Dear Diary Settles on a Yellow Comment Count

Seth July 10th, 2015 at 12:17 PM

Here's where yesterday's maize poll stood around noon:


I initially had labels for the first few hundred voters, which stole maybe 100 votes from Iowa—I think most people didn't realize our official corn shade was darker than theirs. Anyway 80% of the readers who voted wanted Michigan to wear something appreciably darker than what they currently do, and over half preferred the orange-iest options. There's still a large and vocal minority—about 20%—who like the brighter yellows.

One of them, stephenrjking, wrote a diary to demonstrate the lighter shades have been part of Michigan's uniforms a very long time:


Also that stills are notoriously bad—the saturation is way high on the left and way low on the right. Stephen isn't crazy; he too noted the modern hue is too damn loud. Here's the Woodson interception in the '98 Rose Bowl that he submitted as a preferred shade, with a color swatch I grabbed from it:


That is exactly the same color as the "faded from the 1970s" swatch people voted on, with an average hue of 53. Hue (similar to Tint on your old television set) is a circular axis through a 360-degree rainbow spectrum, with 360 and 0 being red, 60 is yellow, 120 is green, 180 cyan, 240 indigo, 300 violet, etc. That "53" matches the official Iowa color, but the saturation is toned down about 30%. By contrast, the Adidas color online is 60 (straight up yellow), and almost everything I got from the last four years of MGoBlog photos was usually around 65, sometimes as high as 70, i.e. 5 or 10 steps toward green. Michigan's official maize, on the other hand is 48; if you get to 45 you're half-way to orange (aka "gold").

So if washout is traditional, it's much closer to official M(official) than Adidas(what they're using now) on the orange scale. Here's what it would look like with the "maize" parts on Woodson and Peterson changed to the various shades we've been arguing over (matched to Woodson's knee—click from big):


From left: current Adidas yellow, Iowa's yellow, and Michigan's official maize.

Perhaps a good compromise then is to take it back to the low 50s and tone it down so the primary blue can stand out more. That won't placate the "I actually like the bright yellow" crowd, but I'd rather have 20% of the fanbase bitching about it than 80%.

Further reading on apparel. See Maize.Blue Wagner's interesting trip through historical department store catalogues (this was how we did Amazon before the internet, people who don't know what a tint dial is). Here's the 1980 Sears jersey:


And here is a sweatshirt of a bear wearing a sweatshirt:


Picking a Quarterback

Right, the actual football. I highly recommend MilkSteak's quarterback comparison diary, where he showed various previous Michigan QBs at the same age vs this year's starting candidates. I'll give you the upshot but only if you promise you'll hit the link and give the author a plus for his work. Done? Okay:

Beyond the Gardner comparisons, Rudock appears to be a less turnover prone version of 1998 RS Junior Tom Brady, which is nice. Rudock had 22 more attempts than Brady and 5 less INTs with a TD/Int ratio of +11 to Brady's +4. The Y/Att and Adjusted Y/Att are very similar, and the QB Ratings are damn near identical.

I would take "1999 Tom Brady with fewer interceptions." Shane Morris's scant data isn't that different than a slew of other passing era guys we didn't see until they started. His freshman data jives with sophomore Todd Collins, however last year's performance, mostly against Minnesota, looks like freshman Denard Robinson minus the legs. Upshot: 2001 John Navarre, presumably with Darboh doing his best Marquise Walker impression.

Etc. Low Key Recidivist mentioned the Jeff Zuttah story (Michigan wanted to medical him so he transferred to Stanford, and medicaled) as it relates to Pipkins. Erik in Dayton tackled the ethics of it. Also by EiD: recruiting rankings of starters on Harbaugh's last Stanford team. Was a the Deflategate report dur or derp?

Board stuff: The big news is Sara Driesenga got her medshirt!

Pitcher Sara Driesenga, who suffered a rib injury in the early season and only played in a handful of games, has been granted a medical redshirt and will come back for a 5th year!

This gives Michigan a 4-pitcher staff. They'll have every class represented with 5th year Driesenga, B1G Pitcher of the Year Megan Betsa who'll be a Junior, Tera Blanco who was recruited as a star pitcher as a Sophomore and incoming freshman Leah Crockett.

The team that nearly won the national championship receives an almost a one-for-one replacement for Haylie Wagner, and everyone else returns except catcher Lauren Sweet. National Championship or bust!

Board questions answered.

I'm gonna skip most of the board because it was a lot of "Omigod Nike!" But I will answer a few questions:

Whats' the best burger in Michigan? The best greasy spoon is a little dive (just a counter and four high tables) attached to the Seville Motel on Woodward in Royal Oak called Monty's Grill (my dad claimed that way back in the day it used to be Biff's and stood where Comerica Park does now). Best pub burger is Sidetracks in Ypsilanti. Please trust me that I have investigated this thoroughly—at least in the lower peninsula—and there is no question.

How would you allocate your hate? If all of my hate could damage Ohio State even a little bit I feel I have to try, so 100% to Ohio State, and Michigan State will have to make do with a sizeable portion of my contempt instead. I guess that answers this too.

Jorts? No.

What's your favorite Michigan Replay? A: The one after 1997 Ohio State when Lloyd cannot stop smiling despite trying to do so the entire episode.

Your Moment of Zen

Here you go ladies: a glistening and shirtless Jake Butt, and I promise you'll be watching his hands anyway:



July 10th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

"There's still a large and vocal minority—about 20%—who like the brighter yellows."

Seth - there's a name of this large and vocal minority.

They're known as "teenagers."


July 10th, 2015 at 10:12 PM ^

Not next year. THIS YEAR. Time to reclaim greatness. Who the hell wants to wait. Are WE getting better? ... each day each rep each minute we breathe that fine Michigan summer air to greatness. Deep breaths, 8 weeks until boys BECOME men.


Man, I am JACKED !!!


July 10th, 2015 at 12:43 PM ^

As I am.  As StephenJrking's diary stated, Michigan has not played with the "official" maize in a long time, so there is a long list of Michigan fans who grew up with a more yellow maize on their football teams jerseys.


July 10th, 2015 at 12:59 PM ^

I know.  And my guess would be the vast majority of you yellow highlighter lovers are also pro Nike am I right?

Well the #1 arguement I heard about a switch back to Nike was we were GOOD under Nike and sucked with Adidas.

Guess what - same holds for maize versus yellow!

And thanks J Clay - I think you're right.


July 10th, 2015 at 1:58 PM ^

I generally like the "yellow" and do nothing but roll my eyes about the Nike switch.

I thought stephenrjking did a good job showing that Michigan has not worn the pantone maize in decades. WolverineHistorian's 1969 M/OSU video on YouTube seems to show that Michigan wasn't wearing pantone maize when Bo took over either.


July 10th, 2015 at 3:22 PM ^

I am really not a brand loyal type of guy with anything (clothing, cars, shoes, consoles).  

The color has nothing to do with remembering when we were good and everthying to do with which one I like better. I think stripes look cool down the side of my warmup pants I wear, so like addidas for that, and also some of the 70s style sweat shirts they make. I don't really own much Nike stuff. Most of my Michigan shirts are subtle with either MICHIGAN written across or the block M, so most of the Addidas vs Nike is a moo point (like a cows opinion, it doesn't matter). 



July 10th, 2015 at 10:31 PM ^

I like the brighter yellow (not current, but more yellow than orange) and also prefer Nike. With that said, the color of my Nike gear and adidas gear are almost the same. In other words, the "Nike" yellow in the poll is not the color of my Nike gear, so go figure.

Honestly, I like the idea that "maize" would not look like Cal, WVU, or any other school for that matter. Love it or hate it, the brighter yellow is unique to Michigan.

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July 11th, 2015 at 12:16 AM ^

It will make us look like Cal or Navy or 1000 different high schools.  Just another "Blue and Gold" team.

The colors we have been wearing for the last 50+ years are unique.  There is no point in changing them to something that everybody else has. 


July 12th, 2015 at 9:33 PM ^

You were born in 1981. So I graduated from Michigan four years before you were born. Maize is not highlighter yellow. Some traditions matter more than others. I sang "The Yellow and Blue" in the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club for three and a half years. 

"Yellow the field where ripens the grain And yellow the moon on the harvest wain" The yellow referred to here is the color of corn which is MAIZE.

I'm not a "get off my lawn" old fart. An old fart perhaps but any Michigan grad is welcome on my lawn. I'm just a guy was formed in many ways by the history, traditions, and standard of the University of MIchigan. Maize and Blue. Some things matter. 

M Gulo Gulo

July 10th, 2015 at 12:27 PM ^

The Iowa yellow is a good compromize. The edits are awesome and with our official maize it almost makes us look like Iowa. Also thanks for the awesome description of Hue (personal pet peeve when it isnt used or used incorrectly). Anything is better than "Straight Up Yellow"


July 10th, 2015 at 12:42 PM ^

I say the school has a day where everyone brings in any leftover yellow/gold/maize/etc paint, and they mix them all together and whatever comes out gets put on the uniforms


July 10th, 2015 at 12:55 PM ^

Love the Woodson color match up. The one trick: whatever maize shade will look brighter in 100% sun.

So depending on material shininess, the far right option (FFCB05) could very much look like the middle option (FFEA4F) if photographed during the day.

fwiw, so SMITTIN' with the return to a darker maize shade. Add black gloves and shoes and I think we have a winner.


July 10th, 2015 at 1:52 PM ^

How would someone end up eating at a place attached to a fleabag motel, especially when you're a stone's throw from the Red Coat Tavern?  I've driven down that stretch of Woodward thousands of times, and never noticed an eating establishment attached to the motel (much less been inclined to try it).  Sorry, but there are limits to my willingness to seek adventures in dining.


July 10th, 2015 at 1:10 PM ^

Maize as in corn, the voters got it right.  Don't agree on the burger Q though, Sidetracks is good but there are lots great burgers that aren't near a college campus.   Red Coat Inn in the lower, in the upper go to Paradise-Yukon Inn and get the greasy burger, it's awesome.   Allocating hate is useless as 90% of hate stays inside you burning away.  How about who do want to see lose a football game more as a better question, answer for me is sparty- maybe because I live near so many msu grads the past few years have been painful in the fall.  Finally, I agree with you, jorts no.  


July 10th, 2015 at 1:15 PM ^

Why would they ever not use their official color of maize in their uniforms? Or on anything? What's the point of having an official color if you ignore it. The current yellow is terrible. The Iowa yellow is Iowa's. Use the original maize.

kevin holt

July 10th, 2015 at 1:41 PM ^

Because herp derp copyright shit. They should license it to whatever apparel company we're using and MAKE them use our official color rather than letting them copyright their own version of whatever-they-feel-like. When we switched from Nike to Adidas, they couldn't use the old color because Nike had ownership rights to it. when that happens, something is clearly wrong. unless for some reason we designed it that way.

imagine if Notre Dame switched suppliers and they had to change the gold in the helmets to highlighter yellow because of some bullshit like that


July 10th, 2015 at 2:10 PM ^

The herp derp is trademark shit. Not copyright. So there is that. When the Qualitex decision issued, recognizing trademark protection on distinctive hues for the first time, I personally notified the University why it should defensively register our colors. I followed up with phone calls but it would appear I failed my duty of persuasion. Mr. Nobody. (sigh) Legal shit matters, I believe we better appreciate this now.


July 10th, 2015 at 1:27 PM ^

I suggest we go with whatever color this is:

MGoBlog Read Optionally - Maize

Let's let MGoBlog set the standard.

P. S. For all the gnashing of teeth over the official maize, this looks a lot like the maize I liked from the poll (second from the top.)


July 10th, 2015 at 1:37 PM ^

That won't placate the "I actually like the bright yellow" crowd, but I'd rather have 20% of the fanbase bitching about it than 80%.

I'd rather look at it as 20% of the fanbase wrong about it than 80%.


July 10th, 2015 at 1:38 PM ^

"Michigan's official maize, on the other hand is 48; if you get to 45 you're half-way to orange (aka "gold")."

This is why I like brighter yellows: it differentiates us from all the "blue and gold" teams. Our current color, or one still very yellow but less green, is unique. I don't want to match WVU or Cal.

And I think we ought to taboo referring to yellow-orange as "official" maize, at least in relation to football uniforms, since apparently we've never worn that color in decades at least.

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turd ferguson

July 10th, 2015 at 1:42 PM ^

I mean, one of the issues with that survey is that the first four options and the last one all look pretty similar (at least to me).  Basically, the bright yellow votes got cut five ways.  If you were to combine those responses, you'd get about 47% and a very different interpretation of your results.

I'd typically want to say something like "onto something more important" here, but realistically, this is the most important thing I'm doing today.

Baugh So Har

July 10th, 2015 at 1:47 PM ^

I think something in between Iowa's Yellow and Official Maize would look best. We've changed the official colors before - we can do it again, let's just get it right enough to stick awhile.


July 10th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

put the colors out there, see which everyone thinks they PREFER--then you have a significant result! My hunch is that in such circumstances "Iowa's" maize wins. But maybe that's just closest to the color of the unis during the period when I was really getting into UM football (see 1997, for example).


July 10th, 2015 at 2:12 PM ^

Actual maize (corn, the stuff you eat) a more or less pastel yellow (unless dried), which, ick.  I don't think anybody's advocating for that right now.

I think the yellow-yellow ("highlighter" or adidas look) actually looks better objectively, but the orange-yellow is far more distinctive and looks just fine.

I really don't much care about the exact shade of yellow.  "Maize" (yellow or yellow-ish) and (dark) "blue" is hard to mess up too badly no matter the exact shades; it's the helmet that's distinctive.


July 10th, 2015 at 4:37 PM ^

You might be too young to remember what fresh sweet corn typically looked like 30 and more years ago.  Today's corn, yes, it is very yellow with not much orange at all.  Much of it could be described as pastel.  In the old days, before all the bioengineering, most yellow sweet corn had an orange hue to it, and looked a lot like the official maize color that Michigan uses.  It also started losing its sweetness the minute you picked it, and the best source was to grow it yourself or have a neighbor do so, or buy it at a roadside stand that were pretty much everywhere across rural Michigan, with the going price usually $1 / doz ears. 


July 10th, 2015 at 5:21 PM ^


Back in the day we picked and canned in glass Ball jars for winter meals. Our backyard was adjacent an abandoned vineyard, so we ate supper wrapped in grape leaves Armenian-style all summer. Our organic garden was the size of a tennis court. Upside today is that twenty years ago I invested in the cancer industry. It's paying off.