By Phil Hecken & The SMUW Crew
The Granddaddy — aka the Rose Bowl — is probably the most special of the Bowl games, due in no small part to its location and its scheduling time. It begins at 2:00 pm (Pacific) time, which means the beginning of the game starts, usually, in bright sunlight, with the halftime roughly corresponding to the beginning of sunset, after which an amazing natural light display often occurs, with the sun striking the San Gabriel mountains, and depending on the day, the atmosphere often produces cloud formations and amazing colors that occur during what is known as the witching hour. Such was the case this year, when Oregon and Wisconsin hooked up in another epic game.
While the game itself wasn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing, uni-wise (Oregon chose to wear their nightmare green unis), they did make one tremendous uni call: they wore metallic silver helmets. Normally, I hate the chrome dome look, but it does have the effect (desired or not) of reflecting the sky and field. During sunshine, the helmets reflect the blue sky and at night, it’s a combination of dark sky and stadium lights. Sometimes, depending on the camera angle, the helmets just look black. However, especially this year, during the witching hour, those helmets reflected the magenta sky, and for a few amazing minutes, those chrome domes looked like something out of a video game or fantasy movie. Truly a beautiful spectacle at one of the most amazing places to see a football game.
It’s with some sadness that I type this sentence: today is our FINAL SMUW for the 2019 season; there’s still one more Bowl left (Monday — the “Lending Tree” Bowl), and of course the Natty is on Monday, January 13th — but for all intents and purposes, our work here is done. We’ll be back next fall, when the College Football season starts again — so this is only a temporary goodbye. I can’t thank the guys who bring you all the pieces of SMUW enough for all their hard work and dedication. I’ll have a bit more to say at the end of this post. But we’ve got a LOT to cover today, so we’ll start straight off with TJ and our final…
Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
The best things come in pairs. Here’s part 2 to start off your decade.
From Monday, December 30th, 2019
|Florida vs Virginia| COLOR-VS-COLOR ALERT! This year’s contestants battling for the bowl of oranges are the University of
the State of Florida Gators in orange/blue/white, and the University of Virginia Cavaliers in white/orange/white. The ‘Hoos sure seem to have a habit of landing themselves in these types of situations, don’t they?
|Western Michigan vs Western Kentucky| I’m slightly annoyed here, because I actually liked Western Michigan’s look in their bowl game, but seemingly EVERY IMAGE that showcases said uniform is in the shadows, and the ones that are in plain sunlight are either looking away or something else! That said, I do admit to being far too picky with image selection (can’t look like some deep-fried meme, can’t be a picture for ants, that type of thing). At any rate, this game was played between the Western Michigan University Broncos in brown/brown/gold (there are those damn shadows, again), and the Western Kentucky Univbersity Hilltoppers in chrome/white/black. Too bad the game was played in Dallas, otherwise, this would be a real battle of the West.
|Louisville vs Miss. State| Third up on the slew of Monday games are the University of Louisville Cardinals in black/red/black, and the Bulldogs of the Mississippi H A I L State University for Agriculture and Applied Science in all-white.
|Illinois vs Cal| …Heck. A game with SO MUCH AESTHETIC POTENTIAL that it isn’t funny, and yet we get this. I mean, Cal looked good, but Illinois could’ve done so much better than, well… anywho, I have a job to do: The Golden Bears of the University of California, Berkeley wore navy/white/white, while the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Fighting Illini wore white/orange/orange.
From Tuesday, December 31st, 2019
|Texas vs Utah| And now onto the final downs of the 2010s. First up, we have the Longhorns of the University of Texas at Austin in the classic white/burnt orange/white, and the University of Utah Utes in red/white/black.
|Navy vs K-State| Now THIS is ART. Here we have the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy in their Army/Navy 2019 unis (which –save for the helmet– are throwbacks), and the Kansas State University Wildcats in what remains to me as one of the best all-white looks in college football: and they only started wearing it this season!
|Kentucky vs Virginia Tech| A straightforward game as the University of Kentucky Wildcats wore chrome/blue/blue, and the Hokies of *deep breath* the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University wore maroon/white/maroon.
|Arizona State vs Florida State| This is what happens when you leave your uniform out in the sun for too long and it gets… darker??? instead of getting sun bleached. Anywho, the victorious and aptly-named Sun Devils of Arizona State University wore gold/black/black (more like gold/blech/blech). Meanwhile, the Florida State University Seminoles wore gold/white/gold.
|Georgia State vs
Wyomimg Wyoming| GOD, the resolution on that bowl logo is AWFUL. So much for avoiding the whole deep-fried thing. That aside, the game itself was actually quite easy on the eyes, with the Georgia State University Panthers in blue/blue/white, and the University of Wyoming Cowgirls in white/white/gold. Who says brown ‘n’ yellow don’t go together? And now, join me as we enter into…
From Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
|Auburn vs Minnesota| …a new decade. Welcome to the 2020s, where shit’s already gotten weird, and it hasn’t even been a week. I say let’s distract ourselves with some good ol’ handegg, starting with the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in gold chrome/white/maroon, facing off against the Auburn University Tigers in what looks to be the standard-issue white/navy/white, but if you look at the helmet, you can see that they went to a grey facemask, and the #7 on the left side of the helmets. This is in honor of Auburn QB and 1971 Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan, who passed away from cancer on December 1st, 2019.
|Alabama vs Michigan| Well, at least it’s a bowl game people have heard of. Bit of a far cry from what Bama is used to, but nothing’s ever set in stone, so who knows where they’ll end up this next season? This game features the University of Alabama Crimson
Lion Kings Tide in crimson/crimson/white, and the University OF Michigan Wolverines in navy (with wingtips! No not those wingtips)/white/white.
|Oregon vs Wisconsin| There are approximately 1,013,900 words in the English language but none of them could explain how much I LOVE. THIS. GAME. And BOY, was this year’s contest a close one. Two Rose Bowl veterans in a game that was ultimately decided by one point, this game never disappoints. The University of Oregon Ducks wore ???/dark drab/dark drab??? And the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin–Madison wore all-white, complete with white facemasks. A strong victory for Oregon, and utter defeat for Wisconsin, who seems to not have the best luck in the Rose Bowl while wearing all-white. I think I’ll call this ‘The White Rose Curse of Madison’. We’ll… just consider that a working title, but it’s got potential.
|Baylor vs Georgia| While not as close, another NYD tradition took place, as this handsome game features the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and the Baylor University Bears. Georgia wore red/white/silver (britches), while Baylor wore all-green.
From Thursday, January 2nd, 2020
|Cincinnati vs Boston College| Now for the post-NYD cleanup, so let’s breeze right on through: here we have the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in black/black/white, and the Boston College Eagles in gold/white/maroon. I also found this cute graphic on Cincy’s website.
|Tennessee vs Indiana| Next game up is between the University of Tennessee TAKE YOUR PICK OF NAMES Volunteers in white/orange/white, and the Indiana University Hoosiers in crimson/white/white (or cream, take your pick).
From Friday, January 3rd, 2020
|Nevada vs Ohio| Of course, not every game can be a looker, and… OOF. I’ll be brief: here, we have the University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack (not to be confused with Wolfpack) in all-grey, and the Ohio University Bobcats in all-white.
From Saturday, January 4th, 2020
|Tulane vs Southern Miss| Second-to-last bowl game before the Tigers win it all, but onwards and upwards. Our last game for this season’s SMUW features the Tulane University Green Wave in white/light blue/light blue, and the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in black/white/black, and they both wore bowl-themed helmet decals for the occasion (another look at Tulane’s).
And THAT… will put the 2019 college football season in the books. 150 years of Autumn action, and it all started between two schools, back when 6-4 wasn’t a weird score. In the meantime, I’m gonna go to bed. The last few weeks have attempted to kill me in more ways than I care to count, but the worst/most hectic of it is over now, but I’ll say this: through it all, writing these columns have given me an escape, a place to just shut everything off, and focus on one thing: screaming about 17 year-olds who like shiny objects and making dumb, abstract jokes that 4 of you might get. Welcome to the new decade, here’s to another 150 years of college football, and… GO TIGERS.
Thanks, TJ — awesome job again (and all season long). And a fantastic end to a great 2019 SMUW Season!
Memal’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, Catherine Ryan after him, and finally Joe Ringham, for 2019 we have a new “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups — Michael “Memal” Malinowski. Like Joe, Catherine & Jim, Memal will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Here’s Memal with Part II of his 5 & 1 for the College Bowl Season. It’s the final 5 & 1 for the year — did he go out with a bang???
We Uni-Watchers must have been good boys and girls last year, because we got another week of good looking bowl games! And, luckily for me, for the second week in a row one team and one team alone made me shudder at their uniform choice making it easy to pick the &1. Onto the games!
5. Tennessee vs Indiana
This bowl game was beautiful in it’s simplicity; a total of three colors in the uniforms, three letters for the helmet, and three stripes decorating those uniforms. I gave this one extra points for being an entertaining game between two well coached teams that had plenty to build upon this season.
4. Boston College vs Cincinnati
I’m willing to bet it wasn’t the intent of the bowl selection committee to pit teams who sport stripes on the front of their pants, but that’s what we got with the Bearcats and Eagles. The juxtaposition of black/black/white vs gold/white/red looked great even soaked in rain!
3. Alabama vs Michigan
I haven’t cared for Michigan’s return to white pants on the road, but against Alabama’s home crimson and white combo they help this game look somewhat timeless, as though these players could have stepped out of 1976 and into the Orlando sunshine to enjoy one less moment of glory on the field. This match-up of storied and wonderfully dressed programs only occurs about once a decade, so I hope you got a chance to watch it live!
2. Florida vs Virginia
Being this was a match-up of two teams with blue and orange team colors, this could have looked like an inter-squad scrimmage instead of a bowl game, but the Cavaliers went white/orange/white, and there were enough differences with the Gator’s standard home orange/blue/white combo to make this a unique match-up! Bonus points for being a color on color match-up!
1. Navy vs Kansas State
I was shocked to see these teams go with alternate sets for their bowl game, but was delighted they picked good looking alternates that looked fantastic on the field together! The Wildcats went full storm trooper and the Midshipmen wore the alternates they also wore in their win against Army. This terrific and unique uni match-up was also fun to watch and went down to the wire, elements that put together earns this game that top spot of the week!
And because somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb…
&1 Florida State vs Arizona State
For the second week in a row the &1 game is earned mostly through the questionable choice made by one team, in this case it is the Sun Devils’ choice to go mono-black against the Seminole’s standard gold/white/gold set. I think it’s interesting this game featured a team who created a stronger uniform identity with an update in Florida State and a team that plays around with their colors and sets so much that, from a great distance, it seems as though they’ve lost a bit of their visual identity. Some teams looks so good in their traditional colors that to see them in anything else is painful, and I hold Arizona State in that regard.
Thanks Memal! You can follow Memal on the Twitter.
This is oftentime the most “popular” part of SMUW, and not always for the right reasons — but I’ll say this: whether you agree or disagree with Memal’s choices, he did an outstanding job getting in his picks to me, with photos, each and every week. The 5 & 1 is probably the most thankless job since we all have so many differing opinions of what makes a “good” or “bad” looking game — but through it all, Memal has persevered and delivered for us every time.
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2018 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences, with their final tracking for the season. Some of the trackers included every bowl game played by their respective conferences, others just tracked the bowls for this week. I love how each guy has his own style!
Rex is up first today (ACC):
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2019 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
The Ducks just missed out on a playoff game, but were rewarded for their stellar season with a trip to the Granddaddy of them all — the Rose Bowl, and here’s the uni they wore (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
Thanks Dennis! And thanks for another great season tracking all the Ducks uni machinations!
Yet another Teespring sale: Paul here. From now through the end of Sunday, you can get 10% off of anything in the Uni Watch Shop (T-shirts, pins, cufflinks, mugs, stickers) or the Naming Wrongs Shop (“I Still Call It…”) by using the checkout code N3WY3AR.
This is a good deal for both of us, because Teespring is sponsoring the sale — so you’ll get a 10% discount but Uni Watch and our design partners will still make the same profit. A win-win!
My thanks, as always, for considering our products.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Wowsa! Check out these gorgeous wool sweaters sported by the Philly A’s in 1909 (from Alex Cheremetoff). … After seeing that photo of the A’s, Bill Hetrick replied, “My Dad was in Shibe for A’s – Red Sox June, 27,1950. He scored the game and saved the scorebook and his ticket. I found the rest and had this put together. Ted Williams hit his 22nd that day.” … “On my Instagram I share old Dodger cards and I didn’t even notice when I posted it, but did today: the weird jersey Sutton is wearing,” says David Wishinsky. “The striping on the sleeve isn’t like anything I’ve seen and I looked through the rest of my 1974 cards and didn’t spot another with a similar jersey.” … Ryan Bower wants you to watch this “2020 MLB Nike Swoosh Looks Hideous & Tacky… Old Man Rant!” on YouTube.
NFL News: In last night’s Bills/Texans tilt, DeShaun Watson was basically wearing bicycle pants (from David Andrews). … In that same game, Trent Lowe noticed neither Watson nor Watt wore captaincy patches. … From our own Anthony Emerson, “Bad pic but it appears Adam Butler has a jersey tear in the second quarter.” … The Minnesota Vikings, as the road team, will be wearing mono-purple today in New Orleans. Not the “color rash” purple kits, but their regular, mono-purple uniforms. Of course, that means the Saints are wearing their monowhite unis at home. If there’s a clubhouse leader for worst looking game of the playoffs, this would be it. … Check out this beautiful photo from Wrigley Field, Chicago, Dec 29, 1963. In it da Bears beat the Giants 14-10 in the 1963 NFL Championship (from Ronnie Bolton). … ICYMI, Here’s a really great article from The New York Times on how the N.F.L. has made patriotism an integral part of the spectacle surrounding the game on the field, and, at times, has had it placed at the center of controversies off it. … Check out this great video on “The Greatest Groundskeeper in the History of Sports” — George Toma & the Evolution of the Super Bowl (from Ian Reed). … The Cleveland Browns are changing uniforms for the 2020 season and according to Tony Grossi, they should be revealed before the draft and will be a familiar look. … “Scrolling through Facebook I came across the enclosed ad,” writes Matt Shadrake. “The link went to a series of leggings that are designed to mimic the pants and socks styles of NFL players. I have a few questions: 1) Is this the sort of thing that is likely going to get them sued into oblivion? I know online clothing in general is rife with piracy problems, but the NFL isn’t usually tolerant about this, no? I am assuming this isn’t officially licensed. 2) Have you folks seen these before? Apologies if so. 3) What’s your favorite inconsistency? Immediately jumping out to me is the color of silver used on the Cowboys one.” In the immortal words of Jimmer Vilk, “I’d wear those.” … ABC/ESPN used an old picture of Tom Brady for their preview of last night’s Patriots/Titans game (from Joe Nocella). Even though that pic is like 7 years old, they still know what the Pats best uni looks like. … During last night’s Pats/Titans game, there was a Verizon commercial which featured two Buccaneers logos (from Edside Manor and Ray Neugebauer).
College Football News: The people of Athens (Ohio) can’t get enough of LSU quarterback Joe
Burreaux Burrow. They’ve already bought more than a thousand Heisman T-shirts and they’re not stopping there (from Jason Hillyer). … Tulane, jumping on the dress up soldier trope for yesterday’s Armed Forces Bowl, featured stickers for different military branches. Here they are for Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard (from Chris Mycoskie). … The great Blaise D’Sylva is almost done with his helmet collection: yesterday he showed off the Mizzou Tigers (bringing his total to 126 out of 130). Great job with this all season, Blaise!
Hockey News: Here’s Mike Engle with an update on some Habs numbers: Marco Scandella #28, last worm by Mike Reilly, traded out the same day Scandella came in; Brett Kulak, gives #17 to Ilya Kovalchuk and now wears #77, last worn by Tom Gilbert. … Vancouver Canucks fans have a strong connection with the Flying Skate jersey — but should it be their third jersey? … Oooooh, check out this awesome 1974 WHA All Star game program (from Al N. Kreit). … The SC Stingrays wore these Spider-Man sweaters during last night’s Marvel Super Hero Night game vs. Florida (via Paul). … Rangers fans were probably as happy as Canucks fans to see the two teams partying like the 1994 Finals (from Jeremy Brahm).
NBA News: In case you missed it, the Miami Heat will retire Dwyane Wade’s jersey on February 22nd.
College Hoops News: Today, the Providence Friars will be busting out some sweet retro unis, “80s inspired” dontchaknow, against DePaul (from Joe Velleca). That sound you just heard was Jimmer Vilk’s tongue hitting the floor. … Yesterday the Maryland Terrapins wore black at home vs. Indiana (from James Gilbert). … “Player Name” is having a good game (from Jakob Fox). … Florida has a magnetic board with players initials on it to draw up plays during timeouts (from Chicago Gump). … Xavier’s official twitter has put out their W/L record based on their threads this year (from Coach KT). … “Interesting choice of training shorts worn under the uniform by Trey McGowens,” writes Chris Weber. “Never seen these worn by hoops players before. You?”
Soccer News: There’s a new Carnival shirt for Mainz (from Ed Żelaski). … The one and only Josh Hinton asks the question we’ve all been silently pondering: “Anyone else know that Gareth Bale’s hair was this long!?!” … Also from Josh, the Norway 2020 home kit has leaked. … For all your other soccer needs, be sure to < a href="https://twitter.com/Kit_Watch" target="new">check Josh’s kit watch stream.
Grab Bag: CEV (Confederation for European Volleyball) has introduced a mascot called Ace for five different volleyball competitions, club, beach, snow, Eurovolley (national teams) and CEV events (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy, here’s a look at all of the Boys and Girls Teams playing in the Japanese High School Volleyball Championship.
I want to give another round of thanks to the 6 guys who make the SMUW what it is: Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, Jr., Michael “Memal” Malinowski, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker, and Ethan Dimitroff. Week in and week out these guys do a great job helping me put together the Sunday Morning Uni Watch, and it’s a privilege and pleasure to host their work on here.
Please take a moment in the comments to thank them for their tireless efforts. These guys are the true heroes of Sunday Morning and I hope they will all be back when we start the SMUW back up in the fall.
Thanks guys, you’re the best!