Thursday, December 29, 2016

Harvard (2016), Holy Cross (2016), Maine (2016)

Let's continue 2016 in review ...

Harvard (7-3, 5-2 and an uncharacteristic third in the Ivy League) wore the crimson pants, introduced in 2015, exclusively until the season finale against Yale, when the traditional tan pants prevailed. I know tan isn't an official Harvard color, but tan pants scream Harvard football in a way the crimson pants don't -- even if Harvard's nickname is the Crimson.

Holy Cross (4-7 overall, 2-4 Patriot League) made some minor modifications, including the addition of an "HC" shield on the sleeves. The Crusaders might have made the most out-of-left-field addition among the teams in our little survey -- a black matte helmet with a reflecting "HC" logo. Worn with an all-purple uniform, the combo made as much sense as some of those mix-and-match combos in Madden (a vintage Patriots helmet with the current uniform, etc.). The special logo for the Yankee Stadium game against Fordham, however, was creative and classy. 

Maine (6-5 overall, 5-3 CAA) unveiled its third helmet in two seasons, as it switched to a rather busy design with the full logo on the sides -- the first time the Black Bears have ever put the bear on the helmet. The jersey and pants remained unchanged from 2015.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cornell (2016), Dartmouth (2016), Delaware (2016)

More from 2016 ...

Cornell (4-6 overall, 2-5 Ivy League) ditched the red and gray pants from the last couple years in favor of a white set with "CORNELL" down the side (just like Nike stable-mate Columbia). The home shirts remained the same, while the roads sprouted shoulder numbers, a black outline and a small "C" below the V-neck. Also note the solid white socks and shots, which make me think of the NFL's color-rush teams.

Cornell still has those weird NCAA/Ivy League logo patches on the jersey front. I guess a few teams still wear those, but they look more and more like a relic from 15 years ago.

Can't get enough from the Big Red? Check out these uniforms: 2013-141999-200119941985-89, 19871983-84, 1977-821967-75,  196619651961-6419521950-51. Rivalry week: Cornell-Penn.

Dartmouth (4-6 overall, 1-6 -- first to worst -- in the Ivies) wore NINE uniform combos for the second straight year, although two are different from what the Big Green wore last year. The black-green-black one brings the short-lived 2003-04 uniform to mind. I wish the gray helmets and pants matched better; the gray lids are almost indistinguishable from the black versions. 

The nine uniform combos worn by Dartmouth in 2016,
as tweeted every Wednesday by the Big Green.
I confess to looking forward to these.
One style (all white) was worn twice.

Some other unis from the Green Machine: 2015201420132005-062003-041978-8619701957-611955-561951-5419441936-381929. Rivalry week: Dartmouth-Princeton. Inside the jersey: 1999-2002.

Delaware (4-7, 2-6 CAA) didn't change a darn thing from last year. Makes my task easier. And besides, Delaware in alternate unis would seem strange. 

There's more from the Delaware hen house: 20152011-142004-061997-20031989-921980-881975-791973-74197219651967-71, 1950.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Columbia Lions (2015-16)

We continue our look back at 2016 in uniforms with Columbia, which went 3-7 overall and 2-5 (seventh) in the Ivy League. It doesn't seem like much, but the Lions look like world-beaters compared with their back-to-back 0-10 debacles in 2013-14. And five of their losses in '16 were by eight points or less. Al Bagnoli, miracle-worker. 

Another good thing about Columbia this season: The Lions wore the hideous black jerseys, first introduced on 2015, for its home opener only and switched to a new navy jersey the rest of the way. Hopefully next year, the black shirt will be put in mothballs and Columbia can add a light blue jersey in the current template. The navy jersey is fine, but it's not Columbia blue.

The Lions this year wore a "67" patch in honor of Bill Campbell, a former Lions player and head coach who later was a prominent Silicon Valley businessman and the chairman of Columbia's Board of Trustees.

Before the season, Columbia tweeted this picture of its
uniform combinations. The second one from the left was the only one not used.

As another added bonus, here's a corrected version of the 2015 uniform, with the home shoulder "sleeves" switched to blue from black. The black itself is slightly lightened to something closer to a dark slate "color."

Up next: Cornell (I promise).

Other Lions unis that'll make you roar: 2015201420132003-051996, 198419831974-761971-7319701965-671955-561952-54.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bryant Bulldogs (2016), Central Connecticut Blue Devils (2015-16)

We continue our look at the uniforms of 2016 with a pair of Northeast Conference teams.

Bryant (5-6 overall, 4-2 NEC) might have the most improved uni of 2016. The tired Adidas template and unnecessary steel-gray pants from last year were ditched in favor of a more basic look, with a word mark and numbers that are more readable. One minor nit-pick: The "B" shield on the sleeves that looks more at home on a superhero. Uniform numbers would have been better.

A few more Bryant unis:  2015, 2014, 20132004-06.

Central Connecticut (2-9 overall, 1-5 NEC) also made a major upgrade, having ditched its overly busy home jersey for a more basic look that uses the same number font as the roads. The striping is different on the home and road jerseys, but that's a very minor quibble. One downer: The logo-on-one-side, uniform-number-on-the-other-side helmet. I HATE HATE HATE that look, especially since the CCSU logo is a good one.

As far as I know, the white pants from last year weren't used in 2016. Pics from CCSU football are hard to find, for some reason, so who knows?

As an added bonus, I corrected the 2015 road jersey (the same shirt the Blue Devils wore in '16), which upon further review uses a slanted number font.

Some more garb from CCSU: 2014, 2013, 1968.

Next up: Columbia and maybe even Cornell.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Brown Bears (2016)

With the season (mostly) over, it's time for our annual retrospecticus in uniforms. We'll do this alphabetically, one at a time. But since Boston College is still playing (pending its bowl date), we'll start with Brown, which went 4-6 overall, 3-4 in the Ivy League. 

The good: Brown added a classy road uniform to match its classy home uniform. The white pants are a nice touch, and look better with the white jersey than silver pants would have.

The bad: Here's a quickie quiz: Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Brown, Harvard. Which of these Ivy League schools is not like the other? The answer is Princeton: All five teams have black jerseys in their arsenal, but Princeton's the only one that actually has black has an official team color. This season , Brown became the latest Ivy team to make an unneeded fade to black with it new alternate uniform. And since black and brown are so similar, it's hard to tell which is which. Plus, you're called Brown: Wear those brown unis with pride!

We'll move on to Central Connecticut later in the week.

More unis from the sons of Bruno: 20152014, 2012-132004-082001-03, 1997-20001984-891981-83, 19781975-771973-74, 19721967-711957-581951-56.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

UConn Huskies (1948-49)

The UConn uniforms of this era are somewhat unique for a couple reasons:

1) The sleeve stripes are placed all the way down on the wrists, kind of like Cornell's from roughly the same period. Come to think of it, it's just strange to see a football shirt with sleeves, period, if you're not familiar with football history.
2) The early plastic helmets from '49, which from photos look more like space helmets, which I've probably mentioned in the past when discussing other teams. 

The 1949 UConn Huskies, ready for takeoff.
Actually, that's a pretty sharp uniform.
Bonus points for having Jonathan the mascot in the picture.

A 1949 pregame coin toss, before Rhode Island, presumably.
I love candid shots such as this one. check out the cap on the referee.
Actually, there's another unique aspect of the '49 Huskies that has nothing to do with the uniforms. While doing some research on the College Football Data Warehouse, I came across this whopper of a score:

Newport NTS (RI)
Storrs, CT

As in, UConn 125, Newport NTS NIL. That's Newport Naval Training Station, a possible leftover relic from World War II, when service teams were commonplace and dotted the national rankings. 

So what the heck happened? Here's the account of the game from the 1950 Nutmeg yearbook:

White Knights? Well, the Huskies were wearing the 1940s version of a color rush uni. But  back to the point: Why did they schedule such an obviously overmatched foe? I mean, at least James Madison and Rhode Island play in the same league, so they have to face each other, but what could UConn gain out of this debacle? But then, I guess you could say the same whenever a Division I basketball team plays Our Lady of the Lake or some of these other schools that sound like they were invented by an inebriated video-game player.

Whatever, the win was enough to give UConn a .500 record (4-4-1) in '49. The Huskies also won a share of the Yankee Conference title.

And yes, it remains the Huskies' single-game scoring record. No. 2 is 76 points against Norwich in 1937.

More UConn unis for the Huskymanicas: 201520142013, 2003 (Inside the Jersey)20021989-931984-881971-7219701966-6719651958-601957, 19511934Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhode Island.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Hampshire Wildcats (1955)

I'm having some computer issues (like Thanksgiving and football, it's a November tradition), so the next few posts may be low on photo illustrations. That said, I'm going to pull out an unused uni graphic at random and do my best to talk about it with repeating myself from previous posts. Here goes …

OK. 1955 UNH. That works, with the rivalry game with Maine coming up this weekend and all. The look is typical of all 1950s-early 90s Wildcat unis (silver helmets, blue jerseys with two white stripes, silver/gray pants). But check out the short-sleeved jersey, which was presumably used for warm-weather games. The stripes are a contrasting color … I'm guessing red, which is what I've used in the graphic. As far as I know, this was worn only in '55.

The '55 Wildcats in the short-sleeved alternate jerseys.
I'm guessing those are red stripes, but the actual truth may be lost to history.

This whole page from the '56 Granite yearbook
celebrates the '55 Cats. I don't think UNH will be playing
Springfield or Bridgeport any time soon.

The Wildcats that year were an un-Wildcat-like 2-4-2. Two ties in one season?

There are plenty more Wildcat uniforms where this came from: 201520142010-13199819751968-71 (part 1) (part 2)1966-6719501947-4819381936. Rivalry Week: Maine-UNH.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Rhode Island Rams (1947-50)

Here are some more post-war Rhode Island uniforms as we begin what I hope will be an extended look into pre-1950 outfits. I've had these on the brain because of the Tennessee Titans "Color-Rush" uniforms, which threaten to cause TVs across America to short-circuit.

As noted a couple months ago, Rhody's helmets were quite inconsistent, and I think it had something to do with continued recycling of helmets from year to year without regards to specifics. But who knows? After all, the jerseys seemed to change quite a bit from year to year.

Rhode Island coach Bill Beck prowls the sidelines in this photo from the 1948 Grist yearbook.
Notice the different helmet patterns. When was the last time players all sat on the bench like that?
I love this photo: An informal team shot, presumably before a game, from the 1949 Grist.
Check out the player holding steady with the 45-year marker!
Again, note the different helmet patterns.

There are more uniforms out there from Rhody: 2015201420132003-071997-991983-921976-821967-7119661963-6519621957-61, 19511936-39. Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhody.

Before Gatorade and water bottles, players used water and ladles,
and appeared to savor every moment.
Notice the mishmash of practice jerseys in the second photo.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

UMass Minutemen (1973)

A little update: Not counting the three NEC teams (Bryant, Central Conn., Sacred Heart)  I have now documented every uniform in this project from 1950-2015, with the exception of two teams (1950 UConn and 1970 Penn, I'm looking in YOUR directions). Including pre-1950, NEC and D-III uniforms, that's 868 individual uniform graphics. Geez, that's a lot of hours starting at a computer screen.

On to a one-year UMass style from the Dick MacPherson years. The "UM" from 1970-72 was replaced by an outline of the state of Massachusetts with "UMass" inside in tiny letters, in a font that resembles something from a Dunkin' Donuts sign (OK, DD didn't use that font for a few more years, but work with me here). It's easy to see why this logo didn't last -- in addition to the microscopic letters, the logo is hard to make out from beyond 10 feet. 

A close-up of the short-lived 1973 UMass helmet, from the school's Index yearbook.

Another closeup, this one of the Minutemen on the sideline.
A whole page of Minutemen in action, from the '74 Index.
Thankfully, UMass' replacement for '74 was one of the best logos ever (just my opinion).

Much, much more from the Minutemen: 2015201420132000-021986-871978-84, 1975-77197419721966-681960-621951-521938-39.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Yale Bulldogs (1972-73); New Hampshire Wildcats (1993); Northeastern Huskies (1997)

Our last post, on Cornell's 100 years of football patch, had me thinking of other teams that celebrated their school's or program's centennial with a patch or decal.

Celebrating your team's 100th birthday is one thing ...
but your 101st? Check out the helmet on the Yale player
in this 1973 Yale Daily News pic.

The early 1970s Yale Bulldogs took perhaps took the most unorthodox method. The sons of old Eli simply took the famous "100" decal teams used in 1969 to celebrate college football's centennial and slapped it in front of the trademark "Y" on the side of the helmet. (Yale used the "100" decal on the helmet front in '69). Whether to be different -- or perhaps they were just too lazy to peel the decals off -- the Bulldogs replaced the "100" with a "101" in '73.

The UNH centennial logo, taken from an image in the 1994 Granite yearbook.

New Hampshire's decal celebrated the school's centennial with a patch using the trademark image of Thompson Hall that used to be part of the school's non-athletics logo (until it was replaced by the current "NH" seal, which set off a debate more intense than internet uniform arguments) and was frequently featured on the cover of the school yearbook, The Granite.

Northeastern's patch celebrated the school's 100th anniversary. The football team made it to only 76 years before it died in 2009. The patch was also used on the hockey jerseys during the 1997-98 season.

This was also the first year Northeastern went back to black jerseys after three seasons in red. In true Northeastern fashion, the Huskies went back to red in '99. That said, the "paw-on-shoulder" jerseys are among my favorite from the pooches.

A couple other centennials already have been observed here: Penn (1976) and Delaware (1989).

Yale uniforms: 201520142013, 2006-111997-981994, 19961979-8219781974-771967-6819651959-601954-581930. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.

UNH uniforms: 201520142010-13199819751968-71 (part 1),  1969-71 (part 2)1966-6719501947-4819381936. Rivalry Week: Maine-UNH.

Northeastern uniforms: 2008-091994-96, 1989-901982-861976-771973-751963-68, 1936, 1935.