The University of Florida football players will unveil new uniforms against Texas A&M on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and images of the outfit, new from helmet to cleats, sparked an immediate uproar on social media.
The best way to describe the uniforms is that in a stadium nicknamed “The Swamp” by former coach Steve Spurrier 25 years ago, they’re as close to replicating actual alligators as possible.
“They have to reconsider,” one fan posted on Twitter. “These uniforms will cause them to lose FANS!”
“I took a good look at the Gators’ uniform … I think I’ll just listen to the game on the radio instead of watching,” posted another.
However, there were some positive comments.
“If Gator fans can’t get on board with the team wearing one crazy uniform per year, they’re way out of touch,” said one fan of the uniforms. “These are awesome.”
Some of the Florida players were sporting the new helmets and cleats at Tuesday’s practice to give reporters a sneak preview.
Offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor tweeted simply: “#LoveEm.”
“It was a surprise,” said wide receiver Josh Hammond. “A lot of guys are ecstatic to get them on.”
University Athletic Association and Nike officials said the project was two years in the making.
The team will come out in “Vapor Untouchable Speed” uniforms in which the jerseys resemble an alligator’s scaled, armored body. The jerseys have a blue trim and orange numbers and orange names on the back.
The pants and helmets will be a solid-colored version of “Swamp Green,” with the helmet finished in satin and the Gator head logo on the side.
Those players electing to wear gloves will use the Swamp Green color trimmed in blue and orange. The cleats also will be the same green color with Nike’s orange Swoosh.
The new scheme is a departure from Florida’s usually conservative approach to uniforms. The Gators have used eight variations of blue, orange and white since 2005 and the most frequent combination has been blue jerseys and white pants.
Nike, in a press release, called the new combination for the Gators, “a first-ever tribute to who they are, where they are and how they play … it really shows what it means to be a Gator.”
Florida coach Jim McElwain said the final result was a team effort with Nike.
“We worked with Nike to provide a unique and innovative concept for our team that helps us celebrate our rich history, one of the best venues in all of college football and our fan base,” McElwain said in a statement.
“Because there is only one school known as the Gators, and that’s us.”
FAN TWITTER REACTION TO FLORIDA UNIFORMS