Friday, June 10, 2011

Uniform panic commences

I generally yield the Michigan-related floor to MGoBlog's Brian Cook, a phenomenal writer who shares pretty much all of my opinions but does so in a much more thought-out and eloquent way than I could.

And I can't say I'm entirely surprised by his reaction to Michigan's not-exactly-a-throwback jersey, which is pretty crazy. The upshot:
Tomorrow we'll enter the ranks of schools that dress up like clowns for a little bit of money from a shoe company. ... This bothers me because it makes it obvious that honoring the program's past doesn't crack the top several reasons they'll put the stripes on this fall, falling behind at least "money," "making Adidas happy," and "allowing Dave Brandon to 'create the future.'"
He goes on to compare the Brandon-era marketing obsession to a publicly traded company's quest to hit its quarterly goals and appease its stockholders with complete disregard for everything else, which would obviously be a pretty poor way to run Michigan's football program but is also an extrapolation taken to a wildly extreme degree.

Maybe I'm just numbed by the fact that Oregon has worn about 2,300 different uniform combinations in the past two years, Nike unveils a different abomination every week and even the Army-Navy game features weird camo helmets and stuff, but on the "things to get worked up about" scale, this strikes me as falling somewhere in between "I wish the band would play more during the game" and "I'm concerned that Brady Hoke doesn't wear a hat on the sidelines like Bo and Lloyd." In other words, it's low.

It's a shirt that will be worn for one game, a game that's intended to be different from every other in the previous bazillion years of Michigan football in Ann Arbor. It doesn't have wings or tread patterns or color-matched half-sleeves, and it's not bright yellow.

Some people will love it and buy a replica, some (like me) will go "meh," and some will roll their eyes until the events on the field distract them ... and then the game will end, the season will continue and nobody looking at the big picture will really care what jerseys were being worn when Michigan played Notre Dame on Sept. 10, 2011.

FWIW, I would've been totally on board with Brian's idea of a 60s-style throwback uni, although like I said yesterday, I still would have taken a few liberties with the jersey (probably something between the one that's existed for the past 80 years and the thing that'll be unveiled Friday). Apparently even the traditionaliest (?) of us have different tastes.


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