If you have read the the internet today, you know that the world is ending tomorrow, and that blogs have found a day's worth of content from the event. This blog, endeavoring to cover year-round a sport that lasts approximately 13 weekends in fall, is no better. While we remain quite certain that there are going to be several disappointed people tomorrow wandering around with their apocalypse signs aimlessly until finally deciding to go to the Olive Garden, you can never rule anything out 100%.
Should the world end, I think we're all owed an apology from David Brandon, who according to the freep is planning on subjecting us to this throwback jersey for the ND game this year:
The question, of course, is throw-back to what exactly? Michigan has never worn anything similar to these with the exception of maybe the sweaters found here with a block-M on the front:
What is missing from the above, of course, is the stripes on the shoulder. But wait! What say you, NCAA rule book?
Rule 1-4-4-f on page FR-33:
Clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals on one jersey at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, of a color in distinct contrast with the jersey.
So yeah, unless there's an 8 inch number in maize on that prototype above, I doubt those are the actual jerseys in question. There has been some speculation that there might be an 8 inch number on the "shoulder" portion of the jersey, FWIW. At least Brandon doesn't pull his punches about the purposes of this jersey. From the article:
Last week, athletic director Dave Brandon told a meeting of the state's sports editors that U-M intended to hold a nighttime unveiling of the jersey this summer and that U-M hoped fans would purchase a lot of jerseys, as they did for the Big Chill last winter.
The purpose of these faux-throwback jerseys are to...sell more jerseys. This is almost certainly happening, so there is very little productive complaining that we can do except to say that this whole thing feels a little cheap. I mean, isn't the appeal of Notre Dame vs. Michigan the fact that two teams who have been around since there was no forward pass are still playing each other? The entire endeavor is a throwback; to invent jerseys in a transparent effort to make it "more throwback" (or something?) that only serve to increase 2011 merch sales is stupid.
I have no problem with throwback jerseys per se, but I do have a problem when the said throwback jerseys aren't a throwback to anything in particular and the expressed purpose of the non-throwback is to make money on jersey sales. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Among the many disappointments should the world end tomorrow, not finding out how this plays out will rank right up there with what will happen to Jim Tressel and whether Chuck and Blair will ever patch up their differences and realize they are meant for each other.