Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vermont Catamounts (1940-42)

As I think I've pointed out before, Vermont's uniforms could have been Oregon before Oregon was hip, considering some of the uniforms the Catamounts trotted out before their untimely demise in 1974. Check out these screaming yellow zonkers UVM wore until World War II put the program in mothballs for three years. Judging by the photos, it appears not all the yellow parts matched properly, which would probably cause a riot on the message boards if that happened today.

The 1942 Vermont Catamounts, the last team before war shut the program down.

Members of the 1941 Cats ham it up for the Ariel yearbook camera.

Also note the small white outline around the numbers; I don't believe too many teams did two-tone numbers then.

By Vermont standards, this team wasn't too bad, going 4-4, 2-6 and 4-3.

More pictures of the 1942 Catamounts. Those old-fashioned poses always rule.
Want more uniforms from the ol' 802? Of course you do! 1946-481962-631964-671968-691970-74.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

New Hampshire Wildcats (1969-71), Part 2

I wrote about this uniform back in February. But the following is too good not to share, even though it's not really uniform-related.

This probably happens to anyone in the research/history biz: You're poring through microfilm (or, more likely these days, an online archive) looking for something ... only to stumble upon something you weren't expecting.

That happened to me while doing a routine eBay check for "New Hampshire football," and I found this, dated Nov. 23, 1970:

A nice vintage wirephoto of a UNH football player, right? But read the caption. Actually, so you don't have to turn your laptop/phone/tablet sideways, I'll excerpt it below:

"Gerontology, the study of aging, is a science that intrigues Ed Krysiak, a defensive safety on the University of New Hampshire football team -- he is 44 years old."

Krysiak was a 23-year Navy veteran who served in World War II and Korea -- and, oh by the way, was a father of six and a grandfather of one -- who walked onto the football team at UNH as a safety. I found this 1970 AP article, reprinted in the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times after a Google newspaper archive search:

The article says he's 43, not 44, but still ... only a handful of NFL players (George Blanda, Vinny Testaverde, Warren Moon, Steve DeBerg) played at 44 or older. And Krysiak wasn't a QB, punter, kicker or even an offensive lineman -- the positions most associated with 40-somethings.

Krysiak studied for two years at a community college before transferring to UNH, where he asked coach Jim Root (himself only 39) if he could try out. "My first reaction was to discourage him completely, but I could see he was deadly serious," Root says in the article. Krysiak went on to see action in at least two games that season. And it's not like UNH was some sad sack in desperate need of talent -- the Wildcats were 5-3 in '70.

Krysiak, alas, appears lost to history after 1970, but his story remains pretty amazing decades later: A 40-something two-time war veteran and father of six with nothing to prove, who probably hasn't played competitive football in 25 years, tries out for one of New England's better teams, in a tough conference, and makes the roster. Can you imagine the attention if something like that happened today?

There are plenty more Wildcat uniforms where this came from: 201520142010-1319981975, 1968-71 (part 1)1966-6719501947-4819381936. Rivalry Week: Maine-UNH.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

UMass Minutemen (1975-77)

Apparently, I haven't done a self-contained UMass post since November. Let's fix that.

When I did my first UMass post way back when, I think I mentioned something about the 1970s UMass logo being one of my favorites ever. It really is. I mean, look at this bad boy:

There's just something about the minuteman here, looking ready to kick ass and defend the honor of his school, while flanked between the "U" and the "M." It's not like any other college logo from the era, when realistic animal drawings were the trend (unlike today, when a school logo consists of a plain letter, then the designer sits back and says, "Whew, I'm done"). 

This logo doesn't say "UMass" anywhere on it, but take one look and you know what school it represents. It was used on the helmets from 1974-84 and remained the school's official logo until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by, for lack of a better phrase, the "Calipari logo."

Memo to UMass: BRING THIS BACK FOR HOMECOMING! I'm not asking for much ... right???

A couple nice closeups of the classic UMass helmet,
from the Index yearbook. The headline is a reference to the Minutemen's
disappointing (by their standards) 5-5 '76 season.

The rest of the uniform continues the basic look the Minutemen had throughout the 70s, plain, streamlined design with names on the back and stripes on the socks (note the white shoes added for '76). But that helmet improves the entire uniform.

These two pictures are from 1977.

Much, much more from the Minutemen: 2015201420132000-021986-871978-84197419721966-681960-62, 1951-521938-39.

The cheerleaders' unis, on the other hand, retained the older "UM" logo
that were on the helmets in the early 70s.