With the start of the 2020-21 men’s basketball season upon us, we will now be moving into the exciting world of basketball fashion and I am not talking about the fashion exploits of those in the NBA, like Russell Westbrook...
We don’t have enough time to unpack all of that...
First up is Eastern Illinois.
Just as with football, we will be rating the opposing threads on a scale of oh honey, no, to YAASS QUEEN.
Oh honey, no: Obviously, this is the worst rating. If I must explain this to you, you’re probably wearing socks with sandals right now, or a brown belt with black pants, either way, oh honey, no.
Ewww: Nice try, but no.
Werk it: You brought it.
YAASS QUEEN: Best of the best. Your proverbial milkshake brings all the proverbial boys to the yard.
School: Eastern Illinois University
Color Scheme: Grey and Blue
Official Brand Sponsor: Adidas
Eastern Illinois wears white home uniforms with ‘Panthers,’ inscribed across the chest, in blue. The uniform also is outlined with a blue and grey checkered pattern.
I like this look. It’s clean and it reminds me of the old school Marquette uniforms from the Wesley Matthews era.
It’s a very understated look, but the white, blue and grey all feed off of each other extremely well. The checkered pattern continues down to the bottom of their shorts and the school logo appears at the bottom of the left short leg.
The @eiubasketball team will tip off the season on Wednesday night. The Panthers travel to face No. 7 Wisconsin... 9 pm on Big Ten Network and @HitMixWEIU https://t.co/HZTxSgfxHW pic.twitter.com/fhWCM02ccH— Eastern Illinois Athletics (@EIU_Panthers) November 23, 2020
Much like their home threads, the road uniform features and white and grey checkered pattern.
Instead of ‘Panthers,’ the school’s abbreviated name, ‘EIU’ is on the chest of the uniform, in grey.
I personally have never been a fan of the abbreviated name appearing on a uniform. While ‘Eastern Illinois,’ might be a bit much for the front of their uniform, they could easily go with ‘Panthers,’ like on their home threads and it would have made for an even better option.
Just like with the home uniform the checkered pattern continues down to the bottom of their shorts and the school logo appears at the bottom of the left short leg.
For me, its the checkered pattern on the uniform that brings the entire uniform together and helps the uniform look better, despite the spattering of vowels on the front of the uniform, and they’re not even the good vowels.
BONUS Why your mascot sucks...
Since I have never taken a look at Eastern Illinois before, I thought now would be the perfect time to bring back the Mascot Suck Index, to dissect Billy the Panther.
Is he actually a small child?
While the school has not always gone by the nickname of ‘Panthers,’ it has been around since the 1930s. Prior to that time, the school used its colors, blue and grey to describe the various teams at the school.
However, the school newspaper decided it would make more sense to adopt an appropriate nickname, instead of referencing paint swatches when discussing the school’s athletic teams.
As with any decision, a contest was put in place, to help the school pick a new nickname. And the prize was a real hum-dinger - $5 worth of tickets to a local theatre. Which if you factor in inflation, that would come to...
OK, well I have no idea what it would come to today, but I am guess it would be a nominal prize.
The school tabbed the head football coach, the captain of the football team and school newspaper’s sports editor to pick the winning entry.
Three people all submitted the winning entry, Harland Baird, Paul Birthisel and Thelma Brooks were all on the same wavelength with Panthers. Other names, such as Kickapoos Ellini, Indians, Blue Racers, Blue Boys, Blue Battlers and Greyhounds were all considered.
I don’t know about you, but I think they really missed out, when they didn’t pick Blue Boys. What could possibly have struck more fear in the hearts of their opposition then Blue Boys?
Previously the school’s mascot was named Prowler, which makes far more sense than Billy in my opinion. Prowler the Panther also makes more sense from an alliteration standpoint.
In 2008, Prowler was no more, as Billy was introduced at an EIU football game to some interesting responses...the EIU student section, the Blue Crew excitedly welcomed the new buffer, hotter(?) mascot. Students were yelling “Sexy Panther” and “You’ve been working out, Billy!”
Weird energy EIU, weird energy...
Billy has a muscular appearance, blue accents on his head and a realistic set of fangs and whiskers.
The mascot looks pretty good, is realistic, and is a solid mascot.
In 2015, the school introduced a new logo, and with the introduction of the new design, the school stepped into the a more modern look, which was a noticeable improvement over its previous look.
EIU’s previous looks looked like something that you could pick from when creating a team in a Playstation 3 video game, just basic.
Their current look also provided an opportunity for the university, when it came to its uniforms.
“This new logo will give us a more cohesive look for all of our teams. At times the look was splintered with different versions of logos and there were too many different looks on our uniforms. We have the opportunity to give EIU an image with a distinctive, classy and edging new logo,” said EIU’s director of athletics, Tom Michael.
While he is right, I feel like it’s hard to trust him, with him having two first names...
Overall, I like what EIU is doing, both from a uniform standpoint and with its mascot and logo. Their basketball uniforms are solid that color scheme is fire.
Although, I feel like they could use another name, other than Billy. Prowler would be a sick name. Prowler the Panther, now that is a menacing mascot.