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The Cornell Big Black?

So as we noted last week, Schoellkopf Field has gotten a fancy new coat of FieldTurf to replacing the aging, lime-green AstroTurf that felt like you were playing on cement.

I've played on FieldTurf before, and I like it. It's about the closest to actual grass that you can imagine playing on. It should help in both lacrosse and football recruiting, but might take away some of Schoellkopf's famed home-field advantage (where the Big Red was 4-1 last year despite going 5-5.)

So both aesthetically and physically, the new turf is a tremendous improvement.

But as some commentators over on eLynah have noted, there's an interesting addition to the Big Red color schema: black. The text on the field is in a big block print with heavy black outlines. It's not so much unattractive as it is historically blasphemous. As the Cornell Athletics website shares from Bishops's A History of Cornell:

At sunrise on Inauguration Day, said the New York Times envoy, "from all the hills poured forth delightful music, and every few minutes the thunder of artillery from the eastern hills responded to the booming of cannon from a lofty eminence on the west side of town." Students and citizens thronged to Library Hall, which was tastefully decorated with marble vases of flowers and a large cross covered with moss, entwined with myrtle. On the side wall, the motto of the new university was blazoned in evergreen letters, and behind the speakers the illustrious names of CORNELL and WHITE appeared in large white letters against artistically draped red flannel, on which stars cut out of silver paper were pinned at pleasing intervals. Thus, entirely unintentionally, the Cornell colors were established for all time, on the first Cornell banner.

To add insult to injury, others are reporting that the famed Carnelian red looks a bit like magenta.

I wonder if the Image Committee from a few years back didn't go far enough to make certain that Athletics also followed Cornell's new identity rules.

Anyways, you can be the judge. Would the field look better like this? (Note only the 'Big' had been modified...)

Or should we be okay with the new look?

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on July 11, 2008 (#)

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