BY JOHN McALEAVEY | So I thought for this week’s installment of M2S, I would have a little fun with something that is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t get the whole uniform-apalooza that has taken over college football. In fact, call me old fashioned, but think it is ridiculous. Just because college teams can wear different uniforms each week, doesn’t mean they should. Of course we all know who the main offender is in this “game” of musical uniforms, the University of Oregon. Yes, the Ducks have quacked up (sorry, I couldn’t resist). As far back as 2010, the mighty water fowl of the Pacific Northwest, had four helmets, five jerseys, four pairs of pants, four sets of socks and four pairs of shoes. This creates a possible 1,280 combinations, or as many plays as they run over the course of a game. Mind you, their “throwback ensemble” or the BCS title-game unis, weren’t counted here as they are considered “single entities”.
In the university’s agreement with U of O graduate, Phil Knight’s Nike, the sneaker and apparel behemoth provides the school with $2.5 million worth of gear each year. That’s a lot of ducats! When you factor in the going rate for a football helmet is over $350, and you have over 100 football players on your team, we’re talking about a lot of money. Especially if the new helmet is worn once, and replaced by another new one. By no means is Oregon alone in this, many teams from east to west are dressing for success differently from week to week. The University of Maryland is outfitted by Under Armour, whose founder and CEO, Kevin Plank, played football for the Terrapins in college. They have really become Oregon’s rival, not on the field, but in fashion, as the Terps rarely wear the same threads two weeks in a row. Notre Dame has even gotten into the act. The Irish are also Under Armour clients and have become much more edgy with their look. I can’t imagine Rudy wearing a helmet adorned with a huge lime green shamrock.
All of this brings me to my main point, which is, isn’t this a giant waste of money? Obviously there is enough of it to pay for all of the uniforms, but couldn’t it be used in better ways? Like how about the NCAA finally getting around to allowing student athletes to receive a stipend of some sort? They are after all, the ones risking life and limb on Saturdays wearing the new duds. Since the uniform fad is not going away, here is an idea: why don’t we add another bowl game to the mix each year, and call it the Roy G Biv Bowl. This season Oregon can play Maryland and instead of Chris Myers and Kirk Herbstreit on the call, why not go with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn?
And that is My 2 sense for this week. As always, thanks for stopping by.