BY PAT FLYNN
Lets all start calling the Senior Bowl what it really is: The Under Armour Mirrored Visor Bowl.
Football players take a tremendous amount of pride in their on-field appearance. Yes, football players at big-time BCS programs have basically unlimited supplies of cleats, gloves, wristbands, Under Armour/Nike Drifits…whatever they would need x 10. But a quick look at what they don’t get — that they desperately want — is fairly obvious when watching the Senior Bowl.
Two things most big-time programs don’t allow are mirrored or blacked out visors and spatted cleats. Players across the country wear visors, or shields, whatever you want to call them. But they have to be clear or light enough to see through. However, there are exceptions. Some schools get way with it or have a medical staff that is OK with it being a possible hindrance when trying to see a player’s pupils dilate after a head injury or possible concussion.
Players are not allowed to spat (wrap tape over their cleats) their cleats because of shoe contracts. These schools make these kids billboards for whatever shoe company pays them to wear their stuff. It’s tough to see the Nike swoosh or Adidas emblem with tape over it. Unless there is an injury to justify it, most schools won’t allow it.
The Senior Bowl takes the governor off and the swag is turned way, way up. Mirrored visors and spatted up cleats left and right. It’s a celebration of freedom and the creation of a player in Madden personified.
I watched the Senior Bowl for about 20 minutes and was laughing how every player, especially on the defense, was celebrating their freedom. Just spiking the football in the face of those training staffs and equipment managers that wouldn’t let them wear that visor or get spatted.
I credit the early 2000 Miami Hurricanes, namely Willis McGahee, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor and DJ Williams for making this the most bad ass, desirable look in football.
For years these players have wanted to be able to pull off this look and haven’t been allowed due to high school or college team rules. Then came the Senior Bowl…