Saturday, May 28, 2016

Penn Quakers (1995-99)

This Penn uniform, a continuation of what was first introduced in 1992, is pretty much standard fare for the Quakers for the era, with only a few minor changes here and there -- although the lack of a "PENNSYLVANIA" word mark on the road jerseys it a little odd. Far odder is the red alternate jersey, which was worn once, to the best of my knowledge, and was never seen again. I wonder why it was dumped ... perhaps because the Quakers lost to Dartmouth the one time it was used?

This isn't the most flattering of photos if you're a Penn fan. but here's
the short-lived red alternate jersey from 1997. The photo ran in the Valley News,
my longtime place of employ. I miss the days when the AP shot photos of I-AA/FCS games.

The home uniform with white pants ...

... and the monochrome version, just before that became trendy around football.

Between 1981 and 2011, this was the only time Penn wore a red jersey until a new alternate debuted in '12.

More Penn uniforms, old and new, red, white and blue (and gray): 201420131992-941983-841981-82, 1979-801971-781965-661956-641954-551948. Rivalry Week: Cornell-Penn.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Northeastern Huskies (1935)

As noted in our last post, the 1935 Northeastern uniform used a kick-arse husky dog on the front. Some schools (Maine, Rhody) had amplified versions of the "letter" logo on the front, but Northeastern's the only school I know of in this project to have an actual mascot on the jersey fronts. It almost resembles a hockey jersey more than a football jersey.

Anyway, this uniform rules by all standards of time. Enjoy.

From the 1936 Cauldron yearbook.
Some more doggie treats from Northeastern: 2008-091994-96, 1989-901982-861976-771973-751963-68, 1936.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Northeastern Huskies (1936)

The early days of Northeastern football featured some wild, flashy uniforms, including one with a Husky dog on the front of the jersey (must ... add ... to blog ... soon). This model from 1936, the program's fourth year, sports tons of stripes and tons of red at home, which contrasts with the conservative road jersey (but look at those strange numbers!).

The 1936 Huskies strike a pose (top) and in action (above).
These are both from the school's digital collections, which has a
modest but cool collection of football photos.

The schedule featured teams that today would spread across the board from the Power Five (Boston College) to FBS in good standing (UConn) to FCS (Rhode Island) to Division II (St. Anselm) to D-III (St. Lawrence; AIC) to the nonexistent (Arnold; Lowell Textile, a forerunner of UMass Lowell).

More photos of the '36 Huskies, from the '37 Cauldron yearbook.
Some more doggie treats from Northeastern: 2008-09, 1994-96, 1989-901982-861976-771973-751963-68.

Old-timey sportswriters used all sorts of, er, creative monikers on the local ball club.
Maine was often the Pale Blue Gridsters or the Bricemen (in honor of 1920s-30s coach Fred Brice).
The '37 Cauldron takes it a step further and uses a different label for EVERY GAME played in '36.
McCoy is Alfred McCoy, the team's coach for its first four seasons.
Our Cossets?!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Maine Black Bears (1963-64)

In 1963, Maine made a small addition to its road jerseys that stuck around for nearly a decade: A pair of snarlin' bear heads were added to the shoulders. I mean, look at them -- would you let Junior go a game alone knowing that was waiting for him?

Very few teams in this era had logos on the shirts, and combined with the winged helmet, Maine had one of the more distinctive uniforms New England had to offer in the 1960s. Being a Maine grad, of course, I might be a bit biased. When I think of "old-school" Maine football, this is the uniform that comes to mind.

The Maine bench at home, 1963. From the 1965 Prism yearbook,
which covered the 1963-64 school year.

A neat photo spread of the '63 Bears showing off their new
With a one-game exception, the bears never decorated the blue home jerseys, although radically different home and road shirts were quite common in this era.

The bears stuck around until 1972, when a mid-season change was made. In 1967, they began facing outward instead of inward. Perhaps they were looking to snarl at the world.

Maine went 5-3 in '63 and '64, with '64 marking the end of the old State Series games against Colby, Bates and Bowdoin. I hope to take closer look at that down the road.

In action against Vermont in '63. You can read more UVM's unis here.

Can't bear to be without Black Bear uniforms? Here are some more: 201520142011-131997-99, 19851976-84197519741965more 19651957-591949-501928-29. Rivalry week: Maine-New Hampshire.

Although UMaine canon says the Black Bears didn't use a costumed mascot until 1969,
here's a ... um, unique ... Bananas patrolling the sidelines in '63.
Beats the current version, that's for sure.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Holy Cross Crusaders (1963-66)

It's pretty common for teams to wear special uniforms for rivalry games -- actually, these days, it's common for teams to wear "special" uniforms any old week, with weekly changes made to draw in college kids attracted to shiny objects. But for four straight years, Holy Cross broke out a "new" uniform for its annual rivalry game with Boston College, which was right up there with Harvard-Yale as a Really Big Deal on the New England football calendar.

In '63, it was the return of silver helmets and pants after a years-long absence:

The first two pictures are from The Crusader newspaper,
despite the Worcester Telegram credit in photo No. 2.
No. 3 is from BC';s Sub Turri yearbook, and No. 4
is from the Cross' Purple Patcher yearbook.

In '64, numbers appeared on the helmets after wearing blank sides most of the season (except for one game when the purple lids made a comeback):

In '65, a tiny "HC" logo appeared on the helmets. A larger version returned in '67 and made another comeback a couple years ago:

And in '66, for whatever reason, the purple helmet stripe was removed. Yeah, I'm sure that was the hot topic that day at Alumni Stadium, too:

Did it work? Eh, sort of. The Crusaders were 2-2 against BC in the four games, then didn't beat the Eagles again until 1977.

In addition to the helmets, check out the other wrinkles in the Saders' unis, including purple pants and short-sleeved shirts for warm-weather games. If it weren't for the in-depth coverage from The Crusader and the accompanying online archive, I'd be beyond lost here.

Want more from Holy Cross? Look here: 2015201420132004-0819921986-911973-74197219711967-70, 1956-591951-55. Rivalry Week: Boston College-Holy Cross.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Harvard Crimson (1972)

It appears Harvard had a difficult time figuring out how to decorate its headgear in 1972, as the Crimson burned through two different number fonts before a mid-season switch to a big, fat generic "H," which was used through '73. The block font, which had been used since the early '60s, was interchanged with a rounder font in '72 only before the change to the H.

This 1973 Harvard-UMass program, from a 1972 game, shows the numbered
Crimson helmet ...

... while a big ol' H was in place for the Princeton game later that season.
Daily Princetonian pic.

The era of numbers on helmets was ending by this time, save for traditionalists such as Alabama. Of the 18 Division I teams in the project for whom I have records, 10 wore numbers on their helmets in 1962; only three still wore numbers a decade later -- Harvard, Maine and New Hampshire (which was the only team to actually add numbers over the previous decade).

One other thing about this Harvard uniform: I like how the socks coordinate with the jersey, with crimson socks at home and white socks on the road. The Patriots do something similar now, but that likely has more to do with making them contrast better with the blue road pants, whereas Harvard wore the same color pants home and away.

Other Harvard unis you may have missed: 20152012-142008-111980-831975-79; 1972-731967-701962-631950-521948-49. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dartmouth Big Green (1929)

When doing historical research, you sometimes stumble upon something cool that you weren't looking for. Such is the case with one Alton Kimball "Al" Marsters, an All-American running back at Dartmouth when the above uniform was worn.

Al Marsters.

Grantland Rice referred to Marsters and Dartmouth as "the greatest combination on any stadium turf from East to West," although I'm pretty certain that in Mr. Rice's case, college football ended in New Haven and didn't pick up again until Palo Alto.

An actual c. 1930 Dartmouth football jersey. Sadly, not mine.
You can see it and other neat ancient football items here.

Marsters, a senior, and Dartmouth went 7-2 in '29, with the losses coming to Yale in the sixth game and Navy in the season finale. It's the Yale game that's of particular interest. According to "Dartmouth College Football: Green Fields of Autumn," the superstitious Marsters had worn the same set of pads since he was in high school. Before the Yale game, the pads were misplaced, and Marsters had to use a replacement set. What happened next? He was kicked in the back by a Yale defender and he suffered a spinal fracture. His season - and career - were over.

One of the last plays of  Al Marsters' college football career,
against Yale in 1929. From the Dartmouth Digital Library Collections site.
If you look closely, you can see not all the white Dartmouth shirts have friction strips.

As for the uniforms, they're a classic 1920-30s example of how not every team was perfectly coordinated (see here for another example). Some shirts have friction strips, some have white shoulders, some are plain. I guess good enough was good enough in those days. If there was an internet in '29, there'd be all sorts of whiny "OMG! Dartmouth can't get their unis right!" tweets and stuff. 

The 1929 Big Green/Indians, also from the digital library. If a team hit the field
looking this mismatched today, the internet would have a coronary. 

The white jerseys were worn against Yale during the late '20s and early '30s, when their game was exclusively played at the Yale Bowl.

Some other unis from the Green Machine: 201420132005-062003-041978-861970, 1957-611955-561951-5419441936-38. Rivalry week: Dartmouth-Princeton.

One final Al Marsters tidbit, from the Chicago Tribune archive.
The fascinating headline really says it all.