I wandered down to College Park Monday night to see the Maryland Terrapins unveil their brand new Under Armour football uniforms at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
The entire event was highlighted by Terps DL AJ Francis, who delivered a Ric Flair-style entrance and then capitalized by giving his best WWE promo to WNSTV…
(If you’re interested in more pictures of players in the uniforms, UMTerps.com has a gallery, including the photo of QB Danny O’Brien below.)
In the 24 hours following the unveiling of the uniforms, I’ve heard/read a ton of responses. Just amongst WNST staff members, I’ve seen Nestor Aparicio use terms like “tacky” and “ugly” while our youngest contributor Peter DiLutis described the threads as “SICK” via Twitter.
For the most part, bloggers and analysts have been less than positive in their comments about the new duds, while younger Maryland fans and the players themselves have offered overwhelmingly positive feedback.
(For what it’s worth, I think some of the uniform schemes are fine-in fact some are pretty cool. Some of the color combinations however should just be avoided altogether. I’m not particularly enamored by the font or the numbers, but I like the state flag use and I will admit that I dig the turtle shell helmet scheme. That being said, I’m a Maryland fan. It’s unlikely they’d create a uniform scheme I completely hated.)
One of the most common themes in the light of the uniform unveiling, which included significant involvement of UA CEO and former Maryland Special Teams captain Kevin Plank, was that it appeared as though Maryland was trying to become the “Oregon of the East.”
Oregon athletics have been widely known to receive significant financial support to Ducks alum and Nike CEO Phil Knight. A high profile part of Nike’s involvement with Oregon athletics has been the school’s ever changing football uniforms, which Baltimore Ravens TE Ed Dickson and his former teammates prominently displayed in pictures like the one below…
We’ve had plenty of fun pointing out the over the top nature of Oregon uniforms in recent seasons. The uniforms they wore for the BCS Championship Game this past January were the subject of a number of giggles throughout the sports world, including a few comments about how parts of the uniform appeared to be designed by highlighter.
Sounds like a nice problem to have, doesn’t it?
You see, critics of the Oregon uniforms were complaining about the threads the Pac 10 champions wore while they were PLAYING FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.