The Tennessee Vols have unveiled a new uniform dubbed "Smokey", which is a play on the mascot, The Smokey Mountains, ETC.
I'm in my 30's and have been a Vol fan my whole life. I grew through my teenage years in the 90's, so I have saw The Big Orange at their highest moments. The Volunteers are able to boast one of the richest football traditions in the nation, and the new uniforms have created quite a debate among fans.
We are the Orange and White and have been for years. There was a period long ago that the Vols wore black uniforms, but Orange 151 is our color.
No offense to the Oregon Ducks, but I'm not sure how much football tradition they actually have, so school colors and uniforms don't carry the meaning and following that traditional football schools have. I'm sure having all new Nike gear and having recent success has helped the Duck's recruiting, but kids don't come to Knoxville for Adidas and Orange, they come for playing time and getting to play in the SEC. We have never recruited on our uniforms on any level, a little or a lot, it's never been used at all.
I like the new uniforms, for one game. I can't see the harm in doing something a little different against a rival like Georgia or even South Carolina. Last time we changed the uniform for a game we won, and wins will be hard to come by this year. So I say go for it, if you win it doesn't matter if the colors are pink and purple.
The Vols are not starting some new tradition or changing the schools colors, they are mixing it up for 1 or 2 games a season. This excites the team and the fans. If there is excitement about it, especially from the team, this translates to more excitement on the field and a small edge during the game.
Don't get me wrong, I am opposed to changing the orange and white colors permanently. I don't think Coach Jones would ever let that cross his mind. Giving the fans and the players something exciting occasionally is a great thing. People need to calm down and realize that change is inevitable, and this "Smokey" uniform is a whole lot more subtle than many programs have already implemented.
We will need all the help we can get this season, and if this uniform gives us the slightest edge in a home game we can use it. The Orange and White isn't going anywhere, we will always be The Big Orange.