Blog Entry

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 8:21 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In the Big Ten, there's no more tradition-obsessed (read: change-averse) football program than Michigan. where fans react with consternation toward things most programs take for granted: luxury boxes, piped-in music, and uniform changes, for some examples.

So it must have been some sort of comfort when adidas unveiled its alternate home uniforms for Michigan against Notre Dame in the second week of the season, and the uniforms were still quite obviously Michigan uniforms at first glance -- unlike, say, the Georgia Pro Combat uniform. Notre Dame, also an adidas school, wore a uniform that was also quintessentially its own in that game. Hey, there's something to be said for familiarity.

Similarly, Michigan fans must have been relieved to see that the team's alternate road uniforms it's busting out for the 2012 Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech are, again, quite obviously Michigan uniforms. The "new" threads, seen at right and courtesy of the Michigan athletic department on, were the result of teamwork between adidas and the football players themselves.

“We met with our seniors and showed them some concepts that were proposed by adidas and the mock-up is what they chose,” said Michigan coach Brady Hoke in a special news release. “This is a something the players enjoy and we thought it would be a nice way to commemorate our appearance in the Sugar Bowl.”

In addition, according to Michigan, the players decided to wear the grey face mask on the famed winged helmet. Player numbers will also continue to appear on the helmet.

The uniform is being modeled by a computer simulation of UNIDENTIFIED RANDOM STUDENT-ATHLETE NUMBER 16, and is in no way meant to be thought of as anything resembling Denard Robinson

Virginia Tech will not be wearing a special uniform for the game.

Anyway, kudos to adidas for again opting not to engage in the excesses of other companies' alternate uniforms (take a look at Ohio State's scarlet mess from this year and tell me, I dare you to tell me Nike didn't only give them to OSU because Rutgers passed on them first) and sticking to the same colors and relatively similar color proportions as usual. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, sure, but a little tweak never hurt anybody either.

We did, however, wonder what would happen if, like most of its other uniform providers, adidas had absolutely no regard for tradition and instead went for the flashiest design possible. We have obtained an EXCLUSIVE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE SNEAK PEEK at exactly that scenario, and we're happy to share it with you here. Enjoy:

  • First of all, the cumbersome title Wolverines has been shortened to the much more economical and efficient "'Rines," much in the same way that Miami has come to be known as "the 'Canes" or Boise State is now referred to simply as "the 'Cos."
  • Second, the winged helmet has given way to the winged shoulders, which seems more in line with the way animals fly anyway (Can you imagine if birds' wings were on their heads? Ridiculous!).
  • The colors are more eye-catching than before, and that's always a plus, right?
  • And lastly, according to the uniform patch, Michigan would be in the Pac-12. Yeah, conference realignment got weird in this alternate universe.

Anyway, feel free to show that version of the Michigan uniform to any Wolverine fan if you want to give them an aneurysm. 


Since: Sep 10, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

Holy crap! I just noticed the new SECOND huge Addidas logo! Are you freakin kidding me????

Since: Sep 10, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:22 pm

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl


     It does hurt us and takes us down the "me too" road. UM has never been a "me too" organization (at least from when I attended in the 1970s' to now). These are EXACTLY the marketing things I would expect out of a fast food establishment. UM is not for everyone. That's why most who apply do not get in. Part of the Michigan Mystique is that we don't have to pander to the masses. We are Michigan.

Since: Sep 10, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:07 pm

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

The really sad thing here is what this means psychologically. This means that Brandon and Hoke agree that the program is no longer relevant. After 45 years of supporting U of M, I'm out. The uniform is the Michigan brand. While Bo joked about changing the uniform, it was a joke aimed at the strong traditions for which Michigan stood. Michigan, not just the football program, although it has carried the public banner for a long time, always stood by their traditions. Michigan always strove to do  "What's right." not "What's right now." This changed with Brandon. Not honoring contracts, removing the Michigan Stadium sign that stood guard over Michigan Stadium ever since I could remember, the 2 uniform gimmicks by Addidas, and now, in the biggest bowl in several years, another wardrobe malfunction. So many things Brandon has done that have damaged the program and traditions. The "Ohio" thing by Hoke stinks of Brandon's gimmicky marketing. It's a desperate cry for trying to paint the excitement of the 1970's back into UM football. The problem is that, while most people don't get it, Woody had an underlying insecurity with UM and hence the "That school up north" was born. Now, because Hoke doesn't yet have the backbone to confront Brandon's fast food mass market to the idiots campaign, Hoke has agreed to call Ohio State by the name of the Mac team he used to coach against (it'd be as stupid as calling UM Northern Michigan), changed the uniforms 3 times in one year (Bo, Mo, Lo, Ro 0 uniform pandering), and the removal of the old art deco Michigan Stadium sign. The largest issue for me is that Hoke hasn't figured it out yet. He's just "happy to have the job". This isn't who UM is. We are on the road to becoming just another state school. It's sad that a lot of people don't understand the underlying psychology. Bo did, that's why he NEVER felt like responding to what Woody thought was disrespect. Anyone who has at least taken Psych 101 should know that doing that is a major red flag identifying personal insecurity.   

Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 12:02 pm

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl


I highly doubt that DB is going to turn Michigan Stadium into the worlds largest minor league ballpark,  You sell ads like that to raise money and the last time i checked, money is one of the few things the University of Michigan is not short of.  If i am correct, the 250 million renovation project that just got done was paid for in full by the surplus in the athletic budget.  In the last 5 years I think Michigan has shelled out over 400 million in renovations to its athletic complexes all coming from the athletic budget.  With the amount of money they are making off the football and b-ball progams there is no shortage of cash.  So just because you dont like Dave Brandon doesnt mean you should try to poison the rest of us Michigan fans.
If you dont like the Sugar Bowl jerseys, just say it and be done with it.  Sure, they are not "traditional" Michigan road whites, but come on, after 3 years of losing, let the program rejoice in going to a major bowl and having a little fun.  I look at these and realize they are more for recruiting then anything else and if the kids that want to play at Michigan like them, who am i to complain.  They are still better then the horrible jerseys Nike has been putting out for their "Pro Combat" series.  And Michigan will never be Oregon who has to go completely over the edge to make a name for itself.  Oregon has built a good program, but having Phil knight in your back pocket does help.

Let Michigan have some fun, does it really hurt anyone else?  After the last 3 years, I think all Michigan fans could use a little fun and excitement again 

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:04 am

Give David Brandon a couple more years...

If David Brandon has his way, the Big House will have so many advertisements that it will look like the world's biggest minor league baseball park.  The uniforms will look like a Sprint Cup car, with so many advertisements that there won't even be any maize or blue left.  
The uniform in the picture may be a joke, but if Brandon has any say, the result will be far worse than the picture.  I would imagine we will see naming rights to Michigan Stadium sold soon.  I guess Michigan fans are lucky that the economy there is so bad that no company is making enough money to dump a few million for naming rights.  Consequently, there won't be a "Domino's Field at Ford Motor Company Stadium" yet.  
Rest assured, though, David Brandon is lobbying hard behind the scenes to turn most Michigan fans' nightmares into reality. 

Since: Sep 10, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:56 am

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

I'm out. Not buying another Michigan logo thing! They've now hit a new marketing low.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:57 am

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

I don't see why this is a big deal.  Why wouldn't Michigan want to unveil a new uniform at this time, just because the writer calls them "change-averse?"  Seems to me Michigan has had a lot of changes over the years, and this is basically a non-story.

Since: Apr 30, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:33 am

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

Are you serious or just stupid?

Since: Feb 16, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:37 am

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

The "Pac-12" patch you're seeing on that second uniform is leftover from the Oregon Ducks uniform (which was photographed and altered for purposes of this particular article).  And, somehow, I doubt that any reference to Michigan as "the 'Rines" is going to catch on anytime soon. 

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:21 am

Michigan unveils new uniforms for Sugar Bowl

I love that 2nd Rines uniform. just do not know why they put Pac 12 patch on it?   Maybe it is Rose Bowl special edition.  I thought Penn State was the gay BIG 10

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