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Gray Ridge Mountains…in a Whiteout?

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By Phil Hecken

It’s week four of the NCAAFB season, so it’s about time for the uni-shenanigans, no? Sure it is.

Today, in a fairly un-well-kept secret, the West Virginia Mountaineers, they of blue and gold, will join the ranks of the “gray for gray’s sake” (GFGS) donning teams as they will sport this full-gray uniform versus the University of Maryland. More on that in a second.

Never one to let Nike have all the fun with alternate uniforms, the Under Armour-clad Terrapins will be holding a “white out” of their own, wearing not just a white helmet (with ‘snow out-ish’ graphics) and white jersey, but some kind of crazy white-ish shoes as well (here’s a look at other footwear options). Of course, the look wouldn’t be complete without white gloves.

According to the UA press release, the Terrapins will be wearing new “White Ops” jerseys, with black numbers and a red “MARYLAND” wordmark on the chest. Clearly, after last year’s clusterfuck of a uniform (known as the “Maryland Pride” uniform), minimalism is the look-du-jour with the white ops. While I’ll reserve total judgment until I see these in action, I have to say I like the look. Of course, Maryland actually seems like a perfectly good uni set this year (unlike last year’s attempt to Nikegon the Terps), so naturally they need to introduce a new uni today. Can’t let Nike steal all the headlines, right?

What’s that you say? This isn’t a game between Kevin Plank and Phil Knight — it’s between two teams. Sure it is.

The uniform I’m more anxious to see is the new gray dominate WVU duds. According to (apparently well-placed sources), they’ll wear gray tops and bottoms, and introduce a new gray helmet as well. With white, blue and gold uniforms already at in the repertoire, WVU has plenty of possible uniform combinations at their disposal and from which to choose already.

But this year, they’ve decided to up the “possible combination ante” by introducing new options of gray pants, jerseys and helmet, bringing up their possible combinations to 32. And who knows, maybe they’ll even throw in their Backyard Brawl uni, just to mix things up. I am actually looking forward to the gray uniform (although not the ALL gray) — what I’d really like to see is the gray hat/gold top/gray pants — a look I love on Oregon (who WVU is now obviously trying to copy).

I still fail to see why any team needs to have 32* (or more) different uniform combinations (* except for the Ducks, who patented the gimmick), but bitching about it isn’t going to make it go away. So lets sit back and see if we can’t enjoy the gray vs. the white — perhaps Ricko will fire this one up on his 13″ zenith and pretend he was watching this game 50 years ago.

The least they could have done was to schedule this game later in the year, when the chances for overcast skies and snow would make it so much more enjoyable. What say you, readers — GFGS vs WFWS — The future or just more stupid uniforms designed to move more merch?


50 Years Ago This Week

50 Years Ago…This Weekend

Last year, Rick Pearson took us “back in time” to bring us his look at the featured television college football match-up from 50 years ago. (If you’re not familiar with it, this was the inaugural post of “50 Years Ago” from last year — after that, it became a recurring feature on UW for the remainder of the season). Last year, Rick looked at the 1961 season, and fortunately for us, he “uni tracked” the games from 1962 as well, documenting the game via his “kid cards”. Each week this fall, he’ll do the same, again.


62 Wk 2

Sept. 22, 1962…Southern Cal 14, Duke 7 at USC on CBS

A West Coast game. USC (they were called “Southern Cal” more than “USC”) was a power and, yup, Duke was deemed worthy of the national telecast back then. … Uni-wise, Trojans looked pretty much as they still do today. … Duke had those exterior padded helmets and that rounded number font (I’ve forgotten the term Terry Proctor said catalogs used to describe it. … but same as Pitt from last week, and also used by Cal and Washington, among others). … Hal Bedsole was a dangerous deep threat for USC. … But “Prince Hal” turned out to be only “college fast” and was a bust with the Vikings and Rams as an NFL tight end. … I picked Stan Crisson (didn’t know much about him) because of his #99. … The following year he changed to #86, and later had a brief career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.

. . .

Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always. Love that Duke padded hat and notice in the Crisson pic with the Vikings, they’re wearing (ugh) purple pants.


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

This space usually features the talents of George Chilvers, Gary Chanko and John Turney — but as fate would have it, only one of those three will be featured today. George did not send me any colourizations, and Gary sent me a beautiful piece that I will feature as a lede (but not today). John is featured below. However, I do have a new colorizer to showcase today, and one request for the colorizers to tackle. (As always, click on any shot to enlarge.)

First up is Pete Hoelter, who colorized a shot that was featured on UW a while back, and regular readers will surely remember it. Here’s Pete:

. . .

Fred Hatfield 1954 - Pete Hoelter


Here’s my first try at colorizing. It’s the Tiger’s Fred Hatfield catching a tweety boid from Wire Service photos vol. 40 on 8/27/12. Not very Uni-fied but I loved the old press photo whimsy. Cat (tiger) catches bird? Also, I am certain the location is a travel trailer. In the 70’s at Southern Illinois U in Carbondale I rented one that was almost identical. Latching cupboards (so they don’t swing open.) Big propane heater. Low ceilings. The shirtless kid implies warm weather so what they were doing in a trailer in the middle of the season? The TV and chotchkes on the counter (including some black stereotype dolls) lead me to believe they weren’t hauling this from town to town. Maybe the family lived elsewhere and went up to a resort near Detroit for the summer. The bobble head had very little detail to it. It does look like the Cards’ two birds on a bat chest embellishment but the hat isn’t right for that. I’d say it’s a generic ballplayer.

Pete Hoelter

Great first effort Pete!

. . .

Next up is Will Scheibler who has a request:

CFL Mud Bowl Grey Cup 1950

Hey Phil,

Was wondering if any of your colorizing masters would like to take a try at the infamous CFL ‘Mud Bowl’ Grey Cup of 1950.

Here’s the largest photo online I’ve found – might be some better ones out there.

Will S.

How about it colorizers? This could be an interesting challenge…given that most of the color is probably that of mud…but it could also be very cool.

. . .

Finally we have John Turney, with more gridiron goodness:

Bill Dudley with Lions Black Pants - John Turney

Bill Dudley, with Lions back pants.

Great stuff, as always John.

That is all for today. Back with more next time.


Stirrup Friday

Stirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

So, in the order in which they were received, here we go (click on each thumbnail for a glorious, full size image):

. . . . .

Jarrod Leder - Ref "socks"

Jarrod Leder:

“Phil, I know these aren’t exactly stirrups. They’re technically socks. But as a high school football official I miss the high-socks and white knickers. We now wear black pajama pants all the time. This past Friday and through the rest of this season I will be wearing my old striped socks under my pajama pants for Stirrup Fridays. Attached is the picture.
Note: the Adidas ankle socks are because the official uniform is black socks. Another requirement. Otherwise the normal socks are white all the way to the toes.

. . .

Tom J. - Tampa Rays

Tom J.:

“Hey, Phil!

Leading the cause at a Central Illinois-based insurance company with my Tampa Bay Rays beauties!


. . .


James Poisso:


I am wearing these because I wanted to wear one of the vintage stirrups I recently bought and asked my 5yr old to pick for me.

James Poisso”

. . .

Lester Shen - Cardinals

Lester Shen:


Finally joined this stirruptitious revolution. I may be biased as a die-hard Cards fan, but these ‘rups are definitely the sweetest.

Les S.”

. . .

Stephen Schaub - 1905 Naps

Stephen Schaub:


It’s my first Stirrup Friday, so I’m sporting the ones that started it all – the 1905 Naps. I’m glad to be on the team. Thanks, Comrade Marshall, for helping me with my freak flag. Let it fly!

Steve S.”

. . .

David Sanchez - 1947Giants

David Sanchez:


Turning back the Socks again to 1947 for the NY Giants. Many thanks to RPM and Uni Watch for making me a Stirrup addict.

– David Sanchez”

. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!).

If you’re not a member of Stirrup Nation and want to join, just visit Comrade Marshall’s house of hose (and you can see the available selections here) or if you have any questions about the availability of stirrups, drop him a line at Robert now has some new selections, which you can see below — which could be great for the college football season. Check it out:

Stirrup Offerings - 9-22-12

Let us know in the comments (or shoot either of us an e-mail) if you have any new choices for the upcoming fall season!



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“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

The Cult of Personality is everywhere. Just ask him…

9-22-12 d-Sleeves

Click to enlarge


That’s all I have for today, boys and girls — lots more tomorrow when we have SMUW, the 5 & 1, Duck Tracker, Benchies and more. And I’m sure the Gray-vs-White is only the beginning of the uni machinations in store for us. Catch you then.


“I predict Bernard will be skating EXTRA hard this weekend…probably throwing in some stunts from his late teens, early 20s.”
–Ryan Connelly

Comments (132)

    White vs gray might almost be understandable for a matchup like Wisconsin vs Ohio State. For WVU & Maryland, however, it’s fucking stupid.

    Thats ok, since the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River are 99% in Virginia anyway, John Denver sucked at geography, though I love thank God I’m a country boy during the Orioles 7th inning stretch

    im pretty sure that denver had co-writers for this song and that he had never actually visited west virginia at the time it was released, so the irony is not lost on me

    not a huge john denver fan, but this is one i do like

    Without checking, I think Denver’s co-composers were the people who sang “Afternoon Delight.”

    Hmmm…might be an option for Oriole day games.

    On that picture of Fred Hatfield and his family. The fact that they are in a travel trailer and from the way Mrs. H at their son are dressed it would seem more logical for this to be at spring training. In the ’50s player accommodations for spring training weren’t in five-star hotels. And if you wanted to bring the family you were pretty much on your own.

    I agree the whole idea of a million uni combos is absurd. But if we’re going to have them, let’s fucking have them. I can’t wait to see what the WVU-UMD game looks like.

    And if WVU somehow shits the bed in this one, I hope we never see another shred of gray uni element.

    Anyone colorizing the 1950 “Mud Bowl” Grey Cup game at Varsity Stadium in Toronto between the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers should know that the Argos (aka “The Double Blue”) are wearing the multi-striped jerseys of Oxford (Navy) and Cambridge (Columbia) Blues with Columbia helmets. Winnipeg’s colors are Royal & Gold.

    Caption says this game was played in Durham, which means the Devils are wearing white at home. (unless, due to their proximity, they were sharing a field at that time.)

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ricko’s collection of kid cards is one of the absolute treasures of this website. They sit right in the center of my ideal college football/nostalgia/DIY Venn diagram. When they run out, as they certainly must, it will be a sad day indeed.

    No doubt about it. And like you said when they run out I will be sad.

    Ricko should have a page dedicated to all of the collection for us.

    That gray WV helmet made me think of something regarding the Oakland Raiders. While Oakland never had a helmet that dark, they seemed to me to definately have a darker shade of silver (maybe like a gray metallic or something)on both their pants and helmets in the 60s. Look at some old pictures of Lamonica and Blanda and compare them to what the Raiders wear today – and the 2012 versions of silver almost fade to white. Or am I dreaming?

    Ohhhh…I thought maybe they thought a turkey was a stupid mascot so they changed their name to “Skunk Apes”.

    The Storm Trooper look is my 2nd least favorite look in football, Miami Dolphins at home as the lone exception. It only trails the white jersey/pants/color helmet look so this Maryland-West Virginia game is intriguing to me. They both look terrible yet I can’t turn away from it. But here’s a question. We have the “Darth Vader”, “Stormtrooper”, “Blood Clot”, etc. Has anybody named the all gray look yet? I’d cast my vote for going “nimbostratus” but I’m a nerd.

    Why does “stormtrooper” even need a name?
    It’s only been around since the 1950s (the entire TV era). Not like it’s anything new.
    Well, other than when a team adds an oddball white helmet to make it work, I suppose.

    What Ricko said.
    If you’re Texas or Oklahoma, you’ve been rocking the all- or mostly-white for generations. If you’re, I dunno, Cal-Berkeley, then that white helmet is a piece of a stormtrooper costume.

    Yeah, was just cutting him some slack, thinking he wished he’d said Penn State or Auburn instead of Oklahoma.

    Ahem, OU would have fit the “mostly-white” category.
    //I’m not tremendously fond of this look, but it works for the more traditional universities. Judgment call, I guess.

    I guess my point is that it never was a “look”.

    Was just teams that wore white pants at home (and maybe a white helmet, too) changing to a white jersey on the road.

    Routine. Not a “fashion statement.”

    Yet somehow, now it is, as if teams with white home pants have an obligation to wear different pants when they wear their white jerseys. They don’t.

    understood mike, but we’re discussing the stormtrooper look, not teams that have a colored hat and wear white/white beneath it — that look fits probably half of the schools out there (if not more, what with all the alts)…the the white hat & all white uni is NOT something oklahoma is known for…

    das all

    And “Going stormtrooper” isn’t just wearing all white, it’s a team deviating from tradition/history to go all white.

    Same with “Going Darth Vader” and “Going Putty Patrol”, you can even have those colors in your pallet, but it’s deviating so that all the elements feature the same color.

    Yup, that’s what I meant. And what I said…about an “oddball white helmet”.
    Is an okay term, but shouldn’t be applied the way it often is.
    The Dolphins, to me, don’t “go stormtrooper.”
    Nor does Stanford.
    Or the Colts.
    Or even the Chargers last week.

    OK the Dolphins were a bad example. I don’t mind the all white look for them. But the Baylors, the Oregons, and Maryland today with their special all white look I’d still say are full “Stormtrooper”. I just never liked the all white. Yeah it’s classic but we all know I don’t do classic very well.

    And yeah I did just see the Putty Patrol was brought out last season. I still have no idea WTH a Putty Patrol is so I guess I blocked that from memory.

    Still a geek look.

    I take it you’re not a fan of Stirrup Fridays then. If colored socks with white shoes is a fashion crime, then striped stirrups worn with blue jeans is an abomination unto creation itself.

    Which do you mean? You mentioned two different things.

    Dark socks with white shoes have a very tiny window of acceptance, yes, in sports OR in the everyday world.

    Why? Because it just generally isn’t a good idea to wear something that makes you legs and ankles look thin and your feet the size of Bugs Bunny’s.

    Now, if I have explain why that’s bad…

    not every team needs to wear black shoes and low whites

    that being said, wva should have navy shoes to go with the navy socks

    Didn’t say that.
    Was more thinking that since the mostly wear white and white, they just have stuck with that.

    didn’t say you did, but i know you have a preference for the ‘classic’ solid black & low whites (and i agree, that’s a good look for many teams — PSU comes to mind)…

    but if teams are going to sport a uniform that features NO WHITE and NO BLACK (like wva today)…their socks & shoes should either be gray, gold or blue — they make all those colorways now, having the rest of the outfit clash with the socks/shoes is, to use THE’s favorite word, stupid

    Short dark socks with bare calves look dumb.
    Like Mr. Futterman watering his garden.

    So, yeah, for WVa today, navy high sccks with black or navy shoes (the way Michigan often does) would have looked great. A couple of Mountaineers are wearing high navys, btw. And that still makes the big white feet still look silly.

    Or, since they wear white shoes almost all the time, stick with the white socks.

    Gray socks (high OR low) with gray shoes?
    THAT would have been far more interesting.
    Y’know, with the gray theme n’ all.

    that’s exactly correct

    originally i thought it might be for the 100th anniversary celebration that the NCAA undertook in 1969, but i checked with the helmet project, and it was indeed in 1963 that they sported those domes

    I’m really starting this home set. But I still can’t say I like the road look. I still want to see it in something besides all white.

    Thanks, buddy I took a few of the players, but I was just to far away for my phone camera to do the unis justice.

    Hard to see the numbers here, but another High School team with HARD to read numbers – Madison HS out of Rexburg, ID. It’s a neat looking uni up close, but the gradient dark grey (of the uniform)down to a lighter grey is hard to see. And I designed a football uni for one of my friend’s fantasy teams with scratch marks on it last year and Madison has this… hrmmmmmm :)

    Neat fact for those not in the know: that WVU player is Ryan Nehlen, geandson of longtime WVU coach Don Nehlen. Furthermore, Ryan’s father Dan is the Equipment manager for the Mountaineers.

    I actually emailed Dan a week or so ago, just to see if by any chance he needed an assistant. He does not. :(

    I don’t recall seeing it before. But I’m a Pirates fan so I don’t know what the postseason looks like.

    So besides denvergregg’s comment about Utah State in all grey (still looking for photos of that), are there any other strange uni-happenings or anything in games that I might’ve missed/can’t get? Please comment. Thanks to everyone in advance.

    Rutger vs Arkansas. The announcers said first time Arkansas wore white helmets since 1952.

    Rutgers has the cool silver helmets with R. Other than that nothing special about the current games.

    This hass been the best UniWatch day ever. WVU headlines AND wins their game. And yes, it was against Maryland, but a win is a win.

    Now I’m off to burn a couch.

    No way man. I didn’t have a drop of alcohol until I got home tonight! Those other two are well covered though.

    The helmets I don’t mind but those pants are awful. I know it’s 2 different manufacturers but Florida State looks so much better than ND.

    Ducks look mostly decent tonight, other than that helmet. Not a fan of Arizona’s look though.

    it’s s shame that they abandoned the emerald green helmets with the neon yellow “O”.. it’s the only decent looking thing they’ve worn in recent memory

    you kidding me halon 1301?

    this is by far-and-away oregon’s worst look … but arizona looks beautiful

    If Arizona brought the blue pants they’d look fantastic. The Ducks though. I said mostly decent. Not that I liked it. I do think it’s better than the yellow look in week 2. First week is still by far the best this season.

    if the cats wore a blue hat, then, yes, the blue pants would look great

    white lid = white pants = devine

    Normally I don’t like the white helmets but I like Arizona’s. The blue or the white works with the blue pants. I just wish they went all the way back to their classic look instead of using those vanishing stripes. Still looks much better than what it replaced though.

    heh…from that angle it looks like the band is flipping the crowd a giant bird

    glad you enjoyed today coleman!

    All fun aside, thanks for doing a great job on a subject I hold dear. We Mountaineers don’t have a single pro team, so WVU is in our blood at birth.

    And thanks to everyone else who kept the comments civil and non-hillbilly related!

    As a Panther fan I had to bite my tongue a few times today. But there’s other places to go for that, not here. Living in Pa all my life I’ll always view PSU as our main rival but I’ll also miss the Backyard Brawls.

    Nicely done, Tim E.

    And Tony “bromo” – I appreciate it. Ill hold my tongue on any more Pitt comments that come to mind as well. Also, I have a feeling those Backyard Brawls will return in 4-5 years. These next few seasons are set, but that’s one game that just needs to be played no matter what.

    Have a good night guys. I’m beat.

    We managed to get a home & home with PSU for 2016 & 2017 so I’m hoping eventually we can get the Brawl going again. Even if it’s not a yearly game. Good luck in the B12. I can’t wait to see the blue & gold ACC on our uniforms next season! Renewing rivalries with BC, Miami, Va Tech and getting to play Maryland will work out great.

    And that’s not ‘flipping the bird’, around here we call that a ‘West Virginia Howdy’! Heh heh heh.

    Those West Virginia greys are the worst greys I’ve ever seen. Anyone notice how UCLA’S darker blue jerseys seems to approximate their hoops blue unis?

    This may be a hard concept to grasp Paul but everyone from the state of Maryland wishes the Terps would rock the “Pride” uniforms every single game. They’re dope and you know the old saying “A hater’s gonna hate it’s their job”. The only knock on the uni is the helmet decals not being opposite from the shoulder print so it matches the real flag.

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