Friday, August 15, 2014

Rhode Island Rams (2013, 1983-90)


Lord, it must be tough to be a Rhody fan. No NCAA FCS tournament appearances since 1985; no winning seasons since 2001; a subpar stadium; occasional threats to shut down the program … This is a program for the diehards, all right. At least the Rams have looked good while losing, for the most part.
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Some notes about URI’s uniform history:
  • The ram horns on the helmet have been a constant since the early 1960s, except for 1993-99, when an interlocking “RI” was used. The combinations, on the other hand, have been seemingly endless:
    • Light blue helmets, white horns;
    • Navy helmets, white horns;
    • White helmets, navy horns;
    • White helmets, light blue horns;
    • White helmets, light blue horns outlined in gold;
    • Navy helmets, light blue horns (the most recent model).
  • Light blue jerseys were used from 1967-2010 before a return to navy in 2011.
  • The interlocking “RI” logo, while not always part of the uniform, dates back to at least the 1930s, making it one of the longer-running non-Ivy League logos in the project.
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The Rhody yearbook, the Renaissance (formerly known as the Grist, a much cooler name), can be found here. And this website has been a huge help in my research of more recent uniforms, particularly Rhody and UMass.
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The 2013 uniform is shown above. … Another clean and simple look, but Rhody should really wear light blue. Save the navy for the Black Bears. :) Note that the navy blue on the shirts doesn’t quite match the navy on the pants. I believe the white pants were new for ’13.
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For the “classic” look, we’ll go back to the 1980s glory years, when URI reached three NCAA I-AA (now FCS) tournaments from 1981-85, including an NCAA semifinal appearance in ’84. The time period when Rhody wore gold exactly matches Bob Griffin’s stint as head coach (1976-92). The Rams never wore gold before or since. Some, but not all, the jerseys and pants sported the Champion manufacturers’ logo. 
I always thought the Rams looked like the bastard children of the pre-2000 L.A./St. Louis Rams and the late-60s/early-70s San Diego Chargers, but I liked this style and I was bummed out when I attended a Maine-Rhody game in college (1994) and saw the Rams changed to a more conventional look. You’re called the Rams! Wear horns! Ahem.
URI wore “block” numbers the last three years of this style (1990-92).
Pardon the off-white background for the vintage Rhody units; I'm not sure how they got that way, but I'll try to fix it.
Next week, we’ll introduce the final CAA team in this project, the Delaware Blue Hens.

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