By Phil Hecken, with Terry Duroncelet & Joe Ringham
Happy New Year Uni Watchers!
Let’s hope it’s a good one.
We’re almost done with the College Football Season, but since my last weekend posting we’ve had LOTS and LOTS of Bowl Games played. Today, I have two of my SMUW crew here to bring you the first half wrap and a 5 & 1 featuring the first half (there are only 41 of them…) of the Bowls. Next weekend, I’ll have the whole crew back for one final SMUW and a look at the remaining Bowls, some of which still have yet to be played. I’m gonna miss ya, College Football, but we ain’t done with you yet.
With that, Terry will kick things off, followed by Joe. Here we go…
Sunday Mornng Bowl Wrap, Part I
By Terry Duroncelet
Hello everyone, and welcome to the first half of the 2016 bowl season! We have (I believe) 40 games to to get through. As per tradition, each team will be referred to by their full school name, although I will most likely butcher some school’s name, so apologies in advance. *cracks knuckles* …Let’s do this.
From Saturday, December 17th, 2016
â”‚UTSA vs New Mexicoâ”‚ We begin with the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners kicking off bowl season against the University of New Mexico Lobos. UTSA wore navy blue helmets and jerseys with white pants –a look that garners an iota of the ’40s Bears throwbacks (which would be a perfect look if it weren’t for those AWFUL WHITE SHOES)– in their contest, while New Mexico wore an all-white ensemble with asymmetrical helmet decals: Lobos logo on one side, helmet number on the other. A pretty straightforward-looking game. As an aside, while looking for pictures to use for the wrap-up, I found this photo which features some very nice striped socks. In addition, if you look at this photo of New Mexico’s jerseys, you’ll find that the numbers are traditional tackle twill (a full two-ply style), which is weird considering that that’s a newer Nike template, and they’ve been focusing more on the die-cut outline style, which is a lighter-weight solution without having to use… ugh, screenprint. I figured that Nike would’ve phased out the two-ply twill style at this point, but what do I know? Lastly: this. invoking team spirit, I see.
â”‚SDSU vs Houstonâ”‚ And as fast as we blink, we already have our first color-vs-color game, between the University of Houston Cougars, and the San Diego State University Aztecs. Houston wore monochrome red with white helmets, a look I find to be unsatisfying. For one, it’s an unbalanced look, but also, why not look like an army of sentient Christmas ornaments for the holiday season? Meanwhile, SDSU wore mono-black with their usual helmets. An average look for them, but I must say, the helmet is simultaneously a looker and frustrating. Up close, it’s a marvel to behold, but damn near every detail gets lost from any type of distance (not actual bowl game photos, but they should illustrate my point). Not good for someone as nearsighted as me. I also find the choice to go red vs black dubious. Both teams already employ red as a team color, and as such, things just end up looking muddy and not the easiest game on the eyes. Maybe the white helmets were a blessing in disguise.
â”‚UCF vs Arkansas Stateâ”‚ Remember when I mistakenly referred to the University of Central Florida Knights as the Black Knights? Well, let’s just say that they’re not making things any easier. While the
Golden Knights wore all-black, the Arkansas State University Red Wolves wore a simple white jersey and pant combo with red helmets.
â”‚Toledo vs Appalachian Stateâ”‚ The Appalachian State University Mountaineers not only wore all-white, but they also revealed some new camellia-inclusive decals for the occasion. YÅ«kimaru from Naruto Shippuden could not be reached for comment, although I’m sure he is quite pleased. The University of Toledo Rockets (I love that name SO MUCH) wore a full-navy look with gradient helmets.
â”‚UL-Lafayette vs Southern Missâ”‚ In what seems like an almost yearly bout featuring one team or the other, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns squared off against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, with UL-Lafayette in all-red (the residents of Avery Island, LA are pleased, for obvious reasons), and Southern Miss in black helmets and pants with white jerseys.
From Monday, December 19th, 2016
â”‚Tulsa vs Central Michiganâ”‚ For reasons that escape me, the Central Michigan University Chippewas felt it necessary to completely strip the gold from their uniforms in their game against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, so we end up with an all-white uniform, trimmed in maroon and… platinum. At least Tulsa wore gold helmets (along with blue jerseys and white pants).
From Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
â”‚WKU vs Memphisâ”‚ Not a lot to say here: The University of Memphis Tigers in white/white/blue, with asymmetrical helmet decals, and the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers in chrome/red/black. It is worth noting that Memphis wore decals on the back of their helmets in honor of those affected by the wildfires in Gatlinburg.
From Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
â”‚Wyoming vs BYUâ”‚ We were treated to a game with “real football weather”, as the University of Wyoming Cowboys wore their standard white helmets, brown jerseys, and yellow pants –a look that is unmistakably Wyoming at this point– against the Brigham Young University Cougars, in a very clean all-white uniform. BYU also honored Elise Mahe and Hayes Tate with this decal (with credit to BYU AR Director Jasen Ah You).
From Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
â”‚Colorado State vs Idahoâ”‚ You know, I don’t remember the last time Idaho was in a bowl game. Maybe they were in one in recent times, and I’m just not remembering clearly. At any rate, we have the Colorado State University Rams in green/green/white, and the University of Idaho Vandals in grey/white/grey.
From Friday, December 23rd, 2016
â”‚Old Dominion vs Eastern Michiganâ”‚ When I was looking up pictures for this game, I stumbled on a hidden “treasure” from apparently last season. Oof. Luckily, the Eastern Michigan University Eagles kept it simple with green helmets and pants with white jerseys. Also, it was a huge pain trying tom find pictures of the Old Dominion University Monarchs, so from the EMU’s website, here’s what they wore: white helmets and pants with navy jerseys.
â”‚Louisiana Tech vs Navyâ”‚ Louisiana Tech University’s Bulldogs wore white/red/white, and added some S&S decals for the occasion, and against who, you ask? None other than the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen, who wore gold helmets, white jerseys, and navy pants.
â”‚Troy vs Ohioâ”‚ Ar– are these getting shorter? I wish that there were more to mention, but perhaps there will be more come part two of the wrap-up. Anyway, we have the Troy University Trojans in white/maroon/white, and the Ohio University Bobcats in all-white.
From Saturday, December 24th, 2016
â”‚MTSU vs Hawai’iâ”‚ For those who don’t live in Australia: it’s cold around this time of year, so why not warm up a bit with some Christmas Eve action in Hawai’i? The hometown heroes –the Rainbow Warriors of the University of Hawai’i– wore all-white, and the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders wore white helmet and pants with blue jerseys, and also wore a festive helmet stripe. And in this shot provided by Funhouse on Twitter, we can see an NFL-style captaincy patch.
From Monday, December 26th, 2016
â”‚Miss. State vs Miami (OH)â”‚ Post-Christmas, out first matchup features the Mississippi State University Bulldogs, and the Miami (of Oxford, Ohio) University RedHawks. Miss. St. wore full-maroon, and Miami (OH) wore white jerseys and red pants, with red-to-white gradient helmets that I haven’t seen them in before, but I can dig ’em. Speaking of helmets, Camden Henry spotted some inconsistent Bulldog lids. A Schutt thing, possibly? Or maybe the lighting was at a weird angle.
â”‚Boston College vs Marylandâ”‚ Our next matchup features the Boston College Eagles, and the Terrapins of the University of Maryland, College Park. Wait… Maryland actually made it to a bowl game this year? Huh, go figure. BC in their traditional gold/maroon (actually more of a crimson)/gold, UM in white jerseys and black pants with their flag helmets. I miss the old pennant helmets they used to wear.
â”‚Vanderbilt vs NC Stateâ”‚ Look: another color-vs-color game… and it’s another red vs black matchup. Well, at least neither team shares a color, and it pays off here. The Vanderbilt University Commodores wore all-black for their bowl appearance, and as you can see, two seniors are featured here via the SEC Graduate patch on their jerseys. More than 150 student-athletes in the SEC have worn/will wear the patches in their bowl games. Many more have worn the patches all season. Meanwhile, the North Carolina State University Wolfpack wore white/red/white.
From Tuesday, December 27th, 2016
â”‚North Texas vs Armyâ”‚ Appropriate helmets for the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy, paired nicely with a mono-white look. And the Mean Green of the University of North Texas (still the official American university of Australians) seems to have lived up to their name, but they also sported chrome helmets. As Funhouse points out here, Fred Scott (#32) for North Texas had a slight decal malfunction.
â”‚Wake Forest vs Templeâ”‚ The Temple University Owls wore white helmets and jerseys with cherry pants, and they also had new shoes and helmet decals for their bowl game (closer look). The Wake Forest University Demon Deacons wore gold-chrome/black/black.
â”‚Washington State vs Minnesotaâ”‚ It’s always a treat to see the SKI-U-MAH helmets worn by the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) Golden Gophers, and they go nicely with the white jerseys and maroon pants. To our right, we see a classic look (with a real grey) being sported by the Washington State University Cougars. But as Mark Johnson points out, there’s some odd tailoring going on with Cougars QB Luke Falk’s right sleeve (here’s the left for comparison). From how it looks, I doubt it’s a sleeve fold.
â”‚Baylor vs Boise St.â”‚ The Baylor University Bears –as they’re wont to do– wore grey jerseys. In the words of Mr. Regular… well, at least the green helmets and pants were nice to look at. Now the Boise State University Broncos on the other hand… very nice! Blue helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants really brighten up this contest. And at this time of year, decal malfunctions are aplenty (with credit to Mark Johnson, once again).
Alright, that will do it for the first half of the 2016 bowl season. Tune in next time, when we get to the really big games, including the semifinal games between Bammer Bammer, Team Doggo, Clamp, and THE. See you soon!
Thanks, TJ! We’ll see you and the rest of the Crew next weekend. Now, on to …
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Greetings, everyone! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season up to this point. This will be the first of two bowl editions of the 5 & 1, with this first list covering the bowls up through the Cactus Bowl (roughly halfway through the bowl season). Let’s see who made the list through the first half of the bowls…
5) Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs Old Dominion — A simple yet very good looking game down in the Bahamas to start the list. EMU looked great in green/white/green, and the gray numbers weren’t all that hard to read with that thick, black outline around them. The Monarchs looked very sharp in their pretty basic white/navy/white set.
4) Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis vs Western Kentucky — The first of a couple of red vs blue games (in one form or another) on the list. Love the Tigers going white/white/blue here. It matches up perfectly in contrast with the chrome/red/black set brought out by the Hilltopppers. A sharp-looking game down in South Florida.
3) Armed Forces Bowl: Navy vs Louisiana Tech — The second of the red vs blue match-ups. Always been a fan of the regular uniforms Navy brings out, and the gold/white/navy the went with here is no exception. La Tech looks just as sharp in white/red/white, looking rather patriotic against the Middies when you throw in the white and blue on the shoulder striping.
2) Cactus Bowl: Boise State vs Baylor — At first, I was on the fence about this game. But, after watching most of this one, I quickly started to really like it. The Broncos looked excellent in blue/white/orange, a look they really need to keep on the road for next season. Pair that up against Baylor’s green/gray/green look, and you have one very colorful and eye-pleasing game to watch
1) Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs Washington State — To me, this was a hands-down choice for the top spot. Loved how Wazzu went gray/crimson/gray here, a look they should never go away from when the home team. It seems to pair up perfectly with the yellow/white/maroon the Gophers went with, one of my favorite sets of the many they go with.
+1) St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (OH) vs Mississippi State — Mono-maroon may not have been the best idea for MSU to go with for this game, especially when you pair it up against the Redhawks awful looking gradient helmets.
That will do it for the first half of the bowl season. I’ll be back next weekend for Part 2 of the Bowl Edition, covering the back half of the bowl season. Until then, have a safe and happy New Year!
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it on Friday, Paul’s ESPN column mentioned the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing in the Centennial Classic on New Year’s Day (additional info on the uniforms is available here), followed by the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks facing off in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 (additional uniform info here). He covered those briefly, and then went of to rank past matchups, in typically awesome Paul-style.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: “In NBC’s coverage of 1972 Opening Day at Shea Stadium (which had been delayed for about two weeks on account of a players’ strike during spring training), announcer Sandy Koufax mentions the Mets’ new doubleknit uniforms,” says Ferdinand Cesarano. The comment is at the 39:22 mark of this video. He adds, “Please note that, even though Koufax uses the word “also” in his comment, he was not referring to anything that had been said previously. Rather, he was using that word in order to create a link to what he would say later in the sentence about the Pirates’ new uniform. Koufax’s broadcast partner, Jim Simpson, did not follow up on that line of conversation, adding only a comment about the black armband that the Mets were wearing at the end of their left sleeves in honour of Gil Hodges, who had died during the spring.” … Here’s a great shot of Harmon Killebrew going old school with a cap in his back pocket (from Stirrups Now!).
NFL News: Reader Douglas Ford asks this question: “Which is greater – the facemask or the lampshade on this huskers lamp?” … Tweeter RN’s Funhouse thinks this “Get RAMbunctious” slogan may have been the worst ever. … Whoa! Check out these NFL seats! Tweeter Dub Snuggs says he “found these in my brother-in-laws basement. From the set at NFL films.” … Washington ‘skins DL Cullen Jenkins will wear customized cleats today, in what could likely be his final NFL Game (from Tommythecpa).
College Football News: Check out this interesting foam finger for University of Washington (from Andrew Cosentino). … Do we have a new score bug for ESPN now (from Chris Viel). Here’s another look (from Brock Brames). … The Fiesta Bowl caps have the stitched Fiesta Bowl logo on the side (from Ya Boy JoPo). … Phil Cruzan, Jr. asks, “Would a door graphic be too simple..? Design 101.”
Hockey News: Tweeter Patrick Thomas made this observation yesterday: “Rochester Lourdes (MN) always looks terrible, but they took it to new levels this year.” … Pretty cool mashup of the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Rockies logos for their upcoming Ring of Honor ceremony on January 6, 2017 (from Marc Viquez). … Reader Harvey Lee writes, “USA looked good in throwback jerseys at the World Junior championships, but the C patch at the World Cup of Hockey was better.”
Basketball News: Check out this very awesome wall art at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County). From Matt Brevet. Looks like they have a slightly different logo nowadays. … As seems to often be the case with the Charlotte Hornets, their game yesterday was color vs. color against the Cavs (from Ben Campbell).
Grab Bag: “Good story about the recent multi use of BMO Field which the NHL prefers to call Exhibition Stadium this weekend for the outdoor hockey game due to sponsorship conflicts with Scotiabank,” writes Harvey Lee. “I don’t recall this happening for a major sporting event besides the Olympics. I assume it’s written into the naming rights contract.” … “Myself, Alan Evans, and our friend Lucy have enjoyed Paul’s Irish cream recipe for New Year’s Eve. It is delicious and we must thank Paul for it,” writes Mark Higgins. Unis are Jets, Hellas Veronas (Italian soccer) and Ravens.
And that’s it for today. Thanks to TJ and Joe for their roundups — they’ll both be back (along with the full SMUW Crew) next weekend for one last look back at the 2016 College Football Season.
Hope everyone had a safe, healthy & happy New Year. Here’s to 2017!
In case you missed it, my buddy Jimmer Vilk offered up another wonderful round of collectibles in our second annual “A Very Merry Vilkmas” reader appreciation raffle. All the details are here, so be sure to check it out if you missed it yesterday.
That’s all for me for today. I’ll catch you next weekend, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Block numbers not only look much better, but they are also much easier to read from a distance.”