By g) Mike Valenti

For those hating on MSU’s Pro Combat jersey my simple response is this. Worry about your own team.

What Nike has created for MSU is cutting edge and very appropriate for the team wearing them: The Spartans. Bronze has been a big part of Michigan State in past and present. It’s also the very core of what the schools nickname represents.

So while the low hanging fruit out there simply smirk with a “Wayne State” or “South Florida” blast, the sharper amongst the crowd can read on.

Nike was aiming at playing of the Spartan armor concept along with the movie “300” and they did just that. The bronze represents that of the trim on our current uniforms, the bronze original Spartan statue, and the very armor the Spartans wore.

Nike took it to another level using the Greek and Latin phrase “Molon Labe” meaning “come and take them” to represent King Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae. It was phrase used in defiance of the Persian army when requested to surrender their weapons. That phrase appears on the jersey as well. Tell me if I need to slow down for some of you.

The concept puts past traditions into current packaging. Obviously if your logo or mascot is a giant rat like a Wolverine it gets tougher. But when you have a unique nickname like Spartans and a cool history to celebrate it makes total sense to push the envelope.

I think Nike did a very solid job in the first edition and I look forward to the future editions. Helmet is decent but not flashy enough.

Last point, the uniforms aren’t for the old blue hairs or fans. They are a PR tool for kids and recruits. It’s about them. It’s also about having MSU mentioned in same breath as the other Nike elite schools. You go to that website and we are right there getting the special publicity and packaging. That’s a win for MSU football. Only the short sighted or scared wouldn’t see that.
So before the comment section below fills up with bitter Adidas clad Wolverines let me leave you with this.

Molon Labe. Come get some on October 15th.

Two weeks ago Maryland took on Miami and got the whole country talking about Maryland football and what the Under Armour uniforms looked like. Good or bad they still got everyone to talk about Maryland football on a Tuesday morning.

marylanduniform Valenti: Michigan States New Nike Pro Combat Uniforms Unveiled

Getty Images

Nike has been doing Pro Combat uniforms for a few years now, Georgia and Boise showed their uniforms off the first week of the season as seen below.

georgiaboise Valenti: Michigan States New Nike Pro Combat Uniforms Unveiled

Getty Images

MSU unveiled the uniform they will wear for the game against Michigan on Oct 15th. Here is one photo of what the uniform will look like. More photos click here. Check out Nike’s Pro Combat website here.

Let us know what you think about the uniforms in comments below.

Comments (82)
  1. Kimberly Huber says:

    these are awful uniforms… whose idea was this anyway?

    1. Jeff says:

      Seems like Mike is on the offensice before anyone even replied. Hey Dery, doesn’t that violate the MSU UM agreement? Oh by the way, new undergraduate rankings are out…..UM is #28, MSU is #71…..OUCH.

      1. J.M. says:

        Yeah and both are behind ND at #19, typical U of M arrogance

      2. Andrew says:

        Again, bringing academics to a football forum, as if it changes anything on the field. Apparently the UofM education isn’t as profound as trumpeted.

      3. Tom says:

        Typical UM fan. Can’t brag about your football team (or basketball … or hockey … or….) so you have to find something else instead, eh? What does your comment have to do with the article, besides nothing?

      4. jeff's awful comment says:

        jeff, i bet you went to u of m flint or dearborn, or possibly even a community college around the ann arbor area. Actually i bet you are just a bandwagon fan in a random state who just cheers for u of m because of their history. Academics has nothing to do with this article so that makes your comment one of the more pointless comments i have ever seen. i think you have made us all a little less intelligent today with your arrogance Jeff. Congrats and remember, Go Green!

    2. Kevin says:

      Isnt the iconic SPARTY a bronze statue that we protect, preserve and revere? Bronze is a fine color…i love it!

    3. Spartan Shoulder Chip says:

      Right. Nike Pro Combat is only bestowed upon “elite” programs, you know, like Army and Navy. “Elite” indeed.

      Yes, bronze was a part of the Michgian State’s “storied” history – you know, back when the University was Michigan Agricultural College.

      Sweet, get the whole 300 reference too. That’s awesome. So the Spartans came out on top in that movie right?


      Overall, I think the Uni’s are pretty sweet. I’m just dumbfounded why State alums and fans (are there fans that aren’t alums?) have to get defensive about them the second they’re released.

      If you’re banking on uniforms to aid in your recruiting, you have serious issues. That school in Ann Arbor has the third best class in the nation coming in, with a second rate athletic supplier to boot.

      1. another bad, pointless comment says:

        yet we have beaten you the last 3 years and it will be a fourth come october 15th. and btw i go to msu and all the kids here i have talked to like the uniforms, thanks for your input though.

    4. Andrew says:

      “Greek and Latin” well considering that phrase “Molon Labe “is completely Greek and not Latin at all i would say you are and educated fellow Mike Valenti. obviously the Spartans spoke Greek but why use the words “Greek and Latin”?

    5. Hawaiian Neal says:

      Sorry, clicked the wrong button…..No report.

      It was Nike’s idea to generate additional profits. They targeted programs that were known to be ghetto or going down the path to becoming ghetto. MSU was an easy choice for Nike. Even heard they had some ‘swag’ for the coach. On the other hand, TOSU was a coup for Nike. A program with a strong brand in a time of trouble and weak minded leadership. Never thought TOSU would go into pandering.

  2. Justin Huber says:

    These uniforms are terrible. To roll something like this out for the Michigan game just compounds the mistake. MSU’s web site claims that this was done on a request from the players. I don’t believe it. I think it was done with the hope that they could sell more jerseys-albeit ugly ones that aren’t even our school colors. This move has Mark Hollis’ and Nike’s money grubbing fingerprints all over it.

    1. JBW says:

      Couldn’t Agree more! Well said!

    2. Al says:

      Wait a second ; So Dantonio Lied when he stated in his interviews that Will Gholston requested that he talk with Nike when he was at a Nike meeting in Hawaii? Our original school colors were black and gold and bronze is the best color to use because Sparty (the statue that every spartan touches before they go into the home game) is bronze because that’s the armor the original spartans wore before going to war.

      1. Hawaiian Neal says:

        “So Dantonio Lied when he stated in his interviews that Will Gholston requested that he talk with Nike when he was at a Nike meeting in Hawaii?” Nike doesn’t have a HQ here in Hawaii. What was that about?

    3. AJB says:

      To not like them is fine. But your comments suggest that you are completely out of touch with what is going on in the college football landscape. In a couple years we are going to be left with a couple super conferences and jerseys like this will be the norm. College football as it was 5 years ago will be nothing but a distant memory.
      A HS basketball player just recently cut a college program from his list because he didn’t like the uniforms. His comment was that if you are going to have colors that ugly they better at least be Nike.
      Good or bad it is what MSU NEEDS to do in order to survive.

      1. Justin Huber says:

        If MSU wanted to do something original, they should have stayed with their uniforms of 2009. Now, they’re just like all the other teams who ditch their traditional logos/uniforms for something new that is INFERIOR to what they had before. The uniforms and the other posters’ defense of them are simply pathetic.

  3. Brady Hoke says:

    Having seen other pro combats like Boise and Georgia, I was a little worried. bu these jerseys are tight! Love the bronze, it really works with the green. MSu will look sharp spanking U of M on Oct 15! GO GREEN!

  4. Scott says:

    They are awesome uniforms! Much cooler than the sock monkey cross stitch M jerseys “thrown back” last Saturday.

  5. Dwade Brenton says:

    I thought this was Michigan?

  6. Reese says:

    These uni’s ROCK!!!!!!! Welcome to 2011. These are designed to impress the entire generation of younger people who will want to becomes Spartans. Well done MSU and Mark Hollis. Can’t wait till October 15 to see these swarming all over the maize & blue. Go Spartans.

  7. Brian says:

    Once you understand the history, not only of our school but Greek, these uniforms make sense and become even more significant. They only criticism I have is introducing those helmets during Notre Dame week. Yes, I know they will only be used for the Michigan game but it may look like taunting.

  8. b00st_Sec says:

    THe uni’s are sweet. At first I didn’t like them but after reading the reasoning behind the bronze and the history I love them. Great Uni’s for a game here or there. Would love to see the pro combat style in the every game uniforms though. I love the pro combat lines…

  9. TC says:

    Not a U of M or MSU alum so don’t really care, but uniforms look far better than any of the other Nike pro combat uniforms I’ve seen. Typical of Valenti the hypocrite. ‘Worry about your own team’, then can’t help but take swipes at Michigan.

  10. Terry Foster says:

    Valenti has a fat face….

  11. AJB says:

    Great look!! Looking forward to buying some matching gear!

  12. WSU Warriors! says:

    Was Nike looking up the history of the MSU Spartan or the Wayne State Warriors?

    1. MSU Spartans! says:

      dumb comment…since you went to wayne state you probably have no clue about the history of michigan state, let alone anything. if you read the article it referenced bronze as being the color of the armor of the actual ancient greek spartans. the warrior is just a stupid, overused, original mascot that no one likes located at the school in michigan that no one wants to go to. nice try though

  13. PK says:

    First, let me say I like the concept and the design. Albeit, I’m concerned about messing with tradition on the day of our biggest rivalry game. Then again, if it gets people talking and more top recruits looking in the direction of East Lansing, I’ll take it. When it comes down to it, they can wear whatever they want as long as they play hard, play smart and win, especially on October 15. So, go Green … go Bronze!

    Nice piece Mike!

  14. matt says:

    Find it funny that you always have to mention Michigan even when talking about your new uniforms. Just more proof of your insecurity and immaturity as both a fan of your school and sports!

    1. Ronald Paschke says:

      It;s funny you have time to post at your boyfriends Blog.

  15. QuartJester says:

    These uniforms are AWESOME! I am a Michigan fan but I know a sweet uniform when I see one. After reading the inspiration behind the uniform they are even better. Good move Nike / Sparty !

  16. David Jakes says:

    FWIW, I’m a 52 year old Spartan. I don’t like these. I LOVE them! As we use to yell on the dorm floor, “Oh HELL yes!”

  17. Eric says:

    Interesting how an article about MSU pro combat jerseys turned into bashing the michigan mascot. practice what you preach Valenti.

  18. Craig says:

    I like the jerseys hate MSU

  19. jsxtreme says:

    I thought Michigan already beat Notre Dame? We have to play them again?

  20. Lori Fink says:

    Opinions vary I guess but I LOVE THEM!!! Go Spartans!

  21. jzjy0r says:

    The MSU uniforms are nice but Mike you suck!! Go back to Albany/Buffalo

  22. Brian C. says:

    This is blasphemy! This is Madness! This Is Sparta!!!!

    love em

    Go state

  23. Sheri says:

    You need a poll pick for “LOVE IT” like is to mild of a word. Went on MSU web site to see the video for the new uni and it was great!. The history of the college and of the original Spartans give this uniform a depth that I don’t think other teams can match.
    MOLON LABE!!!!

  24. Jordan Spartan Scheinfield says:

    I love the jerseys. We need to remember that these are for the
    players. All big time programs do this. Imagine a kid who has never
    heard of MSU (very doubtful). But lets also say this kid is from a
    small city in Texas. He is watching the MSU game bc it is on national
    tv – other than that he never heard of the big ten, all he knows about
    is UT. He sees our new uniforms, says those NIKE jerseys are awesome.
    Kid can run a 4.3 40. Tells his HS coach, “hey coach send my
    recruiting tape to MSU.” Tells his friend that also runs a 4.3.

    This is kinda what happened with Bubba Smith and George Webster

  25. B. Leacher says:

    This is a joke, right? Nobody would actually pay this guy to write this drivel. I think BleacherReport has higher standards.

  26. SteveMGoBlue79 says:

    From SB Nation:Some of the Nike Pro Combat uniforms are absolutely fantastic. All of them are at least fairly well done and palatable. Except one. That one is the Michigan State Spartans, who appear to have gotten the short end of the stick. Sparty’s fans are unlikely to be happy with these uniforms. Partially because they’re ugly, and partially because everyone in Michigan is threatened by change.Seriously, what is this? The black “Spartans” on the dark green jersey is terrible. And what’s with the gold number and accents? Since when does Michigan State use anything that resembles gold, ever? Why is Sparty now the University of South Florida? This is terrible.Ugh more gold. Gold gold gold. These shoes are making by brain hurt. These colors are all over the place. I don’t have anything more to say about this uniform set, except no. Thanks for helping MIchigan on Oct 15th.

  27. E. Haven says:

    35 year old Michigan fan…I like them.

  28. Wikipedia says:

    Mr. Valenti,

    Please give us due credit when copying/pasting from our “Molon Labe” article. At least try harder than a High School Senior if you want to cover it up.



  29. ADAM says:

    LMFAO! “Unique” I can name 4 other “Spartans” w/o using the Internet. What a total D-Bag you are Mike. Nice fat face too.

  30. J Powers says:

    The sheer number of grammar errors, missing words and horrible arguments is shocking. Just because you can find a historical root for some of the uses doesn’t make it ‘better.’ You use these historical references to try to prove that it is an attractive design and if you don’t like it, you just aren’t smart enough to know what they represent.

    Mike – it’s ugly. It doesn’t even feature one of your MAIN colors. I bet Jimmy Powers at least knows how to write a sentence, including proper use of punctuation. Your third grade teacher would be embarrassed by the structure of some of this.

  31. JC says:

    That’s suppose to be bronze?? Looks gold to me. Not a fan…

  32. GK says:

    I like the jerseys but not the color change. A good program is not decided by nike jerseys! Who are they to determine our colors! And the original spartan statue is ceramic, not bronze.

  33. 0zzy! says:

    I am a spartan. my colors are, and always have been GREEN AND WHITE period! i share these colors with magic johnson, mateen clleeves bubba smith, Kirk Gibson Lorenzo white ecgt ect ect. How DARE ANYONE come along and change the root of our colors!? How dare ANY True Spartan accept it!? I will fight for green and White! when we chant in the stadium we shout “GO GREEN GO WHITE we do NOT or will not by god be adding gold bronz black yellow purple pink to chant! come and get THIS!

  34. Brian says:

    Here’s to hoping that Michigan beats MSU uglier than they already are! BTW, Spartans is about as unique of a nickname as Trojans. When I hear Spartans, I’m just as likely to think San Jose State as Michigan State. If you want a unique nickname try Wolverines. There are no other FBS teams with that nickname.

    1. All about the Benjamins Baby says:

      Yeah Brian, I’m sure you are as likely to think of San Jose State. Give it a rest. When I see yellow and blue and a winged helmet I am likely to think of U of Delaware or Clarkston High School. Let’s get serious. There’s two FBS schools with Spartans as their nickname. Pretty sure when you ask most people who they think of when you ask Spartans, they will say Michigan State. It is not like the Trojans. Clearly they are completely different. When did this become about unique nicknames. Nobody really cares that there is only one FBS team with the Wolverines. The Michigan fans on here talking about inferiority complex yet they had to put their two cents in on an article about Michigan State. Love the jerseys or hate them…they accomplished their point. And truly, even though the color change, they aren’t as ugly as Michigan’s made up jersey’s last weekend. Coming into East Lansing, Michigan is going to get pummeled. After watching Michigan’s last two games, you have quite a way to go in rebuilding. Everyone has to realize that in this day, EVERYTHING is about the money and recruits and publicity. See Michigan and ND changing their helmets for the first time in decades. Michigan playing their first night game. It is what it is.

  35. Mikeumb says:

    Mike – great call on ND beating UM last Friday.

  36. Waynestate says:

    Can’t wait for MSU to play Wayne State with the combat uniforms. Won’t be able to tell them apart.

  37. mikesucks says:

    So MSU requested a Maize and Green uniform from Nike? Ironic

    1. Ronald Paschke says:

      LOL I said the same thing….

  38. Spartan Mom says:

    This looks a Wayne State uniform~~ are we supposed to start yelling “Go Green- Go Bronze?” I don’t think so.

  39. lol Valenti says:

    Of course Mike Valenti can’t get through an article about a uniform (having nothing to do with U of M) without throwing a dig at Michigan. Here’s is a Spartan history lesson:

    “Sparta, is thought to be the first city to practice athletic nudity, and one of the first to formalize pederasty. The Spartans believed that the love of an older, accomplished aristocrat for an adolescent was essential to his formation as a free citizen.”

    For those who graduated from State: pederastry means they had sex with little boys. Cool history bro.

    1. Patrick says:

      pederasty (n) – a socially acknowledged and intimate relationship between an adolescent male and an adult outside of his family

      This has nothing to do with sex. Cool research bro.

      1. Hawaiian Neal says:

        The Greek word paiderastia (παιδεραστία) is an abstract noun of feminine gender. It is formed from paiderastês, which in turn is a compound of pais (“child”, plural paides) and erastês (see below).[11] Although the word pais can refer to a child of either sex, paiderastia is defined by Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon as “the love of boys,” and the verb paiderasteuein as “to be a lover of boys.” 1

        1 ^ Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940 9th ed., with 1968 supplement in 1985 reprinting), p. 1286.

      2. Hawaiian Neal says:

        In case my other post is too complex using word origins….Here’s Wikipedia :) (Search ‘Sparta’ on the page)

        Sparta, a Dorian polis, is thought to be the first city to practice athletic nudity, and one of the first to formalize pederasty.[72] The Spartans believed that the love of an older, accomplished aristocrat for an adolescent was essential to his formation as a free citizen. The agoge, the education of the ruling class, was thus founded on pederastic relationships required of each citizen.[73] The lover was responsible for the boy’s training. Pederasty and military training were intimately connected in Sparta, as in many other cities. The Spartans, claims Athenaeus[74] sacrificed to Eros before every battle.

  40. Peter Christian says:

    Uniform preference aside, why is no one calling out Mr. Valenti for being an idiot? Since when is the nickname “Spartan” unique? Since when is it OK to blatantly plagiarize a Wikipedia entry (search “Molon Labe” then read Valenti’s piece)? Since when is using sentence structure like a third grader acceptable when calling inferring that other people are stupid?

    Lastly, someone should also remind Mr. Valenti that he is a member of the media, not of the Michigan State Spartans. No one is going to his house to “get some” on October 15th. Writing from the perspective that he’s part of the team is sad, pathetic and goes against EVERYTHING that journalism stands on.

    I’m really glad a genius like Mike Valenti has a job while there are actually educated, intelligent people with talent who won’t get hired because station managers are too scared to kick the idiots like Valenti to the curb and hire new blood.

  41. .Ronald Paschke says:

    Hey Mike the Spartans in real life were dumb enough to be set up by a mentally challenged gimp. so you may want to stop bringing up that movie

  42. Rich says:

    I like the uniforms but Mike is a plain idiot. This is just another example of Mike trying to create the rivalry he wants by blasting Michigan fans like they really care about the Spartans. Typical Mike telling Wolverine fans what they think before they even speak. He tells Michigan fans that their biggest rival is MSU when Michigan fans say it’s Ohio State then tells them they are lying. He tells Michigan fan that it isn’t possible to root for Michigan and Michigan State even though caller after caller says they root for MSU when they don’t play Michigan. I could go on for ever but I’ll spare you because most of you already know.

    1. Patrick says:

      I am a current Spartan and I’d like to thank you for not being a hater. There’s enough of that already and I dont know why people heve to make more. I have friends that go to U of M and we get along. Please calm down, Mike.

  43. Steven Ives says:

    I’m a Michigan fan and I have nothing bad to say about these jerseys. I think they look really good. In fact, State should switch to them full time because in all honestly, the regular State uniforms are kind of blah.

  44. Sam says:

    So are they going to change the cheer to “go green, go bronze” for a week? The uniforms are sharp except for the bronze, sounds like Valenti is reaching for the bronze connection. Either way, it is one game and not a complete uniform change so not a big deal, just think green and white would have been better. Maybe white numbers and keep the bronze helmet.

  45. Shadyrock says:

    Mike Valenti is the Voice of the fans ????in his Bio . what fans the Giants, the Yankees? this guy needs to do a bernie smilovitz and Rob Foster and leave for Detroit and maybe come back with his tail between his legs like they did. He lives in Royal Oak… wonder if he like Mongo’s? I’m there alot. but he probally hangs out in Ferndale.

  46. R says:

    Love the uniforms, but this Valenti character is way to full of himself.

  47. Mike says:

    From a Spartan alum, Mike can be a knob, but he’s mostly right about these uniforms. I personally don’t love them, but 18 year old numbskull football players will immediately be drawn to them on October 15th. College football has become less and less about winning and the actual product on the field vs the appeal of the off-the-field characteristics. This is why Michigan is falling behind, and teams ahead of the game like Oregon are succeeding. Oregon in fact has made a POINT to mock the “tradition” of college football. It’s a different era of college athletics, and moves like this by the MSU athletic department will help them remain relevant for years to come.

    As far as him being “defensive” or “insecure”, I’m almost positive the guy’s e-mail inbox was full of Walmart insults the minute the uniforms were unveiled. So it’s not as if he’s creating this defense out of nowhere. You all know it’s true. Why act coy?

  48. Patrick says:

    I am a member of the Spartan Marching Band and we do something called ‘series.’ The idea is to be as warlike as possible. That is what these uniforms do. The Spartans were and are a formidable army. Promoting this image will improve recruiting and enlarge the fan base. Especially in the classic match against U of M, one of the most watched games of the year. These uniforms are a great idea. And the bronze: it looks great, and it’s only for one game. It’s not a big deal.

    Go green, go white.

  49. Robert T says:

    ” But when you have a unique nickname like Spartans and a cool history to celebrate it makes total sense to push the envelope.”

    -Last I checked, Spartans is not unique at all. They are used for the mascots in every other generic High Shcool in Hollywood Movies.

    “Obviously if your logo or mascot is a giant rat like a Wolverine it gets tougher.”

    -Direct violation of the unity council. Mr. Valenti, please report to the firing range.

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