The Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe: A Michigan vs. Michigan State Uni-Retrospect
Its that magical time of year here in Michigan, Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry week. There have been a few famous pranks between the schools over the years during this famed week, the most notable of which is the multiple occasions that Michigan State’s ‘Sparty the Spartan’ statue has been painted by Michigan Students under the cover of night (it is supposed to be guarded by Members of the Michigan State Marching Band, or ‘Sparty Watch” but sometimes, they fall asleep). On Michigan’s campus, the Theta Xi Fraternity has done their ‘Defend The Diag‘ initiative every rivalry week for the past few years and protected the inlaid brass, Block ‘M’ in front of the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library from vandalism. As you know, your faithful writer is True Blue all the way through, so today, in honor of this hallowed matchup, I decided that we will go through the football team’s respective uniform histories and suppliers for a look back before Saturday’s epic clash in East Lansing happens.
1933: Believe it or not, Michigan State actually adopted winged helmets a year before Michigan, but no one knows this because Michigan has gone on to win the most games all time in College Football history wearing the Wings.
1947: Michigan State abandons winged helmets after losing to eventual National Champion Michigan in the season opener 55-0.
1964: Block ‘MICHIGAN STATE’ is placed on uniform for the first time.
1965: Spartan Head logo makes its official debut
2002: Ugliest. State Uniforms. EVER. Killed off after one season.
2003: Spartan Helmet Logo makes its return after two year absence
2010: Drastic Redesign after two year study by Nike.
1891: Michigan wears tan vests over blue and yellow striped shirts, probably where the sleeve inspiration for 2011 night game uniforms against Notre Dame came from.
1932: Jersey numbers are added for the first time, famous number 48 was worn by Center Gerald Ford, who would become the 38th President of the United States
1940: Jersey worn by Michigan’s first Heisman winner, Tom Harmon. Maize pants made their debut this season, winged helmets debut in their current incarnation.
1974-75, 1976 Orange Bowl against Oklahoma: Michigan wears white pants with their away uniform for the only time in school history under Bo Schembechler
1996: Nike logo vector appears on home uniforms for the first time as does Block M on the pants
2000: Nike Vector moves from the right shoulder to the center of the chest
2004: Nike logo shifts up to collar, navy blue piping added to jersey
2008: Adidas takes over the contract in the biggest supplier deal in collegiate sport history (8 years, 60 Million Dollars)
2011: Adidas adds Block M to back of uniforms near collar
Coach Brady Hoke adds helmet numbers as of Minnesota game on 10/1 (Says they will remain for the rest of this season at the very least)
Adidas debuts ‘Under The Lights” fauxback uniform, recieved warmly by M faithful and worn in rollercoaster victory over Notre Dame in first night game at Michigan Stadium.
Well there we are, a quick uni-retrospect for each school, as you can see Michigan has made fewer alterations to their uniforms over time, and State has dealt with experimentation far more often. This saturday, Michigan will wear their traditional away uniforms against State’s Pro combats.
- The Cowboys will be breaking out their unlucky blue uniforms against New England this Sunday in Foxboro. Which they have not worn since their 2009 trip to Washington. The Cowboys also wore their blues in their last trip to New England, a 12-0 loss. Unfortunately,New England will not bring back those silver uniforms as they have announced they will wear white.
- 1 Sock, 2 Sock, White Sock, Blue Sock – Penn State players wore additional socks to cover up turf burns from their game at Indiana two weeks ago last Saturday against Iowa
- Great Deadspin article on how influential the Raiders uniform set has been
- The New Miami Marlins logo has been confirmed. And looks like it was pulled right out of the 1980s.
- Look at Bills’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s left hand, that would be his wedding band, and he isn’t alone, David Akers of the 49ers also wears his on field
- The Raiders added an Al Davis memorial decal to their helmets.
And on a final note, my prediction for Saturday is Michigan 35-28 Michigan State, and for a sendoff, here is your epic Michigan .gif for the game. GO BLUE!