31 Flavors of Football: Uniforms

To help you and I get through the drudgery of August, I will present in this space a daily scoop of MSU football-ness, as inspired by a certain ice cream chain. August has 31 days, so I’ll let you work it out from there. Here is today’s flavor.

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The great Jerry Seinfeld once boiled sports fandom down to this: “You’re actually rooting for the clothes.” Mississippi State fans not only cheer for maroon-colored laundry, they are curiously obsessed with the specific look of that laundry. They are not alone in this fascination, as fans across America find themselves breathlessly following online reveals of new uniforms to be worn by their favorite team.

I find myself intrigued by on-field sports fashion, and I can’t explain why. Athletics director Scott Stricklin is the same way, recently telling me, “I love uniforms. When I hear a team has a new uniform, I’m curious to see what it looks like.” MSU, of course, recently unveiled a new look (CLICK HERE), so the uniform buzz was at high pitch this summer.

On the whole, fans seem happy with the new unis, which aren’t drastically different from the previous iteration. And MSU fans have particular tastes when it comes to game day fashion. For example, black uniforms are treated with contempt, mainly because MSU is 1-2 in that outfit, the win being an OT affair versus Louisiana Tech last year. Besides, it’s hard to see maroon numbers against such a dark background. There will be no black worn this year.

Fans also abhor the white helmets, a hallmark of the moribund Sylvester Croom era, and thus a reminder of those dark days. Specialty uniforms are something MSU is just recently dabbling in, and while the black ones haven’t gone over well, the Egg Bowl uniform from last year was a big hit. Maroon tops and pants with gold numbers, a gold-trimmed helmet logo, gold cleats and other splashes of gold? Slick.

Expect to see a specialty uniform for the game against Texas A&M on Nov. 3, as the teams commemorate the 2000 Independence Bowl, a.k.a., the Snow Bowl. For one game, at least, the white helmets could return. MSU fans will undoubtedly weigh in on that.