Ten Reasons The Georgia Bulldogs Need To Bring Back The Blackout
The fact that Georgia's football jersey color has been a water cooler topic in the past three years is comedic to most college football fans.
While many college football teams change their jerseys year to year, and lose in them over and over, Georgia just can't seem to change their shoe lace colors or single knots to double knots without getting blogged to death.
Their "blackout" experiment in 2007 went from a complete success, to a complete failure, thanks to a 41-30 loss to Alabama in one of the biggest games ever played at Sanford Stadium.
Matters worsened when Georgia was slaughtered by the Gators, again, in black helmets with elementary looking red facemasks, and black pants.
Suddenly black has become a color of bad luck for the Georgia program. But why get rid of it? Last season's athletic director Damon Evans stated Georgia wouldn't wear black anytime soon. Mark Richt proved to view things the same way, wearing red jerseys in two UGA home games over the past two seasons (2009 vs. Kentucky and 2010 vs. Georgia Tech) where the majority of fans deliberately wore black to the games.
So, the fans have proven they want black to come back. But, will it?
Here's ten reasons why Georgia should bring back the black.
It's More Traditional Than People Think
Here's a rare illustration from the 1940s. Recognize that team?
It's the Georgia Bulldogs—and that player is non other than Georgia legend, Frank Sinkwich.
Georgia's uniforms have been extremely consistent since the late 1960s, however they looked way different back in the day.
It's just too many people don't remember.
Even silver helmets could be a really cool alternative option for Georgia.
When the Dawgs ran out of the tunnel in the blackout—to the delight of 92,000 fans—versus Auburn in 2007, CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist stated, "For the first time ever, in their black uniforms, the Bulldogs of Georgia."
While I love you Verne (one of my favorite voices in sports), you were wrong.
But it's okay, because most people have no recollection of black shirts. But, they existed—and honestly, considering the red numbers—looked less traditional than the modern black jerseys do (with white numbers).
If that's not justification for a one-time jersey, I don't know what is.
It's a Recruiting Tool
You are probably thinking, "What?"
But, it's true. Prospective college athletes are 17 and 18-year old kids, and some people forget that.
They are drawn to the novelties of life, which includes their potential football team's uniform collection. Many players who have committed to Oregon have mentioned the uniforms as a major lure.
Don't believe me?
Florida State presented mannequins in their locker room during recruiting visits over the summer, donning non-traditional uniforms.
One, shown above, was their all-black uniform worn a few times before. The black helmet, however, was a new design. The other mannequin shown in the locker room was one with a white helmet.
Turned out, FSU didn't wear the black or the white helmet during the regular season in 2010.
But, have you seen their recruiting class? My point exactly.
Fans Have Been Urging The Team To Do So
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
In Georgia's 2009 home game versus Kentucky, a majority of the fans in the stands showed up in black attire.
Yes, it was technically to mourn Uga XII's death, but everyone got pretty into it and pressured the football team to don black jerseys again.
Richt did not respond. In fact, after that season, Richt apparently trashed the black jerseys. The "black" team in the 2010 spring game wore white, opposed to the black jerseys worn in the year before.
That didn't stop the Dawg fans from pushing it though. Even with most fans knowing the black jerseys didn't even exist, they showed up in black in this year's Senior Day game against Georgia Tech.
No, It Doesn't Correlate With Losing
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Many came to the premature conclusion that any black garment Georgia wears is cursed.
Ask a Georgia fan if the decline from the 2002 days had anything to do with them switching to black socks, and see what their answer is.
Most likely don't even know that happened. Besides, who in their right mind cares about how uniform changes affect performance?
Georgia made a point to wear traditional uniforms against Florida after their black plague game in 2009. Ironically, Florida, who already lost in orange jerseys and white helmets in recent months, wore their specialized gator skin "Pro Combat" uniforms against us.
They beat us.
Do they credit the sublimated gator skin texture on their helmets for their victory? Probably not.
Plus, Georgia is actually 2-1 wearing black jerseys (that statistic excludes the black helmets and black pants from the Florida game), and outscored their opponents 103-71.
Moreover, Georgia only lost to Alabama by 11 in 2008, despite the fact that most 'Bama fans claim they shut my Bulldogs out.
Black Is a Major Part of The School's Identity
Yes, Georgia's football program has worn red helmets, red jerseys, and silver britches for over fifty years.
But, to the surprise of most, the majority of Georgia's athletic teams have worn black as a primary color in a majority of their events in recent years.
Georgia's basketball team has chosen to wear their black uniforms over their red uniforms in more road games throughout the past ten seasons.
Their softball and baseball teams are also good examples. And, if you've ever seen a Georgia track jersey, they are black with red numbers.
Black uniforms have become more an annoyance than anything else in general—with tons and tons of college football and basketball teams, who don't even have black in their color palette, getting black jerseys just for the heck of it.
But, Georgia is specifically "The Red and Black". Not the red and white, not the red and silver.
"The Red and Black".
Yet, their football uniform has been mostly red, white, and silver. So, is it not fair to give black it's fair share?
The Black Jerseys Look Great
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Most of the time when sports teams unveil black alternate uniforms, it looks bad.
That's because the black is usually out of place, and they don't know how to incorporate the black into their color scheme (i.e. Mississippi State football, Washington football, Florida basketball, etc).
That is definitely not the case for Georgia.
Can anyone possibly tell me the black uniforms were anything but a ten out of ten?
If you ask any sports aesthetics expert (believe me, they exist, I'm one of them) what's the best uniform Georgia has worn, they will likely tell you their blackout uniforms worn against Auburn and Hawaii.
The uniforms looked flat out amazing, and never out of place. They even had a timeless feel about them (cite photo in slide one...hmmm).
Nobody Does a (Insert Color) Out Better Than UGA
Even after three years, this photo blows my mind.
I credit two things to the success of Georgia's call to wear black.
One, social media.
The other, the commitment of Georgia's faithful.
The only other school that can match this type of enthusiasm is Penn State, whose fans show up in all-white for big time home games.
But, in most other college campuses around the country, efforts to get fans to all wear the same color usually only get around to the student sections.
Yet, when Richt called for it in 2007, even the fans who stood up against the stadium wall in the cheapest seats showed up with black shirts.
That's something unique, and UGA ought to embrace it.
Nike's Likely Itching To Get Their Hands on Us
In 2009, Nike literally revolutionized football uniforms.
They've taken a very persistent step in creating "high definition" football uniforms. In the day and age of high-quality television broadcasts, uniform presentation has broken through into an entirely new frontier.
Nike has started detailing uniforms with unique, micro-designs and sublimated patterns.
Most schools outfitted by Nike, including tradition-central Alabama, have sported specially-designed "Pro Combat" uniforms in select games.
And, a majority of Nike schools have switched to the latest light-weight pants and jerseys that Nike has to offer.
Georgia has not. Teams don't have to drastically change their uniforms to get the latest equipment, but Nike has provided some pretty snazzy alternative uniforms to their pilot schools.
If Georgia ever steps in to get the latest equipment, which many speculate they will do at some point (they actually did it a few times in the past five years without anyone knowing), they could ask for a special "blackout" uniform.
I think fans would be more than excited with the idea of a specialized, futuristic-looking version of the blackout uniforms.
If they would embrace that for a one time game, why wouldn't they embrace the traditional looking jersey worn recently?
It Would Be Perfect For The Chik-Fil-A Kick Off Game
In what has already become one of the more anticipated "home" games in Georgia history, the Dawgs will kickoff their 2011 campaign in the Georgia Dome versus Boise State in the annual Chik-fil-A kickoff game.
The Broncos have made a huge splash in college football, not only for their blue collar success, but for their blue turf, blue helmets, and lot's of other blue things.
Oh, and bright orange alternate jerseys.
They have become Nike's secondary guinea pig, along with Virginia Tech and Oregon (of course), and have worn some of the most bizarre uniforms Nike has had to offer.
In a number of cases, two top-notch Nike opponents (again, Boise and Virginia Tech, who played against each other to open the year in 2010) have agreed to wear special uniforms against each other.
It would be neat to see Georgia jump into the mix, especially considering it can almost be guaranteed Boise will do something weird with their uniforms, as they have countless times in the past.
Hopefully they don't wear green to try to blend into the turf.
Because Isaiah Crowell Would Look B.A. in Black
Okay, maybe that's not a really justifiable reason.
Who knows? Maybe we should ask, "Isaiah, would you like to wear black jerseys in the season opener?"
If he said yes, could we possibly tell him no?
Either way, whether Georgia picks a crazy pro combat design, or just simply wears the old blackout jerseys, it's pretty evident they need to...
...come back in black.