2017 Uniformity – Week 10: ASU Football to wear Pat Tillman 'Brotherhood' uniforms

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By Cole Streeper

The Sun Devils will wear the much anticipated military appreciation uniforms against Colorado this week. Allow me to preface this article by stating that there is some added length for all of the details included in this uniform as well as some off-field gear. It’s a bit longer, but well worth it to see everything that the Sun Devil Football Equipment Staff is putting into this week’s uniform.

A Week in Review

The consecutive win streak was fun while it lasted, albeit short lived, as it came crashing down last week against USC. A tough effort all around from a Sun Devil team that many experts thought would top the Trojans. With that loss, ASU now moves to 0-4 in Sparky helmets since bringing him back after the rebrand having lost while wearing that helmet in the 2014 Territorial Cup, against Oregon in 2015, against Washington State in 2016, and now to USC.

That being said, helmets do not win or lose games. The tradition of wearing Sparky at least once a year should not go anywhere. With the athletic department keeping creative uniform combinations at bay this year, the novelty of Sparky didn’t seem to have the same shine to it, but the uniform is still outstanding. The gold/maroon/maroon combination hasn’t been seen since Homecoming against Washington in 2013, and looked great with Sparky atop it. Over the past couple of seasons, the Sparky helmet was worn with gold pants that also had Sparky on the hip, so the only issue I did take with this uniform was with the pants. I like maroon pants being matched with the maroon jersey and Sparky helmet, however, with the prominent pitchfork on the thigh, there was a feel of inconsistency and for me, that’s a nitpicky item that took an “A” combination down just a notch.

Gold Sparky/Maroon/Maroon Grade: A-

The Week to Come

Uniform

This week is a very special week in terms of uniforms as ASU will be wearing the Pat Tillman “Brotherhood” uniform set designed through a partnership of Adidas, the Pat Tillman Foundation, and the Sun Devil Football Equipment Staff. The Sun Devils have worn some impressive alternate uniforms in the past, this one is striking.

The jersey is a tan color that matches the desert fatigues worn by Army Rangers, the military specialist group to which Pat Tillman belonged. The jersey features “Arizona State” in maroon across the chest matching the typeface from the 1996 team on which Tillman played. The nameplate on the back of the jersey also utilizes the same maroon font. The player numbers on the front and back of the jersey also match the player number style from the 1996 team and are maroon outlined with gold. Just as they were on the 1996 uniforms, maroon TV numbers outlined with gold will appear on the sleeves on either side of the jersey. For those that don’t know, TV numbers are numbers that appear on the side of the jersey to make it easier for player numbers to be identified by television cameras on the sideline.

 On the front of the jersey near the right shoulder is a maroon and gold Pac 12 shield, a maroon Adidas logo near the left shoulder, and at the base of the collar is the black PT*42 shield in honor of ASU Football legend, Pat Tillman. The pants are also the same tan color and have a small maroon pitchfork with gold trim on the left hip.

There are two pieces available for players to wear underneath the uniform as well. Available to wear on the bottom is a maroon tight with a tan PT*42 shield on the left thigh and a tan Adidas logo on the left ankle. The top is a maroon half sleeve shirt with a large, tan PT*42 shield on the chest and a small, tan Adidas logo near the left shoulder. On the left sleeve is a smaller, tan PT*42 shield, and on the right sleeve is another Adidas logo below an American flag.

SPECIAL NOTE: Even though this is a color uniform, it is considered light enough to be deemed the “away” style uniform. Therefore Colorado will be wearing their black home jerseys as they visit Sun Devil Stadium.

Helmet

Of all the striking features of this week’s uniform, the helmet has got to be star of the show. It is a desert camouflage pattern with a tan base to match the jersey and pants. The standard maroon pitchfork decals with gold trim will be on the sides of the helmet. The facemask will also be maroon.

On the front bumper is a gold decal that reads “Ranger” in gold text highlighted in black. On the rear bumper is maroon text that reads the Army Ranger motto “SUA SPONTE” meaning “Of their own accord” in Latin. The back of the helmet itself is the most incredible part of the helmet. “BROTHERHOOD” is read in bold text across the back of the helmet, and underneath it is two columns which includes the name of every player in Arizona State University Football history that served in the military. To the left of the Brotherhood is a maroon Pac 12 logo.

SPECIAL NOTE: Omitted from the back of this week’s helmet are the Sparky decals on the rear bumper and the Frank Kush dedication decal.

Cleats

A number of different cleats will be worn by players this week, all in the same “Brotherhood” vein as the rest of the uniform. The cleats pictured below will be explained beginning at the top left corner of the collage and working clockwise. The cleats in the top left are Adi-Zero Vets and Adi-Zero Vet Mids and will be worn by speed skill players. They are the same Army fatigue tan with maroon Adidas 3-stripes on the outside of the shoe and the PT*42 shield on the instep. In the top right are the Adidas Freak Carbon Low Vets and Freak Carbon Mid Vets which will be worn by speed skill and heavy speed players. The Freak Carbon Lows are very similar to the Adi-Zeros in the maroon stripes on the outside of the shoe and the maroon PT*42 shield on the instep, and the Freak Carbon Mids have the same three maroon stripes on the outside of the shoe, but see the maroon PT*42 shield moved to the inside of the heel and enlarged. The bottom right photo contains the Adidas Freak Carbon High Vet and the Adidas Freak High Torsion Vet which will be worn by linemen on both sides of the ball. The Freak Carbon High is essentially a larger version with three maroon stripes on the outside of the cleat and an even larger maroon PT*42 shield on the inside of the heel. The Freak High Torsion carries the same design, but with a beefed up sole for more support and a slightly smaller maroon PT*42 shield on the inside of the hell than that of the Carbon High. Each Freak cleat has the Freak logo on the heel of the shoe as can be seen in the bottom left picture below.

Modeled on the mannequin is a pair of socks with a maroon and gray blend. Also being issued to the team are tan socks with a maroon PT*42 shield on the front of the sock.

Gloves

The Sun Devils will wear both tan and white based gloves this week, and as with the cleats, there are different gloves for different positions. From top to bottom, the style of gloves are Adi-Zeros worn by speed skill positions such as wide receivers and defensive backs, Adidas Freaks, worn by larger skill position players such as linebackers and tight ends, Adidas Freak-Max, which provide extra padding on the heel of the palm and back of the hands for all of the contact that linemen endure throughout the course of a game.

Continuing with the theme of the military inspired uniform, the Sun Devils’ Adi-Zero gloves this week will have a tan base with the maroon PT*42 shield on the palms when the hands are placed together. On the back of the gloves, the majority of the glove is white towards the outside of the hand and has tan accents and piping on a maroon based thumb area. The Adidas Freaks read “FREAK” when the palms are placed together with a white and gray pattern. The back of the Adidas Freaks are white. The Adidas Freak-Max gloves omit any decorative aesthetics (save for a white and gray pattern on the palm) in favor of the functionality of padding on the palms. On the back of the Freak-Max gloves, white is again the primary color and additional padding is provided on the knuckles and fingers.

Off-Field Gear

Focus on all of the little details has come into play this week and that goes for the off-field attire as well. The coaches’ shoes are Adidas Ultra Boosts that are tan based with three maroon stripes on either side of the shoe. There is also a maroon based accent near the heel on the inside of the shoe with a tan PT*42 shield.

The players’ travel shoes are Adidas Alpha Bounces that are tan throughout. The only accent is a maroon based accent on the heel of the shoe that features a tan PT*42 shield.

All players will also be given t-shirts that mimic the style on the “Brotherhood” jersey. This t-shirt is tan based, just like the uniform, and has the same text and uniform number stylization printed on it. All t-shirt bear the number 42 and have “Tillman” on the back of the t-shirt. One difference between the t-shirt and the uniform jersey is that the Pac 12 logo near the right shoulder has a gold base with maroon text, whereas it is a maroon base with gold text on the jersey.

All players will also be given a “Brotherhood” hoodie. The black hoodie says Sun Devils across the chest in tan camo. It is accented by a three-tone underline that has maroon on the exterior of either side, tan camo on either side on the interior of the line, and finally white in the center of the line. There is a white Adidas logo above where it reads “Sun Devils, and a white PT*42 shield underneath the three-tone line. On the back of the jersey, “Brotherhood” runs vertically down the middle of the shirt in solid tan, and there is an American flag on the right shoulder.

Taking Care of Former Players

The Sun Devil Football Equipment Staff is well known for taking care of former players. Marcus Hardison was visiting with the team when he was presented with his very own Tillman “Brotherhood” jersey with his name on the back, bearing the number 1 that he wore during his time playing football for Arizona State. He’s not the only one to receive this kind of treatment. Other former players such as Jaelen Strong and Jamil Douglas have also shared that they received their own personalized “Brotherhood” jerseys.

Reaction

This is more than just a cool, innovative alternate uniform. Every detail is meticulously placed so that Pat Tillman and his fellow Sun Devil Brothers in Arms are honored, no matter from which angle you’re looking at this uniform. Choosing the fatigue color that Pat Tillman wore, including Ranger on the helmet along with the Army Ranger slogan “Sua Sponte” adds even more depth.

Many Sun Devil fans have been asking for a camouflage helmet. Many were likely thinking it would never happen, but if it did, it might be darker. A few other schools have attempted camo helmets. Even fewer have pulled it off. With the tan base, and subtle, but very present pattern, the camo doesn’t come across as overpowering or cheesy. It is simply the way it is supposed to be. The maroon facemask and decals play very well off of the desert color scheme as well. Everything works. Add in the dedication decal to all Sun Devil football players that have served in the military throughout the entire history of the ASU Football program, and this helmet is undeniably the star of the show.

Not far behind is the jersey. Bringing back the 1996 stylization along with stitched on numbers and text really pays homage to Pat Tillman’s history with the team.

This uniform is incredible from head to toe. The Sun Devil Football Equipment Staff has produced some awe-inspiring, flashy, stylish looks in the past, but in partnership with Adidas and the Pat Tillman Foundation, this is their best work to date, and I can’t wait to see it on the field.

Fantasy Combo of the Week

This week’s Fantasy Combo comes to us from Donovan Wilson, who you can follow on Twitter at @donovan_wilson. Donovan’s fantasy combo is a gold helmet/gray jersey/gray pant combo. The gold helmet has a black standard sized pitchfork with gold trim. The helmet also has a maroon PT*42 bumper and a black facemask. The gray jersey features gold Arizona State text across the chest and gold trim on the sleeves. It also has gold numbers outlined with black. The gray pants have a gold pitchfork with maroon trim on the left thigh. All arm or leg bands are gold and the gloves are a black base with gold accents. The cleats are black with gold accents while the socks are a black and gold blend. Thank you, Donovan for submitting such a really cool combo during a week where the actual uniform itself is the toughest act to follow yet.

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.

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