The second Big T1e2n football meeting between Wisconsin and Nebraska will be in Lincoln Sept. 29.
The Cornhuskers will be attired thusly for the game (from Omaha.com):
Their opponents, the Badgers, will wear these special uniforms:
The Madison.com story understates by beginning:
Say this about the “special” jerseys the University of Wisconsin football team will wear Sept. 29 for their prime-time game at Nebraska: They’re going to generate a reaction.
Indeed they will. My reaction is: They suck. Both sets.
To review from my previous writing on the Cardinal and White vs. the Scarlet and Cream: The first error here is that the Badgers are wearing the wrong shade of red. Cardinal is darker than the red shown here. (I blame Nebraska alumnus Barry Alvarez, although the red has been too bright since the Dave McClain days. Ironically, before coming to Wisconsin McClain coached the Ball State … Cardinals.)
This photo of the 2000 Rose Bowl shows the “road” team, Stanford, wearing the correct cardinal, not the “home” team, Wisconsin:
The only UW game in which the Badgers have successfully worn an alternate uniform (that is, worn it and won) was when UW was paying tribute to its 1959- and 1962-season Rose Bowl teams:
This is the correct shade of cardinal. Not what they are wearing now.
The issue is not with the helmet by itself. UW has worn white helmets for so long most people forget that the Badgers have worn red helmets in the past …
… most recently in 1969 (the back-row far right helmet). That was the season UW’s 23-game losing streak ended. (That 23-game losing streak, during the reign of error of coach John Coatta, who changed the helmets from white to red, is probably why they were switched back to red by his replacement, John Jardine.) During the 1950s the Badgers wore both red and white helmets (the back-row left pair).
You’ll notice, however, that in the two schools’ colors, cardinal and white and scarlet and cream, that the word “black” is nowhere to be seen. I don’t consider outlining numbers or logos in black to make them stand out to be an unnecessary use of black. I do consider a black helmet (and facemask) and a black logo to be an unnecessary addition of black. So are black socks.
This is also a lazy design on Adidas’ part. The W is supposed to remind you of the 1960 and 1963 Rose Bowl teams (both of which, by the way, lost). The Badgers’ Motion W would be more appropriate, but neither the N nor the W belongs on the front at that size. These are football jerseys designed like hockey jerseys, particularly with the red shoulders on UW’s uniform.
I already designed road uniforms for the Badgers, with choice of white …
… or cardinal helmet …
… that (1) are the correct color red, (2) use the correct Badger font (which you see on their basketball uniforms), (3) clean up some issues with UW’s current look (namely the jersey stripes, which look slapped-on) and (4) look neither as hopelessly old-fashioned and cheap as Penn State’s football uniforms nor look thoughtlessly futuristic.
Some argue that out-there uniform designs are designed to appeal to current and prospective future student–athletes, which means that 17-year-olds are choosing their college education based on a 17-year-old’s sense of aesthetics. (Insert acerbic comment about shallowness of today’s youth here.) Others argue uniform design is based on the marketers’ determination of what will sell.
As far as I’m concerned, these two criteria should be the only consideration: (1) how does it look on video, and (2) will the sports media be able to read the players’ numbers and letters. If the uniform doesn’t match criterion 2, then it is, to quote today’s vernacular, an epic fail.