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Arizona State’s new gray uniforms are not worthy of being the hammer
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Arizona State’s new gray uniforms are not worthy of being the hammer

Photo courtesy: Arizona State AthleticsPhoto courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

On Monday Arizona State and Adidas unveiled their brand new alternate look for the Sun Devils, which they felt inclined to dub the “Be The Hammer” uniform. Uh, ok.

As explained by the school’s announcement, the “Be The Hammer” theme is designed to honor the team’s tradition  of using a sledge hammer emblazoned with the signature pitchfork to break a rock after notable achievements during the course of the season. Yeah, OK, I’ll buy it. Whatever works for Arizona State, I suppose. I am not exactly sure why that means Arizona State has to be wearing gray, other than it just continues the played out uniform trend that wants you to believe that teams look good in the absolute most boring color there is in the world. Arizona State and Adidas want you to think this is a unique design, but there is no longer anything unique about wearing gray. In fact, Arizona State wore gray just last year when Nike was handling the look, and dare I say it looked better.

Here is the new version, provided by Adidas…

2015 Arizona State Be The Hammer Uniform

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

And here is the version Nike whipped up last year…

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

There is not all that much different about the uniform that Nike created and the one Adidas copied imitated created. But let’s take a closer look anyway to see what Adidas has to offer.

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

The helmet features an enlarged version of the pitchfork logo, a design aspect first created by Nike in the companies joint effort to rebrand Arizona State athletics just a couple of years ago. If alternate gray is your thing (it’s not mine at all) then this helmet is actually pretty sharp. I still would prefer to see this logo and copper fill on ASU maroon. I think that would look sharp. The copper-chrome finish on the facemask looks solid as well, I must admit. But alternate gray uniforms are all about attracting the eyeballs of easily impressed high school recruits, so this will play well. The uniform looks similar to last year’s look, although the shoulder is given a nice touch of copper and the “Sun Devils” text across the front is larger than the previously used “Arizona State.” But if we are going all in with the copper, why not fill in the words on the front of the jersey as the numbers are?

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

The pants are nothing too special. Plain gray pants with a copper pitchfork on the side. Eh.

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

Photo courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

Oh, hey. The gloves make a fancy picture of the state flag of Arizona. That’s cool, right? Actually, yeah, that’s not bad.

I should point out I do not want to be all doom and gloom with this latest gray alternate uniform. There is actually something I applaud Arizona State and Adidas on. Yes, I said it. There is something I will compliment Adidas for here.

"Did Kevin just say he's going to compliment Adidas?"

“Did Kevin just say he’s going to compliment Adidas?”

If we’re going to abandon the usual school colors for Arizona State, then at least there was a way to pay homage to the roots of Arizona by including a copper element to the design. Arizona is known as the Copper state, and once served as the home of the Copper Bowl. You could see copper used in Nike’s version last year, and Arizona has also gone all out with the copper in the past as well. Schools embracing the history and traditions of their home states is a nice touch, and I will generally respect that.

Here are the list of uniform violations committed by Arizona State and Adidas with this look:

  • No school colors (maroon and gold)
  • Alternate gray
  • Stole design from rival company and pawned it off as unique
  • Same color from head to toe (helmet, jersey, pants)

Bottom line, I have no other choice but to give this Arizona State uniform a thumbs down. 👎

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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