A Dazzling Display


So ya think covering the uniform beat is just about watching SportsCenter while reclining in the La-Z-Boy and sipping mint juleps? Think again, smart guy—the uni scene is fast-moving territory, especially lately, with so many news flashes barreling down the chute that your friendly neighborhood Uni Watch can barely keep up. Here’s a sampling:

When the Kansas City Chiefs changed their white pants to red for a September matchup in Denver, it was supposed to be just a one-game thing. But the Chiefs were so happy with their 23-22 victory that they decided to keep donning the crimson trousers—reminiscent of those worn during the team’s AFL glory days—for all their road games. Head Coach Gunther Cunningham said the idea was to evoke the heritage of KC legends like Willie Lanier and Buck Buchanan. Too bad the team’s subsequent red-legged record is 1-4.

Sharp-eyed fans may have noticed there’s a new breed of zebra in the NHL, where referees and linesmen are now wearing solid black—instead of the usual black-and-white striping—on the undersides of their jersey sleeves. The slightly more formal-looking design, to which Uni Watch is slowly warming, was first tried out at last season’s All-Star Game, where officials liked it so much that the league decided to make the change permanent this season.

The NBA’s latest uniform trend is the increasing use of a fabric called nylon dazzle (a term that so perfectly captures the current state of the league that Uni Watch hereby predicts the next NBA expansion franchise will be called the Dazzle). In moreroutine developments, the Magic have updated their jersey logo, the Suns have a nicely simplified jersey logo but with garish purple and gray piping, and the 76ers and Grizzlies have used last season’s alternate road uniforms as the basis for this season’s primary uniforms.

How sad are the Arizona Cardinals? So sad that they sent tailback Michael Pittman onto the field in a nationally televised game with his name misspelled on his jersey. At press time, Uni Watch was unable to confirm whether the Cards’ equipment manager knows how to spell potato.

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