By Phil Hecken
It was quite a Saturday for the NCAA football squads yesterday — some odd uniform choices, some upsets, some very good looking games. About what we’ve come to expect for the second week of the season. Well, except that not only did Oregon not break out a new uniform — they reused their old template for yesterday’s whompin’ of Sparty.
After yesterday’s MAMMOTH post, I promised you a shorter one today, and well, it will be. Of course, the main course comes first — Terry Duroncelet and this SMUW, and we’ll have Catherine Ryan back with the 5 & 1, and Tim E. O’Brien handling the Duck Tracker. There is also a nice little section which addresses the uni query in Friday’s ticker — the Notre Dame/Iowa game of 1939, during which Notre Dame changed jerseys at half — there was some tremendous detective work done, so make sure you read on for that.
So, let’s just get right to it — here’s TJ with your…
Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
Second verse, same as the first.
• I always find it kind of interesting when a collegiate squad apart from LSU and Georgia Tech wear white at home. That was the case for Nevada when they played against Washington State, who wore mono-grey.
• Looks like College Gameday used an older Michigan State helmet (note the helmet stripe). Kudos to Phil for sending that one in. Also from CGD, your OTP will never amount to Corso x Donald. They also looked to have put up the correct MSU helmet.
• A player for Tulsa suffered a pretty good jersey tear. Credit to Michael Ferguson Edmond for that
• Kentucky wore their new grey jerseys with blue pants and blue helmets that looked to have some new burpleish treatment done to it with a chrome-ish grey helmet stripe and facemasks. I dig the helmets, but as with a character wearing grey during workout montages in sitcoms and cartoons, the grey highlighted the sweat like a mother.
• Northwestern wore star-spangled helmet decals against Northern Illinois.
• Tulane played their first game in their new stadium after spending almost 40 years in the Superdome. Looking at the game, the new uniforms are okay (they played a road game last week and looked great), but the home uniforms suffer from one glaring error: THERE’S HARDLY ANY BLUE! All I see is, what, that tiny sliver on the sleeves? Since the jerseys are already made, I would think some solid-light blue pants would help a great deal. Speaking of pants, Georgia Tech wore white pants for the first time in a while. From Douglas King: “Didn’t do that with the current uni set last year (did go white over white against BYU but it was with the honeycomb unis). I wonder if this is a return to what they did from 2008-2011 (white on gold at home, white on white on the road), or if this was just for today.”
• Maryland wore white jersey tops that look to have been modeled after the Pride v3.0 uniforms from last year. FINALLY, they get it right! In the past, they’ve had problems with staggering the patterns properly, problems with color balance, and I actually mentioned what would this uni look like if in white last year. Now Maryland is looking like a team from, well, Maryland. I wonder if they get Alex RÃ¼dinger’s stamp of approval. Also from that game, USF wore their gold chrome helmets. Couldn’t find a decent pic, though.
• Remember last week’s UCF/Penn State game? Apparently, Vanderbilt and Mississippi were watching that game and thought: Ya know, that looks pretty cool, we should try that. Never mind that the contrast is almost nonexistent. Ugh. At least Mississippi’s blue helmets and grey pants offered some color breakage. Also from that game, no facemask penalty will ever amount to this one. That happened when Nigel Bowden (#52 for Vandy) grabbed and inadvertently ripped the facemask off of Jaylen Walton’s helmet (#6 for Ole Miss).
• Bowling Green State wore a helmet stripe that had an incorporated digital camo pattern. Normally, I roll my eyes at the very notion of camouflage, but I may let this one slide, since it’s so subtle. I mean, that’s the point of camouflage, isn’t it? To remain inconspicuous? Wish I could say the same about their side decals.
• Army wore black helmets and white pants with black jerseys. The helmets and pants look to be carryovers from a few seasons ago, and I don’t think we’ve seen this combo before (in recent years, at least). Also note the name tags. Neat.
• As tradition would have it, LSU wore their white tops for their home opener against Sam Houston State.
• Now THAT’S what I call a blood jersey! Credit to Coleman Mullins for that pic.
• Remember how I said that the gold numbers edged in garnet on Florida State’s road uniforms probably wasn’t the best idea? Well… The home uniforms were on point, however. FSU’s opponent was The Citadel, BTW. who have this on the back of their helmets. Nice. From John Shields: “Pretty neat feature on The Citadel helmet. In place of the helmet manufacture is the player’s company. The Citadel is a military college and I think this is an awesome way to show esprit de corps.”
And that’ll do it for Week 2. We’re eating gumbo tonight to kick off tomorrow’s Saints game, so I’ll be on my way. See you all next week.
Thanks, TJ. OK, now on to the rest of today’s content.
Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1
Every Sunday, Catherine will give us the rundown of her best five and one worst uniform matchups from the College Football games played this week. Since it’s practically impossible to watch every game, you guys can help by sending your thoughts on “good” and “bad” matchups (and hopefully with photos from that game) by e-mailing her at UW5and1@gmail.com.
OK, here’s Catherine with this week’s 5 & 1.
Happy Sunday, Uni Watchers! Thanks to those of you that sent tips to the “tip line.” I love checking to see if your lists match up with mine. I had a good weekend watching my alma mater put on a FCS clinic. It ain’t the big time but I’ll take what I can get. Let’s get to the countdown so everyone can focus on a full day of NFL action.
This is my last opportunity, at least for the foreseeable future, to put this beauty on the countdown.
Thanks, Catherine! OK readers, how’d she do?
Each week, as we have done on Uni Watch for the past five seasons, we’ll be tracking the uniform combinations of the Oregon Ducks. Back for his third season is Tim E. O’Brien, who’ll show you what the Ducks wore in their last game, and add a few words of wisdom (click image to enlarge)…
Quack State decided to go throwback Saturday. That’s right. Nike U wasn’t using Nike’s most up to date template. It seems as if the new uniform template rollout has gone less than spectacular, as we’ve only seen one jersey (mind you, in two variations) since the late 2013 introduction.
Anyway, Oregon looked OK, but I personally hate these helmets. But the Ducks already wore all yellow against Tennessee last season, so…
As always, things are updated over at the Duck Tracker and on twitter (@DuckTracker). You can also follow my Northwestern (@NUniTracker) and Indiana (@Hoosier_Tracker) trackers as you so choose but only feel the need to force myself watch those two awful programs (Oh, NU. What happened to you…smdh).
Mystery Solved? Maybe…
On Friday, there was a ticker item about Notre Dame changing into green jerseys (from blue) during halftime in a game against Iowa. Paul, who compiled the ticker, asked if anyone knew more.
I received responses from three readers, Kary Klismet, Warren Junium and Larry Bodnovich, each of whom had a bit (some more than others) to share about the game. We’ll begin with Kary, who has quite a writeup:
I’m a longtime Uni Watch reader who comments under the screen name “BvK1126.” Today’s ticker included a question about Notre Dame switching from blue to green jerseys at halftime of its 1939 game at the University of Iowa. Having spent a number of my formative years in Iowa, I know a little bit about the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The 1939 Iowa football team, known as the “Ironmen” and featuring Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, is one of the most celebrated in program history. Not deep with talent, the team earned its nickname by frequently using only 14 or 15 players a game, many for the entire 60 minutes. The team earned a #9 ranking in the final AP poll – its first-ever appearance in the season-ending rankings.
Team member Al Coupee wrote a memoir entitled One Magic Year – 1939 – An Ironman Remembers. He makes note of Notre Dame’s halftime jersey switch in his recounting of Iowa’s 7-6 victory. He first notes that, “Notre Dame came out for the kickoff in the typical blue-gold combination uniforms.” (Page 102.) Later, Coupee describes Notre Dame’s switch to green jerseys at halftime:
“When the Irish returned to the gridiron for the second half, they came firing out of their end of the stadium wearing the green of old Erin; they had removed the usual Notre Dame football uniform of blue and gold, and there they were the Gremlins of Notre Dame, as Irish in emerald as leprechauns with names like Saggua, Piepul, Zontini, Sitko, Schrenker, Brutz, and Stelmaszek, and, of course, Kelly, Sheridan, Crimmins and Gallagher. Hey, this was a little much for me–a football team changing uniforms at halftime, and Notre Dame at that. Well, hell, they didn’t change their names, just the color of the duds, and I guess we could handle that, too.” (Page 103.)
I’ve attached the pages with these quotations (below) for your reference. Notre Dame’s tradition of wearing green alternate jerseys was apparently already well-established by that point, as this article from Notre Dame’s website explains. They had switched from blue jerseys to green during a game on at least one other occasion – a come-from-behind 19-6 victory over Navy in 1927.
(the below scans are at full resolution)
Why Notre Dame changed jerseys midway through its game against Iowa in 1939 appears to be a mystery. It might have been a motivational ploy like it had been against Navy 12 years earlier. Or it might have been to provide greater contrast to Iowa’s black jerseys than Notre Dame’s standard navy blue jerseys afforded. As the article on Notre Dame’s website also indicates, “Green became a more popular color for Notre Dame in the 1930s. During the Elmer Layden coaching era (1934-40), white yokes were added to the shoulders to provide contrast to the uniform when both teams were still garbed in dark jerseys.” Photos of the game from the University of Iowa’s archives seem to support this assertion (click to enlarge):
That first photo shows two teams wearing dark jerseys with no contrasting yokes, while contracting white yokes are visible on one team’s jerseys in the other two photos. Additionally, video footage of the game from this old Iowa highlights reel, around the 6:35 mark, includes a clear shot of Kinnick returning the opening kickoff with both teams wearing solid dark jerseys. (As a quick aside, the whole video is fantastic, from the animated opening and closing credits through several uni-notable old still photos and bits of video footage to the dated-sounding vocal inflections of the narrator. It’s worth a watch the next time you have 11 minutes to spare.)
Another video, although raw and grainy, shows even more game action. This one is significant because it has footage of both the first and second halves. The Hawkeyes scored shortly before the end of the first half, to take a 7-0 lead. Notre Dame scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but missed the extra point and ended up on the short end of a 7-6 final score. Both touchdowns are featured in the video, and the shoulder yokes of Notre Dame’s uniforms are noticeably different in each of the two touchdown drives.
Color footage of the game apparently does exist and was once available for viewing on the internet, but sadly that is no longer the case. All that can be found now is a low-resolution screen shot in front of a broken hyperlink on this web page. But if you look closely, you can make out what appears to be a Notre Dame player in a jersey with a dark green tint and contrasting, light-colored shoulders.
I hope that helps provide some background on the story. I’m happy to follow up if you have any questions.
Wow! Thanks Kary.
OK — now on to Warren:
From a review of the game: “Notre Dame switched from (navy) blue jerseys to green jerseys at halftime, probably to avoid confusion with Iowa’s black home jerseys.”
Here’s BW film from the game
Here’s a Bleacher Report story about the green jerseys (the color video mentioned in the article isn’t available)
BW Photos just begging to be colorized
My screengrabs of 1939 ND Iowa and jersey change at halftime
I just happened to go back and check my comment. Kind of late to thank Ben Fortney for his tip about the old Picassa account. I used his code and it worked.
Lot of pics in the album but you can see the blue jerseys until it has grab saying second half. Then the Irish come out in green jerseys with white around collar.
Thanks, gentlemen. If this doesn’t solve the mystery, tis pretty close. Great detective work all!
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “Great little catcher’s gear story,” says Glenn Griffin. “In case you haven’t come across this yet.” … According to this article, the Orioles will be wearing “special-designed patriotic uniforms” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. Says submitter Andrew Cosentino, “I’m scared.”
College Football News: “Anybody remember the last time LSU wore purple in a SEC game?” asks Jeff Stark If you guessed, “2000 vs Florida in The Swamp,” you’re a winner. Says Jeff, “seems it was a Spurrier ‘jedi mind trick’. He declared the Gators would wear white at home. Thus, causing LSU to wear their purple jerseys.” … According to SBNation, Florida State will be making changes to their helmet and uniforms. … Nevada’s new pride stickers are axes (h/t Andrew Lind).
Grab Bag: The Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band uniforms from the past are featured in the university’s magazine (thanks to Kenneth Traisman). … NASCAR is considering changes to its souvenir business (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Michigan field hockey is going to be played on a blue and maize field. … Australian top league team Adelaide United FC revealed kits for next 2 seasons (from Kasey Van Puijenbroek. … Tom Dumoulin received a camouflage leader’s jersey to mark the Tour of Alberta Stage 3 finish in the Canadian Army base (from Jeff Meyer). … If you’re a sneakerhead (or even if you’re not), brand loyalty is impossible (thanks, Brinke).
And that’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a fantastic Sunday (and opening weekend of the league where they play…for pay). Big thanks to Terry, Catherine, Tim, Kary, Warren & Larry for their assistance with today’s post. You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you again next Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“The Villareal font looks like the work of a drunkard whose dominant hand is still holding a drink. WTF!”
— Denver Gregg