The topic of sports uniforms brings out a variety of responses from fans. Some are passionate about the subject, while others only care enough to look down their noses at those of us with the passion. Some like traditional looks, yet many enjoy the modern fare peddled by companies such as Nike and Under Armour.
We observed Memorial Day earlier this week, and the occasion brought forth a hot topic in the sports uniform community: uniforms with camo and/or "stars and stripes" elements. All 30 Major League Baseball teams traded their team colors for camo on Monday, and even Ball State got into the act recently by introducing a "stars and stripes" helmet.
It's just my opinion, but this is not a positive practice. Usually, the uniforms using these features are ugly, and they're often thinly-veiled attempts to make money through extra merchandise sales by pandering to the notion of "patriotism". Now don't get me wrong; patriotism is great. Sing the "Star-Spangled Banner". Belt out "God Bless America". But is this really the right way for sports teams to honor the military and show national pride?
Want some alternative ideas? Especially on Memorial Day, teams could wear black armbands to honor the fallen. Conduct on-field ceremonies to recognize veterans. Sponsor donation drives for both military and local emergency personnel. Run voter registration drives. Donate (a percentage of?) a day's gate to a charitable organization that helps veterans.
Those are but a few ideas, but they're all far more appealing than paying lip service by playing dress up before you ultimately make money off the backs of the people you're supposed to be honoring.
I'll note that this does not apply in any way to the military academies. I love what they do with their uniforms, especially Navy. The helmets their football team has worn in recent years have been awesome. Everyone else should stop, but not those guys.
On to the links...
Did you know that WMU has appeared in the College World Series in more than half of their trips to the NCAA Tournament? They even have a national runner-up finish. Of course, that was 61 years ago, so it's time for the Broncos to write some new history on Friday evening at 6:00 pm.
WMU's Keegan Akin, who will start against Louisville on Friday, is briefly mentioned in this article. When the MLB Draft commences on Thursday, June 9th, you might hear his name called in the first round.
It isn't rare for a MAC athlete to make it to the NCAA track and field national championship meet. In fact, the Falcons have their own multi-year streak of appearances going. However, it is most certainly rare for an athlete to get their after a year-long recovery following a devastating knee injury.
Speaking of the Falcons, former BGSU football coach Dave Clawson is still working to rebuild the Demon Deacons' program. Bill Connelly continues his excellent set of previews with Wake Forest, and he believes Clawson is on the right track.
The Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas tried to play a soccer game in a swimming pool. Okay, so the field in rain-soaked Texas wasn't that bad, but it was bad enough for officials to stop the contest after just four minutes.
Prescription drug abuse, particularly in the area of painkillers, is a huge problem. This is particularly true in the worlds of sports and celebrity. Unfortunately, we've learned that the irreplaceable Prince is another victim of the epidemic.