Minnesota unveiled a variety of new uniform combinations on Tuesday with the intention of “embracing the past to create the future.”
The Gophers will debut three new Nike jerseys (maroon, white and anthracite (gray)), three helmets (maroon, white and shiny/chrome gold) and four pants (maroon, white, gold and anthracite), as well as a variety of different shoes, socks and facemasks that could create more than 100 potential combinations during the 2018 season, the school told TwinCities.com.
The jerseys will include several new additions, including head coach P.J. Fleck’s “Row the Boat” manthra, the school’s “Ski-U-Mah” cheer, a boat and compass in the players’ jersey numbers and bricks to signify former head coach Jerry Kill’s “brick by brick” slogan.
According to TwinCities.com, the uniforms were designed by Nike’s Josh Iverson, who was responsible for the team’s threads worn from 2012-17.
This is an obvious desperation cry by a team coming off a 5-7 season to build excitement for the upcoming season.
Maybe it’s the cynical Tennessee fan in me coming off five years of Butch Jones, but gimmicky offseason football tactics will not equal wins.
You don’t see Alabama pulling stunts like this because it doesn’t have to. However, a coach entering his second season after finishing sixth in the Big Ten West is much more inclined to not only spew catchphrases, but also put them all over his team’s uniforms.
But let’s ignore the fact that “Row the Boat” itself is hokey. Having a beaver tail shaped like an oar on a helmet or putting bricks, boats and compasses in jersey numbers is terrible itself.
At least the chrome gold helmets look cool. Otherwise everything else just reeks of desperation and looks horrendous.
But it’s not like Minnesota will be in many primetime national television slots anyway, so it’s unlikely most people outside of the fanbase will even see the new uniforms.