Dean Legge/Dawg Post

Embrace the Black Being Back

ATHENS - It will be the first time since 2008 that Georgia has worn black jerseys, and it is a good call by Kirby Smart.

Why?

Recruiting. Its that simple. 

Don’t let your inner Larry Munson take over - don’t be that guy or girl - worry less about things that don't matter. Quit being pessimistic about a jersey color for god’s sake. 

What color a team wears is irrelevant to the way it plays. We’ve seen UGA win big twice in black; it lost big once in black. Its lost big in some wacko bird jerseys in 2011 against Boise State. Its won and lost big in red. It has won and lost big in white. 

Even Mark Richt’s and Jim Donnan’s jacked up jersey selections in Jacksonville in 1998 and 2009 didn’t make the team play any better or worse - just look much, much worse. 

What you wear just is - sorry its not more or less than that. Mojo, or Lady Luck, as Munson would call it, from wearing a cotton or polyester blend jersey has nothing to do with the outcome of a game. 

Who is wearing the jersey certainly does. And who could wear the jersey in the future is even more important. 

I remember going to watch A.J. Harmon play the night before Georgia’s blackout in 2007. Don’t forget how big a deal Harmon was in recruiting for the Class of 2008 - he was a big deal. He had been committed to Clemson, but needed something to put him over the for the Dawgs. The black jerseys did it for him… and others. I just know from the conversation I had with him the night before UGA’s blackout of Auburn in 2007, and my subsequent talks with him over time that the jerseys had a major effect on his decision. 

Everyone does this these days. Everyone but Alabama, Auburn and Penn State, who all have massively boring outfits. The Gators? They wore alternate uniforms last week; Clemson wore purple two weeks ago; then their big-game all orange last week. LSU, UCLA and Oklahoma? Yep. Oregon, Texas A&M, Louisville and Ohio State seem to change their uniform all of the time. 

This is about recruiting. This isn’t about a negative reaction from stick-in-the-mud fans, which is as predictable as it is old. 

Its kind of funny because before these fads really started at the turn of the de, I had a conversation with Mark Richt prior to the 2007 season. We were talking at one of the Bulldog Club meetings, and I asked him if he had ever thought about changing up the jersey at all. He told me he hadn’t, and that he always wanted folks to be able to know it was UGA when UGA was playing on TV. 

Georgia, after all, does have a very unmistakable uniform. But Mark probably knew that anything, and little thing, would help in recruiting - particularly a well-done uniform switch. 

He must have thought I knew something I really didn’t, because by that point in the year the infamous black jerseys had been ordered, and were available to be worn that season. Its just that no one knew about them - pretty much Richt, the equipment guys and the senior class before the Auburn game. 

Little did Richt know that those jerseys would become legendary one year only to be cursed the next. All the while, however, they were great marketing tools for impressionable teenage boys. Richt should have worn them again, but never did. 

The black jersey at Georgia really is legendary. Not just because of the bad loss to a very good Alabama team - teams get their ass whipped all of the time in “special” uniforms - see what the Dawgs did to Auburn and their orange jerseys in 1980. Lest we overlook Clemson’s loss last week in their “special” orange outfits to Pitt of all folks. 

Its legendary because that Blackout in 2007 was magical, and nothing that happened a year later against Alabama made it less magical. Also, UGA has won the Sugar Bowl four times. Once the Bulldogs won the national title at the Sugar Bowl in red, and once the Bulldogs romped to their best season since then in black. 

So the black jerseys mean something for sure, no matter how negative the old timer in your section is about those jerseys (and the “loud rap music” they play all of the time these days).

Kirby is doing the right thing bringing them back for what should be a yearly tradition. Georgia’s primary colors are red AND black. Playing in black once a year makes perfect sense. 


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