Monday, October 01, 2007

On elections and Cyclones

Thought I'd share a little piece from one of my true heroes, Paul Lukas (uniwatchblog.com) who has managed to combine two of my true fascinations - politics and sports uniforms. For the record, I think Iowa State made a horrible mistake in changing the unis they currently sported, particularly since they added the white face mask and de-emphasized the blue in their color scheme. Almost everything about their new gear is inferior to what they had before (except the varsity stripes, which I am a big fan of, and the typeface for the numbers, which is kinda cool). But the fact that they didn't even follow through with their own fan vote shows again ... why they're Iowa State. There's a reason the school is situated on the banks of the Skunk River.

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The people were encouraged to vote, they let their voices be heard, and then a bunch of higher-ups decided to hijack the results and impose their own solution.

But enough about the 2000 presidential election — instead let’s talk about Iowa State’s new football uniforms. As you may recall, the Cyclones made a big fuss about letting fans vote on the school’s new helmet. But when the new uniforms were unveiled yesterday, none of the white helmets made the cut. Instead, the team will be wearing a red-on-red helmet, which seems like a major mistake, especially since it just accentuates the home uniform’s similarity to USC’s design. The road uni is better, especially when executed with red pants (yes, I know they’re actually “cardinal” — whatever). All in all, not a bad makeover, but it could’ve been a lot better without the red-on-red helmet.

Meanwhile, why encourage people to vote on three white helmets if you’re not going to use any of those designs? That question somehow goes unaddressed in the FAQ that the school put out. But I was told a few days ago that the three choices that were put up for voting all turned out to be wildly unpopular. So maybe going in a different direction really does reflect the will of the people. But in a sports world where so many things seem predetermined and calculated, it’s too bad that Iowa State appeared to be setting up a mechanism to give people a voice and now appears to have moved the goalposts. At the very least, it seems like there were some serious miscalculations made along the way here.

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