South Carolina will be playing in alternate uniforms this weekend in Baton Rouge. The uniforms consist of gray jerseys with gray pants. The jerseys are just like our current jerseys in terms of pattern, but the dominant color is gray instead of garnet or white. I believe the pattern on the pants is the same as the military's ACUs or Army Combat Uniforms. It looks like a digitized camouflage.
My first thought when I saw the video of the uniforms is that I don't like them. To be fair, I probably wasn't going to like many alternate uniforms since I like the regular uniforms we have. That's how I was judging the uniforms: are they an improvement on what we currently have? For me the answer is no, but perhaps I'm not asking the question right.
First, should we be comparing the uniforms to our regular ones? If we were talking about making a permanent change, then the answer would be "yes, that's the standard." But that's not what we are talking about. We are only going to wear the uniforms for one game, so the standard should be, are they OK? On that front, I suppose they are. Though I am generally not a fan of most teams' special uniforms, I think these are OK, not much more, but OK.
Second, whose opinion should be important regarding the uniforms? Is it all about the fans? I don't think it is. The uniforms should appeal to the fans, of course, but the more important opinions are those held by the players and potential players.
At his press conference Tuesday Coach Spurrier said the players liked them. Since they are the ones who are actually going to be wearing them, perhaps their opinion counts. Plus, if the players like them, then it's probably likely that recruits like them as well. If that's the case then the uniforms may lead to a tangible gain for the football program by being more appealing to recruits. So for the hope of keeping recruits happy, I'm OK with the gray uniforms.
Yeah - I think you nailed it mon General. Phil Knight's excesses at Oregon and with Nike Pro Combat have made this de rigeur now. If you don't do this sort of thing - and you're not Alabama - then you've given recruiting opponents another selling point against you (minor and dumb as it may be, on the level of "hey, we have an on-campus Chik-fil-A").
Frankly, I abhor our new regular UA uniforms (the ones introduced last year) but we've won so much in them that any bellyaching about them will likely fall on deaf ears. I would go back to the first edition UA unis - a little more of a classic look.
I would prefer that if we did this sort of uniform gimmick, that we at least send money to Wounded Warrior - like we did in '11 and '10. I looked to see if that was the case this year, but unless I missed something (doh!) I didn't see it. I think that is a shame, though I loved the way we honored that Gamecock military family before USC-UGA.