By Phil Hecken
Welcome to the first Sunday Morning Uni Watch of the season. I won’t even waste any more of your time with an intro, because my SMUW buddy, Terry Duroncelet is back with the first of what is always the highlight of the College Football Uniform Watching season. So…here’s TJ with his…
Sunday Morning Uni Watch — Week I
By Terry Duroncelet
Guess who you guys are stuck with for the next four months again? =3
I’m back for another year of bringing you my college football observations… plus the occasional pony reference once in a while. I’ll be honest, I thought that there would be a delay in bringing you guys the first SMUW of the season because of this. I didn’t know if I was gonna lose power for an extended period of time, but it turns out that I experienced six power outages, all of which lasted a half-second at the most, so it was only about three seconds of no power overall. But overall, I lucked out (except for all of the branches that I have to clean up in my front and back yard -_- ), and I’m ready for a second year of Sunday Morning Uni Watch. With those things out of the way…
Let’s kick this thing off with Thursday’s games:
-Vanderbilt took the field in their new uniforms against South Carolina. I rather like the full-Vader look for Vandy, but that’s because everything matches. Would’ve been a tragedy if they came out in mono-black with white helmets.
-Rice… *sigh*. It’s sad to see such a wonderful uniform be sullied by the TechFit bug (although I dig the mural-shirts). Speaking of, UCLA (the Owls’ opponents) continues to wear TechFit this year, which means more UCLA
Stripes Nubs. But other changes include: The navy blue outline from last two years is gone from this year’s white set. My response to that? Another thing about the numbers is they look to have to a slightly-rounded look to them. Not bad, actually. And this may be the result of a bad memory (or an old T.V.), but it looks like that the Bruins’ pants are slightly darker this year compared to last year’s beige pants. A lateral push overall, but I just don’t recognize the Bruins all that well these days.
-UMass vs. UConn. UMass football is now an FBS program, so you gotta look the part of an FBS program. While I’m not a fan of the bodysuit fabric, this is a huge improvement over what they used to wear. They — like most Adidas TechFit-wearing teams — had the tiny T.V. numbers on the “sleeves”.
-BYU’s unis look the same in their game against Washington State, except that they switched to the Nike Pro Combat v3.0 template (Flywire collar included). I noticed that they have a pennant patch that says “NCAA” (hard to see, but it’s there). I know that they’re an Independent, but I’ve never seen any of the FBS Independents wear a pennant patch for that. Has this happened in the past before and I just never noticed?
-Minnesota came out in their new unis against UNLV, and they look every as bit as awesome on the field as they did in the promo vids! And that’s just the mono-white look. Imagine how their gold pants would look! A nice way to introduce yourselves to the Silver State. Something that I noticed while watching the game was Keanon Cooper wearing deceased player Gary Tinsley’s #51 instead of his usual #4. There was no NOB, and his normal number was on the back of his helmet, so I’m assuming that the number will be worn by a different player each game. Cooper was Tinsley’s roommate. Also, you know about those custom-made sleeves on the Nike site? Some players had those with “GT51” on them in memory of Tinsley. UNLV had new uniforms in addition to the new helmets mentioned a while back. A nice upgrade from last year, although I’m disappointed that they still use that crappy Athletic Block font. Get a real block font, and you have a perfect uni! The Rebel Girls performed a routine during the game wearing these shirts. Are these normal? Overall, a nice-looking game.
Moving on to Friday:
-NC State and Tennessee went color vs. color in the first of two Chick-fil-A Kickoff games. The contrast wasn’t as brutal as I thought it was gonna be, since the Wolfpack went full-blood clot, instead of white/red/white. Tennessee had those rather cool mural-shirts with the checkered endzone pattern on them.
-Michigan State and Boise State faced off in a pretty sweet-looking game. The Broncos wore their best road uniform (IMO); blue helmets (big bronco on one side, helmet number on the other), white jerseys, and orange pants. Another thing of note is that instead of using last year’s Nike Pro Combat jersey tops as the full-time roads, they went out and got new white jersey tops, which have a normal collar logo instead of the shield w/ logo, and matching sleeves instead of the right sleeve making up the “missing” part of the Nike PC helmets. I kinda miss last year’s white tops, but they still looked sweet =) As for Michigan State, I have to admit that I don’t hate the wraparound effect on that pant “stripe” as much as I used to, but it’s still a weird look. The Spartans also wore their alternate green tops.
-San Jose State played Stanford using their new helmets with the spear as a helmet stripe (best shot I could find). Not bad. Good on ya, Spartans.
And now for the true day of college goodness… SATURDAY.
-Navy and Notre Dame played in that highly-anticipated game in Ireland, and HOLY COW!!! Their uniforms were… the same. Okay, to be fair, Navy technically did get new uniforms. They moved their current uniform to the Nike Pro Combat v3.0 template, Flywire collar and all. This resulted in the collar going from gold last year to navy blue this year. The “NAVY” on the front is smaller (that’s literally the best pic I could find), more like last year’s Pro Combat unis, although they still use that crappy Athletic Block font (side note: I mentioned that font earlier. Is “Athletic Block” the correct name for that particular block font, or is there a different name? Please and thank you in advance). They also had navy socks while playing against the Fighting Irish, who still have the best helmets in college football (IMO). ND of course had plenty of flag-themed gear to flash. The pants look darker than last year, which is a nice improvement.
-My favorite thing in college football besides ND golden domes are Northwestern’s new uniforms. So awesome! =D I don’t even mind the missing notch in the the side panels. I especially liked how almost about every player was on board with the undershirts. Their opponents, the Syracuse Orange, looked great as usual, so you have a very handsome game on your hands.
-I knew that Ohio’s green helmets were gonna look pretty good, but they well-exceeded my expectations and then some when I tuned in to see them play Penn State! When I tell you I Flutter-squeed so hard… Dear Ohio: please don’t get rid of those green helmets with the tiny white stripe… ever. Sincerely, me (also a great shot of that blue ribbon). As for Penn State, this is gonna take some getting used to.
-Bowling Green went full-Stormtrooper against Florida. Not bad.
-Iowa vs Northern Illinois: Iowa joins BYU and Navy as one of the teams that moved their current uniform to the Pro Combat template, only they’re using v2.0, which means no Flywire shoulders (v1.0) or collar (v3.0). I personally think that they wear this look a little better than the Steelers. The front numbers look smaller than usual (props to #32 for his cleats).
-We move on to the Nebraska/Southern Miss game. I know that Nebraska’s stripes have a tendency to arch a bit, but this year in particular, they look like shoulder stripes. What’s even weirder is that they might be able to wear “shoulder” stripes better than UCLA IMO. I’m sure you can feel the various degrees of “WAT” coming from me through your computer screen.
-Nice to see that Wisconsin hasn’t been bitten by the TechFit bug yet on a full-time basis.
-Cal wore white helmets and pants with their blue jerseys against Nevada. Eh, it’s a so-so look.
-Ole Miss wore their red tops.
-Temple went with UnderArmour’s current pant, which means that a small notch was cut off near the bottom. Lame, but those pants still look cool. And how sick does ‘Nova look?
-Here’s another chicken kickoff game for ya: Auburn vs. Clemson. And just like last night’s game between Tennessee and NC State, this was a color vs. color matchup. Funny how Auburn’s last game was a color vs. color game in the Chick-fil-A bowl.
-Stop the presses: Oklahoma State finally wore their normal white/orange/white look after not doing so last season!
-LSU’s SEC patch is on their collars this year, which I do remember them doing before, but I can’t remember when.
-USC has new uniforms as well as new footwear. They — like others mentioned earlier — moved their current design to the Pro Combat template (v3.0 in this case). Also in that game, Hawai’i removed the player names from their jerseys (that’s also a nice shot of that gold-ish facemask on USC that they were rumored to have).
-Mississippi State wore their new uniforms against Jackson State. A good number of players wore the ribboned/bannered undershirts, but not all. Still a neat uniform, though.
-UTEP went full-carrot against Oklahoma.
-What do you get when you teach two Oregon Ducks the Metamoran Fusion technique, have one wear this uniform with the facemask replaced by the one Georgia wore against Boise State last year, and the other wear the 2012 Rose Bowl uni? You get what they wore against Arkansas State last night. I actually like these. Oh, and Arkansas State wore some matte-black helmets or something (also note the ball carrier’s school-colored dreads). But wow… you certainly can’t accuse Oregon for looking bland and dreary.
-Alabama vs. Michigan: Go ahead and get your hockey references out of the way now. With that settled, that’s actually not a bad-looking uniform. Of course, these should be their full-time jersey tops (not with white pants, though), but what they wore last night would be nice look for the road if they wanted to make a change. Also of note: the helmet numbers are more block-like than last year’s numbers. I honestly don’t buy the whole “no helmet numbers this year” deal, so I’ll have to see what they do next week. Alabama had what looked to be a championship celebration decal on the back of their helmets (grainy photo, but it’s on the back-left). During a Heisman commercial that came on just before the game started, I saw RGIII in his Baylor uniform without the swoosh (probably because of his contract deal with Adidas, or some licensing thing with the network), and a Baylor? matte-green helmet without the decals.
A pretty fun start to the season, if you ask me. Anyway, I’m super-stoked for this season. Hope you guys are too, and I’ll see you next week =)
WOW! Fantastic job with that TJ. And we’re just getting started with this bad boy…
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Haven’t had this segment for a couple of months, and as you might expect, there are a lot of them. So today, I’m just going to mete out a few of the older ones (but they’re still great). We feature John Turney and George Chilvers, but Gary Chanko sent me one that can stand on its own (and might even be a lede), so I’m going to hold off on that one today. But what follows, as always, is worth the wait. (Click on each photo to enlarge).
We begin with John Turney:
Pittsburgh verus Giants circa 1933-35.
Next up is George Chilvers, who actually had sent in four, but I’m only going to run two today. The first was a personal favour to our Comrade Marshall, who you will recall penned this lede on the birth of the stirrup, recognizing our patron saint, Nap Lajoie. In that article there was a black and white photo of Nap all laid up. I asked George to colourize it for Robert (and share it with us):
Here you go.
And the second for today:
Not sure when you’re running again, Phil – but I’ll get a couple off to you to be on the shelf ready whenever.
This colourisation, which came originally from the Library of Ireland’s collection, gave me some sleepless nights, for reasons that anyone of a certain age with an Irish Catholic education will understand. This is the hurling team of De La Salle College in Waterford in 1910. It was a teacher training establishment, so these young gentlemen of varying skills of growing facial hair, were being trained in the Dark Arts of Advanced Torturing Young Boys. No matter how I tried to soften the effect of the eyes of the Brother in the centre I couldn’t – and those piercing eyes still haunt me even after completing the picture. Mind you, the guy in the suit second from the right at the back has a certain “evil look” too. :)
Some other things to note are the guy with the name of presumably his former school on his hurley (he also has “DLS” sown onto his sash) and the metal bands around a few of the hurleys which could I think deliver quite a blow :)
Having said all that, Ireland was still a British colony and many of these lads will have gone off to war in a few years time. I rather think that what they learnt at DLS will have kept them safe and put the enemy to flight.
And rounding out the segment today is a newcomer, Daniel Woolston, who colorized a photo of one of the ugliest incidents in baseball history:
I’ve been a long time reader and was hoping to submit a colorized photo I did on reddit yesterday for your Colorize This feature. I’m not sure if this is up to quality standards but I thought I’d give it a go.
The photo depicts the famous fight between Juan Marichal and Johnny Roseboro in 1965.
Great stuff John, George and Daniel! Thanks for your efforts. Back with more Colorize This! next time.
2012 Duck Tracker…
Our 2012 Duck Tracker is Tim E. O’Brien, and he’s put together quite a package for this year. I’ll now turn over the rest of this to him.
“To start the season, the Ducks wore what I can only imagine are the best combination this set will display. The classic Yellow over Green over Yellow is beautiful, undervalued and classic Oregon. I still wish they’d go back to their last helmet, but these are pretty snazzy duds.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Duck Tracker to see what other combinations are possible this season.
Thanks Tim! Super Job with that — looking forward to your Duck Tracking every Sunday Morning on UW!
SOS ”“ Save Our Students!
We take a brief break from our usual fare to hear about a very disturbing development in the sport of hockey — no, not the possible cancellation of the 2012-13 season — but something even worse. The President of the Uni Watch Hockey Wing, Teebz, has the gory details, as he hopes we can…
…SOS ”“ Save Our Students!
Paul has complained about the selling of civic entities to corporate buyers, but the image above represents a new low in a world where the bar is continually lowered. For those of you who complain about the 2×2 advertisements on NBA uniforms, I present to you the uniforms of the teams participating in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. That’s right, kids ”“ all six teams will now be playing for a corporate sponsor on the front rather than the team they made.
Made by Gemini Sports, the new uniforms will come into play this season. The non-profit Elite League decided to “take advantage of a model developed by European teams to increase league sponsorship”. Says Elite League Marketing Specialist Robert Fallen, “We’ve been discussing (this) for a few years because in order for us to generate more substantial sponsorship revenue we need to develop inventory that was going to be attractive to corporate Minnesota.” Excuse me while I clean the vomit off my keyboard.
From left to right, Team Great Plains will now play for Luther Automotive; Team North will be playing for Muscle Milk; Team Southeast will proudly billboard for TCF Bank; Team Northeast will suit up for Mpls/St.Paul Magazine; Team Southwest will capture the pride of Starkey; and Team Northwest will represent Velocity Hockey Center.
Honestly, I am disgusted by this money grab. If the league needed cash or needed to cut costs, there are ways aside from selling out the league’s teams. It appears that fans of the Elite League are just as annoyed as I am as well. Iron Range Hockey wrote in the comments, “This is the final straw for me and the league has lost all credibility with me and many others.” Joe wrote, “This is marketing gone wrong in the worst way. Gross.”
This bull$#!” is a sell-out in the most egregious way, and I hope that players in the league will make a stand against this kind of billboarding in high school hockey by opting to play in a different league.
Thanks, Teebz — how do you really feel?
Welcome to a very special “5 & 1” — for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty simple really. It’s the NCAA. It’s football. The 5 best and 1 “worst” matchups (as determined by both teams playing) are counted down.
The “5 and 1” had been the exclusive provenance of Jim Vilk for three years here at Uni Watch. But like all good things, this too must come to an end. Jim is here to grace us with one last NCAA football 5&1 before handing over the reins to Catherine Ryan — he’s not entirely quitting the 5&1 game — he’ll still do some college hoops and men’s figure skating down the road, but the constant strain and an overbearing weekend editor is putting him into semi-retirement. Not to worry, I’ve found an able successor, so the 5 and 1 can continue to grace the Sunday Uni Watch pages from now until the end of time.
We’ll be treated to TWO 5&1’s today — Jim’s last, and Catherine’s first. They’re both below. Enjoy!
Jim Vilk’s 5 & 1
Here’s something for you to play while you read the list. And away we go…
I normally stick to two Honorable Mentions, but what’s Phil gonna do now…fire me?
HMs to Arkansas State/Oregon – I outlived Bellotti Bold, so my work here is done, anyway.
To Northwestern/Syracuse – Way to use your striping proudly, Wildcats!
To Eastern Kentucky/Purdue – Russell makes EKU look a lot better than they made Georgia Tech.
To Central Arkansas/Ole Miss – You think I’d leave you without including a battle of shoulder stripes?
To Oklahoma/UTEP – You think I’d leave you without including a game from the fabulous Sun Bowl?
And…to Ohio/Penn State – NOBs? (*Sobs*)
5. Villanova/Temple – I liked the TEMPLE helmet better, but in this matchup the new helmet suits me to a T.
4. Austin Peay/Western Kentucky – A lot of red, but it contrasts very nicely.
3. North Texas/LSU – One more chance to say, “Color palette special of the day.”
2. McNeese State/Middle Tennessee – Surprise!
1. Michigan/Alabama – I love how Michigan leaves the home uni alone while having fun with the roadsters.
And my final bad one: Notre Dame/Navy – THIS is the week you should wear your wacky alts!
It’s been three years and one week already? Seems like yesterday that Phil came up with this idea and let me be the experimental test pilot. Anyway, it’s time to turn the controls and the 5&1 manual over to Catherine, who I’m sure will take the list to greater heights. Thanks, and I’ll see you later.
Thanks Jim — for as much grief as I’ve given you over the years, I’m surprised you lasted this long. It’s been a great ride buddy — but I know it’s only a temporary end — I’ll catch ya at the end of the year (?) for your season review, and if not then, for sure for the NCAA Hoops Tourney 5 & 1s.
And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for — Catherine’s first 5 & 1:
Catherine Ryan’s 5 and 1
2. Michigan/Alabama: It would be hard not to include this match-up from the weekend. Michigan’s away uniforms, aside from the helmet numbers, were some of the best they’ve ever worn. Not much to say about Alabama’s uniforms: simple, classic, beautiful.
3. Ole Miss/Central Arkansas: I love Ole Miss. I love the colors, I love the striping, and I even like the gray pants. I’ll overlook my hatred for purple in allowing Central Arkansas (who actually look good) to sit pretty at number 3.
4. Boston College/Miami: I put aside my hatred for Big East defectors in choosing this match-up. Boston College looked great and Miami came out in all white with white lids. Miami is a risky pick, I know, I know. Whether it’s the eyebrows or the pants stripe the uniforms draw their fair share of critics. Regardless, they looked great this weekend.
5. McNeese/Mid Tennessee: McNeese caught my eye by being the first FCS team to upset an FBS team this season. However, the uniforms for both teams were great. McNeese even has the school name on the backs of the jerseys.
& 1: Southern Utah/Utah State: Let’s just be glad this game affected only one state.
Honorable Mention: Penn State: PSU gets a shout-out for the new additions to their traditional uniforms. The helmets feature a blue ribbon to honor victims of child abuse. Additionally, the uniforms feature player names on the back, presumably to honor the players that remained at the university.
And thank you Catherine. Great job as well — and welcome aboard! Well dear readers, how’d they do?
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
It’s lonely at the top…
Click to enlarge
And that’s going to do it for this fine Sunday of this Laborious Day weekend. Please join me in thanking Terry, Jim & Catherine, Teebz, Tim, Ricko and the colorizers on one helluva job well done.
Paul will be back tomorrow so I’ll catch you guys next weekend. Peace.
“Holy shit. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but Oregon almost looks great! The stupid-ass wings and feathers on the helmets and shoulders aside, that’s a damn fine uniform. That green and yellow is wonderful. They should make those the school colors!”