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Countdown to Kickoff (76): Staff review of BYU’s new game day t-shirts

“Take your shirt off, twist it ‘round yo’ hand. Spin it like a helicopter.” Petey Pablo

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Last week BYU announced the new game day shirt for 2019 and started selling them at the BYU Store. Ever since the Bronco Mendenhall era that gave us such classic t-shirts with team slogans like “The Quest for Perfection”, the release of the cheap game day shirt is something that I personally look forward to every year. The team has moved away from the new tag lines each year, but instead have leaned more into an illustrated design or bold typeface. For 2019 they went with the former.

Since evaluating something that requires creative sensibilities, I’ve enlisted the help of our staff, and my dear wife, to give their thoughts on the new shirt and if it’s worth buying this year.

Mary Blanchard

I like the shirt best in navy (it’s offered in royal, navy, and white) but it is not my fav gameday shirt. Overall, I think it’s a little too loud with all the graphics going on behind the oval Y. Besides for the fact that on the white version, it’s super difficult to read the gray font. I felt that way about the “Go Cougs” game day shirts a couple of years back, as well. I personally prefer a cleaner design. It’s disappointing to me because BYU has such a vast, talented fan base. Could we not have collaborated with Royal Army on these, or something? It is equivalent to how I feel about a lot of the BYU commercials we see aired during games.

OVERALL GRADE: C (C’S get degrees!)

Robby McCombs

I think the shirts are solid, especially for $10. I like the idea of putting together some well known BYU sayings, but all of them together make too much noise are difficult to read from any sort of distance. I’m a sucker for royal blue, but the white version of these is my favorite; the font is easier on the eyes, and the Stretch Y in the royal blue oval is a clean look. For 10 bucks, I think it’s about as good as you can ask for.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

Brett Hein

So here’s the thing. Everybody makes fun of the game-day shirt slogans and whatever every year, but here, the focus is the BYU logo and there’s a smattering of slogans and whatnot behind it. So perhaps they are a little simple, but I think that’s a good thing here. You get your navy, royal and white options and for $10/$20/$30, they’re clearly BYU shirts, and boom, you’re set for the season.

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Jake Welch

When I first saw the shirts, when Jarom Jordan was wearing it on the set of BYU Sports Nation, the immediate thought that popped into my head was “this feels like an Iron Man shirt”. Usually when we see the stretch Y logo it’s either much larger and centered or it’s about this same size and offset over the left breast. Just take a look at the majority of BYU polos that are made by Nike. I don’t mind them changing things up but putting the stretch Y logo dead-center just doesn’t look right.

Beyond the placement of the logo, the execution of the illustrated sayings and BYU specific imagery just doesn’t work. Unless you’re looking at the shirt from up close you can’t make out all of the details. That being the case from a distance it just looks like the stretch Y logo is in some kind of cloud. Maybe it works a little better if you ditch the logo in the middle and have the word cloud in the shape of a block Y? It’s a bit of a bummer because I really appreciate the effort to make this something specific to BYU, beyond the colors and logo. It’s just the execution that falls flat.

OVERALL GRADE: C-

Celebrity Guest: Kaitlin Welch

These look like they should be for little kids or dads who wear bucket hats and Chacos. I feel bad saying something negative about a shirt that someone spent a lot of time working on but there is zero cool factor with these shirts.

OVERALL GRADE: C+