Trivial to some and impenetrable tradition to others, the thought of black jerseys or black socks at USC is always set to ruffles a few feathers. Therefore, we’ve decided here at Reign of Troy to let our opinions known on the matter, roundtable style.
Charles Gilmore: I don’t like the black jerseys idea. The different uniform combinations are a great selling point and marketing idea for teams that don’t have a long standing tradition like Oregon and Arizona State for example. USC is USC just as Alabama is Alabama, Oklahoma is Oklahoma, Nebraska is Nebraska. That is a statement within itself.
The selling point is tradition and a long history of success to go along with premier academic institution. The only thing that needed to change were the athletic facilities and a renovation of the Coliseum. Both of which are happening. In spite of the outdated facilities and lack of uniform combinations, USC has managed to keep a fence around the top notch talent in southern California and still recruit the best nationally. Even more impressive they have managed to do it while under NCAA sanctions.
I say no to the black jerseys.
Trenise Ferreira: I personally am not a fan of the black jerseys. USC doesnt have black as a primary or secondary color, so have the jerseys is kind of superfluous. And to piggy back on what Michael said: USC isnt a program that needs to call attention to itself by being flashy. We have a long standing tradition and a deep, fruitful history that speaks for itself. Programs will a zillion jerseys are over compensating for the fact that they really arent that good. But they look pretty! Kudos for them.
As far as black socks, I am fine with that. Half the guys wear ankle braces anyway, and you don’t really notice their socks during the game anyway. And besides, it would make the players happy because they are really diggin the black socks. I think, after having been sanctioned and having handled it with grace, the least the athletic department can do is reward them with the sock color of their choice.
Unless it’s powder blue. That’s just gross.
Michael Castillo: For me, I think it’s a case of purpose and intent. If USC is going to wear black jerseys for the sake of wearing a black jersey, it’s a dumb decision. Too many sports franchises and universities have over saturated the amount of black jerseys that have been worn. However, bringing out a black jersey for a one-off game, say this fall at home against Oregon, could have its merits. The players LOVE them, and let’s be honest, they sell in the bookstore. Also, against Oregon, in nationally significant primetime game, one upping the gamesmanship of Phil Knight by Phil Knight’s henchmen himself sort of makes sense. Not to mention, wearing black could symbolize a mourning of the once promising USC career for DeAnthony Thomas.
But if USC is going to wear them, they have to at least look traditional. The helmets and pants must remain the same, and the jerseys have to be in the same style as the tradition Cardinal & Gold, as seen in the photography above. Georgia did it against Alabama a few years back, remember? If USC was to do, it would have to be in the same way the Dawgs did it.
In terms of an adherence to tradition in terms of having solid black shoes, white shoelaces and white socks, much of the traditional banter is overstated. Yes, USC should always wear a form of Cardinal & Gold and be traditional, without names on the back of jerseys. But the fact that shoelaces and socks are being controversial is just taking it too far, especially logistically, as Nike now makes predominantly two-toned shoes.
So, I say the black socks are fine, and the black jerseys could only be pulled off with respect to tradition, but I’d still rather see the Cardinal & Gold.