Uniform Mess Defines Weiss' Jayhawks
I am convinced that Charlie Weiss needs to be fired. And that opinion doesn’t come lightly. I don’t toss around folks’ livelihood like punch lines. But I can tell you exactly why Weiss should be fired in one word – Inconsistency. That sounds odd. We have been consistent in losing, right?
But the issue is inconsistency in the program and approach.
Great coaches have a guiding philosophy. We talk about with Coach Self. Why won’t he change? Really, we don’t want him to change much at all. As I’ve said many times – tweaks. Coach Weis has no guiding philosophy. Coach Self does have a guiding philosophy.
One need only look west down I-70 for the perfect model of consistency in college football. Weiss could learn a bit from Bill Snyder. All coaches could. Coach Snyder is like oatmeal. It isn’t complicated, it’s reliable, and it does its job. Coach Snyder is the same now, as he was when he walked on campus. Amazing to the divergent paths of our programs at that fateful moment. Snyder is a control freak. He is famous for micro-managing everything, right down to ensuring that the butter is soft enough to be spread on rolls at team meals.
KU needs to find its Bill Snyder. It’s that simple and it’s that complicated.
But one item is demonstrative of the lack of focus within the program. It may not be the most substantively important, but it tells me everything I need to know. This one item encapsulates KU Football - the constantly changing uniforms.
To win, to bring a program back from the depths of despair, there is one thing that is unquestionably required – consistency. Consistency in approach, consistency in message, consistency in attitude, and consistency in expectations.
With Weiss, we have had no consistency. We have an embarrassing program that seems to look different on both sides of the ball every season under Weiss. We have no identity – are we a passing team? Are we a rushing team? Are we a team that creates opportunities defensively? Are we a blitzing team? Are we a team with killer special teams? Heck, we can’t even find a decent field goal kicker. What is our identity? What is our overriding focus?
This is incredibly important to a program attempting to dig itself out of a hole. We have no identity.
The coup de grace is the incredibly embarrassing and ill-conceived uniform fiasco.
Last season, Weiss introduced three alternate uniforms. As KU fans, everyone was to become interested in what uniforms KU would be wearing. Recruits would like the options. Players would think it was cool. But it had absolutely zero to do with winning.
When you’re losing, the only thing that matters is not losing. All of your efforts and energy need to be geared toward that. To win. That’s all. Everything else is immaterial.
This is much different than Oregon wearing a new uniform every week. Guess what? They win. At KU, we introduced multiple helmets and uniforms before winning. Before respectability. Before we even had an identity.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying” – it’s one or the other. Either everything is singularly focused on winning, or it is not. The no nonsense, workmanlike approach that is needed to climb out the depths of despair is blurred and taken out of focus with distractions.
The uniform fiasco was and is a horrific distraction for team that doesn’t yet know how to win. Messages are important to teams. This message has nothing to do with winning.
But it tells us everything we need to know about Charlie Weiss as KU’s head coach. Form over substance. KU needs substance over form. We had that once. And we played in the Orange Bowl.
This season, we began with a contest – a vote – on which uniform combo KU would wear in the first game. I wanted to vote “I don’t care.” I would have been quite happy with those relatively simple uniforms KU wore when, back in the day, we beat MU at Arrowhead on a beautiful pass from Reesing to Meier. Back in the day when the uniforms really didn’t matter.
We now have multiple helmets with big Jayhawks, numbers on the side, angry Jayhawks, red, white, blue. We have something called crimson chrome uniforms. It’s a freaking embarrassing mess. I don’t even know what I’m looking at. It has nothing to do with winning.
And that tells you everything you need to know about Charlie Weiss’ Jayhawks. It tells us exactly where Weiss’ program is right now. It is a perfect match.
I agree the,uniforms are a gimmick. I don’t care for gimmicks.
I don’t care for some of the bBall unis either-remember those camos-and those terrible lime green Baylor unis?
Well stated HEM. Plus, the uniforms were RED not CRIMSON. Our colors are CRIMSON (as in Harvard Crimson) and BLUE (as in YALE Blue).
The colors are tied to the university’s history - http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/colors/
This is what Harvard Crimson looks like:
This is Yale Blue:
Alas, Chuckie W be in deep do-do.
If I were a betting man, I would bet that Coach Weis spends very little time if any dealing with uniforms in addition to the occasions when he is contractually required to do so. In addition of providing uniforms to all sports teams, Adidas pays KU over $4M every year and I am sure that the contract has clear stipulation that require coaches and administrators to mention/promote the uniforms/gear a minimum number of times and on certain occasions; they have to get something for all that money, wouldn’t you think. If I would be paying some institution millions of dollars I most certainly would require them to mention/push/promote my product at every opportunity.
No question that losing Cox and Bourbon for the season hurt the offense and you just are not going to win to many games when you get into the Texas side of the field ten times, your QB throws 4 interceptions and and come up with zero points. If you look a the statistics, the number are not that different and it was only 13-0 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter; the interceptions were absolute killers.
You raise an interesting point about the expectations of Petro-ShoeCos.
You wrote: “If I would be paying some institution millions of dollars I most certainly would require them to mention/push/promote my product at every opportunity.”
Do you think it is a clear line where those expectations stop? Does your contribution being expensed, or otherwise deductible, make a difference?
Is there any reason why fans should expect that in reality they limit their expectations to the wearing of the uniforms the Petro-ShoeCos hope to pedal, as you express would be a bare minimum of your expectations?
The limits of monetary influence in D1 basketball, of where it stops and starts, are always an interesting subject to explore.
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@jaybate-1.0 This backfill thing you got going is clearly a blatant attempt at revisionist history! I’m on to you bucko!
@JayHawkFanToo I guess my point was that anything that is a distraction – that is not geared toward the singular focus of winning – is wasted energy and can detract from that singular purpose. Somehow 'Bama, KSU, USC, and others, don’t wear grab-bag uniforms.
Anyway, Zenger agrees with me. He called me last night after he read my post. We had a nice talk, and I guess he decided to pull the trigger.
That is exactly how it happened.
@HighEliteMajor That thought actually crossed my mind!
@HighEliteMajor You’re on the money on this post and topic. However Let me be the first to say I do actually like the new uni’s…
I know there is now value in it, but it makes me glad the Adidas values it’s relationship with KU.
As part of their contract, coaches are expected to promote the brand that endorses the school and part of their salary comes from contracts with the likes of Nike, Adidas an up-and-comer Under Armour and it is referred as appearance money.
Here is a link that skims the surface of what coaches, even those from top programs, are required to do…
As I said, I don’t think Coach Weis spend any more or any less time on the subject than throe coaches, including those from big and small programs alike,as long as they get money from an athletic equipment manufacturer.
Interesting that during the game yesterday, the announcers/commentators mentioned several times that the administration at KU understood that this was 5 year plan and not a quick 2 year fix…go figure.
"Anyway, Zenger agrees with me. He called me last night after he read my post. We had a nice talk, and I guess he decided to pull the trigger."
So…Adidas is no longer sponsoring KU?
The uniforms (any uniform) looks better when you are winning. I just wish they would use the colors that are our actual school colors.
One of these days, we’ll win a big (or just win a) game in one of these novelty uniforms and it will immediately become the darling.
“Do you think it is a clear line where those expectations stop?”
I did not say “expect” I said “require.” When you pay millions of $ to an Athletic program. you don’t 'expect" them to do something, you “require” them to do and perform as it surely is clearly outlined in the contract they sign.
“Does your contribution being expensed, or otherwise deductible, make a difference?”
It is not a “contribution” it is payment for services contracted, namely wear the gear and promote the brand, and like all marketing costs. it is indeed a valid business expense.
“Is there any reason why fans should expect that in reality they limit their expectations to the wearing of the uniforms the Petro-ShoeCos hope to pedal, as you express would be a bare minimum of your expectations?”
Fans can do, expect, think and believe whatever they want; however, the only thing that counts is what is outlined in the contract signed by KU and Adidas.
Based on what you are describing, it seems quite plausible to me that a Petro-ShoeCo that helps bring an OAD to a school that it has an endorsement contract with, and to a coach that it has an endorsement contract with, might put a great deal of pressure on a coach to play that OAD, and use that OAD in a particular way, expected to be most beneficial to the player as a future product endorser.
It also seems plausible that if a coach resisted playing the OAD in the amount and way that the Petro-ShoeCo wanted, that that might lead that Petro-ShoeCo to route players it has cultivated relationships with to other coaches and schools that would play them add they wished.
Do you see Petro-ShoeCo contracts eroding the autonomy of the coach to play the players as he wishes?
For instance, do you think coaches might be asked to let OADs protect the merchandize for stretches of the season?
Do you think Petro ShoeCos that have a relationship with a great point guard prospect might insist that a coach play that prospect at point guard, rather than at the 2, or the 3, or not have future OADs channelled to that coach?
Or do you think a PetroShoeCo’s interest in the players and coaches and schools focuses only on getting them to wear uniforms?
Clint Bowen ends the uniform mess. This is great news. It provides a demonstration that Clint Bowen recognizes the importance of the little things with a losing team. The coach is in charge. The coach makes the decisions. The coach sets the tone. No more uniform voting. No more giggling over Crimson and Chrome uniforms. No more tweets about which uniforms KU is wearing, as if that fact means one damn thing. If it isn’t about winning, it’s a distraction.
The Hawks played respectable football this weekend. And Clint Bowen, I have a hunch, will prove that he deserves this job.
I like what I’ve seen and heard so far in this interim coach. I stated we needed to be working hard in the background and keep our cards close to the chess. Still, it seems we have made some good progress. If this continues I think we can win a couple of more games this season and I’m all for keeping him as HC.