There was certainly a lot going through my mind as I sat down to catch one of the 2011 College Football Season’s anticipated-in-light-of-scandal games Monday night. For Instance:
- ACC? Aren’t there any SEC Games or highlights that I can watch instead?
- Why is everyone acting as if these allegations against “The U” are surprising?
- Didn’t Virginia Tech win the ACC last year? Why is Maryland…huh?! Honey, DVR pon de replay! What in the world are they wearing!?!?
And just like that, I literally lost my entire train of thought.
A proud product of the DMV and longtime resident of Baltimore before relocating for work (my Merrland license plate still adorns my automobile), I was never ashamed to call “the old line state” home. Plus, of all the states I’ve lived, I always thought Maryland had the most unique state flag. That was, until I saw it custom-cut and draped across the biceps and thighs of scores of burly young men.
But for as much hating as The University of Maryland football team received for their interesting season opening get-ups, and Under Amour, for designing what some would consider an unholy abomination or the NCAA approved visual punishment for their opponents, the Miami Hurricanes (or what the Oregon Ducks threw-up), I have to admit that my opinion on the imaginative digs have changed a bit.
Of course, anytime a designer springs cutting edge fashion on people all willy-nilly, without a chance to prep first or digest, the response is often negative. And I was certainly amongst the millions on twitter flashing fashion police badges and writing citations to Maryland and cease and desist orders to Under Amour Monday night. With the dawning of a new day, a cup of Butter Toffee Coffee and the chance to see the uniforms in still photos Tuesday morning however, I have to say that with that menacing Templar-slash-ominous-Gladiator look, I actually kind of like them (and not just because I have a pending corporate strategist employment application awaiting review in the Under Armour HR office).
I mean sure, while Nike and The Oregon Ducks remain the trailblazers when it comes to radical and avant-garde NCAA football uni’s and have been for years, UA is by no means a slouch when it comes to athletic performance apparel. And even though no one may be “checking” for the Terrapins when it comes to top seeds and rankings, this new inner state sponsorship/alliance certainly doesn’t hurt either organization. Really, if Monday night’s internet and social media kerfuffle was any indicator, these new uniforms were just what the doctor ordered to get folks talking about and even more interested in UMD and UA.
So what say ye? Does the impressive Baltimore-based upstart have its finger on the pulse with its football focused branding and sponsorships? Do they pose any real competition for Nike? Will representing their state and donning the Calvert and Crossland crests give the Terps greater incentive to pull-off a winning record this season?