Friday, September 12, 2014

Yale Bulldogs (2013, 1967-68)

Much like Princeton and Harvard, Yale hasn’t done much with football, other than help invent it. Walter Camp, who played and coached there in the 19th century, invented the line of scrimmage and the down system; without the latter, we wouldn’t have time to take a sip of beer or dip into a bag of chips between plays. His prize protege, Amos Alonzo Stagg, created the man in motion and uniform numbers, among other innovations, and coached for close to SEVENTY years.
But Yale’s not all about the distant past. Calvin Hill, Brian Dowling, Dick Jauron and Eric Johnson are some of the Bulldogs over the last 50 years who have left their stamp on football, college and pro. Now, if only the Bulldogs could beat Harvard …
Notes ’n stuff about the Sons of Eli, and I don’t mean Manning:
  • No team in this project is more hidebound by tradition, except maybe Delaware. The white helmet with the “Y,” blue shirts and white pants have been a constant for nearly 50 years.
  • Yale wore the “100” decal on the helmet for college football’s centennial in 1969, then wore it again in 1972, for the program’s 100th anniversary. In 1973, the Bulldogs slapped a “101” decal over the “100” decal. OK …
  • Gray and/or gold was part of the uniform until the late 50s/early '60s.
  • Nike has manufactured the uniforms since 2002.
The Yale Daily News has more stuff on Yale than anyone, except maybe uniform researchers, could want. The only negative is a lousy user interface, but then I’m just glad all these old newspapers are online in the first place. Helmet Hut tells a tale of a former Yale captain and his helmet here.
The 2013 Yale uniform (shown above) was a conscious attempt to return to the past, with the addition of a modern twist. After the “Y” on the helmet was stripped of its outline the year before (a return to the “vintage” look of the Carm Cozza era), the ’13 jerseys lost the bulldog logo on the sleeves, giving them a resemblance to the simple look that was used until the mid-90s. The pants, on the other hand, have modern Nike striping, a pattern similar to Brown’s.

The “classic” look takes us to the late 1960s and the 29-29 “loss” to Harvard in 1968. Future Dallas Cowboys standout running back Calvin Hill wore No. 30. Between the ’68 Harvard-Yale game, Dartmouth’s unbeaten, nationally-ranked 1970 team and Ed Marinaro’s near-Hesiman win in 1971, the time period really marked the Ivy League’s last flirtation with big-time football.

Up next: We take a look at Holy Cross.

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