We spent Wednesday in Charlotte for the 2018 ACC Football Kickoff. We didn’t stick around to see the Atlantic Division coaches and players Thursday, but I’ve got some thoughts on some various topics from Wednesday. This isn’t necessarily Virginia Tech related, though I’ve tried to tie in the Hokies as much as I can.
Dabo Swinney and Uniform Tradition
The best thing about big media events like the ACC Kickoff isn’t necessarily being around coaches and players and hearing them talk. Talking to other media members is probably the best part about it, because they have stories that players and coaches won’t tell. So here’s a Clemson story that I overheard.
Nike likes to trick teams out in new uniforms these days. As Virginia Tech fans, we know this all too well. Personally, I hate all the uniform changes, and I wish somebody in charge would put their foot down and say “no more!” Apparently that’s what Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney did.
Nike sent Dabo a box full of new jersey and helmet designs, hoping he would go for it and allow the company to rebrand the Tigers. He said no, that Clemson would keep their traditional uniforms, presumably because that’s what the fans want. He likes to tell the story, and he still keeps the jerseys in a box in his office to show visitors.
That happened four to five years ago, before Clemson started making the playoffs, and before their recruiting absolutely blew up. Point being, you don’t have to change uniforms every other year to recruit well. It doesn’t matter if the players like it or not. They might say it makes a difference on the recruiting trail, but it actually doesn’t. Just because they say it doesn’t mean it’s true.
I’m with Dabo. I don’t hate Virginia Tech’s uniforms, but give me the 1998-03 threads any day of the week. By the way, I’m a big advocate of bringing those uniforms back for the 2019 season. It will be the 20 year anniversary of the 1999 season. I think the fans would love it, and I think it would be a great way to brand the program and honor the accomplishments of the 1999 Hokies. Would you go for that?