Skip to content

Sorry, I Nodded Off, Were You Saying Something Else?

Screen shot 2011-09-05 at 9.38.47 PM.png

Last night a very foolish school and a very foolish company showed just how desperate for attention they are. I’m not particularly interested in giving them that attention. Like I’ve always said, just because some idiot in a trenchcoat flashes you, that doesn’t mean you have to react. Just keep walking.

But here’s the thing: While you were all ooohing and ahhing about the costumes in question, I was receiving a package of information from the very foolish company. It arrived in my in-box precisely at 8pm — game time. And that tells you all you need to know about this desperate plea for attention. It isn’t a uniform, or even a costume; it’s just a business plan. (And a completely derivative business plan at that, since it’s pretty obvious that the very foolish school and the very foolish company sat down and said, “You know that other school, and that other company? Let’s copy every single move out of their playbook.”)

So instead of talking about the costume design, I’m going to talk about the press release — the one that showed up in my in-box. Let’s take a look at it, one bullet point at a time:

This is more than just a uniform”¦ It’s ARMOUR built with years of Maryland PRIDE and football heritage woven into its design and innovation to make the TERPS faster, lighter and ready for battle.

Hmmm. Exactly how many “years of Maryland PRIDE and football heritage” are involved, and exactly how are they incorporated into the design? And how is this particular design any more “armour”-y than any other design made by this very foolish company? Does it make the team any “faster, lighter and ready for battle” than the other costumes that the very foolish school unveiled two weeks ago?

Next:

Inspired by characteristics specific to the Maryland state flag and the University of Maryland”¦ the jersey numbers, cleats, and gloves all feature a custom Maryland flag print.

“Custom” is one of those signifiers that sound cool but don’t really mean anything. What exactly is “custom” about the Maryland flag print? Like, as opposed to all those generic Maryland flag prints?

Next:

From head-to-toe, the right and left sides of the uniform coordinate with the two patterns found on the state’s flag including a custom helmet.

Again with the “custom.” Actually, every team’s football helmet is a “custom” design (well, except for all those high schools that rip off NCAA and NFL logos, but you know what I mean). Pointless.

Next:

The PRIDE uniform pays homage to the special Terrapin football heritage and to those who have taken the field as a TERP since the beginning of the football program.

Interesting if demonstrated and articulated; meaningless when asserted. Meanwhile, why are you shouting at us with the all-caps?

Next:

The new UA COMPFIT PRIDE JERSEY”¦ tight where it needs to be with no drag, no grab and more flexibility. This jersey was built for speed!

As opposed to all those other jerseys that are built for sluggishness, right? Again, how does this jersey differ, if at all, from the one that the very foolish school unveiled two weeks ago?

Next:

UA GRABTACK PRIDE GLOVES are scientifically proven to have twice the grip!

Twice the grip of what? Of the very foolish company’s other gloves? Of some other company’s gloves? Of a pair of gardening gloves? And where is this scientific proof? Sounds like late-night TV hucksterism.

Next (and, mercifully, last):

The Terps’ custom PRIDE cleats all come down to one thing”¦ Speed! Each version was built with UA’s Micro G ® cushioning to give players more bounce so they are quick off the line for every play.

Yet again with the “custom.” (Memo to the very foolish company’s marketing staff: Try bookmarking this.) And what do they mean by “each version” of the cleats? Like, are there more “custom” designs still to come?

One other thing about this press release: It includes two player images, both of which show a player wearing a tinted visor. Because God forbid they should actually let you see the player’s face and have you think he’s a living, breathing human. No, he’s just a cyborg, a robot who’s “ready for battle,” a faceless instrument of destruction. Until he, you know, cracks a rib or something (at which point he can just be replaced by another cyborg).

So now we have two companies in a race to the bottom. Lovely — I can practically feel my brain cells dying off while writing about this crap. And frankly, I almost didn’t bother. Prepackaged pleas for attention, whether they involve a guy in a trenchcoat or corporate shenanigans, aren’t just lame; they’re tedious, sad, boring. From my perspective, something like the A’s bug-repellant patches, which I wrote about last Thursday, is far, far more interesting — and much more in keeping with what Uni Watch is all about — than a corporate stunt like the one that unfolded last night. If they had both taken place on the same evening, I know for sure which one would have had lead billing today.

+ + + + +

guthrie.png

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

If there’s one retro NFL thing I wish teams would bring back, it would have to be the helmet buggy. I never knew quite why they were on the field in the first place — it’s not like you could cart a player off the field in one, right? — but I still liked them. The real ones may be long gone, but you can get a set of six mini-buggies on eBay right now.

As for the rest of this week’s picks, it’s all NFL this time around, ’cause we’re all ready for some football.

• Here’s a 1970s Vikings snap-on bike reflector. How enlightening!

• Net up: a 1970s Bengals bobblehead in really nice condition. I have the exact same guy, but mine’s a bit worse for the wear.

• Before Nike got their clutches into Jerry Jones, the Cowboys were an Apex team, and here’s an affordable game-worn jersey from that era in Dallas history.

• Why am I including this rather innocuous late-’90s NFL Pro Line Eagles T-shirt? I had a few of the Cowboys version of these, and I promise you Champion made the best NFL tees I’ve ever worn. Go for this if you’re an Iggles fan.

• Here’s an NFL promo booklet put out by Ford in 1977, with the Rams and Raiders on the cover.

• Never seen one of these — a Broncos copper wall plaque.

• Just in time for back to school: an absolutely terrific set of NFL book covers from 1965!

• Finally, this Bears T-shirt is featured for two reasons: Never seen a helmet depicted at that angle before, and check how they portrayed the season schedule on the back.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

+ + + + +

All that other stuff I do: There’s new material on my blog about report cards (two new posts since Friday), and also on my blog about the world’s worst baseball broadcaster (also two new posts since Friday). And in case you missed the link from yesterday, I put up a fun Labor Day message over at the blog about meat (which will probably have another new post going up later today).

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Phil already covered a bunch of uni-notable items from Saturday’s college football action in Sunday’s post. If you missed that rundown, look here. A few additional college football items will be scattered within this Ticker, and I’ll have an FBS update in this week’s ESPN column, which will run tomorrow. ”¦ New jersey for Marquette hoops (from Joey Serge). ”¦ Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Here’s how the WinniJets’ logo looks at center ice. ”¦ Will new ownership for the Dallas Stars mean a new set of team colors? Announcer Darryl “Razor” Reaugh thinks so. ”¦ New hoops uni for Baylor (from Josh Lassiter). ”¦ Just what the world needs: Amateur Pacifism at the high school level. ”¦ The Angels wore these throwbacks, I believe for the first time, last Friday. ”¦ Has James Blake been covering up his sneaker logos with black tape? Sure looks like it (good spot by Corey Gary). ”¦ Excellent article about the tradition of wearing uniform No. 1 at Michigan (big thanks to Matt Rothman). ”¦ Good to see a high school football team going with striped socks. That’s Bishop Fenwick High in Ohio (from Jason Umberg). ”¦ Ditto for St. Ignatius Prep in San Francisco (from Mark Lum). ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: a promotional sponge (from Paul Stave). ”¦ Good work by researcher par excellence Trevor Williams, who found a 1975 newspaper item indicating that the Buccaneers’ color scheme was originally supposed to include green. “When the official logo and colors came out, the Bucs’ PR guy bashed the Seahawks’ green and blue, saying those colors ‘sound like a bruise rather than a uniform,'” says Trevor. “But he also said orange, red and white weren’t ‘too exciting’ until he saw them on paper.” ”¦ Georgia Tech is looking into changing the uni number design on its home jerseys, because the current numbers are difficult to read. ”¦ New football uniforms for Colgate (from Ryan Dowgin). ”¦ A USF player had a badly torn jersey on Saturday (screen shot by Mike Mattison). … Is this LSU’s Amateur Pacifist uniform for the Oct. 2 game against Auburn? Could be. Those photos were taken at a Nike store in Las Vegas. ”¦ Another day, another “best uniforms ever” feature. These things are just designed to get people talking, so talk away. ”¦ A New Zealand designer is claiming that Nike’s design for England’s rugby team ripped off his design (from Caleb Borchers). ”¦ You know the whole concept of throwbacks has gotten out of hand when someone decides to market throwback soap (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Aaron Wiens got some good video of Cal’s Marvin Jones removing his Velcro No. 49 “jersey,” which he wears on punts. “His real number is 1 but there are two 1s on the punt return team, so he wears the Velcro jersey for punt returns,” explains Aaron. ”¦ Neil Ponzer found some photos from the 1994 Alamo Bowl. “The pants Washington State donned for that game were a bizarre (for the time) swirl of their standard crimson and silver pants,” he says. “They never saw the light of day again.” ”¦ The Browns announced earlier this summer that they’d be wearing white at home this season. But as Joe Baka points out, the Bengals’ jersey schedule shows Cincy wearing white in Cleveland for Week 1. So I double-checked with the Browns, where media relations VP Neal Gulkis confirmed, “We are wearing white jerseys (and white pants) for all eight regular season home games this season.” So the breakdown on the Bengals’ web site is wrong. That makes sense, because the Bengals page also shows them wearing their orange alts on Dec. 24, which would go against the league’s new rule restricting alternates and throwbacks to the first 10 games of the season. In short: Bengals still can’t do anything right. ”¦ Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun lost the “C” from her NOB on Sunday. “She later left the game and got a new jersey with her full name restored,” says Stewart Small. Screen shot on the left by Ben Harris”¦ And wait, Jory Fleischauer got a video clip of the wayward “C” bouncing in place. ”¦ The Brewers dressed like cowboys for a recent road trip. “In my opinion, it’s asking for a fastball to the head,” says John Okray. ”¦ Howard Berger, a longtime NHL reporter, is posting all sorts of cool-looking programs, media guides, etc. on his blog. Some CFL stuff, too (big thanks to Jeff Anderson). ”¦ No photo, but Brian Waltz says Ohio State is now wearing “All In” on their neck bumpers. If anyone DVR’d the OSU/Akron game, maybe you could get us a screen shot..? ”¦ Ever seen a Super Bowl grounds crew jersey for sale? Me neither, until now (good find by Bruce Menard). ”¦ The revolution in Libya has led to a new kit for the country’s soccer team. Key quote: “The Libyan players wore a new white jersey with the three colors of the pre-Gadhafi flag used by the rebels. Most of Libya’s players were from Benghazi, which fell to the rebels early in the uprising that began in February” (from Morris Levin). ”¦ The current A’s program has a little feature on Josh Outman’s uniform stylings — and he even mentions Uni Watch (major props to Sam Lam). ”¦ The Islanders may not have a good team, a decent arena, or a third jersey that isn’t ugly as sin, but they do have an official tattoo shop. “You’d think the NBA would’ve thought of this first,” says Ben Fortney. ”¦ The Yankees will be on the road on Sept. 11, so they’re planning a 9/11 ceremony on Wednesday, which means they’ll probably be wearing those annoying flag caps that day. ”¦ Looks like the Coyotes are planning a 15th-anniversary logo for center-ice. “No clue as to whether it will be a patch on the jerseys,” says Kyle Stephenson. ”¦ New football uni and helmet for the Citadel. Note that the jersey has no TV numbers — I’ll have more to say about that trend, along with some interesting commentary from someone whose job is affected by it, in an upcoming ESPN column. ”¦ Logo creep, zebra-style: See that little “H” below the rear collar? “It also appears on the rear belt loop on the black pants,” says Aaron Wiens. “It’s the logo of Honigs, which supplies football referee supplies and uniforms.” ”¦ Word from Teebz is that the WinniJets will be showing off their new uniforms tomorrow at a private function. Photos will undoubtedly leak. ”¦ And never is heard a discouraging word.

More on Uni Watch
Comments (529)

    Hey Paul,

    The pic of the Colgate jersey you ticker linked is actually the example of the old set. I know it may seem like a step back, but the new one is the rather bland all marroon with strange gray side-panel under the armpit. Here’s a gallery of more pics link

    Ryan

    It’s a shame there is so much backlash against the jerseys, when a majority of Maryland fans, and people with ties to the state, absolutely love them.

    For Lukas to hate on UA and the school so much means he is really missing the point: that UA did this as much for exciting MD’s fan base as for marketing. And what’s wrong with marketing anyway? Does Lukas not get pimped now by ESPN? UA did a fantastic job. God forbid somebody actually try and do something different every once and awhile.

    My wife is a Maryland alum, so I tend to tune into the Terps games when I have a chance.

    I liked the uniforms, in general. I’ll take those over the plain Penn State uniforms any day of the week.

    The one change I would have suggested would be flipping either the patterns on the helmet or the shoulders so that the view from either side of the player would give you a feeling for the whole Maryland flag as opposed to just half.

    That was my thought as well….flip the patterns on the shoulder pads so they alternate vs the helmet pattern, and lose the pattern on the compression sleeves…..also simplify the pant stripes, and the concept could have been pulled off alot better….

    Yes! If they had done this it would have been more visually interesting and also correctly mimic the flag. I actually did not hate them as much as Oregon’s designs.

    Agreed that the pants are a bit of a mess and agreed that the shoulders should have been reversed but otherwise I liked the overall look.

    The “regular” uni? With the exception of the tturtle print helmet, meh.

    Agreed Alec. If UMd made these changes, and kept these unis, they could build a strong identity. People would look at it and know it’s UMd. Their prior unis were kind of a mish-mash and nothing really stood out.

    Re – the Bengals orange alts in December: would go against the league’s new rule restricting alternates and throwbacks to the first 10 games of the season.

    Are you sure that new NFL rule was adopted (or is it just in the “put out a memo and discuss it” phase?) Because as far as I know, the Bucs are still planning on doing the creamsicle throwback thing on Dec. 4 when they link.

    But for me the big news is what will the NFL captain patches look like for the 5th year captains, since there was only room for four stars. How many (and who were the) 4-year captains last year? And how many of those are with the same team.

    Good point re: the Bucs. Will try to confirm.

    The league has declined to provide me with the new captaincy patch design. So we’ll all see what it looks like on Thursday.

    I’ve seen enough of this uniform nonsense all weekend. Matyland’s attempt to field a team of crash test dummies last night was the breaking point.

    I encourage all alumini and fans to contact their school’s athletic director and president to inform them that any future donations will be dependent of stopping the uniform madness.

    I actually see it the complete opposite way. I’m a maryland student, and my friend said it best: If you’re not from maryland, you don’t f****** get it. Maryland has huge state pride, which our Athletic Department is selling off of, now. EVERYONE in that stadium (minus the Miami fans, of course) were geeking out over the jerseys. I vote yes to continue these uniforms, to the point I want to buy one.

    Know who has a really ugly helmet? The Bengals. Know whose helmet fits the team absolutely perfectly? The Bengals. This is the exact same thing for the state of Maryland.

    Crabcakes and Football!! That’s what Maryland does!!! (and goofy uniforms too, apparently…)

    “Maryland has huge state pride…”

    And other states, such as Utah, South Dakota and New Hampshire somehow doesn’t?

    And dressing up like “crash test dummies”….I like that analogy.

    That ugly Maryland flag does not belong on UM’s or the Raven’s uniforms in any fashion.

    I know this isn’t really uniform related but it really caught my eye, so, screw it. Who is the guy on slide 15(The Washington Bullets slide) of the Best NBA Uniforms slideshow? Does anyone know?

    I watched the Ohio State Game, and the nose bumpers had the new BIG (ten/12) logo on them. I did not see any with “All In”

    I could’ve sworn I saw the OSU QB’s neck bumper said “All In.” I figured someone would have a screen shot showing this so I didn’t worry about it too much but I’m almost positive I saw it too.

    Seems like an opportune time for a uniform outfitter to come up with a uniform that incorporates all the new technology in a uniform that actually looks good.

    Notice how small the numbers are on LSU’s anticipated Nike Pro Combat costumes are? They were also like that on Nike’s last LSU Pro Combat version two seasons ago. Some fans at the game complained that the numbers were harder to read. Do other Pro Combat unis have smaller numbers like this? Looks to me like a “throwback” feature…I’m sure a few readers will remember how some coaches used to order their teams’ jerseys with smaller numbers to make their players look bigger.

    Why does Nike keep putting out these LSU outfits with sparing use of the feature color – Old Gold? The LSU program wore Old Gold for many years prior to adopting Athletic Gold (Yellow) in the mid-1950s. Why not Old Gold pants? that would make alot more sense than the White-over-White that they used last time Nike tinkered with the uni, and would certainly make going to all of this trouble of changing the uni worthwhile. Also, why a White helmet? It simply is not as good looking as the regular helmet, or the one-off Old Gold helmet worn against Arkansas two years ago ….

    Nick, I was thinking the exact same thing…why not old gold pants. I could even live with the white helmets…but you gotta see more gold for it to be LSU.

    I wouldn’t mind gold pants…but I LOVE the white helmets when LSU wears them. This one is a little different when looking at it closely:
    [1] The Tiger head uses old gold instead of athletic gold
    [2] There are sublimated tiger stripes on the helmet in a light gray when you look closely.

    For one game though, I can live with the white pants.

    Those Maryland uniforms are blech (and the tiger print or whatever on the leg are inexcusable) but I give them credit for trying new things – it’s the only way uniform design moves forward. We can’t keep with traditional designs forever without fetishizing them, so we might as well look for “modern” looks.

    This is a really silly argument. All sorts of design — automotive, architectural, industrial, commercial — has “moved forward” without resorting to total bullshit along the way.

    No company has done more to advance the cause of good design in the past generation than Apple. They “tried new things” all the time. But they tried GOOD new things — things that married form and function, things that were well thought out, etc. Not things that were simply cynical marketing ploys.

    Cute, but you’re missing the point. Sure, there have been creative missteps in every design field. But in college football uniform design, “outrageous” design — basically design that challenges estbalished orthodoxies but puts forward no orthodoxy of its own, other than outrageousness and maybe consumerism — is fast becoming the rule, not the exception. That’s pathetic.

    That wasn’t a cynical marketing ploy so much as simply a terrible design. This was the marketing team dictating the design instead of telling the designers what they wanted and letting the designers come up with something that looks good. The uniform really could have been something that was eye-catching, memorable, and attractive, but they chose to just throw in another corporate visibility stunt.

    I think the point Paul’s trying to make is that wild-ass uniforms should be few and far between, but they are starting to outnumber the respectable uniforms. You know what they say; if everyone tries to stand out, then nobody really stands out.

    I did really like Maryland’s helmet, though. Pair that with a simple jersey and pant and you’ve got a winner with a real dash of personality. It’s different, but not so different that you can’t get used to it, so long as the rest of the uniform doesn’t look like a jester suit. I’m sure people freaked when they first saw ram horns and tiger stripe helmets, too, but they grew to become classics, as I think this helmet could.

    I’ll be honest, I thought last nights unis were pretty awful, but i’d rather see Maryland adopt them as their full time uniforms as opposed to that crap they revealed a week or 2 ago. At least the “flag” unis are somewhat unique. Those other 32 combinations looked like every single other recycled piece of crap uniform that we have seen in college football over the past 5 years.

    How about if Maryland had alternated the checkerboard and the cross (a la link) …would it still be so awful to you? I thought the concept was *thisclose* to being a very cool interpretation of the state flag. Switch the sides of the helmet and make the players wear plain white compression sleeves and we’ve got something.

    My problem was with the split sides in general. That would certainly have been more clever, but I think a better way to do it would have been to put one design on the helmet and the other on the jersey. It probably would have looked something like the Dallas Knights in Any Given Sunday, but it would have been a good looking design that still would have gotten the point across.

    I really like the new uniforms (minus whatever was on the back of the pants; I was at the game and haven’t seen that up close yet, but it didn’t look good), but would be curious to see how the alternated colors would look — could be better still.

    Thanks, Tim! I was hoping someone out there might take this on, and this is exactly what I (and I think Kyle?) had in mind. I like this look even better than the version unveiled last night; it really seems to better reflect the state flag. Thanks again!

    Thanks much, fellow Hoosier! This is exactly what I was thinking…just didn’t have the time or photoshop skills to execute it this morning. From the sides this would look much better because I thought there was an overload of either checkers or red-and-white-cross depending on the view.

    THANK YOU!!! If it was gonna be done, at least let it be done according to the pattern in the flag!

    I don’t read the blog enough to see bad mouthing on the million of Oregon Uni’s. But as some folks have said, these are geared towards 18 year old kids and not even young adults in their 30’s. Under Armour and Maryland were both trending worldwide on twitter I heard on the news this morning. So, mission accomplished I imagine.

    I doubt we’ll see the same combo again this year. How many do they have now? 32? If Lebron James hates them, you know they aren’t bad at all.

    Which raises the question of why any of us should watch a sport increasingly geared toward 18-yr-olds. I don’t watch any other TV programming geared toward them — why should I care about college football?

    (Actually, I don’t. But other people reading this might. And maybe they should think about this.)

    Paul I think this boils down to if it’s not plain, or very traditional, you don’t like it. Stripes seem to be the only thing you like that isn’t just plain solid color. Could you give us an example of what is creative to you? Not in words, a uni that is creative, that you like. A uni that is not plain that you like. I just get tired of reading the same shit on here any time a uni company thinks outside of the box whether it’s good or bad, you never like outside of the box. Yes, it’s all a marketing scheme to gain attention and turn profits. Isn’t this what a business is supposed to do? You’re like the old man who refuses to learn computers because you “haven’t needed em for fifty years, why should I start learning it now?” Well because the world will pass you by, that’s why. (Directed to the old man in the example, not you.)

    Well, if Maryland and Under Armour are using these Uni’s for a one time thing on the same night they are hosting possible hoops recruits and trying to get national attention. It worked. Right?

    They were a topic on Both PTI/Around the Horn, on CNN, and ESPN.com polls. The next day they got a 4-star hoops recruit to commit also.

    As far as trending worldwide, then for younger fans, possible recruits and that segment. They won also.

    Their goal was to gain attention to a football program that has zero national presence and to market Under Armour.

    It worked 100%.

    Oh, and let me add that I blogged about it with the title “Loving My Ugly Child” so I’m not in any dream world here. I think Wilbon said it best. They’re brilliantly ugly

    Which begs the question…”What’s next?”

    Maryland beat Miami…but everyone is talking about their uniforms which, IMO, are the strangest football uniforms I have seen on a major college team in my life. I like both traditional uniforms and innovative ones too…but these uniforms were just bizarre. However, as pointed out, Under Armour got what it wanted out of this fiasco.

    “They got what they wanted” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you accept it, then it’s probably true. But if you *reject* it — if you look at the company with less respect, if it influences your consumer behavior (negatively), if it makes you reconsider certain things (like, say, watching college football) — then it is NOT true.

    The saddest thing about corporate bullshit (not just in the uniform realm) is the sense of powerlessness it creates in people. Just like in the case of our politics, we feel the fix is in, assholes are gonna do what assholes do, and all we can do is shrug and roll our eyes. This isn’t just sad — it’s really unhealthy for us as a nation, because it promotes a grudging cynicism and disaffection that leads us to accept whatever’s put in front of us.

    And that is exactly — EXACTLY — what it’s designed to do. If you feel you have no ability affect the world around you, you disengage (that can mean not voting, not being involved in any causes, etc.). And if you disengage, who does that help? Answer: The people who are already in power — corporate, political (same thing nowadays), or otherwise.

    So don’t accept it. Stay thoughtful, stay engaged, and let your actions match your thoughts.

    Also consider this…part of what we may be witnessing is an invasion of pop culture into our hallowed sports world and its cherished traditions. While old dinosaurs like myself may feel threatened by this I, nevertheless, try to go with the flow (and if you have kids you’ll now what I mean). But that doesn’t mean I still can’t bitch about it…

    The bottom line is that corporate greed and pop culture usually win out.

    I know…but what I mean is that pop culture has now taken a deeper intrusive step.

    Look at designer baseball caps…you can buy New Era Yankees caps in black, red, green, yellow, even brown. But do you see the Yankess wearing brown alternate uniforms? No.

    What we’re seeing here is that Under Armour took a design that may have been cool for a fan T-shirt and actually made a uniform out of it. That Maryland would go along with this is mind boggling. But that brings up another topic that I recently brought up with you in an e-mail: what kinds of deals are equipment and uniform manufacturers manufacturers giving to these schools to wear their products. Are they paying full price; are the costs being passed on to the general buying public?

    Depending on the level of the deal, it’s usually full sponsorship where the outfitter gives the team everything for free and occasionally pays part of the coach’s salary. It allows the school to pay more for the coach without increasing overhead. At most schools the players are allowed to buy their own ancillary gear if they don’t want the contract manufacturer’s stuff. At Rice, half the team wore Cutter gloves and Reebok cleats even though we were a Nike school.

    As far as losing respect for UA, I’ve never heard anyone who wasn’t beholden to them say they were able to manufacture any high quality goods other than performance doubleknits. When I was looking at cleats last week their shoes were twice as heavy as anyone else’s and fit badly. I didn’t have any respect for UA as a manufacturer before and I’ve always seen their designs as revealing them to be a small dog with a loud bark.

    But, basically, schools may be contractually obligated to wear these “one game” promotional costumes supplied by Nike and UA.

    I don’t know if they’re contractually obligated, but they do feel pressured by the weight of the contract to accept the manufacturer’s outside terms, if that makes any sense.

    So in his hilariously sanctimonious rant, Paul says:
    /
    “Meanwhile, why are you shouting at us with the all-caps?”
    /
    …before proceeding to shout, in all caps, at one of his readers while sputtering his cursewords of rage.

    That, my friends, gets an 8.5 on the scale of unintentional comedy.

    “So in his hilariously sanctimonious rant, Paul says:
    /
    “Meanwhile, why are you shouting at us with the all-caps?”
    /
    …before proceeding to shout, in all caps, at one of his readers while sputtering his cursewords of rage.

    That, my friends, gets an 8.5 on the scale of unintentional comedy.”

    And you get a 3.5 on your lame Bill Simmons impression.

    Maryland’s uni was interesting (although a tweak to include both patterns on each side would be an improvement), but the way they introduced it was beyond atrocious. Can’t say the lame press kit sent to PL at precisely 8 ET was surprising in any way.

    Now that they have a PRIDE uniform, what’s next? SLOTH? GLUTTONY? AVARICE?

    Have to admit the uniforms started growing on me by the end of the game. Still, it’s supposed to be a football game, not a fashion show – good or bad. UA upstaged the game and while that may have accomplished a corporate goal, it’s not the reason you or I tuned to it. It sabotaged the event. I should be compensated.

    People are missing the point. The uniform last night WAS ABOUT MARYLAND.

    I grew up in the state of Maryland and I went to UMD, and everyone I’ve talked to locally loved the uniform. It’s our state flag – yes it’s a highly quirky flag with a weird two-tone mish-mash design, but we are proud of that flag and its history. The story behind the creation of the flag is actually a really interesting one that involves a good-will gesture of peacemaking during Civil War reconstruction, and everyone here know that. Kids down at UMD hang the flag in their room and out their dorm windows, and students have been bringing the state flag with them to football and basketball games for years. It’s a point of state PRIDE, and frankly, we don’t care if it’s ugly.

    So while you’re all going on and on about how petty corporate strategy is compared to traditional (holy) uniform design (while simultaneously mocking our flag for having a “two-face” or “bele and lokai” design), we’re telling you we don’t give a shit about uniform design. For us, it was about state pride, and the “prettiness” of the uniform is petty in comparison.

    State pride > uniform aesthetics > corporate bs

    im not sure you got the reference…so let me clue you in

    it’s not “two face” — it’s simply my way of characterizing the helmet, much like bele and lokai have a face which is sorta “split” in half, much like the helmets

    but instead, you go off on a rant on ME…not the author of today’s post

    i really don’t give a fuck if maryland feels personally attacked by the comments of the author of the post — if you want to adopt an “it’s us against the world” mentality, so be it

    and paul has been far worse to nike for their one-off’s and amateur pacifist costume shenanigans — and im sure, since it was nike, you were nodding your head in agreement

    not once, however, did he make a crack about the maryland flag or the state of maryland — but if you want to equate the UA shenanigans with an attack on the entire state of maryland, then go ahead and read into something that’s simply not there

    I don’t care about Oregon and Nike at all. I think some of their uniforms are damn cool. I think some are not so great.

    And I did get the reference. It’s you that missed mine. I was talking about Two-Face from Batman:

    link

    ” I was talking about Two-Face from Batman”

    ~~~

    fair enough — but you were responding under my bele and lokai (from trek) reference, so i assumed it was that to which you were referring…if you’re going to change reference points in a thread this deep, you need to give me an ID’er ;)

    and

    ~~~

    “I don’t care about Oregon and Nike at all”

    ~~~

    that’s exactly the point here — at least paul’s and mine as well

    we DO care about uniforms, whether it’s maryland, oregon or penn state

    you take paul’s opinion of the corporate culture surrounding this uni unveil (and I’m not even sure he’s given an actual opinion of the uniform’s aesthetics) and take it as an affront to maryland, your maryland, and the state, not as an affront to UMua and plank…which is what it is

    if you believe you are speaking, as a united front for the company, the university, the state and the flag, then that is your right…i find it hard to believe that every UMd student, alum, professor or even terrapin football player loves these unis, but for anyone to criticize them is to, by extension, criticize the entire old line state

    it’s like a certain someone who likes to pop in here now an again likes to point out — if the fans like it then eff everyone else — and that’s fine, but that’s NOT what this site is about — it’s not a UA fan board, or a MD fan board or anything but a uniform examination board — and that includes every facet of the uniform, including not just the aesthetics but the corporate hegemony involved in the entire process of bringing uniforms from the design stage to the wearing of them on the field

    you may not care about oregon, and that’s fine — but others of us do — and we don’t need to be alums to discuss it

    there are plenty of other message boards out there on which you can sing the high praises of UA, plank and maryland, but don’t expect this to turn into one

    What I meant by “I don’t care about Oregon” is that I don’t hate them or root against them or consider them to be a rival to MD in some weird apparel war, which is what you seemed to imply about me “nodding my head in agreement.” I happen to be of the opinion that what Nike has done to the unis at Oregon has added an interesting wrinkle to the college football landscape. I gather that it’s a wrinkly you and Paul don’t particularly like, but that’s fine.

    I think what baffles people, myself included, is the seemingly random obsession with the corporate structure behind uniform manufacture and sale. I have popped in on this blog a few times over the years and seen Paul’s stuff elsewhere on the internet, and usually it’s just a cool take on uniform design by someone who knows a lot about design.

    So the complete dismissal of entire uniforms not based on their design at all is pretty confusing. I think 98% of fans see uniforms and asses them solely based on what they look like, not on who made them or why or how. Isn’t the appearance the most important thing? (Am I wrong? I guess I might be.) If that’s not the case though, and a personal distaste for Nike or UA or both is actually more important than criticism and commentary on the DESIGN, APPEARANCE, and AESTHETICS of uniforms, then I guess this blog is just writing to an extremely small audience.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments on here basically to the effect of, “Yeah Paul, we get that you hate UA and Nike, but what about the uniforms? What do you think of them?” The refusal/inability to parse the issues and to write about how the uniforms look, which is what people want to read, comes off as quirky at best, elitist and snobbish at worst. That’s what has people frustrated I think. That’s what has me frustrated.

    Sorry about the confusing Two Face reference.

    yeah…well, that’s paul’s prerogative

    two weekends ago, i tried to assess the nike amateur pacifist unis based solely on the aesthetics, or, viewed in a vacuum…maybe paul will do that with MD, maybe not

    maybe this weekend i’ll give you my take…based SOLELY as a uniform and the tweaks i think would actually make it a pretty good uni (hint, hint)

    but from day one of this blog, and before that in other media, paul has always decried the corporate corruption of uniform design…so that’s what you’re going to get…should he have ALSO critiqued the uni? maybe, but that’s not my call

    i think enough people made that point today

    I did see your “in a vacuum” article from a few days back. I appreciated that, thanks.

    I thought GA’s GIGANTOR helmet stripe was kinda interesting, but the “dipped in red paint” jersey itself was pretty weird.

    i like most of oregon’s stuff. the matte black is a cool look.

    boise’s i’m not crazy about. it looks like one of those “uniform of the future” designs from the MLB from years back, with no purpose or direction but to intentionally try to be weird. plus, too white overall.

    Somewhat unrelated point: Shouldn’t it be “amateur pacifism,” not “amateur pacifist”? It’s “pro combat,” not “pro combatant.”

    That reference would work if the offence and defence were the mirror of each other. And they played a scrimmage against each other for all eternity.

    (I got my dork cred, too)

    True enough.

    Maybe Phil should’ve gone with the link instead? Same dichromic effect, which actually carries over to his outfit, and he’s the embodiment of the balance between Order and Chaos.

    How can that Broncos plaque be from the 60s if it’s got the NFL logo, when they didn’t actually join the NFL until 1970?

    I’ve seen art kits where you press/hammer copper (or tin, or whatever) to raise/emboss it. I wonder if that’s what that might be.

    ???

    11 ET. Again, it’s a closed event because they are doing the unveiling in a hangar at 17 Wing (the Air Force base in Winnipeg), approximately 10 minutes from my house. I was informed that since I’m not credentialed, I will not be invited.

    For Pete’s sake, I can get behind “The Hockey Jets” or even “Lose-ipeg” but not “The WinniJets”.

    I liked the Maryland uniforms a lot (though maybe not as much as their other home kits). I thought it was pretty exciting how they were unveiled as a surprise, as well.

    I think that you can be hateful towards UnderArmour’s marketing department without having it effect your feelings about their design staff or the University of Maryland football team. At least I can.

    The only thing I didn’t like is that it didn’t contrast very well against the Miami uniforms. I don’t know how color clashing rules work in the NCAA (or if they exist at all), but can you compel the other team to wear their green pants (or whatever)?

    I don’t know how color clashing rules work in the NCAA (or if they exist at all), but can you compel the other team to wear their green pants (or whatever)?

    Brilliant! “Hi, your uniform is a bit inconvenient for our corporate strategy. It would really help our share price if you’d switch your pants. Cool?”

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    Well, I was wondering about the general rules. It didn’t make a big difference in this case. But what if, for example, NC State want to wear their all red pajamas and Maryland show up with a white away shirt with red pants and a red helmet. You can see the issue there, right? I assumed there must be rules in place to handle that sort of thing, but maybe not.

    I’ve never seen a case as bad as the one I described, and I don’t know why it would be less of an issue than say, wearing blue jerseys on a blue field.

    I always don’t get why everyone seems so mad. I’m fairly new to the site, and didn’t know it was that kind of place.

    No one’s mad, except at how colleges are putting their players in costumes.

    Sorry, but the tone of exchanges seems different on e-mail and web sites than if you were having a face-to-face conversation, or even talking on the phone. That’s part of the problem with reliance on e-mails, texts, and web site posts and such.

    I was just putting out, from years of watching college football, that this happens all the time. Sorry if it seemed offensive.

    Just the jerseys are under rules. I don’t see how that particular example would cause a problem. White helmets and red jerseys/pants playing a white jersey, red helmet and red pants, easy don’t throw to the guys wearing white jerseys and your guys are wearing white helmets if you for some reason can’t see the jersey.

    The home team can wear whatever dark jersey they want, however the visiting team gets first dibs on the white jerseys, meaning if the home team wants to wear white they have to get permission. In the NFL the home team chooses what they wear no permission needed. In both situations they can play color vs. color provided the 2 jerseys contrast enough. The NFL requires approval from the league, while the NCAA requires approval by both teams and the officials.

    For real. Bobby asked a legitimate question (one that I didn’t know the answer to, either) and it definitely didn’t deserve such snarky and sarcastic responses. A simple explanation of the rule (if one exists) probably wasn’t too much to ask.

    PSU and Bama are two uniforms I definitely dislike. One is too plain, and the other has dumb helmet numbers.

    lord knows the buckeyes need more stickers on those helmets…i guess after their 42-0 thrashing of the sister of the poor, they’ll all have about 20 pride stickers now

    Honigs is owned and operated by Dick Honig, a former Big Ten ref who was also a Michigan alum, former coach on the baseball team and a major donor to his alma mater. Conflict of interest anyone?

    The Big Ten isn’t a government agency. Unless they take bids for their referee uniforms there’s no such thing as a conflict of interest.

    Not really. If you’re talking about on a personal level, many top-tier officials in many sports have perceived conflicts of interests. I umpired my brother when he was in college, and I also umpire in the same conference where I attended. It’s a small world in college and professional sports, so there’s a lot of these situations.

    If you are talking from a business standpoint, Honig’s is one of the largest suppliers of official’s supplies and uniforms, so it would be unusual and counterproductive for a conference to deliberately avoid them.

    P.S. I really like the Maryland uniforms, in the same way I really love old ambulances…they seem out of place, yet distinguishable and lovably inaesthetic.

    Hi Paul, I agree with your article about the Terps uniforms and appreciate the way you shot holes through that corporate memo BS. They can SAY anything they want to justify the design mistakes and haphazard thought behind the new look….and remember ‘o’visionary designers’ Just because you can cut out a flag pattern and splash it everywhere…doesn’t mean you should-you should have thought it through, and ultimately it doesn’t translate to the field of play no matter how you wordsmith it. I have no doubt that the materials and physical properties of these uniforms are outstanding and superior, thats not the issue, however, on the field, the identity is…and will be…lost with graphics overkill. The jersey is bold enough for a new look and trendsetting style -FINE-but offset it with some football standards and please please get rid of that stupid helmet. Thanks Paul…keep up the great work

    Actually the physical properties are neither outstanding nor superior. UA is a distant third in quality behind Nike and Reedidas. That just makes the graphic design failure stand out more for me.

    Considering what Nike has done for so many blue chip schools for years, this just comes off as bashing UA and Maryland for doing what the “big-boys” and Nike have been doing in NCAA football for over a decade now.

    I’d like to know who is paying for these outlandish costumes…

    Do schools pay for one-time Nike Pro Combat uniforms or the Under Armour Matyland abortion?

    Do Nike and Under Armour provide the uniforms to the schools, including an entire set of helmets, free of charge?

    Do college coaches have promotional deals with these manufacturers?

    Bottom line, I would bet that for every Nike and Under Armour product you buy, you are paying a little towards outfitting these schools.

    And, BTW, I pose these questions also in the context of states presently cutting their education budgets, particularly for state universities. Louisiana, for example is slashing its education budget…but yet LSU football can afford to buy “one-time use” Nike Pro Combat uniforms, including an entire set of helmets, for just one game? That is, if LSU is actually paying for the uniforms…

    I’m not trying to sound like a crank, but (even without knowing the details) it appears to me that big corporate interests such as Nike are wagging the college sports dog.

    I don’t think a single 1A program buys its own gear aside from possibly helmets. The coach usually has some sort of endorsement deal so that the manufacturer pays a portion of his salary to remove part of that burden from the school as well. It is a double edged sword though, because the schools give up some of their brand identity for the money.

    And, therefore, schools are probably obligated contractually to wear these “one game” promotional outfits provided by Nike and UA.

    They are not obligated to enter into a contract that obligates them to dress the team like clowns.

    Then why are some schools allowing Nike and UA to dress them like clowns? It’s gotta be the money…

    They’re not contractually obligated per se, but the relationship creates a certain amount of pressure on the school to do what the manufacturer wants.

    Yeah, I’m just “bashing” a certain company unfairly. Because I’ve never ever ever ever had anything to say about that other company.

    Honestly, sometimes the level of “analysis” that gets posted here is embarrassing…

    I think whats annoying alot of MD fans is that you are simply saying “this is corporate BS” about the MD uniforms without offering any opinion about the merits, while you have sort of gotten over that with the Nike pro combat stuff and actually will talk about the merits of the Boise/UGa/Oregon one offs from last weekend.

    Must not have been you specifically, though i remember there being a post about it on Friday. You get my point.

    Why are you so pretentious? WHY? These are fucking UNIFORMS!

    God. I used to love this blog, but now you just bitch about corporate overlords and praise bullshit stupid vintage e-bay items for me to enjoy this shit.

    How about, instead of just complaining that something is corporate and thus won’t be covered by you, you actually analyze the uniform and then mention your distaste with the corporate aspect of it all?

    Why are you getting so angry. It’s a Uniform blog! Of course we’re going to talk about uniforms. And the current trend in college football uniforms is pertinent information. Just because that trend is towards crass commercialism at the expense of history in a tradition-laden sport doesn’t make that trend any less notable

    And to honestly compare what UA and Md. did last night to someone getting flashed. Seriously? Get off your high horse, I’m begging you.

    I agree, and news flash: College sports have been all about money for a long, long time. Even back when all the jerseys had glorious traditional designs.

    The only difference is that now its more out in the open. The NCAA is corrupt, yeah. But the constant outrage about it is laughable on a uniform site. You should consider just not writing about college sports any more if you’re so disgusted by it.

    I go to Notre Dame, who I’d argue has the second most plain football unis in the world (behind Paterno State). I can vouch for the fact that ND is all about making money with the football program, even without fancy uniform gimmicks. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? The nerve…

    Also, Bob, please start a competing site to uniwatch so that we all have options. I’m begging you.

    It always kills me when I read comments like in this string, Like has already been pointed out, this is a uniform blog. It goes without saying that not all the posts are gonna be all “OMG TEH BESTEST THING EVAR!!11!!!” As others have said, Don’t like it? Don’t read, or start a competitor. But, if you are going to just stay here and bitch about today’s post, why not head over to ESPN and bitch that they are only covering sports?

    I missed UW from Friday on, so just want to send big thanks to Caleb B for his wonderful survey of national rugby unis for the upcoming World Cup. The blackification of England and France outfits is mega-lamentable, especially given that host NZ All Blacks deserve special deference. Anyway, our household is rooting for Ireland, Italy, and Tonga, for sartorial and cultural reasons. None has the faintest chance of winning.

    Gotta disagree Paul. All the MD fans I know have been clamoring for more flag based designs for years and almost universally loved last night’s set. Let’s face it, the MD flag is the most distinctive thing we have and while garish, last night’s set was attention grabbing and loved by the fans of the team. Maybe instead of just complaining about how they incorporated the flag elements, you could offer your vision?

    Instead of dressing like clowns, they could have worn a football uniform with the flag elements incorporated into it.

    I didn’t “complain about how they incorporate the flag elements.” I didn’t have anything to say about the design. Nor will I, because I’m not in the habit of rewarding desperate pleas for attention.

    Interesting that you find the design “garish” yet somehow successful.

    I wouldn’t have done the shoulder yokes, but had been arguing for a helmet design like that for years.

    So basically you are letting your corporate antipathy get in the way of an opportunity to offer something constructive. Good to know.

    On the contrary, I think my corporate antipathy IS constructive. If you disagree, that’s fine. But I’ll keep writing what I think. Thanks.

    It’s not the fact that they incorporated the flag that is the problem, it’s the way they did it. The helmets are a train wreck. Why not a waving flag, similar to the Bucs pirate flag design? link

    And really, what exactly is the problem with the Fridge era uniforms? OK, other than the piping.

    link

    The problem was they looked like every other team that used red and white (like conf rival NC St for example). The waving flag was another option; the late 90s era did that, however, since the team was a chronic under achiever then, we didn’t want to throwback to bad memories.

    “loved by the fans of the team”

    Not what I’ve seen and I’ve been on here and Chris Creamers a LOT since 8PM yesterday. I’d say the break down of ‘maryland’ fans has been closer to 50/50 or 60/40 against than, “universally loved.”

    And a bomb is attention grabbing, but it’s also usually a bad thing. Attention for the sake of attention is why people hate Paris Hilton and Kristin Cavallari, why should that logic be changed for football uniforms?

    The MD 247 board (where i typically hangout), which is alums, season ticket holders and donors, are pretty much all in favor

    Let’s keep in mind that any sample based on internet postings is by definition biased toward younger fans. Of course, young fans’ opinions are perfectly valid. But so are, say, the opinions of 60-year-old fans (I assume Maryland has some of those, right?), and those people are much less likely to hang around sites like this one, or to tweet, etc.

    Speaking of old Gold … Georgia Tech should use Old Gold, and not “Vegas Gold” (weak Cat Piss color) as their main color – hat would solve EVERY problem with visability, etc. Also, when insisting upon Gold numerals, a heavy Black/Navy trim would also be helpful ….

    UCF is the worst culprit – their unis are simply maddening. Vegas Gold and White numerals are great conceptually, but ridiculous – Old Gold jerseys with White numerals are great in reality ….

    This. My old high school’s football team used to wear old gold jerseys from time to time (before they were Nike-fied, now the gold is completely gone) with white numerals. It’s incredibly easy to read from a distance and it looks great.

    The issue with Old Gold is that it doesn’t work on today’s material, it works on Cotton but thats about it, nearly every other instance results in a color-changing fabric, which was one of the biggest gripes people had when they wore Old Gold back in 2008 (there’s a reason we only wore the Gold jerseys in the spring game).

    Examples of how bad it can look:
    link

    link

    meanwhile the Vegas Gold (or whatever they are using currently) looks the same in most every light, and actually improves in some light as opposed to turning green or yellow.

    link

    link

    link

    The Old Gold looks good in some situations but looks terrible in quite a few others, meanwhile the lighter shade of gold never dips into the ugly category, in terms of actual appearance (it doesn’t require special lighting).

    I certainly hope we keep the gold numbers, and though I like the look of the white and navy outlines I’m okay with them thickening the Navy (and getting rid of the white) if it means keeping the gold numbers.

    Am I nuts or does it seem like a lot of people from Maryland are taking this as an insult to their flag? I love the flag and I think it makes for a good design element in the turtles hell helmet. This was a bad design, not a bad flag.

    A lot of really ugly uniforms fall under “Illegal use of flag.” Like the U.S. men’s soccer team during the 1994 World Cup.

    There is no such thing as “illegal use of flag.” Breaking the flag code is unlawful, not illegal. You can’t be punished for it, just recognized for disrespect. Also, any use of the flag on sports equipment is against the flag code.

    Do you know the difference between unlawful and illegal?

    Unlawful means the performance of an act or acts which contravenes extant laws or statutes.

    Illegal is a sick big bird.

    Sorry :)

    I don’t know about the other side of the pond, but in US jurisprudence, unlawful means something that is against the law but is not criminally punishable, either because it is exclusively civilly punishable or because it has no legal punishment.

    Well part of it is that in a lot of Terps fans minds, UA is MD as well. Kevin Plank, the owner, is a MD native, former Terp football player and the company is based in Baltimore. So i’ll admit there is a little rally around the flag going on here (pardon the expression).

    By the way — nobody mentioned Lord Calvert or Lord Baltimore, the crests used in the Maryland flag.

    Coats of Arms, not crests. Crests are the part of a full armorial achievement that sit on the top (or ‘crest’) of the helmet. If ‘Coat of Arms’ is too general for you (and it kinda is) Escutcheon is the term for the shield part

    Can it not be argued mindless devotion to what came before and failure to change with the times just as pathetic? Mr. Lukas, you come across as someone who has claimed uniforms as your own fiefdom, and now that reality has changed something you’ve invested so much emotion into, will cry petulantly because now you have nothing.

    Classic straw man argument. “If you don’t like this new thing, you’re clinging to this old thing.” Sounds good, but ignores reality (i.e., all the modern uniforms I’ve liked just fine).

    I haven’t “claimed” uniforms as my “fiefdom.” Hell, go ahead and claim them as YOUR fiefdom — fine by me. I’m just a guy saying what I think. Not your cuppa? No biggie. Start your own web site and say what YOU think.

    USF’s numbers were distressingly tiny at Notre Dame. The new green helmets look great (though as Paul points out — a tri-Hydra helmet scheme isn’t cost-effective), but the numbers made the players look like video-game images. Oh wait, that’s probably the idea.

    In the 1975 newspaper article about the Bucs color scheme did ya read the coverage just above that the Pirates beat the Braves? Our buddy Jerry Reuss went 8 strong and picked up the victory.

    link

    This is funny, and sad: I’m now getting e-mails from people accusing me of “being paid off by Nike” and “being in Nike’s pocket.”

    Ha-ha-ha. Underlying the cluelessness, however, is this: Even really clueless people recognize that this is all about corporate entities and their marketing agendas. And that shows you how far into the cesspool this whole thing has descended.

    How’s this for analysis? I really liked Maryland’s uniforms last night, but that’s merely because I like Maryland’s flag. If it were an American flag, it would have sucked. You’ll notice all Baltimore-area teams now have the state flag tripping balls.

    So if Paul was digging around some archives one day and found a photo of yesterday’s Maryland uniforms on a team from say the 1940’s, who’s guessing Paul would call these uniforms beautiful?

    This was my thought, too. If Maryland had this flag based design for 30+ years we’d all praise it as a cool, unique classic.

    Ultimately I think UA’s promotion of this made it more reprehensible to a lot of people, Paul included. If Maryland had just come out and worn the uniform and let it speak for itself (which it obviously would have) then I think Paul would have actually reviewed the uniform. He probably wouldn’t have liked it, but he would have actually talked about it.

    It’s unfortunate that we’ve gotten to the point that the corporate aspect of uniform design has completely gotten in the way of actually being able to talk about uniforms. It probably started with the Nike/Broncos uniform in the 90s, but this is the first time I can remember people refusing to talk about a uniform due to the corporate shenanigans involved in promoting it, and that is sad.

    Paul, I don’t blame you for being offended by the press release, because it was offensive, and you’re free to respond to that however you’d like, but I think you almost play into their hands even more by only talking about the company and not about the product. Today a company got more attention on your blog than a uniform did, and I find that disappointing.

    “…this is the first time I can remember people refusing to talk about a uniform due to the corporate shenanigans involved in promoting it…”

    Actually I think Paul is the only one refusing to discuss it. Sure the corporate BS was as stupid as they come, we’ve heard 100 times how some uniform will make you faster, etc and if anyone ever actually believed it, well there’s one born every minute. I think Paul just missed the boat on this one today, like it or hate it he could have discussed it. He chose to ignore it even though he headlined with it.

    And on top of it it seems like he insulted a new reader today, who keep in mind could be a naive 16 year old kid who simply doesn’t know the corporate BS that goes on, as opposed to the 40-something like Paul is.

    Paul I have plenty of respect for you and what you do, but I think this site got away from you today, it seems you viewed this whole Maryland/UnderArmor thing in a vacuum. I know to you they’re not just uniforms, but Paul, they’re just uniforms.

    ‘I’m now getting e-mails from people accusing me of “being paid off by Nike” and “being in Nike’s pocket.”’

    ~~~

    how many of them are signed, “Kevin Plank”?

    Here’s the thing: Plank and Knight are just flip sides of the same coin. They can pretend to be enemies (or, more accurately, we can cast them as enemies), but what’s good for one of them is generally good for the other. They’re in the same racket.

    It is blatantly obvious that major sporting corporations have deep tentacles in the collegiate level. I’m realizing that it is quite futile to protest against a company’s influence over a college program. It’s so trenched that one has to go back and look at the relationship between corporation and the NCAA on a broader level. It’s a mess. Money gets in the way and everyone is seeking to make the biggest dollar. That’s fine by me, everyone has the right to make the money however they want it. Under Armor has that special relationship with Maryland because of a certain alum so a close knit relationship between the two is not so surprising.

    I personally don’t like it but UA does have the right to make money however they want it. I think instead of protesting every single change that bucks against tradition is simply wasting your energy. You should be directing it towards the NCAA and encouraging them to change the overall relationship between corporation and colleges.

    For the record, I don’t think UA is crying out for attention. EVERY company is always crying out for attention, it’s business. Every commercial on TV is crying out for attention. You’re crying out for attention every time you note that a new meat blog is up. Why? You want people to recognize Fleicher’s as THE place to buy meat. And yeah, you think you’re selling a good product. UA thinks they’re selling a good product too and they’re definitely a legitimate company now, working its way up to the Nike level.

    Plenty of people judge commercials both by their effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. The moment a person, company, etc. places itself in the public eye it opens itself to public criticism. If the entire country is laughing at UA right now and people choose to buy Nike instead in response, they will be forced to listen and rein in their marketing department.

    These companies are not making money by giving uniforms to the schools. If a poorly designed uniform has the same effect as an ineffective commercial, then UA will lose money on the venture and change its marketing strategy.

    In the meantime schools are allowing themselves to wear experimental uniform designs, some embarrassingly bad, for UA and Nike…it’s all about the money. Even colleges are whores…

    25 yr old Madden player here, and I have to say, honestly, there are only a few things that Paul and I disagree on Uni-wise.

    Those uniforms last night were a complete joke. UA is making a complete mockery of the game just to get their names out there. Its disgusting, and a complete eyesore and an insult to everyone who watched the game.

    But then again, this is Maryland and this is Under Armour. Maryland has never shied away from being the ‘rebels’ of the ACC, the team that does their own thing, gets in your face, and doesn’t give 2 craps about what you think. If they piss you off in the process, just an added bonus. Under Armour is founded and run by 2 of the biggest Maryland alums who have completely bought into this mindset. Combine the two together and you have the perfect storm of obnoxious assholism in uniform design for the future. Mark my words, in a couple years we’ll think Nike’s Pro Combat is being restraining.

    I know most of yall will hate this, but Nike supplies most of the uniforms for Texas Schoolboy football. They signed a contract with the University Interscholastic League (UIL) the governing body of Texas extracurricular activities. Granted the success of Euless Trinity, I am not surprised they are one of the first high schools to wear the Pro Combat unis.

    I did like that the coach forced the Nike spokesman to insert a line about how the uniforms are purely aesthetic and won’t do anything to help the team. Good on the reporter for putting that in the first graf, too.

    As I said last night, I can almost see the helmet working. If the rest of the uniform consisted of a plain red jersey (white numbers), white pants (perhaps with a thin black & yellow check pattern stripe), and left it at that, the helmet might actually shine as a unique design element. Instead, it’s just another gaudy element of ridiculous over-design.

    Of course, there’s no way UA would ever show that kind of “restraint”, because they’re in the business of manufacturing jerseys, and pants, and compression gear, and shoes. But not helmets.

    Paul:

    Just wanted to weigh in on the Under Armour/Maryland front. Reaction has been delightfully strong to your words, but one thing you asserted has been consistently missed:

    From a brand positioning perspective, UA ripped off Nike. UA has been moving in this direction for awhile, and I think from a strategic standpoint it’s such a disheartening move because they had an opportunity to build something really unique, find a fresh niche or creneau for their brand that could have taken all that goodwill from their entrepreneurial start-up phase and really built something unique and lasting. The kit they sent you was an unfortunate step back and while I don’t follow them closely, it may be one of many. Certainly a number of their multi-uni designs have trended this way.

    I guess I would weigh in at that positioning level though. Who was asleep at the wheel at the senior marketing levels to let this slip through? From an agency perspective, it’s like the client (UA) is driving or there’s been some internal Kool-Aid sipped. If they decided to trot out the Medieval Times look, why not invest the money and the senior creative power to churn out something that had a really unique narrative or story – a brand strategy – consistent with the look? Combat and overstated unis got the British creamed in the mid to late 18th Century.

    For instance, instead of moving through the features and bennies of the product in the kit matched to the Terps Boomer Esiason-rich past, why didn’t they spend time on how Maryland’s state flag is a whacky thematic component of the university and even some of Maryland’s other key sports franchises (see the Ravens 50 yard line)? Why not come out with a state flag-based uniform for every school? Call it state pride? Or unity? South Carolina could have a giant Palm Tree up the back of the uni with a moon on the helmet. These are all tactical assertions though that get at your original point:

    Who does UA wanna be? Nike with a twist of APEX? Perhaps they’re the “low-cost” Nike? Maybe they make the Nike look accessible to FCS or Div. 2 and 3 schools? Over the long haul, this hurts the promise of the UA brand – campus-based, grassrootsy and doing an end-around – and Nike will exploit the me-too strategy, twitter-trending or not. The rest of us get Lord Baltimore-meets-Spaceballs with no compelling or “authentic” brand narrative. A pity.

    “…Who was asleep at the wheel at the senior marketing levels to let this slip through?…”

    This didn’t “slip through” anything. This is exactly what Maryland wanted.

    I work in design, and designs are client driven. A client doesn’t go to a design firm and say design me a new winnepeg jets logo. The owner has something in mind, colors, what a logo might look like, font, etc. that the designers take and make work.

    This entire thing probably has very little to do with UA. If I was one of the senior athletic guys at UM I don’t say to UA “go design me a uniform!” I tell them what I have in mind and UA comes back with those designs worked onto a uniform. Now with the contract UA and UM share, there may be a little more leeway with who comes up with the designs but I assure you the ultimate decision of what gets on the field is UM’s choice. And the senior guys at UM aren’t letting anything “slip by” on a game like this.

    Thanks for the insight on the design process and the creative brief 101. However, I was getting more at the corporate douchebaggery — the words and narrative UA built around the design as it took it to market.

    @ Scott, point taken regarding the corporate crap in the forward sent to Paul. Built for speed, twice the grip…BS in my book.

    Built for speed? So you have a WR who weighs 180 wearing a jersey that weighs 6oz versus 12oz? Isn’t the other team wearing a similar jersey (even if by another manufacturer?)

    More likely, someone at Maryland told UA to design a uniform incorprating elements of Maryland’s cool flag…and this is what UA came up with. I would bet that Matyland went along with the wild design primarily because of the “incentives” it was provided by UA.

    But, if Maryland doesn’t like what UA comes up with, its back to the drawing board until UA comes up with something acceptable to Maryland.

    There were probably 15 meetings about these uniforms between UA and UM before these uniforms were ever finalized.

    Good point Scotty Blue.

    I find it interesting that UA basically broke a golden rule in brand positioning and brand development: differentiation.

    For that, they get an F for the Maryland uniforms … and everything else they do.

    The analysis should begin and end with the fact that UA is nothing more than a Nike wannabee. From the ground up, they replicate everything Nike does (Do they do it better? Hell, I don’t care. That’s not the point.).

    What they do do … is nothing unique, from the fabric materials to the designs to the equipment itself. A basic facsimile of Nike.

    It’s a real shame that only the “80-100 year-olds” who traffic this site are the only ones who realize we’re being duped.

    Wake up, next generation! UA is nothing more than a spoof. Their exploits are damn transparent. “The players like ’em.” “I like ’em, they’re hip.”

    Okay, whatever. Just be able to analyze why this is so maddening to a whole generation of sports enthusiasts.

    Because we can see through the corporate douchebaggery. What’s most concerning … is the notion that a generation that’s too busy “liking” everything on Facebook, with their heads in their smartphones, not paying attention to the world around them … doesn’t notice they’ve been duped. Heck, an entire university and its leadership has been duped.

    Listen. Think for yourself. Question authority.

    You mean things like “you run a foolish blog” don’t make the cut? I’m honored, sir, thank you.

    I’ve seen you say several times that Nike etc are just using these schools and student athletes as tools to further their agendas. I’ve often wondered how accurate that was, but this UA ploy perfectly exemplifies it. Pimps and hos, that’s all it is. Forget what the uniform itself looks like; it’s outlandish and far from the norm. UA sneaks it in on you while you’re not looking. I tuned in to that game for two reasons: 1) to watch Miami hopefully get annihilated without their starters, and 2) to see how the previously “new” Maryland jerseys looked in action. The first thing I saw was Maryland’s first TD where the WR was diving straight at the camera for the pylon, followed by an overhead shot of the sidelines. It was then that I realized UA had won this battle.

    My team, the Charlotte 49ers, take the field for the first time in 2013. I’ve already secured my season tickets. I just left messages on the team’s official FB page pleading not to go this route.

    Oh God… I just had a scary thought… If UA & UMd did this for a football matchup, easily the ACCs 2nd most popular sport, what on Earth are they going to do in basketball, the premier league of ACC athletics?

    I’m confused. When did this blog stop being about aesthetics and become an analysis of the sociopolitics of corporate ethics?

    You mentioned the Oakland A’s. Are you going to talk about the child slave labor the team’s owner uses to make GAP clothing?

    When did this blog … become an analysis of the sociopolitics of corporate ethics?

    Day One, more or less. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention.

    I confess to being completely ignorant regarding the A’s owner. If you’d care to enlighten me, perhaps I’ll write about him.

    If we’re gonna cover the A’s ownership, I would rather learn about why they chose not wear a memorial patch for Dick Williams. He managed them to two world championships and is in the Hall of Fame. There are MLB teams out there wearing memorial patches for dead pets of front office workers (I kid,) but the A’s couldn’t even muster a ribbon.

    I have a theory that Lew Wolf just doesn’t care about Oakland’s history or heritage, but that’s because I don’t like the guy.

    While I wouldn’t say it in the same words, you’re onto something. The jersey itself…I like. The helmet is what put it a little over the top, but my reaction to it is more “meh” than an actual dislike.

    Yup, I feel the same way. I actually like the jerseys. I’m normally accused of being an old fart when it comes to my preference for old school traditional looks but I like the flag being incorporated into the shoulders.

    The helmet though is atrocious. Give the a whate or red one (or even a black one) with an ‘M’ or the flag and they’d really have something.

    The black and gold pattern is a difficult one at best to attempt to translate from a flat surface to a spherical one, but I think they could’ve found some way to do it better.

    Or not. *shrug*

    i don’t want that piece of shit jersey to overshadow the AWESOMENESS that is the promotional sponge!!!

    from that beautiful vintage logo, the simplistic design, the fact that it’s a freaking SPONGE of all things! it just makes me happy that that thing ever existed (and was handed out to happy fans).

    total love

    Hey Paul,

    You wrote about it, so you must’ve deemed the Maryland nonsense as “news”?

    If it wasn’t newsworthy (as you allude to) … why give it mention at all, or at most just a brief mention in the ticker?

    As PT Barnum would say, “all PR is good PR,” for UA and Maryland, that is.

    You play right into the UA PR folks’ hands by covering it… this coming from someone who educates about the very subject.

    Seems the best way to shut off the tap of PR stunt nonsense … is to choose not to cover it.

    Seems like a disservice to not say anything about the Terps’ design. The purpose of the blog is, in Paul’s own words, to “study athletics aesthetics”. Paul is clearly free to take any political/ethical stance he’d like on his blog, but to withdraw from critiquing the aesthetics of the uniform seems to deny the whole purpose of this site. Regardless of the corporate motivations behind the design, it is a design. If the goal of not examining the design is to not give UA/UM any unwarranted attention, posting a picture of the jersey at the top of the page didn’t help.

    A “disservice” to whom?

    The “purpose” of this blog is for me to write about what’s on my mind, primarily as it relates to uniforms. What was on my mind today was all the corporate bullshit that unfolded last night, so that’s what I wrote about. Simple.

    As for the new Marquette uni: Still like the “AL,” but the Jumpman looks more like Al McQuire in heyday than it does MJ. Is that intentional or just bad embroidery? (Maybe the perspective is skewed a little?”)

    The real change on the Marquette unis is the “sweat-back” image, but those were not linked in the comments.

    The fronts look similar to prior editions.

    link

    Here is a rep from Maryland trying to justify the Maryland uni disaster… that is was the most popular story last evening in the DC metro area… VT massacre was national news too, but that didn’t mean is was good news… Ridiculous how these schools of “higher learning” know absolutely zero when it comes to marketing or branding

    Sorry, I’ll just make one final small point then leave you fine folks alone. The most popular stories on the washingtonpost.com sports page normally consists of 5 Redskins stories (even in March). Tonight it’s:

    Most Popular

    1. Maryland unveils new football uniforms
    2. Maryland football uniforms: What do you think? (8/23)
    3. Maryland uniforms: What do you think? (9/5)
    4. After 12 long months, Stephen Strasburg is back at Nats Park
    5. Shanahan, Redskins weigh in on QB decision

    Most Popular (site wide)

    1. Chaotic Gaddafi manhunt leads to Libyan desert triangle
    2. Maryland unveils new football uniforms
    3. Rhode Island considers radical moves as pensions put state on brink
    4. Bicyclists open fire near Capitol Hill
    5. Maryland football uniforms: What do you think?

    TIME OUT! [Sorry to shout.] History question. When and where was it that mainstream sports fans first evinced interest in, and opinions about, the manufacturer of uniforms? I’m not asking about when the manufacturers began to spend significant money highlighting their brand, nor when rabid fans tuned in, but rather when us ordinary schmucks started noticing, and caring about, and talking about, various brand names and their signifiers. When did I realize that the curious little logo meant UnderArmor? My uninformed guess is that footwear paved the way. Kids in the 1950s cared a lot about sneaker brands, and football players and track runners had definite ideas about this or that shoe supplier, but I can’t recall when brand-mania migrated to pants and shirts…

    When apparel manufacturers starting putting their brand labels on the OUTSIDE of clothing instead of inside…it’s a status thing that is artifically driven by advertising and other marketing devices.

    It was September 12, 1983 when Texas Longhorn fan Durell Hawthorne first noticed how ugly his teams Russel Athletic jerseys fit with the extra large shoulder pads the team was using.

    Connie-

    but I can’t recall when brand-mania migrated to pants and shirts…

    MTV caused all this…

    MTV rap and hip hops videos took sports licensed products off the playing field and into the mass market of “fashion”… Raiders hats. Teal. Alternate jerseys. Mighty Ducks. Black as fashion… that all started around 1990-91…

    And rap aslo fueled the Throwbacks sensation as well:
    link

    Nike was dead set against this “fad” of creating whacked out jerseys until they saw the enormous revenues that were being generated first by the NBA and their push to make more cutting edge jerseys…. alternates, black jerseys, sublimation and then the other leagues followed….

    A disservice to readers of the blog who feel you are free to broadcast your own views on corporate bullshit, etc, but are interested in the aesthetics of the corporate bullshit. I’m not trying to tell you that you have to write about whatever I want you to, but it’s in the header of the blog, so, whatever. Perhaps I’ll just accept that this is a sore topic and come back tomorrow when the furor has died down, except I live in Baltimore and see the Maryland flag motif everywhere all the time, so I am interested in an analysis of how it works and doesn’t on a uniform by someone more knowledgable and experienced than me in design. I guess you can’t always get what you want.

    Here’s the deal, Brian: If I wasn’t true to myself, if I self-censored or adjusted my message to suit your (or anyone’s) whims, if I half-assed it and phoned it in, THEN I’d be doing you a disservice.

    Instead, I communicate what makes sense to me, and I try my best to do it honestly, straightforwardly, and passionately. If that also makes sense to you, groovy; if not, it’s a big internet out there. Simple.

    I *did* give you an analysis of the uniform — I analyzed it as a cynical marketing ploy, because I think that’s the primary storyline. Again, maybe that’s not the analysis you want, but life doesn’t always come spoon-fed to you, y’know?

    I can’t imagine that you don’t have criticisms of the design independent of the corporate motivations. Chess pieces and court jesters – not the depth I was expecting. But you are absolutely right, my expectations should not define you. If commenting on the aesthetics of this particular uniform would be censoring yourself, you should not do it.

    I’m with Brian on this one. Maybe you could change the header of the blog to add “…and what I view as the corporate BS that ineveitably goes along with any money making enterprise.”

    On the plus side, “uniwatchcorporatebs.com” is probably available still.

    You guys don’t get it. In this case, the corporate machinations ARE the aesthetics.

    You can define Uni Watch however you like. But the way I define it will always be the guiding principle, at least on this site.

    Paul, I think you missed my point (so it is wrong to say I don’t get it). I said “and” not “instead of”. I for one, would have liked your take on the design itself (since I find that interesting and your criticisms worth reading). If you want to add the corporate machinations as well, it is your blog after all. All I was saying is that I’m disappointed that you can’t see anything beyond the coporate angle, particularly since you’ve made that point plenty of times already.

    Offering no opinion one way or another on Maryland last night (other than to say I appreciated the fearless wearing of bright colors instead of needing to be Stealth Ninjas)…

    If we step back…way, way back…I mean WAY back so we can see the whole board…this is starting to look like a personal contest among Phil Knight, Kevin Plank and T. Boone Pickens to see who can spend the most on, and garner the most attention for, his alma mater.

    (Keep in mind, we won’t see Oklahoma State on the field until Thursday night).

    Unfortunately, it seems to be taking on too many apsects of a trailer park competition over Who Can Have the Most Pink Flamingoes.

    And may I say, it’s a good thing Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys, otherwise Arkansas probably would be involved, too.

    Again, not saying anything about the unis, just what’s starting to look like three billionaires playing “Can You Top This?”

    Interesting, isn’t it, that saying something bad about a school’s uni supplier (seeing as Paul didn’t critique the graphics, color scheme or “look” at all, only the PR campaign that accompanied them) apparently is the same thing as saying something bad about the school or the team. Great umbrage shall be taken with same…because they have become one and the same.

    I ask you, what allegiance should any Maryland student or fan have to Under Armor? Oh, I forgot, “That’s MY company.”

    If someone was so resolutely devoted to, and identifying with, a particular maker of frozen pizza we’d think they were nuts.

    It’s OK. Part of putting one’s work out in the public sphere is that it will be open to public discussion and criticism. Comes with the territory.

    Oh, for sure.

    And suppose there is a website out there where people defend DiGiorno with the same once-removed devotion.

    So Paul didn’t lead off today’s story by calling the University of Maryland “a foolish school?” That’s not “saying something bad about the school?”

    Fine. I guess we just reinforced why turtles have shells.

    Thin skin.

    He criticized them (yes, you’re right; I was wrong) for becoming a willing partner in the UA marketing program. Didn’t say it was a bad school. Or a bad football team. Or that the Maryland flag was ugly.

    Maybe he thinks your school and others shouldn’t sell out so easily.

    Maybe you should, too.

    Bread & Circuses.
    (if you don’t get the referenece, look it up)

    What I find truly amusing about all the venom from UMD fans and alum is that, if say Duke had come out with such blatantly corporate crap, they would be the first in line to blast the Dukies from stem to stern.

    Maryland fans aren’t exactly known for their tact. This is the same team that Navy suspended their series with for four decades because their fans were attacking the Midshipmen and making racist comments toward their players. The same fanbase that riots every time their basketball team wins a game. The only reason their football fans have gone under the radar is because their team has been crap for a long time. Just let them have their “Look At Me!” moment.

    Yes, because no one in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, California, Washington, or Oregon cares about college football.

    Thought uni watch would enjoy this NOB for Arkansas. We have Brandon Mitchell, Braylon Mitchell, and Jerry Mitchell. So I assume Braylon’s NOB is Bray. Mitchell and Jerry just has J. Mitchell. I’ll post screencaps of them if I see them.

    link

    Yeah, I *kinda* did, too. And not just because Phil disliked them…

    A little over-the-top, but I’ve seen worse.

    Anyway, I’m more interested at that SI “best uniform” list. Bobcats? BFBS Timberwolves? Raptors??? Vancouver Grizzlies? Clippers? Wow. Anyone who thinks I have no taste should find out who compiled that list.

    At least the Nuggets and Bullets were on there.

    Where were the Nets?
    link
    Or the Knicks?
    link
    Or at least a dozen others that were better than the ones at the top of this post?

    Me too. Although, I would prefer the reverse pattern on the shoulder pads, as someone here posted.

    I love the fact that we’re back to painting helmet decals/logos, very old school.

    Georgia’s unis looked like shit, good thing they lost.

    The reason the tinted visor is there is because no one wanted to be associated with this vomitous mass known as the U of Maryland uniform. They had to promise anonymity.

    Maybe players chose to wear tinted visors to hide the clown makeup and red rubber noses UA required them to wear with their costumes.

    1) If Maryland’s unis were an older design, I would have liked it more. That may strike some people as inconsistent, but if Maryland chose to wear these unis in the 1950’s it would be for a different purpose and would have different motivations.

    2) I’m mostly against these uniforms because they’re a one-off. I usually dislike uniforms that are only worn once. It seems to me to lack purpose.

    3) I understand why Lukas dislikes this design. I’m sure, in part, he feels like Under Armor wants to use him to advertise themselves. If it was me, I would find that insulting. I’m probably wrong, but it seems that he’s less interested in uniforms than categorizing the minutiae relating to uniforms. Under Armor definitely picked the wrong audience for their company propaganda.

    4) I’m pretty tired of uniform criticisms that only reach for a bad analogy. I don’t think they look anything like crash test dummies, chess pieces, or court jesters. They looked like the Maryland flag. I find those other comparisons annoying.

    Yeah, these were just a one-off. It was publicized/rumored that there was going to be one uniform combo that wasn’t shown at the “fashion show” that was going to be used on game day. The players weren’t even told what they were wearing until morning of.

    All you need to know about Maryland fans:

    link
    BigDog1979

    Posted: Today 10:32 AM
    Re: Uniforms……Sweeeeeet
    sorry folks but the new unis made me want to barf…. only if i barfed; it would look like the helmets.
    i used to always say about michigan & deleware; i’m glad we don’t have dorky helmets like them.

    I didn’t like the Maryland uniforms – they actually made Miami’s unis look good by contrast. But, here we are, talking about the University of Maryland. Twitter was trending Maryland. So the uniforms brought attention to the school and to the manufacturer. In that respect, they are a rousing success.

    Nah, Miami still looked worse.

    The ‘Canes had the better helmet, yes, but their jersey and pants stripes? Bleah.
    link
    OK, both teams’ pants were bad. Call it a draw?

    At least both teams looked better than Oregon.

    yeah, um

    no they didn’t

    but it was the first time in my life i actually rooted for miama

    in a way, it’s too bad kellen winslow wasn’t playing for the canes last night…they wouldn’t have got beat by a rorschach blot

    Actually, I would argue that as atrocious as Maryland’s uniforms were, both they and Miami looked better than Oregon did against LSU because Miami and Maryland stuck to their school colors. Oregon? Not so much. Somehow I get the feeling that Phil Knight doesn’t know what the phrase “school colors” is. Arizona’s AD visited the Nike facilities last year and I shudder to think what they discussed. If I see my Wildcats wearing some BFBS bullshit, I’m marching back to Tucson (graduated earlier this year) and starting a riot. The fight song goes “Bear Down Arizona, Bear Down red and blue…” not “Bear Down Arizona, Bear Down black and gray…”

    That’s the only good thing about Maryland’s uniforms, though.

    Point for the Hurricanes: It may have been mentioned on this site before, but I appreciate the way the pant stripe resembles a map of Florida; at least the one on the right does.

    Too many comments about the pros and cons of covering/not covering the Maryland unis. Too few comments about just how amateur and shitty looking that press release is (if indeed that’s the actual press release).

    No authentics (he emphasized “authentic”) in stores til October.
    Replicas about three weeks later.

    Good to have Winnipeg back in the NHL.

    No baby blue for the Jets! Sweet. Although the striping on the white one is a little suspect. Other than that – I’m o.k. with them.

    Might have been the first Reebok jersey that I really have no issues with. Maybe the preschool kids at the Reebok idea compound actually can read this board? LOL

    I happen to like them. More red can be saved for a future third, should they decide to go that route – remember, the Red Wings and Devils have never had a permanent third, so we’ll have to wait and see how the Jets wish to proceed.

    As far as the unis themselves… not terribly crazy about angled numbers, but these look acceptable. The NOB font looks a little weird, but again, passable. I’ve never been a fan of the lace-up collar, either, especially considering that it’s completely superfluous, but if I were to get one of these, I’d simply rip the lace out of the collar.

    Overall, I’m liking the design. The double-stripes around the arms remind me of the late-1970s North Stars, while I see the dark blue down the sleeves to the cuffs on the white jersey as a nod to the original Jets’ 1979-90 uni.

    Definitely good and not stupid.

    I have a question regarding the Maryland uni’s that is not related to corporate motives, just a logistical one regarding their helmet.

    Is the helmet painted that way, does it have decals? If so how are the decals applied to the different sized and style helmets while still looking uniform.

    Any thoughts or knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

    So Paul, you say you don’t think discussing the uniform is necessary and now you’re wondering about the helmet decal?

    I doubt if the graphics are decals. My guess is that they are either painted on or applied in the plastic in manufacturing the same high tech way other teams, such as Oregon and TCU, have applied their non traditional graphic finishes.

    It’s a water transfer print process. Just google that, and you will find some videos on how it’s done.

    Thanks. Wonder why more teams don’t do that, other than cost. Wonder whether it is more or less durable over the course of the season. Would love a column on that (hint hint Paul ha)

    Two days ago, actually. The list doesn’t take Sunday and Monday games into account.

    Had they played on Saturday? Yeah, it woulda contended for the &1.

    Got it, sorry hadn’t checked over the weekend and figured it would wait for the games to conclude. Thanks

    Yeah, but Labor Dabor was yesterday (9/5) and it always falls on the first Monday in September…

    (Note the obscure Homestar Runner refernce.)

    Please,

    The only reason people have a problem with the design is because is not symetrical and it’s not simple. Did they overdo it qwith the sleeves and shoes? Yes. Does the rest scream for attention? Yes. Does it look different than anyone else? Yes!
    We aren’t! Penn State!
    We’re Maryland, and we’re proud; regardless of yours and other people’s non-professional feelings and writing. Next time go with your belly, and don’t bother. We won’t bother reading it.

    You’re exactly right. The problem with the uniform is that it’s asymmetrical. It’s asymmetrical to the point that it no longer serves the function of a uniform. If two players were facing each other you wouldn’t know they were on the same team. If they’d gone with one quadrant on the helmet and the other on the yoke it would have looked a lot better and I’ll bet even Paul would have been singing its praises.

    The Maryland flag is one of the best and most visually interesting flags in the union. It could be the design basis of a uniform. This was terribly executed. You should strive to look different from everyone else; that’s called a brand identity. The problem is that they strove to distinguish themselves by doing the same thing as everyone else but doing it harder.

    Let me see if I have this straight.
    Anyone who doesn’t share your view is “non-professional”?

    And Under Armor and Maryland are the same thing? To criticize one is to criticize the other?

    Tell us, do you consider yourself a student or fan of the University of Maryland or the University of Under Armor?

    There should be a difference.

    I can’t speak for the University of Under Armour students and fans, but perhaps the students and fans of the University of Maryland took umbrage with Paul’s reference to it as “a very foolish school?”

    I heard Penn State is considering widening its single helmet stripe from 1″ to 1 1/4″… ;>)

    Don Cherry wouldn’t wear those Maryland monstrosities. ‘Nuff said about that.

    On to more important things, namely the Winnipeg Jets. Pretty good, in my opinion. A solid B+. We’ve got a readable font, proper hem striping, sleeve stripes (even if they do look a bit odd), no Bettman piping, no pit stripes, and no garish colors or other absurd elements. There’s a lot to like here. I know they weren’t going to keep the classic logo, but had they gone with the classic blue and added a bit more red, they might be darn near perfect for the modern NHL. There’s something about the new primary that just feels off, but I can’t put my finger on what I don’t like. The secondary on the shoulders, however, is excellent. Still, a pretty good effort, and I will definitely be adding one to my collection when they become available.

    It’s the negative space above the roundel. With a simple color and a yoke that matches the primary color, it just looks dull from sleeve-stripes up. C-

    What logo would you have preferred, RyCo? They didn’t buy the licensing from the NHL for the old one, and they chose this one.

    We’re kind of limited in what there was to choose from since they only showed the logo they chose and not all those they considered.

    to me it’s a lame, boring, corporate logo, lacking a ton of potential character. there are 2 or 3 way better logos on puck drawn and icethetics alone.

    what, out of the current set, would i have preferred? shoot… i would have placed the leaf with the arched “winnipeg” “jets,” with the wings coming out, and the crossed sticks behind, on a white away jersey at least.

    the new jets logo is just boring. just flat out.

    Ok, but the Jets decided that those who posted their works on Icethetics or PuckDrawn didn’t meet the criteria they were looking for. It’s not that there aren’t other logos that could have worked. It’s just that the powers-that-be (aka TNSE) decided those logos didn’t work for their brand.

    I think A LOT of people need to let go of the Jets from 15 years ago. That logo was associated and deeply-rooted with a team that was synonymous with one-and-done playoffs. I like that TNSE is moving away from the old Jets by branding themselves in how they did.

    Toe-MAY-toe, Toe-MAH-toe, I guess.

    Well said, Teebz. To me, the main logo works very well on the new sweaters. Very sharp and uncluttered. I am SO happy that they didn’t put a wordmark above the logo as well, like the Stars and Canucks have done.

    Going off the ESPN blurb, I actually kind of like the OSU gray unis, but they should only exist as a replacement for white. To me there just isn’t enough differentiation between gray and white to distinguish them if OSU wears them at home.

    link

    First impression – similar to Jim BC’s.

    The blue home jersey is excellent. Nailed it.

    The white road jersey, the striping is wrong. Each element is nice, the sleeve stripes and the shoulder yoke extending to the wrists (looks like the 1980’s Jets or the 1980s Leafs), but I don’t think they work together very well. One or the other would have been perfect, but not both.

    now that there is the comment of the day

    anyone want to bet the author attends school in maryland?

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a big fan of the Denver Nuggets’ multi-colored skyline uniforms, and I have always liked the Cincinnati Bengals helmet. Oh, and I am a Maryland resident, and I think our state flag is by far the most attractive and unique among the 50 states.

    Maryland’s uniform last night is, in my opinion, the greatest uniform in the history of ever. It is far superior to any of the combinations announced a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed seeing the arm sleeves, shoes, etc. I, too, think the shoulder yokes or sides of the helmet should be switched to give a better representation of the flag, but other than that, 100 percent win.

    Unlike other schools and teams, there is no placement of color that doesn’t belong (i.e., BFBS). Red, white, black, and gold are the Maryland state colors. Using the elements of the flag on the uniform is … genius.

    I didn’t get the UA press kit, but I did enjoy Paul’s dismantling of it. I suppose that would put me in the “Hate the kit, love the uniform” camp.

    Is it attention-grabbing? Sure. All non-traditional uniforms are (as well as more traditional uniforms). Is it corporate douochbaggery rearing its ugly head? I guess – to be honest, I am very naive of the ways of corporate douchebaggery. While I admit and understand that UA played a gigantic role in the uniform’s design, I see it as – please forgive me, all UA haters – a way to show state pride.

    It absolutely, totally works, and I do hope Maryland wears the uniform more often.

    You know, if the people from Maryland love this uniform then that’s all that matters…I’m happy for you.

    There are more important things to worry about than Maryland’s football uniforms. But these are still the strangest football uniforms I have ever seen and IMO a complete abomination…in addition to being a crass attention grabbing marketing device by UA, which apparently needs the attention.

    I’m just trying to figure out how the players kept from laughing when looking at each other in the huddle. Can you imagine what these things were like up close? Yeeeoooow…!

    I love the number of people who think its unique to take a European heraldry tradition and apply it to a regional flag. In Ohio we have the only flag that isn’t rectangular. Doesn’t make it better, or worse just different.

    Makes it cool. (I actually knew that about the Ohio flag already.) If Ohioans (Ohiites?) are proud of that flag, then good for them!

    “We’re Maryland, and we’re proud; regardless of yours and other people’s non-professional feelings and writing.”

    I’m not trying to defend this statement in its entirety, but I really think that it sums exactly why the Terps uniform turns out, in the end, to be a GREAT uniform – wearing it brings the supporters of the team together to defend themselves against all the shock and revulsion.

    And it’s not a defense of Under Armour – it’s a defense of the University of Maryland. This is a great example of the most succinct example of the importance of the uniform I’ve ever seen on this site – trade the Yankees for the Mets, player-for-player, and a Mets fan will still root for the Mets the next day. Because it’s not the individual players that make a team, it’s the history and the institution that make up a team, signified by the uniform. (Even if the Mets uniforms suck. Hoping to get back to the day or some future when they suck less is part of the institution of Met-dom that makes a team worth following.)

    today’s example:

    Sell the Terrapins football team to Under Armour, Nike, or whoever, write up a goofy press release explaining every stripe and loop as THE GREATEST INNOVATION IN THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL, and cover the players with a gaudy piece of garbage. And the Terps fans defend them – not because they love UA’s corporate practices, but despite of UA’s corporate practices. Not even because of the uniform, but despite of the uniform, which if nothing else has given the fan base a ‘uniform’ point of support. Because the team is not made up of the individual suppliers and boosters, it is the history and institution that make up a team. If it takes a uniform to bring that out, it is in the end a great uniform.

    Speaking of UA, what were your thoughts on the Auburn tweaks (tighter, stretchy type jerseys with small NOB; truncated stripe at the bottom of the pants; “war eagle” tramp stamp).

    I found the curtailed stripe on the pants annoying and not attractive. You can tell there’s a fabric change at the bottom of the pant that seems to require no stripe fabric there…but it doesn’t look great imo.

    otoh, Auburn appears to be the only “ua school” that hasn’t just given over all design powers to ua.

    As much as I like discussing the history and development of uniforms, I think it’s a bad thing when team uniforms become of more concern to people than actual football games…and we’re seeing more and more of that now. The bottom line is that Nike, UA, Addidas, et als. are in the racket to make a pile of money. They could make modern uniforms that are lighter and performance enhancing without resorting to weird aesthetics…but they’re doing that to grab attention. A great uniform should be one that you hardly notice…not a distraction.

    I agree 100% with your statement that it’s a bad thing when the uniforms are more of a concern than the actual team or game. However, I disagree that a great uniform is one you hardly notice.

    Whenever a team wears a new uniform there is going to be some negative backlash for some group of the population. Even the best uniforms are scrutinized. The reason you may not notice a uniform is because it’s become familiar.

    I remember when the Broncos changed the uniforms to their current version (i live in Denver), and I hated them. Two Super Bowl championships later, I didn’t even notice them. I wouldn’t say Denver has a great uniform, but I hardly ever notice them…the same can be true the other way around.

    I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’m totally familiar with the Bengals’ uniforms and still find them distractingly ugly. ;>)

    Paul –

    There’s something you’re missing here. Maryland has been wearing various combinations of Red/White/Black/Gold going back to the 80’s, albeit not much with the gold other than basketball. Champion made their stuff back in the 80’s. Nike made it in the 90’s, when it was pretty boring (at least on the football side of things).

    If you could possibly set aside your distaste for UA and Nike, aren’t the new uniforms (with their 32 combinations) simply a very modern evolution of what has been done before? The coat of arms of the Calvert and Crossland families have been featured for some time now; they present a unique visual identifier for an athletic program that is more or less a “tweener” (good, but not big time) and could stand to have something “visually unique” associated with it. It’s not a UA-induced revelation.

    Yes, the fashion show was a joke (although no worse than anyone’s “Midnight Madness”). Yes the press release was ridiculous and ludicrous. And yeah, the “Pride” uniform was a bit garish but if you were going to incorporate two coats of arms into a uniform, how else would you do it? I’m not arguing whether or not to do it, that ship has sailed.

    I’m just trying to determine why this is so repulsive for you, from the University’s perspective, because I think they’ve actually been pretty consistent here for quite some time, and now they’ve decided to inject something into their brand (Maryland Athletics) that sets them apart from the schools they compete and recruit against on a regular basis.

    Fair enough. But if they had just walked out onto the field without the fashion show, without the brain-dead press release, would you have the same perspective?

    What, you can’t separate the marketing bullshit from the actual design?

    Yeah, all of the “20% cooler” crap is just that. But the actual uniform is bold, eye-catching and creative.

    There’s a difference between evoking ancient coats of arms by using red, yellow and black as your color scheme, and dressing behemoth athletes in something that makes them look like spandex and high impact plastic – clad versions of the Swiss Guards.

    The Maryland state flag is like haggis, or polka music: a beloved cultural institution whose merits are utterly lost on outsiders. If you aren’t part of the tribe, it’s best taken in very, very small doses.

    The Maryland unis were not new uniforms they were just new designs that represented the state of Maryland by emphasizing the flag. They have been marketing Operation 54K all summer wear each section of the stadium would be a different color of the Maryland flag. So to cap it all of UA and Maryland came out with uniforms that specifically represented the state. Don’t hate a winner.

    What makes it a winner?

    That uni design sucked because they could have done so much more with it but they actually took the safe route by limiting the design elements to the big blocks on the helmets and shoulder yokes.

    I can think of several different ways that design could have been improved upon by taking an even less conservative approach. For example, they totally dropped the ball by using generic socks.

    Uniforms don’t make a program a winner. Oregon in last year’s national championship (against a traditional program wearing traditional uniforms) says hi. Plus, you guys won against an extremely depleted Miami team.