Boston College football coach Steve Addazio made the rounds on the ESPN family of networks on Tuesday. When not being asked by Tim Tebow, he hit on a wide range of topics about Boston College football, everything from the Boston Marathon bombings and the cancelled spring game to the type of offense, defense and special teams we can expect from the 2013 Eagles.
One of his first answers on College Football Live caught my attention. When BC grad and host Joe Tessitore asked Addazio what the master plan is to get back to when the program was consistently winning? Emphasis mine.
"First off you gotta recruit. You gotta recruit. You gotta bring in great players. You've got to have an energy about your recruiting and have a buzz and excitement around your program. Secondly, you've got to develop your players. The players you have on your team, you have to develop them fundamentally, you've got to develop physical and mental toughness. I think third you have to be able to develop a team concept. The team. You win with the team and you are accountable to your teammates and accountable to each other. I think that's really, really important. There's great players but how many great teams are out there that rely upon each other? I think you want to excite your fanbase and energize your alumni. And then win."
It is Addazio's third point -- the team concept -- that he plans on implementing on the Eagles' 2013 football uniforms. Addazio told fans during his chat on SportsNation that Boston College is "going to take our names off of the back of the jerseys, so we stand as one."
My initial thought was the name plates on the back of the jersey were far too small to be seen on television anyway so no big. The more I thought about this though, the more I like it.
Interesting to note that Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien just went in the opposite direction for the start of the 2012 season, bucking tradition by adding names to the back of the Nittany Lions jerseys to let fans "know and recognize these young men." Unlike Penn State, however, no names on the back of jerseys isn't a long-standing tradition at Boston College.
Names started to appear on the jerseys around the 1972-73 season and lasted all the way through the 70s and 80s until Tom Coughlin took over in 1991. Coughlin removed the names from jerseys, which lasted through the Henning years and the first few O'Brien years before the rebranding for the 2001 season. Names have donned the back of the football uniform since 2001.*
Even if not traditional, I like this concept and the values that Addazio is trying to instill in the team. If anything, I think this speaks to where Addazio falls on the traditionalist / minimalist vs. modern football uniform scale (the same side that I happen to be on).
With the team shedding name plates on the back of the football uniforms, here are five other suggestions for uniform tweaks in 2013.
1. Put the eagle back on the sleeve. The two most successful teams of the last 20 years both had one of the school's Eagle logos on the sleeve -- here and here. Since the profile Eagle head logo needs to be destroyed never to be seen again -- KILL IT WITH FIRE -- I'd favor putting the school's alternate Eagle logo back on the sleeve as they had before the uniforms were Under Armour-ized for the start of the 2007 season.
2. Remove the stained glassing of the shoulders. You can't make out the pattern on TV and the only purpose this serves is to ruin otherwise acceptable replica football jerseys. You won't catch me dead wearing the white replica jersey if for no other reason than the stain glassing makes it look completely off. Just a case where Under Armour took a decent concept and promptly proceeded to drown it in the Reservoir.
3. Single stripe pants. At some point down the line, the number of stripes on the pants began to exceed the number of stripes on the helmet. The current designs don't even match with either primary helmet. I don't get it. What's so bad about a single, maroon stripe down the pant leg?
4. Road, triple-striped stained glass helmets. Donate all of these with proceeds benefitting The One Fund Boston and never wear these again. Never ever. The only acceptable helmets to be worn on Saturdays are:
1) single, maroon stripe helmet
2) single, maroon stripe helmet
3) single, maroon stripe helmet
If you want to get crazy, wear the 80s throwbacks sans helmet stripe. For the helmet, less continues to be more.
5. Change the number font. Nowadays every program has its own special font, consistent across all the different logos, word marks and uniforms. The problem with this is that a fan base can very quickly tire of any given font, especially one as italicized as Boston College's. UA got rid of the slanted uniform numbers, which was a welcome change, but what's so wrong with some old timey block letters here?
* History lesson with a huge assist from CoachJF