(Before we get started here, full disclosure: you might know this by now, but in case you don’t, I’m a Rutgers alum/fan. This makes me less likely to be objective/rational in any matter involving Rutgers. Carry on.)
There are few more reliable ways to make a group of athletes flip out than show them new uniforms they’ll be wearing. (Black uniforms tend to be especially useful for this purpose.) This holds especially true for college athletes, since by and large they still have a wide-eyed kid quality about them that pros generally lack. So it was probably inevitable that when Rutgers players were introduced to their revamped 2012 attire, it went like this:
Unfortunately, the uniforms suck.
OK, that was harsh, and it’s all a matter of opinion anyway. But here’s what Rutgers wore last year: home and away here, alternate here. And here’s another view of the new ones. Each new uniform is worse than its corresponding old one. The home jerseys are worse – the
red-on-red scarlet-on-scarlet aspect (hopefully the red jerseys get paired with the white pants more often than not) sucks, the silvery numbers suck, the black piping sucks. Even the players didn’t sound like they went too crazy for the home jerseys in the above video. Overall, very similar to what Georgia wore against Boise state last year. And lo and behold – those uniforms sucked.
As for the away whites – eh. They seem to be warmly received in general by fans, based on this thread here, but I can’t figure out why. Again, not a fan of the silver numbers (red would be way better) or the piping. As for the black alternates – not bad, and they’re my favorite of the new batch, but they’re not as good as the black outfits the team wore last year. As for the silver helmets… well, those are kind of awesome. The problem: they’d be awesome as an alternate option.
Red Scarlet helmets are way better as an every-game outfit.
I don’t think this is me being an old fogey arch-traditionalist here. If I were one of those, I’d be decrying the very existence of the black uniforms. And I won’t, because check them out again – those things were sweet. Especially those black helmets. The black helmets that, ahem, apparently no longer exist. No, thisis purely a problem of ugliness.
Then again, maybe it’s not much of a problem at all. For one thing, like it or not, throwing yourselves at the feet of apparel giants for big bucks with insane results is the way of the world in modern college football. Like college football? Then you’ll have to put up with this. Secondly, the overall reception to the uniforms seems to be pretty positive (which to me is surprising, but that’s what’s happening). If players and recruits like these uniforms, what someone like me says means shit.
And maybe most importantly, even killjoys like me who don’t like the uniforms are saying something. Changes like this are about getting people talking about you – witness the many pictures of Rutgers players Scott Vallone, Mark Harrison, and Khaseem Greene posing in the new uniforms in various iconic New York City locations to illustrate that Rutgers is New York City’s college football team. Today, Rutgers got that done. And as a shameless fan, even if I don’t like the uniforms, I’ll gladly take the attention.