Beauty may still be in the eye of the beholder, but our ability to identify spectacle, it seems, is universal. So began the Randy Edsall era at College Park last night as the Terps beat the Miami Hurricanes 32-24 in front of a national television audience that surely grew as the game wore on and as reaction to the new Terps’ unis spread quickly over social networks, message boards and news broadcasts.
Love them or hate them, the Terps new threads have certainly gotten them some attention, which was part of the point in the first place. Those who tuned in to see the Terps and to check out what all of the buzz was about were entertained by a pretty exciting football game if they bothered to hang in for it. They’ll remember the unis, but hopefully they’ll remember the Terps too.
If you hated the uniforms last night (and if so you weren’t alone) the good news is that it will probably be quite a while before you see them again. The number of possible uniform combinations is already reported to be upwards of 30, and grows exponentially with each new addition to the Terps’ “fashion line”. The bad news is that if you didn’t care for last night’s version, it’s unlikely the rest of the line will do much for you either.
The best news though is that people were noticing and will continue to notice. And that football players love to accessorize. That’s the genius of Under Armour in the first place. From wristbands to arm pads to colored mouthpieces, the boring football accessories of yesteryear are gone thanks to Under Armour and Kevin Plank, replaced by the gaudy, ornate, and spectacular “equipment” on display at College Park last night.
As Kevin Plank’s school, the University of Maryland can suddenly count themselves as the “Oregon of the east”. Oregon has played their fashion forwardness into the national spotlight and last season into the national championship picture. While it seems a small thing, in the eyes of a prospective recruit, more gear, slicker gear could make the difference when choosing between schools.
As recent history has shown, all of that gear could also provide players a means to earning a little bit of “side money”. Someone at Maryland had better be keeping tabs on where all of that swag ends up…at least until graduation time.
Speaking of recent history though, and perhaps more to the point…People tuned in last night to see the Terps and Hurricanes play football, and expected to be distracted by the spectacle cast over the game by Nevin Shapiro (the infamous Miami booster) and the fallout from his scandal. Instead, the sideshow was stolen by Terps’ super booster Kevin Plank and his fashionable footprint at Maryland. His fingerprints are all over the athletic department at Maryland, and so far the results are encouraging.
And oh by the way…the Terps did play a pretty good football game in those ugly unis. And winning looks good in any color.