Syracuse to Wear Grey Against Princeton to Honor the Color of Central New York's Sky

Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

At least these things aren't named after military terms.

In terms of shocking alternate uniform releases, Nike hasn't exactly held back on its decision to outfit Syracuse in grey this season. As it turns out, this weekend's Game of the Week of the Century in the History of this Particular Planet Located in this Particular GalaxyTM -- pitting the Orange against Princeton -- is going to serve as the moment the The Swoosh to unleash its newest development in whatever:

From the Syracuse athletics release:

In a departure from its traditional road orange, the Syracuse men's lacrosse team will debut custom anthracite Nike Vapor uniforms this weekend at Princeton. The Vapor is Nike's lightest lacrosse uniform to date and the Orange is one of three teams (Virginia and Duke are the others) it was offered to this spring. What makes the Syracuse version special is that it's the only one available in anthracite – a dynamic shade of gray developed exclusively by Nike.

* * * * *

As part of the custom design, the shoulders of the jersey feature an orange screen print of the Syracuse University Hall of Languages facade. It's the same element Nike used as part of its aerographics design for the SU men's basketball jerseys.

To complement the uniforms, Syracuse will don new Cascade Matte Grey CPX-R helmets. The helmets include SU's signature block "S" logo and feature a custom orange chinstrap. The letters "HHH" adorn the titanium facemask in a nod to the "Head, Heart, Hustle" motto that has defined the program for years. The letters are also a reference to the team's 2013 Twitter-based theme: #HHH.

I just want to be absolute clear about this: I spent four years as a student at Syracuse University; over that time, not once -- ever! -- was it imparted upon me that grey -- in any of its shades, including whatever the hell anthracite is (and, for what it's worth, I have never in my existence ever heard any designer that hasn't suffered from major head trauma refer to a shade of grey (the mucky in-between of black and white) as "dynamic") -- was one of the university’s colors. Orange? Yes. Blue? Yup. Grey? Unless we're talking about the color of Syracuse's two seasons -- winter and construction -- the answer is "Nope."

Other than the fact that Syracuse will essentially be dressing in eye-popping depression this weekend, a few other notes:

  • Nike punted on the shoulder screening. I get that Hall of Languages is an iconic building on the university's campus (the house from The Addams Family was modeled after H.L.), but why simply copy the Orange's hoops jerseys? Why not do a screening that aludes to Syracuse's double-digit titles or make reference to the university's relationship to its Native American neighbors (and the founders of the game)? Or what about the Carrier Dome, the most unique venue in college lacrosse? I'd even settle for a screened image of Slugger Simmons kissing a baby. Do work, Swoosh!
  • I'm not a gear guy by any stretch of the imagination, but matte grey helmets are just about the only ones that look halfway decent. They still don't hold a candle to the "Bucket" helmets that Hopkins wore last season against Maryland, though. Those things are still the gold standard.
  • There have been three big-ish uniform releases this season: Maryland's "Black Ops" uniforms, Virginia's clearly visible "Stealth" uniforms, and these Syracuse kits. What's your favorite of the three?

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