For the second time this season, the Washington Huskies will take the field wearing black. As a reward to the players, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian decided to go with the black jerseys again, hoping the sharp look of the dark uniforms will serve as motivation for the Huskies in the Holiday Bowl. Washington unveiled the jerseys against UCLA on Nov. 18 in a 24-7 win.
Speaking at the bowl luncheon on Wednesday, Sarkisian elaborated on the black jersey choice.
“We kind of talk about it, get a feel for it. The players generally have an idea of what they would like and then I have an idea of what I like, and it’s really not a hand vote or a silent vote, we just kind of talk about it, pick something and go with it. I wanted to wear that and they were in agreeance. Thought it would be kind of fitting wearing it down here.’’
It is a bit ironic Washington will be wearing black while facing a Nebraska defense know throughout the college football universe as the “Blackshirts.” Nebraska defensive starters are awarded Blackshirts each year as use them as a badge of honor, vowing to live up to the reputation of fearsome Nebraska defenses.
Washington will not only be wearing black as a reward, but also as a marketing and branding tool. A different jersey and different style, broadcast for the world to see on national TV, means more money in the pocket of the athletic department, giving them a new sales opportunity that deviates from the traditional purple and gold. It does, however, fly in the face of tradition, leading some to wonder whether the Huskies are abandoning their roots.
The Huskies hit the field in their black uniforms for the Holiday Bowl on Thursday at 7 p.m.