Monday, June 29, 2009

More Uniform Talk: Rose Bowl Black

The old uniforms shown last week brought in several e-mail comments form readers. Clearly uniforms are a topic which many NU fans hold very strong feelings about. I think is likely due to the fact that Northwestern has worn such a wide variety of uniforms over the years. Today we return to the subject of Northwestern uniforms by focusing on the uniform worn during Northwestern’s historic Rose Bowl appearance on January 1, 1996. With the exception of the even patches, this uniform is almost identical to the uniforms worn during the 1997 Citrus Bowl and the 1997 regular season. The uniforms worn during the 1995 and 1996 regular seasons are also very similar to this design, except they featured the famous Northwestern strips on the sleeve below the N-Cat logo. I believe in the case of the Rose Bowl they were omitted due to the fact NU needed to wear two different event patches. In 1997, starting with the January 1 Citrus Bowl, NU switched uniform makers to Reebok and then Adidas, NU has not worn the Northwestern strip design since this change. The Rose Bowl jersey was manufactured by Russell Athletic. Of note the jerseys worn in 95-96 was the fact NU went to a solid white number. This was a change from first purple numbers (which were hard to see on black jerseys) and then a white number with a pruple outline. NU has used the white number with purple outline in the black jerseys from Adidas.
One of the features of the jerseys from 95-97 that I really liked was this N-Cat logo on the shoulder. I know some traditionalists object to the cat head being purple, but I think the logo looks great and most importantly, is clearly visible. This is far better than the small logo now on the sleeves of the new jerseys which is almost impossible to see. Also, I still think the NU strips should be on the sleeves.

Northwestern wore this patch during the 1996 Rose Bowl game. For some reason, USC did not.
NU also wore this patch. It is interesting to note that the Rose Bowl did not at the time have a cooperate sponsor. Even now the Rose Bowl handles sponsorship differently with the game being referred to as, “The Rose Bowl presented by AT&T” and not “The AT&T Rose Bowl” which is the form other bowl names take.
If NU does choose to wear black for a game in the future, I'd like to see them replicate the 95-96 regular season jerseys which would look almost like this, but have the N-Cat in place of the event patches and the NU strips on the sleeves.
News and Notes:
Kyle Rowley will play for the senior national team of his native Trinidad and Tobago. You can debate the level of talent in Trinidad and Tobago all you want, but I don't see how this can be anything but great for Rowley's development. While most college players can play pick up and college summer leagues with no coaches, I really think I guy like Rowley who doesn’t have a full lifetime of basketball experience will be helped by playing in an organized tournament with professional coaches.
Team USA's U-19 team won again in New Zealand, but the early report doesn't have any stats for John Shurna.

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