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About Those Burgundy on Burgundy Uniforms

The O-Line, taking a burgundy spin for change. (By John McDonnell- TWP)

I gather that some fans were put off by the burgundy-on-burgundy uniform scheme the Redskins debuted Monday night. But if there's one phrase you'll associate with this week 20 years from now, it's not going to be "all-white status quo."

"I feel like we needed a change," said Santana Moss, a strong backer of the team's first-ever use of that jersey combination. "Just a change of pace," Marcus Washington added. "We always kind of wanted to do it, just because we've never done it before."

And did some fans recoil from that oddly colored display? Well, sure they did.

"They're just not used to seeing it," Mike Sellers said. "It's change, that's all it is."

So how did this happen? Several players in the locker room had long been lobbying for such an experiment; Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, Clinton Portis and Sellers were among the activists. Rogers said they took their case to the captains, who referred them to equipment manager Brad Berlin and Coach Jim Zorn. And the head man's reaction?

Portis, modeling. (By Andrew Cameron - Reuters)

"I said 'Absolutely!' " Zorn said. "You know, maybe for fun, not for some big pysch-up thing or psych-out thing. It was just a change of pace for these guys. They came to me and asked if they could wear white-on-white when we were white-on-white. Sure. I want what the players want, from that standpoint. And I think they liked it. How'd you? Did it look kind of funny out there?"

See, that's the thing. I thought it was fun and different and striking; others both in and out of the press box intimated that they thought it was abominable and horrific and ghastly.

"I liked it," Sellers said.

"It's nice, man, it's nice," Rogers said.

"I kind of liked it on some [guys], you know what I mean?" Khary Campbell said. "Some guys pulled it off real nice, like Fred Smoot pulled it off real good. Cornelius Griffin, for a big guy, pulled it off real well. Demetric Evans, Andre Carter. But some of them O-linemen...."

"Stunk it up," said Smoot, who was listening in.

"Stunk it up," agreed Campbell, who said it was a harder look for a big man to handle. "I don't know why, either. It just didn't look quite right.

"Some guys just not smooth," Smoot said. "Basically it's just keeping yourself neat and put together."

"Like, Stephon Heyer did not make his uniform look right," Campbell said. "Something just didn't really match."

One player I talked to actually had a Zorn moment and referred to the color scheme as "maroon." But in any case, as you may have heard, the Redskins lost. Badly.

"Guess that's out now," Portis said of the burgundy-on-burgundy. Not so fast.

Jason Campbell, modeling. (By Al Bello - Getty)

"Oh no, I'm not superstitious," Zorn said, leaving open the possibility of a return to burgundy. "I'll let the players decide how they want to do that."

"Man, that's something about our coach that I love, he don't look for the alternatives to blame. We went and got our butts kicked and that's it," Smoot said. "If we would have won it would have been better, but I think it looked good."

I didn't find one Redskins player who disliked the experiment, but even the burgundy partisans kind of tempered their enthusiasm, possibly in the spirit of cooperation and acceptance. Or possibly not.

"You know, this game is way farther than what you wear on the field," Moss said. "You line up and you play football, whether you don't have nothing on at all....I'm just saying that's the way the game is played sometime. Sometimes you've got to strap on whatever you have on, your little jeans or whatever, cut 'em off, put your knee pads on...."

"The uniforms don't do nothing," agreed Rogers, who liked the look. "It probably feels good at first when we come out: we're burgundy-on-burgundy, we look good. But once that whistle blows, you don't think about your uniform, no matter what colors you're wearing.....I mean, it's execution once you go out there. The uniform, once you put that on, that's over. You could be nekkid and lose, or win. So it don't matter."

Naked football, actually, would constitute change I do not believe in.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 5, 2008; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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I liked it. I still hold that the #1 fashion development in Redskins world is the gold-flared shoes though. I especially liked Carlos' 100% pure gold shoes. So sweet.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 5, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I doubt there's any uniform configuration in which an oddly proportioned fellow like Stephon Heyer could look really good. That's just unfair, Soup. Just wrong. You cannot throw the man under the bus like that, especially one of your O linemen!

Also, I hated the burgundy and burgundy. Bush league. Awful look. The only good thing about it was it moved the white/white combo up from the bottom of the list.

Burgundy and white. Make it so.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | November 5, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I hated it, but to be fair, I also hate the maroon jerseys with white pants.

The reason everyone accidentally calls the team colors "maroon and yellow" is because the colors on the uniform are maroon and yellow. The team ought to be wearing those 70th anniversary uniforms they broke out in 2002. You know, the ones that are burgundy and gold?

Posted by: Tank2 | November 5, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I think its time for new uniforms. The Giants and Eagels did it, and I think its our turn. I want to see burgundy jerseys, with gold pants. I am talking about real gold like Notre Dame gold, not yellow like the Steelers and packers. I did like the burgundy on burgundy look though.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | November 5, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

hideously ugly just like the white on white combo. the monochrome look is horrible and embarrassing.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | November 5, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I liked them . . . but I really don't care.

Except if the weather is really hot. That's when you want the light "white on white" look. I remember the Saints game this year where it was 90 degrees. The Saints looked hot in their Black jerseys with gold pants. The Skins meanwhile, looked cool in their whites chilling under Z-shades.

Posted by: HokiePaul | November 5, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

it made them look like an underachieving Mid-Major....and they played like it too

Posted by: mdrockjock | November 5, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What are the colors of a bowling pin? Those colors might work for Stephon Heyer.

Burgundy on burgundy works fine for me, but the wide stripe on the pants is what was wrong. Also, everyone should have Rogers' gold toed/cleated shoes. The result in this game did not doom the color combo (probably bad to roll out the combo the night before an Election that was destined to dictate the result of that game).

The throwup throwbacks from last season's home loss to the Giants, on the other hand, must forever be banished. Burgundy and mustard must never reappear.

Posted by: dcsween | November 5, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually, burgundy and mustard might do okay on a nice pork chop ... but not on an NFL player!

Posted by: dcsween | November 5, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Im sick of the way they keep messing with the uniforms..
Just go back to the way it was. Quit trying these "new looks".
Its embarrasing and degrading to all the fans who bought all those jerseys over the years. What is the deal with this metallic spandex pants. Look at a player from the 80s and 90s and look at them now. It makes me sick. Go back to the uniforms we love.
This thing of white on white because of he heat..makes me laugh. The hogs didnt whine about the heat and they dominated. I also would like to see more sleeves instead of this showing off the biceps. ITs riduculous. Where is the pride in having the colors on your arms..REALLY??? This whole thing is contrived and is about money. When at home..I want the Skins wearing the white shirts and burgundy pants. The opposite on the when Gibbs got going..THE 80s.
Stop making a joke of the uniforms...PLEASE!!!!!!

Posted by: raocon | November 5, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Im tired of hearing about this need for a new look. The giants went back to an older look, and it worked for them. Good for them. The skins dont need a new look. They have plenty of them. I dont mind if occasionally they brake out some retro look every now and then. Thats cool.. Like when they used the spear on the helmet and those retro uniforms for the 2002 campaign, but they need to stick to what the fans really want. Just look into the stands and see what most of them are wearing. The 80s style jerseys. Also..
I think the helmets are a little different too..
They look darker....and whats with the chrome thing...cut it out..
Just find a picture of Riggins and Monk from the Mid 80s and go back to that..PLEASE

Posted by: raocon | November 5, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I personally am old school and am in agreement with what a few others posted with the Redskins uniforms. I too, like the white jerseys w/ the burgundy pants. I do even like the striped socks that someone said were so 80's but that's not as big as the white jerseys with burgundy pants.

Like some others have stated, I believe one or two games you can go throwback or switch up the colors, but I believe the base uniform should be white jerseys/burgundy pants, just like the Joe Gibbs 80's Superbowl decade (and early 90's).

As far as the logo, I believe it should be kept with tradition and left alone. The Bears, Vikings, and Packers are a few.

Posted by: PeterDalrymple400 | November 6, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

The burgundy shirt/burgundy pants combo was bad enough, but to then couple it with the socks that go with the white pants was the last straw. U-G-L-Y.
I had trouble figuring out which was worse: the uniforms or they way they played.
I don't mind if they wear the burgundy jersey at home, just please couple it with the white pants.

Posted by: MadMark59 | November 6, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I had been waiting for this look ever since they started wearing white-on-white. To honest, despite their poor performance, I loved it. However, I didn't like seeing someone other than the Redskins wear white in their house. They should save the burgundy-on-burgundy for what would normally be the one to two burgundy-on-white games per year (ie, at Dallas, sometimes at Philadelphia, etc.). Just my opinion.

Posted by: brew04061956 | November 6, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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