On Sunday night the Iowa football program unveiled the “Blackout” uniforms they’ll be wearing against Ohio State this week.
I’m not crazy about wearing alternate uniforms, but honestly? I think these are pretty sharp. They aren’t as plain as the Blackout look worn against Minnesota in 2015. The grey helmets are way cooler than the last time Iowa tried to go with a gray helmet. The yellow contrasts with the gray quite well, and the block letter “I” design in the gray is a very nice detail which looks particularly good on the helmet. The whole thing gets the Creighton seal of approval.
But.......on some level I am a little disappointed. I have one particular alternate uniform design in mind. Every year I secretly hope to see it, and every year I am even more disappointed than an 8 year old who unwrapped Superman 64 on Christmas morning after asking Santa for Ocarina of Time. This uniform would make waves around the interwebs and the Twitters. The design is a very particular throwback uniform that would be both unique and familiar. Some call the look infamous, I call it beautiful. I am, of course, referring to the Apex banana peel uniforms.
Wait hear me out! Don’t close that tab quite yet. These are not aesthetically pleasing in the traditional sense, but I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t secretly in love with them. I admit they were terrible and Iowa was right to switch back to their current look, but part of me still longs for the peels. They were a weird break from the Pittsburgh Steelers look and the Hawkeyes didn’t win very many football games while wearing those, however, like the films such as The Room or Manos: The Hands of Fate these banana peel kits are so bad that they’re enjoyable. I mean look at it:
Let’s break it down a little bit. I was barely out of diapers when these were worn, but I remember seeing pictures of them and thinking the shoulder stripes were supposed to be feathers, making the shoulders look like a hawk’s wing. Are they? They don’t look like feathers, but I don’t know it was the 90’s and nobody had bothered putting tiny elaborate details into every part of the jersey yet. The stripes though, they’re flat on the bottom and curved on the top, so I think they were going for something. They could just be goofy, banana-shaped stripes I guess, but I’m sticking with my feather theory.
Now check out the “Hawkeyes” on the chest. That itself is not unusual, but they also had to shoehorn the tigerhawk logo on there for some reason. The tigerhawk is white, which is a bit odd, but the real crime is that it completely screws up the jersey’s feng shui by forcing the “Hawkeyes” to be offset to the left. There’s something unsettling to the OCD part of my brain when I see the word not centered in the middle of the chest. By itself this is simply an aesthetic disaster, but when shoved on there with the terrible banana wings on the shoulders it somehow comes together perfectly, kind of like indiscriminately throwing a bunch of bad Mr. Freeze puns in the Batman and Robin script.
Guess what though? Iowa wasn’t the only team sporting odd shoulder pad art in the 90’s. Hey there Gophers!
That’s right, the Apex bug found its way to Minnesota too. I am 100% serious when I say this, but I want to see an Iowa-Minnesota Apex Bowl. I want each team to dress up in the most shameful uniform they ever had and fight each other for a big bronze pig. Banana peels and shoulder M’s. Ugly jerseys and ugly offenses. Please, let’s make this happen. After years of AIRBHG, I think the football gods owe me a favor. Come on, this isn’t asking for much. The Iowa-Minnesota game this year was already the football equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space, so why would you waste time dressing it up like Citizen Kane?
Banana peels. Come on guys, you know you’d watch that. Let’s make it happen.
PS: I’m sorry, I know this was by far the worst opinion I’ve ever had on OTE. Tell Graham I’ll take a pay cut, just don’t let him fire me.