Yesterday was an important day: the Offical Veterans Day (today is Federal Veterans Day, so banks and government offices can celebrate at home), a day where we remember and honor all those who have served in our armed forces--and made the ultimate sacrifice. Many people around you have known someone--or know someone--who has served in the military, and it's good to remember all those who have served in a humble, classy way.
In my opinion, seeing football teams dress up in camo, rock some camo towels, and having a coach dress up in a lazy rendition of military fatigues is not only pushing it too far, but watering down the meaning of Veterans Day.
Don't get me started on Ohio State vs. Michigan State in the Aircraft Carrier Camo Clash (which in itself, having a basketball game on an Aircraft Carrier is a pretty cool way of celebrating Veterans Day).
Having all sorts of color injected into a college sports uniform is nothing new anymore, thanks to Nike, adidas, Under Armour, etc., wanting to get high school players to commit to colleges. Hell, the NFL has been in so deep into Pinktober, I actually forgot that pink wasn't an Eagles color. But now, the NFL wants to cash in on the camo craze of November. Does that sound harsh? Yeah. I'm sure the NFL genually wants to honor our armed forces, and I don't want to stop them. But camo? The same digital camo that has been a five billion dollar failure? It's almost like everyone stopped trying!
But Mike London, the head coach of the University of Virginia, went out on the field in full camo fatigues. What?
That linked picture is from Uni Watch, with an entry submitted by a reader. Click this text if you want to read the whole article, with Paul Lukas' afterthoughts, but I'll give you a small rundown.
"Mike London was wearing what can only be described as a bastardized set of Marine Corps “cammies.” He had the top, pants and eight-point hat, which was rotated with hats from different services and the ROTC detachment at UVA (more on that later). But he was also wearing a navy blue shirt and sneakers. He also had gold chains hanging out — although those weren’t visible when he had his top buttoned up completely (which itself is wrong unless there’s a specific reason to do it). ...
I can’t imagine that Coach London was trying to portray himself as a crazed person, dressed in a quasi-military uniform, flailing about and screaming at authority figures (i.e., the officials) — but that’s sure how it came across. …
I think what bothered me the most, though, is that there’s an ROTC detachment on most college campuses headed by a senior officer and with non-commissioned officer staff. These officers not only gave tacit approval to this farce, they seemingly endorsed it by allowing Coach London to wear their hat. Who thought it would be okay to let this coach go galavanting around the sidelines in a half-assed uniform in the name of 'military appreciation'?"
Now, the issue on camoflague in uniforms, for respect of the military it is assumed, is a touchy issue. Many, many people are apt to say "this is for honoring the military, why would you be against it?", just as the same with Breast Cancer Awareness. Imitation is a form of flattery, but being a grown man, dressing up in a camo uniform (and at the same time, not keeping with the uniform standards) isn't flattering. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and while the good intent was there--honor our military--it makes the whole 'honoring the troops' idea become a farce.
To me, camo ribbons with the NFL logo look like a poor marketing attempt. On the other hand, a camo ribbon with the Washington football team logo looks like a bad joke no one on the Macs in the designing room noticed when making that ribbon. The color pink has become a marketing tool--lets sell stuff to women by making it pink--and multi-million dollar busniesses like the NFL seem bent on turning military camo into the same thing.
You mean, we can't honor our troops with a moment of silence, and a half-time ceremony? We can't keep class to our respect of our troops, and leave the camo costume at home for Halloween?