Saturday, September 25, 2021

Rams Uniform Oddity in 1998—The Jones Boys

 By John Turney 
The Rams have had more than their share of uniform oddities concerning the names on back (NOB) of jerseys.

In 1973 their equipment manager arranged for Jim and Jack Youngblood to have their full names on the back of their shirts (FNOB) but stacked—an NFL first—
In 1977 they did the same thing for John and Jeff Williams. Jeff only played one game and we cannot find a shot of that, but here is John "Burger" Williams.

In 1983-84 they did side-by-side FNOB for David and Drew Hill

And in 1987 and 1989 they did the stacked FNOB for Ron and Richard Brown. Richard missed the 1988 season so that year Ron didn't have the FNOB.

Ron Brown in 1988

In 1998 they had two players with not only the same last name but also the same first name-Mike Jones. Mike David Jones was acquired in 1998 and the year before Mike Anthony Jones was signed (now known as Mike "The Tackle" Jones.

So, equipment manager Todd Hewitt had to work out a way to identify them with their nameplates and he decided on first and middle initials then the surname—M.D. Jones and M.A. Jones. However, the NFL told Hewitt that was a no-no and to come up with another solution because middle initials were against the uniform rules.

Finally, he contacted the NFL and told them how silly that rule was and was allowed to use middle initials.
Here is a look at the final result—

After Mike D. Jones left the Rams, in 1999, Mike A. Jones went to "M. Jones" NOB and became famous for his game-saving tackle in Super Bowl XXXIV.

He had the first initial because the Rams had two other Jones' on their preseason roster, Daniel and Willie. Neither made the team but Todd Hewitt likely didn't have the "M" removed at that point.

In 2000 he was simply "Jones". 
1999 and 2000
So, the Rams have had 10 NOB anomalies since they began to put NOB in 1970. We think that is the most for one team. If someone has more information let us know.

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