Week 2 Uniform Matchup Rankings (and R.I.P. Steve Sabol)

Week 2 already?

Yep, and now we get into the flow of the season. Here's my ranking from bottom to top:

#16. Texans-Jaguars: Texans in dark blue/white and the Jaguars in white/white. Yet another WAH team in Jax. This one does not do much for me. The Texans do have a nice outfit and all, but with the Jags seeming to want to distance themselves from their unique teal jerseys and I find this matchup...meh...

#15. Saints-Panthers: Saints in black/washed out vegas gold combo against the Panthers in their early season white at home (WAH) combo. The Saints gold 3/4 collar works better here than on the white jerseys. Not a thrilling matchup due to the heavy dose of black, but the hints of carolina blue helps this...some.

#14. Broncos-Falcons: Broncos in all white and Falcons in red/white. I know the striping wouldn't match, but just once, I'd like to see the Broncos wear their navy pants with the white jersey. This isn't the worst matchup, but it doesn't excite me much.

#13. Cardinals-Patriots: Cardinals in white/white and the Patriots in dark blue/silver. In recent years, the Patriots started the season going WAH. Not this season. And, I kinda like that. A bit of a bland matchup, truthfully.

#12. Raiders-Dolphins: Oakland in black/silver and the Dolphins in white/white. If you read last year's weekly rankings, you know how much I dig the Dolphs in white/aqua. But that's a look they reserve for away games. But, I can appreciate the look here. Raiders as always, looking nice in the black jerseys with the silver trim.

#11. Vikings-Colts: Vikings in the white/white combo with the Colts in the blue/white. Boy, if the Vikes would have sprung some purple pants on us, I would have had a lump in my throat. But alas. A little purple, a little blue and a lot of white. Rather a fair matchup.

#10. Jets-Steelers: The Jets in all white and the Steelers in the familiar black/yellow combo. The Jets go full white in this one, while the Steelers swing one of the more familiar looks in their black and yellows. Normally I can like this matchup, but I'm just not feeling it this week. Two teams with logo patches here, which is a rarity.

#9. Browns-Bengals: Browns in brown/white and Cincy in white/white. Thanks, Bengals for going WAH. and forcing the Browns to finally wear Brown for the first time since Week 17 when they hosted the Steelers. Bengals staying away from their black pants. But still, nice to see the uniqueness of the Browns wearing their color namesake for a change.

#8. Buccaneers-Giants: Not really a bad matchup. Giants definitely put an order to their unis this year, none of that weird stretchy stuff. Unis look much more organized.  The Bucs go with the pewter pants again and that's a plus for this encounter.

#7. Lions-49ers: Nice traditional matchup. Metals (silver and gold as I channel Burl Ives), scarlets and honolulu blues. Lions in white/silver and Niners in red/gold. Nothing fancy on their own, but when paired up, this works. 

#6. Cowboys-Seahawks: Dallas in white/mint and Seattle in monochrome dark blue. The Seahawks, continue to wear the dark/dark unis, even after the uni overhaul. And to my eyes, it looks even better than before. Cowboys with the usual. I do happen to think this is a good pairing.

#5. Ravens-Eagles: Ravens in purple/white and Eagles in white/green. Philly returns to WAH for their early home games after a year's absence. The Ravens, in a rare move, move the "Art" tribune from a helmet sticker to a jersey patch. The Eagles meanwhile have NO tribute to Steve Van Buren at all, perhaps because he played 60+ years ago? Ugh! Have a little sense of history, man! Back to today. Really not a bad matchup and credit to the Eagles for wearing the green pants or this might have been a thumbs down matchup.

#4. Titans-Chargers: Titans in two tone (columbia and navy) blue and the Chargers, for the first time in a LONG time, sport an all white look. And the Chargers did well to go with this combo. I happen to like the Bolts' white/navy combo, but two reasons why their decision to go all white really works here; 1) It's different and 2) It nicely offsets the Titans and their navy pants. A goody!

#3. Chiefs-Bills: Check this out: Chiefs: red/white/red/white. Bills: white/blue/white/blue. How about that for symmetry? Certainly one of the better matchups in Week 2.

#2. Redskins-Rams: Redskins in white/yellow and the Rams in all navy blue. If the Rams blue were more of the royal variety, this would probably be #1 on the charts with a bullet. But it's still a good one. Unlike most of my peers, I happen to like the dark/dark look. And coupled with the 'Skins in the hot yellow pants, I am a friend of this pairing.

#1. Bears-Packers: Traditional rivals and as always, one of my favorite matchups. Great colors, great contrasts, just 100% pure uni goodness. Greens, yellows, oranges and dark blues. Except for the TV numbers on the Bears going from sleeve to shoulder, Nike didn't mess with these too much.

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Before closing, we at the GUD would be remiss if we did not note the passing of Steve Sabol, who was the President of NFL Films.  Steve passed away on 9/18 at the age of 69 after a long bout with brain cancer. While his father Ed was the founder of NFL Films, Steve was the visionary and guiding force of NFL Films.  He and his cohorts turned the visual documentation of the National Football League into an art form.  It is no secret that much of our research at the GUD involved a lot of viewing of NFL Films programming.  It is likely that no sports league on the planet has been as thoroughly on documented on film as the NFL, and the great majority of the credit for that goes to Steve.  He leaves behind an immense legacy for which the GUD and all fans of the NFL are eternally grateful.

We'll be back tomorrow with a new look at a head-to-head series of an upcoming Sunday matchup, but first here's Rob Holecko with a few additional thoughts about Steve Sabol.

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Thanks, Tim...  I echo 100% your sentiments about Steve Sabol.  For the last day I have had playing in my iPod Sam Spence's iconic instrumental masterpieces that we all associate with NFL Films.  The classic NFL Films style -- slow-motion, tight-on-the-spiral, with the John Facenda / Harry Kalas narrations is how generations grew up enjoying the NFL.  That style is due to Steve.  He was NFL Films, and he subconsciously embedded in our collective psyche a heroic and entertaining quality to the NFL that in no small way continues to shape what we think of the sport today.  Whenever we hear that music or see an old NFL Films clip we think of how "it used to be", the good old days of football.  Whether it is that classic Sam Spence music that you hum along with with words that aren't there from an old sea shanty:  "What do you do with a drunken sailor/What do you do with a drunken sailor/What do you do with a drunken sailor/Early in the morning" or the visual image of Jackie Smith dropping a sure touchdown in Super Bowl XIII along with Verne Lundquist's radio call: "He's got to be the sickest man in America" or the visual image of Old Man Willie running for a touchdown in Super Bowl XI as we stared into his eyes, or simply John Facenda talking about the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, or Franco Harris reaching down, just out of frame to catch the ball (or not) and go down the sideline with the winning touchdown, or Joe Montana rolling to his right and throwing the ball to just the right spot where Dwight Clark could reach up to the heavens to snatch it, a moment so perfect that we can call it simply "The Catch", all of these images, these iconic moments that we recall, the way that we recall them, is due to NFL Films and Steve Sabol.

For a certain generation of us when we were twelve years old, and depending on exactly what year we were born or what part of the country we were in, in the back yard we imagined we were Montana or Roger Staubach or John Elway or Terry Bradshaw, or Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Bart Starr or even Vinny Testaverde, we dropped back to throw the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.  In this imaginary fantasy, in our mind's eye we were the heroic champion snatching that moment of victory.  And it all played out in slow motion, because that was how we had seen it done -- John Elway backpeddaling on a cold winter's day in Cleveland and throwing a quick slant pass low to the ground to culminate "The Drive" or a million other moments like that -- in our mind those moments all occurred in slow motion, with Spence providing the soundtrack and Facenda the words.  That world, that emotional connection that so many of us have with football is largely due to the work of Steve Sabol.

Yesterday in Uni Watch, someone linked to an article that was written last summer for the Philadelphia Inquirer about how NFL Films is being dismantled due to the league's creation of and investment in the NFL Network.  Here is a link to that story, it is a good read, and it is sad to see what has become of the organization that for millions of us created how the NFL looked.

We leave you with a clip from NFL Films, and RIP Steve:

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