There has been much made as of late about potential uniforms for the University of Tennessee football team: the “FootVols.” In fact, it’s gotten so serious, that the good folks over at Go Vols Xtra, purveyors of nothing except complete seriousness, have posted a poll as to what color combo the team should wear and for what game this season?
If you read through the comments (which I’ve warned before not to do), you’ll get a nice cross section of Tennessee fans and their opinions on the subject. The idea of using black on the uniforms was posted at some point, and that is where we discover that unfortunately, the old adage of opinions being like assholes holds true to this day.
First off, you’ve got your traditionalists who don’t like any messing with the traditional uniforms that were traditionally worn by traditional players in “traditional” times traditionally… tradition. Nevermind the fact that the “Power T” that we know and love today has only been traditional since the 70’s, and also nevermind the fact that Tennessee has in fact, worn black as part of the color scheme for quite some time:
Left: from 1963, Right: from 1965
(via The Helmet Project)
Now, granted the second one was as a tribute to coaches killed in an accident, it just goes to show that black did exist in the annals of Tennessee uniforms. There is another instance of black on Tennessee uniforms… If I could only put my finger on it… Where have I seen black on the uniforms as of late?
Zomg! Black! On teh Jerzeeez!
Secondly, you have the “closet traditionalists” who instead of directly supporting only an orange and white color scheme, decide that it’d be a good idea to say something along the lines of “why black? why not hot pink or lime green?” This is a problem because of 2 different reasons. #1, that’s not at all clever or humorous #2, black is generally designated as a border/defining type color that can be used without necessarily adding to the “color scheme.”
Both groups of traditionalists make use of phrases such as “young people” or “kids” wanting things that are “cool” as the reason why the idea of alternate uniforms should be dismissed. Well old timers, I have news for you: these “young kids” that you speak of, are the ones that are being recruited to play football, and yeah, they do give a shit what’s “cool” and what’s not. Even NFL teams like the Denver Broncos were able to refresh their image entirely without losing out on “tradition.” It’s called “progress” not to mention “new logo souvenir sales.”
Well, that not withstanding, we wanted to stop the talk about what the jerseys would look like with black in them. There are a few images out there that have supposedly been released from Adidas showing an orange pant as a possible alternate jersey for road games harking back to the days of one Johnny Majors, but the one thing we haven’t really seen is what a black uniform would look like. Of course, we here at Fulmer’s Belly aim to please, and it gives me a chance to show off my mad photoshop skillz. That’s right “skillz” with a Z.
First off, we have the alternate helmet:
How would a player actually look in this helmet? Well, I’m glad you asked (click the pic for a bigger version):
Hit the Jump for some kind of awesome possibilities.
Next up, we have a black pant/orange shirt combo, which I did just for fun, but quite frankly, looks kind of dumb. (click the pic for a bigger version)
Now, let’s get to my favorite rendition (and one that I’m personally quite proud of, even though it could have been a little better, but you know, it’s sort of half assed). The black uniform with the alternate black helmet with black britches: (click the pic for a bigger version)
There you have it. I think they look pretty fantastic (except with just the black pants), and you know, variety is the spice of life. It’s time to start our own traditions, instead of just living in the shadows of Doug Dickey’s creative traditionalism. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Power T, and most of the things he’s enacted, but let’s not pretend that his innovations are the same thing as “tradition” and “history” in the real sense of the words. The real tradition of Tennessee football is putting a competitive team on the field, and practicing the 7 Maxims of Football. Other than that, it’s all child’s play.
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