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.

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