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Review of Michigan State’s Nike Pro Combat Uniforms - Spartan Jerseys
Football players gathering in the tunnel prior to a home game at Spartan Stadium
Football players gathering in the tunnel prior to a home game at Spartan Stadium

Review of Michigan State’s Nike Pro Combat Uniforms

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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.


12 Responses to “Review of Michigan State’s Nike Pro Combat Uniforms”

  • Kyle:

    I liked them overall, except for the black. I'm a big believer that no team should wear black unless it's their team color. I had no idea about the history of Michigan State so just assumed they were jumping on the "black uniform" bandwagon. Thanks for clearing that up for me!

  • PaulS:

    Michigan State? Looks more like Wayne State to me.

  • JT Orlando:

    I don't care whether or not someone SAYS they're "bronze" helmets. They LOOK gold, and I think they would have been far more effective to be silver. Plus, introducing gold, er, "bronze" helmets on Notre Dame week seems singularly tone-deaf. As for uniform tradition — perhaps there is inconsistency in uniform DESIGN, but uniform COLORS certainly ARE a tradition in the same vein as ND and Alabama. Even Oregon kept their basic colors (except for adding black and gray) … all of which is to say that I have far less of a problem with black pants than I do with the gold, er, "bronze" helmet.

    Count me in the minority that hates 'em … although hearing about the history of bronze for MSU, I'm willing to reserve just a little judgment until I see them on the field.

  • GrimGraham:

    Hope it never hits the field ever~!` Because I like tradition and pride~!` It's not about how many jersey we can make to make money for nike~!` Stop exploiting MSU, and Michigan, change the football jersey for fans to buy in the store they should never be worn on the field~!`

  • MAKendal:

    Way beyond ugly!! Yuck!!

  • MKR:

    They look like Oregon Duck uniforms. Where is the Spartan Green and White????? Where the heck did the gold, bronze, whatever metallic color that is come from? Awful.

  • c rhodes:

    did the 'new' color combine cause all the stupid personal fouls??? a win is a win [note MSU v Alabama 1/1/11].
    get back to class play, a class program, and first class appearance!

  • psportel:

    Our school colors are green and white! When I first saw the prototype I thought they looked pretty cool. On the field…not so much. I now understand the "bronzish" helmet color. I don't have as big of a problem with the helmets as I do with the black pants; they should be white, at least.

  • DDO:

    The colors were hideous. The shoes looked like they were lacking the little wings the FTD florist man wears to deliver flowers. GO GREEN! GO WHITE!!!

  • Dan:

    No, we do not need to think of ourselves as being in the same league as Oregon. They are an upstart team, totally dependent on Nike for funding, marketing etc. F that noise.

  • Kevin:

    I am in no way shpe of form a fan of Mich State. But these were the best Nike Ar Combet uniforms to date. They speak to the Spartan heritage more than just school colors. Sparty fans should be proud instead of mocking the uniform. Sure beats the electric light show Georgia and espicially Boise has become.

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