Category Archives: ACC

Redesigning the College Snuggie

Let’s face it. There’s been a lot of talk about Snuggies in pop culture this year. “The blanket with sleeves” came out of nowhere and gripped the nation. From themed bar tours to the Washington Post’s annual Peeps diorama contest, you’re never far from Snuggie’s influence.

And if that weren’t enough, the brains that brought you the outstanding three-color collection have upped their game and expanded their product line to include… collegiate licensed Snuggies!

If you haven’t seen them in their full glory, take a gander:


Picture Source: Blanket Wars (Even better, this picture is from a blog post entitled “OU Will Choke Versus Texas.”)

How does one make an eyesore like the Snuggie even more hideous? Make it look like it was made from the contents of the clearance rack at the fabric store. That fabric ain’t just for pajamas anymore!

Though I’m not (yet) a member of the cult of the Snuggie, I understand why people would buy them. Who doesn’t like being warm? And being able to eat whilst wearing a blanket? Or the ability to change channels without exposing bare arms to the draft of a room?

I also understand why people would want collegiate Snuggies in particular. Every sports fan relishes the opportunity to show off a little team spirit. I mean, if I got a Snuggie, you’d be darn sure I’d get a college team one. (Looks like I’d have to get Texas though, because the makers of Snuggie don’t offer a UVA one. Good research on that one, I must admit. They know their audience, and UVA alums likely wouldn’t bother with a Snuggie: it would clash with their ties or pearls.)

Well, instead of continuing to mock Snuggie, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and offer a design suggestion: K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.) Good design should be minimalist, simple and straightforward. Not cluttered.

How should Snuggie go about this? Pretend to make team sweatshirts, just with tons more fabric. Like this:

Or this:
Yes, UVA can have its own Snuggie after all!
Texas should prominently display the Longhorn logo on burnt orange. Carolina the interlocking NC on its signature Carolina blue hue. Virginia Tech would use the interconnected VT. Florida: the Gator. The Jayhawk for Kansas. You get the picture. Make it simple. Make the primary team color the star, not the blinding repetition of several logos.

How would you redesign the collegiate Snuggie? Would you make them like replica jerseys with the ability to personalize a name and number on the back? Add a belt in a contrasting color? Build in a foam finger at the end of one sleeve? Share your ideas in the comments section!

Final two pictures edited from this image.
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Filed under ACC, college basketball, college football, commercials, fashion, graphic design, marketing, mascots, sports, Texas, UVA

It’s a great day to be a Wahoo

I woke up today still smiling about UVA’s win over VT last night.

I’ve been a Wahoo fan for years. While heralded in the academic realm, UVA’s never been known as a football school, like Florida State (in their ’90s heyday of course) or a USC. Despite sharing a state border with Duke and UNC, I’m not sure anyone’s called UVA a basketball school either.

In my lifetime the big UVA sports accomplishments have been in lacrosse, a sport I first learned about when I saw American Pie, soccer and of late, tennis.

The overwhelming majority of positive things I’ve heard said about UVA basketball have been about Ralph Sampson, the undisputed king of Wahoo basketball, who played from 1979-1983. All I can tell you about him is he was the best player in the country at the time, was a 7’4″ (yeah, you read that right) center and led UVA to its only Final Four in 1983. Oh yeah, then there was the biggest upset in college basketball history, when the #1 Sampson-led Cavaliers lost to a then-unknown school in Hawaii called Chaminade. UVA is all about Ralph Sampson facts and is always mentioning on viewbooks and other “come to our school” literature that he and Katie Couric (two of the most famous alums) lived on The Lawn. Fancy.

UVA’s won the ACC in basketball once — in 1976. They’ve been the the Final Four once — the time with Sampson in ’83.

And geez, up until last night we had even lost to Virginia Tech in our last three outings. All were decided by three or less points or an overtime.

This is the plight of the UVA fan. You watch in fear. How bad are they going to beat us this time?, you think when you enter our football stadium against a ranked opponent. Or How long until they blow it?, when they somehow build an comfortable, seemingly insurmountable lead.

But at last, we broke down that barrier at least. My Hoos beat the Hokies 75-61 at the JPJ last night. (And even crazier, beat #12 Clemson at home over the weekend. But this is our rival. This is Virginia Tech!)

Finally, I can say (and this will surely come back and bite me at some point)…

HOOS WIN, SUCKAS!

At least they did last night. And even more today than most days, I’m proud, proud, proud to be an alum.

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Filed under ACC, basketball, college football, sports, UVA, Virginia

Reilly on Free Speech and Sports

When I was younger (10 or so, let’s say), I remember helping my brothers make cardboard signs for them to take to a Steelers game. I remember vividly the Prang marker set we used and how clever my brothers and I thought we were when we made a sign that said

No
Body likes
Cleveland

when the game was televised on NBC. Oh, we were smart ones all right.

I think I speak for most when I say that signs are a fun and jovial part of the atmosphere at sporting events. Most support their team, sometimes they make small jabs at the opponent, and yet other occasions they call attention to completely different phenomena (for example “Hi Mom, please send $!” pleas). Whatever the inspiration, signs are overwhelmingly a tradition that many sports fans have come to embrace.

Not so at the University of Virginia, according to Rick Reilly’s latest story. According to some sort of rule there, no signs of any size are allowed at sporting events anymore. Not even “Go UVA!,” not even a message on a sheet of notebook paper. The only exception, unsurprisingly, are advertisements.

As a former UVA student myself, I’m pretty appalled by the school’s stance against free speech. Apparently it is some sort of new athletic department policy. Reilly interviewed former UVA football standout Ronde Barber about the situation and Barber said, “Seems odd. You’d think if there was one university that would stand up for free speech, it’d be Virginia. When I was there, the signs were really clever.”

I graduated after Ronde Barber, and thankfully, sometime before the new communist revolution. And I’d have to say, my experience was pretty much the same as Barber’s. UVA may not have had national championships in football or basketball, but we had clever fans dammit!

Of all of the amusing signs people brought to games, my favorite was one that someone had a picture of Dick Vitale‘s head Photoshopped into a Duke cheerleader’s uniform. Some friends and I had camped out 17 days — yes 17 days! — for the big UVA-Duke basketball showdown at UVA’s University Hall (U-Hall, because we love to abbreviate everything at UVA). Anyway, my friends and I got front row seats to the contest, and a group with that poster was right behind us. To no one’s surprise, Dick Vitale was there to broadcast the game.

I’m not sure this is the exact picture, but it looks exactly how I remembered it in my head. Source: http://www.truthaboutduke.com/news_month.php?m=November&y=2005

And how do you think he responded? He laughed and even autographed the sign for the students! Unbelievable. I think this says in a nutshell why people should be able to make signs; they make for a good laugh, add to the enthusiasm and atmosphere of the game, and hey, the best can take whatever heat is dealt. Like Reilly said about coach-slamming signs, “Who, exactly, is Virginia protecting here? Groh? The man can handle himself. After all, he was once the head coach of the New York Jets.” Right on, Mr. Reilly.

The whole controversy is downright disturbing. UVA was founded by Thomas Jefferson. That’s right, the very man who penned the Declaration of Independence, our nation’s third president, and so fervently stood for rights like free speech. Good ol’ TJ (or Teej as I liked to refer to him back in the day) would roll over in his grave if he knew what was going down at The University these days. As Reilly said, it’s un-American, and where is the line drawn? Does this mean that in the coming years the Lawn won’t have free speech either? No organizations intercepting unsuspecting students in an effort to get them to join their organization/show up to their meetings/donate money/buy their baked goods/rally behind their cause? As annoying as I found those soliciting tables (I’d walk the 2 or 3 minutes out of the way to avoid them), I 100% support their right to be there. Maybe it’s time the UVA athletics department took the same stand.

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Filed under ACC, basketball, college football, ESPN, free speech, journalism, politics, sports, UVA