By Phil Hecken
I’m back again today with another installment of the popular “Timelessly Representing” series. Last weekend we looked at the NCAA’s B1G (Big 10), and today we’ll look at the PAC-12.
Originally envisioned for baseball, several readers have submitted their thoughts on which uniform and stadium (or arena/building) would serve as a “snapshot,” if you will, of a club’s perfect uniform and home, if one were to consider a team’s entire history. It’s subjective, of course, and very likely can be heavily influenced by the ballclubs and stadia from a particular reader’s childhood, although this is not necessarily the case. But based on the more recent vintage chosen of both team and building, it seems like one’s formative years play a role in this.
We’ve now tackled MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the CFL, and the NHL — if you’d like to check those out, here are NBA, Part I; NBA, Part II NFL, NFC Edition; NFL AFC Edition; MLB, National League Edition; MLB, American League Edition, the CFL, NHL, Part I, NHL, Part II, and NCAA B1G Conference.
I’m pleased now to bring you UW reader Geoffrey J. Magliocchetti, who, like several others, compiled this list during the summer — I had hoped to get to these during Paul’s blog-cation, but I was just overwhelmed with reader suggestions for articles. Now that it’s deep in the heart of football season, I’ll continue to run those I received for the NCAA. Keep in mind that I received this near the end of July, so some of the
costumes uniforms the teams currently sport may not even have been considered (although those wouldn’t yet be “timeless” would they)?
So let’s get started with Geoffrey’s …
Looks of the PAC 12
By Geoffrey J. Magliocchetti
The Pacific-12 conference has been sponsoring football since 1916, known simply as the Pacific Coast Conference. For the 1959 season, the conference adapted the complicated name of the Athletic Association of Western Universities, but nine years later, the name was thankfully simplified to the Pacific 8. Two Arizona schools joined in 1978, with the conference appropriately becoming the Pac-10. The additions of Colorado and Utah made it the Pac-12, showing that the conference has a much better grasp of counting than the Big 10.
Each team have the Pac-12, even it’s newest members, has built a sense of identity and culture through their looks and performances. What follows is a visual history of the most memorable looks in the conference’s illustrious history of uniforms and stadiums.
Uniforms–2000’s home uniform/Current
Arizona has always been better known as a basketball school. Wildcats football enjoyed a period of prosperity under Dick Tomey from 1987-98, the epitome of which was a shocking 29-0 victory over Miami in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl. After a 12-1 campaign in 1998, however, the team went through ten consecutive bowl-less seasons, and was the verge of falling of the map entirely. However, Mike Stoops and QB Nick Foles put the program back on track, and the team started getting national recognition again.
The revitalization of the Wildcats football program called for a $72 million expansion project, which broke ground in 2011. The new look will debut this season. The Tuscon facility now boasts the football offices, a weight training area, a cafeteria for student athletes, and the fourth largest video screen in college football. The stadium also expanded its capacity by over 4,000.
Uniforms–1990’s home uniform
Sun Devils fans have never really gotten over the demotion of Sparky, the pitchfork wielding demon that graced the Sun Devils’ helmets until 2010, from primary to alternate logo. ASU football spent straight holiday seasons watching the bowl games at home, until Jake “The Snake” Plummer led the Sun Devils back to the Rose Bowl, all with Sparky on his side. The fact that ASU had gained the reputation off the biggest party school in America over the 90’s and 2000’s only made their representation by Sparky all the more appropriate.
Stadium–Sun Devil Stadium
Now that the stadium’s other illustrious tenants (the Fiesta Bowl and the Arizona Cardinals) have moved on to University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, the Sun Devils rule the enormous Tempe facility, which currently houses all of ASU’s athletic offices. In addition to hosting Super Bowl XXX and currently the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (sadly this game always had a corporate sponsor), SDS has also built up quite the filmography, appearing in films like Jerry Maguire and Raising Arizona.
Uniforms–1980’s home uniform
The band was out on the field, but so were these timeless duds that the Golden Bears have been best known for their traditional blue unis at home. 1982, the year The Play occurred, was a transition for Cal uniforms, which had returned to their traditional Yale blue color that season.Throughout the 1970’s the Golden Bears had combined a lighter shade of blue with a yellow helmet that went out of style around 1975.
Memorial Stadium was erected in 1923 as a way to pay tribute to soldiers of World War I. The project cost $1.4 million, a ridiculous price for a collegiate stadium at the time, but opened in time for the Cal-Stanford game, a 9-0 Golden Bears win that capped off a 9-0-1 season. However, the Stadium’s best feature isn’t even inside, rather coming from the form of Tightwad Hill, which rises 100 feet above the east side of the stadium, where Golden Bears fans have enjoyed free views of games for years. Also visible from Tightwad Hill are the UC campus, downtown Berkeley, and part of the San Francisco Bay.
The Buffalos made a valiant effort to separate themselves from the black trend in college football with some blue “Colorado sky” jerseys, but CU football was in desperate need of a makeover after they went from 1979-84 with just 14 wins. Head coach Bill McCartney, who helped the team out its funk, was largely the one to blame…or thank…for phasing blue out of the Buffalos’ repertoire. By 1988, blue was completely out of the uniform, and in 1989, the Buffalos completed an undefeated regular season, and a year later they were national champs in their black uniforms.
Originally named Colorado Stadium, the stadium was later dedicated to Fred Folsom, who coached CU football at three separate times during the program’s early years. Located over a mile above sea level, Folsom Field is the third highest field in college football. In 2008, the stadium also became the first “zero waste” stadium in the NCAA for its cleaning and recycling efforts.
Uniforms–Early 2000’s home
There is no middle ground on the ridiculousness that is Oregon football’s Nike jersey combinations. I happen to dislike them, but it’s become such a part of the team’s culture that you have to accept it. Oregon’s standard colors are green and yellow, so I’ve selected a jersey that has showcased these colors and has gone without the unnecessary add-ons (like faux-steel and feathers). This uniform comes from their epic 2001 season, just before Nike went out of control with the jerseys.
The Ducks have had Autzen to call their own since 1967. Originally costing $2.5 million, a measly price for a building like Autzen, the Ducks’ growing success and consistency called for a $90 million renovation plan, which expanded the capacity by over 12,000.
Uniforms–2000’s Home Uniform
The Beavers recently said goodbye to a classic look and logo. Many a Civil War has been played with the Beavers dressed in black, and while most teams are guilty of adding black for black’s sake, the Beavers did a great job of owning the color throughout their history. Honorable mention goes to their orange alternate, which made the color of orange enjoyable on a football jersey for a change.
Normally I’m against corporate sponsorships on stadiums, but I’ll make a small exception for Reser’s Fine Foods, which was run by OSU graduates Al and Pat Reser. Charles T Parker, the Portland businessman who strongly backed the stadium’s construction, is still honored on OSU Saturdays, however. Parker Plaza, which is located between Reser and Gill Coliseum, home of OSU hoops, becomes a party zone between September and March.
The Cardinal posses a simple look, almost like the Penn State of the West, and a little lighter than Alabama. The team has fallen victim to the Nike Pro Combat disease, but they even mention to keep that look classy.
The Palo Alto landmark underwent a massive renovation in 2006, though the spirit has remained the same. Stanford Stadium has played host to some of the biggest events in sports, which have included several Cardinal games in the past decade. The stadium has played host to a different kind of football, featuring six games in the 1994 World Cup (the final of which was an exciting quarterfinal match where Sweden beat Romania on penalty kicks) and was the alternate home for soccer at the 1984 Olympics. The stadium has also hosted Super Bowl XIX, appropriately won by the San Francisco 49ers, the closest a team has ever come to winning the Super Bowl in their home city.
Long before baseball teams like the Royals and Blue Jays were capitalizing on the powder blue look, the Bruins were owning it. A stark contrast from their Los Angeles counterparts, the color has always dominated UCLA’s home uniforms. The jersey, like most jerseys, has been tweaked slightly several times to keep up with the times, but powder blue has always remained a staple. The numbers also went from white to a more positive gold…perhaps a jab at their in-state rival Cal?
Unfortunately for Bruins fans, the Rose Bowl has served only as a home stadium over the past decade, not as a postseason destination. With their recent resurgence, the Bruins hope to change that trend soon. Located in the LA suburb of Pasadena, little needs to be said of the events the Rose Bowl has hosted in addition to its bowl game of the same name. The stadium is not only a national historical landmark, but a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark as well. How many stadiums can say that?
Can you recall a time USC ever went in an alternate uniform? These jerseys manage to look sophisticated and detail without being too complicated. The uniform has also become a symbol of winning and consistency. Once you see those red jerseys entering the playing field, you know you’re in for a challenge, whether the Trojans enter the game 10-0 or 0-10.
Stadium–Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
How much history can you fit in one building? Take a look around. Behind one end zone, you’ll see oversized memorials to the great Trojans of the past like Marcus Allen and Carson Palmer. Raise your gaze just a little bit, and you’ll see the Olympic Cauldron, which is still lit during every 4th quarter. Keep in mind that the stadium has hosted the Olympics not once, but twice, in 1932 and 1984. The fact it hosted two Super Bowls almost seems irrelevant after hearing just those two facts alone, but also consider that like its Pasadena rival, the Coliseum too is a National Historical Landmark.
While many call Boise St the go-to mid-major team, they tend to forget that the Utes won not one but two BCS games while calling the Mountain West Conference home. These road unis only emphasize the Utes’ underdog status, wearing these duds against the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide in 2009 Sugar Bowl. The Utes rolled the Tide, taking a 21-0 lead after one quarter and never looking back. The upset in New Orleans not only capped off an undefeated campaign, but basically confirmed that the Utes would seek a move to a higher conference.
The Utes called Rice Stadium home for almost 70 years, but it is at Rice-Eccles where they have become a household name in the homes of college football fans. Located 330 feet above Salt Lake City, Rice-Eccles served as one of the venues of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The only part of Rice Stadium still standing is the south end zone stands, which were built in 1982.
Purple has never been a popular option for a sports uniform color, but the Huskies pull it off with great success. The purple duds stand out tremendously in the usually bleak and overcast Pacific Northwest weather, and the team’s refrain from changing up their look has built a timeless sense of culture and continuity in Seattle.
At 71,900, Husky Stadium is the largest stadium in the Pacific Northwest. The stadium combines both the best of urban and rural settings, as fans can see the Space Needle in downtown Seattle from one view, and the majestic Mount Rainier from the other. And while they haven’t had much to celebrate over the past decade, Husky Stadium is notorious for being one of the loudest stadiums in sports, even louder than their NFL counterparts. A crowd of 73,333 broke 130 decibels during the Huskies 29-14 nationally televised victory over Nebraska in 1992. Dozens of boats also tailgate on nearby Lake Washington, which always makes for an enjoyable Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars enjoyed a period of prosperity where fans were treated to three of the most exciting quarterbacks college football had ever seen. While the look was updated for the final of three (Jason Gesser), the first two, Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf, popularized the team’s classic red look. Bledsoe started to revitalize the program in the red look, and then Leaf took it a step further by taking the team to their first Rose Bowl since 1931.
Unlike most stadiums, which run north-south, Martin Stadium runs east-west. Again located above sea level, 2,520 feet to be exact, the current incarnation of Martin opened in 1972. While it hasn’t been heard much in recent times, the chant of “That’s another…COUGER FIRST DOWN!!!” is still an amazing Pullman tradition. The Cougars had to share their home with rival Idaho from 1999-2001 when the Vandals, making the transfer from I-A to I-AA, were undergoing expansion renovations at their Kibbie Dome.
Thanks Geoff! Quite the in-depth review (and although you skew towards more recent uniforms, you make compelling points). Readers? What say you?
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Timothy Lloyd, with a retro-update for the Rams:
Please see my versions of what I would like to see the (Los Angeles?) Rams uniforms look like.
Rams White Road Uniform (left)
A simplification based on the old road uniform without the horned sleeves because of space limitations with the newer sleeveless type jerseys. The pants are the traditional Rams white and not the 70’s yellow style. The shoulder crescents need to be thick and not the thin type. The helmet horns are larger and come together like the 50’s, 60’s helmets.
Rams Blue & White Throwback Uniform (right)
I would liked to have put the large 5″ sleeve numbers (which the Rams were known for) on this throwback jersey but the sleeveless style prohibits this. The shoulder crescents need to be thick and not the thin type. The helmet horns are larger and are slightly spaced where the horns meet in the front like the original helmets.
Rams Home Uniform
Another simplification based on the old home uniform without the horned sleeves because of space limitations with the newer sleeveless type jerseys. The pants are the traditional Rams white and not the 70’s yellow style. The shoulder crescents need to be thick and not the thin type. The helmet horns are larger and come together like the 50’s, 60’s helmets.
Next up is Mark Dion, who came up with a soccer tweak this past summer:
yesterday(over the summer) had an item regarding the Chicago Fire inviting fans to design the team’s 2014 third jersey. I immediately started designing jerseys to enter into the contest. When I attempted to submit my creations I learned that the contest is only open to people living within 75 miles of Chicago (super lame). Now that I’ve spent hours designing 4 concepts I don’t want them to go to waste, so I’m submitting them as uniform tweeks/concepts. All 4 designs are based on the City of Chicago’s unique (gorgeous) flag. Enjoy!
We close today with Derek Reese who concepted some Florida baseball:
Here in South Florida we have two ballparks that have gone largely unused since the early 90s. Fort Lauderdale Stadium, longtime home of the Yankees Spring Training and their Florida State League club and later O’s Spring Training, and the Homestead Sports Complex, built in the early 90s for the Indians(the field dimensions match Jacob’s Field), but Hurricane Andrew caused significant damage and it was never used. So I created some new Florida State League teams to occupy the stadiums.
The Fort Lauderdale Anglers, a tribute to my dearly departed teal & black Florida Marlins, and the Homestead Flamingos, inspired by the Miami Beach Flamingos of the 40s.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Guess The Game…From The Scoreboard
OK, readers — you know the drill (and if you don’t it’s quite simple) — you simply need to figure out what game is being played using the clues found on the scoreboard. Not much of a scoreboard this weekend, but the clues are more ON the field than on the scoreboard. This one should be a wee bit harder than last weekend.
If you solve it, as a courtesy to other readers, simply LINK (go to Baseball Reference) to the game and post that link in your comment — feel free to describe HOW you solved it, using any clues you may have gleaned from the Scoreboard.
OK? OK! Post your answer (in link form) in the comments section below. Good luck.
Last week’s scoreboard/answer: August 8, 2012
U.W.F.F.L. Week 5 Update
Click this graphic to go vote! ->
By Rob Holecko
Here’s what going on in the UWFFL this week, clockwise from upper left: Texas is going with a nice, classy understated throwback look at home against New York; Miami is breaking out a new combo, a grey-out ala the Seattle Seahawks, at Seattle no less; Birmingham is 5-0 and leading the Central League, and they are debuting a new combo as well, this white-over-gold uniform set against Swisshelm; and the Chicago Cyclones have tweaked their home reds by adding a little white to the numerals hoping to make them a little more readable from the stands. Plus San Diego shows it’s fan appreciation, and Minnesota, Brooklyn, Sacramento, Anchorage, Dallas and others all try to stay undefeated. All that and much, much, more this week in the UWFFL.
Alex Rocklein’s MLB Playoff Tracker
I’m pleased to announce that MLB Playoff Tracker Alex Rocklein is back for another year of, well, tracking the uniforms worn by the MLB teams in the playoff hunt.
As you can see by the graphic, both play-in games and three out of the four current series have featured at least one team wearing a softball top — with the Rays and Red Sox both sporting the alt jerseys yesterday. Not shown is the regular-season 163rd elimination game between the Rangers and Rays, who also both wore softball tops. For the purists among us, this doesn’t bode well. Only the Braves and Dodgers went white versus gray (so far — the Braves like to wear their blue softball top on the road, so we’ll see if they break that out when the series resumes in Dodger Stadium).
Three of the eight playoff teams won’t be wearing a different color top — although the Cardinals do have a cream colored uniform; the Tigers and Dodgers have only their classic white and gray unis. Everyone else has at least one alt, with the Braves having two alt (blue and red) tops, and a cream colored alternate uniform; The Bucs have been wearing black for much of their season ending run, and all three games so far in the playoffs — will they wear the black tops at home on Sunday (when they have traditionally worn their early 1970s throwbacks)? Over in the AL, the A’s have both their green and gold alts (plus a gray and white jersey), and the Red Sox have a red and a blue alt. The Rays wear navy on the road and powder at home as often as not.
It’s a colorful post season (if that’s your cup of tea) to be sure. We’ll see how the uni-gods treat the alt-wearing teams soon enough.
That’s going to do it for today, folks. There won’t be any Ticker this weekend (sorry), as I’ve personally had a brutal week and Paul graciously relieved me of Ticker duty for the weekend. Don’t worry, it will return next weekend.
Big thanks to Geoff (and the concepters and Rob and Alex)! More interesting uni shenanigans ahead today in the NCAA, and Terry, Catherine and Tim E. will have all of your rundowns, Duck Tracking and 5 & 1 tomorrow! You guys have a great Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Wow! Paul and The Jeff are in complete agreement on something. Did the world just end while I wasn’t looking?”