Sunday, November 6, 2016

Get Off My Lawn. Part 1,247.

I know, I know. I'm old. I'm cranky. Those damn kids won't stay off my lawn no matter how I shake my feeble old-man fist at them and splutter my feeble old-man threats.

So of course I turned on Arkansas vs. Florida yesterday afternoon, and immediately started old-man spluttering. It was me wondering aloud who the hell Florida was actually playing, because it sure didn't look like any Arkansas I remember.

That's because Arkansas came out wearing this.

Look. I get it. College football teams are all into alternative gear these days, because the kids think it's way cool and  college athletic departments are joined at the hip with the apparel companies. When Under Armour (or Nike, or adidas) says jump, Whatsamatta U. says how high.

Which is how Oregon trots out a different look every week, to the extent that Oregon doesn't even have a look anymore. Or Indiana decks out in about 16 different helmet types, including one candy-striped silver thing that looks like the love child of  Santa Claus and Yuri Gagarin.

It's silly as hell. But, again, the kids think it's the bomb.

And, frankly, I don't really have an issue with alternative gear. Some of it is actually way cool, like the uniforms Navy wore last year for the Army game that featured helmets with various naval vessels painted on them. Or the uniforms Notre Dame wore for the Shamrock Classic a couple years back, which featured helmets with the leprechaun embossed on the sides.

Those were awesome. And you could at least tell it was Notre Dame out there.

The issue I have is when the Arkansas Razorbacks come out looking like the Oakland Raiders, or Illinois comes out looking as if they misplaced their uniforms and were forced to play in plain gray sweats, with no visible sign of Illini navy and orange anywhere. You want to wear alternate uniforms, great. But shouldn't there be a stipulation that they have to at least incorporate the school colors somewhere?

(And, yes, I know Arkansas' unis had a thin red stripe in a couple places. Sorry, but that doesn't count).

I mean, if you tune in a game and you can't tell from the uniforms who one of the teams is, that doesn't strike me as great branding. Just sayin'.

Of course, I'm just Get off My Lawn Guy. What do I know?

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