In a move that I didn’t see coming, Adidas announced yesterday that seven of the company’s football schools are being outfitted with fancy-shmancy new jerseys. You know the drill: lighter, drier, tighter, more breathable, fewer seams, blah-blah-blah. I was gonna just put a quip in the Ticker and leave it at that.
But then I looked at this photo (make sure to maximize the image in your browser to get the full effect). My first thought was that it’s kinda sad when UCLA can’t even wear legitimate UCLA stripes. My second thought was that the stripes look a lot like the truncated stripes the Colts have been wearing lately. And then I noticed the paper towel-esque pattern on the jersey fabric, which is exactly what the newfangled Reebok NFL jerseys look like (I’ve seen them up close at the Giants’ training facility).
Reebok, of course, is owned by Adidas. So that’s what we’re seeing here: the college version of the super-stretchy jerseys that have been worn for the past year or so by the Giants, Colts, Jags, and Packers. Fortunately, none of the other six schools have shoulder stripes, but the press release mentions that the jerseys will have “an ultra lightweight name and numbering system,” which means we’ll no doubt see the same Sears-level NOBs and warped/twisted numerals we’ve seen in the NFL.
I can accept — even applaud — that football uni technology is advancing. But the form is no longer following function. We have square design pegs that don’t fit into round tailoring holes. If modern performance fabrics and tailoring templates no longer support the old design concepts, it’s time to come up with new designs. And that would be fine if I had any faith in the design teams Adidas, Nike, and the other outfitters — which, of course, I don’t.
Meanwhile, how come only seven Adidas schools get to wear this stuff? The press release says the new jersey design “will make old jerseys obsolete” — so Adidas is sticking its other schools with obsolete jerseys? The press release also quotes an Adidas exec saying, “College football is more competitive than ever before and teams need every advantage they can get on the field” — yeah, unless you weren’t considered important enough to be part of this promotion, right?
ITEM! US Presswire update: By now I hope most of you have explored our historical NFL images from US Presswire. We hope to have a new feature to offer you when the two League Championship Series begin later this week: For each series, we’ll have a page of dynamic US Presswire content, meaning that you’ll be able to see photos from the games as they’re uploaded to the internet by the Presswire photographers (usually about 15 minutes after they’re taken). Uni Watch is the only site that will be offering this content. Further details later this week.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Big news in the NFL, as Nike is reportedly close to nailing down the league’s next uniform contract. On the plus side, this should be the end of the super-stretchies; on the down side, it may also provide a new avenue for the Pro Combat program. At the very least, though, Reebok will no longer be in the odd position of manufacturing the Broncos’ pants, which have those giant swooshes down the sides. … Under Armour has unveiled the camo-trimmed Wounded Warrior Project designs that will be worn next month by Maryland, Texas Tech, and Utah. Here are the accompanying cleats. Further details here. … The Providence Bruins and Springfield Falcons marked the AHL’s 75th anniversary by wearing groovy throwbacks the other night (with thanks to James McNamara). … Hmmm, amphetamine sponsorship or just an interesting team name? Those are the Greenville Greenies, a minor league team that played in the Coastal Plain League from 1937-41 and 1946-49 (with thanks to Gerry Dincher). … Yet another new mask for Rick DiPietro (with thanks to John Muir). … Check out this shot of Ty Cobb with a safety pin in his collar (great find by Austin Gillis). … New hoops uniforms for Kansas. More here (with thanks to Chris Stoppel). … For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, ESPN showed Dan Marino wearing No. 7 last night (screen shot by Greg Girard). … Remember last week when I mentioned that the Gap had a new logo? Well forget it (with thanks to Josh Exline). … “I’ve enjoyed reading about gumball football helmets and used to collect them myself,” writes Matt Stern. “When I was digging around in the garage, I found this one I made back in the late 1970s. I went to Reseda (California) High School. I probably sacrificed a Rams helmet to make this one. I’m surprised that it held up so well.” … Stephen King points out that last Saturday wasn’t the first time Minnesota had worn white helmets. Further info here. … Coming to a mall near you: kiosks where you can custom-design your own Nike T-shirt (with thanks to Josh Exline).
Coming tomorrow: Full coverage of Saturday’s Uni Watch party and last night’s collectors’ event.