It’s time to schedule another town hall meeting.
Not to vent tensions about the Dempsey Report or to discuss the hiring of a new athletics director, but to begin the process of designing new uniforms for UC Davis’ football team.
The trend of NCAA teams coming up with creative and eye-catching jerseys is taking the nation by storm.
Oregon football’s now famous 384 different combinations of jerseys, helmets, and pants feature various shades of green, yellow, black, grey and white. The uniform choices have not only helped the Ducks look stylish on the field, but it has brought the university untold levels of publicity off it.
By contrast, UC Davis football can boast only two uniform combinations: gold helmets, gold pants and a choice of either white or Yale-blue jerseys.
While it is doubtful that the Aggies will ever be able to afford the wardrobe that the Ducks hold (after all, few universities receive the type of donations afforded to Oregon by Nike founder and Oregon graduate Phil Knight), even a less expensive change could make a huge difference for UC Davis’ reputation.
For example, the University of Maryland altered its uniforms this season to reflect the colors of the Maryland state flag.
While the choice to go with the half-red, half-yellow helmets and jerseys was an unmitigated fashion disaster, the change brought a great deal of national attention to an otherwise unremarkable Terrapin football team by giving it a distinctive flare.
On the other hand, the combination of gold helmets, dark-blue jerseys and gold pants are more likely to be associated with the Fighting Irish than the Aggies.
The Yale-blue and gold adorning every UC Davis uniform has been a part of the university for generations.
While I am not suggesting that the university abandon the school colors entirely, I would say that it’s time for a change.
It is rare to see students or alumni on campus or at a game wearing a UC Davis jersey.
A simple style change could make Aggie uniforms a fashionable style choice. Not only would this help the student body’s sense of school spirit, it could provide a significant source of revenue for the university as well, as expensive jerseys are sold during these hard economic times.
But what type of jersey should UC Davis be looking for?
A fashion statement like Maryland’s would seem ill-fitting for a university still trying to find its identity as a Division I program.
Instead, it might be appropriate for the Aggies to try something a little more subtle.
Adding a gold stripe running up the side of the jersey would break up the monotony of an all-blue jersey and adding lettering that reads UC Davis to the front or back would be a welcomed alteration. Even a return to the gold stripes on the sleeves that the Aggies wore as recently as 2008 would be a step in the right direction.
Beyond changing the current jersey, UC Davis should consider adding an alternate uniform as well.
A grey or black uniform would present a creative change of pace, and could be worn to commemorate special occasions, such as rivalry games or Parent and Family Weekend.
And the changes could go further than just the jersey: it should include the pants and helmet as well.
UC Davis’ current helmet sports a simple gold backdrop with just the Aggie athletic logo on each side.
All that is needed to improve this design would be a stripe down the middle or some slight additions to make the logo stand out.
As far as pants are concerned, UC Davis could benefit from adding a second pair, preferably white. Adding just a single extra pair of pants would greatly increase the jersey combinations, and could make the team more distinctive on the field.
And with the way this season is going, the Aggies need a new look and they need it in a hurry.
If you have ideas of how to change the football team’s uniforms, e-mail TREVOR CRAMER at email@example.com.