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Member since 19 November 2012 | Blog

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Comment 20 Nov 2013

A uniform conveys tradition.  Would someone be more inclined to enlist in the Coldstream guards if their beaver hats changed color or size at every parade.  I don't think so. Would the Swiss guards at the Vatican be a more prestigious organization if they dressed as policemen. No. The list goes on.  How about the United States Marine Corps? There's a uniform.

I'd always rooted for Hank Aaron to break Babe Ruth's home run record.  When he did so it seemed so much less than I'd hoped for because he was wearing a uniform that looked like he played for the Raybestos Brakettes.

A uniform conveys class.  The New York Yankees are America's best example, but think of the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Dodgers (yes, I know each has had transgressions).  There's a long list.  The Indianapolis (ne Baltimore) Colts, the Cleveland Browns, etc.

I've loved Ohio State's uniforms, which actually are a pastiche of tweaks and changes, a patchwork of modifications, which makes the uniform unique.  Should there be small black numbers on the sleeve?  What should be the size and typology of the white numerals.  These are items for discussion.  I've had the fantasy of telling Urban Myers that the last three national championship teams all had the gray stripes on the sleeve.  There's tradition.  I called the athletic department to ask why the sleeve stripes changed and the answer I got from some assistant was that the linemen liked a smaller stripe.  Oh my!  I looked at the Iowa Hawkeyes and the New York Giants and decided not to call back.

The helmets worn for Wisconsin looked like some silly cartoon, and when I was looking at photos of the Michigan game of several years ago I didn't realize for several seconds that the all red uniforms were Ohio State.

If I played for Ohio State (complete fantasy) I'd want to be like Eddie George, or Orlando Pace, or Archie Griffin.  How about Dustin Fox or Rex Kern?  The first step would be at least to dress like them.  I'd be less inclined to embrace the history if I looked like some video game box top.

I noticed that Ohio University, by the way, dressed proudly in new black jerseys, got waxed by Kent State last night.

Comment 19 Nov 2012

Uniforms are vital to tradition. Think of the New York Yankees whose cap and pin stripes are known around the world.  Look at the Green Bay Packers and you can see Paul Hornung and Bart Starr.  Look at the Browns and you see Jim Brown (or wish you could). Uniforms connect fans to glorys past and bespeak tradition to the new.

Bo Schembechler tried to change Michigan's helmet, which looks a bit absurd until you realize that the design had survived an era when helmets were leather and stitched together.  The administration gave him a resounding NO.  It was a superb decision, and makes me detest Michigan all the more.

By contrast when I look at our Nike uniforms of the past several years I wonder at first glance whether it's Ohio State or Wabash U.  When I realize it's us I click to adifferent image because what I see is not tradition, but the desire to make a buck.  It's smarmy, and we're better than that.

After a pause, and if I still need solace, I find the iconic photo of Eddie George outracing half The Notre Dame team to a touchdown.  The Irish are wearing their gold helmets, of course.  This makes the photo all the sweeter because we're wearing our scarlet best with silver helmets, buckeye leaves and big white numbers.