Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boston University Terriers (1988-89)

From 1984-87 and again from 1990-92, Boston University used this logo on its helmets: 

These are the uniforms the Terriers wore for the two years in the middle, when the Terrier was ditched and the "BU" was supersized. The plain numbers from '84-87 received a double outline, giving the jerseys a sorta-kinda-but-not-quite World League of American Football appearance. 

(Speaking of football on the other side of the pond ... In 1988, BU played Richmond in London and lost, 20-17.)

(Speaking of the World League, Part II ... Remember Helmet Cam? Well, my Black Bears brought it back for spring practice recently.)

In the '90s, the Terrier head logo returned to the helmets, and black was added as an accent color for a few years.

The program's from 1991, but a photo from 1988-89 was used.
The Terrier-head logo was back on the helmets by this time.

Want some more unis from a gone-but-not-forgotten program? Look here: 1997, 1984-87, 1968-70.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

UConn Huskies (2015)

Well, it's never too early to think about the 2015 season, as UConn unveiled its new uniforms today. The funky helmets with the partial Husky on the front used the last two seasons has been retired in favor of a more conventional helmet with a Husky head on the side. (It looks nice, but I'm not so sure about the red facemask when your slogan is #bleedblue.) The busy shirt and pants stripes from last year's models are also bye-bye, but the pleasing number font remains. 

You can find all sorts of pics here, and a funny video that hints at a gray alternate is at the top of this post.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vermont Catamounts (1964-67)

Today, we return to Vermont, as we slowly meander our way backward through the Catamounts' uniform history. The helmets from the mid-60s are almost identical to the 1968-69 models, only without the gold "V" in the background. The 1964-66 road jerseys were distinctly different from the homes, and had more in common with the early '60s homes (which we'll look at eventually). 

Not the best quality, but they're color photos of Vermont (in white)
and New Hampshire in 1964, from the '65 Granite yearbook.

UVM doesn't have the most glamorous football history, but mid-60s were a very good run for the Catamounts, with a record of 19-5 from 1964-66 and two second-place finishes in the Yankee Conference. The team was led by running back Bob Mitchell, who ran for 1,207 yards in only eight games in 1966 and was named AP Little All-America. You can read more  about his distinguished career here.

Bob Mitchell in action. He was 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, which was bigger than
a few of the linemen of that era. From the '67 UVM Ariel yearbook.

A nice close-up of the '65 home uniform ...
and the coach's monogrammed jacket. From the '66 Ariel.

Mitchell tries to avoid a UNH defender on the road.
From the '68 Granite.
Want more uniforms from the 802? Of course you do! 1970-741968-69.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yale Bulldogs (1978)

To the untrained eye, Yale appears to have the easiest uniforms to research. Blue shirts, white pants, a big ol' "Y" on the helmet ... Heck, it should take about 10 minutes to get the Bulldogs' history completed.

Ah, but it's not that easy. Yale's (and Delaware's) unis offer plenty of of minutiae (awesome word) to keep you on your toes for a while. A thicker sock stripe here, a change in number font there -- the subtleties have been a constant to this day.

For 1978 only, Yale made one of the more noticeable (or is that less unnoticeable?) changes to its look: The trademark "Y" on the helmet looked as is if it had spent the offseason at Weight Watchers and was considerable skinnier. Obviously, the streamlined logo was not well liked on the streets of New Haven, because it beefed up to its former self in '79 and stayed that way until 1997, after longtime coach Carm Cozza had retired.

Both white and black shoes were worn during this time period.

Yale goes for a lean and mean "Y" against Rutgers and Dartmouth in 1978.
Hard to believe Rutgers, now in the Big Ten, used to play Ivy League teams on a regular basis.
All pics here are from the Yale Daily News archives.

For comparison, the 1977 Yale uniform, with the fatter "Y."
Want more from the sons of old Eli? Look here: 2014, 20131997-98, 1994, 19961974-77,  1967-68. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Princeton Tigers (1984-86)

The last time we looked at Princeton, were in 1979-83, when the Tigers used a strange anthropomorphic tiger as a helmet logo. In '84, Princeton's helmets went blank, and stayed that way until 1998. As silly as the running tiger was, it was better than no logo; the helmets here look like they're dying of starvation, they're so desperate for something on there. 

And actually, Princeton hasn't used a helmet logo since. But of course, the Michigan-style striping used since '98 is better than most teams' helmet logos.

The trademark tiger stripes, dating back to the 19th century, were still around, as were 1983's all-white socks, which like the helmets, look naked. 

The mid-80s Princeton uniform, from the Daily Princetonian.
Those socks look like they need ... something.

The road uniform. In the post about the 1979-83 uniforms,
I noted the Tigers were still wearing longish-sleeved shirts.
By the mid-80s, they were finally getting shorter.

On the prowl for more Princeton? Check these out: 2014, 20131994, 1993-95, 961979-83, Rivalry week: Dartmouth-Princeton.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brown Bears (2004-08)

A while back, I mentioned that Brown overhauled its uniform entirely from 2001-03, only to revert to its 1997-2000 look in '04. This is what the Bears wore when they went back to the (recent) past, with a few modifications (wordmark, pants stripes, skinny numbers, etc.).

I wonder why they reverted to the old look (those double-outline numbers were looking dated even by the mid-aughties), but you can't argue with the results on the field -- Brown won Ivy League titles in 2005 and '08, and gavels memorable players such as running back Nick Hartigan, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award finalist (top player in FCS) and linebacker Zak DeOssie, who snagged a couple Super Bowl rings as the New York Giants' long-snapper. 

The 2008 Brown uniform ...
... and the 2000 version. More than a passing resemblance.
Top photo is from the Columbia Daily Spectator.
In 2008, Brown ditched the red socks and changed the logo on the pants. In '09, the Bears put the "Ivy-B" logo on the helmets, one of the classiest helmet logos out there, and have used it ever since.

This is the "interim" style from 2001-03 I keep mentioning.
They'll get on the blog eventually.
How about some more Brown unis? 2014, 2012-131997-2000, 1984-891975-77, 1967-71.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Boston College Eagles (1955-56)

In honor of the Boston Red Sox' home opener today, let's take a gander at some images of the 1955-56 Boston College Eagles playing at Fenway Park, their on-and-off home for many years, most recently from 1953-56. These are all from the 1956-57 Sub Turri yearbooks.

The concept was better in theory than in execution, at least in the '50s. "Except for the annual Holy Cross fray, attendance rarely exceeded 10,000," according to Reid Oslin's phenomenal book, Boston College Football Vault

Fenway Park, with football players frolicking in the outfield.
So strange, but so cool. From 1955.

More BC action from '55. See the Cities Service sign above the Green Monster?
That was a forerunner of Citgo, I believe.

The uniforms weren't too different from what BC wore in the early '50s, but oddly, it appears more leather instead of plastic helmets were used in the later years.

These are all from the '56 BC-Holy Cross game, a 7-0 Crusader victory.
After the game, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey told the BC brass to find
another place to play. Seriously.

The Eagles were 5-2-1 in 1955 and 5-4 in '56. Amazingly, five of BC's eight '55 foes -- Brandeis, Detroit, Marquette, Xavier and Boston University -- went on to drop the sport, and a sixth, Villanova, dropped and revived it during the 1980s.

Two more photos of BC at Fenway. That's coach Mike Holovak on the right;
he was 49-29-3 over nine seasons and went on to coach the AFL's Boston Patriots.

After the 1956 season, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey booted BC out of Fenway, and the Eagles responded by building Alumni Stadium, their current facility, following an enormous fundraising effort. 

But the Eagles will make their triumphant return to Fenway this fall, when they face Notre Dame at America's Most Beloved Ballpark (TM). Can't wait to see the setup for that one!

Craving some more BC unis? Look right here: 2014201320071994198419821968-77, 1950-521939Rivalry Week (w/Holy Cross).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cornell Big Red (1977-82)

OK, this is the post I've wanted to do since this blog started, but it took forever to get the helmet just right, ya know?

In 1977, Bob Blackman -- who racked up a 104-37-3 record at Dartmouth -- became Cornell's head coach after six largely forgettable seasons at Illinois (29-36-1). the Big Red's uniforms immediately began to take on a Big Green appearance. Funky helmet stripes? Check. Giant sleeve numbers? Check. But Cornell's uniforms went beyond anything Blackman did at Dartmouth, with a giant "CORNELL" across the front of the shirts and bold, curved numbers. Of the teams in the project, only Vermont's (1973-74) are more distinctive from this era.

In 1980, another degree of boldness was added with the debut of red pants. Alas, they were worn only with the white shirts. 

A 1978 program showing the 1977 uniform. The white "CORNELL" on the helmet
over the red background was inverted for '78.

The program's from 1981, but the photo is from 1978-79, when
a sans-serif "CORNELL" was worn on the jersey.

I can't say this is one of the best uniforms in this project, but it's one of my favorites, just because there are so many little goodies to discuss here.

The red pants, c. 1980. From the Cornell Daily Sun.

The only thing missing? A winning team.Blackman was 23-33-1 in six seasons and retired after the 1982 season. In '83, the Big Red debuted the block "C" on the helmets they've used ever since, with a few modifications.

You can read more about Blackman and his penchant for unique helmets here (scroll to the bottom).

A good close-up of the helmet.

Can't get enough Cornell uniforms? Check these out: 2013-141999-20011994, 1967-751965. Rivalry week: Cornell-Penn.

Monday, April 6, 2015

UMass Minutemen (1972)

Last week, we discussed the 1972 Delaware team that declined a bowl game against UMass, making the Blue Hens the football version the 1904 New York Giants team that refused to play Boston in the World Series. Now, we take a look at the team Delaware should have played.

In Dick MacPherson's second year as coach, UMass went 9-2, outscoring its opponents 369-185. After going 6-0 in Yankee Conference play, the Minutemen dismantled Boston College 28-7 -- the teams played every year from 1965-82 and UMass won only twice -- then topped Delaware's replacement, UC Davis, in the Boardwalk Bowl 35-14, in front of a regional TV audience on ABC, long before every team in existence had its own streaming online webcast.

UMass runs away from UNH. These pix are all from the 1973 Index yearbook.

UMass hauls one in at Rhode Island in 1972.

Eight Minutemen -- QB Peil Pennington, WR Steve Schubert, T Thomas Mullen, G Clarence Brooks, FB Richard Cummings, DE Ed McAleney and CB Robert Parrott -- were named all-Yankee Conference. Pennington and McAleney were later NFL draft picks, and Schubert played six NFL seasons for the Patriots and Bears, mostly as a return man. McAleney, a Maine native, was later a member of the winless 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who would have had a hard time winning the Yankee Conference in any year.

Peil Pennington fires away at the Boardwalk Bowl.
This looks like one wacky venue for a football game -- Arena Football on PEDs.

The uniforms from this time period are interesting: The road jerseys are radically different, with sleeve numbers, gold trim and a different number font. The socks are different, too. 

This was the last year for a while of the "UM" helmet logo, which returned in 1988. ... but it was also the first year UMass went by the "Minutemen" moniker, although a glance through the 1973 Index yearbook shows "REDMEN" on the shorts of the basketball players and a Chicago Blackhawks-style logo on the hockey shirts. 

Take that, Delaware!

Want more UMass unis? Of course you do: 2014, 20131986-87, 1978-84, 19741966-681938-39.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Delaware Blue Hens (1972)

The late 1960s and early '70s was a good time to be a Delaware football fan -- actually, when has it not been a good time to root for the Blue Hens? Delaware ran its fabled wing-T offense to back-to-back College Division (a precursor to Division I-AA/FCS) national titles in 1971-72 and four straight Boardwalk Bowls (a bowl game for smaller programs) from 1968-71. 

Nineteen seventy-two was of particularly strong vintage. Delaware was the subject of a glowing profile in Sports Illustrated in which the team took pride for having never sent anyone to the NFL (huh?). The Hens stormed to a 10-0 record and outscored opponents 355-81. They wielded a three-headed rushing attack led by quarterback Scotty Rheim and running backs Roger Mason and Vern Roberts, who combined for nearly 2,000 rushing yards and more than 20 touchdowns.

Up next was a date with UMass in the Boardwalk Bowl. Except ... let's let this excerpt from the '73 Blue Hen yearbook explain it:

So let's see: The Blue Hens were too good for the NFL and a bowl game? Think there was more than a dash of hubris going around in Newark?

Arrogance or not, the Hens' bowl snub was a blessing in disguise. In '73, postseason playoffs were instituted for the College Division (rechristened as Division II), with the old bowl games, including the Boardwalk Bowl, continuing on as playoff sites until the creation of Division I-AA/FCS in 1978. (You can read about a mid-70s UNH playoff trip here.)

The 1972 Delaware Blue Hens in action, in an image from the '73
Blue Hen yearbook. I gotta get to a game down there some time.

As for the uniforms ... they mirror the late '60s-early '70s outfits, only the stenciled "D," a staple going back to the '50s, was removed from the socks. Other minute changes were made throughout the decade.

More of the '72 Hens. I believe No. 17 is quarterback 
Scotty Rheim, who was a threat with his arm and his legs,
as he ran for nearly 400 yards that year.  
Want some more Delaware unis? 2011-14, 2004-061989-92, 1980-88, 1967-71.