How Do We Choose a Random Uniform Matchup on Facebook?

by Tim Brulia

As you likely know, the Gridiron Uniform Database has a social media presence. We can be found on Facebook and Twitter. We may shoot for Instagram down the road, but for right now, Facebook and Twitter serves us - and you, we hope - rather well.

A popular feature on Facebook is what we call the "Random Uniform Matchup," or "RUM." You might be curious as to how we arrive at such a post, which features a boatload of information squeezed onto a tiny post.

Well, we don't keep secrets on the GUD, so we'd like to share how we do it.

1) We lay out a grid, courtesy of Google Sheets, which has a calendar, This is where we monitor what we have posted from day one of the RUM to the present. We allot so many spots for decades going back to the 1940s. As of February, every 29 days, we allocate a certain number of days per decade. This is based on the number of games played by the NFL going back to 1940. The allocation is as follows:

2010s: 5
2000s: 5
1990s: 4
1980s: 4
1970s: 4
1960s: 3
1950s: 2
1940s: 2

The individual decades are placed entirely at random. For the 60s, we use 2 NFL matchups per cycle and one AFL matchup. For the 40s and 50s, they alternate every Thursday, as our homage to "Throwback Thursdays."

2) After the decades have been put into dates, we then use the services of to randomly select a specific year from that decade. For example, if the grid has an "0" beside it, we go to to select a year from the 00s. Whatever year chooses, say 2007, that's the year we go with. We do make adjustments here and there if we feel a certain year has been used too often or not enough,

3) Now we choose the week of the season. The day after Labor Day, we consider the regular season to have kicked off. We use a Tuesday to Monday schedule, So for Week 1, we will use a RUM from previous Week 1's. Week 2, we'll select a prior season's Week 2 games, and so on. We use this format right through the season, including each playoff round and Super Bowl week. To culminate the season, we use that day's Super Bowl matchup (the only non random matchup of the year), and the following day, we use the Super Bowl Champion with a RUM from the just completed season. From the next day until Labor Day, is used to select the week, with no single week being used more than every seven days.

4) From here, we use a specific game from the year and week chosen. Again, is used. So let's say 2007 Week 2 so far has been randomly chosen. We identify how many games were played that week from the GUD's weekly lineup of matchups. This helps to account for weeks with byes, if any. Since there are no byes in Week 2 of 2007, selects a game from 1 to 16. We get game #8 for the week. Per the GUD, that works out to San Francisco 49ers at St, Louis Rams. So, that game would get put on our Facebook page.

5) Since the entry used in our example in #5 has all of the anecdotal information that we use for the RUM (except for the teams' win-loss records, which we'll cover later) entry on Facebook, we'll cover the matchups that do not have this information. We use the website to gather a lot of this info. A section on the forum contains an index that links to all NFL games played since 1947. These links, listed by season, contains by week, the date and time of each game, the network televising the game and the commentators assigned to the game. These facts are then placed in the text accompanying the RUM.

6) To find the venue of the game chosen, we consult the website. PFA lists by season every game, including stadium where the game was played.

7) Finally, to get the win-loss records for the two teams and the score of the game shown on Facebook, we use From here, we can go to a link for "team for a season," choose one of the teams, click on the particular season and find the game in question. The link lists opponents by week, with the W-L record going into the game as well as the score.

All of this information is gathered and then posted on the GUD's Facebook page. In turn, the GUD's Twitter account will post a link to the Facebook post.

Even though this sounds like a lengthy process, it really only takes about 3 minutes to complete, even less if the info on the graphic is there.

Every now and then, the GUD will feature a bonus RUM, which might be a matchup from one of the defunct leagues, like the All-America Conference (1946-1949), The World Football League (1974-1975), the United States Football League (1983-1985), the XFL (2001), and others.

To see what game shows up next on our Facebook page, here you go:



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