NFL tough on game-day attire

July 16, 2009
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manningThe folks running the National Football League are iron-fisted guardians of the game—and apparently sticklers for details.

Most recently, the NFL mafia has dropped the hammer on the athlete formerly known as Chad Johnson, who wants to Tweet during games. The league said absolutely not. The athlete (not to be confused with The Artist) is threatening to Tweet anyway.

Listening to Tom Zupancic, Indianapolis Colts senior vice president of sales and marketing, this week makes me realize how Gestapo-like the NFL is.

When Zupancic was the strength and conditioning coach, he was in charge of making sure all the Colts players uniforms fit game-day protocol. This is how it went—and still goes for that matter.

When the Colts players came out for game-day warm-ups, the officiating crew would take a close look at all the players, and make a list of anything big or small that went against the NFL's dress code.

A few things—like defensive linemen spraying silicon on their jerseys—had to do with unfair competitive advantages. Most of the issues were cosmetic.

The list was turned over to Zupancic, and after the players returned to the locker room for last minute coaching insturctions, he went to every one on the list to tell them what the problem was and how to fix it.

“I’d tell one player to pull up his socks or another to tuck in his jersey or another that his wrist band wasn’t placed right,” Zupancic said. “Sometimes we’d have to tape over a logo on a pair of shoes.”

Despite the Colts recently selling a sponsorship patch on its practice jersey to Indiana Farm Bureau this year, Zupancic doesn’t think that will ever spread to game-day uniforms.

“I just don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future,” he said. “They’re just so protective of the integrity of this game.”

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  • It is little things like this that makes the NFL America's #1 sport. They run a very, very tight ship and don't let anything spin out of control. Call it totalitarian if you want, but standardized uniforms does nothing to take away from my enjoyment of the game. Actually, it would probably get annoying seeing a bunch of players bending the rules to extremes and take away from just watching the game.
  • I am sorry, if I was a Bengals fan, I would be demanding the removal of Johnson/Ocho Cinco. He is the antithesis of a team player. It is all about him. Wants to tweet during games? Should be paying attention to the game. Would any of your bosses like it if you tweeted during work?
  • Agreed.

    I also wonder why rules haven't been established about the length of players' hair. I recall a Colts/Steelers game where it nearly became an issue of Troy Polamalu's hair being out-of-bounds. Some of these guys look absurd with hair streaming out of their helmets.
  • Actually, I do Tweet during work. Oh, but it is for work purposes that I'm Tweeting. I agree with you Indyman and Finchbot for the most part. I'm not sure what I think about the hair issue. That's an interesting one. Of course, the Yankees and Dodgers have rules on hair lengths and for years the Reds didn't allow facial hair. I guess anything is up for governance. Thanks for reading (the blog posts and the Tweets).
  • Anthony,

    The Dodgers must have thrown the hair length rule out the window when they acquired Manny. But we know Johnny Damon didn't go marching into Yankee territory with that mop he had. I must say he does look more professional in a Yankee uniform with his hair at normal length. As for Manny, that guy is and looks ridiculous, I guess he's just being Manny.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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