Penn State unveils throwback uniform

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will pay homage to its tradition with a throwback uniform featuring various aspects of past styles during its “Generations of Greatness” game Sept. 30 against Indiana at Beaver Stadium.

The retro uniforms will be part of an overall theme for the day that will transform the stadium and fans back in time to the 1950s, with music and entertainment coming from that era.

“Penn State has such a great tradition and history, and we wanted to find a way to honor and celebrate those Generations of Greatness,” coach James Franklin said.

“We are going to do so with a throwback game, where we’ll have an old-school scoreboard and other game day activities and then again with the uniform and pulling elements from many different uniform design elements through the years.”

Franklin said the players “went berserk” with happiness when they saw the uniform to be worn for the game, which includes mixing and matching of various elements from past PSU uniforms. Some of the more noticeable changes include:

n Numbers on helmets (from 1959-61, 1967-74)

n White cleats (1979 Sugar Bowl)

n White stripe on sleeve (1957-66, 1982-89, 1992-2011)

n Stripe on pants (1952-68)

n Gray face mask (1959-86)

n Black inside collar (1959 Liberty Bowl)

n Block uniform numbers (1950s and ’60s)

The changes will be more subtle and specific, and will not drastically change the classic Penn State look.

“With the history and tradition that we have, we don’t have to reinvent ourselves,” Franklin said before later adding, “Anybody that turns the TV on won’t be trying to figure out who it is playing.”

The school worked with Nike on the changes, and the process took more than a year. Franklin first talked about the idea three years ago with longtime equipment manager Spider Caldwell, who was able to retrieve past uniforms to show Franklin so they could pick elements to choose.

Franklin said the players were most excited about wearing the white shoes.

The throwback game also will include the following elements:

n The stadium scoreboards will be a flipboard display (1950s)

n In-game music will include songs from the 1950s to today

n Cheerleaders and dance team members will wear historic outfits

n The Blue Band will perform songs from the 1950s to today