Monday, December 21, 2015

UConn Huskies (2002)

With UConn heading to a bowl game later this week (the St. Petersburg Bowl; it was way cooler when it was called the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl), the time is ripe to look at a couple of the Huskies' more unusual short-lived uniform styles, which is saying something for a team that seems to specializes in the unusual and short-lived.

The early aughties was an exciting time to be a UConn fan. The Huskies left the Division I-AA/FCS Atlantic 10 for the bright lights of I-A/FBS. In 2003, they left quaint-but-outdated Memorial Stadium for shinny new Rentschler Field. In '04, it they gained admission to the Big East and earned their first bowl victory. It was an amazing rise for a team that went 4-7 in 1999, its last in I-AA.

And along the way, there was a uniform change or two or three.

I want to focus on the 2002 uniform, which might be the most bizarre of the bunch. First of all, there's the helmet, which is super-classy and sadly lasted only that season before the "C" helmet took over in 2003. The jerseys use a machine font for the numbers and wordmark, but utilize a Champion-style font (if you were around in the 90s, you know what I mean) for the player names. The numbers on the home shirts have a thick-as-cheese-dip drop shadow, and another thick outline after that. There's also a patch commemorating the final season at Memorial Stadium.

A closeup of the 2003 UConn media guide cover, showing three
of the four combos the Huskies wore in 2002.

But the topper is the manufacturer. Instead of the tried-and-true apparel companies of the day (Nike, Reebok, Russell, Wilson), UConn opted for freaking AEROPOSTALE, known more for making overpriced clothes for mallrats than for sports gear. As far as I know, this is the only time Aeropostale dipped its toe into the sports world, at least for a major school.

The Aeropostale jersey logo in all its glory.

It all adds up to a uniform out of bizzaro world.

While UConn coach Randy Edsall raved about the overhaul at the time, perhaps he had second thoughts, as the Huskies shook things up the next year ... and the year after that, by which time Aeropostale had been ditched for Nike.

The back cover of the 2003 media guide.

You can see more photos of the '02 Huskies here.

Craving some more UConn unis? Check these out: 20142013, 1989-931984-881971-7219701966-671958-6019571934Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhode Island.

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