2017 Uniformity – Week 2: Honoring an ASU football legendPosted: Updated:
By Cole Streeper
The Sun Devils are set to take on San Diego State in their second non-conference game of the season, this week.
A Week in Review
The Week 1 tradition in the “Pitchfork Era” continued last Thursday against New Mexico State as Arizona State wore their gold helmets with maroon pitchfork decals, maroon jerseys, and gold pants. It has been well documented that there will be a re-dedication to maroon and gold this year, but even if that wasn’t the case, this would’ve likely been the combination to open the season.
The gold/maroon/gold uniforms were a sight for sore eyes after a long, slow offseason. Watching the traditional colors storm the field after Sparky stomped the bus on the new, giant stadium screen gave a true “welcome back” feeling to the Sun Devil faithful. Even in an era of innovation, there’s always room for tradition, and the tradition of wearing classic colors for the home opener is a great one. The Sun Devils looked great!
Traditional Gold/Maroon/Gold Grade: A
The Week to Come
When Arizona State takes the field this week, they will be honoring the man for which the field is named. Coach Frank Kush had the field in Sun Devil Stadium dedicated to him during the 1996 season. The legendary coach passed away this past summer on June 22nd. The Sept. 9 game will be played in his honor, and the Sun Devil Equipment staff has set out to honor him as well with the helmets for this week’s uniform.
The base uniform elements will be exactly the same as last week: Gold helmet/maroon jersey/gold pants. There will be one very obvious difference, however, and that will be the helmets which will feature decals of Kush era teams. The helmets will be discussed in greater detail in the next section. The rest of the uniform will be of the modern era, as the Sun Devils will be sporting their standard maroon jerseys and gold pants.
The maroon jersey features “Arizona State” in Sun Devil Bold text across the chest as well as for the nameplate on the back of the jersey, as well as gold trim on the sleeves. The gold player numbers are outlined in black on both the front and back of the jersey. At the base of the collar is the PT*42 shield in honor of Sun Devil Football legend Pat Tillman. The gold pants feature prominent maroon pitchfork with black trim on the left thigh.
Frank Kush is to thank for many things. Thanks are owed for the many wins he garnered while at Arizona State (176 in total). Thanks are owed for the men he developed within his program. Thanks are especially owed by the more than 90,000 students currently enrolled at Arizona State University as his campaigning to transition Arizona State College into a university in 1958 is in large part a reason why they even have a university to attend.
ASU will decal their helmets in the style of Sun Devil helmets from the years 1976-1979. On either side of the helmet will be a maroon sunburst bordered with gold as well as a gold “ASU” script in the center of the decal. A single, maroon center stripe bisects the helmet. Player number decals will be on the back of the helmet. Two digit numbers will be split by the center strip, while single digit numbers will be placed to the right of the center stripe.
While the original helmet featured a gray facemask in the 1970s, a white facemask will be used on the helmet this week. This will be the first time a white facemask has been worn on a gold helmet since the 1995 season. Also featured on the back of the helmet is a maroon Pac-12 shield and two small Sparky decals on either side of the logo on the neck bumper. Pat Tillman, as always, is remembered with a 3D bumper on the front of the helmet. Because the entire helmet is a tribute to Frank Kush, the small Sunburst featured in last week’s article will be omitted from this week’s helmet.
White cleats accented with maroon and gold will be worn this week. The white, low top Adi-Zeros will be worn by the lighter, speed position players like wide receivers and the defensive secondary. The Adidas Freak mid-tops will be worn by heavy, speed players like linebackers and tight ends. Finally, the Adidas Freak high tops will be worn by linemen on both sides of the ball, as they provide a great deal of support for the pressure and torque that the larger players put on their ankles and feet.
The Sun Devils will wear white gloves, and as with the cleats, there are different gloves for different positions. In both pictures, the gloves on the bottom are Adi-Zeros and they feature a white pitchfork with maroon trim which can be seen when the two palms are placed together. The gloves on the top left are Adidas Freaks, worn by larger skill position players such as linebackers and tight ends. The gloves on the top right are Adidas Freak-Max, which boast extra padding on the heel of the palm for all of the contact that linemen endure throughout the course of a game.
Emotions were high while writing this article about how the equipment staff plans to honor a great man that did so much for the Sun Devil football program, the university, and the community as a whole. I personally never even got to see any of Kush’s teams play, but his impact is not lost on me whatsoever. I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Kush on more than one occasion, and his passion for Sun Devil football showed me where the #SunDevilBrotherhood originated. Coach Kush had an incredible presence about him that was contagious. After a short conversation with him, anyone would walk away wanting to put on pads and a helmet and put their body on the line for him, regardless of their physical prowess or skill.
Emotions will run high this Saturday as well as the team honors Coach Kush with this helmet and game dedication. Not all of the elements are 100 percent accurate, but the helmets look sharp with the white facemask, and the maroon and gold uniform colors will match that of what was worn during Kush’s time here. It will be a pleasure to see this tribute on the turf for which the legendary coach is the namesake, Frank Kush Field.
Fantasy Combo of the Week
This week’s Fantasy Combo is an alternate style home uniform sporting a White helmet, Gray jersey, and White pants that came out looking very clean. The white helmet has a large gold pitchfork with maroon trim on one side, and maroon player number decals on the other. The gray jersey has maroon numbers outlined in gold with gold Arizona State script across the chest. The shoulder trim on the jerseys is maroon, and the gloves are maroon and gold. The white pants also have a gold pitchfork with maroon trim to finish out the combo. Hope you all enjoy!
If you would like to submit a Fantasy Combo of the week to me, please visit thedevilswear.com and take a screen cap or save the link to your final product and send them to me by tweeting me at @ASU_Uniformity or @sundevilcole7.