Cats unveil new uniforms tomorrow

By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 1, 2005

The Arizona football team's extreme makeover will continue tomorrow when the Wildcats battle Utah in newer, more contemporary uniforms.

After bulking up the players and changing the helmets to blue, the shoes to white and fan excitement to a fevered pitch, Arizona will debut new uniforms in their first game of the 2005 season against the Utes.

The Wildcats' new uniforms have a thin stripe that starts in the middle of the collar on the upper body, curves along the front and runs under the arms. The stripe connects itself on the back and accompanies a stripe on the pants that flares into a big dash of the accent color on the bottom of the pants, a la Virginia Tech.

"I love them. We have many more combinations," said sophomore cornerback Antoine Cason. "We've added a red jersey and that just adds to the excitement of the team to, of course, play a little better. You know what they say: 'If you look good, you play good.'"

The uniforms resemble the ensembles of the Hokies and University of Miami. The numbers are in the same font used by the NFL's Tennessee Titans, with only the numbers on the sleeves. The font for the players' names is unchanged.

The most distinctive feature of the new uniforms is the "Arizona" logo on the back, where the top jersey stripes meet up. They have a multicolor V-neck collar with the Nike swoosh in it at the bottom.

Arizona will also have a red jersey for the first time since 1979.

"I think they're awesome. I can't wait until we put on the red ones," said freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama. "I mean, I think everyone wants to wear the red ones."

This year the UA will have five different uniform combinations: blue jersey with white pants, red shirt with white pants, blue over blue, white jerseys with blue pants and white on white.

"There's a lot of variety to the uniforms," said freshman receiver Mike Thomas. "You can do a lot with those."

Because players wore blue jerseys with white pants when they taped their scoreboard videos and the team picture, the mix appears to again be the primary color combination.

Some coaches showed the uniforms to recruits last year during the courtship process.

"Yeah, I guess they could be a recruiting point, because nobody wants to go to a school that has raggedy uniforms," Thomas said. "Everybody wants to look good."

Recently, a number of teams have gone on to great success right after a uniform change. For example, the Denver Broncos won two Super Bowls (1998-1999) after modernizing their threads, and Southern California has won three BCS games and two national titles.

"Hopefully, it works for us, but then again you can't hope for that, because we are just going to rely on our ability and do what we can do," Cason said. "We know we are going to have a good season."

Arizona went 19-38 with its former uniforms, which debuted in 2000. The last time the Wildcats changed their outfits, they premiered them against Utah in Salt Lake City, winning 17-3.