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Army and Navy…Through The Years

Beat Army Beat Navy

By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson, Larry Bodnovich & Jim Vilk

College football has screwed with traditional rivalries, screwed with the Conferences, screwed with the bowls, screwed with the scheduling…screwed with the uniforms…the latter being at least as egregious as all of the former. But the one thing the NCAA still gets right is the traditional end to the regular season — the Army/Navy Game.

It’s not the oldest rivalry, it’s not the greatest rivalry…this year, it’s not even much of a “game” (if records are any indication). There will be no Bowl games for either team — all that’s left to play for is pride. But there may not be a better way to end a regular season than with the Army-Navy game. And whatever your feelings are with regard to the United States Armed Forces, whatever your feelings may be towards college football uniforms — many of the young men who will play in today’s game will shortly be leaving and embarking on a journey which will forever change their lives. For one day, and for two teams, I have no problem with them wearing “combat” uniforms, even if those happen to be designed by the swoosh. They’ll be trading those football uniforms for real ones soon enough. More power to them.

But for 60 minutes on the field (and possibly a couple of stupid overtimes, if the game ends tied)…they, and we, should focus on the football. And throughout the years, both teams have taken this game pretty seriously, sometimes even breaking out some pretty outlandish uniforms, just for the game.

Today, I’m joined by Rick Pearson, Larry Bodnovich, and Jim Vilk, each of whom I asked to write a little something about the uniforms of this rivalry game throughout the years. Ricko brings decades of memories, Larry brings us his tremendous photo library…and Jim, well, Jim brings us a 5 & 1. And when they’re done, I’ll take a look at what the two teams will be wearing this time around (here’s a hint: it rhymes with Moe Bombat)…and they’re actually both pretty good unis. But first…Rick, Larry & Jim.

The game kicks off today at 2:30 ET, on CBS. I hope you’ll all be watching.


Navy 61

Off the top of my head…
By Rick Pearson

I figured I’d go with “What comes to mind when I think of the Army-Navy game?” A free association exercise.

First of all, my Army-Navy experience matches the TV era, which began roughly at the time of the Korean War. That meant just about every adult male either was in, or had been in, the Armed Forces. In turn, that meant most households were either solidly pro-Navy, pro-Army (the Air Force has only recently become a separate entity, previously being the Army Air Corps) or divided, based on the relevant military experience. So the game was huge. Far, far moreso than it is today.

Next (and these are in no particular order of significance)…

—Comic books had gone to war during World War II, so it only made sense that the cover of a comic about a spy-catching Naval Intelligence officer would take note of the game in the post-war era.

—Names can be fascinating. Lyrical, dramatic, rhythmic. Or just unusual in combination with another. I remember one year a couple of the individual statistical leaders in college football were…Kingsley Fink and Rosey Leaks. Whoa, macho! Kingsley Fink was Army’s QB; Roosevelt Leaks Texas’ big dog RB.

—The teams initiating (in my experience, anyway) one-off specials. Navy adding BEAT ARMY to shoulders and orange helmets for backs and ends in ”˜61. Army wearing white shoes and a BEAT NAVY patch on the right sleeve in ”˜62. Navy with BEAT ARMY in Chinese and a Jolly Roger decal on helmets, also in ’62, or the following year having BEAT ARMY stacked on the front of the helmet.

—Because of the military commitment involved, very few players from Army or Navy have gone on to distinguished careers in pro football. A few did give it a try, though. I’m not saying these are the only ones, just the ones that come readily to my mind. 1946 Heisman winner Glenn Davis of Army, “Mr. Outside” to Doc Blanchard’s “Mr. Inside” (the ’45 Heisman winner) took a shot at it with the Los Angeles Rams. Such a big name was he that his debut drew a heckuva crowd…for an intrasquad game, yet. Navy’s Joe Bellino (Heisman ’60) had a brief career with the Boston Patriots. Navy’s Phil McConkey scored a Super Bowl TD for the Giants, and Napoleon McCallum (another great name, btw) did okay for the Raiders for awhile. But the standard bearer is, of course, ’63 Heisman winner Roger Staubach. Again, not saying I didn’t miss some. The point is, the list is short.

–And, because I’m always fascinated by the crossover between sports and entertainment, here are a couple largely overlooked tidbits…
1. Davis and Blanchard starred in a movie about…themselves.
2. The back story of a long-running TV character included his being the Midshipmen quarterback in an Army-Navy game. “I went 18-for-27 and the Secretary of the Navy presented me the Game Ball,” he recalled in the episode that opened with this.

—No matter what, though, it sure is different from the days when most of the men in the room would stand to sing either this, or this when they heard them.


Thanks Rick. And now, on to Larry:



Remembering Army & Navy
By Larry Bodnovich

When I was younger I was not a huge Buckeye fan until maybe the mid 1960’s. As a younger teen I kind of liked Navy because my dad served in the Navy in WW2 and my neighbor buddy’s brother was at Annapolis for a while. You can see me in a Navy shirt that he got for me.

I have vague memories of when Joe Bellino was on Navy and remember watching some of the early 1960 games on TV. To this day I still root for Navy.

I have always liked the Army uni look from years ago. The black and gold especially. Although many know I am not a huge fan of plain unis. Army has looked good to me in I liked the older gold helmet with single black stripe.

That is one of the better looking Army Navy games. That is also maybe my favorite Navy uniform. From about 1965.

Also like this Navy uni from the early 1960’s. This was from 1965

Earlier years this Army one may be my overall favorite though. Army vs navy from 1930.

Or as seen in this great colorized pic by I think it was George. Man I love that Army uni.

In the Life Archives, most of the Army/Navy photos ones are from 1954.

The Roger Staubach ones have some good color pics of Navy.


But Larry isn’t done. He has a bunch of colorizations he’d like to share with us:

That is from 1929. I just did this one recently.

That is from 1963. I did it long ago.

Another early attempt.

1931 from Football Illustrated so not good quality. Again one my early attempts.

The actual color pic from 1938 with Navy in dark pants and gold jerseys.


And of course, no contribution from Larry would be complete without one of his famous, patented photo albums.

Thanks Larry!

And now, six things from Jim Vilk…


Army Vs. Navy 5 & 1

Jim Vilk’s All Army/Navy 5 & 1

And what college football post would be complete without a full 5 & 1 rundown? (Don’t answer that)

But we’ve got one anyway, and here it is, a post that’s been like 121 years in the making … the one and only “All Army vs. Navy 5 & 1″…

Here’s Movi


There are exceptions, of course (and hooo, boy, are you going to see some of those in this list), but if you’re like me, when you think Army/Navy you think of one team in a dark jersey, one team in a white jersey and lots of gold. From the cheap seats, you can tell Army by the stripe on the helmet; otherwise it could look a *tiny* bit like an intrasquad scrimmage. Will that look win the day, or will something non-traditional top the list? Let’s see…

Honorable Mentions to 1982 — Once every four years, the Black Knights need to break out those striped black helmets…

And to 1993 — …and Navy needs to break out those blue-white-blue unis… but NOT in the same year.

5. 2010 — I like the Red For Marines’ Sake, and all the unit patches each player wears.

4. 1944 — Another blue helmet for Navy…this time with a gold stripe.

3. 1970 — One of my first sports-related memories is watching this game, so color me sentimental.

2. 1995 — It might bring back painful memories for their fans, but Midshipmen in white unis kind of makes sense.

1. 1960 — Shoulder stripes, sleeve numbers and an anchor helmet logo vs. helmet numbers! AND yard lines numbered every five yards!!

And the bad one: 1890 — Well, at least the hats were nice…


I was for sure expecting one of the prior year’s Pro Combat’s to make the bad one. Kudos to you for finding something worse.

And just in case you haven’t seen enough A/N unis…Jim thought you’d appreciate this wonderful page.


Navy 1

Army vs. Navy, 2011

OK, so now that you’ve seen that great stuff from Ricko, Larry & Jimmer, it’s time to take a look at what they’ve worn recently, and what they’ll be wearing today. The whole “pro combat” thing actually started a few years ago, before it was even called pro combat, back in 2008. That was a fairly new concept (special unis), even for Army/Navy, even for swooshie. It may have even been the impetus for Nike’s single handed attempt to ruin college football uniforms future “pro combat” line it launched (by name, anyway) in 2009.

Nike didn’t introduce any “new” uniforms for the 2009 game, but Navy reprised their 2008 look, only this time wearing a navy top instead of white. In 2010, Army got new unis, and turned a few heads when they went full head-to-toe camo for a game against VMI. Wow. We uni watchers were wondering what both teams might have in store for last year’s game, but surprisingly (or perhaps not), Army wore their standard uni while Navy went back to their 2008 look, again. In 2008, both teams uniforms were a bit of a surprise, but this year — we know. And here it is:



Gotta say, I like ’em. I love Army’s helmet, (though I could do without the huge, thick stripe down the middle), and the number font and comp sleeves are great — bet not a lot of guys actually wear that look, but we’ll see. I’m not a fan of the faux combat boot look generated by the socks & shoes. I get where they’re going — but I don’t like it. Navy’s helmet is just as good, but they too have that big thick stripe … I do like the ‘battleship number’ font (about the only time I’ll accept drop shadow), and while not generally a fan of navy monochrome, on Navy it seems fitting. I did like the shoulder boards, which depicted the wings of the Blue Angel plane, and the replica Marine Corps Elegant Dress Pants with the fold and red officer blood stripe running down each pant leg they’ve worn in the past, but this is pretty nice too. Grades? A solid “B+/B” for Army, and a “B” for Navy.

Now…let the game begin.


50 Years Ago This Week

50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Back again with Rick Pearson who is here to bring us his look at the featured ABC television college football matchup from 50 years ago. As always, Rick documented the game via his “kid cards”. Here’s Rick to tell us about it.


Dec. 9, 1961”¦The GOTHAM BOWL (Baylor “at” Utah State)

12-9-61 KId Card

Great mooglie-ooglie, the Gotham Bowl!!! With Army-Navy playing last week, the Bowl season already was upon us. …Think “meaningless” bowl games are something new? Imagine how America was looking forward to seeing Utah State in the only college game on TV this weekend…Organizers had attempted a first Gotham Bowl in 1960, but nobody showed up. …A number of teams were invited, and politely refused the opportunity to play in New York in December (the lack of palm trees likely a contributing factor). …Anyway, for 1961 Baylor and Utah State DID agree to visit, and the first ever (insert fanfare) Gotham Bowl was played…at the Polo Grounds. …A search of the Internet turned up zero photos from the game (little help here, LarryB?), but supposedly 15,000 folks were on hand, which means the game possibly outdrew the Titans of New York at the venerable old venue…The unis? Both teams broke out cold weather stirrups (striped) to wear under their crews (just as now, very few teams regularly wore high socks), with Baylor sporting the overall look that for so long has been their trademark. …Interesting and relatively unique decorative knit trim on sleeve ends and at neck, though. …The players? Ronnie Bull went on to a decent career with the Chicago Bears as their feature back until Gale Sayers came along. …Bill Dahme didn’t play pro football. …The Aggies’ Father Murphy did, though.


Thanks Rick. Can’t imagine why there wouldn’t be a lot of coverage of this game, 50 years ago. But we have your documentation to prove it, and we’re all the better for it.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

And so, lets begin:


Couple old ones that have been kicking around in my other e-mail account today. We start with Jeremy Zeiders, who sent this in soon after Michigan State went pro combat. He thought they should go full Sparta. You never go full Sparta:

Nike says they went back to ancient Sparta for inspiration in designing Michigan State’s Pro Combat uniforms. I say they didn’t go far enough. Nike has has no conscience with regard to introducing off-the-wall design elements, so is my concept really that far-fetched? Probably, but as a Michigan fan I’ll welcome any opportunity to take a dig at Michigan State.

I’ve attached my version of the Spartan Pro Combat uniform. I also wrote a Nike-esque press release to go along with it. You can see the press release here.

Jeremy Zeiders


Next up is Marc Douglas, who had sent this to Paul, who forwarded it to me. Here are your Dallas Cowboys:

I am tweaking the Dallas Cowboys today. As you know, and you have written about, the Cowboys have very many odd nuances about their design. I love the Primary Helmet. That rivals any helmet ever in the NFL. That being said, It bothers me that there are different color blues threw-out the uniform. The blue away jersey arm striping with the star is very 90’s and needs to go away. The tweak today takes care of that problem, along with some double-piping that you will see in some photos. I have taken the Thanksgiving/1960’s Helmet and made it the primary helmet, and totally revamped the Thanksgiving Uniform.

The Home Uni: We all know that Tex wanted the Cowboys to wear white so that the fans could see the away colors for all the teams coming in to Texas Stadium. With this I am putting the Home back in the color jersey . The first Picture shows the new home uni. The face mask is blue. and the piping on the Sleeves is gone. the blues are the same color.

Pic #2: the “Throwback” used by the cowboys is double pipes on the helmet. I used one…..a little penn state, but hey, whats wrong with that! also notice NOF is Dallas. As you are aware this town loves its name and state. Mavericks only use Dallas, and The future WS Champs use Txxas on both home and Road…and yeah..the stars too. So why not the Cowboys..all my “new” jerseys have that Dallas word-mark

Pic#3: this is the “away: uni…ala Texas Longhorns Storm Trooper uni. All white pants with one pipe. TV numbers are gone and replaced on the sleeve.

Pic#4: The word-mark along with the Blue star on the collar. does not look like it in this pic, but the blues are the same color. after I took this pic I noticed it looks like the back of the Mavs white jersey.

Pic#5: My Thanksgiving Uni. The blues do not look the same in this, but they are..its was a bad pic, and it game decided to rain. the Pants are silver, with no piping

PiC #6: The numbers and NOB are the same silver. no outlines for the numbers.

pic #7: please excuse the nike on the faceguard..not intentional. I personally would love to see this helmet in real life. I took the piping out to give it that old fashion look. silver facemask and chinstrap.

I love the star with no outline.

Thanks for your time. I appreciate all that you do for us. your site, and espn posts are first priority in the morning!

Marc Douglas


And we close today with my Sunday NCAA Uni Watch roundup buddy, Terry Duroncelet, who’s got some college unis for us:

Trying a couple of college football ideas this time around.

-When I saw Ohio State’s 2010 Pro Combat uniforms, I was very pleased with the result (although the grey tube socks are unflattering with the grey pants), especially when you compare 2010 to 2009 and 2011 (the scarlet wraparound crap on the ’09 and ’11 pants ruined what are otherwise great AmPac suits). I have no shame in saying that they should adopt “Scarlet Soldier 2010” as their full-time uniform (with some tweaks, of course).

1) The first thing that they should do is remove the American flag on the sleeve and put this logo on both sleeves.
2) Keep the pewter grey pants (which have no wraparound stripes whatsoever), as they are significantly darker than the silver that they currently use (they are the “Scarlet and GREY”, right?).
3) They should mandate white crew socks with black cleats (the college look) for full time use, home and road.
4) Keep the general basis of the current silver lid (and the stripe, too), but darken the shell so that it matches the pants and actually looks grey. Don’t lose those Buckeye stickers, though!
5) Repeat Steps 1-4 for the road uni.

The result is this. That took me a good 4 1/2-5 hours to make. It was tough trying to find a pair of pants and a helmet that would cooperate with that dark of a grey, plus I had to hand paint the numbers for the road jersey, so they look really trashy. However, I did have fun putting the Buckeye leaves on the helmet. Overall? I’m really happy with the result (mainly the home uniform), and I firmly believe that this is what the Buckeyes should wear full-time. What do you guys think?

-I understand Hayden Fry’s reasoning for modeling the Hawkeyes’ uniforms after the Steelers, but I think it’s time for a change. When I saw Tim’s take on Iowa a short while back, I really liked it, and thought of something to do for them.

1) I went back to the old 1958 National Championship unis (which they wore against Ball State last year) with the stripes sublimated into the compression shirt.
2) I kept the black Tigerhawk helmet that they’ve had since 1979, and added a gold version to the mix.
3) I kept the tube sock theme for both unis, because:
-a) They’re one of the few (if not only) college teams that mandate NFL-style socks, and I want to continue that.
-b) Kinnick Stadium uses FieldTurf, which can cause rug burn (I found that out after some of the Penn State players wore single sleeves on one leg after a previous game on FieldTurf). You don’t want rug burn at home.
4) I repeated the sleeve patterns on the socks (as shown with Tim’s uni).

This is the outcome of those ideas. The Hydra (multi-helmet) Effect is actually one of the better modern things in college football uniform design today, IMO. When used for good, it has miles of potential ahead. Big thanks to Tim E. O’Brien for all of those research pics.

Hope you guys enjoy these ideas, and I’ll see you all next time.


That will definitely do it for today. Thanks to the tweakers concepters.


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Anchors Aweigh Over Hill Over Dale, or something…

12-10-11 d-ArmyNavy 11

And, the full-size.


OK, folks — we’re almost done. I realize this post was a little full, but that’s because I’m technically fitting two days into one — Paul’s giving me Sunday off (I have to pow wow with the ‘other’ boss for a good portion of today, and Monday I not only have a final paper but also a presentation due for Media Ethics & Law, so that will take up the remainder of my weekend). Sorry about no colorizations today — I promise I’ll run them next weekend (and I’ve already received a great bunch).

There’s one last bit of uni news — lest you think we forgot:

The Utah Jazz introduced a new alternate uniform. Paul will have more to say on that tomorrow. He also assures me there will be no makers mark on the actual jersey the team will wear.

Everyone enjoy the game today, and I’ll see you next weekend!


“Us bike geeks are every bit as nerdy as us unigeeks except for the Chris Creamer board geeks who make Trekkies look normal.” — All The Way Ray

Comments (160)

    Army needs a damn helmet logo.

    Navy looks good.

    /And to Marc Douglas, if you’re using EA’s NCAA Teambuilder to do uniform concepts, just take a screenshot on the webpage instead of a photo of your TV – it’s easier and you won’t have the in-game lighting & color issues.

    Yes, they do. Everyone needs a helmet logo of some kind. Blank helmets are for high schools that can’t afford decals.

    *Most* football teams need a helmet logo. I would consider it the rare exception that you don’t, but not as a typical option. I’d say if you’ve never had one by now, you shouldn’t get one; grandfather clause.

    I know today in our over-saturation of media & over self-branding & self-whoring the idea of a subtle and brandless helmet is unthinkable. Maybe, but sometimes less is more.

    I really don’t see how our lives would improve if the Browns, Penn State & Notre Dame had helmet logos.

    I’d guess my question would be do you see the logo serving a function or are they purely decorative?

    I think that examples like the Browns, Penn State, Army, etc., show that they aren’t necessary to identify the teams.

    If it’s purely decorative, is that ever actually necessary? Might be nice, but I don’t see them as necessary.

    If there was ever a team or institution that would emphasize function and de-emphasize decoration, I’d think it’d be Army.

    The truth, of course, is that just everyone has a thing or two that bugs them.

    I grew up in an era where, most times, dark pants were for high school football teams who couldn’t spare the time and expense to keep light-colored pants clean.

    And black socks are for Mr. Fineberg raking the lawn wearing his plaid shorts.

    …assuming that it stands for West Point, that’d be fine. (Ignoring the giant WTF of calling anything in New York “West”, of course)

    Apropos of nothing, but….what was the last baseball team to wear a logoless cap?

    In these times, the resistance of unnecessary clutter should be applauded wherever we see it.

    I moved to a new high school when I was a junior. The football team had no logo on their helemt. It bugged the hell out of me. Of course, I didn’t say anything to anyone. (As far as I know, none of you guys were around. ;) ) So I suffered in silence.

    The following year, they added some odd looking “A” as a logo, rendered in what I truly believe was blue masking tape. I was both pleased an appalled. Finally some branding, some identity….but…it felt like LFLS.

    You know, Logo For Logos Sake. Kinda like that (thankfully) aborted Browns CB thing.

    Well, no logo is better than a BAD logo.

    But still, to me, a blank helmet screams either cheap or uncreative. It’s either “we can’t come up with a good logo” or “we’re too cheap to buy decals”. Neither of those are a good thing. I’m not saying that Army should put a duct tape A on their helmet, but since they actually have an acceptable A logo, they should use it.

    A helmet logo can be clutter, if it’s a cluttered logo. But I don’t see the blank helmet as cheap. I think it looks classy.

    In the very specific case of the Cleveland Browns, I think the logoless helmet, in and of itself, serves as the team’s logo…

    I just glanced at Okkonen (sp?) and thought it was the ’45 Browns but I’ll have to check…you could be right….

    I saw a home white and a road grey cap, both with just orange piping and brown bill.

    No logos, but they say ‘Brownies’ just as surely as a white helmet says Penn State.

    Army does NOT need a helmet logo.
    They need helmet *numbers*.

    On the whole, today’s unis are good. My only quibbles:
    – Navy would look much much better with white pants.

    – As mentioned above, put numbers on Army’s helmets.

    – Enough with the glove thing.

    And I almost put the 2008 matchup in the Top 5. The camo numbers were easily seen on the black jerseys, and hey, if any team should wear camo it’s a service academy team.

    Speaking of numbers, Phil and I finally agree on a font. I have no quibble with Army’s stencil font. It’s not pointy, freaky or hard to read. Also agreed that Navy’s drop shadow is appropriate.

    Helmet numbers are indeed nice. Too bad it’s antiquated on a professional level & seems collegiate.

    But what bugs me the most about football uniforms is when there is a logo on the shoulders that matches the helmet. No need for that to ever happen.

    IMO…Navy would have looked better with the navy blue hats with the gold hat decal, otherwise they looked good to me.

    Navy’s uni with white pants would be a beauty for the ages. Instead, they’ll look like monochrome dopes with a cool helmet.

    Army really, really does not need a helmet logo.

    A few months ago I wrote about how I made a Navy midshipmen helmet. Well, $35 later, I’ve managed to get hold of some decals for the Pro Combat shell, so once the weather improves, I shall be having a go at recreating that!

    At first I didn’t like the Navy pro combat efforts, due to the monochrome blue. Then some things warmed to me.

    The battleship numbers. A nice touch.

    Don’t tread on me. (the helmet decal and the red and white under armor).

    The back of the cleats (which has BEAT ARMY spelt out in semaphore)

    I like the number fonts for both teams, although I’d have to say that Navy would look better with white numbers instead of gold, the way they would be on a battleship (or a destroyer, cruiser, PT boat, etc.).

    On pretty much any other team, I’d hate the white/blue/blue combo, but on Navy, link.

    For once, I think I grade them the same way that Phil does.

    A white version would be cool.

    Or…since GFGS is the new in thing, how about a battleship gray jersey with white drop shadowed numbers?

    Agreed with Jimbo – both fonts are good.

    I love the Buckeye concepts. I have wanted OSU to go to a more true shade of grey for a long time. I have enjoyed the silver helmets and it lends itself well to the Solver Bullets nickname the defense uses, but OSU is Scarlet and Grey and should be represented as such. The buckeye leaf O logo on the sleeve is a nice touch. OSU has gone away from using the leaf as a logo (except the helmet stickers) for a long time. We are the Buckeye State after all. I would love to see that re-emphasized on Ohio State branding. It hasn’t been used since the 80’s.

    You need stripes on the pants… but other than that it’s cool. I definitely agree that OSU should be wearing gray instead of silver.

    /the merit stickers help make up for the lack of helmet logo

    Thanks, men, for the equivalent of Eggs Benedict and aBloody Mary at the Saturday Brunch special at the Cafe Deluxe down at Broadway & 112th. Tasty, luxurious, mood-altering. Larry, that Navy colorization from the 1920s is insane. (What are those mini oil rig-like things?)

    And Ricko, God won’t forget your single-handed labor to remember the Gotham Bowl.

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t pointed to the Utah State unis and remarked, “Hey, that’s what Penn State would look like with striped pants!”

    I was just marveling at how they looked so much better back then. Now they look like a blue & white version of Miami.


    First thing I thought of. And No luck finding pics of that bowl game for me so far. I wonder if a Utah State site or Baylor site may have any?

    Thanks Connie, Not sure what the rig like structures were supposed to be. I enjoyed dping that colorization.

    Speaking of defunct bowls, one of my favorites was the Garden State Bowl, played at Giants Stadium. I recall a miserable day when California played Temple, around 1980.

    If you look at the program cover at the top of the page you linked to, you can actually see a picture of the Cal-Temple game. (Note the stripes on the Temple pants).

    Yes! As seen on fuzzy UHF stations nationwide; syndicated by TVS Sports…

    Er…I should know this….but is the Astrodome still standing?

    Just thinking out loud here, but with all the news and “de-emphasis” of football at Penn State, I wonder if they are going to come out with “modern uni’s” as a symbol of change. I wonder if Nike has already pitched and how the alumni would take it…

    I would hope that it wouldn’t take some scandal to make it bigger than the all the history & tradition of the football program.

    Yeah, what a proud tradition they have… a whopping 2 National Championships and 3 Big Ten championships.. oh how horrible it would be for them to modify their uniforms a bit to distance themselves from the recent disgusting scandal.

    Just change the white to a cream color. A subtle change to signify they’re not as pure as the driven snow…

    That’s a terrible attitude, Jeff. No man is bigger than any university to take down a program. Scandals come and go. I really don’t give a shit about how many championships or bowls they’ve won or haven’t won. The fact of the matter is there is a lot of tradition and precedence on the football uniform. They don’t need to turn into another typical college or Oregon. Football is more important than the uniform, and that’s a fine stance for Penn State – they should stick to that.

    Only opportunists with their own biased agenda look to make change for the sake of change.

    I hope not.

    Penn State football is bigger than Joe Paterno.

    Changing their uniform would visually mark this scandal permanently in their history.

    Actually… not really. Their uniform did change (albeit rather subtly) during Paterno’s reign. A relatively minor change, like bringing back helmet numbers or adding a helmet logo without touching the rest of the uniform or using a bit of piping or adding a pant stripe, etc… wouldn’t really look *that* out of place in their uniform history.

    No, John is right. Radically changing the uniform would be a constant reminder to everyone to the unfortunate incidents. Time heals wounds.

    Did I say radically? Do you really feel that this: link would be a “radical” change?

    /and almost all uniform changes are “change for change sake”. Seriously. Teams change uniforms because they want to. Only in rare cases (like the brown & yellow Broncos) do teams actually need to change uniforms.

    Also, it seems there’s some confusion between “change” and “redesign” in this discussion.

    Certainly not the same thing.

    Besides (and I know this sounds like splitting hairs), but so far there are no NCAA violations in the Penn State scandal. Crimes, almost certainly. But that’s not for the NCAA to address. Not specifically, anyway.

    And an argument can be made that the program going on, without some sort of watershed re-working, might be exactly what Penn State SHOULD do.

    Not everything needs it’s own version of a “patch”…if you know what I mean.

    >> link

    Jesus christ, yes, that would be a radical change. That’s why I meant & said “radical”. Considering that Penn State has so few uni elements, changing the collar & cuffs color was about as much as you could change without wrecking / vastly altering it. Some might even say those changes were wrong & unnecessary – tho I doubt many lost sleep over it, but still it probably didn’t need to be done.

    I see Jeff just has a causal ‘no big deal’ attitude towards Penn State probably because it’s Penn State. He doesn’t seem to care. “Slap a crummy logo on the helmet? – no big deal.”

    If that’s radical, then every other uniform change must be ludicrous, complete with the fabric of space-time turning plaid.

    When the NFL’s Tampa Bay went from orange to pewter, it must’ve created a completely new universe. We’re lucky to have even survived that one.

    Jeff, by Penn State standards, that *is* radical change. Know the precedence that’s been set. It’d be like adding a white placket piping Yankees home alternate jersey. You got some Ohio over Pennsylvania bias or something?

    Don’t have a screencap to prove it but Twitter corroborating a misspelt NOB in Scottish soccer today, as Rangers’ Nikica Jelavić wore JELVIĆ (with accent!).

    Jelavic/Jelvic scored two goals in his misspelt debut.

    Just imagine the game he’d have NNOB!

    My favorite Army/Navy moment involved an undetonated bomb. Col. Blake gave Trapper an incorrect instruction and the bomb blew. Fortunately it was only filled with CIA propaganda.
    Father Mulcahy won the pool. He was the only one who bet on Navy.

    Washington/Duke hoops on CBS now. The Huskies are wearing the BFBS unis with purple numbers. Unless they show a closeup, I can’t make out their numbers at all.

    LOL, like anyone cares about college basketball when it’s not March.

    I did flip over though… and while those numbers are more difficult to make out than Duke’s, they aren’t *that* bad. No worse than the Chicago Bulls black numbers on red jerseys, anyway. (and that uniform is a “classic”, isn’t it?)

    There’s a huge difference between black on red and black on a fairly dark blue.

    That being said, white on red works a link.


    About four and a half hours until IU/Kentucky…

    Cripes. You’re talking about Washington, not Duke. Duh.

    But never mind that. Holy shit. You really think those are just as easy to read as black on red?

    Yes. Yes I do. I can read those numbers just fine on every view closer than the full half-court shot.

    Yeah, white would be a lot easier, but I could deal with these if I cared enough to actually watch the rest of the game.

    Standard TV… pfft…I haven’t had to watch anything on one of those in at least 4 years…. heck, no one who cares about the details of sports uniforms should still have one of those now anyway. On Black Friday you could get a 40″ HD set for under $300, if you’re still using an SDTV it’s your own problem.

    I can read those numbers just fine on every view closer than the full half-court shot.

    You should be able to read them on the full half-court shot, too. That was my whole point.

    And standard TV rocks. Don’t expect me to go out and buy a big HDTV anytime soon.

    It’s WAY easier to see the numbers on a Bulls jersey than it is on the UW jerseys. There’s no way you can say they’re equal.

    You’re right. I should TOTALLY have gone to walmart and maced a few rednecks to score a 40″ TV…

    for my kitchen.

    And you people in the blue seats at the Garden would have been wise to do the same.

    …so don’t watch TV in the kitchen? How much attention can you really pay to the game if you’re cooking anyway?

    Fine, if you’re stuck on a shitty 20yr old TV, you can’t read those numbers. But as often as basketball broadcasts zoom in, it’s really not that big of a problem.

    Personally, I don’t give enough of a fuck about this game to let it bother me, but Washington looks like crap. Their numbers are illegible, even in some shots on an HD set. You even said so yourself.

    So your argument is pretty weak, but that’s nothing new, is it?

    As for your insinuation that I’m a bad uni watcher or whatever because I don’t have wall-to-wall HD? Fine. I’m a bad uni watcher.

    And anyone reading this that can’t afford a “proper” television? I guess you’re not welcome here.

    “LOL, like anyone cares about college basketball when it’s not March.”

    And there’s a classic dense Jeff line – “I don’t care, so why the hell would anybody else?”

    That’s not how it is. And yeah, I watch sports on a standard old TV with no plans to upgrade to HDTV too. Uniforms still need to be functional on a level still needs to be universal and not tailored to whatever tv Best Buy is selling today.

    How the hell did that happen? What I meant to say was…

    On the subject of “plain” helmets, it could be argued that the Bears have the plainest helmet in the NFL.

    – no contrasting-color facemask
    – no stripe/decoration down the center
    – no player numbers

    Even the logo itself is very plain. It’s just a letter rendered in two colors, one of which is a simple outline — no dropshadows or gradients or sparkles or such.

    Great post, Phil, Ricko, Larry and Jim.

    — Anybody know whom Navy is playing in the 1938 color photo? Also: Is the site Annapolis? (This is the kind of deep-knowledge question I know I can ask here.)

    — When I saw that the Internet failed to deliver on the 1961 Gotham Bowl, and I went to the wonderful, because I remembered it having color photos from the 1962 Gotham Bowl:


    Good Lord, everybody just looks miserable. Small wonder turnout for The U and Nebraska at Yankee Stadium in December was so sparse. At least when the Packers and Giants repeated the feat in the month, it was for the NFL championship. Great photos, though.

    Yeah, Miami goes to New York for a bowl game (’62 Gotham)?

    Shouldn’t take much time to spot the flaw in that logic, huh.

    Ha! Yes, in lieu of probation for recruiting violations, the punishment was the Gotham Bowl.

    TA. I do think you are right. I found William and Mary from 1938 and in b&w the unis look like those.

    Good detective work

    I can’t say I like that. Too much like Oregon. What are the shoulders supposed to be, claw marks?

    No it’s a Nike template. If you’ve ever messed around with the uni design site you would have seen it before.

    Nah, I doubt it. Why would Mizzou use a stock template like the Nike Pro Combat 1.0 uniforms? Especially since they have their own template already (as overused as it is). That’s probably a fake ordered by some random dude.

    Does anyone else think the Jazz’ uni numbers look like they were an afterthought? It looks like the rest of the uniform was produced professionally but left blank; then, the equipment manager ran down to the local sporting goods store and had the cheapest font ironed on. I’m all for “simple,” and I otherwise like the uniforms, but that number font (especially without piping) screams “beer league.”

    I sort of agree. The font itself is fine, but the numbers ought to get the same color/outline/shadow treatment as the Jazz wordmark.

    I guess I could live with the font if they conformed it to the wordmark. Is that particular font used by any other pro franchise, or only on the occasional David Robertson jersey?

    Watching the Montana State/Sam Houston State game right now and MSU is wearing that weird collar into chest stripe design that I first noticed with the McMaster Mauraders link out who won the Vanier Cup. How long has this design from Nike been out?

    Really like the New Orleans Jazz alts.

    Wonder if this year was an opportunity (like some other instances) for one of the service academies to change helmets because quarterbacks are throwing to helmet colors and not necessarily to jerseys (think Joe Ferguson and red helmets for Buffalo).

    Surprised nobody put up a pic of the Army camo helmets of recent vintage (yeah, they’re ugly, but not Maryland UA ugly).

    BTW — Connie, I’d be interested in your thoughts on the #24 Crimson’s gratuitous use of solid black road uniforms. Can’t be called BFBS, since black is a Harvard color, but the team is nicknamed “CRIMSON.”

    (Or, consistent with Paul’s “appealing to 17-year-olds” theory, should I credit the black duds for the obviously improved recruiting that has launched Harvard into the Top 25??)

    From the official Harvard sports website:


    You’d be hard-pressed to find any Harvard uniform without some black in it. Don’t know if one exists.

    Yeah, well it’s still not a school color. Harvard’s colors are link.

    Because it’s been used as a trim color does not mean that they get a pass on the BFBS thing.


    How dare someone unify the colors the Cowboys wear, I mean, since they win the Super Bowl every year and the uniforms are the reason for it, they better not change them at all… ever.

    Tough call, Timmy.

    Love, love, love the stripes down the sleeve on the Army compression shirts.

    If this is what Nike is bringing to the NFL, I confess that I could acquiesce on a lot of amateur pacifism.

    Unfortunately the numbers for Navy are hard to see. The helmets and the jersey/pants combo looks cool – just the numbers are hard to see. Army’s uni, with those SLEEVES, is pretty sweet!

    What are the refs doing in this pic? I’m assuming they’re signalling a touchdown, but it looks like they’re using the rugby signal for a try.


    Funny you ask that. I was watching some old Army Navy clips on You Tube and the refs made some funny signals long ago for TD.

    Good question. I wonder if it’s in the same category as a guy crossing the goal line, then sitting down, as I’ve seen Red Grange do in the newsreels: One of those football customs that faded away.

    I have seen referees from games before 1949 (the year of the photo in question) signal a touchdown with two arms upraised, so I’m further puzzled.

    I think it’s linesman-specific.


    At about the 1:18 mark of this clip, a touchdown is scored. The linesman signals with only his left arm — which is his arm closest to the end zone, I notice — the referee walks into shot and signals with two arms.

    They’re probably just doing what they always do – raising their arms to mark the spot of the ball. While it happens to be in the endzone, maybe linemen at the time were just supposed to make the ball while the ref or umpire were supposed to rule on/mark touchdowns.

    Did the President of the United States do the coin toss at your game? No? Well, your game isn’t quite as special then, is it?

    Werder Bremen of the Bundesliga wore the Christmas tree “W” badge instead of their normal diamond “W” badge against VfL Wolfsburg today.

    They’ve done this the past couple of seasons.


    Walking through my memory here.

    The last time either Army or Navy had a true dropback QB probably was when Leamon Hall was the QB at West Point…right?

    From that article…

    On a boulder outside Michie Stadium is a plaque that reads, “I want an officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player.” — General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff U.S. Army, World War II.

    Love that quote.

    I also love this one, from MacArthur after Army won in ’44: “The greatest of all Army teams. We have stopped the war to celebrate your magnificent success.”

    I’d like to see a true dropback passer come to Army or Navy one of these years. It would be great to see some passing…as we are almost at halftime and there has been 1 pass attempt.

    You say that as if it’s a bad thing…

    Enjoy the option before it goes the way of the dinosaur. Both teams running it is yet another thing that makes this game special.

    Football at its best. Lance Mcilhenny was the best option QB in the history of the formation…yes even better than Thomas Lott, JC Watts and Jamele Holloway!!!!!

    From what I’ve heard about Johnny U’s time in Steelers training camp, finding footage of him playing (instead of merely posing) in black and gold would be harder than finding photos of the 1961 Gotham Bowl.

    Sorry, CWac and JTH, I don’t know how to do nesting (or spooning or whatever) on my iPhone, so sorry if this appears unrelated to earlier items re Harvard.

    When schools started having colors, the general rule was you got a single color. Princeton and Penn were notable exceptions. And despite what the DoA website says, the only Harvard color is crimson, defined by Pres Abbott Lawrence as “arterial blood” color. JTH is right.

    But CWas and DoA are right in the sense that black has a long history as a color offsetting the crimson. Harvard had a long period of black leather helmets, black numerals (or white numerals iutlined in black), and all varsity sweaters were and remain black wool with a crimson H outlined in white. So black has a Cantab pedigree, but I sure prefer the all-crimson for basketball…

    Connie, the Crimson have also had a non-school color for the football pants for decades, haven’t they? You can spot those khaki/canvas/sand-colored pants in the 29-29 “win.”

    We discussed that a while back. That was the era of generic, khaki/muslin-colored football pants. Darn near the color of cold-weather workmen’s bib overall these days (snowboarders used to wear them a lot; don’t know if they still do).

    Harvard has continued to wear an approximation of that color as a nod to just how long they’ve been playing college football.

    Ah! I had a feeling it was something like that. I suppose that when your school has existed since the 17th century, you’re predisposed to preserve traditions.

    My personal favorite Army-Navy matchup in terms of uniforms was the 2008 game.


    I loved how both teams evoked the looks of their military uniforms. But the 2010 game also looked good, and today’s game looks good as well.

    2010 was my favorite. Army in one of the best unis in college football today, and Navy in their “Marine” road alts. The classy use of red, the white tube socks (coming from the guy who HATES stripeless white tubes on a football uniform), and a REAL block font, instead of that crappy Athletic Block (as it’s called on the Nike Team Uniform Builder site) that they link (even though that was a pic of the 2009 game).

    I must say today’s Army Navy game looks good. I think somebody posts about Navy’s pants would look better white. That could be so. But both teams look sharp today.

    I’m one of those people. White pants and slightly lighter numbers would have been awesome. Still good, though.

    i’d like to say i just won the lottery, got a raise, or even got laid…

    but no

    army covered…so im real happy…and now for about 30 hours of research/writing…later all

    One thing to note on the navy helmets this year that was not readily apparent from the promo photos (and explains the big gold stripe):

    Down the backside of the helmet’s stripe, it turns into gold downward-pointing chevrons, emulating the navy enlisted rank insignia. that’s why the stripe was so wide. i’m sure you can get plenty of screencaps for your project if you need them. i, too, didn’t like the stripe till i saw the payoff in game

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