Is it just me, or is sports mimicking television? Not televised sports — television shows. Monday, we saw Mike Shanahan finally deciding to give the rose to Sexy Rexy — with a nickname like that, was there ever any doubt he’d be the choice?
(Well, yes, there was, especially after Shanahan spent much of the offseason expressing his undying love for John Beck. He’s no different from those cads on “The Bachelor,” misleading some deluded woman — and the poor audience who watches — that she’d be the choice before delivering the rose bomb to someone else. The bad news, in this scenario: Beck will be the new “Bachelorette.”)
Then Monday night, we saw the Maryland football team’s new uniforms. Several of them. ESPN should have used Joan Rivers as a sideline reporter. Costume changes? What is this, the road company of “Dreamgirls”?
I wrote after the Terps’ fashion show last month that I liked some of the new uniforms — there were 32 combinations available and they weren’t all winners, but everyone’s wardrobe has a few clunkers. I did not like the turtle-patterned helmet, but expected others would. And it seemed I was right; the Terps wore that one in pregame warmups.
Then they went into the locker room, where apparently Rachel Zoe and her minions were waiting. Because the Terps came out for the game in entirely different togs, from unis to lids! And we’d never seen this combination! What a risk, because had they lost the game, the Terps would never have heard the end of the “Did they spend more time drawing up wardrobe combinations than plays?” jokes.
That uni-helmet combination they settled on, believe it or not, is called the “Pride” look. They managed to look like Cirque du Soleil performers and put the kibosh on any man ever complaining again that his mate can’t make up her mind about what to wear. You didn’t see the cheerleaders change clothes, did you?
Maybe it was intended to be an optical illusion. From one side the Terps looked like a team in red and white; from the other side they looked like Checker Cabs. But as long as the Terps run over the opponents, their fans won’t care. A boffo, high-speed offense and a 32-24 victory over Miami to start the Randy Edsall era cancels out a lot of fashion faux pas. Terps fans will put up with tutus and leg warmers for a chance at an ACC title. But will winning cleanse our corneas? Because those uniforms were, in fashion parlance, too busy.
Oh, how I miss Robin Givhan!
I will admit, though, that I love Under Armour’s devotion to the Maryland state flag. Maryland is the state university of, well, Maryland, and I think emphasizing that — in fact, hitting us over the head with that — is a tremendous idea. There has been much grumbling among Terps fans that Maryland’s top athletes are being lured to out-of-state schools. Perhaps the emphasis on the home state, and all of the available material for wardrobe changes, will appeal to the generation that notices how many costumes Lady Gaga wore on the Video Music Awards.
In other words, maybe they will appeal to the youth market — and with more than 50,000 in the stands Monday night, Maryland certainly had a lot of potential shoppers.
And now television shows can steal from sports. Just wait — “Project Runway” will surely make contestants have to turn a state flag into a red carpet gown. Keep an eye on the pregame show for the Emmys.