On Wednesday, Boston College officially announced that the football team will wear custom-made uniforms for Saturday's game versus Maryland. The new threads are part of Under Armour's UA Freedom initiative, developed to help raise awareness and support for our nation's military and public safety officials.
Each year, Under Armour creates new uniforms in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that provides programs and services for injured service members and their families. Hawaii is the other team participating in this year's UA Freedom initiative, wearing the patriotic uniforms during their November 24 matchup with UNLV.
Since Complex.com first reported this story a few weeks back, we've gotten a better idea of some of the other design details, including customized cleats, gloves and helmets. Players have posted pics of the cleats on Twitter. BC Athletics Instagram account snapped this pic of Kasim Edebali donning the UA Freedom top. Here's the back of Edebali's jersey, rocking the "Honor" value. To pay tribute to all veterans, players will be ditching the last names on the back of their jerseys with a core value declaration - Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country or Service.
The numbers are red with a U.S. flag pattern. One shoulder has the stars and the other the red stripes. It looks like both shoulders still have the gold stained glass pattern underneath the American flag pattern.
As I said when these originally came out, I love the concept. I don't love the execution. I get that recruits and players love these. The general reaction from both the players and recruits has been extremely positive which, of course, is a good thing. The tribute to our nation and the veterans who serve to protect it is wonderful and the unis are for a great cause (the Wounded Warrior Project).
All that said, I don't really care for these uniforms. Here are some thoughts / critique of Boston College's UA Freedom initiative uniforms. Leave your own in the comments.
My biggest gripe with these uniforms is there is virtually nothing that is distinctively Boston College about them. Other than the words "Boston College" plastered across the front in small, UA back-of-jersey-last-name font, these uniforms could be worn by any other football team across the country. All you have to do is replace "Boston College" with YOUR SCHOOL HERE across the front.
Also would have been cool if UA went with the old Betsy Ross flag over the current U.S. flag, given Boston's importance in the American Revolution. This would have been something a little more unique to differentiate these from every other year's UA Freedom initiative uniforms.
Did the tops have to be white? Have the Eagles ever worn white at home before? Sounds like you'd have to go back more than 35 year to find a case where it happened. If it ever happened. The thought of watching BC wear white tops at home this weekend just seems odd. Hawaii is wearing what appears to be navy tops -- also not a school color. Not sure why BC's tops couldn't have been maroon and Hawaii's black. You know, actual school colors.
There's some sort of pattern underneath both the stars and the stripes? Is that necessary? Just seems too busy.
At first glance, there's nothing too special about the pants. They appear to be all white pants with a special WWP UA logo and the BC logo. But if you look at Hawaii's WWP pants, you'll note stars and stripes trim on the back of the legs. My guess is the Eagles pants will have a similar pattern.
Don't really care for the tops or the pants. The gloves, however, are awesome.
Which brings us to the helmets. Cool, I guess? At least we are making progress, going from triple-striped helmets to double-striped helmets. One less stripe on the regular helmets and we'll be all set. I like that UA left the helmets largely untouched though, again, nothing very distinctive when it comes to picking these out of a helmet lineup. These helmets could just as easily be recycled and used by Army, Navy or Notre Dame and you won't know the difference.
Overall, I'd say my critique of Boston College's UA Freedom Initiative uniforms break down along three major talking points:
1) Nothing unique to Boston College about them
2) Nothing all that new about the design (seems like these are using a recycled 2011 Maryland Pride design)
3) Rocking white jerseys at home is just bizarre
I didn't totally love the gold alternate jerseys, but didn't hate them either. But now, eight games into the season and the Eagles are already on their sixth different uniform permutation this season and second new uniform. The whole thing just seems a little forced at this point. Of course it doesn't help that BC continues to lose ball games, but this just feels like a program without an identity. That lack of an identity starts at the top, but has now worked itself down into nearly every aspect of the program, including the uniforms.