Brandon on Uniformzzz

Submitted by 93Grad on May 16th, 2013 at 10:23 AM

The good news is they have no plans for alternate unis this season. The bad news is Brandon left the door open to future changes including to the helmet.  The worst part of the story is Brandon's continued use of the "student athletes love it" line that is such an obvious pretext for what is really just a marketing ploy to sell more jerseys.…



May 16th, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

"That theoretically could open the door for more changes, including a chrome helmet, which many teams already employ for their alternate looks."

Please no.


May 16th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

I dunno.  I don't get the whole uniformz hate thing.  Then again, I don't think I've bought an article of clothing since I've been married.  I just wear what's in the drawer.  Unless michigan marches out with giant dildos glued to their facemasks, I couldn't care less what they wear.  Matte blue and chrome maize would probably look cool, but even if we trotted out in Michigan themed Maryland uniforms, I wouldn't really care.


May 16th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

Why not?  Seriously stop yourself and think it through a bit.  If they come out with an alternative uni that is just absolutely badass, like helmets that actually use Maize instead of the highligher yellow helmet "tradition" you currently have on your lawn, and then they polish that maize and make it shine a bit like how Notre Dame sheened up the gold on their domes, it could make for a very badass combo of both retro and alternative that would be great to wear for a one time game.

When I think of people who want everything to remain the exact same always, I think of the delapidated mansions in Gross Point where big 3 auto execs used to recline and try to preserve the status quo while Japanese auto companies began eating their lunch.

I am 100% behind Brandon on keeping up with the times, especially when the fate of our storied program is in the hands of the decisions of 15-17 year olds who have little idea of the Michigan tradition.

As long as the uniformz are badass looking and not MSU game killerbee uni's, I think it's a great idea.

Ali G Bomaye

May 16th, 2013 at 10:58 AM ^

The auto industry example isn't a very good analogy for uniforms, because cars are expected to change.  You would hope that a 2023 model of car is nicer and better than a 2013 model.  But uniforms aren't the same way.  I don't know of anyone who hopes or expects Michigan's uniforms to look clearly better 10 years from now than they do now, and if you're not striving for improvement, then you're just changing for the sake of change.  And that's almost always a bad idea.

When you think of college football uniforms, what uniforms do you think of?  You probably think of Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Penn State, USC.  We have amazing brand equity in our uniform, which is incredibly valuable.  I don't see why we would want to flush that down the toilet and become Maryland.


May 16th, 2013 at 12:06 PM ^

Disagree.  Look at Notre Dame.  Their classic uni included dull sheen gold for decades, and I bet Domer slappies also railed against any prospect of change, but then look - in recent years they sheened up the gold and let's face it - they look far better now.

Step away from splitting hairs on an analogy because that can be done with any analogy.  Not to mention the fact that uniforms HAVE in fact changed just as cars have.  Do the uni's Michigan wears now look exactly the same as the uni's on our team that beat OSU in '69?  HOW DARE WE UNDERMINE TRADITION BY MOVING TO HIGHLIGHTER YELLOW!!! C'mon man...

Flame away for my cutting against the herd mentality here to "moooo preserve tradition even though our helmets aren't even maize moooo."  Tradition is extremely important in defining the Michigan brand, but to paralyze and undermine the progam's effort to keep up with the times by it is prehistoric thinking.

The better way forward is to contrast the value of our traditions against the benefit from occasional deviation.  For example – as to the winged helmet, and of our basic colors (blue/yellow)  no deviation would ever out value preserving these traditions.  But when you talk about slight modifications to a color (say maize vs highlighter yellow), or a different helmet sheen, like chrome, or a one-off shirt design that's pretty cool like our jerseys vs South Carolina, especially when those modifications are one-offs and very temporary (like one game) then the damage to tradition can easily be argued to be inferior to the gains that can come from (a) staying fresh with the times, (b) keeping up with other programs in the eyes of high school kids, and (c) jersey sales. 


May 16th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

Disagree.  The herd may be in favor of "mooo the benefit from uniform deviation, moooo, mooo," but the fact is that we have seen no benefit to change for the sake of change.  The fact that the Michigan uses three different shades of Maize nowadays comes from those who thought you could "improve upon" the original Maize and Blue look by having a shade that was "better" for the helmet on the helmet, a shade that was "better" for the jersey on the jersey, and a shade that was "better" for the pants on the pants.  These improvements have not made the uniform look "far better now," they have made it look worse.

I think that you could argue that the away uniform has never been optimized, and that some changes to it could be made to test them in a game situation.  That wouldn't be this 'change for the sake of change," though, but a" change to try to make it better."  I think you could get very widespread agreement that the home game has been optimized, though, in that the 1973 uniform (with Maize, not highlighter-yellow, and without the busy block Ms everywhere) was it. 


May 16th, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^


As long as the uniformz are badass looking and not MSU game killerbee uni's, I think it's a great idea.

The alternate uni's are never good looking though.

I am 26 years old so I would think I am in this younger demographic the AD is trying to cater to.  The whole UTL thing,sure it was a big night so you wanted some special jerseys and at least they kind of tried to go "retro".  OK. I get that. 

However, we do not need 5 different combos each year, pick 1 f*cking game so you can make some extra coin and leave it the hell alone because they always look stupid, and you just piss on the #1 rated uniform in sports. 


May 16th, 2013 at 11:54 AM ^

I don't think anyone is saying that though. No one is saying our current uniforms are the one perfect version. What they are saying is how bad the alternate unis are, and whether or not our regular uniforms are perfect, we don't need to be changing it 5 times a year.

Section 1

May 16th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

No one is objecting to serious, thoughtful improvements.

We're objecting to ugly and ill-conceived temporary gimmicks.

We went to navy blue facemasks when the manufacturers offered something besides gray.  That was an improvement.  Why incorporate half of "scarlet and gray" into our uniform design?

We went, gradually, from a wheat-colored maize, to the current highlighter maize because it photographs better and looks better on video, where colors are often distorted.    That was an improvement.

The proliferation of patches aren't an improvement, and don't look good.  The noxious "alternates" don't look good, and aren't an improvement.  No one can seriously say that a never-ending series of tribute uniform gimmicks is needed to attract high school recruits, because two of the most successful recruiting operations in the moderna era of intercollegiate football are USC and Alabama.  Who have made a statement out of eschewing such gimmicks.

The question I keep coming back to is what is in it for Michigan, to do those alternate unis.  What is the bottom line for us?  Forget adidas; I am not interested in helping them.  What's our share?  Because surely there is a cost, in terms of the disruption and dilution of Michigan's on-field visual brand.  Brandon could answer that, and if I were attending one of those talks, that is the question I'd put to him.


May 16th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

You beat me to it. I don't mind thoughtful updates to the uniform, particularly the aways. And I'm in the apparent minority that thinks yellow maize looks better than orange.

But I HATE alternates, because they are almost always gaudy for the sale of being gaudy. Plus, big games are when I really want us in the classic jerseys. Instead someone making a retrospective of the Hoke-Meyer 10 year war 2 is going to see UM and OSU in different uniforms every. Single. Year. Blech.


May 16th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

I don't know exactly when the maize changed from almost orange to a lighter yellow (which looks better to me), but it is pretty clear that right now it is very close to what it was in 1991 except the color is a little more obnoxious which I don't like. 

Here is desmond in 1991:

 Here is Tom Brady in 1999: Here is Chad Henne in 2004:

Here is Denard in 2010:

For whatever reason the adidas jerseys have never looked as good to me, probably because the color is noticeably different. I think I will also go take a picture of my #4 jersey I bought a few years ago and my steve breaston jersey from 2004.


May 16th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

So what's more of an abomination— a chrome helmet, or a costumed mascot?

To me, it's not even a question. A chrome helmet would be far, far worse.