Columbia football was known for two things in the 1980s: Losing and constant uniform changes. (OK, maybe only the first one, but I'm looking to change that.) After a one-year style in 1983 that resembled a prehistoric Tennessee Titans, the Lions went a different route in '84, replacing the weird stripes with a pair of crown shoulder patches (a rarity then and now).
Why a crown, you ask, and not a lion? Well, Columbia was originally known as King's College in the 18th century, and while the name changed, the symbol of royalty stuck around and is used to this day ... just not on the athletic garb. You can read more about the crown here.
It's too bad the crowns stayed only one year, because in addition to being different, they're classy as hell. But after an 0-9 season, Columbia turned to a new coach ... and a new set of uniforms.
|The '84 Lions at home. Notice the crowns on the shoulders.|
With the light color and dark numbers, the home shirts don't
look that different from the road models.
|The '84 Lions on the road. Columbia Spectator pics.|
One other note: '83 marked the first year of Columbia's current stadium, originally called Baker Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, but later renamed Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium -- yes, as in the New England Patriots owner, a Columbia grad. As a Pats fan, I get a kick out of New Yorkers seeing the name of the owner of their least favorite team on a stadium in their own city.
Other Lions unis that'll make you roar: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2003-05, 1996, 1983, 1974-76, 1971-73, 1970, 1965-67, 1955-56, 1952-54.