For more UNIFORUM discussion, go here.
By now, you have all heard the clamor and commotion regarding a mysterious, supposed shipment of blue pants to the Auburn athletic department, and by now you have all seen the (presumably) hastily taken phone camera photo of a blue Auburn helmet, taken somewhere where there is blue carpeting.
And, by now, you have all surely climbed to the nearest rooftop and shouted your opinions on the matter.
Will it happen? I don’t know. Nobody does.
Coach Chizik has shot it down in media interviews. But has he ever really come out with anything in media interviews? Some say the helmet is just a display in the athletic complex… but then why is it being removed from a box? Some say it’s just a prototype sent for kicks and giggles… but then why is it being removed from a box on the floor, if there’s just one of them? Some say it’s a miniature… But have you ever seen a chinstrap on a miniature? Some say it’s an option for the future, but won’t be done on Saturday… but do you seriously think they would do it on any other weekend besides the True Blue blue-out War Blue Eagle bluemaggedon Fearless and Blue game?
So many questions. So little answers.
But I’m just here to tell you that, either way, it’s not the end of the world.
Because nobody, even those most inclined to entreat with others to extract themselves from one’s cultivated area of grass, should really be all that against the possibility in the first place.
Even if the team comes out on Saturday in blue all the way down to their underwear, it’s nothing earth shattering. Having special alternate uniforms isn’t something that hasn’t been done before, and it certainly isn’t something that is going to evaporate a hundred years of football program’s history.
Everybody has done it. And by everybody, I mean everybody.
I don’t have to tell you that Georgia has done it three freaking times in three freaking years, but I think this happens more often than most think.
As we all know, Tennessee broke out their orange-trousered alternates again last year against Auburn (then went on to “break tradition” again with that Halloween catastrophe later in the year).
And last year, Florida and LSU both wore Nike billboards — uh, I mean, Nike Pro Combat uniforms. And Alabama is going to do the same thing later this year.
South Carolina has worn alternates over the years, and some alternate alternates, too. In 2008, Vanderbilt became the Oregon of the SEC, opening up to having nine different uniform options.
In 2009, Mississippi State brought out black jerseys against Alabama. Ole Miss seems to have at least one opponent seeing red each season. Arkansas changes its uniform pretty much every single year.
(Arkansas isn’t afraid to go monochrome, either. And Kentucky isn’t afraid to go non-monochrome.)
So, as you can see, every single team in the SEC has played around with alternate uniforms, and all within the last few years no less. The only team that seems to have never done something like this is Auburn…
Traditionalists, think of it this way: It would be tradition to not break our tradition of surprise alternate uniforms.
The reality is, wearing an alternate uniform on Saturday would not be breaking that much of a tradition in the first place. We have a lot more things to be worried about than breaking a streak of wearing white-blue-white at home dating back to, oh, say, 2008 against Tennessee-Martin.
Besides, if any Auburn team from any given year is going to pull off something wild like this, wouldn’t it be this team and this year? With Gus Malzahn calling the break-neck speed no-huddle on the sideline, with Trooper Taylor waving his patented Trooper Towel, with Cam Newton the blue-chip superstar transfer, with the freshman sensation in Mike Dyer beginning his career, and with the entire team kinda sorta talking about the SEC Championship maybe a little ahead of time like they’re the collegiate version of the New York Jets (not that there’s anything wrong with that)? These guys aren’t going to be around forever, you know.
So if the team comes out in blue helmets, blue jerseys, and blue pants, and blue socks, and blue shoes, and blue shoelaces, and with Artic Blast Gatorade, and Pat Dye Field has been dyed Boise-blue, and Cam Newton has painted his visor blue (so he can’t really see out of it but dammit it’s blue), don’t get upset and don’t be discouraged. Have fun with it. Our team will be enjoying it, and our coach will be doing whatever he can to help and make his mark on the program, and it’s all going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
And, much more likely, if they don’t do this crazy thing and just come out in the regular uniforms, you shouldn’t be disappointed, either. Just let out a little sigh of relief because it’s good ol’ Auburn and we don’t need no stinkin gimmicks and we can just get back to talking about football again and cheer the players just as loud as we have been for years. And the players will still be enjoying it, and the coaches will still be doing their best, and it’s all still going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
And we’ll all look really silly for not just listening to what Chizik has been saying all week long.
But, hey, for us dreamers, it could happen. You never know. We might actually do this blue helmet thing.
Pat Dye once famously dismissed the idea of orange jerseys, saying, “The Auburn I remember was pretty damn tough in those blue jerseys.”
But imagine how damn tough they’d be in blue helmets and blue pants, too?
Justin Lee is a third generation Auburn man and proudly makes maybe the third best Auburn music videos on the internet today. In his spare time, he is a sophomore at Auburn, majoring in journalism. Curse him at [email protected].
I think my Bo Jackson mini helmet has a chin strap. Will take a picture when I get home and send it to you.
I am little erked by the ‘traditionalists’ who are crying foul over the blue pants and blue helmet. Our current uniforms aren’t even that old compared to some other colleges.
A little change of pace like this will really excite the players. And its not a gimmick. Just because it would excite the players and the fans it doesn’t mean its a gimmick. People have to remember: these players are young college aged athletes. This kind of stuff just excites them. If you’ve ever been on any sports team I think you can understand that.
I am for the all blue unis. Will they show up Saturday? Probably not :(( Mega frowns.
Great article, couldn’t agree more. It’s not the end of the world either way. Pro’s and con’s for doing and for not doing it. If they do it, it all comes down to the results on the field as to how people probably feel about the uni combo. Very nice job on the picture as well.
Color on color looks like a high school scheme. And do we really want a QB who has practiced looking for white helmets downfield suddenly trying to identify blue ones? If the players need a uniform gimmick to get up for a game, then that says a lot about this team.
Patrick, I totally agree. If the Auburn players and fans need some sort of uniform/attire change to be excited for this game, then they need to stay home. This is a team that we should want to beat because we are Auburn and they are in our house. No more.
Also, I worry about everyone putting so much into this week. This game is big, make no mistake about it, but at the same time it’s not THAT big. This game gets Auburn no closer to an SEC title than a win over Arkansas State. I really wish the athletic department would have held off on everything for one more week, when the football REALLY counts again. With that said, War Eagle and beat Clemson!
“And do we really want a QB who has practiced looking for white helmets downfield suddenly trying to identify blue ones?”
What like the opposing team who will be wearing orange helmets is really going to confuse him? Seriously?
Just when I was sure that I’d never agree with Justin, I’m proven wrong.
Patrick, I think you’ve missed the point, its not that we need a gimmick to get the players excited, it just helps, and as an auburn fan, don’t you want us to have every advantage that we can? Or are you one of those people that thinks we should try and intimidate our opponents with silence…
It’s gimicky for sure, but I don’t agree that it’s because there is a “need” to get excited for this game. I think fans will be excited either way, as will the players. It does fire players up though (they love stuff like this), but it’s not like they are doing because they feel they have to to get the players up for the game. Even if they do it, it’s probably a one time deal or a once a season kind of thing, so I kind of laugh at the uproar from some.
Just say no to blue
Brad. You are one of the one MISSING THE POINT COMPLETELY.
Changing the uniforms isn’t an issue of “needing” anything. It would just take something that is insanely fun and make it MORE fun. Why are there so many people against this?
Moose, I don’t feel like I’m missing the point. While the players may like it, and I’m sure they do, there are a large amount of fans who don’t. And the last time I checked, we are the one’s paying insane amounts of money to support this program. For many of us, our traditions matter, including the uniforms, and those uniforms are by far and away the most recognizable thing about Auburn on a national scale. I lived in Big 10 country for years, and few barely knew what state Auburn is in, but they knew our uniforms. And if Coach Chizik is going to preach about “not reinventing the wheel” and “This was all here before we got here,” then he shouldn’t touch jerseys. Change is ok, but change for the sake of change is not, even for one game.
I personally believe that “All Auburn, All Orange” is the worst thing to happen as far as fans go in a long time. As Pat Dye said, “Our colors are blue trimmed in orange.” But that doesn’t mean that all blue is a good thing either. Just think of it like this, most big programs, and I mean the REALLY big ones, don’t use this type of gimmick because they don’t have to (Michigan, USC, Texas, etc). The words “night game at Jordan-Hare Stadium” should be more than enough to get people excited and ready for some fun. It’s ok if you disagree, but hopefully that answered your question Moose of why people are against it. Basically, it’s because it would not be the Auburn that we love, but something contrived that is being forced down our throats by a marketing machine.
Justin / AubOrange says
Maybe it’s just me, but I go to games to cheer on the football team, not the uniform.
I’d love to see people this up in arms when we change basketball uniforms every year.
Personally, I would like to believe that we don’t blindly think we’re “above” having some fun with some blue helmets. That’s the kind of ridiculous elitism that’s found on the west side of the state.
If we had the same helmet for a hundred years like say Penn State, then yeah. But no, we have had this helmet since the 60’s and the facemask has not even been consistent. I find it funny that in the same breath some are critical of the all orange thing, saying blue is the true color ( a valid point), yet are against a blue helmet. Last time I checked blue is the official school color, not white. The reason Auburn has a white helmet is that everyone had a white helmet back in the day, with no logos. Over time teams added logos (like Auburn), and then colors. Auburn just never added a color, which is fine and looks great. But geez, quit acting like this is the Yankees pinstripes or something. This is a fairly recent thing (the current helmet design) when you consider how long Auburn has been playing football.
Blue helmet – We would just look like Virginia
Blue Pants – Why? They look like crap
But whatever. If they end up mixing it up I wont be all that upset, I just think it will look like crap which is a shame since our home unis are already so awesome.
Alex P in Smyrna G says
They all have chinstraps: