Things aren’t exactly going Florida’s way lately, so the Gators will apparently employ a new tactic against Texas A&M on Saturday.
Make the Aggies laugh so hard they can’t move.
The humor will be provided by the Gators’ alternate uniforms, which were unveiled Monday evening.
To be fair, there have been worse product rollouts. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7s started exploding and catching fire. In 1985, Pepsi spies infiltrated their big rival and produced the New Coke disaster.
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Seven years later, Steve Spurrier nicknamed Florida Field “The Swamp.” That caught on so well that Nike used it as the inspiration for the new unis.
I realize beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to art and fashion. One man’s black-velvet Elvis painting is another man’s Picasso.
But I’m sorry, folks. If you like what UF will be wearing Saturday you probably have a stockpile of New Coke in your basement and drink a bottle every night after taking your guide dog for a walk.
The social media reviews have been brutal. I conducted my own highly scientific poll Tuesday morning and asked my wife what she thought.
“Is it supposed to be a Halloween costume?” she said in all seriousness.
Then I asked my 9-year-old daughter.
“Ewww,” she said.
I guess the uniforms are supposed to emulate an actual alligator. If that’s the case, the 1.2 million gators in Florida should call Morgan & Morgan and file a class-action defamation lawsuit against Nike.
The jersey has two-tone alligator exoskeleton, the pants are “Swamp Green,” as are the socks and cleats and the satin-toned helmet.
“Swamp Green” is avant-garde for “gray,” and gray is the official color of Blah.
Think gray skies, gray hair, gray anything. It’s murky and depressing, not unlike the Gators’ offense.
I don’t think that’s the mood Nike fashionistas had in mind. They’re trotting out techno terms like “Vapor Untouchable Speed,” but the end effect looks like RoboCop wearing a pair of undersized kiddie pajamas.
And to think Nike supposedly spent 18 months coming up with this getup. Was Rob Hennigan in charge of the project?
This is the first time a Florida team will not wear orange or blue as its primary color. Tradition takes a back seat in the Alternate Uni Era we are currently enduring.
The whole point is to make a splash, appeal to 17-year-old recruits and, of course, sell merchandise.
Hot off the press, the alternate jersey is available for $149.99. A T-shirt goes for $29.99. Swamp Green Vapor Speed turf shoes will set you back $119.99.
I can’t help but thinking of my friend who wore a light-brown velour tuxedo with chocolate piping when he got married. Hey, that look was quite the rage in 1976.
Those wedding photos have since caused 1,000 houseguests to need oxygen after laughing themselves unconscious. The lesson is black tuxedos and tradition never goes out of style.
Penn State’s idea of alternate hip was a blue stripe down the side of its pants. Alabama will go flashy about the same time Nick Saban gets his nose pierced.
Somehow, those schools still seem to appeal to recruits and sell jerseys.
I’d call for all fans of classic style to boycott Saturday’s game, but that’d play right into Nike’s vapor speed hands. It figures any publicity is good publicity (Tiger Woods excluded), and UF’s venture into the Alternate Abyss is certainly causing a stir.
So go ahead and order your Swamp Green T-shirt, cap, gloves and socks. Wear them to Saturday’s game and watch UF beat a team that’s been paralyzed by laughter.
If you’re lucky, a Gator will run over and pose for a picture with you. Have it framed and hang it proudly in your house.
Then go buy an oxygen tank.
One day soon, your guests are going to need it.