Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/26/12

Pat Fitzgerald had a great quote on dais at Big Ten Media Day: “some people have called me the youngest old-school person in the country, and I’m okay with that”

He’s definitely earned it, as Northwestern has been to four straight bowl games, a first in school history. Their academic rating, APR is so high that it makes them one of the best ranked schools in the nation. And in 2012, they’ll be the only school in the league to play 3 BCS conference teams in the nonconference schedule.

The Wildcats will do it with sweet, new school meets old school uniforms.

“It’s been a great offseason working with Under Armour, and we’re obviously very excited to be a part of the Under Armour brand, the only Big Ten school to be in the Under Armour uniform and the Under Armour family.  And working with the entire organization and Kevin and his staff are just absolutely amazing,” Fitzgerald said up at the podium.

“The diligence, the attention to detail and the design of the uniform has just been amazing.  And every step of the way, there’s been communication with Dr.Jim Phillips, our AD, with myself, for our uniforms in particular, with Mike Polisky who runs our marketing team up at Northwestern, and we put it to our leadership council.  And the guys really had a lot of input.

“But you can see how it plays on the tradition of our campus, on the uniqueness to our traditions of the Northwestern stripe.  And some people have accused me of being the youngest old school person in the country and I’m okay with that.  To see the Northwestern stripe prominently in our jersey I think is classy.  I think it shows the tradition of our university, not just of our football program.

And I’ll just put it to you this way:  The technology in that uniform is cutting edge.  It’s strong and as unique as anything in our country.”

You can see the arm stripe from when Fitz played at NU- the ’95 Rose Bowl team in the middle of the jersey now. You can also see the famous arch at Chicago Ave on campus in the uniform as well. Additionally, the program slogan of W.I.N. What’s important now is stitched into the bottom.

It incorporates a unique design aesthetic, taking inspiration from the different elements of the Northwestern campus, including the gothic-style architecture and intricate stonework. These details are strategically woven into the uniform through the font style and numeral design, adding intricate details to the prominent Northwestern stripe across the jersey. The uniforms will be complete with base layer, gloves and footwear that all coordinate with the home and away uniforms.

“Under Armour is dedicated to making all athletes better through innovation and design and the new Northwestern uniforms are the perfect example of blending best-in-class technology with the University’s rich football heritage,” said Matt Mirchin, SVP Brand and Sports Marketing, Under Armour.

“We are excited to see these uniforms take the field, for the first time in the Big Ten, and look forward to providing the entire Northwestern athletic department with a unique, cohesive look to represent a great university.”

On a side note, the rivalry with the Illini got ramped up a notch today. Here’s a question and answer about that very topic

Q.  How do you feel about Coach Tim Beckman pointing out the game against you guys this year and maybe making it into a larger rivalry?

COACH FITZGERALD:  I can’t speak for Coach and the way that he feels.  Obviously I’m not part of that program.  But we’ve got the utmost respect for the school down there in Champagne, and I’ve got a ton of respect for Tim.  We’ve known each other for a while.  It’s a great rivalry that we’ve been a part of.

I’ll go back to when I was being recruited, and I have a lot of friends that went to school there, and we stay in close contact and in touch.  When I was in school, we’d actually go down and visit those guys sometimes throughout the year and they’d come up and see us.  And there was a great mutual respect.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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