Purple and Yellow don’t go together.

So when they wear their throwbacks for two games each season, the world breathes a sigh of “good enough” (the socks could use some stripes — I’m just saying), but every other week… wow, that’s bad.  In the interest of providing somewhat useful commentary beyond, “it’s bad, trust me!” I think the designers were going for a shape on the sleeves, torso, and pants which evokes the “Viking horn,” which is already features prominently on the helmet.  Or worse, do the panels evoke the shape of the mustache of the Viking head logo [or maybe the mustache is supposed to look like the helmet horns?  weird]?  If those aren’t it, I can’t really wrap my mind around what is is beyond “random panels strewn about.”  The Viking head logo inexplicably shows up on the hip, and with its White background, all it does is “break” the continous nature of the panels connecting the jersey and pants.  The Yellow Stroke around the various panels doesn’t terminate with the panels themselves.  Why, oh uniform designers, why?  (this is kind of like an inverted take on the Falcons’ equally ridiculous non-terminating pants details.)  It works a little better with the Purple pants, but, they’ve worn them something like three times in the last four seasons (though twice this year), so it’s almost like it doesn’t count.

The Eagles are wearing Midnight Green over White this week, so that puts the Vikings in White jerseys.  Overwhelmingly, the Vikings wear the White jerseys with White pants, but for completeness’ sake, I’ll mention that they wore Purple pants with White jerseys against the Bears in November.  And that was a… special look.  Speaking of special looks, they also paired the Purple jersey with Purple pants against the Cardinals this year in what I’ll call a Purple Out.  I wish I could say, “no one was harmed in the wearing of those uniforms,” but I honestly just don’t know.  I just don’t know!  The Purple pants are exceedingly rare, so it’s safe to assume we’ll see the White over White combination.

Among a variety of ugly combinations, I will mention that Purple over White is the best one, and the high contrast between jersey and pants works to somewhat lessen the jarring nature of those inexplicable/horn(?) panels.

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.

 Vikings: 7 — I’ve included the above blurb about liking “functional” helmet designs for almost all of this season, so in the interest of putting my money where my mouth is, here’s the full seven points for the Vikings and their equally “functional” helmet.  I don’t love (or even like) the Purple, but it’s much better than when teams simply dump their logo on the sides of a helmet.

Jersey

Eagles: 7 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing the Midnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, detailed strokes and drop shadows on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar.

 Vikings: 1 — See the detailed review of the inexplicable panels, above.  They’re getting a single point because I like the Yellow Stroke around the numbers and name.

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.  Minus one because I’d be interested in seeing Midnight Green socks.

 Vikings: 2 — The panel on the pants isn’t any more explicable than on the jerseys.  Two points because of just how crazy  and unexpected the Viking head logo on hip panel “sub-panel” is.  Also, they’re not the Purple pants, so that’s worth something.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 7 — Without meaning to get ahead of ourselves, this may be the last regular season appearance of this uniform set (more on this during the week), and at the minimum, it will be the last appearance of 2010 (the year, not the football season), so let’s hope they go out with a bang.

 Vikings: 3 — They wore their nice throwbacks last week, so there may some residual effect this week, unfortunately.

Final Score

Eagles 27

Vikings 13

Random related uniform trivia: The Vikings wear different helmets with the throwbacks than with the normal uniforms.  Notice the face mask (grey vs. purple) and the horn detail (the new helmet has shaded relief to give a hint of depth).

Random unrelated uniform trivia: The Bengals brought out their solid Black combination last week.  Many people hate the Bengals uniforms, especially the combinations which don’t involve any White components, but for whatever reason, I have a bit of a soft spot for their uniforms, and at the minimum, the extreme contrast between the solid Black of the Bengals and the solid White of the Browns     was an interesting look.

**
Those Vikings uniforms are awful.

UniDiction: Week 15 – Eagles vs. Giants

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Luckily, I take credit for a win no matter how close the predicted score is to the actual score, so that Cowboys game was another in the win column, thank you very much.

 So, we’re at the second Giants game of the year.  I got the first one pretty much spot-on, so let’s see what we can do about the second one.

 The Giants are rarely a “White at Home” team, so we’ll see them in Blue over Grey.  I detailed this last time, but for a quick recap, both Giants home and away pants are grey, but the away pants show a red-blue-red set of offset, thin stripes, and the home pants are the same grey, except with wider, connected blue-red-blue stripes.  I’ll call this a nice attention to detail sort of…um, detail, but really, kind of boring, regardless of the execution.  Let’s face it, Grey (not Silver) is not a dynamic color; in sports, it’s most often thought of as the drab base color used for MLB’s away uniforms.  There’s a reason people think of this, not this when they think of the Cardinal.

 The Giants have what is inarguably a classic uniform, but is that enough to beat the Eagles in their second-tier White over Green combination?

Helmet

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

Giants: 6 OK, sue me.  I like it more this week than I did last time.  The Metallic Blue with a simple Red stripe with the perfectly proportioned logo simply works.  A point is subtracted because this helmet was designed in the 1950s.  The Giants couldn’t come up with a better design more recently?

Jersey

Eagles: 3 — The White jerseys are unfortunately nondescript compared to the Midnight Green.  I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again, the White jersey just doesn’t say “Eagles” the way that the Green one does.  Sure, it’s grown on me a bit this season, but it’s not the one.

Giants: 3 – Their solid Blue home jersey is unfortunately described as, well, just that.  It’s a solid Blue jersey with White numbers and name.  They’re hiding a small “ny” logo above the front numbers, but that’s it.  It suffers from the same problem as this year’s Eagles throwbacks.  There’s just nothing there other than a sea of Blue.  Classic or not, this is boring.  At least their White jerseys (with their misbegotten Red accents) have Northwestern stripes on the sleeves to have something going on other than numbers on a solid color.

Pants

Eagles: 3 — The green pants are still a dubious decision at best.  The Midnight Green tends to look generically “dark” on the lower half of the body, not an immediately noticeable color.  The two-tone socks also work better with the white pants than the green pants.

Giants: 2 As mentioned above, Grey is a color suited (pun!) baseball team’s drab, away, set, not a major component of a football uniform.  No no no.  This is all unfortunate because the wide, connected stripe pattern is a nice, visually interesting touch, and of course, the Blue socks contrast nicely with the White sanitaries (sure, most colors contrast with White, but still…)

 Intangibles

Eagles: 6   Green is a Christmas color.  Bring it, Giants fans.

Giants: 1 Here’s one point for having a classic uniform set and I’d rather them dress like this than like this, so I can respect their respect for history.  BUT, let’s face it, history class can be boring if the topic isn’t interesting, and the Giants uniforms are pre-World War I history of Europe.  Giants fans (and 19th century European history buffs), bring it on.

Final Score:

Eagles 19 

Giants 12

Random unrelated uniform trivia:

The Cardinals and the Texans wore solid Red last week.  The Texans get my vote.

The Chiefs looked pretty darn good in their (rarely seen, but second time in 3 weeks) Red pants, and Falcons decided on a White-out.

**½
Eh, the Eagles in White, and the Giants in Boring Blue. Nothing to see here this week.

UniDiction: Week 14 – Eagles vs. Cowboys

Main

Called it.  9-4.

Maybe it’s not the biggest game of the season in terms of records, but it’s Eagles/Cowboys, so it’s always an event.

 Throughout the previous 13 weeks of UniDictions, I’ve made numerous references to the concept of “White at Home” teams, and now that the Redskins have broken their “rule” and brought out their spectacular, new Maroon over Yellow combination (and even the rare-before-this-season Maroon over White) for games in Maryland, this leaves Dallas as the only full-season “White at Home” team (I’m ignoring their primarily blue throwbacks they wore against the Saints on Thanksgiving, though.).

Because of their strict White at Home rule, it is very uncommon to see the Cowboy’s solid Navy jersey uniform set (details of why I’m calling it a “set” instead of just a jersey are outlined below).  In fact, they won’t even be worn once this year (big news related to this, later).  Usually, this uniform is only seen when they player either (A) other “White at Home” teams [such as the “warm weather” teams in September and October] or (B) home teams looking to capitalize on the supposed bad luck which accompanies the Blue jerseys stemming from a playoff loss in 1968.  The Eagles have been known to play into this jinx as well (’99, ’01, ’06 , ’07 and the NFC Championship game in 1981).

A quick note on the following: I claim none of this following research as my own (though the illustrative graphic is my own).  Check out the much more detailed ESPN.com Uniwatch write-up by Paul Lukas for even more gory details.  Pretty much everything is summed up in this picture of the mediocrity, but the highlights:

  • The White and Blue jerseys are different designs (not just “inverted” dark and light colors), including offset stroke around the numbers on the Blue jerseys, logo on the throat on the Blue jerseys, logo on the sleeves on the Blue jerseys.
  • The colors don’t match (intra- and inter-uniform).  The solid color jersey is Navy.  Where’s the Navy on the White uniform set?  Instead, the blue on the White uniform set is Royal Blue. The pants are different shades of Silver, neither of which matches the helmet.
  • Sleeve stripes on the White jersey are two, wide Royal Blue stripes with Black strokes, sleeve stripes on the Navy jerseys are White-Silver-White sandwich stripes with an incongruous Star logo sitting in the middle of set of stripes.

Comparison
Click on the picture for the larger version.

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.

 Cowboys: 6 — It’s iconic and perhaps the most understated detail in a $1.3 billion shrine to American opulence.  One point is removed because the shade of Silver doesn’t match the Silver pants… either of them. (note: for color professionals out there, please spare me the “it’s difficult to match colors on different substrates, especially if metal fleck is a component.”  I know, but they’ve had 40+ years to get it right!”

Jersey

Eagles: 7 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing the Midnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, detailed strokes and drop shadows on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar.

 Cowboys: 1 — There are few things Eagles fans hate more than the sight of a Cowboys jersey, especially if it’s White.  Objectively, it’s a 6 (the shoulder stripes break up the plain-ness of it, though the Black strokes on the sleeve stripes don’t match the stroke-less numbers), but subjectively, we’re giving it a 1.

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 

 Cowboys: 3 — OK, Cowboys.  Get your colors figured out, and we’ll talk.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 6 — Have I gotten used to the Midnight Green over White, and now it’s old-hat and not worth the full 7? 

 Cowboys: 0 — The Cowboys suck.  I may have offered a few points here if they were in their Navy over Silver combination (obscurity=points, people), but they’re not.  Hey Jerry.  How about making your uniforms…you know, uniform?

 Final Score

Eagles 26

Cowboys 11

Random unrelated uniform trivia: The Ravens sported Purple over Black last weekend for the first time since 1996 (and another view of the Purple jerseys over Black pants from ’96).  Not a good look…

Random related uniform trivia: here are some pictures of a rather hideous Cowboys semi-throwback (some call them “fauxbacks”) from the mid-90s (and according to Wikipedia, up to 2003,  the year before the current throwbacks were introduced).  Notice the “normal” helmet and the offset stroke on the numbers (even on the White jersey version).  At the minimum, we can agree that the current throwbacks (with a White helmet) are a better look.

Also, here’s an even more in-depth overview of their uniform history (I’ve sort of taken the premise that the uniform hasn’t much changed since 1964, even though that’s not quite the case).

****
Classic old school and classic “new school” uniforms are a nice combination.

UniDiction: Week 13 – Eagles vs. Texans

OK, so maybe last week wasn’t my finest.  I could invoke the “score wraps to zero every 28 points” clause, but that’d just be sad.  My (and the Eagles’) loss makes the system 7-4.

Next up, the Texans.  My process for doing these UniDiction usually involves scouring the Internet for pictures of the various uniform combinations for the “pre-UniDiction” segment, and usually, these searches end up on random team-related forums because that’s really the only place (other than UniWatch Blog, you’ll find people discussing the finer points of infrequently seen uniform combinations, of which the Texans have more than their fair share.  Digging through these forums, I found out something amazing about Texans fans.

They hate the Cowboys.

Awesome.  I think I may have just picked my “AFC team I’ll say I’ll follow, but will likely ignore unless they make it to the Super Bowl against someone other than the Eagles.”

But wait.  There’s more.

The Texans have somewhere between “a whole bunch” and “a bajillion” uniform combinations, but, get this, they announce all of them before the season starts.  (note: the Bengals, another team with a whole lot of possible combinations, do this too, but let’s face it, I already have an AFC team…. which I picked two minutes ago).  People in the Texans’ PR and media departments — thank you.

Onto the uniforms.

The Eagles (who kindly announce their uniforms the Tuesday before the game) are wearing what should be their “official” home uniform, Midnight Green over White, and the Texans, according to their oh-so-handy uniform schedule, are in White over Blue.

The Texans have three special monochrome combinations, and they get special names.  All-red is “Battle Red,” solid Blue is “Deep Steel Blue,” and White over White is “Liberty White.”   Every now and then (twice ever?), they’ll wear Red over White, and their normal home uniform is Blue over White.  If I had to pick one, I think I’d go with the Red over White, but that might only be because it’s rare.  In general, it’s a good looking uniform, though, and the fact that it’s from after 2000, and doesn’t look like a space suit, is a nice touch.

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 “functionalhelmet designs.

Texans: 6 — Sure, Red, White, and Blue don’t make the most unique combination of colors, but it works (and the Red has a slight amount of blue in it, and they’re using Navy, so it’s not exactly the same as the standard “red, white, and blue.”).  The steer’s head makes a “T” for Texas, and the whole thing evokes the Texas flag.

Jersey

Eagles: 7 — When fans think of the “post-Cunningham” Eagles, they’re picturing theMidnight Green jerseys.  A unique, bold color, detailed strokes and drop shadows on the numbers, and nice use of logos on the sleeves and collar.

Texans: 3 — I’m not a big fan of White jerseys in general, but the Red numbers really pop, and the Blue patches at the shoulder are an interesting, unique alternative to traditional stripes or trim on the sleeves.

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 

Texans: 6 — I’m a sucker for the fact that they use White as the “meat” and Red as the “bread” of the “sandwich” striping.  Keeping that ridiculous metaphor going, it also helps that there’s a nice helping of meat.  It definitely gives them a modern (but understated) look.  I am not a fan of the Blue socks which cause the pants to visually collide with the socks.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 7 — This is the Eagles’ premiere look, so I expect them to play like that.

 Texans: 7 — Nice uniforms and they hate the Cowboys.  That’s the full 7.

 Final Score

Eagles 26

Texans 19

 Random related uniform trivia: The Texans were originally going to use White helmets.  Read more about it (and other lost helmets).

****½
Maybe my favorite uniform match-up of the season.

UniDiction: Week 12 – Eagles vs. Bears

  Main

Another close one last week; me: Eagles 26 – Giants 14, real-life: Eagles 27 – Giants 17.  That makes the system 7-3.

I don’t have a great feeling about this week’s game.  The Eagles are in White over Green, and they’re playing against another one of the “classic” NFL uniforms this week in the Chicago Bears.

As I’ll detail below, I don’t love the Bears uniform (even though they’re wearing the preferred combination), but it’s certainly a good one.

The Bears are generally a Color at Home team, though there have been a few exceptions.  So, even though they have a new throwback this year, they’re saving it for divisional rivals and not the Eagles.  We’ll see them in Navy over White.  (they have been known to wear solid Navy and solid White, but it’s been a few years since either look has appeared).  They also have an Orange alternate, but it won’t be seen this year because the throwbacks take their two slots in the schedule.

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 “functionalhelmet designs.

Bears: 3 — 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).  The helmet looks more “old” than “classic.”

Jersey

Eagles: 3 — The White jerseys are unfortunately nondescript compared to the Midnight Green.  I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again, the White jersey just doesn’t say “Eagles” the way that the Green one does.  Sure, it’s grown on me a bit this season, but it’s not the one.

 Bears: 6 — The fact that the orange sleeve stripes all get White strokes is the type of detail we reward here at the uniform desk at Crossing Broad.  The only thing that doesn’t really work is the shade of Navy used.  It just looks….dead.  Thankfully, the White stroke adds some visual punch to the stripes.  PS: The “GSH” on the sleeves stands for “George S. Halas”, an important figure in the history of the Bears and the NFL itself.

Pants + Socks

Eagles: 3 — The green pants are still a dubious decision at best.  The Midnight Green tends to look generically “dark” on the lower half of the body, not an immediately noticeable color.  The two-tone socks also work better with the white pants than the green pants.

Bears: 6 —  Doing pretty much everything right (an Orange and Navy “sandwich” stripe, orange sock stripes with White strokes which match the jersey sleeves), I can only find fault with the fact that the Navy is just too dark to really make the uniform stand-out no matter where it shows up.

 Intangibles

Eagles: 6 — Um….they were wearing White over Green when Michael Vick made it so Madden 98 (for the Genesis) provided a more accurate representation of a “real” NFL game against the Redskins, so that’s got to count for something.

Bears: 2 — My running theme above is, “I like it, but the Navy Blue is too dark,” so being that the Bears’ color are Navy Blue and Orange, this is the only place I can really bring the pain.  Also, the striping is not consistent between the Navy and White version of the pants, jerseys, and socks.  Sure, the Eagles are inconsistent, too, but that’s…. hmm…. it’s different.

Final Score

Eagles 19

Bears 17

Random uniform trivia: The Redskins broke out White jerseys over Yellow Pants for the first time in a long time last week.  It was actually a pretty good look, though it makes jobs like mine especially difficult when trying to predict what they’ll wear.  Thank goodness we’re not playing the Rams this year.  Heck, the Texans will be challenging enough.

****
One of the better uniform match-ups of the Eagles’ season.