Every Nebraska college football season for a few years now has featured an “alternate uniform” for the players. It’s a point of discussion every season, and in fact, the suggestion was made in our Slack room that we should have a roundtable about said subject.
I don’t care enough about alternate uniforms to participate in the discussion. I have two opinions about alternate uniforms:
- I do not care what the Husker football team wears as long as they play well. And win. They could wear colored clothing dipped in red-colored cow dung for all I care.
- If we’re going to have an “ALTERNATE” uniform, then make it truly alternate. Changing a stripe here or there is not “ALTERNATE”. Red-flavored paisley would be alternate. Go big or go home. We all know this is never going to happen because if we get to flamboyant, then someone’s grandfather from Hemingford will have a brain aneurysm and nobody wants that, at least not until he’s done giving donations to the athletic department.
So... enough about the team’s alternate uniforms.
Why not an alternate uniform for Nebraska fans?
The World Cup Final was Sunday. My entire family watched. My oldest and his girlfriend left the house and went to a nearby bar while the rest were together at home. There was a lot of yelling by all three of us that were left. All of my kids played soccer. I coached youth soccer for a decade. My wife had to put up with all of us.
We all understand the game.
We were amazed at how poorly both goalies played and we were disappointed when Croatia, a country with a population of 4.1 million people, lost to France, a country with 67 million. If you didn’t have a true rooting interest, how could you not root for David over Goliath? Include the backstory of Luka Modric, Croatia’s midfielder, whose backstory is amazing, and how could you NOT root for Croatia?
I could go further into the World Cup, but that’s not the point of this article, and if you watched the World Cup at all, you can easily guess where I’m going with this.
This is a large group of Nebraska fans.
This is a large group of Croatian soccer fans:
Now, granted, there are a lot of things going on in the soccer photo. Croatia is beating England (HAHAHAHA) and their fans are ecstatic.
My point is...
What if we took all those different shirts and - just for one game a season - replaced them with something like the Croatia soccer jersey as being worn here by Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. Note how she stands out next to these other drab-looking world leaders who have little taste or fashion sense.
When Nebraska fans go anywhere, they’re usually wearing red. It’s a smattering of shirts from over the years. T-shirts from the 2002 Rose Bowl (I have one), various player jerseys from over the years, and then there’s those guys who have to buy whatever the coaches are wearing right now.
When national soccer fans go somewhere, they’re usually all wearing the same damned thing. This makes them a formidable force. They’re not just fans. They’re a gang. A huge gang. A huge gang of fanship. They are all together, united, with one goal in mind and that goal is winning.
There’s somewhat more “oomph” in what they’re doing than what we have now.
If everyone got together and wore shirts similar to this to Madison this coming season, we wouldn’t have to worry about identifying who is who. We would know.
Forget that it’s “soccer.”
Think that it’s cool-looking and it’s something different than nearly any other college football fan base (although I realize I’m putting “different” and “Nebraska” in the same context).
Now THAT would be an alternate uniform.