Fans Asked to Wear Orange This Saturday. How About An Auburn Alternate Jersey?


Apr 20, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn quarterback Jonathan Wallace drops back to pass during their A-Day spring game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, I’ve got a secret to share.

Actually, it’s not that big a secret. It’s in my Twitter profile. I just haven’t come out at said it here since becoming the editor of Fly War Eagle. But here it goes:

I attended the University of Georgia.

Don’t worry, so did Pat Dye.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I was thinking this week about how fans are supposed to wear orange to Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday, and I asked myself: What was the most exciting environment I witnessed as a student in Athens?

Easily, it was the first “blackout” game – against Auburn, interestingly enough – November 10, 2007.

All week leading up to the game, there was a buzz on campus. The season hadn’t gone entirely as planned – Georgia lost to South Carolina and Tennessee, and the SEC East was pretty much out of the picture. However, following a win over Florida and squeaking past Troy, the No. 10 Bulldogs, with a record of 7-2, welcomed the 7-3 and 18th ranked Auburn Tigers. Mark Richt and the Georgia seniors asked all the fans in attendance to wear black, and the whispers began.

Could the traditional Georgia Bulldogs possibly wear black?

More from Auburn Football

It wouldn’t be the first time the school went away from the standard combination of a red helmet, red jersey, and “silver britches.” You can see old footage of Herschel Walker running over Tennessee in red pants, and Georgia even wore black pants a time or two in the 1990s. But, this was before the horrible black helmets the team wore against Florida in 2009 or the silver helmets and all red uniform from the 2011 opener against Boise State. As far as we knew, Georgia hadn’t worn anything but a red jersey at home in, well, ever.

Now, it is important to point out that even though the rumors of a black jersey – and even those that speculated UGA would be blacked out from head to toe – were rampant, there were many fans, students and alumni that hated the idea.

When the teams took the field for pre-game warmups, Georgia players were decked out in traditional red jerseys. Even when the captains went to midfield for the coin toss, they too donned red. Fans and students wondered and pondered if the blackout was just one of those things… you know… wear black… wear orange… whatever.

Then, the team came out of the tunnel.

And the place went nuts.

Fans screamed and cheered and danced to Soulja Boy. It was 2007 after all. The atmosphere was electric throughout the entire game.

I personally have never had so much fun at a football game, and as a staunch traditionalist, I wasn’t necessarily on board with the idea of black jerseys before I saw them in person.

The Bulldogs wore black again in the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii, and it appeared that a new tradition of wearing black jerseys in big games was born. That tradition was short-lived, however, and it died a quick, yet painful death the following season when Alabama embarrassed Georgia at home. But it sure was a lot of fun that November night against Auburn.

Apr 19, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) drops back to pass during the first half of the A-Day spring game at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Looking ahead to this weekend, there is no reason to believe the Tigers would wear any sort of alternate uniform. The orange jerseys Auburn wore a few times in the 1980s have an “unlucky” stigma attached to them. Plus, despite a handful of mockups, there isn’t even any evidence a modern orange Auburn alternate jersey even exists.

Simply, the Auburn Tigers have beautiful uniforms. And, with so many teams going crazy with alternates every week (like this last night, which is a bit much regardless of the good intentions), it’s nice to see a few well established schools like Auburn embrace their history by sticking to a customary uniform.

However, if there was a big-time matchup and the team and fans needed just a little extra energy – like Georgia did that night in 2007 – an orange jersey could do it. If you were in Athens that night cheering on the Tigers, you know.

This Saturday, Auburn fans have been directed to wear orange for the home game against LSU. Would it be so terrible if the players did too? Let us know in the comments below.