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Georgia is planning a "Black Out" for its game with Alabama this weekend. Michigan State had a "White Out" for Notre Dame last Saturday. Vanderbilt hosted a "Black Out"for its nationally televised game against South Carolina two weeks ago. Penn State hosts "White Outs" at Beaver Stadium regularly.
You catching this latest trend at stadiums across the nation? The home school tells all its fans attending the game to wear the same color shirt, then deems it a "Color" Out. The team usually follows suit, wearing, for example, black shirts and black pants for a "Black Out".
It may have been cool at one point. One of the first ones I can remember was in 2001, when South Carolina was hosting No. 4 Florida. Lou Holtz had his Gamecocks in the running for an SEC East crown in early November, and Williams-Brice Stadium was a sea of black while the players busted out black shirts. Of course, Florida won 54-17, so the story didn't really have a happy ending, but the build-up to the whole thing was pretty cool.
In 1996, I covered a game at LSU where Tiger Stadium hosted a "White Out". Gerry DiNardo restarted LSU's tradition of wearing white at home that season, but it needed to be approved by visiting teams. (That rule has since been changed.) Vanderbilt, spurned by DiNardo less than a year before, denied the request, prompting LSU to have all the fans wear white if the players couldn't. LSU broke out yellow jerseys in front of a sea of white and buried the Dores 35-0. The night atmosphere at Tiger Stadium is already one of the best around, and the white added to the occasion.
But when do these gimmicks become too much? Georgia's decision to wear its black jerseys this week will be the third time the Dawgs have forgone their traditional red in their last six home/bowl games. Georgia wore black against Auburn late last season, against Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl and now in its third home game this season. What in the name of Herschel Walker and Vince Dooley is going on?
What do you folks think about all these "Outs"? Do they create a cool atmosphere or are they hokey gimmicks?