Thursday, February 2, 2012


Kentucky basketball is nothing if not steeped in tradition. My Old Kentucky Home is played after every home game, our arena is named after a winning and famous coach, Adolf Rupp...and not after an electric company, a bank, or an Internet Provider...and our jerseys are blue and white. Every home game is a sea of blue, but not just any blue...Kentucky blue. It's similar to royal blue, but in Kentucky, it is certainly its own color. Some people who have a death wish may compare it to Duke blue, but it's not the same. At all. It's deeper...truer...and the color of winners...well, during basketball season anyway.

Pretty, yes? And because I'm a sucker for the details, check out the tiny outline of the state above the number. This only works with certain, recognizable Texas, Florida, and of course...Kentucky. Georgia could be mistaken for any number of other states...Alabama...Mississippi...New Mexico. A rectangle is a rectangle. But at the UK versus University of Tennessee home game last Tuesday, they unveiled the new Platinum uniforms (or, as Mama Virgo refers to them...a lovely prison gray). 
Thank you, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, for modeling so well.

I understand that it's an honor to be one of nine teams chosen to wear the new Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms. They are "tailored for the optimal efficiency of movement and are 5% lighter than the previous Nike Hyper Elite uniform," and the shorts are made from 100% recycled polyester while the jersey is made from at least 96% recycled polyester. I am all for high-performance clothing and recycled technology. But they are also gray....with just the slightest hint of blue. Our school colors are not blue and gray. They are blue and white. Can it not be recycled and white? Is that an impossible feat?

While the Wildcats put a smackdown on the Vols last Tuesday, Facebook was on fire with disapproving comments regarding the uniforms. And if we had lost, I'm sure the uniforms would have been to blame. As it was, the Volunteers weren't complaining about the extra advantage the boys in blue gray may have experienced from wearing lighter, more efficient clothing. No, they were upset about the discussion Calipari apparently had with the SEC refs about how physical the game has become and how more fouls should be called instead of ignored. And, when you compare UK's foul totals to UT's, that is probably a valid complaint. But maybe the Wildcats were just so fast in their lighter duds that UT had to grab to stop them. 

Either way, in Bluegrass Country, the gray is a no-go. But I'm anxious to hear how the rest of you feel. Do you think we're clinging to tradition too much? Should we embrace the wave of gray? Do you think they look like they just walked out of Sing-Sing? Rupp Arena is getting an overhaul in the coming years so perhaps a new uniform is justified for the times...for they are a-changin'.


  1. I will never understand why teams do this. I mean, I do understand because its' all about the money, right? But sometimes tradition means more than money -- and certainly those big wig Big Blue donors could bring in just as much to keep the Kentucky Blue as Nike...just sayin'

  2. MAybe its just the photos or my screen, but to me it looks like they even changed the shade of blue?!? Regardless, yeah, not totally loving the new uni's given the team colors do not involve grey. I hate when teams do that....

  3. Cuse was one of the teams as well and let me say orange and gray is not a power combination. And I'm with you stick with the main color. Whether that's blue or orange on the court I like to think it makes a difference. If everyone's gray with an accent color? Meh.

  4. Don't hate me for saying this... but i kind of like the color combo. That being said, I understand that when things are steeped in ttradition they should be kept as is. I totally understand why the fans would be upset. But hey-o! That model/player guy is pretty hunky ;)

    And that concludes my "clearly I don't know jack about sports" comment.

  5. Why do uniform designers always have to mess with a good thing. I like that it's light weight but I guess this material doesn't come in school colors? Look on the bright side while they are drastically different at least they aren't the uniforms like Maryland had on for most of the year - most of which I was OK with but that's because I love my home state's flag, but don't really root for UMD.

    Alabama football's uniforms are all about tradition so I feel you 100% on not liking these for sure. I like when stuff doesn't change or get too flashy. IMO the old uniforms were much nicer looking.

  6. When I signed on to root for the 'Cats, I did not include gray in my commitment. I can cheer for them on nights they wear the real blue, but not on gray nights. There. That should solve the problem. Forward my comment and they will immediately dump the prison gray. I'm absolutely sure of it!

  7. I feel your pain. It's as if my UT Longhorns had decided to ditch our treasured Burnt Orange. Treasonous!