Here\'s why the jersey colors of the teams playing in the Super Bowl matter

Create: 2021-02-02
Update: 2021-02-02
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Tuesday, February 2, 2021
It's very snowy up here in the northeast and I've got some serious shoveling to do this morning, so get on over here and sit yourself down so we can talk some sports before I venture out into the elements. 
We've got a lot to cover -- from Super Bowl stuff, to more ugly harassment allegations in MLB, to Aaron Rodgers drama, Dustin Pedroia's retirement, LeBron James' eventful night and much more. Oh, and just so you know, I did indeed have myself a couple of delicious cheeseburgers and a refreshing Miller High Life to celebrate my first day off the TB12 diet yesterday. It was all I wanted for a week straight and it was worth the damn wait. 
ALSO! Today is Tuesday and that means I need you to send me stuff for a mailbag section tomorrow. Send me any questions (pete.blackburn@cbsinteractive.com) on sports, pop culture, video games, TV, movies, etc, and I'll have some fun with them for tomorrow's newsletter. 
Let's go.

📰 What you need to know
1. What the jersey colors of the Bucs and Chiefs mean for the Super Bowl 🏈
Those that truly know me know that I can often obsess over sports uniforms and aesthetics. Not every sports fan can find the energy or passion to care about jerseys, logos, etc. but I consider it all part of the experience and think branding can go a long way toward shaping a team's identity. 
With that in mind, let's talk a little bit about the uniform matchup that we'll see this Sunday during Super Bowl LV. 
  • The Buccaneers got to pick their uniform combination first, and Tampa will be wearing their white jerseys with pewter pants. The Bucs are undefeated (5-0) in that combination this year
  • The Chiefs will be wearing their red jerseys with white pants -- the same combination that they wore when they won the Super Bowl last year. The Chiefs are 8-2 in the red jersey/white pants combo, but they went 7-0 in their white jerseys
I always wonder how much thought and research actually goes into the decisions on which uniforms to wear. Like, did the Buccaneers purposely choose this combo because they've had the most success in it, or do the Bucs simply just like the white/pewter combination the best? Did they want to force the Chiefs to wear red because they went undefeated in white? Did they stress over the fact that the Chiefs won it all in their red jerseys last year?
In any case, I'm glad that the two teams landed on the decision they did because I think it's the best possible uniform matchup we could have asked for (that is unless the Buccaneers stopped being lame and just wore their incredible creamsicle jerseys instead.) 
2. Mickey Callaway accused of lewd conduct toward women ⚾
Another prominent baseball figure has been accused of repeatedly harassing women in sports media -- and, yes, this one also has ties to the New York Mets. On the heels of the Jared Porter scandal, a report published last night alleges that former Mets manager and current Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway has long been acting inappropriately towards women.
  • In a report published by The Athletic, at least five different women in sports media accuse Callaway of inappropriate behavior (including sending unsolicited messages, inappropriate photographs and asking for nude photos)
  • The allegations stretch all the way back to Callaway's time as a pitching coach for Cleveland and also include his time with the Mets and Angels
  • The report also says Callaway told one woman if she got drunk with him he'd share information about the Mets
  • Callaway: "Any relationship in which I was engaged has been consensual, and my conduct was in no way intended to be disrespectful to any women involved"
  • Angels: "The behavior being reported violates the Angels organization's values and policies. We take this very seriously and will conduct a full investigation with MLB"
Callaway, who is married, was fired as manager of the Mets in October 2019 and was named the Angels' pitching coach under Joe Maddon prior to last season. The accusations laid out in The Athletic's report paint a picture of someone who abused his power, continuously disrespected women in and around the workplace and toed the line of quid pro quo.
It's also troubling that Callaway's conduct seemed to be a poorly kept secret around baseball, as multiple women said they received preemptive warnings about his behavior. If any of this is able to be confirmed by the Angels and MLB, it seems likely Callaway will be (and should be) out of baseball pretty quickly. 
3. More Aaron Rodgers drama! 🏈
Oh, you thought we were done with all the Aaron Rodgers talk for a little bit? Think again, my friend. Things are now starting to get juicy. Rodgers' future in Green Bay remains uncertain and Packers' coach Matt LaFleur keeps insisting he wants the veteran quarterback to stick with the team for a while, but one of Rodgers' old teammates (and apparent close friend) T.J. Lang thinks the QB feels slighted by the organization and is "hellbent on some revenge."
Lang, who played for the Packers from 2009-2016, gave his take on the situation during a radio interview yesterday and said Rodgers' bitterness towards the team stems from them drafting Jordan Love in the first round last year when he was hoping they'd go all-in on winning a Super Bowl right now. 
  • Lang: "I think he's gonna make them pay, man … he's gonna want some sort of new deal where they guarantee a couple more years for him, security wise, being in Green Bay. I don't think he wants to go anywhere, but I think he's going to hold their feet to the fire and say, 'Hey, if you're going to keep me around, A) you're going to pay me, and B) you're going to bring in some players that I want to play with where we can take this next leap."
Rodgers already seemed like a potential first-ballot candidate for the Pettiness Hall of Fame, but this breakdown from Lang, if true and prophetic, would pretty much guarantee that induction (not that I necessarily blame Rodgers for feeling this way ... I think everyone was shocked that the Packers went the direction they did.)
He's most likely on his way to winning a spite-fueled MVP award, and then he's going to hold management over a fire and try to make them basically apologize and recommit their allegiance to him? That's the stuff of legends.
4. Dustin Pedroia's Hall of Fame case ⚾
As a lifelong Red Sox fan who is also a short king, you probably don't need to ask my thoughts on Dustin Pedroia, who announced his retirement yesterday. I'll give them to you anyway, though: The guy rules. A super talented, fierce competitor that led both on and off the field, he's one of the most influential Sox players of my lifetime. 
But is he a Hall of Famer?
  • By the numbers: In 1,512 games, Pedroia had 1,805 hits, 394 doubles, 140 home runs, 725 RBI, 922 runs and 138 steals (by HOF standards, those are all relatively light for counting stats)
  • Pedroia led the league in runs twice, hits once and doubles once. He won the 2008 AL MVP and earned four Gold Gloves as well
  • He also was a regular for two World Series champions (2007, 2013) and got a third ring (2018) while injured
  • The most statistically similar players, per Baseball-Reference: Howie Kendrick, Jose Vidro, Joe Mauer, Edgardo Alfonso and Daniel Murphy
All of that would seem to suggest that Pedroia probably doesn't have enough on paper to get into Cooperstown. He'll forever hold a spot among Red Sox legends, but injuries unfortunately cut his career short and that might have cost him a spot in the Hall. Still, he stands tall in Boston and in my heart, figuratively speaking of course.
📝 Odds & Ends
  • European soccer's transfer window came to a close yesterday and our soccer experts broke down the big winners and losers from transfer deadline day. (Spoiler alert: Liverpool came away as big winners, because of course they did)
  • MLB players have officially rejected the league's proposal for a delayed 154-game season, and now MLB says the season will start on time (Spring Training is set to begin in two weeks)
  • Last night's Hawks-Lakers game was delayed as a couple of fans were ejected after heckling LeBron James. After the game, LeBron took a hilarious jab at one of the fans on Twitter by calling her "Courtside Karen"
  • Rob Gronkowski believes Travis Kelce is 'the best player on the Chiefs' offense' and other takeaways from Super Bowl LV Opening Night
📺 What to watch tonight
🏀 Clippers vs. Nets, 7:30 p.m. | BKN -1 | TV: TNT  
🏒 Wild vs. Avalanche, 8:30 p.m. | COL -178 | TV: NBCSN  
🏀 Celtics vs. Warriors, 10 p.m. | GSW +3 | TV: TNT  
🥇 The best thing I saw yesterday
Fernando Tatis Jr. will be your 'MLB: The Show 21' cover athlete, making him the youngest cover athlete in series history. His incredible (and controversial) bat flip from last season will be featured on the spectacular box art. Also, the game will be releasing for PlayStation and Xbox on both current-gen and next-gen consoles, and it will also feature cross-play. That's a huge step in the right direction for sports video games.
 
Super Bowl LV
 
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The Kansas City Chiefs look to defend their title as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. Coverage starts at 2:00 PM ET and you can watch FOR FREE on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports App on your phone and connected TV devices, or with your CBS All Access Subscription.
Learn More
 
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