Sometimes you see something provocative and your initial reaction is an overreaction. After taking a bit of time to calm down and reflect, you realize that the provocative something isn't so outlandish after all.
And then there are times when your initial response turns out to have been right on the money.
That's the case with the new Miami University football uniforms, which were unveiled on Wednesday. The school calls them "bold." Everyone else calls them "a bad joke." Everyone else is right.
The basic template, which features contrast-colored shoulder yokes, is nice enough, until you see the garish lettering splashed across the shoulders. And just in case that wasn't enough of a Miami identifier, check out the back of the helmet. As one observer has already pointed out, the helmet looks like a bowling ball.
This is the latest example of the world that Oregon has wrought, a world where school after school mistakes provocation for innovation and thinks anything that gets attention is self-justifying. But here's the thing: The Ducks, for all their visual outrageousness, have been successful on the field. Miami, on the other hand, was 4-8 last year, and their prospects for 2013 don't look much better. They may soon learn a bitter lesson that's recently been absorbed by other schools: If you dress like a clown and win, you look like a winner. But if you dress like a clown and lose, and you just look like a clown.