Going Royal Blue

During the rivalry game between BYU and Utah, the Cougars donned throwback uniforms in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1984 national championship team. The Cougars will again wear the royal blue in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon State.

When the Cougars came out onto the field at LaVell Edwards Stadium during their final home game against Utah, the reaction from the team was enthusiastic. Initially, wearing those uniforms was believed to be a one-time event. However, the team expressed interest in wearing them once more in the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl.

"We're going to do it," said senior linebacker Matt Bauman. "We got it approved and we're excited about that because this was the color that BYU won the national championship with. It had been 25 years since the national championship team, and this was the color that the team won a lot of WAC championships in all through the 80s. It was a dominant uniform."

"We loved it!" said senior quarterback Max Hall. "We were kind of like, ‘Coach, let's keep them for the bowl game.' So we really liked them a lot. We just found out a couple of days ago that we were wearing them [again]. We were all really excited to honor that old-school blue again and come out with a win."

As Hall indicated, the players are behind the initiative to use the uniforms again.

"Coach Mendenhall sits down with us quite often as seniors, and it was a topic that came up," said Bauman. "He asked us what we wanted to do and we told him that we definitely want to wear them again. We as a team really enjoyed it and it brought a lot of emotion and meaning to the [Utah] game, a deeper meaning. It was a unanimous decision by us and there was no question that all of us wanted to do it. It was just a question of hoping we could get it approved."

Could this be a new trend? Could the Cougars sport the royal blue for special occasions, much like Notre Dame does with its green jerseys?

"Maybe, but I don't know," said Bauman. "There were rumors of them selling them again but I don't know for sure. I don't know how that's going to work out. It's just such a long process with so much going on that it makes it hard for something like this to happen. I honestly can't say if this would be a thing where we could go to the throwback uniforms for special occasions or not. It's just a tough process."

"You know, we'll see," said Hall. "This year it was just for … honoring the national championship team, but maybe it could be something that has caught on and could be done for special occasions like big games, homecomings and things like that [and] they can wear them again."

There is a deeper meaning behind wanting to go to the throwback uniforms besides simply honoring the 25th anniversary of the national championship team, and the Cougars wanted to wear royal blue to symbolize this meaning.

"BYU went through a rough stretch for around four years and now we've been able to put together four years of 10 wins in a row," said Bauman. "For us it's not only an honor to wear the colors of the national championship team, but it's also an opportunity for us to symbolize that the winning tradition is back. Four 10-win seasons is putting your fist on the table and saying, ‘We're here to stay and this is a dominant program, and we're going to stay that way like it was throughout the 80s when this program wore those colors.'"

The team didn't even know they would don the royal blue jerseys until shortly before the Utah game.

"For the Utah game, everybody was like, ‘Oh we should do it. We should do it,'" said Hall. "But Coach Mendenhall was like, ‘No, no, no,' but before the Utah game there was some whispering that if he did it, that would be the game that he would do it. None of us were sure if it was going to happen or not, but before the game he came out and we were all pretty pumped up for it knowing we were going to wear the old blue. They did a good job in keeping it a secret, but this time it's no secret that we're going to wear the royal blue. It's going to be fun."

"It was something fun that the team could bond with," said Bauman. "They were sweet uniforms and everyone on the team liked them. There wasn't anyone on the team that didn't like them. I think the fans felt the same way because when I came out onto the field everyone was cheering, so everyone loved the uniforms and Coach Mendenhall was receptive to it. It was just a matter of whether or not we could get it approved."

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