In the wake of the biggest scandal in college sports history and the most unprecedented punishments handed out by the NCAA, Penn State's football team announced that it's doing the only thing it could think of: changing its uniforms...kind of.
When they take the field at Beaver Stadium for their 126th season, The Pennsylvania State University football team will wear uniforms featuring a blue ribbon to support all victims of child abuse. Also, for the first time, the names of each football player will adorn their jersey in recognition of their resolve and dedication to the team and the University.
This wasn't a big shocker to anyone that follows Penn State football; Bill O'Brien has been dropping hints about this for the last few weeks. This was the first we had heard about the ribbons but that's a class act - pretty sure there's not a soul out there who opposed this idea.
But the names on the jerseys are getting mixed reviews. It seems like just after BOB was winning over PSU fans, he's back to getting ridiculed for ridiculous reasons. The players unanimously voted for the change. It's cool...people just need something to **** about for a while. No one even mentions that PSU got rid of the contrasting collars on the jerseys last year. Next year, no one will care...and hey, maybe people will actually know who Matt McGloin is.
It is kind of weird though that adding names was the route the team chose to usher in a new era of PSU football. BOB said he wanted to "recognize" the players that stuck by the program through this mess. Respect. But on the other hand, this year's motos have included "OneTeam" and "Restore the Roar." Names on the jerseys point more towards individualism than unity (as much as a name on a jersey can). Yea, we get that the Nittany Lions putting names on their jerseys is like the Yankees putting names on theirs, and yea it's going to suck that your No. 11 jersey won't be universal from now on but come on, even the Steelers' unis have changed slightly over the years.
It's been 125 years since Penn State started playing football, and names have never appeared on the jerseys - this has nothing to do with Joe Paterno. It's just a new direction. But 125 years is a long time. If PSU was going in a new direction, maybe it should have gone in a completely new direction, as in taking a page out of Oregon's book and let Joe's old buddy, Phil Knight, hook the Nittany Lions up with a new look for a new era. Mock Draft HQ was thinking something along the lines of: