Waldo’s football fashion

WSU football team running out onto the field during their game with Northern Colorado. (Weber State Athletics)

No matter what sport it is, athletes are always trying to tap into a winning mindset. Some athletes do a war dance like the haka, play a ring walk song before a fight or perform a superstitious ritual. However, one of the best ways to improve in-game mentality deals with a necessity: choosing uniforms.

“I think it’s a huge tool that we can use in athletics to be able to change up some things so that it’s not the same thing week-in, week-out,” Joshua Weier, Weber State University’s director of equipment operations, said. “You can have different variations to where guys obviously play better in certain things versus other color schemes.”

In most cases, teams and athletes make conscious decisions when determining what they want to wear for a match. Masters Tournament winning golfer Tiger Woods, for example, typically wears red when competing because his mother told him it was his “power color.”

Weber State’s sports teams are no exception, especially when it comes to football. Followers of the team’s Instagram page often come across posts that show new uniforms. Using gear made by Adidas, the Wildcats enter each season with three different types of uniforms, each getting replaced every three years for a new design.

What makes uniform design so personal to the team is a committee of players that determine what will be worn. This board meets with Weier, designers and the director of football operations to determine what uniform concepts should be carried out.

Members of the committee include team captains like safety Desmond Williams, cornerback Eddie Heckard, linebacker Winston Reid, offensive lineman Noah Atagi and receiver Ty MacPherson. According to Weier, linebacker Raoul Johnson and running back Kevin Smith Jr. participate on the committee as well.

“That’s obviously been such a good thing in the past and for the future because nobody wants to go out there wearing something that they don’t think is going to be a good combination,” Weber State tight end Justin Malone said about the committee. “We’ve designated people that we trust and are going to make the right decisions to pick our unit combos for the week.”

During the 2020 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers felt they had a competitive edge when wearing their “Black Mamba” uniforms. The team went on a 4–0 run in the jerseys designed by former Laker Kobe Bryant and wore the uniforms when they felt like they needed a critical win. Like the Lakers, Weber State’s football team takes prior victories into account when picking uniforms.

“Whatever we’ve worn in the past sometimes comes up in our games in the future,” Malone said. “Say we wore black helmets, white jerseys, white pants and then white socks like we did last week against UC Davis. If we did that in the past against UC Davis, we’ll probably do it again.”

Weber State’s football team is known for wearing unique uniforms to special events. Back in 2018, the Wildcats faced the University of Northern Colorado on Throwback Night. To honor the 50th anniversary of Weber State’s 1968 Big Sky title win, the team wore throwback-purple jerseys along with a new logo on their helmet called the “Flying W.”

The throwback “Flying W” uniforms have been worn on multiple occasions, including last season’s homecoming match against Montana State University. Weier confirmed there will be another “Flying W” game this season on Nov. 5 against Sacramento State University.

“I know me and my teammates all love the ‘Flying W,'” Malone said. “I think we’re going to keep the tradition going of basically the ‘Flying W’ on helmets.”

Weber State’s football team is also well-known for their black-out and color-rush uniforms. Worn on special games, like a rivalry match against Southern Utah University last season, color rush uniforms feature purple helmets, jerseys and pants. According to Weier, the Wildcats will sport their color-rush gear during their upcoming homecoming game.

Weber State’s football team will be receiving new gear soon. According to Weier, one of the uniforms has reached its three-year mark and will be replaced next year. White team helmets have also been ordered but haven’t arrived yet due to shipping delays.

The Wildcats are currently 4–0 for the first time since 1998. Although there are multiple factors that have propelled the team to their current standing, Weber State believes that uniform choices have contributed to their success.

“The old saying goes ‘if you look good, you play good,'” Weier said. “I’m a firm believer in that, so if the players like the combination and everything like that, I think it definitely helps in their performance on the field.”

The Wildcats will face Eastern Washington University for their homecoming match at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Stewart Stadium.