It’s tournament time boys and girls, and Wisconsin has drawn the University of North Carolina in the first round. North Carolina, one of the most decorated collegiate basketball programs, the owners of six National Championships and wearers of one of the most timeless uniforms in sports.
James Worthy, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter and Tyler Hansbrough are among those that have sported similarly designed uniforms for the Tar Heels in the school’s storied past.
And as I write this, I am hating the fact that there is nothing to hate about the Tar Heels uniforms. It’s an iconic fit and there isn’t much more to say.
As a reminder, 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: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mascot: Tar Heels
Color Scheme: White and Carolina Blue
Official Brand Sponsor: Jordan Brand
When at its home confines, or when it has the higher seed in a tournament, UNC is typically seen in its timeless home uniform, which is a white uniform, with ‘North Carolina’ on the front of the jersey with the player’s number centered between the school name.
A jersey that has withstood the test of time and has seen little change over the years.
The text on the front of the uniform is Carolina blue, outlined in navy blue. The side of the uniform features a wide Carolina blue stripe, outlined in navy blue and Carolina blue, with an argyle-ish diamond pattern, featuring white diamonds, as well as diamonds outlined in navy blue.
This design goes the length of the jersey and cascades onto the shorts and eventually ends, just above the ‘UNC’ logo, which appears at the bottom of each leg of the shorts. The thin navy and Carolina blue stripes that outline the wider stripe, then continue around the hem of the shorts.
As I mentioned, the concept has been around a long time and it’s timeless and hard to fault. However, while I am a fan of the Tar Heels home uniform, I would love to see UNC break away from tradition and introduce more alternative uniforms.
We have seen UNC do this in the past, but it doesn’t happen often.
Oh and maybe not use straight block letters...
Home uniform score:
UNC’s road uniform is a carbon-copy of its home uniform. The road uniform is Carolina blue, with ‘North Carolina,’ with the player’s number centered betwixt the school name.
The same diamond pattern appears on the sides of the uniform, but encapsulated in a wider white stripe. The shorts also have the UNC logo at the bottom of each leg, below the diamond design.
Their road uniform, like the home uniform is a classic uniform, that when seen brings back thoughts of past UNC greats.
That Carolina blue color also slaps...
Away uniform score:
Why Your Mascot Sucks
The term “Tar Heel” comes from way back when, when North Carolina was a leading producer of supplies for the naval industry.
Workers who distilled turpentine from the sticky sap of pine trees and burned pine boughs to produce tar and pitch often went barefoot during hot summer months and undoubtedly collected tar on their heels. To call someone a “rosin heel” or “tar heel” was to imply that they worked in a lowly trade.
During the Civil War, soldiers from the state flipped the script and started to use the term as an accolade and not an epithet. They called themselves tar heels to display state pride.
When the university began competing in athletics in the 1880s, the school adopted the nickname.
You may be wondering, how UNC’s nickname transpired into their mascot being a ram and not just some guy with a sticky foot that no one wants to invite into their house after they have just finished cleaning their floors...
Well in 1924, UNC cheerleader Vic Huggins, decided that the school needed an animal mascot. Something similar to North Carolina State’s wolf.
Huggins settled on a ram, due to fullback Jack Merritt’s nickname, “the battering ram.” Huggins got $25 from the school and ordered a ram from Texas. Which is crazy, only $25 for a ram!?! Nowadays those things have an MSRP of like $33,000, depending on which model you get.
I wonder how much towing capacity and fuel efficiency $25 got them. Maybe I Googled the wrong thing...
Upon its arrival, the ram was named Rameses, for some reason.
Wait...he was a ram and his name was Rameses...I get it now.
Rameses and his descendants have been features at UNC football games ever since. The costumed Rameses was introduced during the 1987-88 basketball season. The real-live Rameses is a Dorset Horn Sheep, with its horns pained blue.
A fun fact about Dorset Horn Sheep is that both ewes and rams carry horns. Ewes horns are light, curling forward, while rams’ horns are heavy and spiral out and curve forward.
The Rameses mascot is an anthropomorphic ram, who wears the UNC uniform of the sport he is, uh, mascoting for.
He is a white ram with tan horns and permanent angry eyes...
Rameses is a decent looking, but I would like to see some more detail in the mascot, like we see in Rampage, the LA Rams mascot.
As you will see, Rampage is noticeably happier than Rameses, which I think is a good thing. Mascots are there to entertain and don’t need to be so serious.
UNC clearly agreed that they needed a less serious mascot, so they introduced Rameses Jr., (aka RJ), a less muscular ram with Carolina blue horns and blue eyes.
Brown Walters, who was the director of the spirit programs at UNC, said that RJ was also designed to appeal to children more, who were frightened by the Rameses mascot.
Now I can understand why RJ may be considered more kid-friendly, but if a kid is afraid of the Rameses mascot, wouldn’t it also be afraid of the exact same mascot, but with different color horns, blue eyes and friendlier eye brows...?
Even though RJ is a bit more happier looking, he still joins Rameses in lacking some needed detail.
Specifically their mouths. There is just an indent of a mouth, but I think they should incorporate and open mouth design like Rampage and like other ram mascots. Overall, UNC’s flock of mascots is just alright...but with a bit more work, they could be the bellwethers of the sheep mascots.