By Phil Hecken
(Hoping to get a UW College Bowl Pool set up, possibly by tomorrow. Stay tuned for more information.)
We have three Bowls kicking off today. I had hoped to have a bit on those for all of you, but unfortunately, my office schedule and the final part of my final project for class will preclude any uniform previews of today’s games. There will be a brief bit on those at the end of this article.
But for now, it’s time to turn the opening part of this post over to our sage sexagenarian, Rick Pearson, who as you know has been chronicling the NCAA football season as it *existed* 50 Years Ago, when only one game was televised nationally — as documented through his “Kid Cards.” They are truly more than just some doodles in a notebook — in many cases (especially when Rick documented the AFL with his kid cards), his sketches were more accurate than teams who were purportedly throwing back to their “original uniforms.” In other cases, especially with no color photos available, Ricko listened to the announcers describe the games (or read magazines depicting uniform colors), so that today we can know precisely what uniforms and colors teams wore all those years ago.
It was more than just a labor of love — it’s become an important part of the historical record.
50 years ago this week, there were a couple of bowl games too. Here’s Rick to take us through them, the uniforms worn by all the teams, and his tracking of the players he depicted on the cards themselves. Enjoy!
50 Years Ago This Week — Bowl Edition
By Rick Pearson
Dec. 16, 1961 … The LIBERTY BOWL (Miami vs. Syracuse on NBC)
The Bowl Season of 1961 continued will a pair of games–both in only their third year of existence–that offered fun for the uni-watcher. … First, the Liberty Bowl (so-named because it began in Philadelphia). … WHY were they fun? For one, Syracuse in navy jerseys, almost never seen because the Orangemen opted for white jerseys at home during those years. … Also, today they wore striped white stirrups, and many of them sported ORANGE crew socks, including Ernie Davis. … I know they were orange because the play-by-play guys told us they were. … Plus, there was their customary odd positioning of the helmet TV numbers anterior to the earhole. … On the other side, the Hurricanes wore their rather unusual jerseys with the colored sleeve insert and TV number opposite the color of the other numerals. Finally, long white socks (underwear?) under the regular Northwestern-striped crews. … Walt Sweeney became a standout offensive lineman for the Chargers. … Larry Wilson didn’t play pro football.
Dec. 16, 1961 … The BLUEBONNET BOWL (Kansas vs. Rice on CBS)
Lots more uni-watching delights in this game from Houston (later renamed the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl when it moved into the newly constructed “Eighth Wonder of the World”). … Hardly any teams wore powder blue pants, but the Jayhawks did. … Wore them at home on occasion, too, for a mono-powder look (numbers on the powder jerseys were white with red border). … And who’d they play but Rice, one of the few mono dark teams, in their all navy unis with the big, rounded numbers like Cal and Washington. … Man, you have no IDEA how much I wished these games had been telecast in color (or, even more, how much I wished my parents had a color TV). … The next year Curtis McClinton would be a Dallas Texan and subsequently, of course, a Kansas City Chief, where he was the big back who complemented superstar Abner Haynes. … Gene Raesz played one season for Edmonton in the CFL.
SPECIAL BONUS…1961 GOTHAM BOWL revisited
I mentioned last week I couldn’t find any photos of the inaugural Gotham Bowl online. LarryB and others searched, too, and found nothing. Well, as I was looking through The Ricko Files to retrieve the photo of Curtis McClinton at Kansas shown above, look what I stumbled upon (totally forgot I had saved three pages of this story from SPORT Magazine)… Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3.
Thanks Rick. Always a pleasure not only to see your dedication to Uni Watching from all those years ago, but to get a history lesson in the process. Great job!
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
And so, lets begin:
We start with Heather Scott, who would like to get the black out of the Marlins new unis:
As fans, we are all sick of BFBS and, as a player, who wants to be stuck wearing black in the dead of summer?
Here is a [crude] sample of dumping the black, but keeping the concept with a deep charcoal which actually makes the new Marlins logo pop.
Heather L. Scott
Next up is Robert Onofli, who sent this in before last month’s Cowboys and Indians game…yes, there’s a backlog of tweaks/concepts:
I decided to go with a Boys/Skins tweak since the game is this Sunday!
Dallas Cowboys – Matched all silvers on helmets/pants. Switched to darker navy blue on all looks, and kept the throwback look. Added the number serif that was so prominent throughout the 60’s & 70’s to all jerseys. The biggest change is to the Cowboys dark look. Matched the shoulder stripes to mirror the look of the white jerseys and kept it simple with just plain white numbers (No gap outline or silly star like their current blues)
Washington Redskins – I went with a ‘fauxback’ look for the Skins. Used a darker burgundy to match the helmet on jerseys/pants/socks. Kept the same helmet as currently used but added their 1970-71 helmet to be used as an alternate. Changed the pant stripe to a single stripe with outline on all pants. Eliminated the gold outline on all jersey numbers, while keeping the redskins wordmark on the front. Finally, added the 1970ish arm stripe on both home and away jerseys.
Recommendation for Uni’s on Sundays game with predicted score…Enjoy
Oh, so close on that 22-0 score. Actually, no it wasn’t, although you did pick the winner.
And we close down today with Micah Fries, who takes the Nike Amateur Pacifist concept to Mizzou:
Although I’m a diehard Gator fan I live in the heart of Mizzou country. I absolutely love Mizzou’s helmets. They’re a beautiful, classic lid. Unfortunately they’re paired with ridiculous contemporary uniforms that aren’t quite Oregon, but they’re not close to classic either. It seems to me that if those beautiful helmets could be paired with a more traditional uniform the Tigers might have a things of beauty. So, take a look at these three attached. Even though I was going for a classic look, I built them using a Nike Pro Combat template, trying to be a realist and knowing that Nike would probably design any new uniforms using that same template.
Thanks everyone. Back with more tomrorrow.
by Rick Pearson
Never forget, presentation is important…
And, as always, the full-size.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Temple Owls (-7) vs. Wyoming Cowboys; 2:00 pm ET, ESPN; University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State Aggies (-1.5) vs. Ohio Bobcats; 5:30 pm ET, ESPN; Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: San Diego State Aztecs (-4) vs. Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns; 9:00 pm ET, ESPN; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
That’s all for today. Sorry it’s a (relatively) short post, but Rick did an outstanding job, as always. Tomorrow will be much better, and will feature not just the usual stuff, but a “Special” 5 & 1, and some really great colorizations. Be sure to check back, as hopefully we’ll have the UW Bowl Pool set up then as well. Enjoy the three corporate bowls today. The second game is on the beautiful smurf turf!
“With the Champions League draw today, we’re going to have another instance of clashing shirt sponsors for Arsenal v AC Milan. Things like this get me giddy like a schoolgirl.” — ‘elDirty’
And now, your Moment of Zen.