Hobbs: Terps trip up Dawgs for ugliest jerseys

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rumor has it that LSU will play a plucky Northwestern State team this Saturday, and maybe we’ll get around to talking about that a little later.

Probably not, though.

Frankly, there are far more pressing issues on the table today, and only a few of them involve Texas A&M and its intent to thumb its nose at the Longhorns by joining the Southeastern Conference.

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It would appear that the powerful SEC, the most fun athletic entity on earth, is in the early stages of inevitably disintegrating.

Commissioner Mike Slive is way smarter than this, but the SEC is apparently ready to welcome the Aggies with open arms.

Nothing against the Aggies, mind you, but the SEC doesn’t need a knee-jerk reaction that will usher in the super conferences.

The SEC is fine and profitable just the way it is.

It can afford to sit back, comfortable in its 12-team skin. If it really becomes necessary to expand some day, the league will never lack for suitors.

But when that day comes, the league as we know it ceases to exist — it becomes two entirely separate, fairly unrelated conferences.

Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.

At the moment, the whole A&M thing is, quite encouragingly, tied up probably with a habeus corpus or two thrown in here and there.

I hope so, anyway. Bring out all your best writs and de jures. String this thing out until cooler heads can prevail.

Anytime we start wondering if we really need lawyers, something like this comes along where they can earn their billable hours.

And, for once, we must all wish them proper snail’s speed and quid pro quo in dragging this affair through one deposition and out the other until one side or the other finally gives up and says the heck with it.

And, yes, I saw the Maryland-Miami game Monday night.

So, yes, there’s a far more pressing issue for college football right now than Aggies loose in the SEC.

Keep in mind, I was quite encouraged over the weekend while watching the prima donnas of football fashion run amuck, the Oregon Yucks, in Cowboys Stadium.

In particular, I found it heartwarming that when Nike honcho Phil Knight was shown on the gargantuan screen relaxing in his suite, the Godfather of Oregon football and chief instigator of the football fashion mess we’re in was booed lustily.

True, the Ducks were hideous looking, but we’ve come to expect it from them, part of their charm, and if the virus could be kept isolated to Eugene, Ore., we might all survive.

And then … Maryland happened.

At first I was inclined to agree that the Terrapins got Georgia off the hook for the ugliest uniform of the opening weekend.

But, after further review, not really. Georgia has enough tradition to know better, not to mention a good classic uniform that readily identifies the Bulldogs.

I thought Georgia had joined the XFL, opening up a spot for A&M perhaps.

But Maryland, bad as it was, was a different kind of ugly, too.

Georgia was just absolutely hideous, particularly the two-tone face masks which actually made it look somebody had punched every one of them smack in the honker (and it turned out, somebody, somebody named Boise, really did).

Georgia’s look was so bad that the Dawgs don’t get a pass for it being a one-shot, Nike pro combat deal.

The more I looked at Maryland, the more I realized this wasn’t really ugly in the traditional sense of the word.

This was … whimsical?

No, that’s too kind. This was just plain silly.

Yeah, I get it, that the whole thing was based (cleverly?) on the Maryland state flag. Guess what? It doesn’t work, not on a football uniform.

It looked more stupid than ugly.

It was a Picasso abstract, which is fine in a museum, but not on a linebacker.

It was along about the third quarter, however, before I noticed the shoes.


That’s when it hit me. What this look really needed to complete the ensemble was a pair of those silly, long-toed slippers that curl up with a little bell on the end.

Then the school will have a whole new nickname/mascot draped in state flag pride.

The Maryland Court Jesters.

Has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

Can’t blame Nike for Maryland, though, except for starting these shenanigans.

Maryland has no Nike ties. Maryland is what happens when Under Armour feels like it has to one-up Nike for street cred.

If Nike retaliates, and then Under Armour fires back again, no telling where this could all end.

But it needs to end, like now.

The standard excuse from coaches seems to be: Well, the kids like them.

Well, of course they do. That’s why they’re kids. They were put on this earth to shock their parents with their hideous apparel.

That’s precisely why the nose ring was invented.

It’s really nothing new.

Teenagers have been using fashion statements for parental shock treatment dating at least to the ducktail, probably the zoot suit.

Body piercing is just part of the natural, evolutionary process.

But that’s also why we generally put grownups in charge of these football programs. Adults need to be making the important decisions.

The 1960s and 1970s were truly a rebellious time full of stupider kids than usual. But I don’t recall Coach Bear Bryant ever letting his Alabama lads dress up in tie-dyed Crimson jerseys with peace symbols astride their helmets.

Although I’d have loved to have heard his gravel-voiced reaction if they’d run it by him.

Kids are going to be kids. No getting around it.

It’s high time some adult of authority stood at the locker room door, arms folded, and said, “You are NOT leaving THIS house looking like THAT!”