To sum it up, there are 8 total uniform possibilities (out of 9 anyway, there will be no gold on gold), with white, maroon, and gold options for both jersey and pants. Larger and new # font on the jerseys with addition of shoulder #s. There is also a brick pattern on the #s of the gold and white jersey, but not the maroon (I assume it would make the jersey look too dark as the #s darken with the block pattern addition). The gold jerseys have replaced the name on back with Minnesota, while the white and maroon jerseys have the standard name on back using the new font. The piping and Minnesota on front of the jerseys are gone with the Minnesota being replaced with a block M in the cowl of the neck. Speaking of neck, the neck border if you will is substaintially larger than previous seasons with a shinny new material added in stripes or lines (I don't know if this is a beathability function alone or a stylistic addition as well) . What we won't see on the field is the Ski-U-Mah sewn into the inside of the neck. The pants are now solid color having gotten rid of the spash of color on the sides and switch the block M and Nike swoosh from the front to the sides. The helmet changes have been discussed in a previous blog so I won't get into that.
First off, a big thanks to Kyle Gergely and his staff, Josh Iverson at Nike, and former coach Glen Mason for putting this uniform design together. I know this took a lot of time, thought, and effort. I really think you all did a fabulous job on the design and as a Gopher fantatic/collector or fanatical collector, I love the new uni's. Ok, maybe not Glen Mason and no offense Kyle, I know you're reading, but the Mason era uniform design, which I and many other officianodos consider the best uniforms to date were used extensively. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact I think it was smart to use what worked so well in the past. If it's not broke, don't fix it..right!?! The Mason designs were the largest overall unintentional "historical" aspect I see incorporated into the new uni's. BTW, I've got mad love for everyone who wanted to put our proud history into the designs of the uni's. For the actuall historical content, the brick patterns in the #s is probably the most interesting aspect for me harkening back to good ole' Memorial Stadium. I don't think you'll notice it at all in the stands, and probably not on TV either unless pehaps in a close up shot. The # font repeats a font used on the 1940 Nat. Champs. jerseys which is a great idea. Although a throwback in font of 70 years (which was also translated to the lettering), it looks mildly futuristic and probably appeals to the younger fans (15-30 year olds) and recruits.
I'm not sure what to make of all the uniform combinations, but my personal favortie is the maroon jersey with yellow pants, and I also like the maroon on maroon. I've always perferred the home look to the away look with white jersey. I don't care for the white on white. I don't see that it has anything to do with our colors, maroon and gold, and it just doesn't look right to me. I'd take the white jersey w/ maroon pants for the primary away uni IMO. I have to say, I love the gold jersey, but please get rid of the Minnesota on back. It's redundant. I don't know of any schools offhand that use their school name on back (I'm sure there are a few more out there) other than FAMU, Florida Agricultural Mechanical University in Tallahassee. Appearently a player is picked to select the uni combo for the upcoming game which I find interesting. I wonder how they pick the player to do that. Kyle, send me an email about that if you're reading, Inquiring minds would like to know...
Larger M in neck
Return of shoulder #s
Solid color pants
# and letter font
Block M on side of pants
Bricks on #s (historical aspect)
Nike swoosh is too large on jersey and pants
White on white uni
The neckline is too fat
Shiny material in neck
Bricks on #s (design aspect)
Minnesota on back of gold jerseys (just keep with the name)
The dislikes on my lists above are very unimportant when I think about the entirety of the complete uniform. I really, really like the new uni concept. When taken as a whole with the new helmet, we've got some badass looking new uni's. While I didn't like the black facemask on the helmet initially, it's starting to grow on me, although makes the maroon on maroon uniform look a little too dark IMO. I'm a relentless uniform critic so feel free to pounce on my uniform "flaws". We basically have the best of the Mason era uni's with a few upgrades. I also look at the new uniforms in what we didn't get, garish, disgusting Oregon style uniforms that change with the direction of the blowing wind.
I'm an old school uniform guy who appreciates the history of the uniforms and the team and associate the uni with the team. I really don't care for the wholesale uniform changes some teams (Oregon) implement year after year if not week after week. Minor cosmetic changes are fine and probably a good thing. I agree with the modernization of the uniform based on fabric and paint technology, helmet designs for safety, ect...Memorial or anniversary patches or stickers are a really cool add on as well. I love those as a collector! The most important thing is how the current and future players view the uniforms, and from the initial reactions, there seems to be alot of enthusiasm for the 2012 uni's. Go Gophers!