Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Holy Cross Crusaders (1976-80)

We all have things we inexplicably like, be it strawberry ice cream, Jethro Tull or twice-baked potatoes. For myself and this project, it's Holy Cross' late-1970s uniforms. Is it the purple helmets with the numbers on the side, a return of an earlier look and later to return during the 1980s glory years? Is it the ultra-plain "HOLY CROSS" word mark on the front? Is it the reliance on black shoes while other teams were going white? 

Whatever, I've always liked this design, worn during the otherwise unremarkable coaching reign of Neil Wheelwright (20-35, one winning record). The socks changed a couple times, and the number was eventually replaced by a version of the galloping horse logo the school used as its official logo in the 1970s and 80s.

This two-page spread, from the 1977 Purple Patcher yearbook, shows
the 1976 Holy Cross Crusdaders in full-color glory. The first page notes
the team debuted new uniforms that season.

The 1970s-80s logo, taken from an old Dartmouth media guide,
was the basis of the 1979-80 helmet logo.
In 1981, Rick Carter became coach, the numbered helmets returned and the uniforms ... well, imagine a purple version of this. We'll get to it eventually.

This photo of linebacker Tony Rocchio, from The Crusader
newspaper archives, gives a close-up of the plain "HOLY CROSS" word mark.
Want more from Holy Cross? Look here: 2015201420132004-0819921986-911973-74197219711967-701963-651956-591951-55. Rivalry Week: Boston College-Holy Cross.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Inside the Jersey: UConn Huskies (2003)

This is the beginning of an occasional feature in which I unearth a jersey from my modest collection and give it my unbiased opinion (perhaps my favorite of oxymoron in the English vernacular). Today, it's a 2003 UConn Huskies white road jersey, worn by offense tackle Brendan Borowski, according to the '03 roster.

How it was acquired: eBay, for $30, quite the bargain for an FBS jersey.

Who wore it: Brendan Borowski, a backup offensive lineman. His bio, from the 2004 UConn media guide, is below.

Who made it: Aeropostale. Yes, AEROPOSTALE, makers of overpriced apparel for insecure mallrats. I know of no other sports team, high school, college or pro, who wore Aeorpostale uniforms. Some team should have countered with Abercrombie & Fitch unis. (By the way, am I the only one who thinks of 1980s Steelers running back Walter Abercrombie when I think of ol' A&F?)

No, really, Aeropostale! That 1987 on the tag is going to throw off collectors
50 years from now.

Size: 50, but a little snug, as you might expect for modern jerseys, which are not made for casual wear. If you want to spill beer all over your shirt, grab a replica.

Jersey construction: Polyester on the top, sides and "sleeves," single-layer mesh everywhere else. Seems pretty durable. A Big East logo is on the left (despite the fact the Huskies didn't officially join the league until 2004) and the Aeropostale logo (no, really, it was made by Aeropostale) on the right. All numbers are stitched on, and the name is screened onto a stitched nameplate.

Design: Football jerseys were rapidly evolving (or devolving, depending on your point of view), and this was one of the early "out-there" designs. "CONNECTICUT" (the team was trying to emphasize the state name over "UConn" at the time) is arced across the front (something rarely done ever), in contrast to the usual straight-across wordmarks. The stripes on the sleeves and collar reek of busy work, although the "C" on the sides are a nice touch. Check the name on the back: The "W" is lowercase, while the other letters are in all caps!

Condition: Pristine, as you might expect for someone who saw action in only one game in 2003.

Triviata: This was a one-year style (the second straight from the Huskies), although it's very similar to the Nike-manufactured 2004 uni. 

Final verdict: This isn't the prettiest jersey ever made, but it's a unique artifact from a unique period in UConn history, when the Huskies were transitioning into the Big East and moving into their spanking new stadium. And did I mention it was made by Aeropostale? I might have to grab a blue jersey down the road.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Boston College Eagles (2000)

In 2000, Boston College celebrated the new millennium by introducing a new logo and word marks, used by the school to this day. The school also changed its uniforms across the board, but the football unis used a peculiar number font -- something sorta-kinda-but-not-quite-impact -- that lasted only one year before the Eagles switched to the slanted font that was more in line with their word mark and was used until 2011. 

A 2000 Boston College jersey, taken from an old eBay listing.

While the uniforms changed, the helmets, thankfully, remained the same.

The season was also notable for the beginning of BC's fabled eight-year bowl winning streak, starting with a 31-17 win over Arizona State in the Aloha Bowl on Christmas Day (there are worse places to spend the holidays, I suppose). If there's one downer, it's that none of the bowls were of the BCS variety. 

The 2000 home uniform ...

... and its road counterpart.
Craving some more BC unis? Look right here: 201420132007, 1995-961994198419821978-801968-771958-60, 19571955-561950-521939Rivalry Week (w/Holy Cross).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Yale Bulldogs (2006-11)

After all eight Ivy League teams wore Nike uniforms in 2015, Yale broke ranks this year and unveiled new duds made by Under Armour, the folks who made it fashionable for athletes to show off their man-boobs by wearing really tight shirts. Wisecracks aside, the only noticeable difference from last year is the addition of the "YALE" wordmark across the front and the small, classy "Y" on the pants. A fine effort, says I.

Yale's Aughties uniform, made by Nike, also did very little to the classic look. The big differences compared with the 1960s-90s uniform are the outline on the helmet's "Y" and the bulldog logo on the "sleeves" (which had just about vanished from football unis by this point). Sleeve logos seem to have gone the way, of, well, sleeves outside the NFL, whose unis really look outdated compared with its college counterparts -- something I think I've ranted about already.

One other thing: Notice the sock uniformity, something that went out with other teams during the 1980s.

The 2006 Yale road uniform ...

... and the 2007 home version.

Want more from the sons of old Eli? Look here: 2015201420131997-981994, 19961979-8219781974-771967-6819651959-60, 1954-581930. Rivalry Week: Harvard-Yale.