Baby Beluga's growing up :(
The Boston Red Sox, known for their traditional white uniforms with red lettering and the iconic "B," are unveiling their first jersey without any red at all.
As part of Major League Baseball's first major jersey collaboration with Nike -- which became the sport's uniform supplier in 2019 -- the Red Sox unveiled the yellow-and-powder-blue uniforms Tuesday.
Inspired by the Patriots' Day holiday and the Boston Marathon, the jerseys feature a marathon bib patch with 617, Fenway Park's area code, on the left sleeve.
The radical design for MLB is part of Nike's first venture into designing alternates for baseball, known as the City Connect series, meant to push the boundaries of uniform design.
"It was front and center and this is why we did this deal. You take two iconic brands and you put them together and you have one and one make three," MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said. "This is what we expected, and this is what we wanted. This is the plan we always set out for."
The City Connect series will start with seven teams with scattered unveil dates: the Red Sox, Miami Marlins (May 21), Chicago White Sox (June 5), Chicago Cubs (June 12), Arizona Diamondbacks (June 18), San Francisco Giants (July 9) and Los Angeles Dodgers (late August).
Every MLB team is expected to have a City Connect series jersey by the end of the 2023 season, with teams working individually with Nike to create a uniform that's connected to the personality and community of each city.
Since taking over as the uniform supplier for the NFL and NBA, Nike has pushed for similarly radical uniform design changes in baseball, with the City Edition uniforms in the NFL and NBA creating a wide variety of looks. Nike presented Boston with 10 different concepts in early 2019, with Red Sox chief marketing officer Adam Grossman and executive vice president Troup Parkinson landing on the Patriots' Day concept.
Grossman said that when the Red Sox learned of the sport's partnership with Nike two years ago, they reached out to tell them that they wanted to push the boundaries regarding their uniform design.
"We wanted to be at the front of the line. We told them that we would love to collaborate in any way you see fit," Grossman said. "That was two years ago, and that point, they said they were going to do the City Connect program that if we're going to do this, we are all-in, and even though we are a traditional historic franchise, we want to do something completely different.
"We want to push the envelope and be bold in this."
First off, saying these are the first Red Sox first uniform without red is simply untrue. Either clarify with HOME uniforms or get your facts str8! I may have turned my back on a franchise that I used to say I love more than most of my family, but I sure as shit haven't forgotten Sox history. Their '80s away jerseys had zero red (and also fucking sucked; how do you go that boring in the coked-out EIGHTIES?)
I haven't said a good word about the Boston Red Sox in over a year on this publication, but that's about to change. Well, right after I mention that John Henry recently spoke with the media for the first time in over a year. A YEAR! Fuck that soulless ass hole.
Now that I've got that out of my system, I sort of like these uniforms in the same sense as how I sort of like Fall Out Boy. I rarely am like I need to hear "Dance, Dance" but if it comes on I'm not gonna be mad. Sure they look like a combination of the late Warwick Vets, UCLA, and 1934 Philadelphia Eagles throwbacks had a three-way...
...but I think the concept is kind of cool. They're better than the Celtics turning banners into jerseys. Obviously they're unlike anything the Red Sox have ever worn before but the color scheme pays homage to the Boston Marathon, I love the piping on the sleeves, and the 617 bib is a nice touch.
Between day games on Patriots Day and everything that happened in 2013, the Red Sox and the Boston Marathon are forever linked. Both are staples of the city; I think it's a natural pair for this Nike stunt. I totally get the connection people feel with the "Boston" home jerseys that the Sox have worn on Patriots Day every year (I thiink?) since 2013, but with Nike rolling out these "envelop pushing" jerseys, I sort of fuck with them. The Nike swoosh being on the chest instead of the sleeve is atrocious, but that's not what people are talking about today; it's how the Red Sox are wearing yellow! We've seen examples of these jerseys with no affiliation to the traditional color schemes of teams that wears them in the NBA, most notably the Miami Heat's Miami Vice uniforms that are approximately 200,000 times better than any non-Tim Hardaway era Heat jerseys.
I haven't watched a pitch the Sox this year and that isn't changing anytime soon since the idiot who owns NESN decided taking it off YoutubeTV was a good idea. Oh wait, it's the same idiot who thought trading generational talent for three players would reload the depleted farm! Anywho, I'm getting off track. The Red Sox can play in paper bags for all I care even though I do respect them thinking outside the box; I just needed an excuse to blog this Twitter interaction.
ALEX VERDUGO'S BROTHER REPLIED.
I don't fuck with Alex Verdugo at all, but getting to a riff with the dude's brother is not something I'm trying to do. I'm not gonna openly talk shit to the guy's family. I get it he didn't choose to be traded for Mookie Betts, but sorry, bro, I'm still going to hate his fucking guts for what he represents. Unless he wants to buy me off, I'll never like him. This is the same guy who said he wasn't replacing Mookie Betts. Um, helloooo, you literally replaced him, you moron. It's like Sammy Hagar saying he wasn't replacing David Lee Roth. But you're right in this; you'll never replace Mookie. Talk to me when you win an MVP. Cute 12th place finish in a 60 game season like that actually matters. Maybe someday, when John Henry has sold his stake in the Sox to Lebron, I'll be back, but for now, I know these uniforms are not going to be what makes baseball more entertaining to younger generations.
Song: Fake Nice (live)
Artist: The Aces
Album: When My Heart Felt Volcanic (2018)
Happy birthday to the Aces' debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic! I fucking love this band. 2018 being three years ago feels impossible. I would've guessed seven.
Despite putting all my eggs in the Barstool basket, I'm really starting to hate social media. It's toxic, for lack of a better word (that's why I love the Cheapies!). Seeing how fucked up most of,,, everything, is at all times is quite depressing. I've been crying wolf about deleting my Facebook for like five years at this point. Once I have saved all my tagged photos that I want to keep (they let you download all your albums but not tagged pics it's wicked fucking annoying. I also could just be doing something wrong, so if you know any pointers, please LMK) I'm cutting ties with the book for good. I haven't shared a blog on FB in like two weeks in preparation for this and to see how it affects my #pageviews. Sometimes I'm actually happy I have less than 100 Twitter followers because it makes the odds of me running into some morons in my replies much more unlikely (although not impossible!)
Today, Kyle Long, guard for the Kansas City Chiefs (who recently came out of retirement), tweeted about football camps, how he never went to one, and why athletes should broaden their horizons in high school. He essentially says that your tape will do the talking for you and focus on enjoying all parts of the high school experience.
It's pretty solid advice. Don't box yourself into one group; try a bunch of different shit. FIND YOURSELF.
Maybe I'm not the best example. I had about as much of a chance at getting a football scholarship as Danny DeVito does at winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest despite being both a key returner going into my senior year and a key loss the year after it according to the local paper, but I took every art class available, was involved with the student council, and had friends in multiple "cliques." I completely understand there's a lot of competition for scholarships, and the stakes are higher for those relying on what as 'their way out," but if you're going to play D3 college sports, you don't need to "focus" on one sport in high school. Meeting more people and being involved with things outside of one sport is a good thing. Just like I'd suggest being part of a high school sports team is a good idea for someone who might not have a super athletic background.
I don't know how you could read that tweet and think, "wow, Kyle, way to show your privilege," but since the internet has no gray area, plenty of people decided to play the privilege card since Kyle Long is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer, Howie Long and the brother of two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long.
I mean I guess they have a point. Kyle Long's dad is a Hall of Famer and FOX broadcaster. Those are the same reason why all 30 NBA teams are still clamoring over both of Michael Jordan's sons and Nick Montana has been an NFL starter for seven years.
Do the children of celebrities get extra opportunities that regular people don't? Umm, no fucking shit. Do you think if Colin Hanks was Colin Banks he'd have the career he does? But using this term in athletics blows my fucking mind, especially when there's a million more significant examples of privilege being exploited. I'll even give you that in high school and even some small colleges certain athletes may get opportunities because whose kid they are, but John Calipari wasn't starting Brad over lottery picks at Kentucky. Your name might get you a look but it's not getting you playing time if you can't play. Sports are the great equalizer. The AFL didn't have more black players in the 1960s than the NFL because they were more progressive (Vince Lombardi accepted gay players before fucking Stonewall) but because they were the best players available to fill their rosters. The best players play. Plain and simple. Kyle Long is saying that in his tweet. If you go off in games coaches are going to find you, especially now in the digital age. It doesn't matter what your name is.
It'd be one thing if we were talking about broadcasting or coaching and Kyle Long was like Belichick's kids, Kyle Shanahan, Wade Phillips or Rex Ryan getting opportunities that guys who "paid their dues" didn't, but this just sounds like a bunch of cry babies with no sense of context or the moment trying to pander for likes online. Hell you could say Belichick was privileged because his dad was a scout for Navy but there is no nepotism on the playing field.
Kyle Long's dad being Howie Long isn't why he was a first round draft pick. I mean I guess sure from a genetic standpoint but it's not like the Bears drafted him in 2013 because his dad was inducted in Canton in 2000.
If you lost both your parents in a plane crash and are jealous that the Long's have the resources to make sure both parents are never on the same plane then yeah I suppose you can ask Kyle to check his privilege but if you can't see the good in an NFL offensive lineman telling athletes to go after more in life then I guess you're just the reason why the saying "you can't please everybody" exists.
Song: Sliver (1990)
I stand by this tweet, but it didn't mean I wasn't going to blog at all! I just wanted to let the people know why there may be a lack of blogs for the next week and a half (definitely Wednesday and Thursday).
I was technically alive in 1994, but I was two at the time, so obviously, I don't have any actual memories of it, but I'll always associate April 5th with Kurt Cobain's death. I'm well aware the public didn't know the news until April 8th, when Kurt Loder told the world that an electrician discovered his body, so I understand if some people get the dates confused 27 years after the fact. My weird-ass selective-memory brain remembers angsty 13-year-old Dozo mentioning that it was the 11th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death in 2005 while my aunt was letting me practice driving around my grandma's neighborhood.
As for perhaps the most famous "suicide" of the '90s and maybe even in all of music history, there's still tons of speculation around Kurt's death. I'm willing to go up to 60% for chances he actually did it, but the toxicology reports show he had too much H in his system to pull the trigger. There was never an official autopsy! Some believe the note Courtney read at Kurt's vigil was actually a letter about why he was leaving her and/or the music scene behind. Regardless if Kurt or Courtney pulled the trigger that April morning, the rise and fall of Nirvana is one of the essential parts of music history and defines a generation. I've gone back and forth with my Nirvana takes over the years. I genuinely enjoy a lot of their music agree that they're one of the most influential bands of all time, but like SNL and divorce, I was probably exposed to them a little early.
Back when WBRU (R.I.P.) was still around, they certainly played a significant role in some of my mid-2010s Nirvana backlash as I spent 3-5 days a week delivering pizza listening to 'BRU. They simply played Nirvana too much; it's probably the real reason why they no longer exist on analog radio. We didn't need to hear "Smells Like Teen Spirit" thrice an hour in 2014 when there were plenty of active artists out there doing their thing. Because I'm such a free thinker, I did not go with one of their most famous songs, although anybody with an ounce of Nirvana intellect knows this. S/o Nirvana's 2002 self-titled greatest hits for introducing Sliver to me. Grandma take me home, Grandma take me home, Grandma take me hoooommeee.
Every year both the competition committee and NFL teams propose new rules or amendments to past ones to be voted on at the owners' meetings. It takes 75% of the vote (24 of 32 owners) to implement a new rule.
Thanks to these meetings, over the last handful of years (excellent filler word for when you don't feel like researching to give an exact number), there have been drastic changes to the game. We've seen snap placement on extra points pushed back to the 15-yard line. You can now score a two-point conversion on defensive/special teams (s/o Eric Berry), and the onside kick has moved to hospice care.
This year there are 11 potential rule changes up for a vote, including eliminating overtime in the preseason (which feels like a no-brainer), adding a "sky judge" and the "4th & 15" option to replace neutered onside kicks. The two-time defending AFC champion, Kansas City Chiefs, proposed an amendment to Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2 that wouldn't change how the game is played on the field but would undoubtedly change its looks. It's fitting that the only team who still has a tribute to the AFL on its uniforms suggested that the No Fun League loosen up some of its jersey number restrictions.
Before 1973 partly due to expansion with AAFC and AFL teams, there wasn't as much uniformity in uniform numbers; that's why a FB like Marion Motley was #76 and his QB Otto Graham was #60. The NFL is the only professional sports league in the U.S. with official restrictions on jersey number by position. I totally understand the need for the system when it comes to eligible vs. ineligible receivers, but I've never understood what was the big deal about a WR wearing #5 like you'll see in college football. Seeing a defensive lineman rock a single digit in college is always hilarious. These the NFL's current rules regarding jersey numbers:
Via: The NFL Rulebook.
All players must wear numerals on their jerseys in accordance with Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3, Item 3. Such numerals must be by playing position, as follows:
If a player changes his position during his playing career in the NFL, and such change moves him from a position as an ineligible pass receiver to that of an eligible pass receiver, or from a position as an eligible pass receiver to that of an ineligible pass receiver, he must be issued an appropriate new jersey numeral. A change in jersey numeral is not required if the change is from an ineligible position to another ineligible position, or from an eligible position to another eligible position, provided that the player has participated at least one season at his position prior to the change.
Any request to wear a numeral for a special position not specified above (e.g., H-back) must be made to the Commissioner. During the preseason period when playing rosters are larger, the League will allow duplication and other temporary deviations from the numbering scheme specified above, but the rule must be adhered to for all players during the regular season and postseason. Clubs must make numerals available to adhere to the rule, even if it requires returning to circulation a numeral that has been retired or withheld for other reasons. See 5-3-1 for reporting a change of position.
Under the Chiefs proposed amendment, the new jersey number rules would look like this:
QBs, Punters, Kickers: 1-19
Running Backs, Fullbacks, H-Backs, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends: 1-49; 80-89
Offensive Linemen: 50-79
Defensive Backs: 1-49
Linebackers: 1-59; 90-99
Defensive Linemen: 50-79; 90-99
There will always be wet blankets who think jersey numbers don't matter, but I consider myself a jersey number guy. I'm a big believer in the Deion Sanders' look good, play good, get paid good mantra and am always curious why a player has an affinity for a particular digit. If it doesn't hurt anybody and makes people a little bit happier before they eventually die, I say go for it! I am 100% in favor of this move. I think from a marketing and merchandising standpoint, this change is a no-brainer. More jersey sales for the NFL! Plus a single-digit jersey is inherently cooler than #82, unless the player's last name is Blink-One. It's a harmless, fun change that also has some legitimate reasoning behind it.
So many single digits go wasted every season! Who's the best #6 of all time, Johnny Hekker? I'm 99.7% sure the rules aren't as strictly enforced when it comes to offensive lineman. I swear I've seen guards and tackles in the 50's but I could be Mandela Effecting myself. According to the Wikipedia page on NFL Uniform Numbers, I'm not.
If this ends up passing, Brian Bosworth and Reggie Bush walked so this generation could run.
As long as QBs have to be somewhere between 1-19, I really don't care what numbers guys are wearing. QBs in the 20s look AWFUL.
Song: How Sweet It Is (To Be Love By You)
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Album: How Sweet It Is To Be Love By You (1964)
I'm curious to see how many readers knew that James Taylor's version is not the original, making his recording a cross-genre cover! I didn't blog yesterday, so take this S.O.D. as a late R.I.P. "anniversary" (I always feel weird using that term with negative things; we need a negative version of the word anniversary) for Mr. Marvin Gaye. Have a Good Friday!
Until like two hours ago, let's call it 7:30 PM EST, my head felt Phineas Gage's, and my anxiety was higher than my blood pressure (which I'm sure isn't doing too swell), but when Robert Kraft is indirectly paying homage to Trans Day of Visibility by being (trans)parent* AF about the state of the Patriots I had to put a few thoughts out there to be read by 165 sets of unique eyeballs.
During a Q & A (question and answer for people who aren't fake in the biz like yours truly) with reporters at the League Meetings today, Mr. Kraft was as candid as I've ever seen/heard/read him before. He touched on everything:
Great minds think alike!!! Let's not forget that people were seriously talking about Cam in the MVP discussion during the first one to three weeks of the season. I couldn't agree more with RKK on Cam, but it's his honesty about the Patriots recent draft struggles and how that tied into the Patriots record-setting free-agent spending that has me jazzed up like I'm John Stockton.
"What happened here last year was not something to our liking. We had to make the corrections," Kraft said. "In all the businesses we're involved in, we try to take advantage of inefficiencies in the market. We were in a unique cap situation this year and it allowed us to try to [fix] things we missed, to a certain extent, in the draft. So this was our best opportunity."
This quote is much shorter and sweeter!
This is why Boston sports fans love Robert Kraft and hate John Henry, even if they haven't stopped rooting for the team like the man writing this blog. See how low the bar is? Just be fucking honest! Robert Kraft is admitting the Patriots haven't drafted so hot the last few years. See how easy that was? If the team owner can admit that, I think the fans who can't take off their Belichick Blinders can too. It doesn't mean Belichick isn't an all-time great coach and had his fair share of nice finds. Most intelligent people agree that Bill Belichick is one of, if not the greatest head coach of all time, and yes, he's had plenty of success in the draft, but the last decade could've gone a lot better from a talent development standpoint. It certainly played a factor in Brady leaving. There have been way more Ras-I Dowlings than Devin McCourtys.
THIS is why Robert Kraft is beloved.
via: Boston Sports Journal "After my family, the Patriots are the most important thing in my life. ... It’s like I said when I bought the team – our family is the custodian of a public asset. The bottom line here is winning. That’s what this business is and when we don’t, it’s not a good feeling. ... The bottom line is we want to win and when we don’t, we’re not happy."
John Henry will preach to you about Stan Musial like Red Sox fans give half a fuck about that when he chose not to lock up the best position player the Red Sox have developed since Yaz to save money after giving out horrible overpay deals for years.
Of course, Kraft is a businessman too and wants to make billions of dollars like his contemporaries, he hasn't really overspent in the past and has admitted this might not work, but he at least seems to care enough to try, and admit when his team has made mistakes. Mr. Kraft is a stand-up guy. Sure he's caught a few handies and banged some models, but he was a married man that stood by his wife until her final breath. Like you wouldn't take advantage of your spoils later in life when the opportunity presents itself? RKK is a class act and still has skin in the game. He's a New Englander. He saved the Patriots from moving to St. Louis. He actually cares about the fans and community. "Our family is a custodian of a public asset" makes me want to both run through a brick wall and cry tears of joy. That's how all owners should look at their franchises. This is what my man Howard Cosell was saying in I Never Played The Game! John Henry doesn't even consider custodians people.
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Shaughnessy has a point!
A substantial part of my anxiety comes from having to walk through hoops online. There are no gray areas. In my head I'm like "is someone going to cancel me for a little word play?" Do they not know I'm an ally to the trans community and just trying to make a timely reference?
There have been whispers as loud as snare drums that the NFL wants to expand the schedule for as long as I can remember. Last year's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) made a change all but inevitable, and today that inevitability is a reality as the NFL has officially announced the addition of a 17th game to the regular season.
We all knew this was coming, but it doesn't make it any less weird. The NFL has had a 16 game schedule since 1978, back when the NFL instituted the Mel Blount rule. I know lots of us stink at year-math, but that's over 40 years of 16 game regular seasons! It's all multiple generations of football fans have known. Roger Staubach's Cowboys were Super Bowl champs the final season of 14 games in 1977. Every season except 1982 and 1987 (strike-shortened years) played 16 games per team. For many, NFL record math has become second nature, so 6-11, 9-8, or 13-4 will take some getting used to for sure. Finishing .500 is now almost impossible. Millions of Twitter comedians just had to delete their entire Jeff Fisher file.
Teams will still play 20 games, just now, with three preseason games instead of the usual four. Unless you're a bottom of the roster guy fighting for a job, I think we can all agree this aspect of the change is favorable. I do not give a fuuuuck about the preseason. The last time I truly did was 2015 when Tim Tebow was fighting to make the Eagles, and damnit he played well enough that August to make a roster! Obviously, the preseason matters for evaluating talent, installing plays, and all that good stuff, but I've simulated the preseason in every Madden franchise I've ever played. The 4th preseason game will not be missed!
All teams will play 10 "home" games and 10 "away" games but rotate the 8-2 and 9-1 regular vs. preseason split based on conference. In 2021 AFC teams will play nine regular-season "home" games. I love how the new 17th regular-season game is an inter-conference matchup against a team that finished in the same spot in their respective division. As long as teams are finishing the regular season against their division, I'm all for this. It will give more markets more opportunities to see players and teams from the opposing conference. Aaron Rodgers has played once at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady didn't play in San Francisco until 2016. We'll have a chance to see great inter-conference rivalries like Steelers vs. Cowboys and Jets vs. Giants more often than every four years.
As part of the new agreement, all teams will play at least one international game every eight years.
Like all things in life, there are pros and cons to this change. Depending on who you are, more football is a pro; I love the NFL. I'll gladly take another week of action to watch and gamble on (another week of #TooManyLegs!), but I do feel bad for the players. So much for player safety! In the long run, they'll make more money, but this season contracts are just going to be paid over 18 weeks instead of 17. That sucks, especially when every deal in the league except like Tom Brady and Kirk Cousins isn't fully guaranteed. Plus, there's still only one bye-week in the regular season, and with playoff expansion, only one team receives a first-round bye. I at least hope we see bye weeks spaced out better now, but knowing the NFL, they'll probably start earlier, especially with Amazon in the mix. Hell, we may see zero bye weeks if Bezos has any say. Nobody should have a bye before like, week 7 with the extra game. Imagine going 14-3 with a bye week in week 4 and having to play in the Wild Card round? That seems like bull shit to me.
Of course, this makes the dream of a Super Bowl played during President's Day Weekend more of a reality. I feel like we're going to see either a 2nd bye week or 18th game added (maybe both!) relatively soon, even though the current CBA runs until 2030 and currently says the league can not expand the regular season beyond 17 games during the life of the deal.
We will see an 18 game schedule. There is no way on earth the NFL just has an odd number of regular season games. Maybe the next schedule expansion doesn't happen until 2031, but like Dirty Mike and The Boys having sex in a Prius, it will happen again.
Lastly, I know records aren't as revered in the NFL as they are in baseball, but with an extra game and every rule except the fumble through end zone rule favoring the offense, I feel like we're going to see monster numbers going forward. 2,000 yard seasons for a pass catcher will happen as often as the Olympics. Michael Strahan's fake sack record is as good as gone. Drew Brees will no longer be the only QB with multiple 5,000-yard seasons by 2024. This also means the New England Patriots are officially the only team to finish 16-0. If they couldn't seal the deal for 19-0, I doubt we'll ever see 20-0, although it would be much more satisfying from an optics standpoint. I love a round number.
Speaking of Michael Strahan, how are you gonna ditch team gap like this???? Yeah, I have Smile Direct Club molds collecting dust in my room because they hurt, and maybe deep down, I'm scared of not having the crutch of having a shitty smile for why I am incapable of finding love, but you were the face of the piano key teeth community. What a disappointment/likely early April Fools Day Joke, even though I 100% get it and would've done this 25 years ago if I were you.
Song: Edge of Seventeen (1982)
Artist: Stevie Nicks
Album: Bella Bonna
Big NFL news coming in my next post!!! Hashtag musical foreshadowing.