In an age where individual players often garner more attention than the teams they play for, the University of South Florida is employing a tactic to try and get players to embrace the “team first” mentality. How are they doing it? Well, they’ve decided to take each players name off the back of his jersey, replacing it with “THE TEAM.”
Here’s a look at what USF players are going to look like this upcoming college football season.
I get what USF is trying to do here, but I don’t know that it’s going to achieve the desired effect.
First, players can still play for themselves. Just because you take their names off of their jerseys, it doesn’t mean they won’t potentially play selfishly. Also, tons of teams take the names off the back of their teams’ jerseys, instead opting to go with just numbers. That’s not new. This just looks goofy, and opens the team up to a ton of ridicule if they’re getting stomped by an opposition at some point this season. Could you imagine how demoralizing it would be to lose 49-6 or something, with jerseys on that all say THE TEAM. The message instantly goes from bold to corny at that point, and the potential for jokes is endless.
Also, these jerseys look like something sold by a WWE online apparel store. I feel like the back of these should say “Austin 3:16” or “U Can’t C Me.” Or, to keep it within the world of sports that aren’t scripted, it’s like a fan at a game that has a jersey that says something like “Cowboys Fan”, or “Stanley Cup Champs” with the jersey number being the year your team won. The only thing that is potentially worse in the world of jerseys, is when you live out your fantasy of being on your favorite team, and put your own last name on the back of a jersey. That’s the worst.
But anyway, good luck with the new jerseys USF. If this doesn’t work, just have players wear nameless and numberless pinnies. Statisticians will hate you for it, but it may bring you a little closer to keeping everyone feeling like they’re part of one unit.