Texas A&M is embarking this fall on a bold new life in a new conference, and with a bold new life comes a bold new look. Or, in this case, a bold old look, to an extent.
For marketing purposes, the new uniforms unveiled Thursday were "inspired" by an old-school look from the 1970s, when the Aggies wore exclusively white helmets accompanied by two vertical stripes on their shoulders. In truth, the resemblance is minimal. The updated edition offers both white and maroon helmets with the familiar "aTm" logo, extends the shoulder stripes to the sleeves of the undershirt (for a "longer, sleeker, faster look") and replaces white facemasks with throwback gray.
It also promises a more flexible fit around the shoulder (good for "17 percent greater range of motion") and a tighter fit everywhere else, because "you can't tackle what you can't grab." The trademarked "12th Man" motto makes an appearance on each bicep. Plus many other small but important innovations involving terms like "TECHFIT base layer." No word on the return of '70s-style mustaches.
Aesthetically, the only obvious changes from the straightforward look A&M has favored for the last 30 years are the shoulder stripes, some gray piping in the numerals and new "Lone Star" logos (the tradition "aTm" logo set against an outline of the state of Texas) on the gloves and hips. There is also some crazy stripe action going on with the socks, and a slightly different, matte-style finish to the helmets. All in keeping with the latest in high uniform fashion from Milan, I'm sure.
Once the ball kicks off in September, though, the most notable difference, and certainly the only one anybody is ultimately going to care about, is the new patch on the left shoulder – the one that now reads "SEC."