Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dissecting Auburn's Uniforms: Football


For the bye week, instead of doing some uniform preview post, I have a special treat. Today, I will be dissecting the football uniforms worn by the Auburn Tigers. There's a lot more than you think that goes in to these, and a lot has changed over the last few years. Let's get to it.



 
For the past 50+ years, Auburn has always worn the same style of uniforms. Northwestern Stripes (is what they are called in the uniform world. You can read about them here, but you may have to scroll down) don the entire uniform, from the helmet, shoulders, and to pants (I’ll save the “all stripes should match” argument for another day. By the way, no they shouldn’t…). If you look at pictures from as late as the early 90s, you will notice that these stripes, along with the numbers, are screen printed. Around the late 90s and early 2000s, the numbers were permanently upgraded to the tackle twill numbers that don nearly every uniform nowadays. The stripes are still screen sprinted to this day, but are a much better quality than the old days.

Today's uniforms are even different from what Auburn wore in 2010. Auburn and Under Armour signed their new contract in December of 2005, and the first set of uniforms were pretty bulky. Ever since then, around 2007 or so, Auburn has worn the same cut style. Look at any picture of Cam Newton when he wore the orange and blue. Look closely at the details. Take this picture, the white jersey makes it very easy to see. The entire shoulder area are closed and fully cloth. The side panels are exactly the same. From the chest all the way down to the hem are an open mesh design. The shoulder stripes are screen printed on, but to a much better quality than what you'll find on the retail versions you see any little kid (or old man for that) wearing around campus on gameday.

The pants from the 2007-10 era were the very basic model from Under Armour. Nothing more than the typical stitching patterns and pad places. That's about all to say on those.

One of the most notable changes have been the SEC patch. Up until the 2012 season, all SEC teams wore a pennant logo. Ever since, all teams have worn the current circular logo. It seems as though the SEC unofficially retired the pennant logo. I have no confirmed information on that, but you wont see the older logos nowadays.

Look at what Auburn has worn ever since the National Championship game. We've all seen the complaints about it. The numbers were basically un-bolded, and were a lot skinnier than normal. The nameplates were also made skinnier, which people blamed on Lutzenkirchen. The stitching patterns have also changed, for there is no more mesh area. Everything is basically the same as the shoulder area on the old uniforms. There are now two lines of stitching on the shoulder area on the front and back. The top of these two lines has resulted in the shoulder stripes becoming truncated and being somewhat squished. The bottom line makes the SEC logo and Under Armour logo very close together. Currently, the numbers are a bit bigger than before, yet still smaller than the pre-2010 uniforms. The nameplates have also been enlarged slightly.

Then the pants were the biggest gripe. "WAR EAGLE" was added on the back of the pants, right below the belt, what a lot of people called "tramp stamps". The tramp stamp has since been removed for the 2013 season. The stitching of the pants (which you can see perfectly with Maryland) were completely changed for the 2011 season. The stitching pattern messed up the pant stripe, adding a very odd tapering effect. If you look at any of Under Armour's other teams that they outfit, and look at their pants, you'll notice that they all wear the same pant style. So don't expect these to be changed for at least another year or two.

What has driven a lot of people crazy have been the truncated pant stripes. Listen to me, this is NOT an Under Armour/Auburn design change. This is an Under Armour stitching change. Look at any other UA team, and you’ll notice that they wear the same pants. Maryland (what is to Under Armour as Oregon is to Nike) has worn new pants a few times throughout the year already, and they all look the same as these. Colorado State switched to UA this offseason, and they have these pants as well. They even have a truncated pant stripe! Why would a company like Under Armour give teams like Maryland, their experimenting program (the owner of UA was a Maryland football player and ultimately hated how workout clothes fit and didn’t work), and Colorado State, a new team under their banner, a style of pants that would eventually be outdated? They wouldn’t. So expect another year or two at least with these pants. After UA designs a new pair, then we will more than likely see the pants stripe back to normal.

As far as accessories go, they’ve always been pretty toned down until recently. When Auburn made it to the National Championship game, Under Armour whipped up some new design shoes and gloves. And they were pretty proud of them. Until the 2012 Chik-fil-A Bowl, Auburn had always used the very simple, templatic glove designs that anyone could pick up at their local sporting goods store. For the 2012 CFA Bowl Game, Under Armour broke out some new gloves and the guys (and me) loved them. Now, for the 2013 season, Auburn has another design of gloves. These are actually mine!

When Cam played here, he wore an Under Armour visor, with two orange and blue UA logos on the visor flaps. For the 2012 season, someone decided to change it up for whatever reason and go with on UA logo and one AU logo. In 2013, for the game at Texas A&M, Auburn broke out new arm sleeves. Similar to a basketball player’s shooting sleeve, but these have no padding on the elbow. These new sleeves carry the Northwestern stripes that are throughout the rest of the uniform (by the way, Under Armour LOVES these stripes. Just look at the basketball teams.).

So that does it for the football uniforms. I hope you learned something new regarding all this information. I plan on doing a “Dissecting Auburn Uniforms” feature for the men’s basketball team at least. I would love to do baseball and women’s basketball, along with as many other teams as I possibly can.

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Check back next week as we finish up the regular season for football with the Auburn-Alabama Uniform Preview!

 
War Eagle!

+Auburn Athletics

5 comments:

  1. Great article by the way. How did you manage to get your hands on a pair of gloves?

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    1. Thank you, I appreciate that. How'd I get a pair? Student Section! I sit right behind the goal posts and after the games the players will throw their gloves, towels, wristbands, etc., up to the stands. I caught a wristband from my buddy Jonathon Wallace and another friend of mine grabbed two gloves and gave them to me.

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  2. I've been wanting one of those new arm sleeves!

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  3. I feel the stadium gloves should be available for purchase, I don't think its right that our rivals have their gloves available and we don't.

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    1. It's simply Nike having the ability and will to milk more money out of fans than that of UnderArmour. Not really a team-by-team deal.

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