Today's Tidbit: The Polka Dot Umpire
I’ve written several articles and Tidbits about the outfits worn by football officials over the years. In short, they first wore everyday clothes, then many wore their college letter sweaters before shifting to all white, and then versions of the black-and-white striped shirt. But there is always that guy.
The picture below by Ray Gallivan of the Pittsburgh Press appears to be from the late 1920s when the typical official in a big-time game wore all white. However, the umpire seen on the right woke up that morning and thought, “I think I’ll score big with my polka dot sweater.” And so, that is what he donned for a major college football game.
Of course, the football world might have forgotten the polka dot sweater incident were it not for the 1948 edition of Bunny Oakes’ Football Line Play, which included this image. I received the book recently and you can expect to see other pictures and illustrations in coming Tidbits. (The images of 1930s defensive line drills published two days ago are from his book.)
If you are interested in reading more about the evolution of football officials’ apparel, check out the links below.
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