Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Hail, The Uniform Czar!

In the first, and perhaps last of a series, I turn this blog space over to a special guest columnist. This week, we hear from an old friend of mine who would like to say a few things about the crazy turn uniforms have taken in the world of college football:

Hello, I am the Uniform Czar, and I am very angry!

(cue thunder and lightning)

I would like to thank Craig for allowing me to be his guest columnist this week on his immensely popular blog. Craig has always been great about honoring my wishes, and about helping me get my message to the public.

Let me start by saying that this is a sad time for the Czar. The 2011 college football season has brought great suffering. Some of the uniforms being worn this season not only fly in the face of tradition and fashion sense, but they are so offensive that they seem to be flipping off Lady Liberty and the rest of this great nation. And I won't stand for it. Which is why I'm sitting down to write this.

(cue rim-shot...I used to want to be a stand-up comedian, please forgive me)

We should have seen these atrocities coming. It started many years ago, with the Hitler of uniforms in this country: Oregon. Phil Knight and his Nike Gestapo started the trend of tricking things up (although I'll admit that Oregon had bad colors to begin with, so they've always been cursed). Under the watch of their evil 'Athletic Director' Knight, Oregon shocked the football world with what appeared to be joke uniforms back in the mid-00's:

There is no doubt that Knight is the Antichrist. He has now taken things to a sickening level, introducing his new Nike Combat series. He has taken some classic looks and turned them into something a DISD school wouldn't wear. He is messing around with the very fabric of the sport (get it!). On opening weekend, we were 'treated' to Georgia's new look. Why would they get rid of those classic, identifiable uniforms in favor of these abominations?

The answer? Because Phil Knight is the devil. He knows nothing about and cares nothing about tradition (because he's from Oregon, a school with zero football tradition, save for Dan Fouts). He care about money and money only. He wants to create new looks that will prey upon the weak-minded video game crowd, hoping to brainwash a new generation of jersey-buyers.

It's not just Georgia he's messing with. His wicked ways have infiltrated LSU, Stanford, Michigan St and Ohio St:

In terms of pure aesthetics, the Czar does not oppose some of these looks. The new LSU uniform is not offensive per say, but the point is this: LSU has one of the most classic looks in college football, so why tamper with it?

Oklahoma St is another big offender. They, like many schools, break the cardinal rule of wearing solids on solids. The only time a team should ever wear solid on solid is white on white. Anything else is right out, like OSU's black on black the other night against Arizona. If your eyes can take it, here are the new OSU looks for 2011:

Someone sent the Czar this work-up of the new Texas Longhorn uniform. Let's all hope they were joking. If not, the Czar will officially concede. I will have lost the battle. I will retire. I will finally move out west and run that small vineyard that I've been dreaming about. If this happens, the rapture will be upon us:

There is some hope, however. If history tells us anything, we may be able to take back ground soon. I remember a very bad time for uniforms in Major League Baseball in the 70's and 80's (remember the horrible Astros and White Sox duds?). Clubs eventually realized the error of their ways, and went back to the more traditional looks that we enjoy today. The same thing happened in the NBA in the 80's and 90's (remember the tie-dye Nets uniforms, or the crazy Nuggets color montage?), and we eventually found our way back to old-school uniforms. It's cyclical, and I feel like we will work our way through this bad patch. It may take ten years, but we'll eventually get back to basics.

We saw an indication that things might not get too out-of-control last week, when Michigan and Notre Dame met. Adidas tricked up each school's look, but not in an overly-offensive manner. They were throwback looks for two teams that already wear throwback looks. In fact, the Czar approved:

The Czar is willing to accept these changes. As with any negotiation, each side must be willing to give a little. I will go along with traditional powers like Michigan and Notre Dame making 'throwback' changes to their uniforms, as long as I never have to set my eyes upon the new Maryland uniforms again. If they aren't the worst uniform of all-time, they are in the discussion:

As the all-knowing, all-ruling and all-conference (back in my days as one heck of a linebacker) Czar, I beg of you: please do not support the new trend in college uniforms. Help me fight the good fight. We can win this battle. Support tradition. Support clean, crisp looks. Support the proper color combinations and the proper jersey/pants protocol. Don't let the Phil Knight influence get to Penn St, or Alabama, or Oklahoma, or USC, or Texas. Let's work our way through the current ugliness. In the end, we may be scarred from our battle, but our country will be better off.

God Bless,
The Uniform Czar

PS: I leave you with my favorite college football uniforms of all-time:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My NFL Picks, in Five Words or Less

There are dozens of NFL preview magazines on the shelves now, all complete with pages and pages of thoughts on each team. There are hundreds of websites with their own, in-depth looks at the 2011 season. This blog? In keeping with the short attention span nature of today's world, I bring you my 2011 NFL picks, with a brief, five word (or less) thought on each team. Enjoy, hate, or fall into the vast middle ground of apathy through sheer boredom:

AFC West

1. Chargers. It's their year...again.
2. Chiefs. It's not their year...again.
3. Raiders. Just don't finish last, baby.
4. Broncos. Tebow sucks at pro football.

AFC South

1. Texans. Because Wade isn't head coach.
2. Colts. The decline starts.
3. Jaguars. They always bore me.
4. Titans. Odd to not see Fisher.

AFC North

1. Steelers. Mike Wallace for 60 minutes.
2. Ravens (WC). They hate Nasty Nestor, too.
3. Browns. No receivers for Colt.
4. Bengals. A complete mess.

AFC East

1. Patriots. Seven seasons since last title!
2. Jets (WC). Foot fetish still funny.
3. Dolphins. Miami loves Bush.
4. Bills. At least classic uniform returns.

NFC West

1. Rams. Bradford the next great one.
2. Cardinals. Still St. Louis to me.
3. 49ers. Alex Smith experiment, take three.
4. Seahawks. Tarvaris Jackson (cue laughter).

NFC South

1. Falcons. Even more weapons for Ryan.
2. Saints (WC). Jabari lives.
3. Buccaneers (WC). Win ten for Lee Roy.
4. Panthers. Newton era begins and ends.

NFC North

1. Packers. They were shorthanded last year!
2. Lions. Good QB, good defense.
3. Vikings. Missed their window in '09.
4. Bears. Too many ex-Cowboys.

NFC East

1. Eagles. Best in East, but overrated.
2. Cowboys. Looking .500 in the face.
3. Giants. Super Bowl cred fading fast.
4. Redskins. Dan Snyder comedy tour continues.

AFC Championship: Patriots over Ravens.
NFC Championship: Packers over Falcons

Super Bowl XLVI: Packers over Patriots

Final five words: I'm glad football is back.