Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yale Bulldogs (1965)

Nineteen sixty-five was a significant year at Yale for a couple reasons: 

1) Carm Cozza began his 32-year reign as the Bulldogs' coach;
2) It was the last year Yale's helmets lacked the trademark "Y," introduced in '66.

The rest of the uniform looked pretty Yale-ish, missing only the sleeve numbers. The helmets, however, bore numbers a year after using a teeny-tiny bulldog logo. Yale's helmets also had numbers from the 1950s through 1963.

Cozza's coaching career got off to a dubious debut, as Yale lost to UConn for the first time in history -- this was back when Yankee Conference teams were regularly blood-sacrificed to the Ivies. (My, how times changed: UConn won 14 of the last 16 games before the series was given a mercy-killing in 1998, when the Huskies were preparing to join Division I-A/FBS.) The Bulldogs had losing records in '65 and '66, but won the first of Cozza's 10 Ivy League titles in '67.

Yale loses to UConn, back when that was a big deal.
Can you imagine Yale beating UConn in anything these days? Oh, wait ....

The '65 Bulldogs' road uniform.
These are both from the Yale Daily News.

Want more from the sons of old Eli? Look here: 201420131997-981994, 1996, 19781974-77,  1967-68. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Penn Quakers (1965-66)

If there were ever any teams whose uniforms were more steeped in tradition, they were the Princeton Tigers and the Penn Quakers. Princeton's tiger-striped jerseys have been around for at least a century, and Penn's alternating red-and-navy stripes have roots in the 19th century. (Don't believe me? Look here.)

But after a run of bad seasons in the early 1960s, new coach Bob Odell took tradition and gave it a 50-yard punt. First, the striped jerseys were gone, replaced by plain red shirts with HY-OOGE numbers on the front and back -- a look reminiscent of a certain other Philadelphia team. The blue helmets in use since the 1950s were the next to go, and red helmets with a "P" on the sides -- the Quakers' first use of a helmet logo -- were in.

This overhaul kinda reminds me of the University of Arizona; for years, the Wildcats' primary colors were navy and white with a dash of red, but red has become dominant in recent years while blue is now second (or third?) banana.

A 1967 Penn media guide. Is that really Penn? Yup.

Did Penn's remodeling effort bring wins? Um, no: 4-4-1 in '65, 2-7 in '66. By '67, blue jerseys were back. In '71, red returned -- but so did the stripes.

The '65 Penn roads in action at Yale.
From the Yale Daily News.

More Penn uniforms, old and new, red and blue: 2014, 20131992-94, 1981-821971-781956-64, 1948. Rivalry Week: Cornell-Penn.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cornell Big Red (1961-64)

I discovered this old-school gem of a helmet (shown below) at the Quechee Antique Mall last week. It may be plain, but the classic two-bar face mask reeks of 1960s goodness. 

This helmet's been through some wars.
And yes, the "16" is  the price tag.

Of course, I started racking my brain for any teams in our little project that wore a helmet like this that I could profile this week. Whoops, already happened.

So I'll profile the next best thing -- the early-1960s Cornell teams, whose helmets were similar, but not quite the same as our little antique treasure. As Harvard did in the early '60s (profiled in our last post), the Big Red wore "smooth ear" helmets, which gave the plastic shell a leathery shape, and they also wore white plastic face masks that were in vogue for a few years in the '60s.

The '61 home uniform utilized white pants and helmet numbers.
From the Cornell Daily Sun.

The uniforms were a little different, by Cornell standards. The jersey's trademark two sleeve stripes were moved to the shoulders (this happened again in the 2000s) and gray pants were worn at home -- which surprised me, as I thought the Big Red were breaking new ground when they wore them in 2012. Striped socks were worn, but for many games Cornell wore low-cut white socks.

A 1965 Cornell program shows off the gray pants from '64.
I wonder if the Big Red landed the Beatles or the Stones for Band Day?

One of the most famous players in Ivy League history wore this uniform: Quarterback Gary Wood (1961-63), who in '63 led the nation in all-purpose yards with 1,395 (155.0 per game). Just to show how much football has changed since the suffocating, grind-it-out '60s, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon led in all-purpose yards in 2014 with 2,740 (195.1 per game). Gordon, of course, played in 14 games and Wood only nine.

The one and only Gary Wood. That is one strange helmet.
Note the lack of a facemask, a common sight for publicity photos.

Wood went on to play in the NFL with the New York Giants during their dark ages and in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

The young Gary Wood with the Giants ...
... and the grizzled veteran with the Rough Riders.

Can get enough from the Big Red? Check out these uniforms: 2013-141999-20011994, 1977-821967-751965. Rivalry week: Cornell-Penn.

By '64, the helmets were more rounded.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Harvard Crimson (1962-63)

Who says the stodgy Harvard Crimson can't have fun with their football uniforms? In the early 1960s, Harvard wore one of the funkier helmets in Ivy League history. Now, is that a white helmet with a fat red stripe, or a red helmet with white side panels? I lean toward the latter.

If you look closely at the pictures below, you'll see that  the sides of Harvard's helmets were more pronounced than the rest of the crown, and the Crimson apparently decided to use the opportunity to create a unique helmet pattern.

Ohio State did something similar in the 1960s. You can take a good look at another "smooth ear" helmet here.

The rest of the Harvard uniform had the familiar elements that were used through the 1960s: Plain crimson shirt and gold pants with thin stripes.

The three photos above are all from the Yale Daily News. The top two are
from the 1962 edition of The Game, and the third is from '63, which was
delayed a week after the assassination of President Kennedy.
These are really sharp pictures for a reproduction of a 50-plus year-old newspaper, BTW.

But wait, there's more! Other Harvard unis you may have missed: 2012-141975-79; 1980-83; 1972-731967-70. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rhode Island Rams (1997-99)

From the Columbia Lions to their CAA doppelgängers ... From 1993-99, Rhode Island ditched its trademark ram-horn helmets in favor of the traditional "RI" logo. I like the "RI" logo OK, but isn't there some sort of law stating that any team called the "Rams" has to have ram horns on the helmets??

In '97, the blue pants worn from 1993-96 were worn for at least one game. Light blue socks were worn in 1998-99, but low-cut socks were worn, as well.

In 2000, a coaching change was made and the ram horns returned to the helmets, where they remain today.

The back cover of the 2000 Rhody media guide has a couple shots
of the 1999 uniform.

There are more uniforms out there from Rhody: 2014, 2013, 1983-921976-8219661957-611936-39. Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhody.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Columbia Lions (1965-67)

The Columbia home jerseys of 1965-67 bore a passing resemblance to a certain other New York City-based team. While the Jets were slowly soaring up the AFL standings, the Lions were grounding to a halt with three straight 2-7 seasons, ending the coaching reign of Buff Donelli, who guided the Lions to their first (and only) Ivy League title in 1961.

Columbia takes on Dartmouth in 1965, a year when the Lions - and everyone else -
were crushed by the Big Green. Columbia Daily Spectator photo. Wonder why the helmet
numbers are so spaced out?

In '65, Columbia wore an alternate jersey that was the primary shirt from 1962-64. The white roads, added in 1966 (Columbia went several years with no white jerseys) were completely different in style to the homes, although the Lions were hardly alone in this regard during this time period.

A nice close-up of the 1966 jerseys. Not sure if this from the Spectator
or an eBay listing, but it's still a neat photo.
In '66, the helmets took their cue from another pro team, as Columbia used the Detroit Lions' logo on and off well into the 1980s.

The '67 home uniform. ...

... and the '67 roads, with blue pants and striped socks.
In 1968, Frank Navarro became coach and the uniforms underwent another makeover.

Looking to roar some more? Check out these Columbia uniforms: 2014, 20132003-51996, 1971-73, 1970.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Maine Black Bears (1957-59)

Ah, Maine football. Crisp (dare we say brisk) fall afternoons, gorgeous foliage, the marching band in good form blasting out the Stein Song, the Black Bears taking the field in the blue uniforms with red trim ...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, let's rewind there. RED trim?

Yup, it's true. On and off from 1958-72, Maine's socks used red trim. Why, I have no idea, but it's pretty strange, especially when light blue trim was used on the jerseys and pants in the late '60s and early '70s. Maybe Maine got a good deal on them?

A panoramic view of Alumni Field in 1959, from the 1961 Prism yearbook.
If you look verrrry closely, you can sport the red trim on Maine's socks.
In '57, Maine joined the growing trend in college football and placed numbers on the helmets, a look the Bears used through 1975, although a couple of font changes were made along the way; block numbers were used from 1957-59, which is the focus of today's uniform.

Another color shot, this from 1960.
A few other things:

* The smallish numbers used before '57 were noticeably super-sized. 
* Check out the '57-58 socks; a small "M" was on the sides, a la Delaware's "D." This was a carryover from a style first used in 1953.
* In '57, a short-sleeved alternate jersey with light blue trim was used. I'm guessing this was for early-season warm-weather games.

Maine at home in 1958 ...

... and on the road in '59.
Can't bear to be without Black Bear uniforms? Here are some more: 2014, 2011-131997-991976-84, 1974, 19651949-50. Rivalry week: Maine-New Hampshire.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Holy Cross Crusaders (1972)

From the 1973 Purple Patcher yearbook.
Well, let's open that small box and see what we find inside. That's the beauty of the Internet; people who are very passionate about the most obscure things.

That said, Holy Cross' 5-4-1 record in 1972 was something of a minor miracle, coming just three years after the lost hepatitis season and two years after a winless debacle. The Crusaders achieved their first winning record since 1966 (and last until 1978).

Holy Cross running back Joe Wilson in 1972. Wilson ran for 885 yards
and was an honorable mention All-American.
The 1973 Purple Patcher yearbook credits the turnaround to a renewed emphasis on athletics, including a complete reorganization of athletic department. (After the hepatitis-truncated '69 season, there was a movement on campus to drop football altogether; it didn't happen, but budget cuts were made, according to articles in The Crusader newspaper.)

Defensive back John Provost in the '72 roads. Provost made nine interceptions
in only 10 games and was a third-team All-American. That's not a lower-tier All-American;
that's with the big boys from Texas and Alabama and Notre Dame.
The only change from the 1971 uniform to '72 were the helmets, which were white (a first, I believe) and a modified version of the classic "HC" logo returned.

Joe Wilson again, this time on the road at Army.
Six of the Crusaders' 10 opponents in '72 are now FBS teams.

Want more from Holy Cross? Look here: 2014, 20132004-081971, 1967-701951-55. Rivalry Week: Boston College-Hloly Cross.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dartmouth Big Green (2015)

Dartmouth used its spring game on Saturday to unveil its new black alternate uniforms. This pic is from the team's Facebook page:

It's not a bad uniform, but if you're the Big GREEN, perhaps you should make green your dominant color? See also Harvard Crimson basketball, which also opts to wear black uniforms.

A black helmet is reportedly on the way, too.