Need help remembering which team you're watching? Miami (Ohio) is here for you. (Courtesy of RedHawks athletics)
By Zac Ellis and Martin Rickman
So, what's the verdict on the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks' new uniforms?
The MAC program released photos of its revamped set of jerseys and helmets on Thursday, and the reviews are mixed in Campus Union's (metaphorical) writers' room. To better serve our readers, Zac Ellis and Martin Rickman debated the RedHawks' latest wardrobe statement.
Zac: So, how do you feel about these obviously magnificent uniforms? (That's a leading questions, but I don't care.)
Martin: There's certainly a lot going on. It's a lot to take in and I'm not sure my ADD-riddled brain can handle it. The jerseys are crisp, and I'm cool with that, but as my friend Rodger Sherman pointed out, when the players are in a stance, it looks like it just says MIMI. Not that I have a problem with that, since I do co-host a podcast about the legendary '80s educational program featuring Ben Affleck about the seafaring vessel. I think the problem I'm having with this new getup is the helmet. The MIAMI around the back looks cheap and like something I would've done in create-a-team mode on NCAA Football (RIP) when I was in middle school. It's like how you make an avatar in NBA Live and you give the guy every tattoo and band possible -- arm, head, knee, finger, elbow -- because you can. Oh, and make the shoes yellow. Why not?
Zac: There's little argument from my end about a lot going on with these uniforms. But isn't that the beauty of them? The shoulder pads, I'd argue, are an advantage to the entire MAC, because they nearly spell out MIAMI letter-by-letter, especially when facing opposing linemen. And let's be honest, if academics is what these programs are all about (the student comes before athlete!), a little on-field spelling practice ain't a bad thing. But seriously, can I get an amen for these helmets? Am I the only one who sees flames engulfing these domes rather than supposed RedHawks? The helmets are obviously metaphors for a phoenix-like program rising from the ashes of a four-win season in 2012. It's a motivating factor every time a RedHawk covers his noggin with one of these gems. Tell me you wouldn't be afraid of facing 11 people wearing these unis ...
Are those RedHawks or searing flames? And does it even really matter? (Courtesy of RedHawks athletics)
Martin: I'm not afraid of them at all. I'm just not. But I've never been afraid of Miami in anything since it adopted 'RedHawks' as a name. Look, the jersey itself is great, if it's a bit too understated. The chrome numbers are a nice touch. I'd like for the MIMI to come off the shoulder pads, the helmets to come down in intensity a bit and some of that fiery blaze to make its way to the shoulder pads instead. That said, Miami has to do something to get noticed, and we're sitting here breaking down the uniforms. Good on you, Oxford.
Zac: The helmets could come down a notch, if for no other reason than the impending glare from the sun that's inevitable during those steamy noon kickoffs. There's an NCAA violation in there somewhere, possibly for gaining an illegal edge with equipment, I'd assume, not unlike pine tar on a baseball bat. I guess one way for the RedHawks to gain national attention is to vacate a season's worth of victories. But the helmet design still provides an unforgettable image coming right at you, one that will be seared into the minds of Miami's opponents right before they're trucked by a RedHawk linebacker. Their eyes will still be burning, and I don't mean figuratively.
Martin: If you're going to vacate a season's worth of victories go out there and play nude by calling your uniforms invisible. That'll get the NCAA's attention, and imagine the escapability factor.
Zac: You're forgetting the marketing side of the equation, though. Miami wants a packed house of 25,000 fans at Yager Stadium decked head-to-toe in chrome phoenix burning RedHawk outfits. That's part of the allure of these jerseys. Plus, TV games would be few and far between with a field full of nudes on Saturday afternoons -- or would they?
Martin: You want #MACtion? What is more #MACtion than the honesty of a team full of birthday suits? Hey, it might not work, but it might, and that's all that matters. Until then, yeah, I guess these uniforms work OK.