For some reason, the University of Massachusetts has always had an awkwardly tough time in the branding department.
There was that whole Grey Wolves fiasco, the oddly Patriotic helmets, and, of course, the greatest battle of them all: UMass-Amherst vs. UMass. With football making the upgrade, fans of the Maroon and White have been cautiously wondering: “What are we going to look like when we run out on the field next year?”
The Spring Game did’t exactly serve as a turf runway for next season’s fashion. The jerseys still had the CAA emblem on them, and the helmets still had the Aquafresh Rainbow that UMass fans have come to understandably dislike. My friends and I threw around ideas on the ride home: all black uniforms, a big maroon M on the helmet, and my contribution – muskets on either side of the helmet, much like the Florida State spear.
It sounds like the athletic department is starting to make some moves.
I recently heard that UMass was discussing new helmet ideas. Apparently a third-party consultant is working on the rebrand, and the athletic department had a number of concept pictures with designs including variations of the UM logo, muskets (maroon, hopefully) and patriotic flags.
Out of the gates, I really hope that any patriotic flag idea is taken out back and shot with the most accurate musket that Sam the Minuteman can find.
Ideally, UMass will do something simple but stylish. The Minutemen cannot continue looking like a FCS team when it plays its first FBS schedule. Several of its MAC counterparts (See: Ohio and Eastern Michigan) have altered their uniforms in a way that is both modern and traditional – a delicate balance that several programs have bungled.
I’m not exactly a fashion aficionado, but I have always liked the maroon jersey with black pants. I think that combination, with a new-and-improved helmet (don’t sleep on my musket idea) would be a quick fix with some staying power.
I’m interested to know what you guys think. Throw some ideas at us here, on Twitter or via our e-mail address. I promise this will be one of the few times we talk about fashion and color schemes – that’s not really my thing. The only other time I might get into it is when I talk about how impossible it is to buy a UMass jersey.
But that’s another issue all together.