In addition to staging their historic Veteran's Day matchup on an aircraft carrier in front of President Obama and thousands of military personnel, North Carolina and Michigan State have concocted one more way to add to the patriotic atmosphere.
North Carolina on Wednesday released photos of its jerseys, which feature an American flag on the left front shoulder and "U.S.A." replacing each player's last name on the back above the numerals. Michigan State has yet to officially reveal its jerseys, but fans received an accidental sneak peek last week during a St. Louis TV station's report profiling the company that sewed World Series patches on the Cardinals' jerseys.
A stack of what appears to be Michigan State's camouflage-patterned jerseys is shown midway through the video. Michigan State has not confirmed that those are the jerseys the Spartans will be wearing, but coach Tom Izzo told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday that he believed his team would be wearing camouflage.
The idea for staging a game on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the San Diego harbor was the brainchild of Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis. The Spartans and Tar Heels will play in front of exclusively sponsors, high-ranking boosters and military personnel on the USS Carl Vinson, the ship the body of Osama bin Laden was brought to in order to be buried in the North Arabian sea.
Even though tweaking the jerseys of two of college basketball's traditional powers is rarely popular, this is one instance that should be an exception. The camouflage jerseys certainly were introduced as a way of selling extra merchandise, but they're also a fun temporary change of pace and a fitting tribute to the troops.
- Michigan State