By Phil Hecken
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels unveiled their new football uniforms for the fall yesterday. On Paul’s good or stupid meter, they’re beyond stupid. But there is some good. Let’s take a look at the good first (click all photos to enlarge).
These are the main uniforms — as you can see, the Heels have kept their primary colors as powder (“Carolina”) blue and white. That’s about where the good ends. Unfortunately, in the race to be unique like everyone else, the UNC football team has let Nike change their classic look to something, shall we say, less than classical. As you can see from that link, the white numbers (with thin black outlines) are now solid black (with white outlines) on the blue jerseys, and the powder blue numbers are now solid black (with powder outlines).
There are also small shoulder loops and a wraparound stripe on the pants. TV numbers have moved from the sleeve to the top of the shoulder. As you could probably see from those photos, there are also new helmets. Both the blue helmet and the white feature a much thicker center stripe, and there is also a dark helmet with a “Tar Heel” logo. Not surprisingly, with all the black trim, the facemask is also black:
And, of course, there is the Nikelace.
All of this, however, is just ‘not’ good, on the good or stupid scale. For the truly stupid, UNC and Nike would need to ratchet things up. You’ll be able to see that in just a second, when you can click on the video of the unveiling. But before you do, do you remember how the lads from the Ohio Bobcats football team reacted when they learned they’d be getting an all-black uniform? Remember that.
Now, lets see UNC’s full uniform unveiling in the film room, from yesterday (you’ll be able to better see the wraparound pants stripes and the new black uniform in all its
So there you have it. New black uniform — so far, the plan is for the team to only wear it one time, for a nationally-televised Thursday night game against Miami, that the team is plugging as…wait for it: “Zero Dark Thursday“. Are you kidding me? Nope. You can read all about it here. According to that story, “The all-black uniform on ‘Zero Dark Thursday’ is the first installment of the new ‘Tar Pit Series,’ which will feature an alternate uniform or helmet for one game each year. This year’s alternate uniform color has been taken from the black tar in the Tar Heel logo.”
Read that last line again: “This year’s alternate uniform color has been taken from the black tar in the Tar Heel logo” (emphasis mine). Well, there’s all the justification one needs for a BFBS uniform if I ever heard it. For a second there, I thought they were just creating a black uniform because, well, the kids like it.
Additionally, that release was accompanied by typical Nikespeak that I’m pretty sure I’ve heard for every other uniform unveiling:
The fully integrated uniform system incorporates the latest in performance innovation where the athlete’s baselayer works in concert with his entire uniform – true innovation from the inside out. Lightweight padding is integrated directly into the crucial “hit zones” in the baselayer. Innovations include integrated Flywire technology in the neckline for reduced weight and lockdown fit over pads. Additionally, increased sleeve articulation provides better range of motion and four-way stretch fabrication delivers a streamlined shrink-wrap fit. The design enables speed without compromise.
Left unsaid is that now the players can fly.
Not mentioned anywhere, but plainly obvious, is that not only did the uniforms get a full makeover, but (in a move now typical), Nike created new fonts:
UNC over the past several years had taken to wearing colors other than white and carolina blue, so the black (if one can justify it) is just another step away from tradition. They’d also sported one of those shiny HGI helmets, so even the new helmets are just more of the same. But I’m really going to miss the traditional, classic motif (and even moreso — the odd shaped side panel on the pants that I always thought was a tip of the cap to the shape of the state). I’m sure more than a few of us were hoping Nike might move in a slightly different direction with the pants, perhaps a nod to the basketball program. Alas, tis not to be.
So — that’s MY opinion. And as always, I could be wrong. What do YOU think?
But Wait…there’s more:
Both Ole Miss and UCLA have introduced new uniforms for the 2013 season.
First, Ole Miss
Not bad, but what’s with the TNOL (Team Name On Leg)? Thanks to reader Douglas King for the tip, here is the full set. Notice — 3 separate pairs of pants (white, gray, blue) to go with 3 different shirts (red, blue, white). That set only shows one helmet, but I’m wondering if that’s all they’ll have. Certainly a nicer look than UNC, and it appears they’ve gotten the UCLA loops much better — similar to what LSU wore in their bowl game this year.
And finally (with a h/t to reader Matt Garcia), UCLA is getting new road uniforms:
According to Matt, “From Coach Mora’s twitter page. New road unis for UCLA. He also had a video the potential return of the full UCLA stripe.”
Not much to say about these, since they wore a similar uniform against USC in 2011. This one has the standard block numbers (as opposed to the clarendon numeral font used in 2011), and it will be worn with the standard gold helmet. Now, if they could just make those UCLA loops look like UCLA loops.
Readers? What say you?
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
A very small set today, but it features the return of the stalwarts of UW Colorization, Gary Chanko, plus one (and a bonus) from John Turney.
Click on each image to enlarge.
We begin today with John Turney, who has an instructional image showing old-school colorization (and I now own this book, thanks to Jim Vilk):
The old school way of colorization, with airbrush — look at pinks, purples and yellows!
John also sent along one he did himself:
Harry Newman with the Brooklyn Tigers, circa mid-1930s
I’m not sure if pants were tan or if they matched the orange shirts, so I went with the tan.
We close today with colorizer-extraordinaire Gary Chanko, who not only has a colorization, but who also has a story:
I’ve been absent with colorizations for awhile, but with baseball getting started and the dreaded Nats getting a head start on my Phils, I found this vintage photo appropriate.
Another reason why we don’t want the Nationals in the World Series
The picture tells the story. This is what happens when a baseball club from Washington DC finds its self in the Fall Classic. Fortunately it happens rarely.
We simply don’t need another outlandish display of dancing nymphs and clowning players.
Not much is written about this photo taken presumably at the start of the 1924 World Series, won by Washington over the Giants. However, the two players can be identified Nick Altrock (kneeling) and Al Schacht. Both were well known for their baseball comic acts, Schacht in particular. Labeled the Clown Prince of Baseball, Schacht performed long after his playing and coaching career ended. Remarkably he entertained at twenty-five Worlds Series (1927-52).
Interesting to note that neither Altrock nor Schacht appear to have made the Washington roster for the World Series (Schacht became a Nats coach in 1925). The photo may have simply captured their pre-game comedy antics.
The picture source makes no mention the photo is from the 1924 World Series. But the Washington uniforms lack pinstripes and match those worn during the 1924 Series.
That’s it for today. Big thanks, as always, to Gary and John. Lets keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!
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:
We begin today with Mark Rabinowitz, who has a “what they should have done” for the Bills:
Below is my concept for how I would have done the Buffalo Bills in 2002.
Description (I‘m trying to keep it down to 50 words, but I think I went a little over):
“How I would have done the Bills’ unis in 2002 if it were up to me. Bills get red jerseys and pants to go with the red helmets they got in 1984. Helmet logo tweaked to go better with red helmets. IMHO red jerseys have possible added bonus: more appealing to Bills’ Canadian fans.”
Next up is Bryan Ross, with a set of Iggles concepts:
I’m a big Philadelphia Eagles fan and I have wanted them to return to the kelly green. So I created clean and classic look. I kept the same Eagle logo and helmet wings and added a simple block letter font to give it the throwback touch. Just having some design fun. I also added an all grey “silver surfer” alternate. The idea behind it is to add chrome in the white area of the helmet wings. I used one set of pants color because that’s what they used in the 80-90’s era. See what you think.
Love the site. Keep up the great work!
– Bryan Ross
Next up is Jimmy Greenfield, with a Pirates makeover:
Below is my design for a Pirates uniform. They are socks, not stirrups (sorry guys) because I think the players would be more willing to wear them. The white extends to just above the ankle. It would be mandatory for the player to show black above the top red stripe.
Uni Watch member Jim Greenfield.
We close today with Marcin Niedzielski with a Suns makeover:
A quick tweak I made to the Phoenix Suns – I was always a fan of the old look so I took that and tried to refresh it. Since I know how much Paul hates purple, I decided to steal a page from the Astros book and give them a tequila sunrise look to their away. I also took the logo and made a minor tweak making the rays around the ball symetrical. Enjoy!
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
The UWFFL — An Update…
We’re still accepting submissions for the “Uni Watch Fantasy Football League,” (deadline is tomorrow night), so I wanted to let the league’s visionary inventor, Rob Holecko say a few words. Here’s Rob:
Well it’s last call for entries into the UW Fanatsy Football League design contest. The deadline is tomorrow, Monday the 15th, and we’ve had lots of wonderful submissions. The proposed league logo you see above was created by Brady Ivie, who also submitted entries for all twelve teams as well. Next weekend you’ll get to vote on your favorites as we begin the process of choosing winner.
Thanks Rob. At least that’s the plan — we HOPE to begin voting next weekend (I’m unfortunately very busy with a bunch of stuff), but we should be able to begin some of the voting next weekend. So be sure to check back in.
If anyone is still working on submissions and needs an extension, please be sure to let me know and I will try to accommodate you. OK? OK!
And on that note, we’ll close down today’s Sunday post. Big thanks to all the concepters, the colorizers, and the readers for their tips on the new football unis. Great jobs, one and all.
Please join me in wishing a Happy Birthday to the most ardent supporter of the stirrup revolution, James Poisso, whose special day is today, and an early birthday to one of UW’s most dedicated uniform researchers, and founder of the GUD, Timmy Brulia, who celebrates his birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday gentlemen!
Everyone have a great Sunday and enjoy the spring weather, the Sunday baseball, and the final round of The Masters. Have a great week and I’ll catch you next weekend!
“Walmart wolverines are a plague in Michigan. It doesn’t even compare to any other college.”