I know I'm generalizing here — but I presume folks over 40 won't get what I'm about to say.
The official new North Carolina football uniforms were released over the weekend — and I've heard mixed sentiments so far, particularly on social media. The players looked overly hype when the shiny new unis were unveiled and some fans jumped on that wave, but there were other folks who felt compelled to rain on the parade and point out the fresh UNC unis are basically the same as before — but they missed one major point. The new uniforms feature the iconic "Jumpman" logo made popular by UNC basketball legend Michael Jordan — and this is big for a few reasons.
— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) August 5, 2017
Here's the deal, though. The Jumpman logo is exactly what makes the new UNC football uniforms incredible. There is a certain culture associated with anything having to do with the Jordan brand — and you can hate all you want — but that stuff resonates in a major way with 16-20 year old kids who are trying to narrow down a list of college football programs hoping to land their services.
"Anytime you combine a cultural icon like Michael Jordan and what his brand entails, college-age student athletes are going to love it," Brad Crawford, a college football analyst for 247 Sports and CBS who doubles as an encyclopedia for sneakers and cultural trends," told HERO Sports. "The casual fan, the non- sneakerhead and someone who's clueless about trend setting — is going to think these uniforms are the same. They're not. The Jumpman is there. It makes them a hit with the players."
Before North Carolina hopped on board, Michigan was the only FBS program with Jordan-sponsored uniforms. Trust me when I say this, kids want to be different, and this makes the UNC football apparel separate from the pack.
This is just the beginning. It appears that Nike — the parent brand for Jordan — is now using Michigan and North Carolina as the sample programs for a future focused on getting the Jordan brand as a regular partner with college football programs.
Oh, and UNC even got Jumpman practice helmets. They are pretty damn fresh.
UNC's practice helmet will feature the Jump Man logo, as well. Here's Larry Fedora holding said practice helmet … pic.twitter.com/FhNftKC8tr
— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) August 5, 2017
Something tells me the squad is going to rock the alternate helmet in a game somewhere down the line — and this is just the start of the creativity we are going to see when it comes to UNC's new threads. I'm already envisioning all sorts of great possibilities featuring black, Tar Heel Blue, white etc etc.
People always bash me for loving uniforms so much — but the players really care about this stuff.
Can we acknowledge how awesome it is to see Larry Fedora get behind this and at least act genuinely excited about the uniform overhaul? Sure, he probably didn't have much say — but Fedora has been one of the ACC coaches to really embrace the recent push to find new and innovative ways to relate to his players.
No offense to Nick Saban and it looks like he's doing just fine, but there's no way the Alabama front man would make such a big deal about uniforms. College football is changing, folks. Either keep up or get left behind.