Such nice news with the uniforms. I remember coming back to Columbus after having been in the Peace Corps. Having a father who was on the Faculty Council (he voted to go to the Rose Bowl) got me into the stadium and onto the practice fields. On my first visit back there was John Bosic, a PhD who found his life's work as a manager for the football team. He saw me and yelled "I saved them, I saved the uniforms." Indeed he had. Someone, somewhere in the Athletic Department had wanted new ones, different ones. This was long before Nike. John stood up and said these uniforms meant tradition, and continuity, and gave people pride. According to John everyone backed down and that bright idea from some assistant to change the uniforms was scotched.
Fast forward to the "gray stripe" saga. The gray stripe disappeared after the 2002 championship game. We had also worn it in 1954 and 1968. I wrote someone in the athletic department and asked why. The answer I got from some assistant was that the stripes were too thick for the linemen who wanted short sleeves. Ye Gods! I wrote back that Iowa and the New York Giants wore the same stripe pattern (different colors, of course) and never got an answer. I already knew the answer. The reason the gray stripe had disappeared was that If you like the stripe pattern on the helmet, why not put it on the sleeve and the pants -- this, of course, being the reasoning of some less than talented designer from Nike whose real reason was to sell more clothes. It's not that players like change, or that traditionalism is old stuff; it's that by changing regularly, churning actually, we can sell more merchandise.
I vowed that if I ever had dinner with Gene Smith, maybe with Urban at the table, I'd press for tradition -- those uniforms are the uniforms of champions. (I like how Meyer takes off the single black stripe for freshmen who've made the team.) I'd remind him of the "gray stripe's" history, I'd go for excellence.
So this latest round has finally aroused many folks. No more sneaking change without discussion. The gray stripes on the shirt are a little fat, the gray stripe on the pants seems silly, but those are battles for later. Go forth Buckeyes and stomp them Crimson Tiders.