Thursday, August 11, 2011

A look at the patches that will adorn NFL uniforms this season

The most frequent question we've ever gotten in our Monday Night live chats came in the 2008 season, when we were asked constantly what that "GU" patch/helmet sticker stood for.

It was, of course, in honor of the recently deceased Gene Upshaw, the Raiders great and former head of the NFLPA. Here, via a "SportsCenter" tweet comes a look at the special commemorative patches that will be on NFL uniforms and helmets this year.

The first three are pretty self-explanatory, but here's a little background on the others you'll be seeing.

Myra Kraft: As far as NFL involvement goes, Myra Kraft was best known as the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, but her life's work was as a philanthropist. She passed away this offseason from cancer at the age of 68.

No. 34, Joe Perry: Perry was a fullback for the 49ers between the years of 1948 and 1963 (one year in there, he spent with the Baltimore Colts), and when he retired, was the NFL's all-time rushing leader. That record would next be broken by a fellow named Jim Brown. Perry was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969 and was on the NFL's 1950s All-Decade Team. He passed away in April of 2011 at the age of 84.

No.� 35, John Henry Johnson. Along with Perry (and Hugh McElhenny and Y.A. Tittle), Johnson was a part of what was dubbed the "Million Dollar Backfield" in San Francisco (though none of them, even combined, made anywhere near a million dollars). Also a fullback, Johnson made four Pro Bowls and twice was selected as an All-Pro. He passed away in June of this year at the age of 81.

Both Perry and Johnson were thought to have suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and have donated their brains to research for head trauma.


E.J. Henderson Jamaal Charles Jerod Mayo Jon Beason

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