Alright... so some of you may or may not have been part of the discussion this weekend concerning the possibility of an away jersey re-design. Since Carr had already made the order long before RichRod was hired, he had no control... and in light of the abysmal season, the conversation was that he might want to revamp the away shirts. It then became an even bigger discussion about maize jerseys, blue pants, and white on white uniforms for the maize-and-blue (that sentence alone speaks volumes).
Of course, it was at that point that I went all Jerry Maguire and tore into a mission statement-esque rant about how we must adhere to tradition. At the end of my post (go into my recent blog entries if you missed it), I suggested that we go back to the Harbaugh 80's rendition of the away jersey, featuring one-color numbers and contrasting Northwestern stripes. For those not familiar with the term, NW striping refers to the pattern of thin-thick-thin originally worn by the Wildcats in the 50's, and most of you if you wore socks in the 80's. Here it is:
But I then offered the possibility that I might create some illustrations on how we could go back to that design as a sort of throwback, and I've done just that. My idea was to create a rendition of that same design on a current uniform template, complete with shorter sleeves, form-fitting fabric template, and of course, the Adidas logo. For the sake of updating, I used the #5 instead of 4 as recognition of Forcier's upcoming uniform-- quarterback of the future, etc. Note to any uniform design enthusiasts out there-- notice that I designed the uniform with both the pants and helmet together, since we're talking about a uniform design, not just a jersey design. Too often I think teams focus on the shirts too much, then when you pair it with the helmet it looks like crap. It's all about continuity.
So the first row here shows an updated throwback design, complete with an alternate version that incorporates a small block "M" in the stripe in blue. Of the two, I really like the first, without the block M. I'd be totally HAPPY with this on our boys-- the simplicity, the implied history. I also realized what I like the most about the 80's design is the single color number-- i.e. no maize stroke around the numbers. I think it looks clean and strong, and ties back to the home jersey. Ever bother anyone else that the home has one color numbers while the away has two?
I then went ahead and created a totally new design, as if my wildest professional dream came true and Bill Martin approached me to design Michigan's away jersey. After some deliberation, it made perfect sense to me to keep the same numbers, but the question was, "What about the sleeves?" I played around with a few ideas before ultimately settling on a wide navy stripe with curved maize perpendicular strokes... obviously a throwback to the helmet motif. I followed up this idea with an alternate that features a contrasting block M above the shoulders. Of these two, I'd probably still choose the one without the block 'M'. I love uniforms with logos on shoulders etc., because they leave no doubt about who the shirt belongs to-- but I just don't think the design needs it.
So keep in mind that none of this is official, no word has emerged that the uniforms will be changed in any way, and this is totally just for fun. But thought that you guys might get a kick out of these ideas, throwback or otherwise.
GO BLUE... as in MAIZE & BLUE.