I LOVE the subject of today’s commentary. BECAUSE, I can take either side of the debate and defend that position. ….. We explore the tricky conundrum of Big Time College Sports “marketing”. In designing the various elements of a major college Football or Basketball program, which demographic’s opinion takes precedent? ….. Huuumm?
The University of Missouri Athletics Dept recently radically redesigned their sports logo…. their helmet design…. and their various uniforms. Long time season ticket-holder were outraged. High volume hues and cries resounded off the legendary Columns (Their Old Well).
Yep, the ones you saw during Christmas In Shreveport have been mothballed.
“How Dare You?” roared the old grads, the decades-long tailgaters and deep-pocketed Tiger boosters. Mizzou board monkeys knee-jerked into pitchforks & torches mode as is the custom of all board monkeys.
Head FB Coach Gary Pinkel was nonplussed (whatever that means). “These new designs have enormous appeal to the young men we are trying to attract to play football (and basketball) for Mizzou. We tested these designs with 17-18 y/o kids we are recruiting and ‘They love them’.” Case closed. Gary Pinkel is paid to win a high % of football games.
“As we enter the SEC, the competition to recruit the very best athletes we possibly can will be greater than ever before. To win, we need every advantage we can generate. These new uniform designs will give us an advantage we did not have with the previous ‘old-fashioned’ design. If these new uniforms help us “win”, I believe the dissenters will quickly quiet down.”
Is Gary Pinkel correct?
The Univ of Oregon has proven that theory. According to none other than the recently expelled Butcher of Kenan, the Oregon uniform website is among the most popular sites with Young African-American males. YAAMs make up a very high % of the most sought-after “blue-chip recruits”.
YAAMs love the radical new Oregon uni-styles every bit as much as “old grads” and “traditionalists” do not like them. Old grads at major BCS conference schools tend to be MAWGs – Middle Aged White Guys.
YAAMs and MAWGs have very divergent tastes in clothing, music and, well, pretty much everything.
Two years ago, soon after Young Marvin started tweeting on a grand scale, yours truly wrote an incredibly insightful column on this dichotomy: The gladiators on the floor of the arena and the ticket-buying throngs filling the seats and suites live in two quite different worlds – and n’er the twain gwinna meet.
Young and Old have always clashed over “tastes”…. Rock & Roll, The Beatles, bellbottoms, hippies, et al. Now the ethnic divide is added in with the age divide.
Prior to the Butch House o’ Cards tumbling down…. SPLATT – What was the #1 controversy of The Butch Era? I’ll remind you.
Those all-navy unis at the FlaSt Thursday night game.
It’s been what – 4 years – and that sore subject still comes up. The all-navy unis AND “Butch doesn’t wear C-Blue on the sidelines”. There IS a sizable contingent of avid Carolina fans who take uniforms and colors pretty darn seriously. Lets not even discuss those horrid gray things that Royz Boyz wore on Senior Nite.
Butch, of course, never gave a tinker’s damn what any Carolina fan thought about anything UNTIL he had to go into Emergency Suck-Up Mode when his sorry arse was set on fire by a certain geeky former Chemistry prof.
The Butcher gambled that if he recruited enough Marvins he would win enough games to drown out the whiners. Marvins have waaaay different tastes than your garden-variety MAWG sitting on Kenan aluminum on Fall Saturdays.
Was Butcher correct?
As I say up top, I could argue he was absolutely right. Whether its Mizzou, Carolina, Oregon or ______ ; Winning and it’s bragging rights is all that matters to a sizable faction in any fan base. That faction has already compromised the bejebbers out of “academic intgrity”.
Its 2012; and Blue-chippers like FUBU.
FUBU stands for For Us By Us and is a very popular urban market clothing brand. “Urban”, in addition to being Mrs Meyer’s husband name, is a synonym for YAAMs.
What matters to you? Yesterday’s traditions ….. or Today’s bragging rights?
…. Traditions that might have mattered to you as a YWM or YWF in your matriculation in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and even 5-6 years ago don’t mean squat to today’s YAAMs being recruited. “Your” uniforms, school songs, cheers, band music, pre-game ceremonies, et al ad infinitum don’t mean diddly to Billy Blue-Chip. Don’t even think about Charles Freakin’ Kuralt and his dopey well, bell, wall blah blah blah.
What % of your school’s athletic traditions are you willing to discard, in order to attract the athletes most likely to bring you swaggering rites around the water cooler? THAT is what having a competitive BCS program has escalated to.
Billy Blue-Chip will figuratively / literally barter his athletic skills to whichever program best serves his primary objective – The NFL. FUBU-ish uniforms are part of the package. It’s your program’s package versus his “short list”. If Missouri is on his short list, they now have an advantage. Their uniforms were specifically designed for 2012 YAAMs. Not for what Choo Choo or Roman Gabriel wore or even what TJ Yates or Philip Rivers wore.
Blame Nike. Blame ESPN. Blame “the Internet”. Blame Karl Hess, Jim Knight and Johnny Swofford. Me? Of course I blame Dickie Baddour, Gene Nichol and Uncle Julius, but that’s just me.
Why are you a fan of your school?
Why do you give significant $$$ for the right to pay more $$$ for premium seats?
What might cause you to question your fan-ship?
Would a significant redesign of your school’s athletic uniforms and overall athletic traditions affect your enthusiasm?
Why…. Why Not?
The Price of BCS Poker continues to rise higher and higher.