When University of Richmond fans watch their team play at home, they encounter a number of new things. Each week seems to bring a new starter to the lineup as injuries mount, and the fans get a new view at the E. Claiborne Robins Stadium. But the biggest change may be the appearance of the players.
On select home games this year, Richmond players have worn a new red jersey with dark navy pants, a break-away from the traditional all-navy uniforms. These uniforms were debuted during the home-opener against Elon University on Sept. 18, and worn most recently during the Homecoming game.
"I don't mind either one," senior linebacker Eric McBride said. "We wore the blue ones [my] first four years here, and I love the blue ones. I'm going to side with the blue, but the red ones are a nice addition."
The red jerseys are trimmed with a solid navy stripe around the collar and the sleeves. They are also adorned with a thin, blue stripe running along each side of the jersey in the front and the back. The new jerseys have the same pattern as the blue jerseys but the colors are reversed. Like all other jerseys worn by Richmond athletes, these uniforms are made by Nike.
The team captains - McBride, Martin Parker and Drew Lachenmayer, all seniors - are responsible for choosing which uniforms the team wears each week. But McBride described the selection as a democratic process.
"Captains, I guess you can say we pick them," McBride said. "We ask the team what we want to wear this week."
Though still early, the red uniforms have been something of a good luck charm for the Spiders: They are 3-0 while wearing the red uniforms.
The all-blue uniforms have been worn once this season, on Sept. 25 against the University of Delaware, which was the Spiders' only home loss this year.
While blue has been the primary home color since the mid-1990s, other sports teams have donned red jerseys. The men's basketball team has worn red as an alternate away jersey, including when it upset No. 13 University of Florida on Dec. 19, 2009.
Although other teams have worn red, it took time for some football fans to agree with the switch.
"When I first saw the red, I was a little hesitant," said junior Will Gordon, a member of the Richmond Rowdies who has attended every home game this year, "but they've grown on me."
Part of the appeal for the red uniforms is that the players have the opportunity to match Richmond fans, who often wear red to the games. This matching has created a stadium-wide unison between the players and fans.
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"It's cool they wear red because they match the student section," Gordon said. "Since most of the fans wear red too, it's good to see them match."
Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at firstname.lastname@example.org
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