Michigan Playing Fast And Loose With Uniforms?

Okay, sure, it’s a little strange to be picking out the minutiae of things like college football uniforms. We freely admit that. But if nobody was ever interested by it, we wouldn’t have the UNI WATCH BLOG, and even if we did it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it actually is.

Tate Forcier Pic
(As opposed to the other Forciers around here…)

To boot: Michigan and their venerated, unmistakable uniforms, always in the maize and blue. The Wolverines, like most college football teams, have the players’ names on the back of the uniform. The trouble is, something as simple as the First Initial Rule seems to be giving them trouble, and they seem to be screwing up the nameplates in every way short of just plain misspelling players’ names.

So here’s a list of the multiple fouls, followed by Uni Watch’s explanations:

FOUL #1: Adding the first initial for no reason.

When Tate started practicing in the spring, there was a thought that [brother Jason Forcier] would transfer back to Michigan and both brothers would be on the team at the same time. This never happened, but Tate still wears a ‘T. Forcier’ nameplate, as if Jason were on the team.

[Quick aside about Mr. Forcier: this was hilarious.]

FOUL #2: Not adding an initial to either of a pair of brothers.

Meanwhile, we have Kevin Grady at FB and his brother Kelvin Grady at WR (who had been on the basketball team last year and then moved to football this summer). They’re both K. Grady — in fact, they’re both Ke. Grady — but they both wear just ‘Grady,’ even though they’re sometimes on the field at the same time.

FOUL #3: Adding an initial for one player, but not the other of a same surname:

Finally, we have Stevie Brown at LB and Carlos Brown at RB. Carlos’s NOB is just ‘Brown,’ while Stevie wears ‘S. Brown’ — weird.

It may seem like quibbles and bits, but in case you hadn’t noticed, football coaches are extreme sticklers for detail, and inconsistencies in protocol are usually viewed as a sign of weakness.

Further, at the next level, the commissioner just so happens to have a legendary hard-on for punishing any and all deviations from standard uniform procedure. Granted, it’s not like Ladell Betts was stuck with a fine after he was given a “Bettis” jersey in the preseason, but the point remains: they take this stuff really seriously in football. We’re legitimately confused as to why Michigan’s fabled jerseys are so scattershot when it comes to nameplate standards.