Sunday, November 27, 2016

UConn Huskies (1948-49)

The UConn uniforms of this era are somewhat unique for a couple reasons:

1) The sleeve stripes are placed all the way down on the wrists, kind of like Cornell's from roughly the same period. Come to think of it, it's just strange to see a football shirt with sleeves, period, if you're not familiar with football history.
2) The early plastic helmets from '49, which from photos look more like space helmets, which I've probably mentioned in the past when discussing other teams. 

The 1949 UConn Huskies, ready for takeoff.
Actually, that's a pretty sharp uniform.
Bonus points for having Jonathan the mascot in the picture.

A 1949 pregame coin toss, before Rhode Island, presumably.
I love candid shots such as this one. check out the cap on the referee.
Actually, there's another unique aspect of the '49 Huskies that has nothing to do with the uniforms. While doing some research on the College Football Data Warehouse, I came across this whopper of a score:

Newport NTS (RI)
Storrs, CT

As in, UConn 125, Newport NTS NIL. That's Newport Naval Training Station, a possible leftover relic from World War II, when service teams were commonplace and dotted the national rankings. 

So what the heck happened? Here's the account of the game from the 1950 Nutmeg yearbook:

White Knights? Well, the Huskies were wearing the 1940s version of a color rush uni. But  back to the point: Why did they schedule such an obviously overmatched foe? I mean, at least James Madison and Rhode Island play in the same league, so they have to face each other, but what could UConn gain out of this debacle? But then, I guess you could say the same whenever a Division I basketball team plays Our Lady of the Lake or some of these other schools that sound like they were invented by an inebriated video-game player.

Whatever, the win was enough to give UConn a .500 record (4-4-1) in '49. The Huskies also won a share of the Yankee Conference title.

And yes, it remains the Huskies' single-game scoring record. No. 2 is 76 points against Norwich in 1937.

More UConn unis for the Huskymanicas: 201520142013, 2003 (Inside the Jersey)20021989-931984-881971-7219701966-6719651958-601957, 19511934Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhode Island.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Hampshire Wildcats (1955)

I'm having some computer issues (like Thanksgiving and football, it's a November tradition), so the next few posts may be low on photo illustrations. That said, I'm going to pull out an unused uni graphic at random and do my best to talk about it with repeating myself from previous posts. Here goes …

OK. 1955 UNH. That works, with the rivalry game with Maine coming up this weekend and all. The look is typical of all 1950s-early 90s Wildcat unis (silver helmets, blue jerseys with two white stripes, silver/gray pants). But check out the short-sleeved jersey, which was presumably used for warm-weather games. The stripes are a contrasting color … I'm guessing red, which is what I've used in the graphic. As far as I know, this was worn only in '55.

The '55 Wildcats in the short-sleeved alternate jerseys.
I'm guessing those are red stripes, but the actual truth may be lost to history.

This whole page from the '56 Granite yearbook
celebrates the '55 Cats. I don't think UNH will be playing
Springfield or Bridgeport any time soon.

The Wildcats that year were an un-Wildcat-like 2-4-2. Two ties in one season?

There are plenty more Wildcat uniforms where this came from: 201520142010-13199819751968-71 (part 1) (part 2)1966-6719501947-4819381936. Rivalry Week: Maine-UNH.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Rhode Island Rams (1947-50)

Here are some more post-war Rhode Island uniforms as we begin what I hope will be an extended look into pre-1950 outfits. I've had these on the brain because of the Tennessee Titans "Color-Rush" uniforms, which threaten to cause TVs across America to short-circuit.

As noted a couple months ago, Rhody's helmets were quite inconsistent, and I think it had something to do with continued recycling of helmets from year to year without regards to specifics. But who knows? After all, the jerseys seemed to change quite a bit from year to year.

Rhode Island coach Bill Beck prowls the sidelines in this photo from the 1948 Grist yearbook.
Notice the different helmet patterns. When was the last time players all sat on the bench like that?
I love this photo: An informal team shot, presumably before a game, from the 1949 Grist.
Check out the player holding steady with the 45-year marker!
Again, note the different helmet patterns.

There are more uniforms out there from Rhody: 2015201420132003-071997-991983-921976-821967-7119661963-6519621957-61, 19511936-39. Rivalry Week: UConn-Rhody.

Before Gatorade and water bottles, players used water and ladles,
and appeared to savor every moment.
Notice the mishmash of practice jerseys in the second photo.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

UMass Minutemen (1973)

A little update: Not counting the three NEC teams (Bryant, Central Conn., Sacred Heart)  I have now documented every uniform in this project from 1950-2015, with the exception of two teams (1950 UConn and 1970 Penn, I'm looking in YOUR directions). Including pre-1950, NEC and D-III uniforms, that's 868 individual uniform graphics. Geez, that's a lot of hours starting at a computer screen.

On to a one-year UMass style from the Dick MacPherson years. The "UM" from 1970-72 was replaced by an outline of the state of Massachusetts with "UMass" inside in tiny letters, in a font that resembles something from a Dunkin' Donuts sign (OK, DD didn't use that font for a few more years, but work with me here). It's easy to see why this logo didn't last -- in addition to the microscopic letters, the logo is hard to make out from beyond 10 feet. 

A close-up of the short-lived 1973 UMass helmet, from the school's Index yearbook.

Another closeup, this one of the Minutemen on the sideline.
A whole page of Minutemen in action, from the '74 Index.
Thankfully, UMass' replacement for '74 was one of the best logos ever (just my opinion).

Much, much more from the Minutemen: 2015201420132000-021986-871978-84, 1975-77197419721966-681960-621951-521938-39.