Photo Courtesy of Seminoles.com
Over the last three years, FSU fans have started to see new variations of the traditional FSU garnet and gold. It all began with the infamous blackout uniform in 2006 against Boston College for Homecoming.
In their marketing for the new black uniforms, FSU emphasized that they were to represent the "unconquered spirit" of the Seminole tribe. They even unveiled a Seminole family statue outside of Doak Campbell Stadium.
But then FSU lost 24-19 to BC and many fans wanted to erase the idea of the black uniforms.
The next season, the athletic department decided to play it safe and scheduled the blackout game against Duke. The 'Noles did get their first victory in the black uniforms, but in a lowly 25-6 win over Duke.
Like a gambler who has a hot hand, the AD tried their luck again. The 2008 blackout was once again against Boston College. And like 2006, the Eagles got the best of the 'Noles in their black uniforms, winning 27-17.
So 2009 brought a fresh idea: the whiteout. Scheduled against USF, the idea sat well with a little more fans since FSU did have an all white uniform amongst its variations, but never wore it at home. A 17-7 loss to USF drove a lot of FSU fans to the message boards pleading and begging for the FSU Athletic Department to stick to the traditional garnet and gold.
The fans didn't even get their wish in 2009. On November 5th, FSU and Nike unveiled a completely new uniform to be worn at the Nov. 21st home game against Maryland. The uniform consists of feathers down the side of the pants that correspond to the traditional uniforms of the FSU basketball teams, a new font for the numbers, and a black helmet.
Nike contends the uniforms are a breakthrough in lightweight technology. FSU fans are split on the decision. Some lament the drastic change in the traditional garnet and gold. Others claim recruits love seeing new uniforms and hope that using them for the Maryland game can boost the lull in recruiting.
In a time in FSU football when the fan base is already split on tradition versus the future in the Bobby Bowden debate, this just throws in a new wrinkle. Is it worth changing tradition to impress new recruits?
Another argument thrown in for those against the new variations is that the Maryland game will be long-time FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrew's final home game. They fear the new uniforms will be a distraction to the players on what will be his last match and since FSU is 1-3 in "gimmick" uniforms, they almost had a valid point.
When does it become an acceptable time to venture away from tradition? Yes, FSU was one of the dominant teams of the 1990s, but ever since 2001, the program has been on a steady decline. There must be a point when it becomes alright in the traditionalist's eyes to accept changes and look forward and think about what would be best for the program in the future.
If the recruits do view the new uniforms with eager eyes, is it alright to accept these since these recruits will be the future of the program?