MSU wore these helmets with the bulldog logo from 1963-65
First, let me say that I am generally a fan of the occasional special uniform. The players like them, the recruits like them and many of our fans like them. Some, of course do not, but that’s to be expected. There are always those that resist change and won’t like any change to the uniform, period. That’s life.
But I do agree that commemorate and special uniforms can be overdone. Having said that, I’d like to propose something for the 2013 AutoZone Liberty Bowl that I believe would be super cool and that I think most will like, even the older folks in our fanbase. I’ll get to that in a minute.
On the positive side of the ledger, I believe the special Egg Bowl uniforms worn in 2011 and 2013 have been a smashing success. I say that primarily because we won both games, and in most people’s minds, that is what ultimately determines whether we should continue with a particular uniform design. I’d like to see us continue to wear some variation of the “gold” uniforms in future Egg Bowls played at home.
I also like some of the minor tweaks we do from time to time, such as matte helmets and different colored facemasks. Ditto for the “Bulldog” helmets, but I have to agree with detractors who say it is hard to make out the Bulldog on the helmet. I agree, but I still think they look pretty cool as an occasional twist to our uniform options.
On the negative side, I think the white Snow Bowl uniforms were a disaster. Again, the game’s outcome plays heavily into my opinion. I actually thought the black uniforms worn by Texas A&M looked much better than what we wore. And although the Egg Bowl uniforms worn in 2012 were very low-key in their changes in comparison with the home version, I don’t like wearing special uniforms when we play in Oxford. We’re in enemy territory and likely the underdog, so let’s just stick to our basic white uniforms with maroon trim for future Egg Bowls in Oxford.
And while on the subject of black uniforms, as much I personally like them, I have come to the conclusion that a significant portion of our fan base hates them and we shouldn’t wear them anymore. I will continue to incorporate black into my personal MSU wardrobe with my black MSU polos and visors, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough fan support for the black uniform worn by the team. I consider black a neutral color that nicely augments our official school colors, but the most common complaint I hear when we wear black uniforms is “Black isn’t one of our colors. Our colors are maroon and white.” (Neither is gold, by the way, but I digress.) IF we must wear the black uniforms, let’s save them for a game we have virtually no chance of winning, say the LSU game at Baton Rouge. Then afterwards, we can curse the black uniforms and say they are reason we lost.
Mississippi State (in dark jerseys) vs. N.C. State in 1963 Liberty Bowl. Credit: North Carolina State University Library
Here’s my idea – why not commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Liberty Bowl team by wearing the exact uniform worn by that team? Of course, some won’t like them, but I think many of the older fans who normally hate uniform changes might actually like this one. There are no augmenting colors such as black or gold, so the “maroon & white are our colors” crowd shouldn’t have a problem this idea. And best of all, unlike some NFL throwback uniforms that look like something prisoners would wear (think Pittsburgh Steelers), our 1963 uniforms actually looked pretty good. At the 1963 Liberty Bowl, we wore maroon jerseys sans stripes with numerals on the sleeve. The pants were white, with double pinstripe piping on the outside of either leg. Helmets were maroon, with a Bulldog image on the sides and a white numeral on the back of the helmet. The team also wore a maroon legging under the pants to cover the exposed leg between the knee and the top of the white socks that were worn. (It was a rather cold day, remember.)
I’d love to see this happen. Perhaps something like this is already in the works. If not, Scott Stricklin, there is still time to make it happen. The 50th anniversary of playing in (and winning) the Liberty Bowl would be a perfect time to break out the throwback unis.