A week following Hail Mary heartbreak versus the Blackshirts of Nebraska, perennial Big Ten disappointment Northwestern has decided to shake things up in the uniform department. In two weeks, boy prodigy Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats will be playing host to Michigan, and their uniforms are straight out of Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, blood splats and all.
Great concept. Terrible execution. Literally. These jerseys look like the cleanup rags from a 1776 bayonet execution gone horribly, horribly wrong.
I get where NU is coming from here. There are two types of college football programs: those with decades of tradition, and the new school. You’ll never see teams like Alabama, Texas or USC falling back on radical alternates in order to impress prospects. And recruiting is exactly why the Wildcats are busting out the ESPN The Ocho attire. It is a page out of the Maryland playbook — some schools need to bring the sizzle when their programs are lacking the steak.
To be fair, Northwestern has come out and said that the jerseys are supposed to represent a “distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time.”
But…guys. Come on. There is attention to detail, and then there is OCD to the point of triggering ‘Nam flashbacks to all in attendance. There are better ways to honor Old Glory than depicting her as being tattered as the state of the Northwestern football program.