Dear Old UVA
January 28, 2008 | Kevin Zdancewicz

Thomas Jones

Uniforms are one of the most recognizable aspects of sports, but it’s amazing how often they go overlooked. The average sports fan seems content to give only a passing acknowledgement of team jerseys, leaving appreciation for or debate about how a team looks frequently ignored. I’ve been fascinated with logo and uniform design since I was a kid and would create expansion teams with original logos or rebrand existing sports franchises with different marks. I think it’s a shame that so-called “athletics aesthetics” go unnoticed when jerseys encompass the very identity of a team. With this new feature on Fanatic, the idea is to present an interesting jersey – whether it be good-looking, innovative, controversial, ugly or wacky – each week and give you a little insight into it. Maybe after some time it will start to change the way you notice and value sports uniforms.

I figured we would start off with a jersey that is close to home. Featured above is the road jersey of the University of Virginia football team in 1998 and 1999. This is probably my favorite U.Va. football uniform because it has a distinctly college feel, with the lack of helmet and pants stripes, as well as the low socks. Some might call it too plain; I would call it classic and clean-cut. The border around the collar and sleeves was a really cool design, featuring the Lawn’s Colonnades in white with a navy shadow – a layout similar to the Class of 2008 logo. When Al Groh took over as head coach in 2001, he brought along with his NFL experience a pro-style look for the Cavalier uniforms. I’ve never liked the recent use of white on navy uniform combo, which I think should have darker navy pants with orange stripes (if any) rather than white. The orange numbers in a stylized font on the older jerseys were a nice touch. It always seemed odd that Groh never incorporated more of that color into the team’s uniforms even though he urged the fans to become the “Sea of Orange.”

Photo Courtesy of

Jersey of the Week Archive