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31 flavors of football uniforms

June 26, 2012

16 of EMU’s potential uniform combinations

Some of the biggest EMU football news of late has been about the new uniforms. We had rumors starting in mid-January, and saw it on an official EMU web site in early April, but over the past few days, the EMU PR has really kicked into gear on this.

Here are the key points to know:

  • By my math, three pants choices, three jersey choices, and three helmet choices (white, green, or gray for each; the white and gray helmets will be matte) means 27 potential combinations. That’s enough that if the team plays in the MAC Championship Game and a bowl game, they could wear a different combination for every half of play and only repeat once.
  • The green jerseys say “Eastern Michigan” above the numbers on the front, while the gray and white jerseys say “Eagles”.
  • The uniforms are made with Adidas’ top-of-the line Techfit fabric. According to EMU…

    They are 30 percent lighter than standard pieces, making use of multiple fabrics, textures and ventilation zones without seams. The technology allows for increased mobility, agility, comfort and durability, sizing versatility and boasts expandable flatlock seaming and an integrated pad lock system. CLIMATE moisture management and anti-microbial technology help create a true compression uniform fit.

  • The Eastern Echo reports that the pants are a new beltless design, for more…um…mobility.

    Wow, those gloves are ugly!

  • According to Sportslogos News (who knew that there was such a thing!), the gloves will feature the block “E”.
  • The jerseys will have the current shoulder caps replaced with similarly located wings, which is drawing obvious comparisons to Oregon’s uniforms. However, I think they look quite different; EMU’s wings will be across the tops of the shoulders (again, about where the old should caps were), while Oregon’s wings are right on the front of the jersey. Unfortunately, this means the jersey numbers will no longer appear on the shoulders, which was a feature I really liked.
  • Fans are being invited to vote on which of four (only four!?) uniform combinations the team will wear for the October 13 home game against Toledo. Choices are green jersey with white pants and helmet, gray jersey with white pants and helmet, gray jersey with green pants and helment, or gray jersey with gray pants and helmet.
  • Fans are also being invited to vote on which of the three helmets the team will wear for the season opener, August 30 at Ball State.

But the voting — ye gods! — to vote, you first must get on Facebook if you’re not already there, then “like” EMU Athletics on Facebook, then go to “Together We Vote“, and cast your vote, preferably for the uniforms that are…you know…ACTUALLY IN THE SCHOOL COLORS! (Or, as Hustle Belt’s Matt Sussman recently put it, “We have a chance as one Internet to SAY NO TO GREY”.

Really, in the end, I can’t bring myself to get excited about this. The gray uniforms look dull to me, the wings look generic (and apparently they are — any team, at any level of play, can add those exact wings to an addidas jersey), and most of the changes just seem to be going in the wrong direction.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2012 10:31 pm

    I’d say I’m a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms, but EMU doesn’t really have one….soooo….I will say no to the Gray.

  2. Mark Higbee permalink
    June 27, 2012 7:18 am

    Thanks for this informative account of the attempt by a variety of new uniforms to stir up interest in EMU football. Two questions. Will there be any disclosure of how many “fans” participate in the voting on FB to pick new uniforms? I ask because often at EMU decisions are justified by vague reference to “student wishes” or votes, but usually it turns out to be a very small – less than tiny – number of participants. Sadly, this is especially true of ventures run by the EMU marketing office.

    Second question: is there any info on what the new helmets will do for players’ safety? This question is actually important for people’s life and health, but I can find nothing mentioned on it in the PR stuff from the athletic department. That football players are subjected to long term risk of debilitating injuries resulting even from routine (non-concussion) impacts on the head seems increasingly likely given the mounting evidence. Whether improved helmets could reduce this I don’t know, but there are increasing reasons to doubt that players who have zero chance of having employment after college in football gain as much as they risk or lose from the playing the game. This is an issue being litigated now, and personnel injury lawyers are looking at the deep pockets of schools in say the MAC and comparing those pockets to what players gain or lose. That a university would select new uniforms and no seriously investigate head protection speaks volumes.

    Education First! Go Eagles.

    • June 27, 2012 10:00 am

      1. My guess is that if a lot of people vote, they’ll say something like “More than x,000 fans voted” when they make the announcement, but if few people vote, they won’t announce the participation level. However, the percentages are currently publicly viewable — as of last night, the green and white option had a solid lead with 38% of the votes cast.

      2. I haven’t seen anything about the safety of these helmets. In fact, I’ve seen no mention of whether they represent new helmet models or just the same ones in different colors. Also, I believe players usually get to choose from several different helmet models.

      3. Before you ask, I posed a question to an EMU representative a while back about the cost of the new uniforms, but I don’t have an answer. My guess is that there is some cost, but that it’s not much (if any) more than the normal year-to-year cost; I’m guessing that Adidas is covering some portion of the costs as part of their arrangement with EMU (a multi-sport arrangement, by the way).

  3. John Baublit permalink
    June 27, 2012 7:56 am

    Eastern’s colors are green and white. At no time has it ever been gray. Ban the gray. Please don’t make our players look like “Confederate” soldiers. Gray is the ugliest color for a football uniform. It would be embarrassing.

  4. Ken permalink
    June 27, 2012 11:07 am

    Oh yeah, I’ll have to agree on the gloves. I remember a couple years ago when I was watching the Michigan-Ohio State game and Ohio State was wearing the gloves where they could make an O by putting their hands together. the pose kind of reminded me of something else though. Plus the gloves were ugly. I wasn’t too fond of the Michigan gloves either.

  5. Kenneth Barna permalink
    July 3, 2012 9:34 am

    Dear cmadler,
    I agree with what you said in your last paragraph describing the uniforms. I don’t understand this need to have all of these uniform choices. Eastern’s colors are green and white, not gray, and I do not like flat painted helmets.
    Just because the University of Oregon decided to go crazy with the uniform changes every game, doesn’t mean the rest of the colleges should follow suit. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to football uniforms. Why can’t Eastern just have nice green helmets and jerseys with white pants and a green stripe or two down the side, for our home games? Forget the wings on the shoulders. If anything on the shoulders, I would return to the Dan Boisture days with EMU placed there.

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