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Friday, June 10, 2011

Throwback jerseys? More like throw-away jerseys

UPDATE: It's official.

(pic via @GerdOZone)

We've been so caught up in gleefully ribbing our Big 10 Buckeye brethren about the swirling scandal in C-bus that we haven't weighed in yet on the "throwback" jerseys set to be unveiled tonight for this year's Michigan-Notre Dame game.  So, without further adieu, here are the jerseys, which were mistakenly leaked on the MDen (pic via MnB)...

...And here's our review:

Those suck ass.

Seriously, we could get all Project Runway* on this crap and tell you why, but we're working under the assumption here at the MZone that our readers have eyeballs and use them when visiting our site.  Hence, is there really a need to break it down on an aesthetic level?

In general, I hate throwback jerseys - even when the design isn't as obnoxious as the one above.  Because they are nothing - NOTHING - more than a money grab.  Period.  As Brian said best of all:

Tomorrow we'll enter the ranks of schools that dress up like clowns for a little bit of money from a shoe company.

Plus, I believe such eyesores detract from the game day experience.

Unfortunately, the powers that be at Michigan and the other schools which agree to bastardize their uniforms for a couple extra bucks apparently confuse what keeps fans coming back for the game vs. what keeps folks returning for the game day experience:  The game itself is about the unexpected while the game day experience is all about the expected.

So much of college football at programs like Michigan and many others is about the traditions.  The conditioned emotional response of the familiar.  The chills one feels when the team runs under the giant "Go Blue" sign or when the band plays The Victors or when the fans hold up their car keys to drown out the opposition on 4th and inches come from a lifetime of consistent acquired memories.

That's not being old fashioned, that's respecting and understating the foundation that keeps 100,000+ people coming each and every football Saturday to The Big House.

Thus, while the term "throwback" is supposed to imply a link to a school's storied past, the term is nothing but trickeration.  Such uniforms have nothing to do with honoring the past or instilling new memories.  Instead, it's all about lining pockets at the expense of those things.  They are not nostalgic, they're gimmicks.  The only reason they call them "Throwbacks" is because "Additional Revenue Stream" jerseys would be too off-putting.


If the picture at the top of this post does indeed turn out to be the monstrosity spit forth tonight, how fucking bad were the rejected designs?  Because in order to come out as the final product, the maize and blue pigeon dropping above must have been up against some runner-up choices like this...

Actually, neither of these are much worse.

* Don't give me shit about the Project Runway reference.  Because if you have a wife or girlfriend, you've had to take one for the team at some point and sit through an episode of this eye-gouger.


surrounded in columbus said...
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surrounded in columbus said...
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surrounded in columbus said...

you forget- you are old. you are old as in "sit down! you paid for your seat now use it". old as in jingling car keys. old as in hating "rawk" music over the PA system.

old as in "these are NOT marketed to you". you're not the target market (you haven't been in anything since you graduated) and you need to get used to it;)

i don't like 'em, but i bet Brandon knows what he's doing, and that they sell a ton of these- all to people a lot younger than either of us.

Reed said...

Agreed on all counts.

One thing to keep in mind: when your starting point is the best uniform in all of sports, worldwide and domestic, there's almost no way not to fuck this up. But if this is really the uniform, at least we can say that they made certain to fuck it up.

Dennis said...

As an OSU fan I am both happy and I feel your pain.

Happy because in one fell swoop both you and ND lost a point of differentiation about yourselves and us. Just because jumped off the bridge you apparently had to as well.

I feel your pain because I have never liked our ARS jerseys. I especially hated the ones that had a Rutgers red look to them. At least yours they didn't alter the colors from what I can tell. Take some small solace in that, I guess.

And you don't have the pretentious camo helmets we had in the Spring game. We had a brilliant strategy to deflect attention from them by having revelations about what Tressel knew and when released so we didn't really pay attention to the helmets. :)

Mikoyan said...

I like throwback jerseys when they are actually throwback jerseys. The Red Wings are a pretty good example of how to do them right. I guess the problem with Michigan is that they've used the same scheme for a long time and you had to go back in the vaults to come up with a throwback.

That being said....these are ugly. But they don't rise up to the level of OSU ugly.

Andy said...

In the right circumstance, I agree with Mik. I like throw back jerseys that are done correctly.

If this is what we will actually wear (yes, I am still holding out hope that the MDen is just fucking with us)... then BARF. On the bright side, I went to the BIG CHILL, and despite the gawd-awful Michigan uniforms, it was a great event.

The problem is, Michigan wears throwback uniforms every time they take the field. There is no reason to drastically change what we have already. Brian had it right with the grey facemasks, uniform number on the sides of the helmet, and correctly placed block Ms.

Ramona said...

At least it is a LEGAL revenue stream!

Yost said...

lol, Ramona

Bigasshammm said...

Maybe they'll fool everybody and come out in September with a bunch of soccer balls!

All the scoreboards will read is GOTCHA!

Mikoyan said...

The thing I don't like about these is that they aren't rooted in the history of Michigan Uniforms. They are sort of like the early football uniforms but not enough for my liking. But like I said, the problem is that Michigan's home uniforms have been basically unchanged since the 20's and I no qualm with that, why mess with success? I guess it would be the same way if the Yankees or Tigers decided to do a throwback uniform...

surrounded in columbus said...

there's an M uni, from the early 1900's, that featured the striped sleaves & a brown leather or canvas tunic or vest.


i believe it's from the pre helmet/pads day when the game was very different.

i assume this uni "inspired" the stripes on the sleeve of the jersey that popped up on M Den. and that's my biggest objection to this jersey. it's NOT a throwback. true replicas, like the Lion's all silver helmets? they're very cool. even if you don't like that actual uni? if it's an authentic replica, it has its own appeal.

but these aren't that. these are a "rendering", combining an element of a past jersey and creating something new. and there's no charm to that.

on the other hand? i have no doubt that they'll sell a ton of them. the kids will love them.

Mikoyan said...

I have a Red Wings Throwback Jersey from the 1943 Team. It has Sid Abel's number on the back and V's on the sleeves for Victory and it's a sweater. It's pretty cool and I love the hell out of it. But other than that, it looks like a modern jersey. But to me, that's the idea of a throwback. It's not supposed to be "Well, it sort of looked like this...kind of".

Yost said...


SiC, I love the music over the PA. Crank that shit! It drowns out the f'ing keys.

surrounded in columbus said...


i'm old enough to remember when we didn't do the wave. i remember how when we started doing the wave, really old alumni- people then my age now- hated it & tried like hell to get people to not do it.

25 years later it's a "tradition".

things change.

Mikoyan said...

I guess they're not that bad. They still suck but they aren't as bad as the preview.

cms said...
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TitleIX said...

I actually like them....

Commence egg toss in 3, 2, 1.....

bigGexpress said...

I don't think they are too bad, but my question is was there ever a time when Michigan actually wore those jerseys or did they just make up some retro looking B.S. and call it a throwback. That's what ticks me off.

Ramona said...

The jerseys are kind of cute, something I would have gotten for my son when he was 4.
Side note: you can pre-order your jerseys starting yesterday for August delivery!

James said...

bigGexpress - they're a combination of two different designs we've worn (the big, slender M was on one and the striped sleeves on another).

I think the ones the players are wearing look pretty good. The replica is uglier.

Kimberly said...

I'm not a big fan of the jerseys either. Glad it's only one game.

And for the record, I've never watched project runway and would never dream of making my husband watch it...lol. I'd much rather watch FOOTBALL--preferably U Of M football.