This past Saturday, the Florida Gators clinched their spot in the 2015 SEC Championship game by rolling to victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores. They did so wearing a pretty interesting uniform combo: Orange jerseys, white pants, and white helmets. While the Gators have taken to wearing their orange jerseys on a more regular basis than ever before, this has to be one of the first times (if not the first) that they’ve ever gone white-orange-white.
Back when they wore white helmets on a regular basis, they wore blue jerseys as they’re traditionally wont to do so, so this absolutely has to be an extremely rare uniform combo for the Gators.
Recently, Florida head coach Jim McElwain decided to explain why the Gators decided to wear the white helmets, which were a mix of their traditional orange helmets and the white helmets that they wore with their Pro Combat alternates back in the 2009 season.
“Some of our players asked about a white helmet and of course, I looked around the building and there are pictures of white helmets everywhere, so I just thought we had them and found out we didn’t,’’ Florida head coach Jim McElwain said.
With the players interested in wearing them, once McElwain learned white helmets are not part of Florida’s regular inventory, he set in motion a plan to order them to use during his first season.
Homecoming seemed the perfect opportunity. The helmets featured the familiar “Gators” script logo on the left side and Florida’s “F” logo on the right side. A blue stripe ran from front to back, bordered by a pair of orange stripes.
“I think there is some true symbolism in those helmets,’’ McElwain said. “For me, especially on a homecoming game, it was an opportunity to link the present – with the ‘Gators’ script on one side – and unite it with the past with the ‘Block F’ on the other side. That was really the driving force behind it and our guys appreciated it because some of them were recruited here thinking they were going to wear a white helmet sometimes.”
So as usual, this was done because the players wanted it and the coaches had an eye on not only pleasing the players, but on potential recruits as well. We all know that special uniforms are more important to current players and incoming recruits than ever before, so coaches will take any chance they get to hop onto that bandwagon.
Florida is no different, but this is actually a pretty decent look for the Gators. I’m sure that not everybody is going to be a fan of the whole “two decals/one helmet” deal, but since the two decals themselves aren’t too tacky, I don’t have a problem with it. I do find it a bit weird that they didn’t match the helmet striping pattern with the pants striping pattern, but that’s my only real qualm with this uniform.
But do you guys have a problem with it? Are you a fan of the look for the Gators or do they need to stick to their orange helmets?