I grew up following the Browns and Steelers, and now I guess I’m a Detroiter. So last night’s great game would have been even more engrossing if I’d cared more about victory. Both teams deserved to be there. Both have Hall of Fame quarterbacks, several amazing players at other positions, no bad seeds on the character issue (as far as I know), and both coaches have more than proven themselves.
So what’s left but the uniforms? I’ve loved the Giants road unies for quite a while now. Red, white, and blue (and grey) has a tribal ring of familiarity, doesn’t it.
A couple of decades ago, the Patriots wore those colors (minus the philosophically important grey, however, and with a fairly boring white helmet). When they changed (for reasons known only in our twin galaxy), instead of stepping up to the color palate, instead of manning up in imagination, they did the unthinkable. They all but eliminated their red and regressed, out of nowhere, to one more silver helmet and britches (silver and grey are NOT the same; I’m still waiting for Ohio State to realize that).
Were the Patriots thinking, “Let’s see how derivative we can be, how much we can imitate the Lions?” And the Cowboys, Raiders, Panthers, until recently the Seahawks. And what’s with the Patriots’ pointy-chinned Revolutionary War soldier for a logo?
Sidebar: I congratulate Seattle for trying something original with their new-ish unies, but for heavens’ sake, sailor boys, what is that seasick anti-color you’ve worn the last few years? Should we change your nickname to the Seattle SeaWeed?
OK, I’m back. In the original NFL, the Detroit Lions were THE team who wore silver and blue. As a kid, I didn’t hate the faraway, Arctic Lions or their uniforms, but it seemed ho-hum and irrelevant. Honolulu blue is still blue, and blue is dull as dung, compared to the other colors in football—red, green, purple, or black, with orange or gold (hear yellow, not old gold, not faded, boring, almost invisible old gold—you hear me, Notre Dame, with your Navy and Pallor Domes?).
Football is about many things, but one item toward the top of the list is color. You don’t watch football in order to be put to sleep, and any blue other than Carolina powder blue is soporific. Medium to navy must be invigorated, infused with red or gold or orange.
This is not rocket science, and it’s not debatable. It’s plainer than the nose on your face, and the Giants get it, the Patriots don’t (at least the Giants get it on the road; their home unies are problematic . . . ).
Morever, the Patriots had something like the right idea, with their old red jerseys, then they gave it away. Well, those white helmets . . . Listen, except for the University of Tennessee’s daring orange and white, the colors Anything and White are a copout. It won’t do. Red and white is almost bright enough to carry a team, but why not add black or blue or 49er gold?
Look what Tampa Bay did a few years ago with red, bronze, and a little orange. It was the most daring move in the history of football, maybe the history of man, and it worked.
So last night I drifted toward the Giants, but I thank both teams for one great demonstration of talent and character, in spite of some surprising mistakes. And I thank the TV producers for putting cameras on about every other square inch of the stadium. It was so much better than being there that I don’t understand why anyone attends—especially when can’t mute or completely ignore the Madonna self-celebration.
What does all that have to do with poetry? Ask and ye shall receive, from William Carlos Williams, once again, the favorite poem of Gothpunkuncle:
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white