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Pat Patriot, Silver Wings and Monochrome White Sox

Discussing the Best and Worst of Sports Uniforms

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Ohio State Football Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
When daughter Emma elected to go to Ohio State last spring, I thought I'd thank the school by coming up with a nice re-design of Ohio State's football uniforms, but life being what it is, I never got around to working on it until well into our Christmas break.  So I pulled out the old colored pencils and took a couple half-days and managed to get my ideas down on paper.  Now, I think the Buckeyes have one of the better current designs in the college ranks, but I've always felt there was room for improvement.

ohio state homeohio state rad

My starting point is that I think scarlet and gray is among the best sets of college colors in the country, but Ohio State's teams tend to really play down the gray (which is ironic, since a lot of teams are now wearing trendy gray uniforms when gray has nothing to do with their actual school colors) -- its current football uniform uses silver instead of gray and a lot of their other teams wear just red, black and white with no gray at all.  So I was determined to play up real gray, not silver, and also emphasizing the combination of that gray with scarlet by minimizing the black and white in the design.

The other design element I was going to insist on were the epaulet stripes, mimicking a design the Buckeyes carried for a few years in the 1960s, I think only on their road white jerseys. I always liked that unusual stripe, which is probably part of the reason I became a big fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes member Matter-Eater Lad and his uniform, which has similar epaulet stripes.  And I think they're especially worth bringing back these days when the sleeves of football jerseys have virtually disappeared and along with them most of the great jersey stripes of the past.  And that particular epaulet stripe on the white jersey happens to be one of my favorite stripes in all of sports and it's been a bitter pill that Ohio State currently carries a mediocre red-and-black stripe on the sleeves of their white jerseys instead of this classic.

On the helmet, I put their "Brutus" mascot in a classic football-card pose, with an outline of the state of Ohio in the background. While college-football traditionalists will probably protest the change from their current blank silver helmets that subsequently get covered with "buckeye" merit stickers, I don't especially like blank helmets (except on the Cleveland Browns, for whom it's become a trademark), nor am I crazy about merit stickers.  But there's no reason you can't cover this helmet with merit stickers if you prefer, I'd rather have them cover up a cool logo than noting at all.

DELAWARE BLUE HENS: The opposing team to the home Buckeyes is a new design for my alma mater, the University of Delaware, with the team's traditional blue-and-gold colors augmented with metallic blue.

MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS: I remember Minnesota wearing all gold in about 1973 and thinking it was pretty interesting and then hearing a long-time Gophers fan talking about listening to the team's games on the radio in the school's glory days when they also wore all gold, with this fan imagining them looking like gleaming knights.  All of that made me want to put Minnesota back in all gold again and I tried to imply a metallic orange-ish gold for the helmet and pants and then a flat version of that color for the jersey.  For the helmet, I've got to think the Gopher mascot is one that almost demands to be featured in cartoon form on a helmet logo, so that's what I gave this design.


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Admitting to my own sense of disorientation at the changes in uniform designs in Canadian- and US-rules football over the last couple of decades. Particular attention gets paid to the addition of "team/league sponsor" patches, akin to the "rest of the world"-rules football uniforms' standard practice.

Yes, I kind of maintain tunnel-vision where I generally don't absorb enough of the current sports-uniform designer trends to influence me because I subjectively don't like most of what they're doing and I feel like my designs will stand out more if I resist following the pack and instead view things from a different perspective. And that's especially true for the inclusion of sponsor's logos on uniforms. The CFL sponsorships for some reason kind of blend in and I seldom notice them (probably because the CFL maintains the integrity of the numbers, stripes and traditional logos and the sponsors are slid in where teams tend to put things like anniversary patches), but the soccer uniforms completely revolve around the sponsors logos on the chest and I just can't overlook them. That creates a hurdle to my enjoyment of the sport that I don't think I'll ever overcome.

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