By Phil Hecken
Earlier this week, in the ticker, Paul posted a fantastic quote from former Longhorn Coach Darrell Royal, which read:
“Hell no. I’m not going to candy this thing up. These are work clothes.”
The quote was in reference to a suggestion that the Texas football team start putting some fancy stripes onto their uniforms. Several readers thought it was a fantastic quote, one worthy of describing any time a team seeks to alter its uniform. It didn’t seem to catch on, however, so I’m making the official motion to adopt it as part of the Uni Watch lexicon. Who’s with me?
If you’ve been following college football for any length of time, but particularly this season, it seems now it’s news when a team doesn’t candy up on a weekly basis. No team or uniform manufacturer (whether it’s Nike, Russell, UnderArmour or adidas) seems immune to the introduction of something new, often a brand new uniform and helmet, seemingly to be worn as a one-off. Whether it be for cancer awareness, the WWP or simply because a uni manufacturer can, the candy keeps on coming. Today just happens to be about the tenth new uniform this season for Maryland, but the Terps are by no means alone in this shenanigans. While this may suck for purists, it’s good for business for a uniform discussion blog.
I’ve given up criticizing college unis for not remaining true to anything the university stands for anymore — whether it be school colors, design elements or shiny motorcycle helmets…and I now tend to judge these one-offs and alternates based simply on how they look as a uniform.
But just a scant few weeks before that, they wore one of the nicest alts in school history (IMHO). That almost all-white uniform was known as white ops, and looked clean, pure and good. Today, they’ll be taking the field in almost the mirror opposite, shockingly being referred to as black ops. Military imagery aside, I like the look of this new one. And, technically, it’s not even BFBS, since black is a school color.
As you can see from those pics, they’ve gone from in-your-face to subtle, replacing their “black flag” bright colors with charcoal gray representations of the flag. “MARYLAND” is spelled out in red, with gold-outlined black numbers, which also bear the checkerboard pattern of a portion of the flag. About the only flair on the entire uni is, of course, the tramp stamp flag pattern on the lumbar region. Better than their usual ass stripes, that’s for sure (although just as the white ops pants had sublimated ass stripes, it appears as though the black ops pants will as well).
So the ‘black ops’ is the uni-du jour for Maryland, their latest attempt to candy up the work clothes. It won’t be their last. What better way to honor the legacy of the late, great Darrell Royal than to put a version of his wonderful wordplay into our own lexicon. Candy up boys.
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.
I know you’re shocked—shocked—to see that Minnesota actually once was a national drawing card and appear in the weekend’s only TV game. But, being Number One in the country will do that for you. In Minnesota this week, because of the special network telecast of Gophers-Iowa last week, we saw two of the teams we saw a week ago…in the same uniforms. Gophers’ home, Boilermakers’ road. The final score tells us the game wasn’t exactly an Oregon vs. USC track meet….Forest Farmer (shown here with the black helmets worn through 1960 or so; I’m sure Helmet Hut has the answer) never played pro football…Neither did Ray Zitzloff, who went on to run a flying service based at a suburban Minneapolis Airport.
Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always.
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.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up is Matt Berning with 2 for the league where they play for pay:
Here’s a Giants and Seahawks concept. I’m planning on doing the whole league so, I might have more this week.
Next up is David St. Clair, with a political matchup of sorts:
Paul’s ticker on September 19th had talked of how New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt had re-imagined the two major political parties as baseball teams and so I got to thinking. How would that look Uni-wise ? As I began work on the uniforms I got a wild idea, why not re-imagine the whole thing. I present for the Uni Watchers’ scrutiny. . . The 2012 Presidential Series Match-up. 7-game series in Boston (Republicans home field) and Chicago (South side, of course) between the two parties to decide who runs the country for the next 4-years. I used a lot of elements from a number of clubs such as, the Athletics elephant and Pirates numeral font on the sleeve patch. I may even turn this into a DIY project for Nov.
And we close today with Roger Morrow, who has a tweak or three for the Rays:
I have been a Rays fan since their start. They have had only on good run on uniforms and that was right before the name change. This concept is based off their current uniforms with some tweeking. I would like for them to be more tradition with the city name on the road unis.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Okay, okay, this IS kind of an inside joke…
Click to enlarge
Robert’s Rules of Rups 2
I’m back again with Comrade Marshall who has some new news on the stirrup front lines.
Greetings Stirrup Comrades!
Yada-yada, there are some new offerings on the site due in Chicago in a week, check it if you want, you don’t need to get anything from me to participate in what I am about to talk about. But I am here to reiterate what I said last week about Stirrup Friday, and the give away stirrups.
And I know everyone has warnings against the proper aesthetic hanging in their offices, but I know the spirit of stirrup Fridays out-ways the iron fist of our oppressors. Stirrup Friday gives you an excuse to be awesome, but really, it is more of an abstract idea to be enjoyed any day, and for any reason. and like I have always said, you need not take a snap-shot, it isn’t something you need flaunt, but something like the ladies and their fancy underroos, that can be your little secret.
That being said, I want to encourage people to really push the envelope in their photos from time to time. and if you manage to make me snicker and understand you get the concept, I will send you a free pair of UW stirrups, something of a Holy Grail since I don’t ever sell them.
I have asked Phil not to run any “competition” shots this week to allow for contemplation, and it does not mean you shouldn’t send the usual in, Comrades — I still love that. I am just hoping to jump start some fun, and yes, some photos from my end are coming post haste, taking what I hope to be a doozy Thursday. But let’s see if I can get your hamsters running on the wheel:
• Maybe, and I looove this, stirrup Friday falls on Halloween so you not only dress up as Fred from Scooby-Do to complete your family theme, but you ALSO hike em up and show you are also celebrating stirrup Friday for a pixture, HA! or …
• Maybe you just have a good abstract idea like telling your roommate to take off because your predisposed.
So I don’t want to limit you, just give you some things to think about until the UW stirrups come in.
From each according their stirrvp, to each according their strype.
Thank you Comrade. OK, fellow stirrup nation…time to show your rups…
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.
A relatively small set this week — I’m counting on you Uni Watchers to break out the ‘rups for your Thanksgiving get togethers, now … here we go (click on each thumbnail for a glorious, full size image):
These stirrups might be StL Browns stirrups, but they are my Thanksgiving stirrups today!
Wearing modern Phillies today to honor my son’s little league team this past Spring. When we found out what team he was on I checked with RPM and ordered the last pair of ’48 Phillies that he had. I also looked around elsewhere on line to see what might be available. I found these on e-bay and believe that I was the only bidder. Until they arrived we did not know if they would fit me or my son. I alternated between modern and ’48 ‘rups all year, and neither seemed to bring better or worse luck. It was a good bunch of kids and they had a lot of fun, and did well in the end-of-season tourney.
Happy Thanksgiving to all next week–still debating which stirrups go best with turkey.
Gettin’ a little house work done this fine Friday evening.
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. Here’s what’s NEW this week:
That will do it for this fine Third Saturday in November. Enjoy the games today, for next weekend we have some huge games (with some more candying up, to be sure).
“I wouldn’t worry about what kids like in uniforms. Kids grow out of these sort of things. For instance, when I was a kid I liked soccer and the NBA.”