I have delayed posting on this topic as I feel very strong about it and would hate to put into writing something I would regret. Over two weeks later, I think I have composed myself.
The subject is the new football uniforms for the University of Miami. The tagline is “Respect the past. Represent the future.” Unfortunately, there is little respect for the past shown and UM has allowed for Nike to impact its tradition. I’m not impressed.
I was taught that before giving criticism, one ought to give three praises. I like the orange jersey (with white or green pants and the traditional U helmet). I like the green one (with white or orange pants and the traditional helmet). I can live with the white one, although it looks like South Florida. I am pleased that the traditional white helmet will be a part of the rotation, although it should have NEVER been messed with in the first place.
I am not a fan of the “orange crush” or orange-on-orange look. Secondly, I strongly dislike the smoke gray uniforms. When did gray become a Miami color? If I turned on TV and saw this uniform, I don’t know if I would recognize it as “The U.”
I am horrified by the alternate helmets. Just disgusted. Again, the helmet should have NEVER been touched.
The whole new uniform package has forty-eight combinations. Who cares? Let’s take one of college football’s most known brands and make it unrecognizable. The whole thing looks like something Oregon would do. Why would The U try to look like Oregon? Oregon has never won anything and would love to have the tradition of Miami.
I understand there are uniform upgrades to incorporate the “latest Nike technology.” I understand that recruits might like this. I also understand that the kids on the current Miami team have been through a lot the last few years with the NCAA investigation, but I don’t think that gives license to screw with tradition. Maybe I’m a dinosaur and should embrace the new identity, but I can’t. Why do USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State (to name a select few – not talking about the once per season deal) not feel the need to do this? This isn’t about looking “fresh;” it’s about representing a tradition bigger than you. It’s like new money vs. old money. Although Miami is a newer university, it has had unprecedented success in college football over the past thirty years. Act like it. If you ask me, this is all about pandering to egos.
So, in the meantime, I will continue to cheer for the ‘Canes, but I’ll be wearing my Ken Dorsey circa 2001 jersey. Those teams wanted to represent The U tradition and kick butt on the field, and that’s why they were great.