Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Well everyone got their wish. Tech switched from Russell Athletics to adidas. The last couple of years Russell had stopped making the unis with the crazy stripes and gone back to Tech’s traditional uni set. Then adidas took over and with two jerseys, two helmets, and two pants they’ve been mixing and matching every week. The light “Tech” gold numbers on the white home jerseys are virtually invisible on TV. 
Against Clemson a navy jersey was added to the mix, calling them a tribute to the 1990 national championship uniforms (they looked nothing like them). This week for Duke they’ve added navy pants, to go with the white jersey and gold helmet. This will be Tech’s fifth different uniform set worn in seven games.
Aside from the schools who wear traditional uniforms (USC, Texas, UGA, Bama, Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan, and a few others) almost every other team in the country sometimes wears dark pants with white jerseys. Since everyone does it, there’s nothing special about it. Appalachian State looks like Vandy who looks like Purdue who looks like Wake Forest who looks like everyone else – college and especially high school. Just one more step away from Tech’s glory days. What uni has created the most buzz this season? Pitt’s throwback uniform. What does that tell you?
Mark my words: later this year Tech will wear their navy jerseys and navy pants together. Wouldn’t surprise me to see them come out with a navy helmet as well. Just like Louisville and Wake Forest and Vandy and so many average college and high school teams across the country. Tech has jumped the shark – they are less relevant than ever.
One of the reasons Tech went with adidas was to help with recruiting. OK then I’m expecting Johnson’s best recruiting class ever. The “partnership with adidas” rated a recent article in the alumni magazine, calling the response on social media to be overwhelmingly positive. From what I’ve read, the response has been far from overwhelming and at best mixed. Another case of the Emperor’s new clothes. Glad the players like them so much.
09.01 vs Alcorn State: gold helmet gold numbers gold pants (1)
09.08 at South Florida: gold helmet navy numbers white pants (2)
09.15 at Pitt: white helmet navy numbers white pants (3)
09.22 vs Clemson: gold helmet navy jersey white pants (4)
09.29 vs Bowling Green:  gold helmet gold numbers gold pants
10.05 at Louisville: white helmet navy numbers white pants
10.13 vs Duke: gold helmet navy numbers navy pants (5)
What would make me happy? My demands:
1. Helmets: a white alternate is fine. Heck the stinger stripe is ok. But grey masks would look loads better than a dark one.
2. Numbers: large block numbers look best, like Virginia Tech used to wear. If you’re gonna wear a fancy font, just make sure they’re large and thick. Makes the players look tougher. I’m ok with gold numbers as long as they can be seen on TV. The tops of the numbers should touch the bottom on the V neck, instead of starting  far lower.
3. Name on back: plain block letters. Fancy letters look cheap, or small-time.
4. Jersey: current jersey with plain neck is great. The stinger stripes can hardly be seen. Thicker stripes are best.
5. Pants without stripes, or hardly any stripes, make players look fat and slow. Last years pants were great: black-white-black stripes on the gold pants,  black-gold-black on the white pants.

Looks like Saturday's game against Duke will be a real feast for the eyes. A new low.

I was so mad I fired off an email to Simit Shah, the assistant AD for brand and Ideation” whatever that means. Shah is a 1999 Tech grad with a fine technical background, though I’m not sure how much of a sports background he has (though he is a long-time season ticketholder, if you consider eighteen years a long time). I tried a diplomatic approach.
From: Murphy, David
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:54 PM
Subject: Football Uniforms
Tech’s new adidas football uniforms – mark me down as not liking them.
I’m sure the high-tech fabrics make for greater flexibility and performance. Standardizing fonts, typefaces, and the color gold adds needed professionalism to the school and athletic department. Having nicer fan apparel to purchase after all these years is nice. But in my experience the social media reaction has been far from “overwhelmingly positive.” From what I’ve seen it’s been mixed at best.
When Tech wears a different “kit” almost every week it destroys the uniqueness of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. I get it, the players and hopefully recruits like it. I’m ok with the white helmets and the white pants and even the stinger stripes aren’t horrible (you just can’t see much of the stinger stripes on the jerseys). You may have figured out the Tech Gold jersey numbers are hard to see on TV.
Those navy pants are taking it too far. Tech is looking more and more like just any other team, another Appalachian State. Looks like a high school team or a small college. Just because everyone’s wearing dark pants means Georgia Tech should. You don’t see Alabama wearing dark pants. Or other teams with iconic identities: LSU, Auburn, USC, Texas, Michigan, Penn State, or our rivals in Athens.
I’m know what’s coming: before the end of the season Tech will couple the navy pants with the navy jerseys. Wouldn’t surprise me to see a new navy helmet to go with them. Again: just because every other team does it doesn’t mean Georgia Tech should. Nothing special or unique about it, since so many others do it (in the past two weeks at least 15 teams wore light jerseys and dark pants, and 15 more wore dark over dark). And those are just teams from the major conferences. Does Tech want to look like Mercer, Kennesaw, and Georgia State?
I may have graduated from Tech over 35 years ago, but my feelings about uniforms hasn’t changed since then: simple is best-looking. You want to turn on the TV and recognize that it’s Georgia Tech. That day has passed.
My suggestions: (1) stinger stripes on the pants make the players look fat and slow. Go back to last year’s thicker, longer stripes (2) find a way to make the jersey sleeve stinger stripes to be more prominent/show more color (3) ditch the ugly dark facemasks – wear grey masks instead (4) no navy pants, for goodness sakes.
Feel free to contact me about anything uniform related – a topic I’ve researched and studied (and loved) all my life.
Go Jackets!

David Murphy
Industrial Management 1982

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