Opinion Sports Columns

Dress Code Violation

Terrence Payne

Sports Editor

I can see into the future. Someday soon, I will flip on the television. I will see a rundown of the best and worst dressed of the week.

No, it’s not Entertainment Tonight or the E! Network. It’s ESPN’s SportsCenter. Seriously, how crazy is it to think that that’s not far away? Hannah Storm can have her own little segment discussing the best and worst uniforms with a newly hired fashion analyst, presumably a castoff from “Project Runway” or something.

They can squeeze it in right between Chris Berman’s Two Minute Drill and the Not Top 10. They can dissect each team’s uniforms and discuss which colors really popped and which uniforms made them want to gag.

It sounds crazy, I know, but it makes perfect sense given how uniforms have gone in recent years, and more specifically, how they’ve gotten out of control in the first few weeks of the college football season.

Look at Georgia, Boise State, Oregon and Maryland.

In the opening week of college football, more attention was drawn to the uniforms than the outcome of the games.

Maryland and Miami played an incredible game, a game in which Maryland defeated the depleted Hurricanes 32-24.

Randy Edsall just led UConn to the Fiesta Bowl, and in his first game at Maryland, he wins a thriller and takes out an early conference opponent. Yet those were in the rearview mirror, well behind the attention the jerseys got.

Maryland uniforms were trending on Twitter and were in the news days after the game.

It’s not that I’m against new uniforms. I don’t hate change. I’m all for uniforms that are lightweight that make players faster because that actually contributes to the game.

Adding the state flag to your uniform for the sheer purpose of gaining attention does bother me. Why can’t the team’s performance on the field determine the amount of attention it gets?

And when it comes to attention, it’s been mostly negative.

Pardon the Interruption co-host Michael Wilbon tweeted, “The Georgia uniforms and helmet are hideous…wow. Having those jerseys will keep boosters from wanting to buy ‘em from the players,” referring to former Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green being suspended for selling a game-worn jersey last season.

Georgia was just one of the teams to don the Nike Pro Combat uniforms on the first week of the college season. LSU, Army, Navy, Ohio State, Michigan State and Stanford are all slated to wear versions of the Pro Combat uniforms at some point this year.

During its game against Miami, Maryland unveiled one of its 16 different uniforms this season created by Under Armour. Even if the Terrapins make the ACC Championship and play in a bowl game, that still only gives them 14 games this season.

It’s almost as if Under Armour and Nike are having a battle for the most ridiculous uniforms, trying to get the most bizarre looks from people.

College football doesn’t need any dazzling uniforms, its fine the way it is. Let’s just take the pageantry out of it.

Terrence Payne may be reached at tpayne2@springfieldcollege.edu

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