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Michigan Unveils New Football Unis, Which Look A Lot Like Their Old Football Unis

Michigan Football splash

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday, after about a year of anticipation, the University of Michigan unveiled their new football uniforms for 2016. It was a pretty-hyped event, capping a two-plus day “turnover” from UM being supplied by adidas to Nike. The bigger news was that the football team would now be outfitted by the Jordan Brand (which is technically different from Nike — kinda like how a Chevy is different from a Cadillac, but both are under the General Motors umbrella); this is the first football team to carry the Jordan Brand (and logo) on the uniforms. The good news (for traditionalists and uniform purists) and bad news (for 17 year olds are attracted to new and shiny things): the uniforms for 2016 aren’t dramatically different from the previous set.

I’ll hit on the major points below (and try to keep it somewhat short); I was actually interviewed by Zach Shaw of 247 Sports (part of the “CBS Sports Family”) on the new uniforms last night, and a podcast of that is here (and that offers a much more in-depth discussion of the new uniforms).

There are really only three or four changes, the helmet (now matte), new fonts, the road jersey has TV numbers on top of the shoulders, and the maize (“amarillo” as Nike now calls it) is slightly darker, more orange-y and less lemony, than the previous yellow/maize was under adidas. Supposedly the blue is darker too, but it’s hard to tell.

Let’s start with the home uniform. Here’s a comparison for 2015 with 2016:

As you can see by Paul’s tweet, the number font is different (more on that later). They’re slightly thicker than last year’s, and it’s a new font family. Here are some closeups of the new uniform (click to enlarge any photos below):

Michigan_5178 Michigan_5237

Michigan_5212

Michigan_5198

Michigan_5214 Michigan_5201

Very nice. It looks exactly like one would expect a Michigan home football uniform to look. Yes, it’s going to take some getting used to seeing a jumping Michael Jordan logo on a football uni, and the design is whatever Nike’s latest hyper-elite/Elite 51 or whatever they’re calling it. You can definitely notice the different hue of yellow/maize too. Also, notice the model is wearing “43.” That wasn’t an accident. More on that below.

Let’s move on to the road uniform.

Like 2015, this one features both a white jersey and pants (very similar to the all white uniform brought back by Coach Jim Harbaugh last year — it’s technically a throwback to the uniforms worn during the 1973-75 seasons).

Michigan_5065 Michigan_5107

Michigan 13

Michigan_5172 Michigan_5100

Like the homes, there really isn’t much different between this set and last year’s. The one major difference is the TV numbers, which had been on the arms, just below the shoulders, are now moved to the top of the shoulders.

The helmet, as mentioned above is now a matte finish.

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As I’d mentioned above, there are new number fonts, and the model wearing #43 was no random decision. The story (there’s always a backstory, right?) is the number “4” is itself a throwback to the numerals worn by the 1934 team. That 1934 team had a player named Gerry Ford on it (you may remember him for other things, such as being President), and a black player named Willis Ward. Back in the day, Michigan was scheduled to play Georgia Tech, but segregation still was a thing and race-relations were much different than today, so Georgia Tech refused to play Michigan if Willis Ward played (Michigan sat him out). Ford became so upset by this that he threatened to quit the team. Ward, so the story goes, talked him out of it. The rest is history.

Here’s a close-up look at the stylized “4” that is new this year:

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And here’s a photograph of Ward and Ford, back on the 1934 team, with a similar font:

636057388492006092-Ford

So the team has decided to pay a small tribute to the 1934 team by bringing back the stylized “4”. Ward, by the way, would not fade into obscurity after the Georgia Tech incident. He became a lawyer and Wayne County judge. So I guess you could say what could have been an ugly incident (kinda) had a happy ending for both guys involved.

And there you have it. The new football uniforms for Michigan. Which look a lot like the old uniforms for Michigan. And that’s a good thing, especially if tradition and continuity are what you’re looking for. And if you have a few minutes, give a listen to the podcast (link above) as Zach and I get more deeply involved in the uni discussion.

The floor is yours.

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twolvesTimberwolves Redesign Contest

Paul’s Timberwolves Redesign Contest results will be running on ESPN today. Some great entries (Paul let me peek), including the very minimalist secondary logo you see to the right (from Chris Kim).

Here’s the Link!

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Leo's World 500

Leo’s World
“Leo’s World” is a new, semi-recurring feature here on Uni Watch weekends (and now, weekdays during Paul’s blog-cation), featuring some excellent uni-related finds from Leo Strawn, Jr.. Each installment will feature a new, unique or just very cool collection of related uniform observations and research. You can click the images below to enlarge. — PH

Familiar Players in Unfamiliar Uniforms, v 2.0 CFL Edition & Update on Crazy Legs
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

You may recall a couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on Fred Gehrke’s hand painted 1948 Rams helmets and a photo of Crazy Legs Hirsch wearing an odd helmet in 1949 with some evidence to suggest Gehrke may have painted that helmet, too.

I contacted Riddell and asked if they had manufactured a custom leather helmet for Hirsch in ’49 and, if so, whether they had any additional info regarding that helmet. The reply I received from a representative at Riddell, who kindly took time out to answer my questions, offers a bit of insight…and raises more questions:

First and foremost, Riddell never made leather helmets…while we are aware of the 1949 red helmets, the contention in the email is not correct, at least insofar as the leather helmet that Mr. Hirsch wore in 1949.

At some point Mr. Hirsch did switch to a plastic helmet…we know that finding a color photograph from the 1949 season is next to impossible, and that would be the only way to determine the color of the helmet Mr. Hirsch wore in 1949…

So, the helmet in the photos of Hirsch from 1949 that we examined a couple of weeks ago on UW was not manufactured by Riddell. That leaves us with no idea who made it, but it is different than the 1948 version that Crazy Legs wore in a training camp photo and the Rams wore on field…

LEO2

…so it had to have been painted in 1949, which was confirmed by a statement made by Gehrke that indicated he touched them up for two years and kept blue and gold paint in his locker for that purpose. Whether the custom Riddell was made for Hirsch later in the 1949 season than the photos we have of him or whether the Pro Football Chronicle article is wrong and Riddell didn’t make that helmet until the following season is uncertain. Equally uncertain (still) is the color of the helmet, whether red like the rest of the team or blue (based on Gehrke’s comment, quoted in SN).

helmet painted red helmet painted blue

I am very appreciative of Riddell for taking the time to set the record straight. We know for certain they did not manufacture the leather helmet Crazy Legs is shown wearing for the Rams in 1949. That gives us one question answered, but the as for the rest of the questions those photos have raised, we may never know.

. . . . . . . . . .

Now, on to our uniform quiz…

We’re all familiar with those odd photos of our favorite players either just starting or finishing out their careers in unfamiliar uniforms. Rather than just post a bunch of photos, I thought it would be fun to let readers guess who these legends are. It’s football season in Canada so it’s the perfect time for the CFL/LCF edition, eh?

_____

Ready? No Googling! [Most of these photos below are full size]

1. This player won a Super Bowl but lost a heartbreaking Grey Cup with Toronto.

Quiz 1

_____

2. In just six CFL seasons this player won 5 Grey Cups with Edmonton but he never went to a Super Bowl in any of his 17 stellar NFL seasons.

Quiz 2

_____

3. This Alouettes QB led his NFL team to their first Super Bowl appearance.

Quiz 3

_____

4. This QB won one Grey Cup in two appearances with British Columbia and one NFL Championship but never won a Super Bowl.

Quiz 4

_____

5. This player (wearing #85) helped the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a Grey Cup victory and was sold to Saskatchewan the following offseason, then later helped his AFL team to a Championship and was again shipped to another team during the following offseason.

Quiz 5

_____

6. This former San Diego Chargers RB won a Heisman Trophy in college and a Grey Cup with Montréal.

Quiz 6

_____

Extra point if you know why this former LB for the Oakland Raiders and B.C. Lions is more commonly associated with boxing.

Quiz Extra

. . . . . . . . . .

Answers:

#1.

#2.

#3.

#4.

#5.

#6.

Extra point.

How did you do on this one, eh?

Till next time…

Cheers!

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Splash

Grand Rapids Griffins Contest Design Reminder

I’m currently hosting a contest to redesign an alternate jersey for the Grand Rapids Griffins. All the details are here.

The deadline for all submissions is Thursday, August 11th (Midnight Eastern Time).

Remember to send all your entries to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com in the format described in the article.

Good Luck!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: “This ballgirl making a — perhaps life-saving — catch appears to be wearing a number 90 jersey,” says Paul Lee. “I thought all ballboys/ballgirls wore the number of the year, i.e., 16? Or was it perhaps the batboys/batgirls?” … There was a colorful softball top matchup over in Japan the other day (from Graveyard Ball). … The Harrisburg Senators will be wearing custom jerseys that feature photos of doggies on them this Saturday (from OT Sports). Woof! … On Monday, Baseball Tonight featured an outdated photo of Rogers Centre (from Frank McGuigan). … The 1969 Syracuse Chiefs Team — a Yankees AAA farm club with Thurman Munson seated in the front row — bear a striking resemblance to today’s White Sox (from Bruce Menard). … Charlie Finley had NOTHING on these guys: Yesterday, in 1938, the Brooklyn Dodgers try an experimental yellow baseball vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Ebbets Field! (great stuff from Bruce Menard). … CROSS-SPORT ALERT: The Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) wore an Anaheim Ducks batting practice jersey as part of their “Ducks Night” promotion last night (also posted in Hockey). Here’s another look. … The HighDesert Mavericks (a Single-A affiliate of the Rangers) will be wearing these cancer awareness jerseys in the accursed color of death on Saturday night (from OT Sports). … Also from OT, the El Paso Chihuahuas will be sporting these Bark-in-the-Park jerseys on Sunday. Also, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will don these jerseys on Saturday (OT again). … The Rancho Cucamunga Quakes will be doing a Dora the Explorer thingy on Saturday, August 13th (from Minor League Promos). … Matt Moore of the SF Giants had no problem switching to #45 (from Brinke). … Speaking of uni numbers, newly acquired Orioles Wade Miley and Steve Pearce will wear #38 and #28, respectively. Pearce wore #28 on his previous stint(s) with the O’s (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Brewers’ Scooter Gennett sported some ‘Say No To Drugs-esque’ sweatbands last night, only his had a more religious message (h/t Gazza). … John Turney tweeted this photo of Bobby Bonds wearing a red jersey and powder blue pants, thinking it might be a spring training shot. Keith Olbermann cleared things up. … Joey Votto tried to catch a foul ball but a Reds fan got in the way. Votto reminded him what team he’s rooting for (Mike C. again). … “Wil Myers of the Padres has currently been in a slump since the All Star break,” says Jason Ricles. “I noticed then (last) night against the Brewers he was wearing high socks (he always uses no gloves so that is nothing new), of course it wouldn’t be complete without the Stance logo on the socks (ugh).”

NFL News: “Interesting uni choice made by clark toys on some of their Patriots products,” writes Eric Wright. “Its’ been a few seasons, I believe since they wore this combo: This is a Gronkowski Wobblers Bobblehead.” … Cowboys K Dan Bailey says he wears the same cleats from his rookie year in 2011 (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … Looks like the Washington football team has solid burgundy pants for practice this year. Don’t think we’ve ever seen solid burgundy before (game or practice), have we? (h/t Andy Johnson). … “Here’s a video clip of my former teammate from college Scott Tyrcha (Ter-cha, not Teerha as Spice says in the video) and his Bears man cave,” says Andrew Horne. … The Carolina Panthers have released their jersey schedule for 2016. … Is this the final year for Steelers bumblebee throwbacks? (from Mike Chamernik).

College Football News: Middle Tennessee State University football again boasts thousands of uniform combos. … The Tennessee Volunteers’ Todd Kelly Jr. changed his jersey number to honor the heroic teenager killed shielding girls from gunfire. … Sweet: Our pal Clint Richardson, who runs the Auburn Uniform Database, has designed his first two logos. … Here’s a look at the new SMU Mustangs unis at media day (from Nick Colosimo). … New uniforms coming soon for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (from Coach Adam). … Football and Futbol: Nippert getting ready for double duty with the Cincinnati Bearcats camp starting (from Bill Fenbers). … No more Walmart Khakis for Jim Harbaugh, what with the new Nike deal (from Alex Hider). … Color v color for UGA vs. UNC in their season opener (and also black jerseys for Dawgs sometime this season). From Chris Brueckner. … Last week the Nebraska football team suffered a sizable loss when punter Sam Foltz was killed in a car accident. “The social media department came up with, what I think, is a very nice tribute patch/logo,” says Brett Baker. “(Yester)day the equipment crew posted a pic of the hats the team will wear to ‘fan day’. If you look closely it appears the tribute patch/logo has been embroidered on. No word yet on how/wear the tribute will appear on helmets or jerseys.” … Hmmm, are there new number fonts for Notre Dame as shown in Malik Zaire’s latest insta post? (from Casey McHugh). … New jerseys and a new Russell Template for Ohio Bobcat football (h/t Clint Richardson). … “You Know If They’re Still Painting UM Helmets in Ohio?” asks Joseph Giordano. Remember this story from awhile back. “Would love to know if Michigan is still doing this,” he adds. … Speaking of Michigan football, “THIS is what Jumpman should have rolled out with the Michigan Football uniforms.” says Conrad Burry. “Makes a bit more sense, eh?” … The University of North Dakota has unveiled new helmets. … A couple folks tweeted this: new cleats for the Florida Gators. … SCar has modified their garnet helmets (from Oscar Cullom). Also the seniors will decide the uni combo for that week’s game.

Olympics News: Mackenzie Brown has a very cool archery-themed Olympics tattoo. … Even though the Olympics Opening Ceremonies aren’t until Friday, the Olympics actually start today (here’s a sked of each event). … If you’re a fan of certain shoe brands, you won’t be seeing their logos at the Olympics (thanks, Brinke).

Hockey News: Here’s a look at Canada’s new jerseys for World Junior Championship & World Hockey Championship. … In a related story, Chris Creamer has a post on Team Canada’s new hockey jerseys. … CROSS-SPORT ALERT: The Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) wore an Anaheim Ducks batting practice jersey as part of their “Ducks Night” promotion last night (also posted in Baseball). … “My kids received the 2016 Playmobil toy catalog today,” notes Julian LaFerla. “The catalog is probably old by know, but it’s interesting to speculate whether they had early access to the new Maple Leafs uniform design but kept it secret, or if they themselves had to wait until the unveiling before they could design and manufacture their toys.” … Didn’t have a photo yesterday, but here’s a look a Michigan’s maize hockey sweater (from Chris Hall). … Whoa, check out this “1966 goalie mask photo of the day” — From the front page of the 2/10/66 Montreal Gazette (from JW). Does that look like something from which George Lucas took inspiration?

NBA News: A restaurant in Italy made DeMarcus Cousins, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Danillo Gallinari, and Andrea Bargnani’s faces out of sushi, says our own Mike Chamernik. He adds, “Those likenesses are actually really on-point.” … Remember that time Reggie Miller basically single-handedly eliminated the Knicks from the playoffs (he used to kill the Knicks.? And then that time he gave the “choke” sign to Spike Lee? Apparently you can now get that image on a cap (from Megan Brown).

Soccer News: The new kits for Nigeria for 2016-17 have been released, and they’re beautiful (they’ll also be worn in the Olympics). … Good article from Sky Sports details which EPL club crests which have changed for 2016/17 (h/t Donald Wine II). … Good spot by Ben Isaacs who points out that South African team Bidvest Wits uses an image of Seattle’s Century Link Field on their profile, even though their real stadium holds only 5,000. … New number font for @EFL (2nd-4th tiers of English soccer) w/ prostate cancer awareness logo (from Yellow Away Kit).

Grab Bag: The next three submissions come from Andrew Cosentino: Here are the latest photos of Virginia Tech’s Merryman Athletic Facility. It was renovated this summer. … “UNC-Chapel Hill Library posted on Facebook that today is National Coloring Book Day [actually yesterday], with some pages to color based on items in their special collections archives, including this from the Yackety Yack [student yearbook], 1915,” says Elena Elms. “Next to it, I am representing Uni Watch with the great t-shirt, in Little Havana, while at the SABR Convention in Miami last week.” … Here’s “The Story of the Broom-I-Loo Jersey on Display at The Military Museums” (from Mike Styczen). This unusually named sport is a military tradition for one Canadian Prairie-based army unit that’s been playing it since the 1920s.

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And that will do it for today. *Phew*

Thanks to Leo for his “Leo’s World” and don’t forget to keep sending in your concepts for the Griffins Jersey Design contest!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Anyone of a certain age who grew up in the NYC metro area, when they hear Christmas in August, will always think of Crazy Eddie.”

— Jon Rose

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92 comments to Michigan Unveils New Football Unis, Which Look A Lot Like Their Old Football Unis

  • boxcarvibe | August 3, 2016 at 8:13 am |

    Sorry Joey Votto, slo-mo shows you bonked that foul pop. Don’t blame the fan. You shoulda called it.

  • Mike Edgerly | August 3, 2016 at 8:13 am |

    I got all but #5!

    • marc | August 3, 2016 at 9:33 am |

      At first glance, I thought Bonus Point guy was Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

    • Leo's World | August 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm |

      Trying to make these a bit harder, but not so hard that people won’t even bother. I do have one coming up next month that will be very difficult, I think, but overall I’m trying to find a balance in these.

      Nice job, Mike and marc!

      (BTW, marc, hadn’t thought of it, but you’re right, it does look like Matt!)

      • Wade Heidt | August 3, 2016 at 8:06 pm |

        Like those late 1970s/early 1980s Alouettes uniforms that Ferragamo is wearing in photo 3. Logo was simple but had clever hidden symbolism like the old Whalers and Expos logos.

        Would have liked to see the Alouettes adopt a modern version of that uniform this year with the switch to Adidas, rather than keeping their present, infamous look.

        • Leo's World | August 3, 2016 at 9:48 pm |

          I have a ’74 Als replica jersey. I always loved that look too.

  • Alex Dewitt | August 3, 2016 at 8:15 am |

    All they have to do is remove that makers mark from the Michigan uniforms and they would be perfect.

  • AnthonyTX | August 3, 2016 at 8:18 am |

    I know race relations are still, at times, tense and difficult in this country,* but I think it speaks volumes about how far we have come that Georgia Tech refusing to play a team with a black player sounds monumentally stupid now. Things were certainly different back then, but only the most hardcore racists will look at that today and say, “that’s absolutely ridiculous.”

    *I’m not trying to start any discussion over recent events; just noting that we still have a long way to go.

    • marc | August 3, 2016 at 9:26 am |

      I bet even racists today would think that it’s stupid. Maybe we’ve made some progress after all.

    • Lindsay Resnick | August 3, 2016 at 9:35 am |

      It is embarrassing that that incident was spurred by my alma mater. And it wasn’t the last time that it happened- see the 1955 Sugar Bowl against Pittsburgh and Bobby Grier. However, at least in that instance it was the governor’s decision, not the school’s, and the students basically rioted (not that they weren’t racist lol).

      We definitely still have a long way to go but I agree that at least *this* specific instance is no longer a problem.

  • Rob S | August 3, 2016 at 8:18 am |

    I think the Angels should’ve taken it one step further and had the numbers be in the Ducks’ font.

    Clark Toys is just a retailer. Funko is the manufacturer of those bobbleheads. I’m quite familiar with Funko’s work, and I’m quite astounded (and disappointed) that they’d render Pats players in navy-on-navy. The actual team hasn’t done that since 2002, which means Gronk has never worn that combination in a game.

  • jerry | August 3, 2016 at 8:22 am |

    the picture of “the new Michigan hockey sweater” has a swooshie on it, not the Jumpman. What’s up with that?

    • nickflees | August 3, 2016 at 8:41 am |

      Football and basketball will wear Jordan. Other teams will wear Nike.

      • marc | August 3, 2016 at 9:23 am |

        Jumpman on football unis. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

        • Jason | August 3, 2016 at 9:28 am |

          I wonder if they will use swingman ever on the baseball ones.

        • marc | August 3, 2016 at 9:43 am |

          With their logic, they’ll probably use Swingman on rugby jerseys.

        • Rob S | August 3, 2016 at 10:30 am |

          Well, you can blame Charles Woodson, then. He’s the one who had the idea in the first place.

    • Mark in Shiga | August 3, 2016 at 12:55 pm |

      The Jumpman logo is shoving the numbers downward and throwing off the balance.

      • Andrew Harrington | August 3, 2016 at 1:12 pm |

        That’s where the swoosh goes on that style of jersey. It’s also the same place the numbers are placed on a swoosh-branded jersey as well. It’s the design of the garment itself that dictates where the numbers are placed.

  • Dumb Guy | August 3, 2016 at 8:25 am |

    I noticed in the “ballgirl-saves-fan” video, she is seated on a 5-gallon bucket (with some sort of Honda sponsorship–can’t read it clearly).

    I did a quick Google pic search, and there is no standard seat for these gals. I see stools, folding chairs, paint buckets,–you name it. I guess it is a team-by-team thing.

  • Aaron | August 3, 2016 at 8:27 am |

    Somebody might have beaten me to this by the time I read through today’s entry, but “know” should be “now” in the Playmobil ticket item.

  • Jimbo | August 3, 2016 at 8:34 am |

    I read the text on the main Michigan photo and thought, “outfitted by Jordan Brand? Who is Jordan Brand?” I didn’t even notice the jumping man logo until I read it the second time. :-)

    Anyone else think the player on the left, Jourdan Lewis according to their roster, looks worried? An odd photo choice for a football promotion.

  • nickflees | August 3, 2016 at 8:42 am |

    Phil, You refer a few times to Willis Ward as “Wills”

    • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 9:20 am |

      Gah. Thanks — now fixed.

  • BurghFan | August 3, 2016 at 8:45 am |

    Should all the references to “Wills” be “Ward”?

    • BurghFan | August 3, 2016 at 8:45 am |

      …like Nick said.

  • The Jeff | August 3, 2016 at 8:50 am |

    Oh Michigan… the white pants are still bad. Knock it off.

    • Justin H. | August 3, 2016 at 8:54 am |

      i vehemently disagree. lifelong Michigan fan. I’ve been waiting for white pants on roadies my entire life.

    • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 9:57 am |

      THE spelled “perfect” wrong.

      Love the all white uni, although in the case of UM, I’m not sure anyone would argue with maize pants/white jerseys either. As long as they keep the maize pants with the blue tops, I think this is a fine, fine set.

      • The Jeff | August 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm |

        Meh. Here’s the problem, aside from me generally not liking all-white uniforms with a dark helmet anyway… the road whites have stripes on both the pants and sleeves – while the home uniforms don’t. They aren’t quite New York Giants mismatched, but they’re certainly trying to be.

        • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm |

          As long as they don’t wear the white pants with the blue jerseys, what’s the problem (aside from, your general contrarian-ness and dislike of white uniforms).

    • Tony Crespo | August 3, 2016 at 11:15 am |

      agree with “The Jeff” .. yellow pants looks better.. more inline with Michigan football

    • Eric Romain | August 3, 2016 at 1:41 pm |

      I agree white pants aren’t my favorite, but the jersey is at least the best white jersey U-Mich has has in years (no weird yellow piping, and changing clean one-color numbers).
      I like that there’s historic context for the white pants and that Harbaugh wants to where them because of his personal nostalgic for them.

      • Eric Romain | August 3, 2016 at 1:42 pm |

        wear*

    • Justin H. | August 3, 2016 at 8:57 am |

      Ah I think the comment was referring to Burgundy without stripes. “Solid.” got it now.

  • MJ | August 3, 2016 at 8:55 am |

    If the UM/Ga Tech incident happened in 1934, what is the significance and the connection to the model wearing #43, unless one is dyslexic?

    • Graham | August 3, 2016 at 9:38 am |

      #43 is a current player (Chris Wormley) who happens to be a senior this year. I’m guessing they chose the number for that reason (although it is not him or Jordan Lewis in either of the pictures wearing the actual jerseys which would make too much sense).

    • Casey L. | August 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm |

      Yeah, that wasn’t explained at all. I was wondering the same thing.

      • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm |

        If Nike/UM explained it, I didn’t see it. But I think there is no significance to it being “43” as opposed to say “34” (which would make some sense). The “23” on one of the white-shirted mannequins is obviously a reference to Jordan but the other white shirted model/mock was “26”.

        If I had to guess, I’d say the “43” (with the tail or serif pointing to the right and therefore facing the three, a la Gerry Ford’s “48”) probably ‘looks’ better than had the “4” been the digit in the “1” column (vs the “10” column), if that makes sense.

        Kinda how those stupid Viking “sail” numbers look OK when paired with a rounded number but incredibly stupid when not.

  • MJ | August 3, 2016 at 8:57 am |

    Also, the 1934 UM numbers have a 1 which resembles what the Chicago Blackhawks and USC wear, where the top of the 1 is squared off, not angled. The current UM numbers have a 1 with an angled top.
    Somebody here is badly overreaching for some connection to the past. Sorry.

    • Rob S | August 3, 2016 at 10:40 am |

      It was former interim AD Jim Hackett’s idea, and he only focused on the 4. So if anyone’s reaching, it’s the guy who was, at the time this was decided, in charge of the athletic program at the school.

    • Andrew Harrington | August 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm |

      That was a fairly common style of 4 in those days as well, though it’s probably more appropriately paired with a full serif set like the classic Cowboys’ numbers.

    • Elwood | August 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm |

      “Badly overreaching for some connection to the past” describes pretty much everything Michigan does.

  • JohnBoySlim | August 3, 2016 at 9:09 am |

    I know this must have been covered, but why is there a basketball player on UofM’s football jersey but not on their… BASKETBALL jersey?

    • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 9:21 am |

      Not sure to what you’re referring. The new basketball unis won’t be revealed until (probably) fall — last week in September is what I’m hearing.

      • Andrew Harrington | August 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm |

        Andy they will, in fact, be branded with the Jumpman.

  • Anthony Sanders | August 3, 2016 at 9:11 am |

    Nice uniforms cool

  • Todd Shepard | August 3, 2016 at 9:32 am |

    For the 1966 hockey mask/helmet combo- My dad had that same setup, and I used it for ball hockey as well. It was a Winnwell mask and a CCM helmet. From what he told me, a lot of goalies were using that, but taking the front part of the helmet off. This goalie left the front piece on.

  • Jon Rose | August 3, 2016 at 9:33 am |

    Purple is cancer now? I can’t keep up with all this crap.

    • Greg Brown | August 3, 2016 at 11:24 am |

      Purple has been the primary color of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for many years.

      One year when I worked with Relay, I was given a jacket with the Relay for Life logo by a very hardcore Washington State Cougars fan. When I thanked her, I mentioned that I was very glad to see that Relay for Life used purple as its primary color, since the Washington Huskies have always been a cancer…

    • mike 2 | August 3, 2016 at 11:41 am |

      Purple is prostate cancer

  • Perry | August 3, 2016 at 10:30 am |

    I suspect bat/ball boys/girls wearing the last two digits of the year ended in 2010, when that practice started intruding on “real” baseball numbers likely to be worn by the actual team.

    • Mark in Shiga | August 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm |

      It’s true for the Mets. Their bat and ball people wore the year on their backs form 1986 to 2009, with a brief exception in 1999 when Turk Wendell had the year as his jersey number. I think the bat/ball boys and girls got 00 then, like Mr. Met.

  • RickAZ | August 3, 2016 at 10:32 am |

    Not a fan of the matte helmets. Michigan has the best helmets, and why mess with it. I like their white pants on the road, and would like to see this for my Trojans as an alternate uniform.

    • tien | August 3, 2016 at 10:46 am |

      It’s actually not the first time they’ve worn the matte helmet–they had them for the 2013 Outback bowl. And as a Michigan fan, I don’t mind them at all. They didn’t change the design of the helmet, just the finish.

      • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm |

        I actually mention that factoid in the podcast (didn’t in today’s lede, obviously). See link now in the main article and also listed below.

    • Macky | August 3, 2016 at 12:16 pm |

      Doubt you will even notice that finish on the helmets without it being mentioned.

    • Eric Romain | August 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm |

      I don’t think the matte helmets look bad. The wing design originated on leather helmets which were about as glossy as a modern matte finish. I think matte finish color-matches to the jerseys better. They just hold the stigma that comes with being modern and nontraditional.

  • Greg Brown | August 3, 2016 at 11:15 am |

    Gerry Ford was a center for Michigan. In 1974, a few months after he became President, he went to Portland. One of his stops was a charity auction where a football autographed by the WFL Portland Storm was an item. The winning bidder got to have Ford long snap the ball to him. Ford almost took the guy’s head off.

    • Dumb Guy | August 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm |

      Jerry or Gerald. Pick one.

  • Chance Michaels | August 3, 2016 at 11:18 am |

    Yesterday, in 1938, the Brooklyn Dodgers try an experimental yellow baseball vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Ebbets Field! (great stuff from Bruce Menard).

    There have been lots of attempts to improve upon the basic white ball – the Milwaukee Brewers experimented with a yellow baseball way back in 1928.

    • Michael Emody | August 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm |

      That Dodger/Cardinal pic from 38 shows the Dodgers in their first year wearing the classic Dodgers script. The second baseman seems to have an old-style B on the left side of his jersey but since they stopped wearing that style in 31, it must just be a splotch on the film. His Dodgers script may not have been discernible from that distance in the sunlight. Just think – if they’d done it a year earlier, they’d be in the green uniforms.

  • Noah Wolf | August 3, 2016 at 11:45 am |

    In Soccer News, the link you have labeled as EPL crest changes is actually all English Football League teams. So I suppose EFL

    • Noah Wolf | August 3, 2016 at 11:45 am |

      (Premier League-League 2, so first-fourth tiers of English soccer)

  • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm |

    If anyone is interested, the podcast on the new Michigan Uniforms (mentioned in the lede) is now available here.

    • Alex Dewitt | August 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm |

      How bout that T-Wolves Link? Is ESPN being coy about it?

      • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm |

        Asked Paul about that earlier. Apparently the video is “fucked up” so there’s been a delay.

  • arrScott | August 3, 2016 at 12:24 pm |

    Netflix just announced that Christopher Guest’s next film would be about sports mascots, and will debut for streaming in October: http://www.avclub.com/article/teaser-christopher-guests-mascots-introduces-gold–240517

    • Jon Rose | August 3, 2016 at 1:25 pm |

      Featuring all the usual suspects! I can’t wait. I hope it features a Dandyesque mascot who’s universally hated by the fans.

      Also, I love me some Parker Posey.

    • Eric Romain | August 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm |

      Sounds like it’ll be a mockumentary of the Hulu “Behind the Mask” documentary series.
      If you haven’t checked that out, I recommend it.

    • Rob S | August 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm |

      I think that’s about the worst thing I’ve ever heard. How marvelous! ;)

  • James Steever | August 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm |

    The Brand Jordan University of Michigan Mens Hockey jersey is pathetically boring. Shame on NIKE… again.

    • nickflees | August 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm |

      Word on the street is that other hockey jersey designs are forthcoming. This one has been called a throwback.

  • Bobby Watson | August 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm |

    One thing not mentioned and hasnt been mentioned on many michigan boards as well, is that michigan is moving to a navy chin strap and navy nose bumper. You can see in the picture of Jabrill Peppers from last year that both the chin strap and nose bumper are white. The neck bumper on the back of the helmet will also be navy.

  • Phil Hecken | August 3, 2016 at 2:33 pm |

    OK — FINALLY!

    The Timberwolves Uni Contest results on ESPN link is now live.

    • Wafflebored | August 3, 2016 at 2:55 pm |

      Some really great concepts this time around. Love Dom Veurink’s green uniform, nice design.

    • Adam N. | August 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm |

      I love that the wolf in Brian Carlson’s design is standing on top of the outline of the state. A very subtle, but clever detail.

    • Winter | August 3, 2016 at 5:23 pm |

      I only see a wolf in the last of the Clary/Babineau designs, even after watching the animation.

  • Terry D. | August 3, 2016 at 3:54 pm |

    Holy shit, it’s been 17 years since I last commented. Anyway…

    I am 100% here for the new Michigan football togs. The serif 4 (which Minnesota based their current number font off of a few years back) is grand, the Maize is back (a stark difference from the highlighter-ish Sol color from their Adidas days), and I dig the matte helmets. Good on Michigan from keeping Nike’s wick out of the blue wax.

    That said, I do have two nitpicks unassociated with MJ from UNC on a UM uni:

    1) I don’t know why Nike has been in love with doing the die-cut tackle twill outline that’s LITERALLY THE SAME COLOR AS THE BASE NUMBER COLOR. Why not just punch out one solid twill number (which has worked for literal decades in various sports) and be done with it? This is just wasteful to me. Save the outline for dial-tone numbers.

    2) This will most likely boil down to personal preference, but the belts need to be blue. That goes for both pants.

    It’s been a minute since I’ve done a href links, so apologies if I screwed up any.

  • Charles | August 3, 2016 at 4:18 pm |

    It’s really pathetic to me that Nike’s football uniform systems don’t allow for one ounce of flexibility, like the ability to keep the striped sleeve cuffs on the road jersey. I have no idea why that would be a problem to maintain. The stripe now looks like garbage with the top 2/3 of it getting cut off at the shoulder seam. Plus, the stripe sitting higher forces them to push the sleeve numbers up to the shoulders. These are very basic, simple details that really shouldn’t need to be messed with. IMO the road jersey is a failure on Nike’s part.

  • Tenz | August 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm |

    Boy, I’m glad I’m not the one who had to pick only a few winner in the T-Wolves design contest — so many truly superb entries. The one that leaped out at me was Devan Kirkpatrick’s kind of “airbrushed” effect, not sure he was going for this, but to me it was really evocative of winter snowdrifts — very appropriate for a winter sports team from up north. Also liked the “ice blue” alternate by Greg Koch. And while I usually dislike sublimated background patterns, I enjoyed the tree background Jonathan Chernow presented. Also, kudos to OTPasha for the “crystal” effect of his T-Wolf logo and nice alternating use of blue and green colors on his uniforms.

  • Tenz | August 3, 2016 at 5:02 pm |

    That issue of the Montreal Gazette with the Lucas-like hockey mask was published the day they reported the NHL announcement of league expansion beyond the “original six” teams to the six new U.S. cities (with St. Louis still a preliminary pick possibly to be replaced by Baltimore). That story is to the left of the hockey-mask photo.

  • LarryB | August 3, 2016 at 6:10 pm |

    The Michigan new uniforms are as we know not much different. I too think it is dumb to have the jumpman logo on football jerseys. I say the darker “maize” looks better. The helmets are ok.

    How about SMU new unis. Where did they get that idea from? Another reason why Ohio State should stay with the gray sleeves.

    http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/graphics/2015/09/0928-meyer-team-eq.jpg

    • Michael Emody | August 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm |

      Yeah, the striping does look similar. Maybe Ohio State’s outer black lines are thinner than SMU’s blue ones. But at least SMU has got stripes! Doesn’t Ohio State have at least one jersey with the full Northwestern variant stripes instead of the cut down version? And I don’t know what “grey sleeves” refers to, but it sounds awful. More stripes, please.

  • Rob Z. | August 3, 2016 at 9:24 pm |

    THANK YOU Michigan for not drinking the NCAA Kool Aid but instead going with a traditional look. No crazy fonts or non school colors. Can’t say much for the Jordan logo, but hey…gotta pick your battles.

  • RSB | August 3, 2016 at 11:20 pm |

    The wings on the new Michigan helmets look smaller. I hope they give that treatment the proper respect it deserves.

    BTW, not that it tarnishes his greatness, but Warren Moon was actually a backup for the first 2 of those 5 consecutive Grey Cups. He was MVP in #3 and #5

    RSB

  • Jake Gless | August 4, 2016 at 5:07 pm |

    I’d rather have more normal numbers and the jersey fabric template seems unnecessarily overdone, but otherwise these are pretty clean. However… I do not like the dark blue nose bumper on the helmet. It eats into too much of the yellow wing decal on the helmet and throws off the visual balance. When the bumper was white, not only was it lacking in visual weight, but it was also a functional necessity and therefore extraneous to the design. Now the dark bumper looks intentional and in conflict with one of football’s most iconic helmets.

    • Jake Gless | August 5, 2016 at 9:59 am |

      Also regarding the helmet design, the stripes are still too wide. Not quite as Down-syndrome-looking (pardon me) as some of the more inconsistently-striped helmets from the Rich Rod era, but still not good. The wings should be high and the stripes should be tight, sleek and sturdy like they were under Bo and into the ’90s.