No sooner had I ripped the N.C.A.A. a new one than Dr. Saturday called my attention to the college football rules committee’s sensible and long overdue decision to dispense with the outdated rule requiring the visiting team to wear white jerseys.
There was a time when this rule made a certain degree of sense. When millions of Americans still watched television on monochromatic sets, the contrast between, say, Georgia’s red jerseys and Auburn’s navy blue jerseys was insufficient to allow viewers to differentiate between the two in black and white. Obviously, though, this rule has been a quaint anachronism for many years, since color television long has been the norm in American households.
This is good news for anyone who thought it was silly for Louisiana State to have to ask special permission to wear white jerseys at home, or for Southern California and U.C.L.A. to have to agree to exchange charged time outs as the penalty for wearing cardinal and blue uniform shirts on the same field at the same time. When this rule ceased to serve any practical end, it became merely a useless impediment to the restoration of time-honored traditions.
This is a good move, and it raises some interesting possibilities. Now that both teams can wear their home jerseys, we might, for instance, see Clemson don the orange pants and purple jerseys on the blue field against Boise State . . . or, Heaven forbid, Oregon and Oregon State breaking out their sartorial best for the battle of the webbed feet.
On which foreign fields would you most like to see the Bulldogs emerge from the tunnel wearing their home red jerseys? at Oklahoma State on September 5? at Tennessee on October 10? at Georgia Tech on November 28?
Which visiting teams would you most like to see in their preferred jerseys between the hedges? Arizona State on September 26? L.S.U. on October 3? Auburn on November 14?