The website Complex has published an article (with great pictures!) of the best shoes Michigan players have worn through history. It's an awesome look back on the days of Ricky Green all the way to today. I remember most of these shoes, but forgot how many different styles the Fab 5 wore...many wearing different styles at the same time.
Your #1 shoe:
1. Nike Air Flight Huarache
Who: Chris Webber
After 1992, college basketball was never the same. Five kids from Michigan got together and decided they were going to rock baggy shorts, play with some major swag, and take the game by storm. It was also the year Nike released one of its most unconventional sneakers of all time, the Air Flight Huarache. Tinker Hatfield designed a shoe unlike anything before, inspired by a Mayan sandal. The shoe was one of the first to be stripped of unnecessary materials for a lightweight masterpiece. The baddest shoes on the baddest squad.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) -
University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon unveiled a brand new look for the Wolverines football team in preparation for their January 3rd Sugar Bowl appearance against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The announcement caused a firestorm of controversy amongst boosters, university officials, and unemployed arm-chair blog-critics alike.
The audacious uniform design features a University of Michigan student known in fan circles as Lloyd Brady. Brady is screen-printed prominently above the familiar block M logo, holding a spoonful of sugar in rapturous delight to celebrate Michigan's BCS berth.
Ryan VanBergen models the new Wolverines designs and pensively contemplates suicide.
"This is all about extending the Michigan brand," said Brandon in front of an assembly of visibly shocked press correspondants and fans. "Lloyd Brady is an emblem of the plugged-in, 24/7 blogosphere. We worked hand-in-hand with Adidas to make sure he is presented in full splendor. These uniforms harken back to the great traditions of the past while looking forward, boldly, to the coming day when the tail of internet fandom will inevitably wag the dog."
When asked how the idea began, Brandon detailed a wild night of inspiration. "Well, the nebula of the idea started one evening at a local bar with Jim Brandstatter. Beers led to shots, shots led to harder stuff, and, well... Let's just say cocaine played a role. Jim was keyed up, to say the least. Rambling on about Michigan Replay, about how the spread offense was really an outgrowth of the homosexual agenda... lots of wild ideas. I saw his white, powdery mustache and made a comment about how apropos it looked in light of our sugar bowl appearance. Once we got on the subject of sugar, the rest is history."
From there, a team of over three-hundred Adidas designers set to work creating a Sugar Bowl uniform worthy of the annals of Michigan history. "I think, clearly, we're entering a new era in sportswear," said Marty Tisdale, senior game apparel supervisor at Adidas. "The front of the uniform makes a bold statement. This isn't your father's Michigan Wolverines, no way. This uniform is the sportswear equivalent of social media - it gets people talking. In fact, the uniforms are outfitted with smart chips and keypads sewn into the fabric. During timeouts, players can tweet messages, via voice recognition, to fans in real-time with the push of a button."
The eye-catching uniform backsides are sure to turn heads on Jan. 3rd.
"The front of the uniform is really the tip of the iceberg," said Tisdale. "The backside is where we really pushed the envelope. The forty-two block M's on the back represent Michigan's forty-two Big Ten championships. As you can also see, we've tastefully adorned the uniform with a ghost-twill, sweat-wicking logo decal of our marketing partners, Domino Sugar. We hope the fans will appreciate the surprising blend of unrestrained whimsy and soul-crushing corporate fellatio."
When asked what he thought of the design, head coach Brady Hoke muttered something indistinct, then caught Brandon's stern gaze. He then offered, rather half-heartedly, "Well, you know, I think they're... tremendous."
The only coach who didn't seem on-board with the design was offensive coordinator Al Borges, who missed the press conference. He walked into the Schembechler Hall after his lunch break, took one look at the uniform concept, and turned away. After minutes of staring blankly out into the distance, hands in pockets, he said, "What have we done? God in heaven, what have we done?"
Brandon pays no mind to criticism, however. "The future is a scary thing to some people. I mean, think of the first facemasks. At the time, the guys wearing them looked pretty faggy. These are the next step in that evolution."
If Wolverine fans are unhappy with the Sugar Bowl uniforms, they can take heart; they are not permanent. Brandon also announced plans to wear different uniforms for each and every game next season, a total of twelve unique Adidas Tech-Fit designs. "Right now we're experimenting with different looks. Brandstatter and I like black-on-black, maize-on-maize, really eye-catching stuff." Then, with a furtive snort from a rolled hundred-dollar bill, Brandon added, "And of course, there's always white-on-white."
September 10, 2011. Notre Dame at Michigan. 8:00 pm EST.
We've all had this game circled for months, ever since Brandon's announcement or perhaps the soft unveil of the mash jerseys thanks to 'You're Turning Violet Violet' Brian Kelly's not-so-subtle slip during their own press conference.
Either way, this game is a spectacle, and we're essentially the top story of the college football weekend. Gameday, primetime crew, etc. Been a long time since we've heard Musberger, right?
I spent parts of yesterday watching BTN's replay of the '97 and '99 ND games, and I admit I kind of forgot how enjoyable the late 90's Wolverines were. And not because I knew the outcomes. It was about pride. Swarming defenses. Chuck's intimidating ownership of, well, the entire field. An arrogant confidence in the offense's will to win. A-Train.
It was about pride.
It's been some journey since those days, and not necessarily the best journey. But here we are, back in the spotlight of college football and in an opportunity to announce the close of the misery that has hung over Ann Arbor since, well, the horror.
Let it be about pride tonight. GO BLUE.
The artwork above was created by yours truly this summer in hopes of being granted that most magical of things, an official license by the university and ultimately a t-shirt available for sale. Unfortunately, Adidas (technically, it's adidas) basically swallowed the entire night game and stamped it with the 'Under the Lights' moniker. I really wanted this one to see the light of day, but ah well-- hope you enjoy the glimpse of it. Wear the MGoShirts tonight!!!
Michigan has added a block "M" above the player names, and has also scrapped the extraneous piping on the road jersey (although the Wolverines don't play on the road until Oct. 8 -- their sixth game! -- so it'll be a while before you see the new road design).
Saw the Block M on the back of the home jerseys last week, and from this photo:
It appears the yellow piping is gone. Yes that's in practice, and yes Cam is wearing White Pants that are NOT supposed to make it to game day, but his jersey is fancier than some of the other practice jerseys we saw. It has his name, and yellow outlining around the name and numbers, as well as a matching Block M above his name.
I don't mind the changes. Never loved the yellow piping, but didn't hate it either. Your thoughts?
This is from Maize-n-brew but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere on here amidst all the panic...rule 1-4-4-f states that legal uniforms must have "Clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals on one jersey at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, of a color in distinct contrast with the jersey."
Since those...unusual...prototypes do not have a number nor room for an 8" number on the front, they cannot be the ones we will wear in the game, can they?