Well it’s been an eventful day for Big Blue Football Nation. Yahtzees, camps, praise and the reveal of the long talked about grey uniforms. Five star recruit Matt Elam, a Kentucky native, tweeted a picture of current commitment Denzel Ware with a #55 grey Kentucky jersey from Nike. In front of Ware was a matte black Kentucky helmet.
I’ve hinted at the existence of the grey duds for a while, especially if you follow me on Twitter. The black helmet was a surprise. That being said, what has been shown isn’t all thatUKand Nike were exploring for alternate combinations. Think headgear.
As soon as the news spread across the Twitterverse (which with BBN is pretty instantaneous) everyone and their grandfather weighed in with their opinions. Which is fine, that’s basically what social media is for. But I continue to be baffled by just how much some people hate alternate uniforms.
Anytime something changes or a change is even discussed, the “traditionalists” among us seem to pipe up and say how much they hate whatever is new. They want to make sure everyone knows thatKentuckyis BLUE and WHITE and NOTHING ELSE. And they always talk about the “Power K”. And if they could, they would probably try to have games played at Stoll Field. They are the same people who complain about the music on game day.
Here’s the thing. I understand that you don’t like change, but this isn’t about you. This is about marketing. This is about recruiting. What if thosenew jerseysare just one more brick in the wall that leads to Matt Elam choosingUKon national television at the Army All America Game. What if him and Barker are able to sway another All American to join them at the game and one of those players helps leadKentuckyto new levels of success, which leads to even more great recruits wanting to be Cats? College football is about recruiting. Recruiting is all about momentum. Right nowKentucky’s snowball is rolling down a pretty steep incline, imagine what addingElamin January would do for it, especially after the season probably slows it down a little. What if the 2014 class is the catalyst toKentuckyfootball’s rise from ashes? Isn’t that worth watching them play one game a year in a uniform that you think is ugly?
This is where they chime in and say that Bama recruits just fine without flashy jersey combinations or rap music in their stadium. And that is very true.Alabama’s uniforms have changed very little since the days of Bear Bryant. Well guess what? Bama didn’t run Bryant off for being TOO GOOD OF A FOOTBALL COACH. No, he stayed there and won what probably should have beenKentucky’s championships. SoAlabamadoesn’t need to change anything, their uniforms are iconic.Kentuckyhas no such luxury.
At the end of the day, Mark Stoops and company are going to do what is best forKentuckyfootball. They really appreciate what the fans have done with support and how much it has helped recruiting. But, they don’t owe you anything. If Bradley Dale Peveto finds out that DaShawn Hand will commit to the first coach he sees with one of those Mike Tyson face tattoos…Peveto might just do it. These coaches are here to win and that is going to entail some things we haven’t seen around here before. That’s a good thing, because obviously what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.