Pro vs. Con: Should Cougs wear black?

SO MANY schools, including some from the the Pac-12, have taken a break in recent years from their school colors and broken out black uniforms. Two Cougfan.com correspondents take opposite viewpoints in this debate: Should the Cougs wear black for a game this fall?

HATE IT: Evan Baron
WSU athletic director Bill Moos has made quite a few changes over the last four years. But introducing black uniforms should not be one of them.

Crimson and Gray are the official colors of the Washington State Cougars. So why should the WSU athletes represent their school wear the color black, a color which has no affiliation to WSU's true school colors? The biggest reason would be recruiting. High school athletes for some reason are interested in schools with black uniforms. However Moos addressed this with CF.C a year ago, saying the Crimson and Gray uniforms are just as appealing for recruits.

"I think it's awfully important to respect the crimson and gray," Moos said. "We've had some talk about black jerseys in the past, but I think our players are really loving the uniform combination we've got. Our jerseys have been a hit with recruits in recent years too."

Keeping with the tradition of wearing true colors can be just as appealing to recruits.

USC, LSU, Michigan, Alabama, and Texas are five schools who have not made the change to a black uniform. None of those five seem to have a problem when it comes to recruiting.

At the end of the day what truly matters to a recruit is winning. If the WSU football program continues to make bowl games and can soon start competing for Pac-12 Championships, more and more recruits will always have their eye on playing their college ball on the Palouse.

Oregon, Washington, Arizona State, Stanford, and Utah are Pac-12 schools who have hopped on the bandwagon of wearing black jerseys, when the color black has no relation to their school colors. If the Cougars were to wear black uniforms, they would make the same decision as their hatred rival, the Washington Huskies. Why be a follower, when you could be a leader?

Indeed, the last thing any Cougar fan wants to do is to be seen as copying UW. Washington State has already made a statement these last two years by crafting Martin Stadium into a respectable college football stadium and in order continue that statement, Moos must stay loyal to his school colors and not add black to the mix.


LOVE IT: Christopher Shaw
In an era where everything is the new black, it is still difficult to replace a classic color – or colors, as is the case with crimson and gray. But the Cougars would do well to flaunt a new look this upcoming season by donning black.

No, there's nothing wrong with the current color schemes the team uses. But as the Cougars continue their upward ascent in the Pac-12, adding a little black spice into the mix of uniforms will only add to the excitement.

The significance of the color black is one reason for the Cougs to don darker uniforms in 2014. Black is associated with power, elegance, mystery and fear, all of which are things that can subconsciously influence an opponent. The ancient Egyptians used black to signify life or rebirth, and that fits in well with the current building of the program as well.

Beyond the history of the color, black is just plain aesthetic. It's sleek. As if the athletes on the field weren't already physical specimens, wearing black uniforms will make their physiques look more dominant and intimidating. Looking the part on the field and feeling like the best athlete before the game even begins is another advantage for the Cougars.

From a tangible standpoint, wearing darker uniforms could even make it easier for the quarterback when going through his reads. Black is obvious to the eye and can be picked up easier when on the move and through peripheral vision. It does not blend in, not unless the lights go out in the stadium during a night game.

And imagine the reaction of fans in Martin Stadium when they see the Cougs storming onto the field in either all black uniforms -- or better yet, black with crimson numbers.

The Cougars are partnered with Nike, which means the sky is the limit for how eye-catching and innovative the new black uniforms could be. Martin Stadium is already rocking on game day, but the introduction of black jerseys will ignite the crowd into an explosion of noise and team spirit.

Oregon and arch-rival Washington are among those who have all already tried out the color on game day, so why shouldn't the Cougars? The new color does not have to take over the program. Crimson blends with black, and will offer an exciting alternate uniform for contests like the Seattle Game – or even the Apple Cup.

Some might say that doing what other teams in the conference are doing taints the Cougar way. That isn't true. The Cougars on the field and their fans both bleed crimson, no matter what colors they wear. Wearing black is marketing genius, powerful in nature, and encouraging to Cougars everywhere.


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