Being a Yellow Jackets fan and alumnus isn’t easy. The team teases with success, loses games they shouldn’t right after winning games in which they stood no chance. It’s a difficult battle to defend a team that has middling, yet often top 25 performance. There are unique academic standards at the Institute that aren’t matched by many perennial bowl teams or many conference champions.
But the one thing we as a fan base always had to hang our hats upon was tradition. There are few college football fans who would argue that Georgia Tech holds a solid place in the pantheon of great teams when it comes to history, tradition, and class. The 52 team is often ranked as one of the top 10 programs of all time. 19 conference titles, 4 undisputed National Championships, the longest-standing on-campus field in all of NCAA. All of it adds up to ESPN U ranking Georgia Tech as the 18th most prestigious program in all of history.
Monday night all of that was wadded up into a crumpled ball and tossed into a nearby waste paper bin. The athletic department casually tossed it over their shoulders and let it bounce into the can and become trash.
The uniforms, made by Russell, that were worn on the field against Virginia Tech, and only announced in the hour before kickoff are simply the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to the football team, the Institute, and to each and every person who has ever worn the old gold and white on the field, in the stands, or simply in their own living room. And they aren’t done assaulting our eyes with them.
Chicken wire white helmets, pale gold shoulders that appear to be made of The Giant’s Causeway, randomly twisting side striping, blue bubble wrap numbers with dimensional texture that looks like a hidden 3D image painting. Colors that don’t match the football team’s official set, and worse still, don’t match the tones between piece of an individual player’s uniform. It’s a mess.
Previous to Monday night, the worst looking uniform released in 2012 and possibly the entire history of college football were the odd ¾ helmet and strange number font of the Notre Dame Shamrock Series Uniforms. At least those were a single-game edition.
These Tech atrocities aren’t for one game only. There are white, navy, and gold versions of the jersey and white and gold versions of the pants. The white chickenwire helmet is said to be replaced with a gold one for several future games, but no one has said if it is the traditional gold helmet, or some other stupid, gimmicky, tacky, ugly mess like the white one.
Not only are there 3 versions of the vomit they wore Monday, but apparently last year’s uniforms, which were no beauties in their own right, but far overshadowed in their ridiculousness by the new designs, will be in the mix as well. So, a program that has gone entire seasons only wearing gold helmets, white jerseys, and gold pants, will have more uniform possibilities than they have games.
Georgia Tech has, in the past, looked really good on the field. Some of their uniforms of the past have been really clean, classy, and distinctively the Yellow Jackets.
In 2005, the Yellow Jackets proudly wore the most traditional uniform in their history. Gold helmets, white jerseys with black numbers and gold and black arm stripes, over gold pants. This is what Tech looks like. Its what they wore for their national championship in the 50s, and their best, most classic look.
Want Tech to be a little more progressive? The 1999 uniforms were.
Gold numbers continued a couple years more, even getting a futuristic font in 2000. This is a nice look, old gold and white done right.
The uniform is the most distinctive items for fans and alumni to identify with and celebrate. As was famously said by Jerry Seinfeld, we cheer for laundry. This laundry is so bad, so awful, so gimmicky, so mismatched, so against the distinguished tradition of a great program that it isn’t fit for the laundry hamper, it should be immediately deposited into a dumpster behind Lane Stadium before the team leaves Blacksburg. I’d rather us look like the Oregon Ducks at this point. These are the worst uniform in the history of football. Ever.
Consider this my personal cry, an open letter, a pleading diatribe, to the Georgia Tech Athletics Department from a dedicated alum… please trash these abominations that sully the name of Heisman, Alexander, and Dodd. I’m begging you. Before my son and his friends think THIS is considered acceptable for one of the most prestigious programs in the world.