February 24, 2011

Penn State Uniforms Going Back to Basics
(updated 2x)

2010 Penn State vs Michigan State
Waaaayyy too flashy for Penn Staters...
(Photo: LBU/Mike)
For those of you non-Penn State fans, the Nittany Lions uniforms are some of the most plain, boring, old-fashioned rags worn in college football. But what you might not expect is that most Penn State fans haven't been keen on the "flashy" white trim around the neckline and sleeves.

Well, Penn State agrees, will change the uniforms--to be even more plain, boring and old-fashioned--and I, for one, couldn't be happier.
Speaking to a class at Penn State, D'Elia said the home uniform white trim around the neck and on the sleeves will be eliminated. He also said the road uniform blue trim will be eliminated.
This is really a good move, even if it's a somewhat minor one by the branding department. Okay, so changing college football's most iconic uniforms is never a "minor" anything. But considering the mood around the fanbase has been swaying in a negative direction the last 8-10 years--with all the commercialization, piped-in music, etc.--this is smart. D'Elia can only preach "old school" so much without doing something to truly reflect that image Penn State cherishes. This is that something. And I like it.

Update 1: Added a poll.

Uniform Changes: Trim, or No Trim?

Update 2: Scrappled posted this great link in the comments below. Thought it deserved a bump up into the post: Past PSU Uniforms Art.

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  1. Oh yeah, nobody's a bigger proponent of old school than Guido D'Elia. How about a throwback gameday atmosphere, Guido?

  2. Yeah, I should have made it clearer that I'm not a big D'Elia fan. But I'm still happy about this move.

  3. I like the trim, I think it sets off the rest of the uniform nicely.

  4. They should bring back the gray face mask as well.

  5. I think this obsession with "old school" has its limits. I'd like to see them before passing final judgment, but it sounds like the elimination of the trim is going to make the uniforms look pretty cheap. We'll see.

  6. I voted 'Trim' simply because I think it gives the uniform a little pop. But for all I know, the new ones could be just as cool.

    I'm not sure I understand the argument, though, that changing the style will sell more jerseys. If I'm going to buy a jersey, I'm going to buy a jersey. How many people buy jerseys in EVERY style available? And is that number of people enough to say this was a purely economical move by PSU? I don't know.

  7. Jeff,

    I can give you an example of why changing jerseys sells. I'm a Pens fan and I bought the winter classic jersey because I thought it was really sharp looking. I had no previous Pens jerseys but now am thinking about buying a standard home jersey. See where this is going.... then they come out with the third "alternate" jersey and I've seen plenty of them around. It's a common practice and why you see pro teams change their jerseys more often then I change socks.

  8. Galen,

    True. But how many people are going to do that? The die hards, for sure. But what percentage of jersey sales is among the die hards versus the general fan population? You and I might buy two or three jerseys, but Mrs. Jane Fan is going to buy one, regardless of the style.

    Either way, isn't making money the idea? So I don't necessarily have an issue with the economic argument, as long as the new jerseys ALSO look good. If they made a crappy change to sell, then I might take issue.

  9. Scrappled,
    Maybe, but nothing will ever look as "cheap" as the 80s (late 70s, too, I think) uniforms that showed the midriff and tore apart during the games.

  10. From those images, and what I remember in my own perusement of PSU history, the trip was not nearly as wide as it is today. If PSU kept the trim, but reduced the width by about half, I'd be 100% on board with that. They should make the trim the same width as the blue line on the helmet.

  11. BTW, we've been getting a ton of hits from non-PSU sites, so the results of the poll up there aren't solely from PSU fans. I'm guessing that's a good thing, but it may not reflect whose opinion we're looking for.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. A question from an outsider: when did the Lions start wearing these uniforms, by which I mean the current Nike uniforms?

  14. I think the width of the trim is a Nike standard and cant be adjusted. It can only be made one color or the other. In this case blue would seem to be a good move.

    Also has any seen the Oregon frosted black helmet. I would love to see PSU try this as a throwback helmet. In the 70s the helmets looked much more gray then they do today. The Frosting that Oregon uses could help dull the current helmet back to what it used to be.

  15. I think we should go back to the original BLACK & PINK colors... (Just kidding by the way.) However, that's a good PSU trivia item that even most Penn Stater's don't know!

  16. This story is almost ver batim to the one I just read elsewhere by ?Mike McGuire?

    Not only are the PS media knee-jerking nitpickers, they're apparently also plagiarists.