Read an Associated Press story a few days ago about how the non-traditional –– or some might say downright gaudy –– uniforms that made a splash in college football last fall will now make its way into college basketball as well.
Some scattered thoughts as I contemplate numerous Pro Bowl party options:
- Read an Associated Press story a few days ago about how the non-traditional –– or some might say downright gaudy –– uniforms that made a splash in college football last fall will now make its way into college basketball as well.
- Nike unveiled its new “platinum” line that will be worn by nine elite men’s and women’s teams for one game apiece later this season.
- Among the teams that will partake is Syracuse, which will don neon-orange getups.
I suppose I’m either showing off my age or general sense of good taste when I recall how hideous some of the non-traditional football uniforms were, most notably Georgia, Maryland and Michigan State.
But apparently, these uniforms were big hits with many of the college kids that wore them, so to each his own. And while we can all appreciate being partial to how certain uniforms look, I was taken aback by how much pull these duds have in luring some student-athletes to a certain school.
Consider what North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall was quoted saying about how highly he values these non-traditional uniforms.
“We definitely get excited about it. I think players care about the way they look,” Marshall said. “I know if I played football, Oregon would be in my top five no matter who I was.”
Top five ... because of the uniforms? An added bonus, sure. But a major factor in deciding where to go to college? Please tell me just an insignificant fraction of college-bound student athletes let the look of a uniform factor into their decision.
Otherwise, we might conclude that the line of thinking for some of these kids when they pick a school goes something like this:
“Not crazy about the school in general. It doesn’t have the major I’d like to pursue. I’m not really an ideal fit in the team’s offensive/defensive scheme. Not excited about the prospect of going to school in Oregon. Wasn’t terribly impressed by the head coach and his staff. But I can’t stop picturing myself wearing those sweet neon uniforms. So Oregon is definitely in the running.”
Hopefully, I’m reading way too much into this one quote. Because allowing fashion to be a significant factor in determining your school of choice reflects quite poorly on these kids’ priorities.
Keeping with the non-traditional theme, it seems like every year the national media rolls out some sort of fluff piece about an unusual source –– usually an animal –– that serves as a semi-reliable prognosticator of major sporting events.
Last year, there were stories about an elephant in Dallas and an orangutan in Salt Lake City picking the Super Bowl, along with an octopus in Germany that picked the World Cup. And, presumably, many others before that.
This year, there’s a camel in New Jersey that, by random chance, has a pretty good but certainly not exceptional record “picking” football games.
If there was ever an argument to eliminate the two-week layoff between the conference championships and Super Bowl, the greater likelihood of not being subjected to these “stories” would be near the top of the list.
I would like to make a proposal in regard to any and all future joint statements that hopefully will better demonstrate how silly and unnatural they are at the core.
For instance, instead of merely releasing a joint statement, as Colts owner Jim Irsay and quarterback Peyton Manning did on Friday, I would prefer that each party gather the press so that they may, in unison, read the statement aloud in a manner similar to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
* Bob Benz, assistant sports editor for The Leader in New York, can be reached at email@example.com.