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Chill Out, Alabama Won’t Be Donning Black Jerseys This Year

Oh, my.  That got ugly fast.

The internet almost broke yesterday when the University of Alabama’s online store put up for sale a black-on-black Tide football jersey.  The description of the horrendous, tradition-crushing jersey said: “Designed in the same styling as the gear your favorite players will wear on the field in the 2013 Blackout Game.”





That thing is so ghastly — and impossible to read — that it’s actually silly.

The good news is that the school said it was working to correct the text.  As of 11am ET today, the black-on-black shirt is no longer on the shop at all.


We realize that traditions are changing.  We know that players and recruits now dictate to schools what they will and will not wear.  We know that schools like Oregon never wear the same uniform combination twice.  And we also know that you can’t turn on a college football game without having to spend the first couple of minutes trying to figure out who it is that’s wearing black, “anthracite” or a candy-cane helmet.

Laughably, many schools say they’re expanding their brand by adding dozens of uniform options.  Most of the marketing books I’ve read would say just the opposite.  If you’re brand is everything, you have no brand.

So hopefully Alabama — one of the few remaining schools with an actual, honest-to-God, take-one-look-at-’em-and-you-know-’em brand — won’t be joining all those other schools that have decided to turn their uniform designs over to companies who are more concerned about creating a brand for themselves than for the schools that hired them.  How else can anyone explain this abomination?

Some day, we’ll all look back at this era of college football and view it as we now do 1970s and 1980s baseball uniforms.  Here’s praying that schools like Alabama, Texas and Penn State (even if their tradition is drab), won’t give into the temptation and yield to Nike, adidas, Under Armour or teenage prospects.

Black-on-black with crimson outlining?  Blech.

Update:  Back on the site and described as a “special-edition Nike Limited jersey.”

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