College Football Needs Moratorium on Uniform Madness
I am a self-described sports uniform buff. In my closet, I have over 100 different jerseys, not all of my favorite sports or college teams. I also have them for classic players or classic looks I find fun. I love the history of uniforms and many from bygone leagues and teams who dared to push the envelope when it comes to on-the-field fashions.
On the eve of the BCS College Football National Championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers, I am calling for an end to the alternate uniform gluttony we’re currently seeing at the college level. The proliferation of alternate jerseys for college football says all the wrong things to student athletes and younger aspiring athletes as well.
The worst offender of this proliferation is the Oregon Ducks. Flush with a seemingly Congressionally-large budget for spending cash on uniforms, thanks to Phil Knight of Nike, the Ducks have more helmet, jersey and pants combinations than anyone else. They’re so fashionable the twigs they call models these days in Paris are undoubtedly jealous.
And this year, even our service academies – Air Force, Navy, and Army – got into the multi-uniform game. And although I think the Air Force Thunderbird-inspired helmets are perhaps the coolest I’ve ever seen, does the American taxpayer need to sport for those? We’re still in two wars and its costing us billions, so why spend more money on some “nice to haves?”
The main reason this uniform pornography has to stop is simple: at a time when more and more collegiate athletic programs are being cut due to budgetary constraints, what does it say when you’re whipping up dozens of uniforms while you cancel wrestling? Or what does it say to an 18-year-old young woman who won’t get a scholarship because a school cancels cross country or softball? But hey, at least the team has some killer alternate helmets and can sell more jerseys, huh?Continued on the next page