Aaron Murray Says He Would Love to Wear The Black Jerseys

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 5.40.40 PM

Coming off (perhaps) the program’s biggest win in years against No.6 LSU at home this past Saturday, combined with the fact that Tennessee will be wearing “smokey gray” uniforms this coming Saturday as part of a recruitment gimmick, alternate jerseys have (once again) become an acceptable topic of conversation around the UGA football facility this week. As I wrote yesterday, the similarities are very eery as to the way UGA handled their last jersey change, which resulted in a 41-30 thumping by Alabama while wearing the once-loved black jerseys. However, this week, Aaron Murray made a declaration that will either make you shiver in disgust, or jump for joy, depending on your level of superstition.

“I would love, love for us to come back and wear the black jerseys,” Murray said. “Maybe I can talk to coach Richt about that, and maybe get it in for whoever our last home game is. We still have some time. Maybe Nike could make it happen.”

That would be the Kentucky game on November 23rd.

As mentioned above, the black jerseys were the hottest thing in the state of Georgia for nearly a year, following a surprise unveiling against Auburn during a November home game in 2007, and worn again in a Sugar Bowl victory over Hawaii that same season. Fans and players were energized by them, loved the way they complimented the red helmets, and bought them off the store racks like they were seamed with pure gold.

Then came September of 2008, when Alabama came to town.

After that night (which was built up to be one of the greatest nights in Sanford Stadium history) ended in pure disaster, the black jerseys have since been associated with a curse. Though the score only shows an 11-point loss, the fact that the Dawgs were down 31-0 at halftime with their once pumped up fanbase in absolute shock, contributed greatly to the overnight disdain for the uniforms.

And while it was not the same black jersey, the color black was spontaneously used again in 2009 at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, which resulted in a 41-17 beatdown by the Gators while the Dawgs wore helmets and pants of the newly “cursed” color.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 5.39.38 PM

The years following 2009 have left many fans not wanting anything to do with the color black, despite being listed as one of two of UGA’s official colors.

However, now that the team has been playing very well, posting double-digit wins in each of the last two seasons while beating two top-10 nationally ranked opponents early in this season, the talk of wearing black once again has popped up in many casual conversations.

With Aaron Murray making his wishes known to have a picture of him in the UGA history book wearing the jersey that pumped up Dawg Nation just a short time ago, Bulldawg Illustrated found out that he is not alone in the fraternity of current players who share in his sentiments, albeit some with a bit of caution attached:

Jordan Jenkins:

“I’ve always seen the black jerseys and I have really wanted to wear them.”

“There is a jersey somewhere online, it’s like a black Nike Pro-Combat jersey with [Chirs] Conley’s name on the back. It looks like a real jersey. I hope we get to wear it one day, and hopefully this season too.”

Rantavious Wooten:

“I think I can speak for every guy in that locker room, that it is nice to enjoy something different. For me it would be more of that than just for a specific game. We have the best college colors to have cool stuff, so I would love to wear the black jerseys!”

Justin Scott Wesley:

 “People say if you look good, you play good. But I don’t really get too caught up in that. At the end of the day you still have to lace up your cleats and play football. But I think it’s really good for the fans and the recruits to see something new, to see a team that is willing to change it up.”

“I think it would be pretty cool, but I’m not going to kick myself in the butt if it doesn’t happen.”

Chris Conley:

“I’d love to wear black. It doesn’t really bother me what we do wear, what we don’t wear. If we were to wear black one time, I wouldn’t get mad. It wouldn’t change the way I view anything. But if anything, that means you better be ready to back it up if you wear something like that.”

Josh Harvey-Clemons:

“I definitely want to wear black. I feel like we have the best colors, as far as red, black, and white. A lot of guys would want to wear different jerseys. There are a lot of guys on the team that do talk about wearing the black jerseys.”

Quayvon Hicks:

“To be honest I have never been high with the fashion. You put me in an old practice jersey, and as long as it’s game day, I’m ready to go.”

“They are real nice, but I just feel like sometimes when you do stuff, or change stuff like that, the focus is lost, kind of. I think that’s a big thing, maintain the focus when you do change uniforms. So if we wear them, we wear them, but if we don’t, no hard feelings.”

Ray Drew:

 “It depends on what black jerseys we are wearing. If we’re wearing the black jerseys we wore against Alabama, then no. If we were wearing the black jerseys we wore against Auburn, then yes!”

“I like the black jerseys, but I really don’t care what we wear.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 5.42.05 PM

Without question, there will be many who read these quotes, and still be of the utmost belief that the color of the jersey would fully affect the performance on the field. Some of the same players quoted above defended the notion that that would not be the case:

Rantavious Wooten:

“We could wear pink jerseys and lose and they would say the jersey is the fault! It’s human nature when something doesn’t go our way, you find a reason why, so some find the black jerseys as ‘the reason we lost the game.’ I mean that has (talking very slow) nothing – to – do (regains normal talking speed) with an outcome at all. It doesn’t do anything.

Justin Scott Wesley:

“They don’t make you play negatively. We’ve lost more games in white and red than we have in black. You really cannot pin it on a uniform change.”

Josh Harvey-Clemons:

“It really shouldn’t matter what color jersey you wear, because we have lost more games in our white jerseys, and we didn’t stop wearing those. But we will just leave that up to the coach.”

 

A common theme in my writing, and amongst the Dawg Nation these past couple of weeks has been “superstition.” With College Gameday coming to town last week, and our next opponent highly publicizing a uniform change, the theme has loomed too large over this stretch of the season to ignore.

You have just read the wishes of Aaron Murray and many of his teammates to pull out the black jerseys once again, allowing them to be the kids they are while hopefully feeling and displaying the “swag” they love to show off.

And now it’s time for you to chime in: Let kids be kids and have some fun, or keep those jerseys locked away for good?

**If you are pro wearing the black again, I am interested in hearing your scenario on how and when they should be used**

55 comments
QueenofCamelot2
QueenofCamelot2

@LoganBooker_BI Tie black jerseys to team academic success or community service, same concept as black bones on helmets, for senior game.

Hollywoodcole21
Hollywoodcole21

@LoganBooker_BI If not black jerseys why not do something else like pant the end zone’s red along with the block style sideline.

IveyLeaguer
IveyLeaguer

Amazing.  Here we are, only days removed from the first real period of success in many years, and already we've lifted off into the atmosphere of hyperbole and fake juice.  Hate to the bearer of reality, but we haven't done anything yet.  There's nothing really to celebrate.  And the last thing we need is a lethal dose of fake juice.

For now, I'll just say this.  We better be careful.  We better concentrate on Tennessee.  Have we not learned anything from The Funeral Game and the subsequent fake-juice-induced disasters? Are we not mature enough to learn anything from history?  Can we not handle success even for a week?

I already mentioned my concern about the LSU game, how we jumped and danced around on the sideline in the final seconds of the first half.  How there is a time for celebration, but that is NOT the time.  How it looks bad, etc..  Plus, it's not good sportsmanship. Yet there Richt was in the middle of it.  Even the red-out concerned me a little bit.

Now this.  I tell you what, Mark Richt better let his mind wonder back to 2004.  Then, he'll recall how we had a big win over LSU, just like Saturday.  And how we celebrated for days, just like this week.  And how pathetic Tennessee had been that year, just like this season to date.  And how they came into Athens and flat-out whipped us, taking our national championship back to Knoxville with them.

THAT is what we better be thinking about.  How to get out of Knoxville alive and handle the little bit of success we've had, by negotiating our schedule.  Fake juice, whether from black jerseys or something else, eventually backfires.

Richt should put an abrupt end to all this crap, regardless on what his players or the fans want.

~~~

Gawdsport
Gawdsport moderator

Call me Mr. Curmudgeon but can't we just concentrate on just winning and the next opponent. We're a pretty daggum good team when we do that.

JeremyWhigham
JeremyWhigham

In a Freakanomics type study, it is proven that teams wearing black are penalized more often.  It's a psychological thing that encourages refs to call penalties on the team in black.  That said, I want our kids to have fun and if they want to wear black jersey's, let em do it one time in a gimme game.

noladawg
noladawg

I think the black jerseys would be great for the homecoming game. That way it adds another tradition without being gimmicky.

QueenofCamelot2
QueenofCamelot2

@BD_illustrated Love black, hate pro combat. As a student, atmosphere at auburn black out was electric! As alumni, would love to see again.

whitenick20
whitenick20

@BD_illustrated absolutely has to be a night game. Not saying we should black out the dome. Just saying those games are the best left

RxDawg
RxDawg

Hey I'm going to Kentucky game. I'd love to see the black jerseys! I've always been a fan of them in general. That 2008 arse whoopin we took from Bama had nothing to do with the jerseys. It had everything to do with our very sorry defense, and begining of a 3 year slump. It also had to do with Bamas rise to the elite, which is still going on to this day. I say bring on the back in black baby!

whitenick20
whitenick20

@BD_illustrated no pro combat. I love the black jerseys I would say KY is the best left for the rest of the yr unless we black out the dome

tgentry97
tgentry97

Isn't this similar to the email I sent you last week about wearing the black jerseys every year for the last home game?  The students already wear black to that game.  That has always been a tradition.  It would stop the calls for a blackout every year for big games because we would know that we are wearing them the last home game.  It would also give every UGA player the opportunity to wear them in their career.  I think we need to keep the silver britches and red helmets though.  I want to see us wear exactly what we wore in the Auburn blackout game.  

mrcottongin
mrcottongin

I love the comment by Quayvon Hicks! 

Also I have been very big on superstition but as you can see we proved it wrong with the win over LSU last week WITH College GameDay at Athens. Yes I do realize that Corso did not pick us (Thank God) but he also didnt pick us in the SECCG (twice), and he didnt pick us in the last blackout. So yes i feel there is some superstition but dont let the fans who are over the top about "the curse" keep the kids from getting a chance to play in the black jerseys. Because if I was a UGA football player and I saw those old photos of Moreno and Brown dancing in them I would sooooooooooooooooooo want to wear them between the hedges. 

Let the kids pick what they want to do and as a Bulldawg Nation we should support them through their decisions. 


GO DAWGS!!! 

MoePritchett
MoePritchett

earn it first....and then CMR can call a "Blackout."  ...he called for a Redout and it was a thing of beauty (on CBS anyways)

ugashep
ugashep

I would like to see the black jerseys tied to the Florida game, any Georgia team that beats Florida earns the right to wear black jerseys once, at a home game of their choosing that season.  The black jerseys can never be worn in the Florida game itself, just as a reward for beating Florida.

RocketDawg
RocketDawg

@IveyLeaguer I get where you are coming from but geez dude lighten up a little. First of all that dumpster fire in Tennessee could barely beat an FCS school last week. The 2004 version of the Urnge at least had talent on the roster it was just young, can you honestly look at the UT roster and find someone other than OLine that would start at another SEC school? I agree it's a road game in the SEC and the team needs to be ready but unless we completely lay a steaming pile in the middle of Neyland there is no way UT wins this game.

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@IveyLeaguer While we are all allowed to have our own opinions and views of our ability to have fun with a program, let me respectively say that I am glad I do not sit next to you either at the game or around the dinner table during the week.

Relax. Have some fun. Let the KIDS who play the sport you follow have fun. 

My opinion, and mine only.

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@Gawdsport I bet you're the guy in the alumni section telling people to sit down at a big moment in the game, too....

Haha! I kid, I kid!

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@tgentry97 I did get your email last week, and it did spark the idea for this story. So thank you!

However, I asked a large sample of students throughout my week at school about the wearing black to the final game, and not a single one of them had heard anything of such a practice.

Not sure if that was a tradition in the past or not, but it appears it is no longer done. 

I do like the idea of wearing them every year for senior day (the final home game), as I think that is something to look forward to on a day the team would be playing with a great deal of pride.

MoePritchett
MoePritchett

@CitadelDawg   ahhh....no....I am ok with the black jersey, but not the helmet and pants.  looks like poo.....it does not look like Georgia.

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@ugashep  

Thank you for joining us!

I love the idea to tie it into this kind of incentive! Add a little extra motivation for beating Florida, and show off that victory on either the next game or senior night with the black jersey reward.

We may have a winner, folks!!

ecdawg
ecdawg moderator

@ugashep

Sounds good to me.


Thank you for registering and commenting.

IveyLeaguer
IveyLeaguer

@RocketDawg

My primary concern is handling success the rest of the year, and beyond.  Not this game.  But we have be careful every week.  Richt said, after the game, "if we think it's not going be (just as tough) next week, we're crazy".  So it's not like he's unaware of the danger this week.

Every week is different in that regard, but I just want us to be mature enough to handle success in the right way.  Getting all caught up in the hype, fake juice, etc., is something to avoid.

So I agree with you about Tennessee, except for one thing.  I do think Tennessee can win.  They will, however, need our cooperation.  Richt said we had a good practice yesterday.  So I doubt they'll get it.

~~~

IveyLeaguer
IveyLeaguer

@Logan Booker

Thanks for your opinion.  But let me respectively say you don't know what you're talking about. The biggest challenge Georgia faces right now, and will the rest of the year, is handling success.  And since 2003, no Richt team has yet been able to do it.

Psychological and emotional gimmicks are not the answer.  They've failed Richt in the past, and they'll fail him again.  It's concerning that our biggest challenge is also Richt's primary weakness, i.e., the psychology of managing the mentality of the team in a way that keeps them mentally tough and their feet firmly planted on the ground.  Some of us are anxious for him to move forward in this regard, not backward.

You apparently fail to discern the difference between fun & excitement, and psychological and emotional gimmicks.  One is a great part of the game, for the kids who play and the fans.  The other will get you beat, destroy goals and seasons, and negate a heckuva lot of hard work.

I'm not against fun.  I'm against the negative effects and fake juice that gimmicks sooner or later produce.  It's playing with fire.  It's playing Russian Roulette with 3 bullets.

Did you see the video of the Redcoat celebration posted today?  And the players having fun and enjoying the moment?  THAT is a good example of the time and place for players to have fun, to jump up and down and demonstrate they way they want to.  There are many others, of course.  It's not like they never get a chance to enjoy themselves.

In that video the game is over, so your opponent is not offended.  That was a proper time and place, the end of the second half wasn't.  There's still such a thing as good sportsmanship (I hope).  And there's a thing called class.

I could go on, and should to better clarify, but time won't permit.  But look, I've been writing about this psychology issue for years.  To date, I've yet to be wrong about it.  It's very real.  And for years now it has literally eaten our lunch (and there's a lot contained in that statement).  So yeah, after what we've been through it gets my attention anytime I even sense its presence.

I'm telling you, Richt must be very careful.  Fans, media and others can get caught up in this stuff and it's just fun (to some).  But not coaches and players.  They can't afford that luxury.  Not if they want to be a champion. They have to be able to separate good fun and positive mentality from psychological gimmicks and fake juice.

Since December 2009, a lot of work has gone into getting into this position.  Now it's up to us not to screw it up.

And BTW, you're dead wrong about me personally as well, the things you said, like 180 degrees. I'm surprised a journalist would make such an unfounded and unsupported conclusion, and in a personal way.

~~~

Gawdsport
Gawdsport moderator

No not at all. My sister in law lead a petition to get all those red shakers and not just for students. There is a difference between Real Red Kool-Aid and Fake Juice. Get Loud!

tgentry97
tgentry97

@Logan Booker @tgentry97 Hmmmmmmm.......that's strange because I have always seen the students wear black to the last home game.  I have always done it myself.  Maybe these students these days arent paying close enough attention or something??  I guess I could be wrong but I have been to enough games (last home games) to know what me and all of my friends wear and I know the majority of everyone else around us does the same.  Oh well, either way it's a great idea!  Love the articles and the stories you guys post.  Keep up the good work!

CitadelDawg
CitadelDawg

@MoePritchett @CitadelDawg Don't like it either, but that's almost certainly what Jenkins was talking about. It is too much black to me, I could take some of the parts, but not the whole of them.

IveyLeaguer
IveyLeaguer

@Logan Booker

["You make great points, I just do not agree with them. "]

No problem there.  But now that you've seen the game, maybe you have a better sense of why I was so concerned.  The game was no surprise to me, and this time I don't believe it was to Richt, either.

Richt is pretty good about learning from hard lessons.  This time, he saw it coming, and did what he could.  Even so, we were very fortunate to survive it.

~~~    

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@IveyLeaguer @Logan Booker  

It appears you 100% took my comment the wrong way.And for that I apologize. If anything, it was meant as a lighthearted joke that I thought you were being a little too gloom-and-doom.


You make great points, I just do not agree with them.

Logan Booker
Logan Booker moderator

@tgentry97 @Logan Booker  

I like the idea of such a tradition! It's a nice way to pay homage and thanks to the seniors who busted their tails for their time here. Not doubting it still exists, but I would like t see it pick back up, for sure!