OPINION: Changing style
Aggie football gears up in new threads
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
The winds of change continue to blow through College Station with unyielding force, creating an unchecked static amongst the vast Aggie network that hasn’t been felt since the forgotten success of the 1980s and 1990s.The slight breeze started to pick up this past December when Texas A&M University hired Kevin Sumlin, former top dog of the Houston Cougars, to take over Mike Sherman’s head coaching duties.
On June 30, it grew stronger when University President R. Bowen Loftin introduced Eric Hyman, previously of the University of South Carolina, as the new athletic director following the retirement of Bill Byrne.
Just a day later on July 1, the Aggies officially joined their new conference, the SEC, boosting the Texas A&M national brand while further adding to the power of the now monstrous tempest engulfing the program.
On Thursday, the Athletic Department will unveil all new football uniforms at 12:12 PM CST, fully forming the beast that has settled upon the University.
The age-old tradition that is Aggie uniforms will greet its youngest member, Adidas’ TECHFIT equipment, to the timeless wardrobe that has withstood decades of wear and tear on Kyle Field.
The Athletic Department has been releasing snapshots of the uniforms day-by-day starting last Thursday, creating an overall positive buzz from the Aggie community.
With many fans fearing an Oregon or Maryland type of uniform faux pas, divisions were formed and sides were taken on the issue. Change seemed to be happening everywhere within A&M and multiple groups were fully opposed toward shifting into a different uniform trend, citing the necessity for tradition at such a time.
Fortunately for both factions, though, a conservative yet modern approach seems to have been the goal for A&M’s new gridiron gear. While naysayers will always find their way to voice objections, an overall approving and favorable tone can be gathered from around the Aggie network.
However, the uniforms, rumored to be fresh, classy and contemporary, are poised for a much higher purpose than for A&M football studs to look solid on the field.
Recruits around the nation are all about exposure, especially in today’s modern information age. Gaining any kind of edge when walking into a young high school athlete’s home is a necessity for up-and-coming programs looking to push their brand.
New uniforms that not only have a smooth, timeless look to them, but also prove a program’s forward progression in this age are exactly the type of advantage A&M requires to expand recruiting and work their way into the elite conversation.
“We don’t want to lose our tradition, and we don’t want to lose who we are,” Sumlin told The Dallas Morning News. “But we also are in an extremely competitive business. And kids pay attention to little things. And recruits do.”
Tradition matters, but this is a business. And business is booming.
James Sullivan is a junior business major.