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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.

Michigan State

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.

2011: Nike unveils Michigan State’s awful Pro-Combat uniforms, which look like the odd result of Notre Dame‘s color scheme on a USF uniform template

Michigan

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.

In Summary:

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.

Ink Stains

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!

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Foccer and Sockey Jerseys

Ah the beauty of cross-sport references. They can be executed quite well when done right, and the examples below are just the tip of the iceberg.

Foccer Shirts – NFL Team themed Soccer Jerseys

Dallas Cowboys

Sponsor: Dallas based American Airlines

The pinstripes on the away look excellent, and the home I would have added two Cowboy stars a la mid-90’s Juventus

Atlanta Falcons

Sponsor: Philips – who sponsor the home of the Atlanta Hawks, Philips Arena. My choice would have stuck with the local company and gone with Delta Airlines, but that sash and one red sleeve look awesome.

Green Bay Packers

Sponsor: Green Bay based Miller Brewing Co

The away is an homage to the Packers colors from the mid 1930’s, and the Milwaukee Brewers

New England Patriots

Sponsor: Stadium sponsor Gillette.

I like how they used the old NE logo instead of just the Flying Elvis logo.

Seattle Seahawks

Sponsor: Stadium sponsor Qwest.

These are my favorites, and I especially like the clash lime green and navy blue hoops, a look similar to their stadium brethren the Seattle Sounders

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Sockey Jerseys – NHL Team themed Soccer Jerseys

Anaheim Ducks

Sponsor: Arena sponsor Honda

I think the best part about these is the use of the wild wing logo instead of the new stylized D, and the fact that the change uniform pays homage to the teams original uniforms

Chicago Blackhawks

Sponsor: Arena sponsor United Airlines

I think these look pretty good, especially the home due to its homage to the Blackhawks barber pole designs of the early 20th century.

Dallas Stars

Sponsor: Arena sponsor and Dallas based American Airlines

The home looks good, if not a bit plain, but the away I am not a huge fan of with the striped sleeves and plain body.

Detroit Red Wings

Sponsor: Detroit based Chrysler

I think these do look good, but resemble polo shirts more than anything, I know that the Wings have very simple uniforms, but there could be some striping or something on these, too plain for me.

All these crossover jerseys are just a taste of what a sports fan who is a graphic designer can do, if any of you have designs like this you would like shown off, please contact me and send me the images and I’ll be glad to post them.

New Chelsea and Liverpool Kits – Adidas has an interesting sense of humor

Two of the biggest powers in English football unveiled new kits for the 2011-12 season. Chelsea released their home kit for 2011-12, and Liverpool released their away for 2011-12 this week (Liverpool will keep this season’s home shirts for next season also, as they have done a two year cycle for a long time now)

Photos courtesy of SoccerBible and FootballshirtCulture

One word from my Nana D’Agostino can describe this: Stupendo

WHAT A KIT for Liverpool, it takes two good elements from this season’s kits, the pinstripes from the away and the black and shadowed logo from the third shirt. Combine the two, add silver and red, and here is what you get, another great black Liverpool away shirt keeping with the trends of 2007 and 2009. Now one thing that is kept in common with the last season’s black shirt is that the red torches, which memorialize the 96 lives lost during the Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies are still kept in red, signifying the eternal flame. It will be paired with black shorts and black socks, leading to a very menacing look for the Reds as they try to climb their way back up the EPL table. Overall, I give this a 9/10, it looks great, but 10’s are saved for the best of the best, and I need to see this on field, but know that I, and thousands of Liverpool supporters will have their’s preordered for its May 12 release date.

See now its interesting that Adidas released both these in the same week, because Liverpool’s kit looks incredible, whearas this looks like shite. Adidas claims that it is an homage to the Chelsea kits of the 1980’s, but this is way too much retro combined into one, the middle striping looks cool across the chest and torso, but throwing in the white paneling on the stripes looks like garbage, and even more so on the longsleeve. I thought this year’s was bad when they added the red trim (I know its a part of their history, but it just looked wrong) but it seems Adidas is continuning the excellent trend of ruining Chelsea Kits on a year by year basis. Let’s take a quick retrospective, shall we? 2006-08 – Pretty Good, 2008-09 Not Terrible, 2009-10 – PEC PARTY, 2010-11 – THE RED! 2011-12 – Too Much Retro at once. So, Adidas has continued a downward spiral for Chelski, which as an Arsenal supporter, I find hilarious, but hopefully, like this season, there will be an excellent looking away kit to counter a subpar home. Now the question is, will the new home kit bring an end to the best website of all time?

I am excited to see that new kits are coming out as the club season’s come to a close, it means I am already readying my summer shopping list and I am definitely getting Liverpool done up in Suarez by May 12. I’m going on a short break until the end of the month – Its finals time, which means no time to blog, but I have some content ready for next week, I’ll end the month with a HUGE Top 10 of EPIC proportions, until then – J

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