Late in Iona’s 87-86 overtime win over Siena in the MAAC championship game, Gaels’ senior forward Jordan Washington was fouled in the post. He headed to line for a pair of crucial free throws with 59 seconds left in overtime and the game tied at 81.
Before Washington could get to the line, however, a referee instructed him to tuck in his shirt. Normally that’s not a noteworthy event, but what happened next was. Washington asked a teammate to tuck in his shirt for him. The reason? He didn’t want to get his hands wet by handling a sweaty jersey before two free throws with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament hanging in the balance. It was sort of strange, but mostly rational.
Nebraska basketball won’t have that highly specific problem when it faces Penn State on Wednesday. You can thank the Huskers’ new uniforms for that.
Adidas revealed new tournament uniforms for eight schools yesterday, including Nebraska. Normally that’s not that noteworthy either given that Adidas has done this for the past few years, but this time it was. First, the uniforms themselves are relatively dignified compared to some previous versions.
Second, there was this quick detail in the press release (emphasis mine):
The 2017 Create Yours collection features a re-engineered mesh fabric designed for increased breathability and French terry wipe-zones for further sweat management. For the first time, both men’s and women’s teams will don new uniforms for postseason play. The men’s jerseys have team slogans emblazoned along the bottom of each jersey’s side to emphasize a team-first mentality while the women’s jerseys have black trim strategically placed at the bottom so the players can look down and spot their team’s rallying cry.
These kind of releases always include this technical specs graf where the latest and greatest innovations are touted. Normally, it’s just a sales job. I remember one Nike football release that mentioned that the D-rings on the new belt were X percent lighter, a difference every player no doubt noticed the minute he got his new belt. It’s jersey jabber (trademark pending) and I take great delight in reading every word of it just to see how insane things are this time around.
But French terry wipe zones? That actually makes some sense. If Iona’s Washington had French terry wipe zones last night, he could’ve avoided being called out on the ESPN telecast for not wanting to tuck in his own shirt. He made the free throws and Iona punched its ticket to the dance, but the irony here is that the Gaels have (pretty handsome) uniforms manufactured by Adidas. Since their season continues, we need to get the Gaels in the new Adidas model posthaste lest sweaty hands derail their run.
I examined all of the photos of these uniforms trying to locate the French terry wipe zones and it’s hard to tell definitively. But if I were putting French terry wipe zones on a uniform, I would put them on the back of the shorts where players already dry their hands before free throws and it looks like that may be the case.
As for the non-technical design of the uniform, Nebraska’s is pretty sharp. Here’s how Adidas described it (emphasis again mine):
The Cornhuskers’ shorts are a nod to the warm-ups worn during Nebraska’s most successful run in the 90s and the iconic voltage print runs down the side. The special trim on the bottom of the women’s jersey says “Husker Power” and the side of the men’s jersey towards the bottom reads “Husker Nation” along a customized trim.
“Iconic” might be a generous description of a sort of out there design element from the 1990s worn for a very short time, but I have to admit the “voltage print” looks particularly good as its used here. Still strikes me as odd, however, that one of Adidas’ design motifs for Nebraska basketball references a Converse (now owned by Nike) gambit that was intended to promote a specific shoe and wasn’t even specific to Nebraska.
But don’t let that distract us from the real story here: Nebraska’s new uniforms come with built in towels.
The Grab Bag
- Nebraska baseball’s home opener is today. Mike Babcock gets you ready for the two-game Northern Colorado series here.
- A group of former Huskers will take part in a charity basketball game in Hastings tonight.
- Minnesota opens spring practice today, the Gophers’ first with P.J. Fleck steering the boat.
- ICYMI: Erin Sorensen recaps Nathan Gerry and Cethan Carter’s NFL Combine tests.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.