Florida’s wearing some very unfortunate, alligator-colored alternate uniforms against Texas A&M on Saturday night. It’s not exactly the best way to bounce back from a one-point loss to LSU on Homecoming, but hey, you gotta try something! Anyway, here are some things to know about these, uh, things.
OK look, I get what Florida was trying to do here — get some unique uniforms that are both new, but respecting a traditional part of the program. This didn’t accomplish either of those things.
The idea behind these, per Florida specifically, was to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Steve Spurrier naming Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp.”
Twenty-five years after Ben Hill Griffin Stadium became “The Swamp,” the University of Florida football team will take the look of a Gator when they take the field on Saturday. As the only Division I school in the country named the Gators, UF and Nike officials saw a unique opportunity that has been in the works for over two years.
Here they are in living color:
The Aggies beat Florida 19-17 on a field goal made with less than two minutes left. Florida had a chance to make a drive, but on the first play, Gator QB Feleipe Franks threw an interception to seal A&M’s win.
It looks more, like, grey? Ugh, this color with the orange numbers is just terrible.
Florida also wore these Nike alternates against Florida State in 2009:
There were also these worn during the Florida-Georgia game in 2010:
Those aren’t the only alternates the Gators have worn, but they did win all three of those games!
Pairing what appears to be the growl of a Gator with hype music and a player coming out of a tunnel to an empty stadium isn’t the best look, to be honest.
After the internet’s horrified reaction, Florida said:
Offensive lineman Fred Johnson said there were a few players who didn’t like them at first.
“There was a couple people. You can’t please everybody,” Johnson said via SEC Country. “You can’t please 100 percent of the people. … The majority of people have come around to it,” he said. “Then again, we only have the helmet and the shoes on today. When the whole ensemble comes together I think we’re going to be really happy about it.”
Cornerback Chauncey Gardner Jr. echoed my first reaction to them.
“My first impression, I thought they were gray,” Gardner said. “I thought they were gray. I didn’t like them, I thought they were gray. And then we seen it today, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re green,’ ” he said. “So it’s kind of a cool, like different look [for] Gators uniforms. You know, we always go orange or blue or white. … The green is a nice way to spice things up. … I kind of like it. I like it a lot.”
The jerseys look like someone was assigned to create olive drab cycling uniforms for a bad Tour de France team. They look like a tire tread became a shirt. They look like hunting apparel from Kmart — not even Walmart, Kmart.
The jersey pattern not continuing down the pants is a major mistake because of how good Nike patterns like this can actually look when applied to a full uniform. The helmet’s left side either being genuinely blank or left for some other unspeakable horror is vexing.
The color is an unappealing shade of dead nature — and I don’t even know whether it’s actually olive green or gray-green or gray. It clashes with the blue and orange on the number — and it makes me think, every time I look at these uniforms, how much better a simple palette swap making “swamp green” “Gator black” and using the traditional orange and blue as accents would have looked.
The shoes aren’t even good. Do you know how hard you have to try to make Nike shoes look genuinely bad, instead of just meh, given three decades of great Nike design? It’s hard. It’s really, really hard.
To date, Florida has lost badly to Michigan, lost dumbly to LSU, beaten Vanderbilt convincingly, narrowly avoided blowing a lead against Tennessee, and even more narrowly avoided the end of the win streak against Kentucky. The Gators face a Texas A&M team that was competitive against Alabama and would prefer that you not dig into those other games. They were sent to Archives Subbasement G, and you do not have the security clearance required to access Archives Subbasement G.
Florida probably won’t win the East this year, which is fine. Florida almost certainly won’t be catastrophically bad either, which is also fine. This season is neither Florida’s wedding day nor Florida passing out in its own prime rib vomit at someone else’s wedding. This season is just a sick day. Can we not let Florida just stay home, not shower, eat a bunch of cereal, and download workout apps it’ll never use for more than a week? BY THIS TIME IN FOUR MONTHS FLORIDA WILL DO A HUNDRED PUSHUPS!
Nope. Just haaaaad to break out the Island of Dr. Moreau Pro Combats and get roasted on the timeline. Wonderful.