By John Ekdahl
Earlier this year, the University of Texas unveiled new Nike practice uniforms that worked in a lot of black along with slick modern design elements.
Texas is taking the trend one step further by spicing up its practice jerseys.
The Nike duds for Longhorns players have integrated black with is traditional burnt orange and white colors.
There are three separate jerseys with each color being prominent on one. All have “Eyes of Texas” written on the back of neck.
Naturally, even a change to Texas’s practice uniforms created a bit of a panic in fans that didn’t want to see the game day uniforms touched. At the time, Coach Mack Brown assured the Texas faithful that there was no need to worry, but blogger Randy Riggs at The Statesmen isn’t so sure anymore.
“When they get Oklahoma, USC and Penn State to start changing, then come talk to us,” Brown said at the time. “The Texas uniform is the Texas uniform, and it’s not changing.”
Uh, well, it might be time to talk to Mack again.
Would Oklahoma go new-age on the apparel front? In this item from The Oklahoman newspaper, coach Bob Stoops didn’t say the Sooners’ traditional game gear definitely is going to change, but he wouldn’t rule it out, either.
The article he references is this one over at NewsOK.com.
If Nebraska – and Wisconsin, and Michigan – are giving in to the trend of non-traditional uniforms, can the Sooners be far behind?
Maybe. Bob Stoops says it’s possible. He didn’t say it would happen, but he said OU is open to discussions about the possibility.
Stoops knows what a firestorm that would cause among older-generation fans. He also knows how attractive it would be to potential recruits.
It’s been interesting to watch in recent years how this obsession with creating new, hip, futuristic and stylish uniform elements and equipment has gone from a bit of a wink-wink/nod-nod (outside of a few schools) recruitment tool to a fairly overt and publicized one. The pressure felt by some programs that are so committed to their own traditional uniform history (Alabama, Penn State, etc) to embrace this trend must be immense. I’m beginning to wonder if we might see a couple of them peel off and give in to it soon. Of course, I hope not.
Some U.S. Senators are pushing for a common military combat uniform.
The powerful Senate Appropriations Committee has joined the campaign to get the services to share a common combat uniform, including a provision in a 2014 defense funding bill that would put an immediate end to the development and fielding of service-unique utility uniforms.
In a report accompanying the Senate funding bill, the appropriations committee says it “is concerned about the high cost and disparity in protection” of the different combat uniforms with varying camouflage patterns now used by the services.
I’m sure this has something to do with a report released last year criticizing the military’s development of camouflage uniforms.
A government watchdog issued a scathing report Friday blasting the U.S. military for the way it has developed camouflage uniforms over the past decade, putting troops at risk and wasting millions of dollars.
The Government Accountability Office picked out the Air Force and Army as extreme offenders among the services lambasting their development of the Airman Battle Uniform in 2002 and the Army Combat Uniform in 2003.
Each service has developed its own camouflage uniform over the past ten years. Military service leaders have introduced seven new patterns — two desert, two woodland and three universal — since 2002.
Certainly, controlling costs is always a concern, but the truly offensive part is the “putting troops at risk” portion. The prior “pixelated” camo design developed in 2004 has been widely criticized, and for good reason.
Whereas pixillation is usually very successful at obscuring images otherwise unfit to be seen, the US Army is $5billion in the hole, with its pixellated camo uniform (introduced in 2004) being dubbed a colossal mistake.
The Daily reports that soldiers have “roundly criticized the gray-green uniform for standing out almost everywhere it’s been worn.”
“Essentially, the Army designed a universal uniform that universally failed in every environment,” an Army specialist who served two tours in Iraq told The Daily.
The Week wasn’t nearly as charitable, saying the pixelated uniforms “turned soldiers into walking targets“.
Let’s hope they get it right this time.