You shoulda seen it in color

Friday, October 9, 2020

Who were those guys dressed in black pretending to be the Iowa State University Football Cyclones in their gritty victory over the vaunted Oklahoma Sooners last Saturday night on national TV?

Whatever happened to “Be true to your school, let your colors fly?”

ISU’s colors - proud and cherished by all ye who enter here - are burnt cardinal and gold, with a little white sometimes added. But all black? On national TV? With thousands of Cyclone fans tuned in wearing their coveted cardinal and gold jerseys, sweats, hats, scarves, socks, striped overalls, photos and paintings on the wall of forever treasured trips to Ames on a luscious fall afternoon all Cap Timmed off by a win, a handshake with coach nonpareil Matt Campbell, and a couple lagers and a rack of baby backs at Hickory Park? Those ISU Cyclones?

Wearing black? And to make matters worse, they even made the I-STATE field logo and end zone lettering black. WTH? We kept looking for the funeral procession!

Did you check with your annual donors who paid big bucks for that tricked out cardinal and gold tour bus or motor home, who pay extra each season for that double-wide tailgate space, spacious Cyclone tent, and serves rib-eyes and Iowa chops on the grill for the band and cheerleaders at every game home and away? This all black thing makes him look out of place. Get in gear, ISU. School color gear..

This silly stuff started a few years ago with many colleges disdaining their traditional, beloved school colors for all black, theory being they look tougher and more menacing so maybe they’ll play that way. After all, the black hats were the bad boys in old westerns, and before they began giving up 40 points a game, meant just that for Coach Devaney’s fabled Nebraska Husker Black Shirts defense. RIP, Husker D.

Perhaps above it all, these black uniforms may mean a new revenue stream for colleges as they continue recovering from the coronavirus devastation, as fans may buy replicas just to say they have one. But they’re never wear them beease they just ain’t the beloved Clones’ colors.

But if you want - and you certainly should - recognizable “uniformity” in your fan base and a true identity for your team, stay true to your school, man. Let your colors fly.

And save us a booth at Hickory Park. Ice water, baby backs and a bib.

Paul Struck