Auburn will never escape controversy, it seems.
From coaches to quarterbacks to games. On and off the field, wherever the Tigers go, there will be some form of emotional tension or divisiveness no matter how bad things go.
This week, the controversy doesn’t primarily revolve around the players or the coaches, or even the game against Penn State’s No. 22.
Instead, he focuses on the color of the shirt.
Auburn has traditionally worn navy jerseys at home and white jerseys for road competition. According Clint Richardson of the Auburn Uniform Database“While surely not the first game Auburn wore orange, the first game I have evidence the Tigers did was the 1928 meeting with Clemson. Orange was a mainstay for Auburn and wore almost every season until 1947, when only white shirts were worn all season.”
The Tigers wore the color on and off until 1955 when they switched to strictly navy blue and white uniforms until 1978 when Auburn head coach Doug Barfield released orange uniforms for the Tigers in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry against the Georgia Bulldogs. After this match, the orange jerseys were used four more times.
Why the fuss now over the orange uniforms? Well, this week is Auburn’s “wearing orange” game, featuring a top-flight opponent in No. 22 Penn State who beat the Tigers 28-20 at Happy Valley there. has a season.
Fans are currently angry over whether or not the team should use the orange plains again.
Former Auburn quarterback Charlie Trotman has joined The score with Doug Amos to talk about how he and his team felt in 1978 when the Tigers first wore orange.
“When Frank Cox, our equipment manager, when he put these orange jerseys in our lockers before the Georgia game, I didn’t even know we were going to be wearing orange jerseys,” Trotman said. “Most of the team didn’t know that. Only the captains knew that.”
The idea of change is something the people of Auburn have struggled with in the past. Whether it’s a head coach, a new scoreboard, a helmet sticker, or the whirlwind of construction on the Plains to accommodate the growing population.
The culture is deep here. The change is not widely accepted.
When someone tries to break Auburn’s old, toilet paper-wrapped traditions, it can cause concern.
Sometimes, however, this change can bring excitement.
Trotman showed Amos his jersey from that 1978 season and explained how excited the new threads had been for him and his team.
“When we came back to the locker room, it was like a kid in a candy store,” Trotman said. “You get something new […] we have gone mad. We were jumping up and down, hitting each other. We had more adrenaline going into this game than I think I’ve ever had in my life.”
The intention to wear something new, or to break the traditional normalities of a program that is currently under water, would be to generate excitement – not only for the fan base, but for anyone outside the circle. who could watch.
“If wearing an orange jersey excites this football team and excites the hundreds of rookies and their families who will be there on Saturday, then that should be the intention,” Doug Amos said. “Not the fanbase – that should be what he does in your dressing room.”
Amos thinks the Tigers could use a spark, something to help them turn the corner. After going 6-7 in 2021 and coming out of the gates in 2022 with a less than perfect 2-0, the team could use something to help get things back on track.
“If these players warm up in blue shirts and then come back in oranges, this stadium will explode,” Trotman said. “It would be like Vesuvius again […] I can’t imagine what it would be like. And the recruits would absolutely eat it. It would show that Bryan Harsin isn’t afraid to do things that the fans might not really be for. »
If it’s about not changing tradition, then why are these uniforms a problem? Trotman pointed out that “the story of the orange jerseys at Auburn is part of our history. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before. […] it’s releasing something that would give kids such an emotional edge – you can’t imagine the emotion we got. We were so fired up for this game (against Georgia).”
By the way, this game was against a Bulldogs team that was undefeated and ranked No. 8 in the nation. Auburn was a slightly above average team that finished the year 6-4-1. They were underdogs. According to Trotman, those orange jerseys propelled the Tigers to a 22-22 draw against one of the best teams in the SEC.
“We knocked them off their feet,” Trotman said. “If there hadn’t been a call at half time, William Andrews scored on the last play of the half, but they didn’t call him. He said he was at the half-yard line. But we would have won this game.”
“It was a monumental day for Auburn football players. I don’t know for the fans, but for the football players it was a monumental day, and we will never forget.”
Ask the current players themselves. They will all tell you how excited they are to wear something new.
“Auburn is really traditional, so I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Auburn linebacker and captain Owen Pappoe told the media Monday afternoon. “It would be nice if that happened.”
Are orange jerseys completely out of the question? Not yet. What’s in question, however, is whether or not the Tigers will make some kind of uniform change (excluding facial markings) before the end of the season.
“I was told there would be a surprise for us this year,” Pappoe said. “I don’t know what game it will be for, but they said there would be some kind of surprise.”
It would be relatively disappointing if the Tigers went out on Saturday wearing nothing but orange face masks, a detail that was added in two games last season and will return to the field according to EDGE Derick Hall.
The game with No. 22 Penn State this Saturday could arguably be the biggest home game of the season. It’s as important a recruiting weekend as Auburn will have all season.
“If they don’t do it now, I’m going to be a little disappointed,” Amos said.
If so, there’s nothing stopping Auburn from making plans for the future.
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