Boston College and the Wounded Warrior Project will team up this weekend to honor current and veterans of military service for their baseball series against the Maryland Terrapins. Under Armour will provide American flag uniforms and caps and team up with local veterans as part of a 1:30 PM game, as per the Boston College athletics website.
As part of the project, the Eagles will host a number of events catering to those who've bravely fought for our country. Local military veterans will compete against Boston College in a charity softball game on Thursday before the weekend series with the Terps kicks off. That game is slated for 3:30 and fans are invited to attend.
That'll serve as the kickoff event to the baseball weekend. Retired Army Staff Sgt Erick Millette will throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Saturday as members of the Boston College athletics department unfurl an American flag across the outfield. The Boston College ROTC will present the colors, and a raffle will take place featuring four tickets to a Red Sox game and a VIP pre-game tour of Fenway Park.
This is a great gesture between Boston College, Maryland, and the Wounded Warrior Project, no doubt spearheaded by Under Armour. UA has a special relationship with the WWP, and they've done marvelous charity work to honor soldiers who bravely fought and served our country, defending our freedom against any and all threats to the United States of America.
I can't support this gesture enough, and I'm hoping my schedule will allow me to attend as many events this weekend as possible.
My only complaint about the weekend, though, is the uniform. I know that Under Armour is the sponsor for both the Eagles and Terrapins, and I know that UA is known for its outside the box unis. They've run the Freedom uniforms out several times over the past couple of years, most notable for a baseball game last year and for a football game at BC a couple of years back. They created the "passion" uniform for Maryland football that featured the state flag looking like it fell out of an Alice in Wonderland movie.
But the uniform in baseball and throughout college is sacred. The American flag is beyond sacred - to me, at least. To combine the two in a garish way is partially desecrating to both sides. I am all for unfurling a giant American flag and doing whatever we can to help the troops. I'm very much pro-military, and I am humbled by all the work they've done. When I go to sleep at night, it's under a blanket of freedom provided by men and women saying, "Nothing's going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch."
That doesn't change these uniforms though. The Freedom uniforms feel like something that belongs with South Carolina football, not Boston College baseball. The BC baseball team is not very good, and the feelings of patriotism and war are not something that can be thrown around liberally in the northeast. If they'd perhaps provided this on Patriots Day, it would've felt different.
The uniforms are garish at best, and the design is flawed when trying to illicit patriotism. It's something that needs to be handled with class and subtlety. The "red bandanna" game by the men's lacrosse club team is a perfect example; once a year, the team wears red bandannas under their helmet in tribute to 9/11 hero Welles Remy Crowther. The Red Sox "Boston Strong" uniform is another prime example of a classy take, switching the home uniform to say "Boston" instead of "Red Sox" while putting the "B Strong" logo over the heart of the uniform. Slathering a ripped American flag all over the shoulder yokes of the jersey is something that doesn't illicit patriotism.
Couple that with the following fact: Northwestern football took some heated criticism this year for what appeared to be "blood stains" on their WWP uniform ahead of a game against Michigan. UA got slammed on its Facebook account and in social media. They clarified their interpretation of the red spattered slashes it by saying that it resembled a "proud design" of a flag that's flown throughout the years. Regardless, this is still something that needs to be mentioned.
If nothing else, these uniforms will at least be auctioned off for the WWP. So regardless, at least these uniforms will go to a good cause. And anything we can do for the troops really should be done. So I guess I can't be that mad about them in the end.
Best of luck to the Eagles this weekend, and thank you to our troops for all that they do to serve this great nation!