The Godforsaken Glitter

            Modern college football has taken the luster away from Notre Dame. Literally.

            I used to marvel at how glittery the Fighting Irish helmets were. Other teams wearing gold or silver would wear helmets that, by mid-season, were dulled by scrapes and streaks of colors from opposition helmets. Not the Irish. I wondered if they wore brand-new helmets in every game.

            Now every team seems to wear brand-new helmets in every game. To Notre Dame’s credit, it (generally, at least) sticks with those that at least look alike.

            I was thinking about this burning national issue, and I think the football uniforms of today are going to be seen in a similar light to baseball’s uniforms of the 1970s, which now seem laughable.

            It’s almost like they want more jerseys to sell, not that a pristine sport like college football should be accused of (gasp!) commercialism.

            There’s just nothing more traditional than seeing the University of Oregon decked out in its traditional colors of green, yellow, gold, silver, black and whatever else happens to be on Phil Knight’s palate.

            Unfortunately, for all the marketers, the best teams in every sport don’t need the gimmick of a ridiculous uniform to grab attention. Witness the approximately million billion trillion uniforms worn by the Chicago White Sox during their long and storied existence.

            Originality, my ass. Nothing Maryland removes from the wrapping paper in its locker room is more imaginative, and ultimately ridiculous, than the polyester pullovers of the 1970s-80s Houston Astros, Oakland A’s and Pittsburgh Pirates. They fit the times in the same way as the plaid sportcoats, wide ties and Nehru suits. As a matter of fact, they look as if they were designed by baseball scouts watching Caribbean games in their Guayabera shirts.

            As a side note, I watched the Christmas Day NBA games, and I thought Russell Westbrook looked like he was wearing the summer togs of a comic-book superhero. Westbrook suffered a knee injury in that game, so I guess that disproved the superhero theory.

            This, too, will pass, and, in the meantime, thank God for Alabama, Penn State and Texas.


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