Column: Ag uniforms should be new standard for CSU football
When Colorado State football (1-3) takes the field this Saturday, the Rams will be wearing the team’s alternate orange and green uniforms in honor of the annual Ag Day celebration. Typically worn once per season, the Ag Day threads always pop on the field and have arguably become the Rams’ most popular uniform choice.
There have been slight variations of the Ag Day uniforms over the years, as the team has worn both green pants and white pants with the alternate orange tops. The Rams really perfected the look for this season though. CSU will wear the Ag helmets and jerseys with the same pant design that the Rams wore in the 2014 Las Vegas Bowl.
Over the past few seasons, many Ram fans have debated over whether CSU football should wear the pumpkin and alfalfa uniforms more frequently. Some have even contended that the Rams should do a total rebrand and make the Ag Day unis CSU’s primary option. This notion typically upsets traditionalists, but honestly it makes quite a bit of sense to switch to orange and green full-time.
In an era where swag unarguably matters, the Rams could be known as the swaggiest program in the Mountain West. CSU already has the nicest facilities in the league and some of the most unique uniform combinations, including the Ag Day combination and the white helmet combos. Switching to the Ag uniforms full-time would only elevate CSU’s football status nationally.
But, what about green and gold, Justin? Look—I get it—Colorado State is a university that prides itself on celebrating tradition, and the green/gold uniforms are synonymous with the days of Earle Bruce and Sonny Lubick. As someone that grew up watching players like Bradlee Van Pelt, David Anderson and Cecil Sapp tear it up in the green and gold uniforms, I genuinely understand why the thought of doing away with classics would ruffle some feathers.
One could also argue that by wearing the Ag uniforms full-time, CSU would be consistently honoring its agricultural roots though. As one of the state’s oldest public universities, Colorado State has a rich history that dates back to 1870. Wearing these uniforms regularly would be a testament to the 148-year history of the school.
Plus, even if CSU did transition to wearing orange and green as its primary uniforms, the Rams would not necessarily have to eliminate the existing standard uniforms from the rotation. The team could wear Ag uniforms at home and wear the traditional helmets on the road. Or they could just keep them as a regular alternate, similarly to how they currently wear the white helmets on occasion.
When asked about his opinions on the Ag Day uniforms and whether he would like to see CSU wear them more frequently, head football coach Mike Bobo joked that he was a little superstitious like our fans, but he would support any uniform change if it meant the Rams would go undefeated.
Bobo has said on multiple occasions that he does not put a whole lot of thought into uniform combinations, especially when it something simple like rotating the jerseys or pants. Tradition is very important to the fourth-year head coach though. And on a typical work day, Bobo takes the long way in just so he can see the ‘A’ painted by Horsetooth Reservoir.
“That tradition of the Aggies and what it means to this school, what the agricultural (history) means to this state,” Bobo said.
Bobo explained that over the last four years he has spent a lot of time on the eastern half of the state and has interacted with the farmers and people that the university celebrates with Ag Weekend each year. These fans cannot always make it to Fort Collins during their busy farming seasons, but it is clear what this university means to them and how CSU’s agricultural roots still impact Colorado as a whole.
“For us to represent that and wear orange, I think it’s an awesome tradition. I’d love to do it again if we can win.”
Most importantly, Bobo has recognized the impact that uniforms have on recruiting. When the State Pride uniforms were first introduced, Bobo was not crazy about them because they were mostly blue, which obviously is not one of CSU’s colors. His opinion quickly changed when the uniforms were a massive hit on the recruiting trail though.
“When I got out in the state recruiting—just talking to the people who were so fired up that we were representing Colorado and the state flag—that made me proud to live here and represent the state flag,” Bobo said.
Whether talking about uniforms or the new facilities, the one thing that is clear is CSU needs to continue to try and raise the bar if it wants the football program to ever be on par with the Power 5. By wearing the orange and green uniforms more regularly, CSU would be honoring its roots and increasing the level of gameday swag. Seems like a no-brainer to this writer.
PHOTO: Darren Rovell (@DarrenRovell) | Underarmour.com