One of the things that we’ve gotten used to looking forward to in the college football uniform world is the uniform ideas that Army and Navy come up with for their traditional rivalry game that traditionally ends college football’s regular season. Last year, Navy and Under Armour cooked up some uniforms that included an incredibly cool idea for helmets. This year, it’s Nike’s turn to come up with something unique, as they’ve worked with Army to come up with special uniforms for the 2016 game.
These uniforms are meant to honor the 82nd Airborne Division, which was a group of paratroopers from World War II.
Here are further details from Army’s special website for the uniforms — which is, naturally “beatnavyuniform.com.” Subtle!
The uniform design pays homage to authentic WWII era paratrooper jump suits with division patch, oversized 48-star American flag patch, player name tapes, full-color historical unit patches and an improvised camo base layer. Additionally, initial members of the 82nd Airborne Division came from all 48 states which informed their “All American” nickname and iconic “AA” shoulder patch.
The black and muted gray tones express the fact that some of the most treacherous combat jumps happened at night, under the cover of darkness. The helmet design highlights the netting and hand-painted camouflage shapes that help disrupt the form, along with showcasing an array of authentic, era-specific tactical symbols. Army West Point branding completes the Long Gray Line that connects the current Corps of Cadets to their brothers in arms.
They’re even using a special number font that’s very clearly based on the patch that the 82nd Airborne wore on their uniforms.
It’s pretty impressive that Nike and Army managed to make sure that nearly every individual element on this uniform had some sort of connection to the various imagery and iconography that came with the 82nd Airborne Division and their uniforms. It doesn’t feel like any element of this uniform is a throwaway element, and that makes this a very cool uniform for a one-off game, in my view.
What do you all think, though? Is this a good tribute to the unit that it was meant to honor, or did they miss the mark here? Let us know what you think!