The Florida Gators are scuffling on the basketball court this winter. That is no secret, even if it is a bit of a depressing note on the school’s 100th season of men’s basketball.
But Florida’s efforts to celebrate its history are not going unnoticed, and the sweetest effort yet came Monday, as the Gators unveiled throwback Jordan Brand uniforms that recall the ones they wore en route to their first Final Four in 1994.
These are, in a word, clean, with all the simple elements from what was then a rather traditional and classic design well-reproduced. The familiar block F that has largely disappeared from Florida uniforms is back, as is a darker blue than the Gators often wear and some thin striping around the shoulders and collar.
I do not have the most significant sentimental attachment to these jerseys that Andrew DeClercq, Dametri Hill, and Dwayne Schintzius wore in the early 1990s, as I was a toddler then, and did not watch the 1994 NCAA Tournament. I do think these are very, very cool — and I’m glad that, while they will be worn on the court on February 23 against Missouri, as Florida honors that 1994 Final Four team, the jersey and a t-shirt in the same style are also available for sale, because I will almost certainly be picking up at least one or the other.
I do have one gripe, though: Why can’t I buy the shorts?
I’m not quite out of the age range for wearing basketball jerseys in public, even if that’s not my style, but there really isn’t an age range for wearing basketball shorts, which are comfortable even when they aren’t as stylish as these are. And while I would really not wear a retro jersey to hoop in, I might do that for shorts.
My guess is that it’s too late for this set of shorts to get sold, as these throwbacks are among a series of other throwbacks (all for Nike/Jordan schools) that will be worn this month, and none of those marketing materials would appear to include images of shorts for sale.
Still, I would hope that Florida (and Jordan and Nike) take this feedback to heart: If you are going to put a basketball team in a very cool uniform, sell the shorts! They will be bought!