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Old 12-05-2019, 05:07 PM
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Pointless gripe: generational suffixes on sports uniforms


In the grand scheme of things this is as small potatoes as it gets, but this has bugged me for years and my wife is tired of hearing about it.

I don't think your generational suffix (Sr., Jr., III) belongs on the back of your sports jersey. If you are Jim Smith, Jr., your last name is "Smith," not "Smith Jr." Therefore, all that should go on the back of your jersey is SMITH.

I get that guys like to honor their fathers and grandfathers, but why should they have that right just because they happen to have the same first name? If Jim Smith's father is named Phil, he doesn't get to have SMITH, PHIL'S SON on his jersey.

That's it. Now I'll head back to the impeachment thread, but I am curious if this bugs anyone else.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:27 PM
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Brothers (and for all I know sisters) at British public schools used to be distinguished by "Major" (the older brother) and "Minor" (the younger). How would you feel about that - Smith Major and Smith Minor? I mean, they could actually play on the same school sports team, especially if they were twins.

(OK, so I don't think public schools have taken up names on the back of jerseys yet - but it's a hypothetical question, right? And, dammit, you got me thinking. Does anyone know what happens with Icelandic sportspersons? I mean, the surname of, let's say, Jon Gunnarsson doesn't tell you any more than his first name - it just tells you that his dad was called Gunnar. So do they have their first name on their shirt? - that's how the phone directory used to work. We need to know!) [/Hijack]

j
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:28 PM
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I don't mind. It doesn't bother me if someone does.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
Brothers (and for all I know sisters) at British public schools used to be distinguished by "Major" (the older brother) and "Minor" (the younger). How would you feel about that - Smith Major and Smith Minor? I mean, they could actually play on the same school sports team, especially if they were twins.

(OK, so I don't think public schools have taken up names on the back of jerseys yet - but it's a hypothetical question, right? And, dammit, you got me thinking. Does anyone know what happens with Icelandic sportspersons? I mean, the surname of, let's say, Jon Gunnarsson doesn't tell you any more than his first name - it just tells you that his dad was called Gunnar. So do they have their first name on their shirt? - that's how the phone directory used to work. We need to know!) [/Hijack]

j
I'm pretty absolutist about this. The Buffalo Bills (that's an American pro football team) once had like seven guys named Williams, and all their jerseys said WILLIAMS. No first initials, no suffixes. Beautiful.

Hey, you all have different numbers, and the fans know who you are. Want to feel special? Change your name to Ochocinco.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:10 PM
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And then we have the situation faced by the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli. Both NFL quarterbacks, and the sons of another NFL quarterback, Archie Manning.

Obviously, MANNING JR wouldn't work. Which junior is which? So, should they be "MANNING, P" and "MANNING, E"? Or should we just accept that Eli plays for the New York Giants, and Peyton played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, and that's how we can tell them apart?
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:19 PM
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Tell that to the Griffeys.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:27 PM
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And then we have the situation faced by the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli. Both NFL quarterbacks, and the sons of another NFL quarterback, Archie Manning.

Obviously, MANNING JR wouldn't work. Which junior is which? So, should they be "MANNING, P" and "MANNING, E"? Or should we just accept that Eli plays for the New York Giants, and Peyton played for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, and that's how we can tell them apart?
There's absolutely no need for initials or suffixes when they play for completely different teams, or in different eras.

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Tell that to the Griffeys.
Good point -- that's the only instance I can think of where a father and son played on the same team and shared the same first name. (Gordie Howe played with one or more of his sons in the WHL in the 70s, but I don't think any of them were Gordie, Jr.) But even then, did anyone have trouble telling one from the other?
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:31 PM
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Tell that to the Griffeys.
Griffey, Jr. just had his last name on his uniforms, no "Jr, " even when he and his father were teammates on the Mariners. As for telling them apart, their uniform numbers would suffice. Same with the Mannings, last names only, no suffix.

Last edited by cochrane; 12-05-2019 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:06 PM
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The Manning argument doesn't make any sense, because neither was named Archie?

Regarding the use of Sr. or more especially Jr., or II or III, it seems to me that (in the US, at least) the Jr. etc. is a very prominent part of the person's name identity. So rather than a casual suffix, it holds importance equal to the first name and last name. And, if that is how someone wants to be identified, why would I give any emotional space to thinking otherwise?
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:54 PM
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Does it bug me? Well, it's not like I spend a lot of time being irritated by the practice (or even spending much time thinking about it). But when I see "Bradley Jr." or something like that on the back of a jersey I do think it's kind of silly and a little strange. That's especially true when the Sr. didn't actually play in the majors (like "Bradley Jr.").

Last edited by Ulf the Unwashed; 12-05-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:46 AM
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Discussions about sports equipment, including uniforms, belongs in the Game Room, so let's move this there (from MPSIMS).
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:55 AM
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I'm pretty absolutist about this. The Buffalo Bills (that's an American pro football team) once had like seven guys named Williams, and all their jerseys said WILLIAMS. No first initials, no suffixes. Beautiful.

Hey, you all have different numbers, and the fans know who you are. Want to feel special? Change your name to Ochocinco.
Can't forget Jackie Robinson Day; let's change everyone's number to 42 & not put names on the back of the jersey. That sure makes it easy for the fans to know who's who. Fucking asshole, Selig!
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:04 AM
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You're not the only one that has muttered angrily at the TV over this.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:21 AM
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There's absolutely no need for initials or suffixes when they play for completely different teams, or in different eras.
I tend to agree; the NFL got away for decades without names on the jerseys AT ALL- just the player's number. Other levels still don't necessarily have names- For example, Penn State, Notre Dame and USC don't have names on their jerseys at all. Same with several baseball teams, including the storied LA Dodgers and NY Yankees as well as the Boston Red Sox at home.

So if you choose to put only "Williams" on the back of all six Williamses on a team, it doesn't really matter, as we also have players numbered 16, 22, 52, 77, 81 and 92 who are all named Williams.

And FWIW, the numbers are allocated by position, so in my example, there's no confusing Williams the quarterback (#16), Williams the tackle (#77) and Williams the linebacker (#52) with each other.

I would *possibly* make an exception for the situation where you have two players with the same name in the same position- like two quarterbacks named Williams, and let them put a first initial on there. Even then it's not necessary, because you might have Williams #11 and Williams #14.

It just seems like a certain amount of peacocking on the part of the players; nobody gives a f**k if you're "Jones III" or "G. Jones Jr." or any of that. You could still be #42 and you'd be just as recognizable and play just as well.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:40 AM
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And unlike Ken Griffey Junior, most players aren't referred to by the Junior or The Third. I've mostly heard Golden Tate called... Golden Tate. But his jersey reads TATE III (c'mon, dude, you've already got a colorful first name...).

So one game I annoyed my friends by yelling "Tate Eye-eye-eye's got the ball! Look at Tate Eye-eye-eye run!"
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:16 AM
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Here are Griffeys arguing about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G2AnNdjBu4
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:06 PM
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Does it bug me? Well, it's not like I spend a lot of time being irritated by the practice (or even spending much time thinking about it). But when I see "Bradley Jr." or something like that on the back of a jersey I do think it's kind of silly and a little strange. That's especially true when the Sr. didn't actually play in the majors (like "Bradley Jr.").
Mohamed Sanu Sr first put Sr on his jersey when Jr was 11 months old.

In case you are wondering Jr is not in the NFL.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:34 PM
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There's been a tension, for years (if not decades), between NFL players wanting to be able to express themselves by personalizing their uniforms in some way, and the NFL instituting increasingly strict rules which boil down to "uniforms (the noun) must be uniform (the adjective)!" The league wants every player on a team to be wearing pretty much the exact same thing, and players want the opposite.

My suspicion is that, a few years ago, players discovered that, while the NFL wouldn't let them put made-up names on their uniforms (see Ochocinco), the league would let them add generational notations. And, thus, over the past few years, we've seen a lot of players starting to use them.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:17 PM
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Here are Griffeys arguing about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G2AnNdjBu4
If only this message board did "likes"...this video is fantastic.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:53 PM
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And unlike Ken Griffey Junior, most players aren't referred to by the Junior or The Third. I've mostly heard Golden Tate called... Golden Tate. But his jersey reads TATE III (c'mon, dude, you've already got a colorful first name...).

So one game I annoyed my friends by yelling "Tate Eye-eye-eye's got the ball! Look at Tate Eye-eye-eye run!"
I call Houston wide receiver Will Fuller V "Fullerv."

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Mohamed Sanu Sr first put Sr on his jersey when Jr was 11 months old.

In case you are wondering Jr is not in the NFL.
The Sr. thing especially irks me -- seems like just a way to brag "I had a kid and gave him my own name."

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There's been a tension, for years (if not decades), between NFL players wanting to be able to express themselves by personalizing their uniforms in some way, and the NFL instituting increasingly strict rules which boil down to "uniforms (the noun) must be uniform (the adjective)!" The league wants every player on a team to be wearing pretty much the exact same thing, and players want the opposite.

My suspicion is that, a few years ago, players discovered that, while the NFL wouldn't let them put made-up names on their uniforms (see Ochocinco), the league would let them add generational notations. And, thus, over the past few years, we've seen a lot of players starting to use them.
You're right about that tension -- that's why I was happy to see them allow end zone celebrations again. But the suffix thing will always bug me. And not just in football -- When Davis Love III was on the PGA tour, I hated seeing LOVE III on the leaderboard. That's not his last name.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:39 PM
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I can't even imagine letting this bother me.

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Can't forget Jackie Robinson Day; let's change everyone's number to 42 & not put names on the back of the jersey. That sure makes it easy for the fans to know who's who. Fucking asshole, Selig!
I love Jackie Robinson Day, and the new tradition of everyone wearing 42. You don't think that Twins fans don't know the guy standing out in centerfield is Byron Buxton if his name isn't on the uniform? It's one day honoring one of the most important people to play the game. It originally started with each team assigning one player who got to wear 42, and there was so much demand from the players that they let everyone who wanted to do it. So we're angry with players who show too much individuality AND players who show too little?

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So one game I annoyed my friends by yelling "Tate Eye-eye-eye's got the ball! Look at Tate Eye-eye-eye run!"
The good news is that you were aware that you were annoying them - I guess that's a start.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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At least there isn't anyone in professional sports saddled with the last name He Hate Me anymore....
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:39 PM
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So one game I annoyed my friends by yelling "Tate Eye-eye-eye's got the ball! Look at Tate Eye-eye-eye run!"
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The good news is that you were aware that you were annoying them - I guess that's a start.
Well, look at his username. He's just getting in his digs.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:44 PM
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And unlike Ken Griffey Junior, most players aren't referred to by the Junior or The Third. I've mostly heard Golden Tate called... Golden Tate. But his jersey reads TATE III (c'mon, dude, you've already got a colorful first name...).

So one game I annoyed my friends by yelling "Tate Eye-eye-eye's got the ball! Look at Tate Eye-eye-eye run!"
I was more bothered by him having the nickname “Showtime”. For crying out loud, your real name is literally “Golden”, you are the last person to need a nickname.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:56 PM
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Sometimes there are unrelated players with the same first & last names.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:44 PM
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And then there's Cameron Jordan and Jordan Cameron.

For the suffix thing, I know they're supposed to be attached to the given name not the family name, but the jerseys don't bother me.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:59 PM
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I grew up watching Curt Warner play RB for the Seahawks.

To this day when I hear about “Kurt Warner” my mind goes to Curt first.

Also, Tre Flowers is a cornerback for the Seahawks. Trey Flowers is a defensive end for the Lions.

Tre Flowers is actually named Trequille. Trey Flowers is actually named Robert Lee. (I assume “Trey” is because he is Robert Lee Flowers III.)

Greg Olsen, tight end for the Panthers. Greg Olson, offensive coordinator for the Raiders.

Those guys are just the ones off the top of my head that regularly confuse me in football games.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:39 AM
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Can't forget Jackie Robinson Day; let's change everyone's number to 42 & not put names on the back of the jersey. That sure makes it easy for the fans to know who's who. Fucking asshole, Selig!
Hey, Jackie Robinson Day is great! Every year, I can win a bet: "Hey, pal, I bet that Number 42 will hit a home run today." And every year, somebody on some team does, while wearing Number 42.

(No, I don't actually take non-baseball fans for their money. But I have had a few ask me why everybody on the field is wearing number 42, and I'm tempted.)
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:57 PM
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I'm with the OP.

While the Browns had the QB known as Robert Griffin the 3rd, with the personal brand-name "RG3", I insisted on referring to him as "Griffin". As far as I know, I am the only one who discussed Browns' football who did so. Because Griffin the 1st and 2d were immaterial to me, I saw no reason to refer to them at all or to concern myself with Griffin's status as "the third."

No one other than me cared, of course. LOL

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Old 12-09-2019, 11:41 AM
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I'm with the OP.

While the Browns had the QB known as Robert Griffin the 3rd, with the personal brand-name "RG3", I insisted on referring to him as "Griffin". As far as I know, I am the only one who discussed Browns' football who did so. Because Griffin the 1st and 2d were immaterial to me, I saw no reason to refer to them at all or to concern myself with Griffin's status as "the third."

No one other than me cared, of course. LOL
Branding is important, and I have no trouble with promoting "RG3" as your brand. It's infinitely more memorable and distinct than any other "Griffin" out there. And it's only natural for people to talk about "RG3" instead of calling him "Griffin." YMMV, obviously.

It only bothers me when it's on the jersey. Sorry, your last name is Griffin, and that's all that belongs there.

Tangent -- I wonder if the NFL will someday allow names to go under the numbers, rather than across the shoulders. With long-haired players the name gets obscured.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:57 AM
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There's been a tension, for years (if not decades), between NFL players wanting to be able to express themselves by personalizing their uniforms in some way, and the NFL instituting increasingly strict rules which boil down to "uniforms (the noun) must be uniform (the adjective)!" The league wants every player on a team to be wearing pretty much the exact same thing, and players want the opposite.

My suspicion is that, a few years ago, players discovered that, while the NFL wouldn't let them put made-up names on their uniforms (see Ochocinco), the league would let them add generational notations. And, thus, over the past few years, we've seen a lot of players starting to use them.
And then you have players like KC Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who requested "MD" on his uniform after he graduated from med school. The league turned him down. (With a name like Duvernay-Tardif, maybe there wasn't enough room? )
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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And then you have players like KC Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who requested "MD" on his uniform after he graduated from med school. The league turned him down. (With a name like Duvernay-Tardif, maybe there wasn't enough room? )
I never heard that. Why would the league say no to that? I would waive all my reservations and griping to see a guy with MD or PhD after his name.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:43 PM
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I never heard that. Why would the league say no to that? I would waive all my reservations and griping to see a guy with MD or PhD after his name.
Don’t give the NFL any ideas. They might come up with a Player’s weekend like MLB does where the uniform names are replaced with stupid nicknames.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:31 PM
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Actually, I like their current My Cause My Cleats campaign. It gives the players the individuality they're otherwise denied while they raise money for their pet causes.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:37 PM
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Actually, I like their current My Cause My Cleats campaign. It gives the players the individuality they're otherwise denied while they raise money for their pet causes.
I’d like it if it was a year-round thing. I never pay attention to shoes until someone brings attention to them and I doubt anyone else outside of the NFL organization itself does either. It’d be cool if the cleats were a way to let players express themselves continually rather than just for a week.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:18 PM
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I’m 100 percent with the OP. If there’s going to be a name on the jersey, family name only. No given names, no nicknames, no suffixes.

Really though you don’t need a name. That’s what the number is for.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:20 PM
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Oh and fuck colored jerseys and “third uniforms.” White for home. Grey (or some other light color for certain clubs) for away. That’s all.

This is the major leagues, not a softball team.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:34 PM
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Oh and fuck colored jerseys and “third uniforms.” White for home. Grey (or some other light color for certain clubs) for away. That’s all.

This is the major leagues, not a softball team.
The more jerseys you have, the more you can sell. I’m pretty sure that’s the NFL’s entire motivation. You might as well gripe about mascots and team names, “They’re men not fantasy monsters and airplanes, just call them ‘The New Jersey Pro Football Team’ and ‘The Other New Jersey Pro Football Team’.”

(Just as a reminder, the Bills are New York’s only NFL team.)
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:25 PM
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The more jerseys you have, the more you can sell. I’m pretty sure that’s the NFL’s entire motivation.
Of course it is. That isn’t the point.

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You might as well gripe about mascots and team names,
I would rather that nicknames etc. be freely chosen and used by fans and journalists rather than “official” nicknames chosen by corporate marketeers. Over time the nicknames should be subject to change based on the whim of the public at large.

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(Just as a reminder, the Bills are New York’s only NFL team.)
To me, the relevant unit is the conurbation, not the state. So a team in north Jersey is a New York City team. There are two New York teams and a Buffalo team. There are no New York State teams.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:59 PM
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To me, the relevant unit is the conurbation, not the state. So a team in north Jersey is a New York City team. There are two New York teams and a Buffalo team. There are no New York State teams.
Thanks for teaching me a new word!

Back in the 80s I remember the mayor of Detroit being pissed that the Pistons built a new arena in a suburb. My memory is hazy but he may have even threatened to sue to make them remove "Detroit" from their name. Obviously that went nowhere.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:07 AM
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No fewer than 3 'III' in the Quick Lane Bowl tonight.

By the way, I'm 11-2 in my picks so far this year. Had to tell someone!

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Old 12-27-2019, 09:54 AM
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In Cricket, for Test matches they only just started putting names or numbers on the back of shirts at all this year.

They've had them in the other formats for a while, although I can't think of any cricketing "Jrs" to see what they had on their shirts.
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