What’s the most vibrant, original color in our universe? It might sound like a peculiar question, one that holds a mere amount of significance, but I’m being serious. If you’re Dwight Schrute, you believe the best color is black. It’s the most dominant. Elle Woods would combat that sentiment and likely outdo your testimony (what with her being a budding attorney, of course), dubbing pink as the world’s best color. Both are fine answers. But they don’t answer my question.
The question involved a key term, that being “vibrant.” When referencing colors, vibrant means bright and striking. Now, if given a choice of “original” colors, per se, wouldn’t you pick red? It is pulsating, it is intense, it is as rich as it is bright and striking. It is, above all else, the color that our student-athletes don every day as they march into battle against other mid-major student-athletes. It is what sets us apart. It is… (ellipses added for dramatic effect) Marist.
This week, Center Field has decided to take on a challenge unlike any that came before it (but don’t ask our Managing Editors about challenges because they’ll vehemently disagree). Rather than writing about where the color choice came from (lame) or why our predecessors felt that a Red Fox was an intimidating mascot — the campus skunks are much more threatening — we’ll examine the question that we all want the answer to: which jersey is the best of the best?
The selection process is far more rigorous than the Democratic primary voting or the Academy’s preferential balloting system at the Oscars. To whittle our list down to 16 total jerseys, there were harsh parameters. They are as follows:
- Your jersey must clearly involve Marist.
- A shade of red (maroon, pink) must be an involved color.
Does everybody get it? I know, we’re strict. The following process is far simpler. I’ll take one side of the bracket, Connor will take the other. In the end, we’ll fight it out for jersey supremacy. Let the madness begin. – Will
The Right Side – Quarterfinals — Will
1. Football v. 8. Women’s Soccer
As much as I want this to be a Marist-reincarnation of UMBC-Virginia, it’s much closer to Villanova-Radford. Side by side, jersey to jersey, there’s not a real contest here. Football’s red jerseys sport white, block-shaped numbers and include a Marist Red Fox on the jersey’s collar. The Women’s Soccer unis are fine, but the lack of flash is what does them in here.
4. Men’s Lacrosse v. 5. Swimming & Diving
There are two interesting elements here that I want to examine for a moment: the headgear. So, it’s customary for Men’s LAXers to wear large, gladiator-like helmets, you know, to protect them from those orange-sized death balls people call “lacrosse balls.” But the Swimming & Diving team? THEY can be spotted from near and far with those bright red swim caps on.
In an upset, I have to go with the item of sportswear that tormented me for the first decade of my life, when swimmer’s ear really took its horrid, painstaking toll. In the words of Lee Corso, “Give me that swim cap.”
Winner: Swimming & Diving
3. Baseball (Red) v. 6. Men’s Soccer
Who seeded this thing, I mean, really? Men’s Soccer has very plain, uneventful jerseys that lack the excess pomp and frill of other jerseys, which I genuinely appreciate! I do like simplicity, but not when it bores me. Baseball’s simplicity doesn’t bore me; in fact, it feels classic. Their beat red jerseys scream “Marist.” My school pride is just oozing out here.
2. Women’s Basketball (Pink) v. 7. Golf Team
With endless apologies extended to my cohort on this particular piece, the Golf team’s “uniform” is a polo. You know, those things that all golfers wear and typically never draw any attention away from the golfing itself. That’s fine, but on one specific day a year, the Marist Women’s Basketball team goes all pink. It’s a stellar change of pace and a wonderfully constructed piece of fashion, one that makes Michael Kors drool and Diane von Furstenberg weep.
Winner: Women’s Basketball
1. Football v. 5. Swimming & Diving
Things get quite interesting here. Do I side with the powerhouse, the classic, bright and bold red football jerseys? Those that ignite a sense of great peril in the bellies of their enemies? Or do side with… well… a pretty dope swim cap?
With the stakes at hand, I need to consider more than headgear. We’re in the Elite Eight, not the play-in games. Swimming and Diving, it was a pleasure to have you on board. You provided us with an epic, overtime, buzzer-beating upset. In a way, you’re like the better seeded Buffalo that ruined my bracket least year and lost me money by defeating Arizona. But alas, Men’s Lacrosse was merely your Arizona.
Football is your Kentucky.
2. Women’s Basketball (Pink) v. 3. Baseball (Red)
OMG! How adorable and appropriate! Why, it’s a Valentine’s Day Color War!
Cute. Need we say more?
Winner: Women’s Basketball
1. Football v. 2. Women’s Basketball
This has all been a big charade, frankly. There has been a favorite from the start. I’m tackling this quite biasedly, not worrying one bit about the fact that these decisions are made with a great deal of favoritism involved. While I’ve praised tradition throughout these matchups, I like straying away, too. It may not be a year round jersey, but there is no better uniform than the pink Women’s Basketball jerseys. Try to change my mind. Oh, wait. You can’t. Don’t waste your time, Landazuri.
Winner: WBB (Pink)
Round of 16 — Connor
1. Frisbee v. 8. Volleyball
As much as I admire the the old fashioned number on the front, basic Marist-colored jerseys, I couldn’t move past the new frisbee uniforms as they represent the new direction of style that Marist is going with. This showdown between the modern logo of the club frisbee team and the traditional volleyball team was a hard fought battle until the end. Despite the Volleyball squad’s high flying athleticism, they couldn’t spike their way into the quarterfinals as the Club Frisbee uniforms topped them as the better Marist kit.
4. Men’s Rowing v. 5. Water Polo
This was the battle of the Hudson as two water sports went toe to toe. The swim cap seemed to be a particular favorite of Will’s on his side of the bracket. Well, I’m sorry to say this isn’t his choice anymore. The Marist Water Polo and Men’s Rowing teams both have very traditional, yet classy uniforms. But in the end, it was the crew team that sailed into the next round for me. The Men’s Rowing uniform shows more prestige with their awesome logo, and that in and of itself was too much for the Water Polo’s swim cap.
Winner: Men’s Rowing
3. Men’s Rugby v. 6. Tennis
The Men’s Rugby uniform is just a straight up powerhouse. I like to call it the Duke of this bracket, and it doesn’t look like they are going down without a fight. As much as I love a good long sleeved jersey, the tennis uniform couldn’t win me over, much like Louisville couldn’t hold their lead over Duke.The Marist Tennis long sleeved uniforms stand out on their own, but the squad’s stamina wasn’t enough to move the manpower of the Men’s Rugby uniform as they were ultimately the ones to advance to the quarterfinals.
Winner: Men’s Rugby
2. Marist Dance v. 7. Cross Country
The Dance team uniform is just too flashy for Cross Country’s to even hold a leg up. As much as they wanted to keep running, they couldn’t keep pace with the Marist Dance team’s uniform in the end. Just like that, the Dance squad stepped their way to the next round.
1. Frisbee v. 4. Men’s Rowing
I had a lot of fun with this matchup here, it was really tough for me to make a decision as I had two very different kits here. Part of me was saying to admire the genuine class that The Men’s Rowing uniforms shows off with their spin on the Marist logo. But the other voice in my head was screaming about how unique the modern design of the Frisbee jersey was. In the end, the voice shouting Frisbee was too loud and it sent the top seeded Frisbee team into the semifinal.
2. Dance Team v. 3. Men’s Rugby
Another example of brute strength by the Men’s Rugby team’s uniform as it was too much for their opponent. I thought it was a great run on stage for the Marist Dance team, but all good things must come to an end. This is where they must depart and pack up their pom poms for the last time. Rugby will be scoring their way into the Semi’s here taking down the shiny Marist Dance team’s uniform.
Winner: Men’s Rugby
1. Frisbee v. 3. Men’s Rugby
Ahh, my favorite part: sending a team into the final round of this competition where my pick will square up with Will’s. Despite a hard fought semifinal matchup, it was the Marist Men’s Rugby uniform that is going to the final after dominating its way through the bracket. Were you really surprised that no one could take this jersey down as it was too strong for any competition? The Rugby squad’s uniform will go up against the elegant pink women’s basketball jerseys. Everything is set in place for a Championship matchup for the ages, a competition of a powerhouse team going against a well rounded favorite (Women’s Basketball Pink).
Winner: Men’s Rugby
2. Women’s Basketball (Pink) v. 3. Men’s Rugby (White)
Connor: The stage is set, and to much surprise, there isn’t a number-one seed in the final. The number-two seed from Will’s bracket, Women’s Basketball (Pink) is set to square off with number-three seed from mine, the Men’s Rugby (White) in a grudge match of the century.
I don’t think it will be close. Men’s Rugby has dominated my whole side of the bracket and if the final reflects that, they have this one in the bag. I’m confident. Very confident.
The stripes on the side of the Men’s Rugby teams uniform really pop out and have won me over and really adhere to my liking, but Will’s pink pick is unique and represents more than just the game, and that in and of itself may sway our decision. Will, what say you?
Will: Look, man. This is all real cute. I like your passion for this, really. The Rugby jerseys, though? Come on! If I had your bracket, Ultimate Frisbee would be here. They have taken on a whole new style, rejecting the traditional Marist look. This year, they’ve gone black, and they also have taken the initiative to essentially create their own logo! That’s tough to pull off, and they do it beautifully.
Enough about the losers, though. Women’s Basketball, the pink ones, of course, is our obvious winner. I’m unsure how else to sway you: LOOK AT THOSE THINGS. It’s an outstanding tribute to supporting those fighting breast cancer, and also: they are FIRE. I’m sorry. I will live and die on this hill. What say you, boring jersey lover?
Connor: As much as I would love to see my side of the bracket take the trophy home this year, it won’t happen. Will and I both stand on the same page admiring the tribute of the Women’s Basketball jersey. A traditional look that stands out in pink? It doesn’t get much better than that. The women hit the nail on the head when they decided to unveil this masterpiece of a jersey. It is with much honor that Will and I announce the Women’s Basketball Pink Jersey is the 2019 Marist Jersey of the Year. Congratulations to all of the competitors. We’ll see you all next year!
Will: Ah, what a feeling it is to reign superior. What fun this has been, my friend. Well fought. Until next year, when I defend my crown… or should I say, Women’s Basketball defends theirs.