October 20, 2009
Football, despite its inherent intellectual progressivism, has always best been understood as a proxy for war, and a couple teams are ratcheting up the military motif for their toughest games of the season in three weeks:
Maryland and South Carolina will wear uniforms with camouflage designs during their games Nov. 14 [vs. Virginia Tech and Florida, respectively - ed.] to honor military veterans and promote the Wounded Warrior Project.
The black with tan camouflage uniforms, designed by Under Armour, will have a Wounded Warrior logo on them. Instead of players' names, the backs of the jerseys will have words such as courage, loyalty, integrity and service.
The complete list of "embellishments" on the nameplates: Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country, and Service. (Presumably Under Armour resisted the urge to offer sometime spokes-coach Steve Spurrier a customized version that says "Click Clack" on the back.)
Alert fans may recall that Army broke out some sweet camo-themed uniforms last December against Navy, which didn't help them at all in ending the Academy's seven-year losing streak against the Midshipmen but was the coolest new look of the year. So the Gamecocks and Terrapins may still be flattened by huge favorites Florida and Virginia Tech, respectively, but at least they'll look fierce in the process.
And as a product of one of the country's reddest, hunting-and-football-crazed states, I'll reiterate: The first sporting goods supplier who makes camo helmets and cleats available to rural America is sitting on a mint.