By Phil Hecken
The 114th edition of the Army/Navy game takes place this afternoon (3:00 EST, CBS), and as always, it’s the LAST football game of the ‘regular’ season (yes, there are other NCAA games today, but this is the only “FBS” game). It’s tradition. It’s pretty much always been the end of the season game, played before the bowls, but after all the other teams have completed their seasons.
As in the past few seasons, Nike, who outfits both Academies, has created “special” uniforms for both teams, and we’ll get to those in a second. But first, let’s take a quick look at the uniforms via slideshow:
Pretty nice, right? If you remember the 2012 A/N game, you’ll notice there are many similarities between the two sets. We’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s see what’s significant about these (and how much of Nike’s corporate-speak is legit and how much is just well, BS).
ARMY: Army’s uniforms are described as “striking white and gray” that “pay a tribute to the legacy of Gen. Winfield Scott,” a general who was a stickler for “proper” military dress. A veteran of the War of 1812, he was a pretty impressive leader. The gray being worn by Army (on their pants and undergarments) is supposedly the very same gray that was worn by the Army during the War of 1812.
According to Nike, the “sleeves of the baselayer are decorated with elements of the West Point Crest — olive branches (representing peace) on one sleeve, and oak leaves (representing strength) on the other.” The uniform has the aforementioned Crest on the left shoulder, and an American flag on the right.
NAVY: Navy’s uniforms are described as paying “tribute to the dying command of Captain James Lawrence.” James Lawrence is probably best remembered for the “Don’t Give Up The Ship” words spoken as he lay dying. That slogan is is screened onto the baselayer the Middies will wear. Those words are also on the burlap of the “Don’t Give Up The Ship” flag which can be seen at the Naval Academy. A flag with those words was flown by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie (one of the largest naval battles of the War of 1812) — that battle took place in 1813, which makes this year the bicentennial anniversary.
According to Nike, the baselayer top “acts as the root for the uniform, which matches a navy jersey to white pants — in step with the Navy’s dress uniform.” Now, I’ll be the first to admit I know next to nothing about what constitutes “Navy’s dress uniform,” but I did google it, and I didn’t find a navy jersey and white pants constituting a “dress uniform.” But I could be wrong.
Navy’s helmet design seeks to mimic the Naval officer’s cover, with a thick gold stripe “representing the traditional gold braid.” The back of the helmet has signal flags that spell out “BEAT ARMY” (which is always a cool touch).
As mentioned above, this is not the first time Nike has created special rivalry uniforms for Army and Navy (in fact, they first did so way back in 2008). I liked what they did back then, with Army breaking out the black and camo with “DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY for NOBS, and Navy including the shoulder boards and Marine Corps Elegant Dress Pants motif with the red officer blood stripe. It was new and fun and kinda awesome. Little did we know that the creation of that one “rivalry” uniform would spawn an entire series of ‘pro combat’ rivalry uniforms that continues, unabated to this day. And, oh, those damn gloves. When will it end?
OK, Nike is not alone in this shenanigans, but they did pretty much invent it.
In 2009, Navy again wore a rivalry/pro combat uniform (which was similar to the 2008 version), while Army opted for its “normal” uni. In 2010, Navy rivalried again, while Army did not, and Navy’s special uniform was very similar to their look two years prior.
By 2011, it was clear both sides would need special new uniforms again, and Nike obliged. Navy’s numbers that year mimicked those found on a battleship, while Army’s were meant to replicate its stencil lettering.
Last year, as I mentioned, both Navy and Army wore similar uniforms to those they’re wearing today. (You can read more about that here.) Navy’s helmet is identical while Army’s helmet had a map motif, which was repeated in the numbers and the baselayer. This year, their jerseys are white, and while the number fonts are the same, the map motif is gone. Gray replaces black in the collar, sleeves and pants. Navy, on the other hand, is mirror image of 2012, except for the pants, which remain white.
I’m looking forward to this game, as I do every year, despite (or perhaps because of) the uniforms. My pop was an Army Officer (serving in the Korean Conflict), so I usually root for Army. Unfortunately, Navy is currently on an 11-game win streak, favored by 12 and a half points, and sports a much better record — probably unlikely the streak will end today. And for those of us who enjoyed those NFL snow games that took place last weekend, you’re likely in for a treat. There is a snowy forecast for the Linc today. How much will fall and whether or not it will turn to freezing rain/sleet/rain remains to be seen. But expect it to be football weather.
Enjoy the game today, folks. It’s the only game it town.
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 Stephen t. Scheffel, who has some ideas for the Arizona Cards:
I think the Cardinals have the worst uniforms in the NFL and are in desperate need of a change.
I felt like adding tan is an upgrade and works for their location. I used the flag for the sleeve and pant stripe, but I did it with the cardinals colors. I thought this was unique and not your average sleeve stripe, but not too crazy and weird. This is with paint so it can look a little choppy and rough around the edges, but I think if the Cardinals went in a direction like this, the whole UNIverse would jump on board.
Stephen T. Scheffel
Next up is Brad Bannach, with some slight tweaks for the Pro Bowl uniforms:
I’m disappointed with the NFL changing the Pro Bowl to represent the colors of Oregon vs. Oregon State, and not the NFL. I attached a simple edit to the jerseys that were released…so the jerseys actually represent “the shield”. I submitted this to Roger Goodell via Twitter. Do you have any contacts I could send this to in order to be heard?
We close today with Paul Lee who has a slightly different look for the Celtics:
Boston Celtics tweak
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 15 Update
By Rob Holecko
The playoffs are finally here. Atlanta and Detroit will face off in the first wild card game this weekend, while Detroit and Miami will play next week. New York and Minnesota have byes into the second round and will await the winners, and it will all culminate in UWFFL Bowl XIV on January 11.
Now here’s this week’s playoff game. The Atlanta Flying Fleet went 10-4, second place in the Eastern Division and are the fourth seed, while the Detroit Demons finished second in the Central Division at 8-5-1 and are the fifth seed. These two teams are very evenly matched, in fact when they met in Week 9, also a home game for Atlanta, Detroit pulled it out by only one vote, 23-22. So every vote will count this time to decide who moves on in the UWFFL Playoffs.
It’s pretty much the same uniform matchup this time as in Week 9, although Detroit has since debuted a new helmet design, and both teams are wearing the ‘UWFFL Playoff Patch’. Atlanta is wearing its’ customary ‘Comfort Suites’ sponsor patch, while Detroit is sponsor-patch free.
There is also a full slate of minor league games on our website, so be sure to head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to cast your ballot. Like every week, voting ends on all games at 8 AM Monday, however if there is a tie in the playoff game, we will extend voting in 24 hour periods until there is a winner.
Check it all out at http://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “Saw something odd about that Yankees logo so I zoomed in,” says Benjamin Hendel. “Looks like an odd grey dropshadow. Is Ellsbury wearing a throwback uniform at his intro?” … Related to that is the information that Ellsbury will wear Number 22 for the Yanks (thanks, Paul). … Here’s a look at the 2014 All Star Game logo patch on the side of a Minnesota ball cap (h/t @CalebTheSpy). … Via CBSSports.com, a map of the birthplaces of professional baseball players, produced by mlbfarm.com (thanks to Tom Mulgrew).
NFL News: The endzones at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Dolphins, are getting some aqua paint and a bigger logo at midfield (nice find by Ross Lent). … “I recently heard that Brandon Marshall got fined for the orange cleats he wore against the Cowboys,” writes Brian Valle. “However, based on (Paul’s) 2012 column discussing the new rules on team-colored cleats (coinciding with Nike taking over the NFL’s uniform contract), it seems that the orange cleats would be permitted, given that orange is one of the Bears’ team colors. What gives?”
College Football News: “Just noticed this construction worker wearing what seems to be a jersey or sweater of some kind,” says Brad Tucker (which comes from this set of photos of the building of I-95). “Not sure if it would be something college related or just a random shirt with a number on it.” … Here’s a real nifty Colorado State football uniform retrospective: 1998-2012. … More uni histories: Alabama – that’s from 2012 (h/t “Worst Week”) and Virginia Tech, the Beamer Era (thanks to VT Fritz). … “With Fresno’s announcement of wearing the 1992 throwback uniforms (yesterday’s Ticker), the Las Vegas Bowl (AKA -Auto Lubricants Bowl) ad is in conflict with the actual helmet that will be worn by the Bulldogs,” (good spot by Richard Paloma).
Hoop News: This just might be the GREATEST TWEET of the year from Roy Hibbert last night. … Here’s a look at the 2015 NCAA Hoops Final Four logo. … Cal State Bakersfield has a blue court with a giant roadrunner on it (from Coleman Mullins).
Hockey News: Yesterday, the Penguins unveiled their Stadium Series jerseys. Meh. Not a fan of the templatey look. … ESPN’s NHL Rank ‘Em page is using a logo set that appears to be from the 06-07 season (page here). Seven of the logos are outdated: Canucks, Isles, Oilers, Preds, Sens, Sharks, and Lightning (T-Bay has been updated twice). There has been selective updating (Jets, Kings, Sabres, Stars) but they have not been given the “zoomed-in” treatment like the original set (thanks to Michael Boline). … Claude Giroux of the Flyers has been using gloves that have orange fabric on the palm. “He definitely made the change this season as there are images of him with the more standard off white palms from earlier this year and I never remember him wearing these before,” says Scott Lederer. “It’s a subtle change, but one of those things that really stands out once you notice it.” Here are the last few weeks, and here are from earlier this season.
Soccer News: In yesterday’s Business Week there was a short, almost Lukasian sounding article on the Barcelona jerseys with the Intel Inside ads. Two good quotes from that article: “Next time you start to feel like everything that can be sold will be sold, just remember that most soccer clubs in the world do not sell the underside of their jerseys to advertisers” and “Do not consider that the space striker Lionel Messi once used to wish his mother a happy birthday (earning a fine of about €2,000) now belongs to corporation with a market value of about $120 billion.” … “This is very trivial, but a nice shot of the NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup patch in context (Notre Dame Men’s Soccer uniforms),” says Joe Reimers. That “photo isn’t as nice on this one, but it shows the patch, conference patch, flag and Adidas branding.” … Houston has a new women’s team in the NWSL, the highest level of women’s American soccer. Says submitter Trevor Williams, “The crest is poorly designed, bearing a striking resemblance to the old AT&T logo and unnecessarily includes a soccer ball.” Also from Trevor, the Melbourne Heart have a new third kit and it’s “Another photo of players looking ridiculous while pretending to be tough.”
Grab Bag: The Federation of International Lacrosse is hosting the 2014 World Championships in Denver this Summer. Nike is outfitting a handful of teams, most notably the US as well as the Iroquois nation. US; Iroquois; “They have only unveiled practice gear, however today I found a nugget: Iroquois themed Nike Huarache 4 lacrosse cleats.
Game gear has not been leaked, although in the Fall, the US wore this in an intrasquad scrimmage,” says Matt Powers, one of UW’s resident sneakerheads. “Many of us can’t wait to see what Nike has in store for both teams.” … Tiger Woods’ half-brother was arrested and charged with making a bomb threat. Guess which makers mark (of the beast) he had at his booking? (thanks to Don Silsby). … Here’s Diet Coke having some fun with their latest commercial (from David Firestone), and “please don’t hate me for posting Western Illinois new slogan.” … And finally there’s this from Jim Vilk who offers this uni-related reminder of why kickers are so cool: “Taken from this month’s Zenska Jednota magazine article about South Allegheny High majorette/kicker/homecoming queen Audra Lewis, ‘Lewis’ quick-change routine typically involves dressing in her majorette uniform to perform in the marching band’s pre-game show. She then heads to the locker room to suit up in her football uniform, leaving her majorette uniform on underneath. As halftime approaches, she peels off her jersey and pads to perform again. At the conclusion of the show, Lewis suits up again and gets her mind back in the game.”
OK, boys and girls of Uni Watch-land, that will do it for today. Enjoy the Army/Navy game, and lets hope for some football weather to go with it. I’ll catch you all tomorrow!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“We’re allowed to critique and assess. In fact, that’s part of our role as an engaged citizenry. We have standards of decency, dignity, appropriateness. We express ourselves based on those standards. When I call out this bullshit as bullshit, that’s exactly what I’m doing. You can do it too.”
–Paul Lukas, in response to a question of whether “everything a business does is self-justifying, because ‘it’s just business’.”