It’s a funny feeling when you take on a project and you know even before you start that it is a certainty that you are going to make mistakes. You don’t know which mistakes, just that mistakes are going to be made – it is inevitable. And with that in mind you can do one of two things: You can pack your bags and go home without trying, or you can roll up your sleeves can and give it your best.
As you may know, I spent an incredible amount of time researching NFL/MLB/NHL/CFL/NCAA football uniforms and arenas/ballparks and stadiums. In some ways I spent far too much time, but in other ways, never enough time to avoid mistakes.
In 1995, when I began the process of researching uniforms, if you had told me that we were going to create 2000+ uniforms images and then asked me how many mistakes I would make, I honestly believe I would have guessed 20 or 30. Here it is more than 15 years later, and as I look back I can tell you that would have been a fairly accurate guess. Some mistakes were modest, some mid-sized, and in the case of the 1964 Michigan Wolverines football team, some were whoppers!
I am not trying to defend my mistakes – they happen, you do your best to correct the mistake, and you move on. Life’s too short…
With University of Michigan football in general, and the 1964 Wolverines in particular, I did a fair amount of research, most of which was done in 2000 and into 2001. Now you may not be able to remember that far back, but in the year 2000 the internet was nowhere near the remarkable source of information it is today – Google was barely out of the gate and Google Images didn’t begin until July 2001 (not that Google Images is the last word on anything, but it is a remarkable resource and had it been then what it is now, it almost certainly would have steered me in a different direction).
So I could give you all sorts of reasons as to why I instructed our artist to paint the 1964 University of Michigan football uniform with a yellow jersey and yellow pants, but the bottom line is those instructions turned out to be wrong. As far as I can tell, Michigan never wore a yellow jersey, certainly not in 1964, and the 1964 painting that we created should have shown a white jersey with yellow pants. Plain and simply, I made a mistake on this one.
If I could turn back the hands of time to 2000 and correct this mistake, I would love to. But I can’t. So I’ll do my best to set the record straight and ask for forgiveness. In the grand scheme of things it seems to me that it’s better to try something and make mistakes along the way than never to have tried at all. I’m guessing some people will feel differently and feel outraged at such a whopper of a mistake, and I’m not going to be able to change their minds so I won’t begin to try.
Sorry about the 1964 yellow on yellow Michigan fans – I’ll do better next time! You still have a great team with a tremendous history and it will be great fun to watch that history unfold along with you in the years to come.