By Phil Hecken
I’d like to blame this all on the Mountain West. I really would. But somehow, I gotta think Nike had a hand in it. Whatever it is, Boise State University will be wearing another new one-off costume today when they take on UNLV on the infamous smurf turf of Bronco Stadium today (3:30 pm, ET, NBC Sports Network). The team that may be as famous for it’s wretchedly-colored field as for its football (if you didn’t read that first link) has been prohibited from wearing their all blue uniforms on their all-blue turf. Strange as it may seem, some feel it makes the players hard to see, causing a camouflage-type effect. I don’t know what they’re talking about — on TV you can see the players just fine. Ahem.
Secondly, for some reason (although I will need to see it in action), I have a feeling this one will really look good. But on that smurf-turf? The game itself may be unwatchable.
Boise isn’t quite Oregon when it comes to uniform machinations. But they’ve had more than their fair share in the past several years. In fact, this is going to be the third brand new uniform for the Broncos in the past three years — the blue/gray/blue
Pro Combat toy soldier outfit in 2010, and the all white beauty they busted out against Georgia last year. They’ve used parts of each of those uniforms to supplement their existing combos over time. I won’t go through all the various combinations (google: Boise State Football for a small sampling) over the past few years, but it’s a lot.
But back to the BFBS uniform they’ll be wearing today. The reason coughbullshitcough they need another new uniform is because their conference has banned them from wearing their all blue uniforms at home (for conference games). This means they need to be creative on the smurf turf, wearing orange, more orange, and gray for MW games. To my knowledge, they’ve yet to wear white at home, but with several combinations at the ready, the new black unis will give them plenty more home options.
I will be watching this game today, provided the smurf turf isn’t too brutal. And (although they may wear white), UNLV does have a nice all-gray uni — (as a sidebar, that should be a road uniform — it looks really stupid when they wear that against white-shod teams) — they should wear that against Boise today.
So thank you Mountain West Conference for
requiring making it necessary for Nike Boise to come up with a new uni every now and then. And of course, they’d never use the new unis as an excuse to move merch or anything.
50 Years Ago…This Weekend
Last year, Rick Pearson took us “back in time” to bring us his look at the featured television college football match-up from 50 years ago. (If you’re not familiar with it, this was the inaugural post of “50 Years Ago” from last year — after that, it became a recurring feature on UW for the remainder of the season). Last year, Rick looked at the 1961 season, and fortunately for us, he “uni tracked” the games from 1962 as well, documenting the game via his “kid cards”. Each week this fall, he’ll do the same, again.
Oh, wow, for a uni-watcher in the Midwest, THIS was fun. … Two teams we’d almost NEVER see on TV. … Yes, Oregon had played in the ‘58 Rose Bowl, but this simply was NOT a typical choice for the one game of the week. …Was great to see — even in black and white — Oregon’s gorgeous road set in their unique Kelly and Athletic Gold combination and Air Force’s kinda-Colts/kinda-Chargers homes. … Scrounging for color shots of the unis, I had better luck on the Interwebs than in the Ricko Files. … So, since Oregon’s ’62 unis were pretty much the same as in the ’58 Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State, here’s one at the coin toss (I think this photo’s gonna get a lotta love from some here), and one from the game. … Notice they were one of the few teams to almost always wear stirrups under their crew socks. … Found Air Force on a Street & Smith’s cover. … and they wore single-striped crews … Neither Greg Willener nor Dick Brown played pro football.
SIDE NOTE and QUESTION…I remember being surprised that Oregon’s actual team name was “Ducks,” because in both the ’58 Rose Bowl and today’s game the announcers called them the “Webfoots.” But look at his photo I found of the ’57 team, the team that played in the ‘58 Rose Bowl. … Anyone know the story behind this? Did, seriously, the networks think “Ducks” sounded like a bad word?
Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always. I think can actually answer that question — or rather, our 2009-10 Duck Tracker Mike Princip can, if you just follow the yellow-duck road. The “Webfoots” was the original team name, and while they had been known as “Ducks” for years, I believe the two were synonymous. Not sure whether it just sounded “stupid” to say “Webfoots” (I mean, shouldn’t it be ‘Webfeet’?) or something, that I don’t know. But it seems that Ducks was just much easier — why those announcers called them the “Webfoots” is anybody’s guess — maybe they were just going off of a photograph? I can’t imagine the press reports from the day were only referring to them as Webfoots, but one never knows. Perhaps they considered “Webfoots” as the official name and simply thought it was more appropriate to use that instead of the more colloquial nickname. Readers? Any thoughts?
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
So, in the order in which they were received … here we go (click on each thumbnail for a glorious, full size image):
My Stirrup Friday happened to fall on a Wednesday! I teach in the public school system, and our High School always has a Spirit Week with different themed days leading up to the homecoming game. Today was “Wear Pink” so I paired my Mother’s Day Specials with pink sanitaries for the day!
I can’t believe I am saying this…Go Cards…
Rays because they match my shirt.
My stirrup Friday photo is attached. I have no real rooting interest in the teams remaining, and would prefer to see the Tigers win because they have been the longest without a Series title. But there is no question which of the remaining teams gets the vote from the single-issue stirrup partisans. The Cardinals’ old-school striped socks/stirrups are a thing of beauty, and enough players go high-cuffed on occasion that they still come across as a true part of the uniform. The Giants brought back the three-stripes look a few years ago (I still call them ’54 Orioles stirrups) but even with a striped sock give away one game that season, not enough players wore them to really take hold.
And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!).
If you’re not a member of Stirrup Nation and want to join, just visit Comrade Marshall’s house of hose (and you can see the available selections here) or if you have any questions about the availability of stirrups, drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing “new” this week, but we do have an announcement. Check it out:
So, comrades — why don’t you pick up a pair or three and show us your rups!
2012 Duck Tracker…
The seventh game of the 2012 Ducks season had the Duckies on the road against Sparky on Thursday evening. Apparently, the Sun Devils thought this was a special game so they went with their obligatory BFBS costumes. Oregon, not intimidated in the least, went with a great (albeit decidedly non-school color) combination of gray/white/gray, with gray shoes. I know a lot of you are against this “non-school color” look, and I agree with you — except for Oregon, who invented the gimmick. The Devils even went so far as to guard their mountaintop “A”, which happened to be black, but some pesky Oregon kids snuck past their defenses and painted the “A” green (which I believe is actually an Oregon school color). But those ever-resourceful shocker hoisting ASU coeds managed to paint it black before kickoff. Unfortunately for those poor bastards, little did they realize they were actually painting the “A” an ‘Oregon’ color (Please note that ASU does list black and gray as official colors, whereas the U of Zero does not). Such is the state of college football. Oh, and the Ducks crushed Sparky, just cuz they could.
Our 2012 Duck Tracker is Tim E. O’Brien, and here he is to tell you about it:
While Oregon looked good Thursday night (I always like the gray/white/gray look), I’m still a bit disappointed with their choices for this season thus far. Perhaps they’re saving some of the better combos for the biggest of games. Don’t get me wrong, this was either the second or third best look the Ducks have worn all season and the new white jersey they broke out is way better than the other one but I just keep wishing for better combinations.
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their college football Saturday. Hopefully my ‘Cats and Hoosiers will both win today (though, I’m not sure which game is a bigger stretch…). I’ll be at the NU/Neb game so feel free to stop by the Duck Tracker, but the NUni and Hoosier trackers might not be updated until later tonight. Cheers.
Alex Rocklein’s Playoff Uni Tracker:
Uni Watch readers will recall that last season, Alex Rocklein tracked the major league playoffs by uniform worn. He’s back again this year and the graphic below is the 2012 edition. Here’s the chart, and then Alex with a very brief description (click image to enlarge):
So far the softball tops have not fared well in the postseason going a combined 3-5. Aesthetically speaking, it’s a win-win situation (unless the Giants break out the orange tops and win 7 straight).
In the words of Jim Vilk, “I’d
wear DIY that!”
Last weekend I led with a little bit from Ricko’s files, in which Rick Pearson mentioned he had an old book from 1955 that had some curious logo art for MLB teams. He thought one of the more ambitious readers might even want to turn one of those logos into a DIY t-shirt. Well, no sooner did the suggestion hit the interwebs than reader Max Weintraub did just that. Here’s the result:
Pretty sweet, huh?
Here’s Max to give a very brief description:
You asked for photos of our DIY shirts.
Here I am in my Senators shirt
The blue bleeds a bit — maybe it’s my printer — but I dig it!
Nice work, Max. How about it readers? Anyone else out there want to give this a shot?
Random Old Awesome Photo…
…that might make for a good colorization (click to enlarge)
This is a photo I saw of Hal Smith catcher for the 1955 Baltimore Orioles. His helmet has a old english style letter “B” on it I had never seen before.
Even thought dem aO’s were eliminated by the Yanks…they’re still in our hearts.
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Wow, social media…old style…
Click to enlarge
B1G Trophy Game(s)
Our favorite stirrup wearing leader, Robert Marshall, not only loves him his rups, but he loves him some B1G football even more. From now until the end of the season, whenever there is a Big 10 Trophy Game (or Games), Robert will report upon them. And he does it all with his colorful bobble/mold figurines.
Today there are two. Here’s Comrade Marshall to tell you all about them:
“It’s rights for the title of the state, state champions, who’s the best in the state, it’s huge, big for the fans, big for the alumni and big for the players and coaches.” ~Ryan Van Bergen
I couldn’t have said it better. If that guy is still playing for Michigan, and the Buckeyes have to lose, I hope it is by his hand. He sums up how I feel about the national focus college football has taken beautifully. He also speaks to an aesthetic I love, the random trophy, and it is Paul Bunyan week in the Big Ten. So even if the B1G rots, let’s take a look…
Michigan and Michigan State have been playing for the ginormous wooden Paul Bunyan Trophy with his axe phallus since 1953 when the Spartans replace the U of Chicago and made the Big Ten 10 again. Michigan leads the series 67–32–5 speaks not only to early Michigan power, but playing at home 95% of the time before MSU joined the conference. Since the Bunyan the series is 34–23–2 in favour of the Wolverines.
Enough of the mitten rivalry, it’s a great game, but no two teams in D1 have played more then Minnesota and Wisconsin. Greed (UT Austin) and the fruitless pursuit of a peeeeeeerfect ending to a season has ruined the second most played rivalry, Kansas-Missouri, but the game for Paul Bunyan’s axe rolls on, for now. In 1890, the Badgers second year of football, in their third ever game they got their greatest victory 106-0, the following week, against Minnesota, they got their biggest defeat 63-0. Since then the two teams have played every year other then 1906, and for 50 years it was the traditional last game (still should be).
At one time the two teams played for the slab of bacon until 1943 when Gopher coach George Houser refused it and it was lost for 50 years. So to replace it in 1948, the two schools started playing for the axe. Now aesthetically, is their anything better then when the winning team steals the axe from the opponents’ sidelines and chops down the goal post? It is what college football is all about, badgers and gophers playing for an 8 foot wooden axe prop as if they we kids. Oh wait, they are, I laugh just think of it.
Thank you Comrade. I’ll never look at an ax the same way.
That’s just about it for today. If you didn’t read it yesterday, make sure you check out Paul’s excellent interview for Bloomberg TV, Gatorade Cups Patrol the MLB Postseason. Sweet.
Enjoy the BFBS Boise game today, plus all the other college football. The Giants live to play a Game VI in San Fran tomorrow. It’s almost November 6. Phew.
“Everyone has a choice to be ethical, honorable, and responsible. And those who choose not to be deserve to be called out for it. Which is exactly what we’re doing here.”
— Paul Lukas
And now…your moment of zen: