Today we tackle one of the most important topics in the history of Gamecock football – nay, all of college football – the uniform. South Carolina has worn every combination of garnet, black & white possible the last 118 years. And if they haven’t, then it’s a shame, because white helmets, black jerseys and garnet pants just might work…
Everyone has their opinion on helmets and jersey/pant combinations, and I’m here to tell you without a doubt what were the best Gamecock unis ever. So let’s get down to it.
First of all, you people with your graphics programs and WAY too much time on your hands (says the guy running the Gamecock sports blog), please STOP IT. We are never going to have helmets with a palmetto tree or some sort of claw on them.
Next, to those of you in the 2004 “black” camp – no, no, no, a thousand times NO. Unless you’re planning to start a new XFL team or just can’t get it in your head that the Miami Sharks aren’t real, let it go. The black uniforms were not “bad” or “cool”, and certainly did not intimidate a single opponent. Just ask Yusef Kelly.
Black helmets + any combination of white and black unis = worst idea ever. (As a Falcons fan I got a little misty when they wore the throwback Bartkowski unis last year. I miss them so.)
Now to narrow down the rest of the field:
The Rogers-era unis – good, but today’s translation of those probably result in our 2005 iteration. I like the larger block C, and garnet facemasks might be interesting.
JoMo-era unis – Good move to go to the garnet helmets, but never got the helmet striping quite right. The really loose jerseys are hard to watch from that era.
Sparky-era unis – Fixed the striping issue on the helmets with a solid black down the middle flanked by narrow white stripes. Jerseys and pants were blah, and solid black shoes weren’t great.
Early Holtz-era unis – we deserved to go 0-11. Plain, traditional uniforms are for teams who have always had plain, traditional uniforms (see Penn St.).
Mid-Holtz-era unis – Started getting somewhere by adding the extra stripes to the helmets.
End of Holtz era – You really want me to get started on that again?
Early Spurrier unis – Brought back mid-Holtz. Solid, but the Russell jerseys looked cheap.
Spurrier Under Armour – I have to admit, I was pretty pumped when I heard we had inked a deal with UA. But I feel kind of like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode where he has the girlfriend that looks great in one light, but hideous in the other. Also, anything with “piping” just doesn’t seem right to me. The jury is out, and may never come back in.
The winner? No doubt in my mind the mid-90’s uniforms – garnet helmets, sharp jerseys with outlined “Carolina” and numbers, and wide striping on the pants. I think when Spurrier came on he missed the boat by not going back to garnet helmets. Duce Staley concurs.