Friday, November 7, 2014

Yale Bulldogs (1997-98)

If you were a sports fan in the 1990s, then you probably remember when Starter jackets were all the rage: Those bulky, puffy, colorful pullover jackets with a team name plastered on the front and a ginormous team logo splashed on the back. I swear half the UMaine hockey fans at Alfond Arena were wearing those when I was in college.
I never had one, but I did own an even gaudier Patriots jacket by Apex, which I wore for five New England winters:

A UMaine Starter jacket, which I did not own ...

... and a Patriots Apex jacket, which I DID own.
(These pix were both lifted from eBay listings, BTW.)

So what does this have to do with our little blog?
I couldn’t find this AP wirephoto when I posted the 1996 Yale uniform a while back, but I finally found it the other day: Carm Cozza, uber-legendary Yale coach, taking the field for his last home game on the Bulldog sidelines against Princeton on Nov. 16, 1996. … in a Starter jacket. 

Something's not right about this picture ...

The Pope in a leisure suit. Bear Bryant in tye-dye. Carm Cozza in a Starter jacket. It just doesn’t work. Starter jackets had their place in the Decade That Time Forgot; the Ivy League was not it.

In 1997, Jack Siedlecki became Yale’s coach, and the Bulldogs made one small change from 1996, Cozza’s last year: A blue outline was added to the “Y” on the helmet, in addition to changes made in ’96. The outline stayed until 2012, when Tony Reno became coach, and Starter had long stopped supplying Yale’s uniforms.

Here's the great Carm Cozza in more conventional attire  in 1968.
The pic is from the back page of the Nov. 19, 1968 Yale Daily News.

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