When I sat down at my desk this morning with my cup of coffee ready to go, I nearly spit out my hazelnut blend all over my screen when I saw this headline pop up from College Football Talk; Tar Heels uniform refresh includes argyle patterns on unis, helmets. I had heard rumors of this being a possibility, so I naturally had some concern about it becoming a reality. But as I try to always do, I waited until I saw the finished product before offering an official thumbs up or thumbs down.
Somehow, UNC and Nike pulled it off quite admirably.
Rather than establish a brand new identity as an athletics program the way Nike has done with programs like Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona State in the past, Nike and UNC made the incredibly wise decision to stick to the roots of the program and keep a familiar look with some minor touches. And these touches are excellent. Let’s take a look at the traditional Carolina blue uniform, from head to toe…
Keep in mind the helmet is not actually official, but I certainly hope the program sticks with that helmet design. There is no need to mess with that helmet, but I’ll get to that later. At first glance, you can’t see much different about this uniform, and that is why Nike did UNC well here. It is not really until you get a chance to inspect the uniform up a little closer when you start to see the special touch of design Nike put on this uniform.
Check out the top of the jersey, with its argyle collar…
The argyle is there, and there is nothing about it that looks out of place. This works. We also get a closer look at the contrast between the number, the outline of the number and the color of the jersey. I have absolutely nothing to complain about here. The argyle also appears down the legs on the pants…
Once again, this is a subtle design element and it does nothing to take away from the overall attractiveness of the uniform. This is an excellent look for the Tar Heels.
Now, what about the road uniform?
Once again we’ll keep in mind UNC says the helmet is not yet official, but UNC has taken up the alternate white helmet in recent years so I feel safe in guaranteeing we see a white helmet worn with this style of uniform on a regular basis (and perhaps with the home uniform). While I tend to roll my eyes at alternate white helmets, UNC makes them work like no other school out there. As for the uniform itself, we see the same features on display on the uniform, with the color of the jersey and the uniform number swapping. It is good to see UNC use that lighter shade of blue for the numbers after those atrocities last season (helmet not included). UNC keeps it simple, and the result is magnificent. I would probably prefer to see UNC wear the white jersey with the light blue pants worn with the home uniform, but I imagine we’ll see UNC mix and match uniform combos.
The argyle aspects are again featured around the collar and down the pants. You cannot see that on the white pants in this photo, but the argyle does pop out a little more on the jersey. No complaints here.
Why did you have to do this UNC? You were doing so well with this whole uniform and brand refresh, and then you dump these alternate black uniforms into the mix? There is no creativity here. There is nothing unique about a black uniform anymore. There is no standing out when you wear black. If there is no black in your school colors, then there is absolutely no reason to be suiting up in an alternate black uniform. Surely this would be made complete with the black UNC helmet.
I’m still going to give UNC a thumbs up for this overall uniform refresh, but there is no way I’m going to give the alternate black uniform any praise. Ever.
Leave your rating for these new uniforms below using the star ranking. And feel free to leave your comments as well.