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Maryland's new motto: Win ugly

September 07, 2011
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

Time out, time out, we can still do something about this before we get too much further into the season. It’s just been one weekend, so we can stop the madness now. Please, let’s all go back to normal football uniforms before something happens that we all regret — if it hasn’t happened already.

I confess to feeling an uneasy twinge in the pit of my stomach Saturday night when the University of Georgia Bulldogs took the field wearing uniforms that made their offensive line look like 300-pound cardinals. Red on red might play in some Division II school in the Northwest, but this is the Southeast Conference. You don’t want to go out there looking like your mom just stitched together your youth-football uniforms out of last year’s pajamas.

All that was missing was a plate of brownies and lipstick from mamma’s good-luck kiss on the forehead. Sheesh. And, of course, this will come as horrible news to Nike, which must think that the uniforms are the baddest thing going, because it named them the “Pro Combat” series.

Right. It might look like Pro Combat to Nike, but to me it looked like they probably had little trap doors in the rear ends. And for all I know, they had little feet sewn into the pants, but I couldn’t tell because my low-tech TV totally couldn’t handle the contrast, and all I could make out was 11 mango-colored blobs running around the field and getting waxed by the school from Potato Land.

But that aside, I would in all seriousness like to thank the University of Maryland for answering that age-old question: “What would it look like if a yellow jacket and a bloodworm hit your windshield at the exact same time?”

You have two sets of thinking on Maryland’s new uniforms which basically fall into two distinct camps: 1. Maryland fans. 2. Everyone else.

Even the Maryland fans who allege fealty to the Jackson Pollock-on acid threads felt the need to offer up apologies, or at least justification for them.

Apology No. 1 has it that it glorifies Maryland’s state flag. Well, OK. I guess. Let’s just hope South Carolina doesn’t get wind of that strategy, or we would have Civil War II on our hands.

Apology No. 2 holds that they were designed by Under Armour, whose founder is a University of Maryland alum.

Look, I love Under Armour. Nothing better in the winter if you’re the outdoors type. But I don’t care if John the Baptist graduated from Maryland, that would be no excuse for him to hose down everyone who tunes in to watch a game on a Monday night.

Apology No. 3 is that Maryland is about the most bland football program in America (the Iowa State of the East), and it needed to create some sizzle to attract recruits that might otherwise never give the Terps a second look.

I understand this reasoning, I do. I know that these uniforms are not aimed at you and me, they are aimed at 17-year-old boys with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. I’m just not sure that all these primo athletes all want to look like Bumblebee Man from The Simpsons.

Maybe Maryland’s plan is a good one, and the uniforms will perform come recruiting time.

But in the immortal words of  Car and Driver, when evaluating the old, bizarrely styled Monte Carlo: “The car may perform admirably enough, but for every person who drives one, 10,000 will have to look at it, and no car could perform well enough to justify that.”

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant at www.herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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