When the Texas Longhorns arrived in Stillwater for a critical game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys that has been dubbed the Bowl Eligibility Bowl, the team got a surprise from head coach Charlie Strong:
It seemed like the type of subtle change that even the staunch Texas traditionalists could handle. Apparently not, with the debate quickly raging as the uniform Luddites cower in abject and total fear that their beloved and iconic uniforms could see any type of change.
The same people who are still having trouble adjusting to numbers on top of the shoulders and stripes on the shoulders are now engaging in a tired slippery slope argument about how a metallic helmet decal will lead to all types of ghastly changes.
Recent comments from Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford calling alternative uniforms "clown suits" have probably added some fuel to that paranoid fire:
"Absolutely, 100% NO! We're the University of Texas.
I mean, if a uniform is going to make you a player - I think when we wear our Whites, it's as pretty as any uniform out there.
When the University of Texas walks out there, with that logo and that uniform, you know who they are. If you look at USC's uniforms, you know who they are. If you look at Notre Dame, you know who they are.
It's nothing personal. I just don't need all that stuff. I'm just an old school guy. I'm not a young guy that needs all that stuff to say, 'Yeah, this is who I am.'
Give me the nice, clean-cut stuff and let's go play football."
And indeed, some of the uniforms that are being worn around college football, and around the state no less, would be a terrible choice for the Longhorns:
Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) November 15, 2014
BUT WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION OR COACHES OR ANYONE IN CHARGE WOULD EVER LET THAT HAPPEN? EVERRRRR?
Apologies for the all caps there, but the slippery slope argument doesn't pass the smell test from 50 feet away.
For one, the change is an extremely small one, but it is enough to excite recruits and any extra buzz for Texas is important at a time when Baylor and Texas A&M have surpassed Texas in facilities, recent success, and different uniform combinations.
When someone tweeted the new look at 2016 Texas wide receiver commit Reggie Hemphill, his response was "it's a start." Uniforms matter to recruits and while this isn't an argument to start putting on clown suits, a small change can create some excitement.
And sure, tradition is important, but a metallic helmet doesn't ruin the tradition of the university. It doesn't take the championships away. It doesn't even ruin the iconic look. Throw out that argument as well.
In fact, if anything, it actually matches the metallic sheen on the rest of the uniform trim, from the numbers to the player's name to the Texas on the front.
So, Luddites, you're offended by this? The fact that the best logo in college football can now catch the light and shine from any angle?