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Sleeves Are Falling

 Is that a slight chill in the air we feel? Is that the faint smell of leaves beginning to fall from the trees we smell? Are those incessant fantasy football strategy conversations we hear? 

The autumn is nearly upon us and that means football season is nigh. The collegians are already at it in earnest, and soon the professional gladiators of the grid iron will be too.  

Together they’ll be filling out our Saturday and Sunday viewing schedules with glorious combat.  So what will they be wearing into combat this year? We like to think we know a thing or two about football team uniforms here at S.U.S. Here are some of the things we're noticing.

Paul Lukas, who runs one of our favorite uniform focused blogs, Uni Watch, recently put together a list for ESPN of the best uniforms in the NFL, as well as another ranking
of the overall best uniformed pro sports 
Lukas gives the Steelers the top spot in the NFL rankings. (He is a big fan of their throwback bumblebee look, as are we.) And for the overall multi-sport city rankings, Boston took the top spot. His methodology seems to be pretty fool-proof: "Bonus point for Bill Belichick having a signature style, but it's cancelled out by that style being so unattractive." 

In Philadelphia, they're still collecting themselves from Chip Kelley’s 12-year-old-in-Madden-Dynasty-mode-on-Christmas-morning off season. New starting QB Sam Bradford enters the season with no small amount of pressure on his shoulders. But what about the uniform covering those shoulders?

At least one local writer noticed Sammy B. has opted for the longer sleeves that have all but gone out of vogue in recent years.
The good news is that the list of the other guys sporting longer sleeves in the NFL includes Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers. So perhaps there is a method to this madness? We'll have to see what the regular season holds. 
The sleeve style controversy is nothing new, however. 

Ever since the elastic arm trim was popularized a few years ago, sleeves have been growing shorter and shorter across the league. Sleeve preferences also vary by position. Linemen often prefer something tighter and shorter so the man across the line won't have anything extra to grab onto into the scrum. And quarterback seems to be the position most likely to favor a longer, looser fit. 

Here’s the guys at Uni-Watch weighing in on the long-short-sleeve vs short-short-sleeve debate back in 2009
Even then they recognized the long sleeves are fast becoming a thing of the past, aside from a few high achieving quarterbacks who clearly don’t need to show off their guns to get attention from the ladies.They suggest putting stripes on the compression shirts worn underneath the jersey.

Even in cold weather, most pro footballers opt to keep their sleeves short. Partially because a few inches of cloth just don't make that much difference and partially because in a game of intimidation you don't want to be the guy that looks like he needs extra protection. 

Still, there's room for some sparkle on the short-short-sleeve design in the right uniform scheme. In the Uni-Watch rankings, the Chicago Bears come in at number 4, and their striped sleeve look is pretty sharp, especially in the retro jersey shown on the right. 

As football season continues, we'll definitely check in again with some of the looks we like across the gridiron. Until then, here's hoping your fantasy team is fantastic, your hometown quarterback stays healthy, and your wings are always done just the way you like them. 

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