Review of Michigan State’s Nike Pro Combat Uniforms
The highly anticipated Pro Combat Uniforms were unveiled last Tuesday to sky-high expectations from Spartan Nation.
Before we get into my review, we all need to remind ourselves of two things.
- First – it is an honor for the Michigan State football team to wear the Pro Combat Uniforms, with only the elite schools selected for the privilege to wear them.
- Second – Michigan State football does not have tradition with a consistent uniform design. We need to stop comparing ourselves to Notre Dame and Alabama and start thinking of ourselves in the same league as Oregon.
The reaction to the design of Michigan State’s Pro Combat Uniforms has been mostly positive. Over 800 readers of Spartan Jerseys gave the uniforms an A grade, more than any other grade combined. The reaction of the players via twitter was an overwhelming support of the design and even Mark Dantonio mentioned that he liked them in his weekly press conference. It also doesn’t hurt that they were seen on Yahoo Sports, ESPN and Washington Post.
Two months ago, I speculated that the design would be a throwback uniform due to Mark Dantonio’s comments in the original announcement. In reality, the unveiled design is a hybrid between a throwback uniform with questionable color selections and, as Michigan State’s online columnist Steve Grinczel put it, a “homage to their ancient Greek warrior namesake.”
Because of this, the uniforms require a lot of explaining. For example, those outside Spartan Nation continue to mistake the bronze color for gold and are scratching their heads wondering what gold has to do with Michigan State. The fact that “gold” needs to be corrected in every national review of the uniforms proves my point.
If Nike’s designers made the jersey black and the pants bronze, they would have made a true throwback design, directly resembling the style worn in 1934-1946. It was during this era when Michigan State beat Michigan four consecutive years in a row for the first time in history – an accomplishment the Spartans are trying to do again this year.
Incorporating a true throwback with the King Leonidas’ influence would have made it easier to answer all the surrounding questions by being able to point to the uniforms worn in our football history and the history of the Greek Spartans. These two changes would make these uniforms the best design among the nine schools in this year’s Pro Combat Uniform class.
I asked my readers on Spartan Jerseys to grade the uniforms and I will do the same. I give the uniforms a strong B. Positives include the helmet design and the King Leonidas elements. Criticisms include the color of the jersey and pants, the overall darkness of the jersey (black writing on dark green), and the confusion caused by the bronze color people are continuing to mistake for gold.
What do you think? Grade the design of the uniforms and share your thoughts below.