With Dartmouth unveiling a black alternate uniform at this year's spring game, I thought it might be appropriate to look at the last time the Big Green did a blackout.
Coming off a string of dreary seasons, Dartmouth's uniforms underwent a dramatic makeover. The jerseys with Northwestern striping, used since 1987, were gone, as were the white pants that used similar stripes. In their place were simple jerseys with black trim and -- most dramatically -- solid black pants.
It didn't hurt that the Big Green didn't have to pay for the uniforms: Former Big Green quarterback Jay Fiedler, then with the Miami Dolphins, footed the bill.
“They are sharp,” then-coach John Lyons told the Valley News (my current employer) in 2003. “The kids really like them.”
|My 2003-04 Dartmouth home jersey, which I bought a team|
equipment sale a couple years ago. These were recycled as practice
jerseys for years and were absolutely hammered as a result.
|The 2003-04 road shirt. Notice how the green sleeve/collar trim|
is faded from years of exposure and rewashing.
The kids may have liked them, but the wins didn't return: Dartmouth was 5-5 in '03 and 1-9 in '04, and Lyons was shown the door. It was a tough time for the program, and it would take a book to discuss it, but I can tell you in short that many of the problems were out of Lyons' control and he deserved a better hand than what he got his last several years in Hanover, especially after winning three Ivy League titles. Thankfully, Lyons has found success again as New Hampshire's defensive coordinator and has helped the Wildcats to back-to-back trips to the NCAA FCS semifinals.
|First of all, buy this book. If you have even a passing interest in|
New England college football, you won't be disappointed. Second,
check the photo on the left. It's Dartmouth's Andrew Hall making a ridiculous 38-yard
catch on 3rd-and-28 against Harvard in 2003. The catch set up a touchdown in
the Big Green's 30-16 upset of the Crimson -- the last time Dartmouth has defeated Harvard to date.
|A close-up of Hall's catch, one of the most famous images|
in Dartmouth football history. It was snapped by Kathy Slattery Phillips,
Dartmouth late sports information director.
In 2005 Buddy Teevens returned as Dartmouth's coach and he gave the unis another dramatic makeover.
|The back cover of the 2005 Dartmouth media guide,|
showing the 2004 home uniform.
Some other Big Green unis we've profiled: 2014, 2013, 2005-06, 1970, 1955-56, 1951-54, 1936-38. Rivalry week: Dartmouth-Princeton.
|My cat thinks this jersey might make a nice bed.|
I think otherwise ...