Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brown Bears (2014, 1975-77)

I’ve intentionally tried to keep this blog light ’n breezy, so pardon me if I take a detour for just a minute here … 

Nothing drives me up the wall more than people on the interwebs who complain about inaccurate throwback uniforms. A stripe is off a quarter-inch? The sky is falling! A number font is slightly off? It’s World War III!! A belt is the wrong color? An asteroid might as well be smashing Earth!!! I appreciate accuracy as much as anyone else, but we need to calm down here. If we put as much effort into solving world problems as we do into ranting about throwbacks, we’d be living in a much better place.

Which brings me to Brown’s 1976-style throwback jerseys, worn against Harvard on Saturday night as part of the school’s 250th anniversary celebrations. Are they terribly accurate? They are, for the most part. Yeah, maybe it would be nice if they used the “Champion” font, but I kinda doubt most of the fans in attendance were losing sleep because Brown opted to use the current jersey font, only with the red outline eliminated. Should the helmets have been blank, as they were in ’76 and in the publicity shots? Probably. 

Let’s just remind ourselves: This is an FCS team on a limited budget, not some football factory like Oregon that has a license to print money and seems to wear a different helmet for every game of the season. It’s probably a minor miracle that an FCS team has an alternate shirt to begin with. For the purpose they served, these throwbacks looked fine, and I wish more teams had the budget to wear retro gear. (Mmmmm … Maine … winged helmets …)

Anyway, here’s the original 1976 Brown uniform for comparison. Under coach John Anderson, the Bears went 8-1 and won the Ivy League championship for their only title not won by Phil Estes. A one-point loss to Penn (7-6) was all that prevented an undefeated season. Anderson coached Brown from 1973-83 and finished with a 60-39-3 record.

BTW, if you look at the publicity shots from the above link, you'll notice the athletes from other sports are wearing Adidas uniforms, while the football uniforms continue to eschew any manufacturer's logos. Hmmm ...

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