In the last decade-plus, college football teams have steadily added more and more alternate uniforms, a trend that can be traced back to the popularity of the Oregon Ducks seemingly endless supply of uniform combinations.
It’s nice to be the alma mater of Nike founder Phil Knight, as the sportswear company laced the Ducks with new uniforms in bright color combinations each year. As other teams saw that recruits liked that sort of thing, more teams began experimenting with alternates of their own in an effort to step up their swag game and connect to the younger generation they are reliant on for free labor.
The problem is, not every team is blessed with a color palette like Oregon’s that lends itself to numerous color combinations. Some schools simply have boring, two-color combinations and have to accept that — those that do like to talk about how they have too much great tradition to get weird with their uniforms. Michigan State is one of those teams that should be like that, as they have dark green and white, a classic look that’s hard to update. They’ve done some stuff with shiny helmets in the past, but for the most part, there’s not a ton they could do to try and get in on the highlighter craze, at least we thought, until these abominations.
We knew these were coming, as they were announced prior to the spring game, but they look even worse in a non-edited photo on a mannequin than in the stylized photos used for the initial unveil.
Spartans reveal new alternate uniforms for 2019 👀 pic.twitter.com/qlnFWYMK7c
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) April 13, 2019
To go back to the photo from Monday, the use of the bright green — they call it “mean green” — isn’t even the most egregious thing about the new uniforms. That honor belongs to the gigantic typeface that looks like someone mistakenly put in the wrong font size and was too embarrassed to fix it so they just rolled with it. The next issue is that the pants appear to be a shade or two lighter than the “mean green” on the jersey, which is upsetting me more than it probably should.
Beyond all of that, it just seems so un-Sparty-like. This isn’t a flashy team, it’s a team that still uses a fullback regularly and leans on defense to have a chance at winning games. Last year’s Michigan State squad was a painful watch for anyone that likes things like “points” and “offense,” as they actively tried to set football back 50 years with their style of play. At times, it worked, but nothing about that team or the team we’re expected to see this year screams “highlighter green.” Those colors belong on up-tempo, spread teams, not a team that’s going to come out in 21 personnel and run it down your throat.
All of this is to say, please reconsider this, Michigan State. your traditional green and white look fits you so well. This [gestures at whatever the hell that uniform is] just ain’t it.