K-State alternate unis, pic 1

You see these white helmets and white pants? Do they make you run faster?

A quick word about K-State’s “alternate” uniforms:

I don’t care.

Well, I suppose that’s not true. Here I am writing about them, so I guess it’s crossed my mind. In fact, it crossed my mind quite a bit over the summer and into the fall, since it oozed out of social media and blather radio and into print.

With the arrival of a new coach, would K-State football players wear a getup different from the silver-and-purples they’ve worn every Saturday since 1989?

There were Twitter accounts dedicated entirely to the subject; graphic artists came up with their own suggestions and generated big responses. On The Mercury’s website, several of the top-read stories were on this issue, particularly last week when the alternate unis were unveiled.

My thought was basically: Whatever.

Football is pretty simple: Ten guys on one side of the ball slam into 11 guys on the other, and a guy carrying the ball tries to run down to the end of the field by making the extra guy miss. Usually, what makes the difference is who can knock down whom, and who can outrun the other guy.

The color of pants, or the shine of the helmet? Uhh ... not relevant.

What affects the outcome are speed and strength and techniques, and, to a lesser extent, tricky maneuvers that coaches pick. Those are called “plays.”

You know all that, of course. I don’t mean to sound didactic.

The best case anyone can make for the relevance of uniforms was made by Wyatt Hubert, a defensive end, who said “I don’t know if you guys believe in the saying, ‘Look good, feel good, play good,’ but there’s a lot of guys who believe in that saying. It’s definitely nice to have a little bit of swag on this team.”

(A couple of grammatical pointers for Mr. Hubert: Play well. There are a lot of guys. And the word “swag” refers to either curtains or stuff hauled off by thieves. We assume he meant “swagger,” but we also assume we’re fighting another losing battle in the evolution of the language. We already had to admit defeat on the bloated “athleticism” and “physicality.”)

Anyway, perhaps a person could say that K-State played “gooder” against Baylor than it would have in silver and purple. That would be a tough case to make, since watching the Wildcats Saturday was like watching gravy congeal. It was slow and not entertaining and a little bit nauseating.

Was that because of the uniforms, or in spite of the uniforms?

Or maybe, did the little script “Cats” on the helmet not really have anything to do with it? Like, at all?

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