Helmet Stickers In, Legend Jerseys Out?

It was set in wood, not stone.

There are certain matters regarding Michigan Football that are, shall we say, topical G-Spots whenever they get brought up. They're not necessarily significant in terms of wins and losses or anything, really...but people like to discuss them because when it comes to Michigan's uniform and the winged helmet, folks usually have a strong opinion.

Rivals' Chris Balas stirred the pot yesterday morning when he reported that Harbaugh would be bringing back helmet stickers and getting rid of the legends jerseys.

No one should be surprised over the legends jerseys. Those had Brandon/Lochmann written all over them from the start. But the helmet stickers are a different animal. They have a history.

Michigan had helmet stickers when Harbaugh played here, and they had them long before before Harbaugh played here...which means they were Bo Approved™. Which immediately makes them okay in the hearts and minds of mostly everyone born before the mid-80s – yours truly included.

I have no beef with helmet stickers. But all this hubbub does raise a interesting question. Not to get too philosophical here, but what is the virtue of a helmet sticker?

If the players like them and will perform at a higher level to obtain more of them, then I'm in. Once you get passed the aesthetics and into honest-to-goodness tangible results I think there's an argument to be had. Were Bo's teams better because of these "achievement" stickers? Maybe. I mean...there has to be a reason so many schools use them.

I get why people don't like the look. And If I were in charge, I'd make the stickers slightly smaller but stick with the same design. But overall, I'm down.

As far as the legends jerseys…

I'm on board with whatever the current administration wants. Jim Hackett is the steward of this boat and sometimes that means undoing some of the things the previous guy did. It's not that I didn't like the legends jerseys, but after the initial pomp and circumstance wears off, it's just another number being passed around that's supposed to have more meaning than it really does.

Plus the jersey patch looked weird. It was a good idea in theory, but poorly executed.

I say remove the "legend" numbers from circulation but keep the shrine in the museum at Schembechler Hall. Maybe down the road UM could create some sort of "Legend's Courtyard" outside of the stadium with statues or something. I'm all for honoring these legendary players but without being all overly obnoxious about it. Tom Harmon still legend-y even if the current quarterback isn't wearing #98.

Even before Jim Harbaugh was hired, there was a rumor that Jim Hackett was interested in taking the football team's temperature about various ancillary topics, one of them being who should be Michigan's apparel supplier. That may or may not have happened, but there's twitter chatter that it might be happening now.

Apparel contracts, especially for Michigan, are big business. Hackett probably wouldn't take this before a team discussion if he didn't already know that Nike (or Under Armour, I suppose) was interested. But, and I can't stress this enough, there's no evidence that he took anything before a team vote either back in December or more recently. This is pure internet rumor territory.

It's not a well-kept secret that adidas is not a fan favorite. I don't know what UM athletes honestly think because obviously you wouldn't hear a peep from 1000 S. State St. because you don't screw with a $7.5M/yr cash cow. Plus, there are many other varsity sports involved here besides just football. But with all due respect, football has all the influence.

This coming sports season, 2015/16, is the final year of Michigan's 8-year adidas contract which was and still is the most lucrative contract adidas has with any college program, and roughly double what Michigan's previous contract with Nike was worth.

Nike may not come back with an offer to match adidas, but what Jim Hackett will need to ask himself is if its worth less money to go with what, I assume, the players really want.

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