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Monday, July 1, 2013

KU football unveils five new helmets for 2013 season

The Kansas University football program on Monday unveiled five new looks for the team's helmets, four of which now feature the Jayhawk on the sides. (Photo courtesy of KU Athletics)

The Kansas University football program on Monday unveiled five new looks for the team's helmets, four of which now feature the Jayhawk on the sides. (Photo courtesy of KU Athletics)

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Vine video

New KU football helmets

First, he returned the names to the backs of the jerseys, and now he has added Jayhawks to the sides of the helmets.

If Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis ever can get the kind of results in the win column that he does with the team’s sense of fashion, he’ll likely go down as a fan favorite for years to come.

The new-look helmets, which Weis’ revealed Monday afternoon on his Twitter account through the use of the Vine video app, feature five colors and two styles of Jayhawks.

Three of the helmets — white, black and KU blue — use the current Jayhawk, with “KU” in Trajan font. The red helmet, which likely will be worn with blue jersey tops, features the more angry-looking 1941 Jayhawk, featuring a scowl on its face. The final helmet is a powder-blue throwback with white numbers on the side. KU wore that during the 2011 Homecoming game against Texas Tech in honor of the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl team.

None of the helmets incorporates stripes.

The addition of the new helmets, for which fans and players alike have been clamoring for years, gives KU as many as 20 potential uniform options on game days.

Five Jayhawks helped model the new helmets in the video released by Weis. Senior running back James Sims donned the black, junior linebacker Ben Heeney handled the powder blue, newcomer Cassius Sendish, a junior cornerback, wore the traditional blue top with the blue helmet, junior tight end Jimmay Mundine sported the same blue top with the red helmet and junior quarterback Jake Heaps wore the all-white ensemble.

Moments after the new duds were revealed, KU fans lit up Twitter with their opinions about what they saw.

“Still debating what is sweeter: the red helmet or that our coach knows how to Vine,” one fan wrote.

Added another fan: “Love the new helmets. They will look even better if the team figures out a way to win three or four games this year.”

As for the players themselves, many of whom had not seen the new gear until Monday, most seemed thrilled with the variety of options now available. Defensive tackle Keon Stowers even said on Twitter that he had heard the team was not planning on wearing any combination more than once during the 2013 season. He also said the team had 11 uniform combinations at its disposal, a number lower than the maximum of 20, which likely means the black jerseys won’t be worn with the powder blue helmets, the powder blue jerseys won’t be worn with the red helmets and so on.

Although the jerseys used in Weis’ video were from last season, a KU official told the Journal-World that the football program would be upgrading its uniforms before the start of the season as well.

KU, which begins fall camp on Aug. 7, will kickoff the 2013 season at 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 at home against South Dakota.

What the Jayhawks will be wearing is anyone’s guess.

Comments

Kirk 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I like the helmets, including the powder blue one.

I dislike the 1941 angry Jayhawk as a helmet logo; I actually think the smiling one is more menacing if we're winning. It's simply more original. The angry one looks like ISU or anyone else's tough, angry logo. The smiling one is totally cool.

I dislike "KU blue", the mandated shade for our consistent "brand" that was brought in by Lew.

And I wish we'd wear red legs.

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kay_you 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the powder blue design. Only make it KU blue.

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JHWKDW 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Keeping it simple is the right thing to do. You do not have to get far out or crazy with this helmet thing

Oklahoma, Alabama,USC,UCLA,Auburn,Michigan,Nebraska have a plain and simple helmet design. Nothing far out, and they are winning teams.And people know their helmet logo.

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Kenneth Hillman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the idea but this is a weak attempt. LHMHAWK has a good example of what can be done...maybe blend some colors together...change up the logo...use a KU...seriously? This was the best they could come up with? Have a design competition or something. If you're going to do it do it right.

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shelleysue 9 months, 3 weeks ago

These aren't perfect but in my opinion they are a step in the right direction. I agree that a tone on tone look for the black would be great. Some type of texture design or striping would be great on the others. Just a little something more. Hopefully they will get to that point sooner rather than later. The most important thing is that the players feel good and confident and pretty bad ass in the uniforms they're wearing. What we think really doesn't matter.

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kay_you 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Is this the best they could come up with? The designer suffers from a lack of inspiration.

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55jayhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The powder blue helmet is a throwback to our uniform we wore in the Blue Bonnet bowl at Houston & were for the most part "good luck" for us. A lot of players went on to the pros from that team and our letter jackets were light blue which were different than the normal jacket with a Red "K". As one who wore the original helmet and uniform, I do not have a problem with the color if psycologically it works and gets us an extra win or two. If this year's team and the ones who have made verbal committments to KU for 2014 can become a team where each player does his job, I think we will have a very entertaining football season this year and next.

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Micky Baker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The red one is good, and the blue one will be okay for the road if it uses the mad Jayhawk. I also like the black one for when they wear solid blue uniforms or even Crimson, but others are just stale. The throwback helmet should be saved for special occasion throwback games and could be used as a tool to get say, Penn State on the schedule wearing the uniforms that were used in the Orange Bowl that year, or an annual throwback night against K-State, and say Oklahoma because I think those two are the longest ongoing series on KU's schedule.

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Ralster Jayhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Red helmet is perfect with Blue Jerseys (that is KU). White helmet, by color alone is a "throwback". Put the '41 FightHawk on the white helmet and run with it...The current blue helmet with KU trajan font isnt bad from an artistic standpoint, but people are just tired of all the L's associated with it. The Black helmet needs to be glossy, ala Atlanta Falcons, and with the '41FightHawk also. Happy JayHawk is best represented live by the mascot walking around courtside and sideline (for the kids...).

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AzHawk97 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Here you can check out our long tradition of no tradition:

http://www.nationalchamps.net/Helmet_Project/

I was hoping to get a call about using my Henery (Jay)Hawk avatar on the helmets, but I guess Warner Bros. is stingy with their rights to Looney Tunes.

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Danton32 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This is something that has to be done in order to "re-build" our program. If you haven't noticed, Oregon tends to bring in very talented recruits due to their different uniform choices and rather large "closets." We could wear pink jerseys every game for all I care, but if we don't continue to do this we will be that far behind everyone else in college football. Heck, even Notre Dame switches things up a bit now!

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KGphoto 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I have to say, after looking through all the changes that were made before the start of last season... here

http://espn.go.com/espn/playbook/story/_/id/8312659/uni-watch-comprehensive-preview-2012-college-football-gear-part-1

I’m having a change of heart. First of all I’m glad we are getting into the mix. This is a trend that’s not going away, and eventually you will see EVERY team in the country, even Penn St., Alabama, Texas etc., doing it. Right now Texas is testing out the idea with alternate practice jersey’s. Nebraska, Michigan and Notre Dame have already dipped their toes in the pool. So no team and no amount of tradition exempts you from new design.

Secondly, after looking at the unis in the above link, I get a better picture of the college uniform landscape, and it includes a little bit of everything. Modern, throwback, minimalism, and Maryland Pride. There are no rules at this game of uniform alternates.

Whether I think they are cool or not, kids will definitely want to see the school they are going to using alternates. It’s a good move no matter the design. No matter because it’s gets the conversation going about KU. KU’s uniforms will make more noise. ESPN will talk about them.

Click on every link (of the link above) and tell me you don’t think it’s a good idea to get involved with this.

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texashawk10 9 months, 3 weeks ago

For those of you who say focus on winning above all else in regards to football, I agree. The question then becomes how do you win more games. The answer to that is to upgrade the talent, along with good coaching. We saw the improvement in player discipline on the field last year which is a good indicator of better coaching so the other half is how does a program bring in the talent to help win more games. Multiple uniform options is a way to bring in more talent because stuff like appeals to a lot of today's HS players, agree or disagree that is reality.

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LibertyHawk84 9 months, 3 weeks ago

What a loser program. Focus on wins first

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clevelandjayhawker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Suprised I didnt have to take a survey to make this comment

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EdwordL 9 months, 3 weeks ago

When we start to win games and start to matter in the conference, that would be the time to feature different Jayhawks on the helmets. Love the angry 1941 hawk, but when our team wins more than 2 conference games in 4 seasons, that would be the time to kick someone's butt while wearing the tame, standing-around, early, black Jayhawk. Kind of like when Nebraska used to beat people up while being represented by Herbie the Husker.

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Mike Barnhart 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Red helmet with 1941 Jayhawk, Blue Jersey and 2008 "Giants" pants (silver with the red stripe.) PERFECTION!

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CWGOKU 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Glad to see the Jayhawk back on the helmet. Otherwise, I am not too impressed. The red and the blue helmets are OK. Scrap the rest of them.

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texashawk10 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I will just about guarantee that the 1961 throwbacks will be worn September 14 when KU plays Rice at Rice stadium since that is the same school and stadium as the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.

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ed_MRG2 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Personally I think the 1941 Jayhawk should be the schools official school logo to this day. It just looks meaner. When you look at the current mascot you dont think tough, you think that he belongs in a theme park or that he is a new character at Chuck-e-Cheese....

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boomrsoonr26 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like cool new uniform designs as much as the next guy, but these are some boring helmets. Nothing really new here except the red helmet. Putting a Jayhawk sticker on the side of the helmet, is just lazy. If you're going to overhaul, actually change something for the better. Even if the uniforms were ugly like Oregon and Maryland I would support it, but this is just a lazy effort. At least try to be creative, or try to incorporate tradition. When you don't do either, LAZY!

RCJHGKU!

BTW - Adidas sucks

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Dan Harris 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The black one with my avatar would look pretty cool!

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RLFe21963 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Keep the red, white and blue helmets... scrap the powder blue and put a greyscale "KU" in the Trajan font on the black one... JMHO

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westernkshawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

That light blue one is AWFUL. That is NOT KU!!! Hope they didn't order any more than the one for the picture as the fans will not stand for THAT!!

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Ferd Magellan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Some people just aren't happy unless they get to complain about something. We finally have the angry Jayhawk on a helmet and people are whining. We're not exactly a traditional power with a great classic looking uniform that everyone likes, so we have to do whatever is necessary to appeal to the recruits and younger fans (who may be losing interest in a struggling program).

I don't want to see our guys wearing a new uniform every week, but some variety never hurts.

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Andy Tweedy 9 months, 3 weeks ago

For the most part, love them! People won't laugh at the smiling Jayhawk if we're in the middle of kicking their a$$es!

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Mike Barnhart 9 months, 3 weeks ago

College football is BIG BUSINESS!

These helmets go for $300 at Dick's Sporting Goods. The blinged up KU versions must be at least $350. So, 4 extra helmets for 80 guys is well over $100,000.

I guess that's conservative in a world where Oregon, MU and OSU never wear the same uni's twice!

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hotrodm 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Lose the Carolina Baby Blue, and the Mizzoo Black. The Red, White, and Royal Blue are ok.

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Bryce Landon 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I see Kansas is going down the same road as Oregon.

By the way, Kansas wore a white helmet with pale blue letters against T-Tech. Until 2005, Kansas did not have an official shade of blue. Which is why the Jayhawks wore Columbia blue in 1961, not "Carolina blue".

Of these helmets, I like the royal blue one best, with the 1961 throwback a close second. I despise the black one.

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JHWKDW 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Folks this is more symbolism over substance. Let us worry about getting some damn wins, and at least getting to .500 first. Pardon me, but I am a simple kind of guy, let us worry about getting a guy that kick field goals, and pass to a average acceptable level first then we worry about the helmets.

Hell man I was happy with the KU logo on the helmet, all I wanted was the red stripe back in the middle of the helmet.When it comes to helmets and uniforms, I do not need Oregon like uniforms Im a K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid kinda guy.

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JayHawkFanToo 9 months, 3 weeks ago

My angry Jayhawk avatar, or just its head, would look good on the side of a helmet.

Black is very popular with young players; I imagine it was done with recruiting in mind.

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Cliff Leiker 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I love the helmets. I think it gives a recruit another reason to join the jayhawks.

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Cody Stumma 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Blue Helmet with "KU" on it, with the War Hawk or something showing on the jersey would be best.

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Darius80 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Pass. Nothing beats "KU" on the helmet.

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pepper_bar 9 months, 3 weeks ago

These are all improvements over the old helmets, which were completely awful.

KU's gradual adoption of Missouri's primary color as a color of its own is baffling. And when did KU switch from crimson and blue to plain red and blue?

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Kyle Sybesma 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd prefer my Avatar helmet but I'll take this. I like that we can go an entire season without wearing the same uniform twice. As long as basketball never goes with black uniforms.

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ljmhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

MATT:

you need to put in your article somewhere in huge block, bold letters that the uniforms in the pictures will NOT be our uniforms for the upcoming season.

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Janet Scott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The KU black band uniforms makes the KU music department look like a bunch of mental hillbillies. Black?!! Cheap looking. No sense of tradition. Pathetic.

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Hammertoe 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Those uniforms are like putting a pretty dress on an ugly girl.

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Calijhawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

KU football in black? BLACK?? The happiest people in the Jayhawk nation on that day will be the idiots that designed the KU Band uniform with BLACK as the base color. They took all the money we donated to buy them new ones, then flipped us all off and made the predominant color that of our most bitter rival. KU football in black will, sadly, validate these idiots -- except that they all are all now on other campuses laughing at us.

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Janet Scott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The powercat is on the KSU helmet because they can't figure out how to depict a pile of manure on the side of their helmets.

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elan71 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The Jayhawks doesn't look right on the Black helmet...should have done something different with that one!

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CrystalJones 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, I guess if it brings in recruits. But given our bottom-of-the-barrel program, some people might be asking why Coach is dabbling at all in the matter of uniform combinations at this point. I think he should be giving the impression that 100% of his time is being spent on the actual game, not the clothing.

Let the PR department talk about new helmets, etc., I don't want to be the village sourpuss, but over the last four seasons, we have won a grand total of 2 conference games. And our coach is musing about helmet and jersey combinations?

I know Coach Weis is one of the great coaches in college football, and we're very lucky to have him. I'm hoping that he will lead us to great success, but we haven't seen it yet. And his tweeting about uniform combos reminds me a little of guys like Ron Prince ... style over substance – all hat, no cattle. I know HCCW isn't Prince, but I just wish he would spend this kind of time on cosmetics after he has actually won a few more football games.

I'd just be more comfortable if the turnaround in our program took place on the field first, and then worry about how we look on the field. But I'm just a fan, not a highly paid football coach, and maybe this is actually a great strategy to bring in recruits and make the players play better. I dunno. Guess we'll see.

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Joan Kalivoda 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the Powercat helmet, that is great.

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stm62 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the darker blue, black, and red helmets, but the black jerseys are too plain and UGLY.

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Chris Shaw 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I like all the helmets and color designs except the light blue, Carolina Blue, Sky blue, or whatever kind of soft blue you want to call it. Like it or not when people see that color it is associated with "Carolina Blue" and IMO any association or interpretation that leads someone to believe that it's North Carolina...that design should be axed immediately.

As other posters have stated the "N" for Nebraska, the white numbers with a white stripe on a red helmet for Alabama, The "OU" for Oklahoma, the plane white helmet for Penn State, The yellow stripes on navy for Michigan, The orange and green "U" for Miami, The Longhorn for Texas, the "aTm" for Texas A&M, The Silver Helmet for Ohio State, etc etc are all boring helmets,but they are iconic.

Everybody knows as soon as you see those helmets you know exactly who is playing on the television set. It's branding 101. When you are those teams and have had success like those teams above...why change it?

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Max Ledom 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I love you guys. I really love all of the posters here. But man, I really dislike you all when you guys try to act like fashion experts. The old geezers really come out on this board when KU tries ANYTHING different with their unis. Whether you guys like it or not, these helmets are hot, and this is exactly what college kids are wanting to wear now a days. Brilliant work Coach. It's ridiculous that fashion plays as large of a role as it does in recruiting, but it does. This will bring in recruits. Guaranteed.

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Matt Kenton 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Michigan has an M, but I completely agree with your point. Constant change shows a lack of tradition. And I like the '41 mean Jayhawk, but not red helmets. Go with KU or redesign a modern, meaner Jayhawk for football.

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jhawkjunkie 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Can KU just pick a helmet and keep it for more than 4 or 5 years. It's kinda embarrassing I think for a school to keep changing helmets and designs every 4 or 5 years. Pick one design and keep it like Oklahoma's OU or the N on Nebraska or God forbid, the Powercat at Kansas State.

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Janet Scott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Liked the KU helmets ala NY Giants, blue with the red strip and KU trajan on the side, when Mangino was HC. By the way, speaking of headgear, any chance David Stern, Master of the NBA, will wear a headband at the next NBA draft? Would be classic.

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Doug Roberts 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Trajan sucks. I'd love to see nice, tough block numbers again, and I love the Jayhawk, but hate it on the helmet. Just doesn't look good on a helmet. Those black jerseys look so, so cheap. Kinda like the red helmet with the PO'd Jayhawk, though. The only way the Jayhawk works on a helmet is if he's PO'd. And I like the baby blue jerseys (and block numbers!). I still think I, or any one of us, could have come up with cooler unis, though. Surely they must be hiring at Adidas?

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ahpersecoachingexperience 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmmmmmmmm? Not sure it's the best they could have done, but it is a lot better than what we had. The Bird is back!

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The_poster_kusports_needs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The tiny jayhawks on the chests are terrible.

Just awful all the way around. The 07-08 uniforms were the best, especially the red one.

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gchawk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Lose the powder blue. The other 4 look fine, but powder blue doesn't exactly portray "our" blue, in my opinion.

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Phognatic 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I love all the version of our Jayhawk. I love the "Trajan" font they commissioned however many years ago, but...don't like either of them on a football helmet. I would prefer to see solid colored helmets over any of these or any of our recent headgear. I guess I do like the 1941 Jayhawk as a sort of mix-it-up version. The flat black looks good for other schools but if black is not in your school's color wheel, (especially if said color wheel is crimson & blue) it just looks forced.

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The_poster_kusports_needs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The red helmet + blue jersey makes us look like Florida.

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iamakufan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Why would our guys wear uniforms in a North Carolina blue color rather than Kansas blue?

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The_poster_kusports_needs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Imagine if the black one had just a white or monocolored jayhawk...

Whoever thought that the white helmet looked remotely good should be fired immediately.

I like the idea of the red one, but the execution is lacking.

The dark blue one is also lacking.

The throwback helmet is also meh.

What a wasted opportunity.

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The_poster_kusports_needs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Upon further reflection, I hate them all.

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jmason 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Great to see the Jayhawk back on the helmet and that HCCW understands that marketing is a huge key to recruiting. To be able to have a high number of combinations of uniforms is huge!!

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jayhawkdon 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Love everyone of them except the black one. Do not want a black jersey either. The kitties use black and I don't want to be tied in any way to them.

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The_poster_kusports_needs 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Blue one is the only decent looking one. Full Jayhawk on helmet looks stupid. Just Jayhawk head or something would be better.

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Priest Fontaine 9 months, 3 weeks ago

man oh man. Looks like they pretty much slapped the Jayhawk sticker on the side of the helmets. Would love it if KU would get some designers to integrate the KU branding in a more creative and stylish way. Or I guess I should say that Adidas needs to hire a better design team? I think we can all agree who makes the best uniforms...

http://nikeinc.com/nike-football/news/jacksonville-jaguars-and-nike-unveil-new-uniform-design-for-2013#/gallery/19421

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663020/how-nikes-visual-tricks-made-the-oregon-ducks-look-fast-despite-defeat

http://nikeinc.com/nike-football/news/miami-dolphins-unveil-new-refined-uniform-design-for-2013-season#/gallery/19522

http://nikeinc.com/nike-football/news/minnesota-vikings-and-nike-unveil-new-uniform-design#/gallery/19506

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Rock_Chalk_NYC 9 months, 3 weeks ago

On the positive side, good effort in regards to trying something new.

That said, nothing great. Not very creative at all.

Football should never use the happy Jayhawk... love him, but Football is a tough game. Nasty '41 all the way!

North Carolina blue.. please no.

Love the Red and Black helmet concepts (sadly they're finished products) as they could really be awesome if they worked to incorporate the '41 hawk better.

Oh well, decent first step.

Lets win games! Then we can worry about looking good while we win...

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