Football Magazine

By: Daniel Reeds

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker
An Audacious Hand in Huskers Uniform Change Speaks Out An Audacious Hand in Huskers Uniform Change Speaks Out An Audacious Hand in Huskers Uniform Change Speaks Out

You may not know Charles Sollars’ name, but there’s a high probability you have some opinion of him, or at least his ideas.

Sollars unintentionally shook up the college football world like a beehive when he began creating new uniform concepts. As the ideas crept into the realm of FBS football, it wouldn’t be long before many took notice.

His Flickr account has no doubt been bookmarked by an amazing number of fans, and potentially some detractors, due to his continuing creative efforts. He’s certainly not afraid to step on toes, having recently created a concept based off commentary regarding Oregon players’ use of marijuana.

When asked what was out of bounds in terms of design, there was no hesitation in his response, “No one’s paying me. I’m freelance everything right now, so I only have to answer to myself. If I think it’s cool, I run with it.”

If he was paid, “I’d probably throw [concepts] out there until somebody told me ‘no’. It’s not off limits until you tell me, and if you do tell me that it is, it’ll probably argue about why.”

Whenever a team’s fans hear about potential new alternate uniforms, a trend started almost entirely thanks to Oregon’s penchant for an ever-changing wardrobe, Sollars’ work eventually is brought up and it’s usually not the first time anymore.

It wasn’t long after news broke about Nebraska’s decision to have a single-game change in dress that not only did fans start posting what he’d already done, but they found newer and even more outrageous designs.

Several are dismissed as absolute monstrosities. Sollars admits this isn’t coincidence. “I do some that are kind of a Maryland flag helmet where it’s crazy, off-the-wall and then think, ‘This is hideous. What do we take away so that it’s still crazy, but not laughable?’”

For those who’ve seen his recent “Children of the Corn” offerings and died laughing, had their stomachs turn or even liked them, there’s good or bad news depending on who you are – He’s been contacted by people with ties to the Nebraska athletic department regarding his ideas on the matter.

children of the corn 400x385 An Audacious Hand in Huskers Uniform Change Speaks Out

Sollars received a call from an acquaintance stating, “We were talking about doing this and I like some of your concepts. Could you help me see if we can make this change happen, maybe do some more?” The idea was to get the initial shock of the change over with and to move on to the next step.

It was shortly after this exchange that Sollars created more traditional looks, ones similar to the Cornhuskers’ current uniforms, but with some color changes. Those have reportedly been scrapped and the athletic department is open to all-comers.

While that may not include the Children of the Corn theme, Sollars does find the immense rejection of the idea somewhat funny.

When he was younger, he had family in the Omaha/Lincoln area who’d constantly send him items with an earlier version of Herbie Husker printed on them.

As he designed the controversial uniforms, “I had a flashback to all of these shirts where [Herbie]’s holding corn or there’s corn in the background. Everyone’s so anti-corn, but…you’re the Cornhuskers.”

Love or hate his work, Sollars feels that Nebraska’s decision-making process needs to be extremely focused regardless of the eventual choice.

“You have to ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you trying to get yourself on SportsCenter? If you’re doing it for the exposure, I think you’ve got to shock people,” he said.

Regardless of what he designs or what fans are looking for, all of this buzz about what goes over pads boils down to one thing for Sollars – fun.

“It’s what the kids want. That’s the reason you do it.”

He understands that there are traditionalists who accept that the uniform change is happening, but don’t want to see much altered or who roll their eyes at the idea of doing it for recruiting purposes. Sollars looks at it not only from a perspective that may appeal to each individual player on the Nebraska roster or any that come along in the future.

“It’s one game, like Notre Dame’s green uniforms. If you got to wear that, you were special. People want to feel special and that’s what the uniforms do. No one’s ever worn this, so this is your chance to make your mark.”

Sollars will continue his designs despite any and all verbal assault. Whether you enjoy or can’t stand his visions, he does have a point. While Nebraska is steeped in tradition, the Huskers’ goal has always been to win.

Nebraska’s classic look isn’t going anywhere. It’s taking one night off. For that one night, a single group of Cornhuskers will do something that perhaps no other bunch will be able to claim and have fun doing it.

Even if it’s wearing helmets that resemble corn cobs with pats of butter as pride stickers.

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces
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