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Craig


Member since 19 November 2012 | Blog

Helmet Stickers: 31 | Leaderboard

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Comment 10 Dec 2014

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.

Comment 10 Dec 2014

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.

Comment 22 Nov 2014

We wore our home scarlet and Michigan wore blue in the great snow bowl game of 1950!  Look it up.

No silly cartoon stripes on the helmet next Saturday.  Let's have gray sleeve stripes.  Let's be classy.  Let's honor the rivalry.  Let's beat them to a pulp and afterward be gracious. 


 

Comment 03 Nov 2014

Oh those silly uniforms!

If you've never discovered the comic book hero, "Plastic Man," it's worth the search.  Plastic Man, wearing a red, yellow and black outfit, got the bad guys by turning into an arm chair or a lamp post then leaping out to cuff the crook.  The colors were always the clue that Plastic Man was there.  It was especially satisfying to a kid searching the page to discover their hero.  And that's the same effect that these silly alternate uniforms have.  They can become anything, the stripe gets bigger or smaller, it's used on the sleeve, and also on the pants.  It bespeaks an insecurity, as if the Indianapolis Colts, for example, believed that horse shoes on their helmets weren't enough and that they needed to paste horse shoes all over the sleeves and pants. 

Our original red stripe flanked by white and black has a lovely scale. The gray sleeve stripes were different from the helmet stripes and gave the uniform the sense it was an agglomeration of different impulses over time.  Our uniform has a complexity, which was unique and special.

Now we have a "brand" (get it?).  Branding is usually the last refuge of an insecure graphic designer.  I keep thinking of how similar this impulse is to Donald Trump who insists on having his name on almost everything he touches.

It's worse.  The names on the backs are in black, which makes them difficult to see.  The numbers have piping around them, which bloats the number and makes them less crisp. And just so we're accurate, the "silver bullets" are no more.  We now have to call them the "burnished nickel bullets."   


 

Comment 02 Nov 2014

If you've never discovered the comic book hero, "Plastic Man," it's worth the search.  Plastic Man, wearing a red, yellow and black outfit, got the bad guys by turning into an arm chair or a lamp post then leaping out to cuff the crook.  The colors were always the clue that Plastic Man was there.  It was especially satisfying to a kid searching the page to discover their hero.  And that's the same effect that these silly alternate uniforms have.  They can become anything, the stripe gets bigger or smaller, it's used on the sleeve, and also on the pants.  It bespeaks an insecurity, as if the Indianapolis Colts, for example, believed that horse shoes on their helmets weren't enough and that they needed to paste horse shoes all over the sleeves and pants. 

Our original red stripe flanked by white and black has a lovely scale. The gray sleeve stripes were different from the helmet stripes and gave the uniform the sense it was an agglomeration of different impulses over time.  Our uniform has a complexity, which was unique and special.

Now we have a "brand" (get it?).  Branding is usually the last refuge of an insecure graphic designer.  I keep thinking of how similar this impulse is to Donald Trump who insists on having his name on almost everything he touches.

It's worse.  The names on the backs are in black, which makes them difficult to see.  The numbers have piping around them, which bloats the number and makes them less crisp. And just so we're accurate, the "silver bullets" are no more.  We now have to call them the "burnished nickel bullets."   

Comment 22 Oct 2014

The Buckeyes just lost two out of three games wearing those video game bubble gum uniforms, 

The same uniform ties together the present and the past.  Notice how many professional teams have kept the same uniform for decades,  The Colts are the Colts, the Giants the Giants.  Would the New York Yankees be the same in orange?  Would Penn State be Penn State without those gloriously simple uniforms (without names)?  Do you want to change the Grenadier guards or the Swiss guards?  Would Notre Dame have the same mystic without the gold helmets?   Michigan has problems not because of the athletic department and the coaches but because they are wearing those blue pants.  Makes them look smaller and far less fearsome.  Those absurd helmets are the only reason they've won any games at all this year.  Bo Schembechler  tried to get rid of the helmets and a then much more athletic department said no.  Bravo for them.

I watched Hank Aaron on TV break Babe Ruth's home run record.  The poor man was wearing a uniform that would have been more appropriate on the Raybestos Brakettes. I was sad for him.

Silver bullets, yes.  Buckeye leaves, yes.  Big block numbers and numbers on the shoulder pads, yes.  Put the gray sleeve stripes back on and you have the uniform worn by every Ohio State national champion. 

Comment 22 Oct 2014

The Buckeyes just lost two out of three games wearing those video game bubble gum uniforms, 

The same uniform ties together the present and the past.  Notice how many professional teams have kept the same uniform for decades,  The Colts are the Colts, the Giants the Giants.  Would the New York Yankees be the same in orange?  Would Penn State be Penn State without those gloriously simple uniforms (without names)?  Do you want to change the Grenadier guards or the Swiss guards?  Would Notre Dame have the same mystic without the gold helmets?   Michigan has problems not because of the athletic department and the coaches but because they are wearing those blue pants.  Makes them look smaller and far less fearsome.  Those absurd helmets are the only reason they've won any games at all this year.  Bo Schembechler  tried to get rid of the helmets and a then much more athletic department said no.  Bravo for them.

I watched Hank Aaron on TV break Babe Ruth's home run record.  The poor man was wearing a uniform that would have been more appropriate on the Raybestos Brakettes. I was sad for him.

Silver bullets, yes.  Buckeye leaves, yes.  Big block numbers and numbers on the shoulder pads, yes.  Put the gray sleeve stripes back on and you have the uniform worn by every Ohio State national champion. 

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.