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A Uni Watch Look at Marching Band Uniforms

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[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation this week, but today we have a guest entry from Kristina Cruz, who’s going to fill us in on some very interesting aspects of marching band uniforms.]

By Kristina Cruz

College football games often feature marching bands. But while football uniforms have evolved a great deal over the years, from wool jerseys and leather helmets to high-tech performance fabrics and armor-like headgear, most marching band uniforms are largely unchanged. I’ve never been a part of a marching band myself, but I love uniform aesthetics, so I decided to learn more about marching band uniforms.

The marching band originated with traveling musicians who performed together at festivals and celebrations throughout the ancient world. It evolved and became more structured within the military, from which the modern marching band emerged. Over time though, musicians became less important in directing the movement of troops on the battlefield and the bands took on more ceremonial roles. In the 17th and 18th centuries, military uniforms incorporated French influences by adopting elaborate trim, hats, and buttons. During the Civil War, military musicians wore baby blue and purple uniforms. It became too expensive to outfit the entire military in these brightly colored uniforms, so they were reserved for the musicians. The color provided the added bonus of making the musicians recognizable to the enemy and therefore less likely to be shot.

Many universities had marching bands before the 20th century. It is believed that the first halftime show by a marching band during a football game was performed by the University of Illinois Marching Illini in 1907 in a game against the University of Chicago. But more than a century later, marching band uniforms still feature many military-based flourishes. For example, the uniforms usually feature very distinctive headwear — often either shakos (as worn here by Oregon State) or pith helmets with feather plumes (as worn here by Evangel University). This ornamentation comes from old military militia members, whose hats would be topped off with a sprig from a local plant or a feather from a local bird, to show loyalty to the land they were protecting. This tradition is the basis of the modern marching band plume.

Many bands keep their headwear mounted on their heads with “chinstraps” — which actually go under or around the mouth, not the chin. This was my biggest question in researching marching band uniforms for this article. Why would someone choose to wear a strap over his mouth?

The closest I was able to find to an explanation was a quote from the movie To Hell and Back, a biopic about Audie Murphy (the most decorated American G.I. in World War II). At one point Murphy was told to undo the strap of his helmet to stop the explosion blasts from tearing off his helmet — and his head with it. Apparently some soldiers were killed by concussion due to a buckled chinstrap resulting in the development of a chinstrap release that would allow the strap to unhook under a pressure greater than 15 pounds. Also, an attacking enemy soldier could, theoretically, grab you by your headdress, yank your head back, and slit your throat. I don’t know of any such threats among marching band members, so I assume the mouth strap just a vestige of that tradition.

Drum majors typically wear different uniforms than the rest of the marching band, to better distinguish themselves from the rest of the musicians. This too is military-related: It reflects a heritage that dates back to the Middle Ages, when enlisted men would wear standard-issue overcoats but officers would purchase their own uniforms.

Some other notes and observations:

• Ivy League marching band members often wear a jacket and tie when performing.

• Southern Methodist University marching band members wear a different combination of jackets, vests, ties, shirts, and pants for each half of each game, with no uniform combinations repeated during the marching season.

• The marching bands for Texas and Texas Tech incorporate elements of the Lone Star State’s cowboy heritage, although Texas looks to me like they belong onstage at Hee Haw. [As an aside, that zigzag piping on the Texas pants is called rickrack. One of my favorite uni-related terms. ”” PL]

• Naturally, Oregon has taken marching band uniforms to a new level. As an Oregon native myself, I heartily approve.

So which band uniforms do I like best aside from Oregon? Here are my favorites:

1. Defiance College. Obviously I do not share Paul’s hatred of purple. And if you’re going to do a plume, do it big.

2. Notre Dame Irish Guard. I can’t stand most things Notre Dame generally, but these lads look dapper.

3. University of Houston. Note the gradient blue on the front.

4. Army. No BFBS here. Just a clean, dark look.

5. Delaware. University of Delaware. Again, go plume or go home.

Who else is into marching band uniforms? I would love to hear comments and feedback from others on this topic.

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skins watch - 50 wide

‘skins Watch: Why are Goshen High School’s athletic teams still called the “Redskins”? According to this article, sent in by Terry Mark, “The overriding answer is community insensitivity ”“ people either don’t know or don’t care that the nickname is offensive.” … “It’s fairly common knowledge among those of us who follow Peter King and his Monday Morning Quarterback site that he does not use the ‘Redskins’ name any longer,” writes Nick Vendetti. “I noticed (Mon)day, however, that he also replaced their logo with a generic football graphic on the dropdown team menu on his site. Interesting choice, considering he could have used the arrowhead logo or script ‘R’. Seems like he went generic to make a statement.” … Obviously, not everyone is in favor of changing the name. Matthew McConaughey hopes they never do. In fact, he says, “We were all fine with it since the 1930s.” Also interesting in that article are his thoughts on gun control and how be became a fan of the team (despite growing up in Texas) because he “rooted for the Indians” in old Westerns and the team had a linebacker named Chris Hanburger (he also likes hamburgers, so…there you go). … “Now the Minneapolis City Council looking at trying to ban the use of the Redskin name and/or logo when the team plays the Vikings in Minneapolis on November 2nd,” writes Patrick O’Neill. “Such an action would necessarily have 1st Amendment implications.”

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Uni Watch News Ticker

Today’s ticker was compiled by Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: At the end of Game 2 of the World Series, the Royals sent out a guy in a full KC throwback uni to hang up a “W” in front of the crowd (from Jamie Burditt). … The new West Virginia-based New York-Penn League team will be known as the Black Bears (from Brice Wallace). … The Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor to the modern day Coast Guard, wore uniforms with the wishbone C in the 1920s (thanks, Lieutenant R. Caleb James). … Zach Hoover works for a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Last month the legislature held its second annual All-Star Softball Game and Zach designed the jerseys. “Since the two teams are (loosely) made up of Senators and House members from the Western and Eastern parts of the state respectively, I decided to go with a Pittsburgh Pirates-themed jersey for the West and a Philadelphia Phillies-themed jersey for the East. I named the teams after the competing, colloquial terms that refer to “You”-Plural in Pennsylvania: ‘Yinz’ for the West and ‘You’se’ for the East. I also created a basic jersey for the announcers, who were all legislative staffers. While I would obviously have loved to work with colors used by the Bucs and Phils, the ‘awareness color’ for eradicating hunger is orange and thus the jerseys had to be orange. However, with the help of a longtime friend in graphic design, I think we came up with something that worked. I’ll note that I didn’t work on the caps – that’s my plan for next year.”

NFL News: Emmanuel Sanders was identified as Julius Thomas during the CBS telecast last night (from Terry O’Donohue). … The band One Direction promoted its American tour by wearing various NFL jerseys (from Phil). … Andy Henderson was watching an episode of Finding Giants and one scout held his phone upside-down while talking with a potential free agent. … I have no idea what the story is behind this customized Broncos jersey.

College Football News: Urban Meyer was asked about Ohio State wearing black jerseys and he provided possibly the greatest example of coach-speak (from Michael McLaughlin). … Colorado will wear a helmet decal for David Quessenberry, who is battling cancer. … Marshall is encouraging fans to wear green on Sunday, and the school is calling this a Greenhouse Effect (from Brice Wallace). … Boise State is going gray, blue and pink tonight (from Phil). … Gold chrome helmets and purple jerseys and pants are on tap for Washington on Saturday (from Phil). … Arizona State is going gold/white/maroon on Saturday (from Phil). … East Carolina wore all-black last night and even painted its center logo black (from Phil). … Here’s a look at the Gray Ghost unis Illinois will wear Saturday (Phil again). … Cal will be going with gold tops vs. Oregon tonight.

Hockey News: The 1994 Lockout saved the Penguins from debuting some seriously outlandish unis (thanks, Tony Caliguiri). … Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard has a new breast cancer awareness mask (from Phil). … Pavel Datsyuk still has the old Red Wings wordmark on his helmet (from Phil).

Grab Bag: Alabama unveiled the state’s bicentennial logo. … Everton played without a sponsor yesterday (from Phil). … The Knicks tweaked their orange alternate jerseys. … Grantland made an interactive animation about celebrity NBA Fans. … Three Rivers Stadium’s website is still active!

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And that’s all for today — Paul will return on Monday, and I’ll be back tomorrow with the usual Saturday fare. Everyone have a good day and a better weekend. — Phil

.. … ..

“[T]hat play cemented every Twins fan’s affection for Hrbek. I figure it was his way of working through his rage at all the Gold Gloves Don freakin’ Mattingly won with his bat that Hrbek should have been awarded for his glove, if anyone in the 1980s baseball press had bothered to notice that there were teams that play home games outside of New York.”

–R. Scott Rogers

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99 comments to A Uni Watch Look at Marching Band Uniforms

  • williamson | October 24, 2014 at 7:45 am |

    NFL section, last night’s game was on NFL Network.

    Mlb section, the Royals historian has been hanging a W after every win all season.

    • Kek | October 24, 2014 at 7:57 am |

      Game was on CBS too… don’t worry, you aren’t the only one not getting this stupid set up for Thursday nighters.

      • KT | October 24, 2014 at 9:26 am |

        And by “stupid,” you mean “making the games more accessible.”

        Since certain NFL games went to cable in 1987, they’ve also been simulcast (in local markets, until this year) on over-the-air affiliates for the benefit of those who don’t get cable. (In 1987, obviously, that was a lot more people.)

        The original NFL Network Thursday night games were, too, but weren’t also nationally televised on an OTA network until we had the Patriots’ run to 18-0 and they relented and put THAT game (against the Giants, IIRC) on CBS as well.

        • Jim Y. | October 24, 2014 at 9:57 am |

          But that new deal is only for the first half of the year, starting next week the Thursday games will only be on NFL Network (except in the local markets, of course).

    • Phil Hecken | October 24, 2014 at 8:02 am |

      “(L)ast night’s game was on NFL Network

      ~~~

      It was also on CBS (I watched it — was it also simulcast on NFLN?). Part of a new deal this year.

  • Paul B | October 24, 2014 at 7:49 am |

    Regarding the comment I posted early yesterday morning about the Seahawks helmet I saw on eBay:

    It was mentioned on this site back in April ’09! I knew I saw it here before.

    http://www.uni-watch.com/2009/04/17/he-shoots-he-scoreboards-uni-watch-diy-project/

    Half way down the ticker from Mike MacCulloch. I wonder if he’s the one selling the helmet on eBay?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seattle-Seahawks-RARE-One-Of-A-Kind-Prototype-Helmet-Lime-Green-Team-Letter-/261589055923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ce7ec39b3

    • Chance Michaels | October 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm |

      Wow. Great memory.

      Instantly authenticates the eBay auction.

  • jwl3 | October 24, 2014 at 8:12 am |

    This lede reminds, Vanderbilt’s band, the Spirt of Gold, finally wore their actual uniforms. They usually wear white t-shirts with the starV logo, but their actual unis consist of a white vest-sleeves and a black-gold sash; as seen here http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/insidedores/2012/11/the-last-vanderbilt-home-game/. As a “band nerd” I was happy. However, at my high school , Hume-Fogg (the best ranked in TN), we don’t have a football team and, therefore, no marching band.

  • Scott | October 24, 2014 at 8:12 am |

    The PA softball unis are fantastic.

    • Jim Vilk | October 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm |

      Agreed!

  • RailHawks Kit Man | October 24, 2014 at 8:19 am |

    Everton’s sponsorless shirt is likely due to do with the fact that the sponsor is a beer company. The game was against Lille, a French team, where Tobacco/Alcohol shirt sponsors are prohibited.

  • Garrett | October 24, 2014 at 8:19 am |

    I may be a little biased, but I love the Wisconsin Band, and for many years (especially the 90s) they were the only reason many people came to the games. After football games, the Band sticks around leading the crowd in multiple songs in what has become known as the 5th Quarter. Their uniforms are classic, and they’re known for high-stepping during performances.

    http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000HCDchXCVb8k/s/860/860/Wisconsin-marching-band-MG-2926.jpg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08LEfMYfj1A

  • Callum Johnston | October 24, 2014 at 8:30 am |

    RE Everton playing without a sponsor; advertising of alcoholic products on shirts is forbidden in France, hence the lack of sponsor for Everton’s visit to Lille. Just makes one of the best shirts in the league even better in my opinion.

    • MG12 | October 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm |

      It was mildly improved for that Europa match because the sleeve patch covered the oddly sized Umbro logos that are usually on the sleeves.

  • Adam R. W. | October 24, 2014 at 8:42 am |

    I am admittedly VERY biased, but I love Purdue’s All-American Marching Band.

    http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/bucket/pband.jpg

    http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I000057OuWxbJfNQ/s/600/600/AAA9705.jpg

    http://www3.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Purdue+American+Marching+Band+Central+Michigan+-ikzZD1skYhl.jpg

    As a side note, the All-American Marching Band was the first marching band to have a special field formation, the “Block P”, first performed in 1907.

    Block P in 1929
    https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2007/blockP-1929.jpg

    Block P Today
    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/8140870_f520.jpg

    • GK | October 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm |

      Purdue AAMB alum here and have to admit not only our uniforms, but around the Big Ten there are some great and iconic looks from the bands. That being said, the real old gold the band uses is true to the school colors and design pretty much unchanged from the uniforms for the first Rose Bowl back in 1969.

  • KD Keenoy | October 24, 2014 at 8:42 am |

    The College of Wooster, besides being the best school in the state of Ohio, also has the best band uniforms in the country. By far. Not even close.

    https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8045/8131915996_30efde7c30_z.jpg

  • jon | October 24, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  • Toddro | October 24, 2014 at 8:48 am |

    at first I skipped the whole marching band thing, but decided to go back and look at it. Kind of wish more pics of different bands were included. It was pretty good, to be honest.

  • Adam | October 24, 2014 at 8:51 am |

    Common theme seems to be people really like the band uniforms of their favorite school. For me, it’s no different. I love the Pride of the Southland.

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/yR8IQ9OrzpA/maxresdefault.jpg

  • Dumb Guy | October 24, 2014 at 9:03 am |

    JMU! JMU!

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, Virginia’s Finest. The James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes!”

    http://sites.jmu.edu/specialcollections/marching-royal-dukes-welcome-back-to-campus/

    I marched in the purple/gold stripe/white helmet uni. And then in the Purple Shako/sequin sash uni.

  • DenverGregg | October 24, 2014 at 9:03 am |

    Spiffing stuff on marching bands!

    Since my undergrad was at a small school without a marching band, I can be a bit more objective and have a broad range of faves (in no particular order):
    – UCLA;
    – Texas Tech’s Goin’ Band from Raiderland;
    – UVa;
    – Colorado; and, of course
    – Grambling.

  • urbanleftbehind | October 24, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    Aside from its many times oft-putting cardinal blazer plus anyting else unis, the Stanford band often plays the opening notes of a Sublime song titled Date Rape. Has the Stanford band been barred from playing that at other hyper-sensitive campuses? I suppose that since the song in full actually serves as a reminder not to partake in such a thing, it gets a pass.

    • Eltee of DC | October 24, 2014 at 11:16 am |

      Urbanleftbehind,

      You could write a whole article on the Stanford Marching Bands unique history of music choices, odd formations (thanksgiving day urban legends galore!) uniform choices… band members have been known to don their own hats, pants… clothes and what have you.

      You could also say that the Stanford Band unis were “game tested” and that’s a fact.
      “The band is on the field!”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYhn2CGFQ9I

  • JSteever | October 24, 2014 at 9:17 am |

    Zzzzzzzzzzz.

    • Mike Chamernik | October 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm |

      [puts hand in glass of warm water while also putting shaving cream on other hand, then tickles nose]

  • Dumb Guy | October 24, 2014 at 9:17 am |

    As a lifer in the marching band world I have my own opinions on good uniforms and bad. I know it’s all a matter of taste.

    A few things I do not care for:
    spats
    furry hats
    overlays
    maces
    berets

    I won’t even get into color guard unis!

  • terriblehuman | October 24, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Dumb Guy | October 24, 2014 at 10:36 am |

      awe-some!

    • Graham Clayton | October 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm |

      Fantastic pictures!

      I’ve seen cards from that era where the ball has been suspended in “mid-air” by a piece of wire, which can be clearly seen in the photo.

  • KT | October 24, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    No one has ever accused Matthew McConaughey of being one of the great thinkers of our society.

    • Jim Y. | October 24, 2014 at 10:02 am |

      No, but since he’s on the wrong side of the argument it’s necessary to point out how dumb he is by mentioning that he rooted for a team because a guy on that team’s name sounded like hamburger.

      I’m sure if he was on the correct side of the argument, there probably would have be an equally inane antecdote that didn’t make him look as stupid.

      • arrScott | October 24, 2014 at 10:32 am |

        Wait, you believe there are anecdotes that don’t make Matthew McConaughey look stupid? I love the guy as an actor, and I even hold basically the same opinion as him regarding firearms, but I’m unaware of any anecdotes about the man that don’t make him sound like a doofus.

        • ChrisH | October 24, 2014 at 11:43 am |

          M.M.(which doesn’t stand for “Mensa Member”):
          “It’s like my feeling about gun control: “I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let’s forget that right. Let’s forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it’s in the wrong hands in other places.”

          I’m not much on “forgetting” rights.
          YMMV

      • terriblehuman | October 24, 2014 at 10:42 am |

        You think the anecdote makes him look stupid? It’s humanizing (not that McCanaughey is the sort of public person that needs humanizing, but still)! It’s pretty much how kids pick their favorite teams and players absent regional and familial influences.

        That you think it was specifically mentioned to make him look stupid probably says more about you.

    • DenverGregg | October 24, 2014 at 10:33 am |

      . . . yet society as whole takes entertainment industry folks from Rush Limbaugh to Jon Stewart seriously far too often.

      • terriblehuman | October 24, 2014 at 11:06 am |

        Then again, entertainers are often the most powerful voices precisely because they’re putting their livelihoods on the line by taking sides – it’s much safer to be vanilla (as opposed to pundits who provoke with very little accountability). It’s more meaningful when, say, Hannibal Burress speaks out against Bill Cosby or Sarah Silverman talks about various issues because it’s not their job to have opinions.

        Ultimately, it’s less about their profession than about how thoughtful they are. There are entertainers who pick up certain issues without thinking about it much, just as there are entertainers who are more educated on and committed to issues. Judging by his “We were all fine with it” comment, McConaughey doesn’t seem like the thoughtful type, but that has nothing to do with his occupation or which side he’s on.

        • DenverGregg | October 24, 2014 at 11:55 am |

          . . . the examples you mention take only the sides that money in the infotainment business supports.

        • terriblehuman | October 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm |

          Infotainment business supports calling out Bill Cosby’s (alleged) sexual misdeeds? Huh.

        • Chance Michaels | October 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm |

          You think calling Bill Cosby a rapist is the safe, establishment play?

        • DenverGregg | October 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm |

          Cosby’s been a subject of disdain for a while.
          a few examples:
          from NY Post
          from wikipedia
          from Time magazine
          from “Raw Story”

        • terriblehuman | October 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm |

          None of those stories point to Bill Cosby being a pariah – if anything, NY Post and Raw Story in particular are outlets that like to think of themselves as raconteurs (also, nobody reads NY Post opinion pieces).

          Also, Jon Stewart’s whole raison d’être is attacking the media-entertainment complex that’s driving cable news. The national discourse would be sorely lacking without tThoughtful entertainers like John Oliver and Chris Rock.

    • KC | October 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

      awrite awrite awriiite

  • Chris | October 24, 2014 at 9:30 am |

    Regarding article about the Goshen high school nickname, I can tell you as a Goshen native and GHS alum that it’s not just insensitivity but outright racism and bigotry. Goshen and much of Indiana is a terribly backwards place… which is why I no longer live there and haven’t visited for over three years.

  • loserem | October 24, 2014 at 9:36 am |

    Good think Paul is in Wisconsin, considering the latest US Ebola case is a Brooklynite who went bowling a couple days ago. I hope Paul plays with his own balls! (not how I meant that to sound)

  • Fostiverous | October 24, 2014 at 9:36 am |

    The man in the old time gear for the Royals is named K.C. he goes out after every home game and hangs a W on the star on the hall of fame building after every win. He also leads the tour of the stadium for fans, is there to talk history of the team, and other teams from Kansas Citys past.

    • RyanP | October 24, 2014 at 11:36 am |

      His name is Dave Webster (but he goes by “Kaycee Baseball” at work). He actually has several different old-time uniforms that he rotates between. He is the Royals historian, but his knowledge encompasses the entire history of baseball in Kansas City. He is a very fun guy to talk to, and he loves sharing his knowledge with any fans who show interest.

      My wife and I had some wedding photographs taken at Kauffman Stadium several years ago and Kaycee drove us around the stadium in a golf cart. I learned more about Kansas City baseball in the two hours I spent with him than I ever remember. He would be an excellent resource for any research on early baseball uniforms – he knows his stuff.

    • Jeff D. | October 24, 2014 at 11:51 am |

      That just goes to show how little people have paid attention to the Royals. He’s been doing that pretty much all season and nobody here noticed until the World Series.

      http://www.kmbc.com/news/royals-start-new-tradition-to-celebrate-home-wins/26664564

  • GoTerriers | October 24, 2014 at 9:38 am |

    How do you feel about grey slacks, white tuxedo shirt with a butterfly collar, red bowtie and cummberbund, red suspenders, red blazer, all topped off with a white fedora with a black hat band?

    Yeah, me too. After I left Boston U, they got “proper” marching band uniforms. Of course they also canned the football team shortly after I left, so you take the good with the bad, I guess.

  • AlMaFi | October 24, 2014 at 9:38 am |

    The West Virginia Black Bears.

    I guess that when your other name-the-team options are related to alcohol (“Moonshiners”), firearms (“Muskets”), and fossil fuels (“Coal Sox”), you end up with a very bland brand.

    Welcome to to Minor League Baseball, Black Bears. Let me introduce you to the Mobile BayBears, Fresno Grizzlies, Tennessee Smokies (bear mascot), Iowa/South Bend Cubs, and the Yakima Bears–a team that moved to Oregon because only a few people cared about them.

    The biggest surprise here is that they will be going with West Virginia instead of Morgantown as the place name. It was already awkward for there to be a team called the West Virginia Power when there was one other MiLB team (Princeton) from the state. The Power get a free pass since they are in the state capital and there was another Sally League team from the other Charleston. (in the 1980s, the Charleston Wheelers and Charleston Rainbows were frequent opponents)

    Now we have two lower level MiLB teams called ‘West Virginia’ and more bears than Jellystone Park.

    • arrScott | October 24, 2014 at 10:21 am |

      I don’t get this objection. The Yakima Bears, for example, don’t exist, so it makes no sense to cite the Yakima Bears as evidence that there are too many teams with ursine names. And “BayBears” is just a stupid name; can’t hold that against the folks in Morgantown. “Cubs” isn’t really about bears, it’s about the parent team in Chicago. The Grizzlies are the only other Bear-nicknamed team worth the comparison. MiLB also has two teams named the “Bees” – is that too many?

      Still, thanks for the history! Charleston Wheelers? Wasn’t that confusing in a state with an important city named Wheeling? A bit like the Minneapolis Pauls, or the Sacramento Angels.

      • Chance Michaels | October 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm |

        I don’t get it either.

        I understand not wanting “West Virginia”, but I don’t see a problem with having five bear-themed teams out of the 240 in MiLB.

        • AlMaFi | October 24, 2014 at 8:42 pm |

          It’s not that I have a “problem” with bear-themed nicknames. There’s just a lack of creativity. It reminds me of the Scanton/WB contest a few years back. The team could’ve been something interesting like ‘Fireflies,’ but chose ‘RailRiders’ instead.

        • scott | October 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm |

          Just as long as these Black Bears don’t take the logo of the late Berkshire Black Bears (or their mascot Chubs, who migrated down to New Haven when the team became the Cutters).

      • Jim Y. | October 24, 2014 at 5:07 pm |

        I wonder how these Bears feel about being used as a mascot?

      • AlMaFi | October 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |

        You’re splitting hairs a bit. I cited the Yakima Bears for the reason that having a lackluster brand contributed at least a bit to them moving. The new summer collegiate Yakima Pippins have been successful playing in the same market/stadium, and that’s a lower quality of ball than the Bears.

        I have absolutely no objection to there being two ‘Bees’ in the minors, since both of those nicknames have a lot of history. It was a good move for Salt Lake to go back to the Bee roots after the Stingers/Buzz debacle.

        Now, if Morgantown called themselves the Hornets or Yellow Jackets, I would be bitching about it in the same way that I am for the Black Bears. If a team is starting a new brand from scratch, it’s an opportunity for something good. Think Greensboro Grasshoppers or Lansing Lugnuts. Black Bears is more of a high school team name. Not bad–just bland.

  • Cadet | October 24, 2014 at 10:01 am |

    The Army uniforms you mentioned arent what our band wears for games. I think those are just uniforms for the US Army All-American High School Game.

    http://www.usma.edu/band/SitePages/Ensemble_Hellcats.aspx

    Thats the band that performs at our games

    • Aquasax | October 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm |

      It should be noticed that the Military Bands at USMA/USAFA/USNA are typically not students, but professional musicians. IIRC, there are student Drum and Bugle Corps that play at games.

      For a Federal Academy with it’s own student band, and a very interesting history – look no further than the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point NY.

      If you REALLY what to know about the history of military band uniforms, contact the director CAPT Ken Force – he will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

      http://www.usmma.edu/band

    • Mike | October 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm |

      Yeah, that’s the US Army All American Band, a HS all-star band. They play in San Antonio each year.

      For the service Academies, the Coast Guard Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force Academy all run drum and bugle corps (brass and drums only – no woodwinds), and Army has a band. In general, they wear the dress version of what the cadets/midsshipmen wear (Except for Army, which generally dresses in whatever the cadets are wearing for the game.)

      DCI is very much the avant-garde of marching design; much more akin to musical theater/ballet productions than “halftime” fare. WGI and indoor percussion is also an exploding activity (think of it as the “7-on-7” of marching band), and as every team and their uncle adds drumlines, you see their influence growing.

      Love it whenever the band uniform discussions come up – keep ’em coming!

  • arrScott | October 24, 2014 at 10:11 am |

    Any chance of expanding Zach Hoover’s story into a daily lead article? Great stuff. I particularly love that the Pennsylvania legislatures divide into east-west teams instead of Dem-GOP partisan squads. We need more of that kind of spirit at all levels in American politics. We should add that to Esquire’s report on how to fix Congress: Change congressional softball games from partisan to east-west affairs.

    • hmich176 | October 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm |

      I live just outside of the city of Harrisburg (15 minutes away). There is nothing good about our state legislature. I don’t care how they sit, they all suck.

    • Mike Chamernik | October 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

      I thought Zach sent in some really cool stuff, too. It wasn’t a lede entry because of bad timing – Paul’s gone, Phil was under the weather and we already had some articles chambered.

  • The Legend of Vincent Tremblay | October 24, 2014 at 10:28 am |

    The Carnegie Mellon Kiltie Band. What they lack in size, they make up in chaos.

    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/schooltours/BScmuUGSS/image/kiltie_band.jpg

  • Ryan Lindy | October 24, 2014 at 10:36 am |

    The colors on the collar of the orange knicks jersey are reversed too.

  • Seth | October 24, 2014 at 10:50 am |

    Are there any guidelines regarding the size of midfield logos? The ECU logo goes 35 to 35 which is longer that most it seems like. I know there’s a tiny school with an enormous lion head logo but what about D1 or the NFL?

  • Tim | October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am |

    I’m not bothered by the variations on marching band uniforms based on 19th century military. But the Oregon helmet looks a little bit too close to mid-20th century military, so it’s too aggressive for my taste. It’s like Napoleonic-era toy soldiers are inoffensive non-denominational Christmas decorations, probably due to The Nutcracker, but toy soldiers from other eras might offend someone.

  • Curtis | October 24, 2014 at 11:26 am |

    A marching bands! Full disclosure, I have many thoughts on the subject.

    With regards to both uniforms and marching style, I’m a traditionalist. I feel about spats much as some folks feel about stirrups, and far prefer a white stripe (or white uniform pants) to emphasize leg movement, rather than subdued black to hide it. Similarly, put my drum major in white over black any day of the week. Give me a shako or peaked cap any day, though I can respect bands that stray from this for obvious reasons – Aussies with Virginia’s Cavalier Marching Band, and cowboy hats at Texas and Oklahoma State. I also tend to be a traditionalist on guard uniforms. I can understand costumes that go with a show theme, but that screams high school to me. I’d rather see them in school colors.

    I really, really want to like Oregon’s uniforms, if for no other reason than that i’m enamored with Athletics’ uniform supplier also having the band in mind, but… no. Just no.

    To mention a few notables:
    Auburn – while neither combination it too out-of-the-ordinary, I love that they have what essentially amounts to home and away uniforms.
    Southern – The yellow capes provide a striking contrast when band members turn to face backfield.
    Ohio State – I like these in spite of myself. They stick with their traditional roots, even though my spirit for spirit screams “but why aren’t they scarlet and gray?!”
    Georgia Tech – there’s something about the all white under the lights, though my favorite to rock that look is Phantom Regiment. Which reminds me: If ever you want to have the drum corps uniform post, I’m all in.

  • Trev | October 24, 2014 at 11:26 am |

    The 666 jersey is from a song by the Denver based metal band Speedwolf.
    6+6+6=18

  • Fr8r | October 24, 2014 at 11:43 am |

    I was on the Drumline at Utah for 5 years and marched drum corps for 5 summers as well. Utah has some awesome uniforms. i would also love o see an article on corps uniforms. i would be willing to contribute to it any way i can!

  • Dan B | October 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm |

    What exactly is offensive about the R*dskins logo that Peter King felt the need to remove it? If their name was the “Natives” or some honorable name, the logo wouldn’t be offensive. The indian head is no more inappropriate than the Raiders logo depicts poor people with an eye patch as a pirate or criminal? :)

    I admit I do have a bit of a bias against those who stop using the name and announce it for their own self benefit. If something is offensive, just remove it from your vocabulary. I get people taking a stand, but in some writers cases (especially Peter King) he made it just as much about himself as the appropriateness. Yet I would be willing to bet Peter King has not donated time or money to helping the plight of Native Americans on tribes.

    (Sorry didn’t mean to get all soapboxy) Have a good weekend everyone

    • ChrisH | October 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm |

      “I love the emblem. I dig it.” – Matthew McConaughey

    • Andy Morrison | October 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm |

      Well what you say is true, I think, about roughly 98% of the people who profess to take offense at the Redskins name and logo. Taking offense at this is merely about demonstrating one’s ideological fidelity to the prevalent hypermoralistic internet sensibilities. Nothing else.

      I bet not ONE person who has ever pontificated about this on UniWatch has ever done one concrete thing to help a Native American in their lives. NOT A ONE.

      And raising “awareness” probably shouldn’t count. Hey, Uniwatch! You’ve been on about this for years now! I used to read all the time! Now I rarely do. I come back and wonder “are these self-righteous twats still beating this drum every day?” And sure enough, they are!

      You guys are like the Pinktober of websites, I think!

  • Nik | October 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm |

    Props to One Direction for posing for pictures that many times. I would have thought they would just wear blank jerseys and photoshop them on.

    • Adam R. W. | October 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm |

      With the obvious exception of the guy on the right, who is apparently too cool to wear a polyester shirt.

  • Scott | October 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

    RE: Three Rivers Stadium web site. WHY ARE THE DIRECTIONS TELLING ME TO TAKE I-279 NORTH THROUGH THE FORT PITT TUNNEL?!?!

    • hmich176 | October 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm |

      Until June 10, 2009, I-279 went through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and out to I-79.

      • Scott | October 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

        Joke went over your head.

        • hmich176 | October 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm |

          No, I got the joke. I saw the “?!?!”.

          I just went for the literal reply.

        • Scott | October 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm |

          I thought the all-caps may have given it away prior to the ?!?!, but I guess I was wrong. I could have also thrown this for good measure – !1!1!

        • hmich176 | October 25, 2014 at 3:13 am |

          I prefer !!1!!?!!!!eleven!!!!#!!!

  • Joe | October 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    C’mon, a discussion of marching bands and not one consideration of probably the best band outfit, USC?

    • DJ | October 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

      The helmets, though good, aren’t quite enough to elevate the whole uniform. Plus, sunglasses day or night? University of Spoiled Children, indeed.

      Now if you’re talking drum major costumes, USC’s might be the best of the bunch.

    • Kris | October 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

      Sorry but the USC band uni’s just didn’t do much for me compared to some others. Plus, I admit a tad bit of bias being from Oregon and all…

  • Komet17 | October 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

    Actually, any actions by the Minneapolis City Council would have NO 1st amendment implications, because the first amendment only address what the U.S. Congress (and by extension, the Federal government) may or may not do.

    What would govern what the city council may or may not do would be found in the Minnesota state constitution, or possibly at the county or municipal level.

    Very common misunderstanding these days…

    • hmich176 | October 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm |

      That’s because you’re forgetting this clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

      “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      This empowers the First Amendment to apply to not only the Federal government but any state, county or municipal government.

    • arrScott | October 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm |

      Not true. Modern jurisprudence regards the Fourteenth Amendment as applying the content of federal constitutional guarantees to the states as well as to the federal government. And as all localities are organic creations of their state governments, federal constitutional guarantees apply also to city governments.

      The relevant language of the Fourteenth Amendment:

      No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States

      That is, if Congress “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” then neither can any state or local government make such a law, because any such law would abridge the privileges an immunities of citizens of the United States. Or anyway that’s how federal courts have ruled – in the case of First Amendment free speech rights, since 1925.

    • Mainspark | October 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm |

      “very common misunderstanding”?

      See, Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925). It might help clear up your misunderstanding.

  • hmich176 | October 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm |

    For as ugly as those Pens jerseys are, it’s nice that they were up for working some blue into the color scheme.

  • Chris | October 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm |

    I’ve actually been hoping to see some kind of marching band post on here at some point, since it combines two of my favorite topics and usually goes fairly unnoticed outside of the occasional “___’s uniforms look awful” or something similar.

    One thing that I wanted to point out is that the chinstraps-under-mouth thing is usually more of a percussion/drumline specific tradition, and that otherwise the chinstrap is still worn under the chin for most band members. Like you, I’m not exactly sure as to why that is, but I see it done like that more often than not. Maybe part of it is just the “coolness” factor, who knows.

    Also, if you want to see innovation and progress in marching uniform design, I’d suggest looking into some of the groups in Drum Corps International- basically marching band on steroids, brass and drumline only. College bands are much more traditional and static in their uniforms, but DCI has definitely been adapting and innovating in the past few years, moreso the past half decade or so.
    For example, http://www.dci.org/images/news/12_18_2013_crown_disney_600x350.jpg

    Anyways, I doubt we’ll get to see many more marching band posts in the future, but I’m really hoping this isn’t the last.

  • Ryan M | October 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm |

    Everton looked pretty awesome yesterday with their sponsor-less shirt. It made me wonder, while I generally am accustomed to seeing soccer jerseys with sponsors on them (and generally don’t mind them), just how great any and every team would look without a corporate sponsor’s logo across the chest. Has anyone ever come across anyone’s attempt to photoshop such a scenario?

  • Brian Klejsmyt | October 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm |

    Didn’t do Marching band in college (Don’t even think SUNY Oneonta had one). But in High School, man did I have an interesting one. Scotia-Glenville High School in Scotia, NY (outside of Albany) had a rather interesting uniform to say the least. We had plaid baseball caps with “S-G” on them. Red sweatshirts with the school mascot (a bagpipe playing Scotsman). And black pants and shoes. In the warmer weather, we had white t-shirts with the school logo. Apparently now the students have red sport coats to wear instead with the school logo on the sleeve.

    My Junior and Senior year however we got to have a little fun with our outfits since we were playing jazzier songs (“Hawaii 5-0” theme and “Play That Funky Music”). We got to wear Hawaiian shirts and tie dye t-shirts respectively.

  • Kyle | October 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm |

    University of Pittsburgh is going back to the Script logo for tomorrow’s homecoming game against Georgia Tech.

    https://twitter.com/PittAthletics/status/525709503657148416/photo/1

    Supposedly it will be on the helmets and used as the football mark for the foreseeable future. No color change, basketball and olympic sports still using the Block logo.

  • Mike | October 25, 2014 at 1:41 am |

    So excited Pitt football is going back to script print on their helmet for good.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2014/10/25/Script-is-it-again-for-homecoming-beyond/stories/201410250111