Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Princeton Tigers (2013, 1975-77)

And now it’s on to Princeton, a school that hasn't done much ... only help invent the sport (well, unless you ask Harvard) in 1869. The Tigers have claimed 22 national titles, all in the prehistoric era of college football. They also have a Heisman Trophy winner (Dick Kazmeier) and a former Superman (Dean Cain) among their alums.
Rules, notes and trivia about Princeton’s uniforms:
  • Another tradition-minded team from the Ivy League (yeah, I’m as shocked as you are). For many years, orange helmets, black shirts with orange striping and white/gray pants were a constant. In the 1970s, helmet logos began to be used, and they changed fast ’n furious until the Tigers went back to blank helmets in the mid-1980s.
  • Legendary coach Fritz Crisler designed the “classic” Princeton helmet - black with orange “wings” and stripes, in the 1930s. In 1938, he moved on to Michigan and took the design with him, which means Princeton had Michigan-style helmets before Michigan did.
  • Princeton may have been the last team in this project to wear long-sleeve jerseys; the Tigers still used them around 1980.
  • An orange alternate jersey has been used the last several years.
  • Nike has manufactured the uniforms since 1998.
The Daily Princetonian's coverage is thorough, and the website is user-friendly. Oddity: By the 1990s, the back page was devoted to just one sports story, a la the Boston Herald or New York Post. During the football season, the football results were often pushed inside in favor of soccer or field hockey. Nothing against those sports; it just strikes me as kinda strange. :)
The 2013 Princeton uniform (see above). … On one hand, I like how the Tigers have adapted the sleeve stripes of yore to the modern jersey template, which lacks true sleeves 99.44 percent of the time. Very clever. On the other hand, the black helmet with orange stripes looked miles better than the current version; the colors were reversed in 2012. The uniform has changed for 2014, but the helmets remain the same.

The “classic” look is from 1975-77, when the Tigers were a nondescript 9-18, but wore a helmet logo that aped the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hey, if you’re going to rip off a logo, it might as well be a good one. This was during the period when teams were transitioning from black to white shoes, and I figure it's easier to show the alternate shoe on the side instead of four different uniforms.

Up next: We wrap up the Ivy League with the Sons of Eli, the Yale Bulldogs.

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