Ernie Davis Honored The Right Way, As If He Had A Nike Endorsement

Kudos to Syracuse for lining up some very nice ways to honor Ernie Davis this past weekend. As if the week-long celebration and the premiere of The Express wasn't enough, the school also announced that the new dorm on campus would be known as Ernie Davis Hall. The dorm is already under construction and will be located at the corner of Comstock and Wavery.

And of course, there was the unveiling of the Ernie Davis statue, which will be located between the Physics Building and Hendricks Chapel next to the Dome. The football team will pass the Ernie Davis statue during its "Quad Walk" before every home game, setting up a very nice tradition the likes of which SU football has never really had. It will be a beacon of inspiration for all Syracuse football players and students from now until the end of time.

It will also be a very nice advertising piece for Nike until the end of time as well.

You see, the Ernie Davis statue has a Nike Swoosh on his jersey. Which is weird, because the Nike Swoosh didn't actually come into existence until 1971. For the record, Ernie graduated in 1961.

SOOOO...did Syracuse University just do what I think they did? There's two options I guess. Either Syracuse knowingly put Ernie in an updated uniform so they could include the Nike logo. Or, the designer,
Bruno Lucchesi, incorrectly put Ernie in the wrong uniform.

Adding fuel to this notion is the fact that the helmet Ernie is holding is wrong as well. It's a modern-era helmet instead of the kind of helmet Ernie would have actually worn.

My guess would have to be that, given the amount of attention and care put into the creation of
this statue, a decision was made to update the uniform and, based either on Nike's contribution or on wanting to make our corporate athletic gear provider happy, we kept the Swoosh on. The note in this article that says Lucchesi was working off an actual picture of Davis lends credence to the theory. How else would the Swoosh have ended up there then?

Does this ruin what the statue and Ernie Davis stands for? No, it doesn't. But it it's a pretty lame gesture, considering it's either a sign of incompetence or greed, two things you would NEVER associate with Ernie himself.

FYI, you may notice the statue doesn't look anything that...grey thing...that was presented last year. That old statue was scraped by the University, and it sounds like there's a bit of animosity over the way the original one turned out (or didn't turn out, as the case may be).

(Big H/T to Rob Lingo and Dale Williams. And if anyone has any hi-res photos of the statue, pass'm on down)

(Update, there is also Nike on the right cleat at the heel and also a Swoosh on the tongue on the instep. Why didn't we just go ahead and put a Swoosh on his forehead while we were are it? H/T Bill Orange)

Updates to this story:
Nike's Posthumous Ernie Davis Endorsement To Be Revoked
We Have Swooshage
The Easy Fix Is In


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