Friday, October 24, 2014

Delaware Blue Hens (1980-88)

First off, a little advance hype: In honor of Halloween next week, we’re going to journey into the college football graveyard and examine five defunct programs, with a new post each weekday:
  • The school that dropped a winning program after only seven years!
  • A team that hypes its 40-year undefeated streak!
  • A team whose program was canceled on Homecoming and the players wore generic uniforms in protest!
Should be a blast.
Until the 2000s, you needed an electron microscope to notice Delaware’s uniform changes over the previous 50 years or so. A sock stripe here, a shoe color there, a trim stripe somewhere else … you have to look carefully to figure out the changes. So while the Blue Hens kept the same basic look, they were making eensy-weensy modifications every few years. Even the Michigan-style helmet striping underwent slight changes over the years.
The biggest change Delaware made in its uniform from 1979 to 1980? The Blue Hens added blue trim on the road jerseys. Before that, the big change was the addition of blue face masks in 1978. Before that, a switch to V-neck collars in 1977. You get the idea. That said, the Hens stuck with this look until 1989 ... when the big change was the addition of a 100th anniversary patch.

This style was worn by quarterback Rich Gannon, shown in the 1987 Blue Hen yearbook, long before he an MVP, Super Bowl participant, broadcaster and anti-Raiders ranter.

Rich Gannon, before the New England Patriots tried to convert him to a defensive back.
That says a lot about the Pats of my youth.

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