Monday, April 14, 2014

Those A-Day Helmet Decals

A-Day is this weekend. Thousands of people will be heading to town like it's game day in the Fall. It seems like every year the attendance record is broken. Spring games have always been odd to me, mainly because we see two (or three) uniforms from the same team at the same time. Seeing Auburn in white versus Auburn in blue (with QBs in orange) is just so strange. It's also so strange seeing the old jerseys on the field again. There's no consistency!!!

The 2010 A-Day game was the only April game I've ever been to. I remember being able to walk around the entire stadium for the first time, just enjoying the place like I owned it. I loved it. That game was also the first time for the public to watch some player that wore #2. Does the name Cameron Newton ring a bell? The most memorable part of that day was watching Cam literally flick the ball like it was a bug and flying 65 yards down the field. TV will never do it justice. It was amazing.

As I was sitting in the stands, I noticed that there was something different about the uniforms. Of course the jerseys were different with the old patches and such. That's not what I noticed. There was something off about the helmets, and I just couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time. Then it hit me - the AU decal was bigger than normal! The rest of the day I kept my eye on those decals just trying to figure out exactly what was going on. Lo and behold, I was correct, along with a ton of other people. The "old" decal was a 3-inch tall AU logo. These infamous decals were a whole 3/8 inches larger! The whole thing was just an experiment and they went back to the old 3-inch decals, which they still use today.

The oddest thing about all this is that the 2009 season had a decal that was smaller than the typical 3 inch ones! So Auburn went from a 3-inch decal, to a slightly smaller one, to a bigger than usual decal for one day, and then back to the 3-inch decal. Odd...For comparison, I made this photo. I know it may be difficult to see the difference, but it was pretty blatant being there live that April.

(Click to enlarge)

Here's an excerpt from Evan Woodbery's column on the subject:
I didn't notice, but I got enough e-mails to ask the folks at Auburn about it. The logo is, in fact, slightly larger. The old one was about three inches; the new one is about five-eighths of an inch larger, I'm told. The logo painted on the field was also larger, but not as many people noticed it.
The larger logo is still in the testing phase, according to Scott Carr, an Auburn associate athletic director.
"With the new SEC televison contract increasing the amount of national exposure we receive, we wanted to see if a larger helmet decal would be more visible and thus enhance our brand," Carr said. "No decisions have been made on whether we will increase the actual size permanently."
I actually did notice the bigger mid-field logo (field designs may be a future post)...Anyways, the decal change was a pretty big deal, for it was the first time in a long time that Auburn has done anything different, more than just changing the SEC patch or going to Under Armour. This was a change actually made by Auburn. We've seen field design changes, equipment changes (gloves, shoes, etc.), and all the such. But we've not seen Auburn voluntarily change something with the uniforms. What if these had stuck rather than being a one-and-done experiment? Would that have led to even more changes? I guess we'll never know...

I actually would have liked them to have kept the bigger decals, but they don't ask me. I wish I knew more about the reason why they didn't keep it. 

I hope to see a lot of you there this weekend! Would love to meet some of you guys if possible. Be sure to head next door to Plainsman Park right after the game is over to watch the baseball team take on South Carolina. I'll be at both!

War Eagle!

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