Monday, February 16, 2015

Holy Cross Crusaders (1971)


This week, we're going to profile the most boring uniforms I can find in our little project; I'm talking about outfits that can cure insomnia, the football equivalent of bran flakes. OK, these uniforms aren't as blah as Paterno-era Penn State, but you get the idea.

You could also call this "teams that wore blank helmets after they went out of fashion," and you wouldn't be totally wrong.

Actually, the (dis)honor of the most boring uniform doesn't even go to Penn State; that belongs to the 2004 Bowdoin College Polar Bears, just two towns over from my hometown.   Plain black helmets, plain black shirts, plain white pants. It doesn't get any more generic than this, even with the Rebook and paw print logos:


In '05, Bowdoin shocked the football world by adding a stripe down the middle of the helmet. And you thought the Oregon Ducks were revolutionaries.

(No, I'm not adding Bowdoin or any other Division III teams to this project, but I couldn't resist sharing this one. You can find a neat gallery of Bowdoin team photos here.)

We start proper with the 1971 Holy Cross Crusaders, coming off the hepatitis-infected lost season of 1969 and a winless season in '70. Under new coach Ed Doherty, the Saders eliminated the "HC" on their helmets and the striped socks used occasionally the previous year. The result was something akin to a practice uniform, or one of those 1970s Topps football cards with the logos airbrushed off to save a few bucks.


Holy Cross bores the Colgate Raiders into submission in 1971.
From The Crusader.

Holy Cross shocked Harvard 21-16 on opening day for its first win since Nov. 23, 1968 and roared out to a 3-1 start, perhaps because opponents lulled to sleep by the generic unis. The Crusaders cooled off and finished the season 4-6, but Doherty was still named New England coach of the year. Holy Cross (with the "HC" logo restored to the helmets) won five games each of the next three years under Doherty - not great, but considering where the program had been, not too shabby, either.

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