I had to step away from work fairly quickly this past Saturday, not long after I posted my practice update. That update, of course, included a brief report on the new Nike Pro Combat uniforms Georgia is going to wear in the opener against Boise State.
Well, it wasn’t until late Sunday that I got to review what some of the reaction was to that piece. There seemed to be more than a few folks bothered by me using the phrase “generally negative” to describe fan reaction to the new uniforms. A few people, in comments on the blog, asked me to what poll was I referring and accused me of just trying to “stir up trouble” between UGA and its fans without having any real data to support it.
So let’s clear this up. My determination was based on the reactions I was getting directly via email, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, those reactions were so decidedly negative that I actually tweeted to ask if there was anybody out there who actually liked the uniforms. Only then did I hear a couple of positive comments, and then they were still few.
But, of course, that is far from scientific. So short of hiring Gallup or some kind of market research company, I figured I’d just throw it out there to the masses this morning with a raw (but still unscientific) poll. So be sure to click one of the selections to the left and check back to see the results.
What do I think? I think I actually like them. I mean, it’s only for one game, right? And the players love them. I tend fall on Mark Richt’s side when it comes to this being something you do for the players and not so much the fans.
In the meantime, just so you have it to reference, following is most everything I got after practice Saturday from players and coaches talking about the uniforms. After this, I plan to retire from writing about uniforms (well at least for about 10 days or so).
LB CHRISTIAN ROBINSON:
“I like them. We’re going to look good!”
“About the third quarter it’s not going to matter because it’s going to wear off and it’s going to matter who’s playing the best. It’s exciting for us to put something new on, but it won’t matter come the third or fourth quarter.
“It really is for the team. I loved the black jerseys when we had them. That was one of the reasons I came here. That was probably the most excited I’ve ever been watching them run out [in 2007]. I was in the end zone right when they broke them out and it was awesome.
“New jerseys excite the team a little bit. It’s something new that you haven’t worn before. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing for some of these guys. I might never get to wear the black jerseys again, so it was a once-in-a-lifetime-thing. Again, halfway though the game it’s not going to matter.
“I do like tradition. But I think one game out of the year you can do something new. It’s not like we’re changing our whole style for the whole season. It’s one game. If it’s upsetting somebody that bad, I’m sorry.”
WR TAVARRES KING:
“I love them. I think they’re awesome. We’ve still got to play so it’s not a magic potion or anything. But I love what Nike has done for us. We’re blessed to have those uniforms. I’m excited about them.
“It’s 2011, you know. You’ve got to have a little swag!”
GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT:
“Well, I think that Nike did a great job of trying to capture a lot of the tradition of Georgia football. Some things are very subtle that the fans may not be able to see but the players can see. . . . I don’t know if the story that’s behind it is going to be released but when it is you’ll be able to read what Nike was thinking when it produced everything.
“But when the players saw it, they liked it and that’s the big thing, that they like it. And it’s a special game. It’s not what we would call a traditional uniform but it’s not a traditional game either. That’s kind of why we did it.
“I think we’re due. We’re due.
“Yeah, I think there are a lot of people that just don’t want to get away from that and I don’t blame them. That’s the reason we’re sticking it out there two weeks in advance, so everybody can get over it. I doubt we’ll do any surprise uniforms anymore. At least everybody’s got time to digest it. If everybodk just thinks about what’s most important and that’s playing the game, I think we’ll all be fine.”