Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hi, and thanks for checking in. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the history of college football uniforms in New England … and a few other places.
“Planned” wouldn’t be the right word to describe this project; “evolved” would be more like it. A few years back, I discovered my alma mater, the University of Maine, had the foresight to post all its old yearbooks (the late, somewhat great “Prism”) online. I found myself looking through the sports chapters, and next thing I knew, I was recording the old football uniforms on an ancient paint program on an ancient bubble-shaped iMac.
Soon, I discovered other schools were putting their old yearbooks and/or student newspapers online, and, well, one thing led to another. And now, it’s time to share that obsession.
Here are the ground rules: The schools featured here are all NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) schools based (mostly) in New England:
Colonial Athletic Association: Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware.
Ivy League: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale.
Football Bowl Subdivision: Boston College, UConn, UMass.
Patriot League: Holy Cross.
Northeast Conference: Bryant, Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart.
Defunct Teams: Boston University, Fairfield, Northeastern, Vermont.
That’s 23 schools total. Columbia, Cornell, Penn and Princeton are in because I wanted to include all the Ivy League schools. Delaware is in because of its long history in the CAA and its predecessors (the Atlantic 10 and Yankee Conference). Also, it played schools like Maine, UNH and UMass on a regular basis long before it joined the old YC in 1985.
I’ll introduce each school one at a time, 2-3 times per week, over the next couple months.  With each post will be a little background about the team, some notes about its uniform history, and an illustration of its 2013 uniform, plus one uniform from the past. For example, the first UMass post will feature its 2013 uniform (with a mere 11 variations in 12 games), plus a design from the 1970s glory years. Once we do that for all 23 schools, I’ll post more historical designs for each school. This should keep us busy for a while. :)
On occasion, I’ll use the name/number of a prominent player from a school’s history.
For now, we’re going to concentrate on the last 50-60 years, but I have plenty of info on the “leatherheads” era, too.
This project would not be possible without the schools and universities for placing their yearbooks and students newspaper online. Even with all of this info out there, it can be a bear to keep track of schools such as UConn and Columbia that used to change their look on an almost yearly basis. Where applicable, I’ll throw out a link to each school’s yearbook/newspaper site as we go along.
In a day or two, we’ll begin the fun with my Black Bears and go from there! Thanks again for checking in!

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