Leading Off

49ers’ uniforms make bold statement

After the 49ers and Raiders played their openers, three things are clear: Alternate uniforms are cool, Chris Berman is not … and Oakland fans should be spared.

▪ You knew they were coming, but you probably didn’t realize just how unusual the 49ers would look in their new alternate uniforms when they took the field at Levi’s Stadium for Monday night’s opener. They were bold and so different from the standard home red and gold that some TV viewers wondered if they had the right game. After the 49ers dominated the Vikings 20-3 in Jim Tomsula’s coaching debut, there seemed to be more buzz about the uniforms than running back Carlos Hyde’s dominating performance. Many comments on Twitter were negative – “49ers uniforms are just awful,” said @theoldgreywolf, for example – and my friend Robert’s text was to the point – “Yuk.” I liked the bold look, but it would have been better if the helmets matched. Maybe they will for the uniforms’ only other appearance, Nov. 29 against Arizona.

▪ I’ve never been a Chris Berman fan – his catchphrases and nickname puns make me hit mute – so I cringed when I heard his voice at the start of Monday’s broadcast on ESPN. Berman’s play-by-play created almost as much buzz as the 49ers’ uniforms, though it was nearly impossible to find a positive comment. One of the best tweets summarizing the broadcast came from @BobbyBigWheel: “Chris Berman sounds like a sixth-grader who didn’t do his homework trying to give an oral presentation.” And I don’t ever want to hear Levi’s Stadium called “The Big Bellbottom” again.

▪ 49ers fans had it better over the weekend than NFL fans in the East Bay. After the Raiders were embarrassed in their opener by the Bengals 33-13 – they didn’t cross midfield until the fourth quarter – you have to wonder if the only way to stop the misery is for the team to head south to Los Angeles.

Tom Couzens: 916-321-1097, @tomcouzens, tcouzens@sacbee.com


  • What to watch: Giants vs. Reds, 7:15 p.m., CSNBA: Giants starter Jake Peavy is 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA in past three starts.
  • Twitter chatter: “One apology to those listening ... the (red on black jersey) numbers are a nightmare. Trying (to be accurate) but not always succeeding.” – @tedjrobinson (49ers radio play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson).
  • On this date: On Sept. 16, 2010, Rafael Nadal clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for the second time in three years, after winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
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