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Thursday, August 19, 2010

A post I had always hoped to write.....

If you've read the blog since it's inception or just in the last month, you've no doubt read of my love for the Red Rider football uniform.  I even did my best attempt at "digitizing" the Red Rider uniform and offering changes I thought would modernize the uniform, yet still stick with tradition that makes our program so special.

One day, I thought, I will write about the Orrville football team getting new uniforms......and that day is TODAY!!

I had heard rumblings about the team getting new uniforms this season.  The logic was that so many existing jerseys needed replaced from last season and many years of wear, that it just made sense to pull the trigger on a new batch all at once.  Having anonymous donor support I'm sure made the "sell" a little easier.

I was told the jerseys would simply be an update in fabric and wild changes or new designs. (Whew!)  First it was just going to be the red jerseys, but I'm hearing that the white ones will be replaced as well....hopefully in time for the first game next week at Northwest (where we'll be the visitors and wear white).

I get the call today that the jerseys had arrived, only the red ones for now, but that didn't stop me from grabbing a camera and heading down to the school.  Not knowing what I'd see...I was a little skiddish....if they looked awful, we'd be stuck with them.

Fear not faithful Rider fans.  They're not awful.  Behold......(click for a full size view)

Now I'm sure a lot of you are saying...."Big deal, they look exactly the same."  Well, yes and no.

What hasn't changed
First off, it's a very good thing that they look so similar.  No large scale changes...for that, we should all be thankful.  Sometimes when a jersey redesign takes place, there gets to be too many cooks in the kitchen, and everyone has their own idea or element they want to see, and the jersey ends up looking terrible.

What has changed
What is different is the cut of the jersey, both through the trunk and on the sleeves.  It's a cut of jersey that most pro and college teams are going to, basically making the sleeve shorter and the fit tighter to improve on-field performance and give the opposing teams less to grab on to.

There are actually 2 different kinds of cuts in this new batch of jerseys.  One is a "skill cut" for everyone but linemen.  The other is called a "line cut" for down linemen.  The line cut jersey actually has less sleeve than that of the skill cut (less to grab on to when blocking).

Here's a side by side so you can plainly see the difference.

And of course, here's what they look like on the guys.  Special thanks to my two jersey models Max Pirman and Dylan Lemon....both currently sidelined with injuries.  I bet neither thought their day would include being photographed by me.  To note: Lemon is normally #36, not #50.  I think it was done to show the difference in the 2 jersey styles.

Here's Max wearing the skill cut.

and Dylan wearing the line cut.

Nothing was done to those jerseys to adjust the sleeve fit...that's just how they wear. 

Here's a picture from last year's Lexington game for comparison sake.

You can see that the sleeve stripes on the new jerseys sit much higher on the shoulders...and the overall fit is more snug on the new ones.

My Thoughts
I think this was purposefully kept simple.  It was done on a pretty short time frame, and because of that, there was almost no choice but to keep what we had now, and just update the fit and fabric.

Kudos all around...and special thanks to the folks that made this happen.

This is the first major uniform change since black pants were added in 1992.  More on that in the next few days as the 1992 Playoff History review will post early next week.

Feel free to chime in with your reactions.

1 comment:

Brynt Werntz said...

I like the fit of the jersey A LOT better, now we don't look like a bunch of junior high kids with big baggy jerseys on. I hope the red pants are the same red as the new fabric. Before we had different color jerseys and pants....looked rediculous.

I know it was done on short notice, but I still think "ORRVILLE" or "RIDERS" needs to be added to the front, and add white pants to the mix. Of course the pants have the stripes on the side with a block "O" on the front right leg.

Overall a nice upgrade in uniform.