- Ada, Oklahoma

July 7, 2014

OU's new uniforms may take some getting used to

Art Lawler Staff Writer
The Ada News

Ada —    It was only a matter of time. Sooner or later, but now Sooner, as in Oklahoma Sooners,  new uniforms are being introduced.

   You think this might be the beginning of another Oregon Ducks contamination?

   I’ll admit, I was all for some of these teams getting rid of their staid old uniforms in favor of something flashy.

   But OU is a different story.  

   The uniform they adopted back in the '60s is the college equivalent of the Yankee pinstripes. It’s a look that offers all the right colors without being gaudy. The numbers, the white, simple OU logo on the side, the solid crimson helmets were football’s equivalent of a Madison Avenue tuxedo.

   Now, the athletic department is messing where it ought not to be messing. Cream stripes and crimson stripes are returning to the helmets.  The automobile dealers have long since given up on the white wall tires and the two-tone cars, unless it’s a darker shade of the same color on the rest of the car.

   The Sooners’ uniforms were trim and dignified because they didn’t wear the dull-as-dishrag outfits Penn State has worn since the Declaration of Independence.

   The white helmet may have done wonders for us back in the Bud Wilkinson days. But you have to remember, we were watching most of his games on black-and-white television sets.

   One of the new options, which were shown in Wednesday’s edition of The Oklahoman, has almost the same uniform as worn by Tommy McDonald and Clendon Thomas in the '50s, except for the gaudy v-neck.

   This, I hope there will be no disagreement on. I mean, surely...

   We cannot, we must not, ever, ever have an OU team run onto the playing field with crimson pants under crimson jerseys. That would be almost like being naked.

   This isn’t Ardmore High School. No offense, Doug Wendell.

   There’s a place for everything — except red-on-red uniforms. I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked the solid colored uniforms from head-to-toe. That orange on orange Oklahoma State look. C'’mon Boone, let’s have some dignity.

   The OU helmets looked great, whether the Sooners were the home team with crimson uniforms or the visiting team with red helmets on white uniforms.

   Now here’s an important exception. White-on-white visiting uniforms are perfectly OK. Remember, white is the absence of all color.

   But the least you can do is put a school-colored beanie on your head. The Sooners do that. At least in the past, they’ve done that. It means you’re on the road and looking spiffy at the same time.

   If Penn State had blue helmets when it wears white-on-white, it wouldn’t look so depressing.

   Increasing the size of the OU logo is another mistake. One team I’ve always felt a little sorry for is Texas A&M.  They just couldn’t think of how to do a logo, so they put that oversized A&M on the side. Kind of does away with the smooth line cool effect — unless you’ve got Johnny Football doing magic in his ugly suit. But we’ll never see that again.

   One of many things the Sooners had over the Texas Longhorns is that crimson is prettier than burnt orange, and that stupid Steer horn over a white helmet (which is right wing to the far edge of Attilla the Hun) is no match for the Sooner helmet. At least it wasn’t.

   I know they’re saying they’re only going to wear these new uniforms on special occasions, but they’ll start experimenting with all sorts of combinations. The first thing you know, the current Yankee-quality uniform will be left in a moldy bin.

   I guess I can live with the red over white with the stupid white helmet and too-thick crimson stripe. Just so they don’t make it a habit.

   Now let me say this. If this is what it takes to get the athletes to Norman, then the rest of us are just going to have to swallow the change. It won’t be easy.

  But you know what they say. Every once in a while, you have to take one for the team.

   I think I’m going to be sick now.