Friday, September 23, 2011

Ohio Bobcats Wear Black in Win, Players Freak Out During Unveiling

The BJT received an email from Matt Morton, Ohio University's director of equipment, with information on their new football uniforms.  Black jerseys? Yup. 

The Ohio Bobcats surprised their players and broke out black jerseys for their rivalry game versus the Marshall Thundering Herd (the Battle for the Bell) on September 17th, 2011.  The players were told about the black jerseys during their team meeting just before getting dressed for the game.  Check out their reaction in this video.  Similar to most of our reactions on Christmas morning when we were 7 years old and opened the coolest toy known to man:

Their reaction starts at 1:10 and continue watching until the end.  These guys were PUMPED!  The scene in the locker room is pretty funny.

What a great way to get a group of kids excited for a football game.  Ohio followed that up with a 44-7 beat down of Marshall.  They are 3-0 this season and play at Rutgers on September 24th.

Sleeve design: "Ohio"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ducks Go Down, While Cowboys and Sun Devils Win in Black

The founding father of the BJT, the 3rd ranked Oregon Ducks, wore their Nike Pro Combat uniforms for their season opener versus the 4th ranked LSU Tigers in Dallas Cowboy Stadium on September 3rd, 2011.  These may be the coolest uniforms in the history of mankind, but they were not enough as LSU took advantage of Oregon's fumbles and puddled the Ducks 40-27.  The Ducks were previously 7-0 in games when they wore black dating back to 2006. Come on, Ducks!
QB Darron Thomas changed uniform numbers from 1 to 5 this off season
LaMichael James (translated TheMichael) was hampered by injuries throughout the game

Another Pac 12 member debuted their new black jerseys on September 10th, 2011.  The ASU Sun Devils brought out the all blacks for their game against the 21st ranked Missouri Tigers.  The BJT wrote an article about ASU's new jerseys this off season, and correctly predicted they would wear these uniforms for this game.  ASU upset the Tigers 37-30 in OT.
ASU WR Jamal Miles throws a 35 yard TD pass in the 3rd quarter
Looks like Ronnie Bass' cousin. "Game ball...RONNIE BASS!"

Oklahoma State decided to wear their black jerseys for just the 2nd time since 1994 in their highly anticipate early season game versus the talented Arizona Wildcats.  'Zona could not keep up with the black jerseys, losting 37-14 in Stillwater, OK.
Justin BLACKmon can not be stopped

We will keep you updated on the rest of the black jerseys won throughout the rest of the college football season.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cornell Study: "Wearing Black Makes You Tougher"

It turns out I am not the only one who has done research on black jerseys.  Two men from Cornell University did a a series of studies in 1988 on the psychological implications of black jerseys on human aggression. I'll break down their research and paraphrase their article since it is a lengthy read, along with relating it to the BJT, of course.

Study 1:
Twenty-five people who knew absolutely nothing about the NFL or NHL (and their respective sports) were shown various teams jerseys and asked to rate them on 5 different scales relating to how the jerseys appeared to them (good/bad, timid/aggressive, nice/mean, active/passive, weak/strong).  Each league had five teams with black colored jerseys.  The researchers were able to combine the three of the five aspects relating to aggressiveness (the first three listed) into a single score, and they found that "teams with black uniforms were consistently rated as being more aggressive than their counterparts."

Study 2:
The researchers obtained penalty records from the NFL and NHL for every team from 1970 through 1985/86.  Their philosophy was that if a team received more penalty yards, they were playing more aggressive, since the aggressive penalties in football, such as roughing the passer, pass interference, etc., equate to more penalty yards.  Similar with hockey, more aggressive penalties meant more penalty minutes, so if a team had more penalty minutes, it would be a more aggressive team.

The top five most penalized teams in the NFL from '70-'86 were also the only five teams in the NFL that wore black jerseys.  In the same time frame for the NHL, four of the top five teams in penalties minutes wore black jerseys.

There have been two foundings so far: 1) people think that individuals dressed in black are more aggressive and 2) teams wearing black jerseys are the most aggressive teams in their sports.  This led them to this question and their next study: "isn't it possible that people calling penalties are simply more prone to calling them on teams in black?"

Study 3:
This study investigated whether or not people would call penalties more on players wearing black jerseys than those wearing a different color. Two identical plays were filmed of a potential penalty occurring with one video having the offense in black and defense in white and the other with offense in white, defense in black.  A group of college kids and a group of professional referees were taken and each split into two groups (forming four groups).  The first group watched in color, seeing the jerseys were black vs white, and the second group watched in black and white, not being able to tell what color the dark jersey was as it could have been black, blue, red, green, etc.

The results showed that for the color film, black jerseys were called penalties on more than the white jerseys, even though they were identical plays.  For the black and white films, when the dark jersey color was not known, there was no difference in the way the play was called.

Study 4:
Researches concluded from Study 3 that people perceive others wearing black as being more aggressive, even though they may not be, which brought them to their final question: "What do we think of ourselves when we're in black?" They wanted to see whether or not people became more aggressive simply by wearing black jerseys.

This study is a little more complicated.  People were put into three groups, and each group was told they would be competing against the other groups in a series of five activities chosen from a list of twelve.  Before being grouped, each individual was asked what their five favorite activities/sports were.  The list includes sports with various degrees of aggressiveness such as golf (least aggressive), basketball (more aggressive), football (even more aggressive).  In order to get aggressiveness ratings for the sports, a separate group of thirty people were asked to rank the twelve sports on their levels of aggressiveness.

The subjects decided amongst their groups on which sports they wanted to compete in before being issued jerseys.  Then teams were either issued white or black jerseys.  The researchers were looking for two things: "would a team wearing black become more aggressive than they had been as individuals", and "would the teams wearing black choose more aggressive sports than the white uniform teams."

The results were found to be conclusive again.  The individuals who were put on a team with black jerseys became significantly more aggressive in their choice of activities.  The group wearing black was not only more aggressive than the individuals as a whole, but the were also more aggressive than the groups with white jerseys.  The white jerseys group's aggression barely changed at all from what they had originally chosen.

These four studies found these simple facts:

  • We make quick judgements about people and what they are wearing.
  • We assume that people wearing black are more aggressive than those not wearing black.
  • When people wear black, they feel and act more aggressive

Interesting stuff.  Feel free to read the entire article as it will provide more detail and clarity on the study.

It turns out black jerseys actually do affect they way people act and play.  The previous and future posts with examples of teams winning with black jerseys has turned out to not just be a bunch of coincidences.  For teams who don't usually wear black jerseys, wearing black for a game or two a season will gift them a boost of energy, confidence, and aggression which usually results in teams playing better and winning!  It's hard to bet against this study and the facts of teams winning in black.

Oklahoma State wore black alternate jerseys in their 31-28 come
from behind victory in 2009 against Colorado.  
The Cowboys trailed by 11 at one point and won despite having to use their third-string quarterback in the 2nd half.  Justin Blackmon caught this go ahead 28 yard TD pass in the 4th quarter.  This was the first time Oklahoma State wore black jerseys since 1994.

Monday, July 11, 2011

U.S. Ladies Wear Black Jerseys in Dramatic World Cup Win

We all know that U.S.A.'s colors are red, white, and blue, so when the U.S women's soccer team wore black jerseys for their quarterfinal World Cup match against Brazil, the black jersey theory came into effect. The theory showed immediate impact, with the Brazilians scoring an own goal in the 2nd minute giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead and that held through the 1st half. In the 2nd half, Brazil took control when the U.S. receive a red card, being forced to play a lady down for the rest of the game, and they scored on a penalty shot by Marta in the 62nd minute. The game remained tied and went into overtime.

Wambach (right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the tying goal
The rest is history.  Brazil scores in the 1st overtime, and the U.S. was held scoreless for the rest of the two overtimes...until stoppage time. The Americans tied the game in the 122nd minute via a header by Abby Wambach from a beautiful crosser by Megan Rapinoe.  All this did was tie the game. On to penalty kicks, where the American's won 5-3. Hope Solo's save during Brazil's 3rd PK was the difference.

U.S. Women celebrate the win after the 5th PK was made
We'll see what the ladies wear for their semifinal match again France.  Will they wear black? Guaranteed win.  The Black Jersey Theory lives on.
Hope Solo (right) wishes the goalie jersey was black, too

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lane Kiffin Was A Genius For One Day, and ASU Wants To Win

Montario Hardesty
 Another black jersey sighting: October 31st, 2009.  It was Halloween night and the 22nd ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2) visited the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4).  Captains Eric Berry and Monterio Hardesty approached athletic director Mike Halmilton the week of the game and asked if the team could wear black tops.  Hamilton approved and Tennessee wore black jerseys for the fist time since 1922 when they started wearing orange tops.  After 4 Gamecock turnovers and a dominant rushing attack led by Hardesty, Lane Kiffin's Vols upset Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks 31-13.

Lane Kiffin was quoted after the game regarding the black jerseys and his players:
"It's a players' game, and our players had been begging for them for a while.  I think it gave us some energy.  I think you saw that in the way we came out and played early"
Tennessee jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter. Linebacker Rico McCoy said after the game: 
"They [the black jerseys] had the whole team hyped. They definitely energized the team"

Jonathan Crompton hands off to Hardesty in these awesome black jerseys
After the 2010 season Lane Kiffin is 15-11 (w/ UT and USC) as a college head coach, and he has beaten 1 ranked team at home.  This game.  Black jerseys. 

*worth noting: Tennessee is the only Adidas sponsored school to win a BCS National Title.
These are awesome
Arizona State just released their new jerseys for the future and black jerseys are in the mix.  The helmet is a new design and these jerseys simply look awesome.  Arizona State saw the success conference foes Oregon, Washington, and Stanford had with the black jerseys and wanted to join in on the fun.  I predict they wear them for their September 9th night game matchup versus Missouri on ESPN.

Check out some other pictures of their new jerseys here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Conference Tournament Champions, Ridiculous Comebacks...all in black

Miami decided to bring out their black jerseys for their first round ACC tournament game with Virginia.  Miami, a team looking outside looking in on the field of 68, needed to win the ACC tournament in order to get a spot in the tournament.  Down by 10 with 42 seconds left in the 2nd half, the Black Jersey Theory kicked in, and Miami went on a 10-0 run to force overtime against the Cavaliers, ultimately winning in overtime.  Check out their magical black jersey comeback here.

Miami's Black Jerseys against Virginia
This comeback reminded college basketball fans across the country of another 10 point comeback in the final minute from the 2001 season.  It was #2 ranked Duke visiting #10 ranked Maryland.  Duke, down 10 with 1:00 on the clock, came back on a 10-0 run to force overtime relying on the sharp shooting from Jason Williams. Oh yeah, they wore black jerseys.  See the "Miracle Minute" highlight here.
"I love black jerseys!" -Carlos Boozer
Not quite the level of comeback as these previous two, but on March 11, 2011, the Louisville Cardinals brought out their black jerseys for their Big East Tournament semi-finals matchup against the 4th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Before the game started, I had a feeling the Cardinals would wear their black alternate jerseys, and I tweeted again:

Notre Dame will lose if Louisville wears these jerseys 

Down by 16 at one point, Louisville rallied in the 2nd half to force overtime and beat the Irish by 6 to move on the the Big East championship game.
Hansbrough wishes ND wore black jerseys
Louisville played in the Big East Championship game the next night against UConn.  They did not wear black jerseys, thus they lost. 

In the Pac10 tournament, The University of Washington Huskies found themselves back in the title game trying to repeat as Pac10 Tournament Champions.  The Huskies, who normally wear purple (away) and white (home) jerseys, brought out their black alternate jerseys against the 16th ranked and regular season Pac10 Champion Arizona Wildcats.  I'll let you guess which team hit the buzzer beating jump shot in overtime.  The Huskies won 77-75.  Check out the buzzer beater here!
Isaiah Thomas hit the game winning buzzer-beater against the Wildcats
Let's backtrack to a week before the big time conference tournaments and take a look at the WCC Title game featuring St. Mary's and Gonzaga.   The Gaels and Bulldogs split the season series and were both 11-3 in conference.  One of the teams had to make an adjustment, and Gonzaga coach Mark Few made a genius coaching move and decided to wear black jerseys.  Gonzaga won 75-63 and is officially dancing.
These ones are sweet

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pac-10 Teams Copy Oregon And Wear Black

The 2010 college football season was a big season with more schools wearing black jerseys, especially on the west coast. Stanford and Washington (twice) brought out their own versions of black alternate jerseys.  Let's take a look at how these three games worked out for them (do we even need to?).

September 18, 2010
Stanford 68 
Wake Forest 24
Sadly only 39,061 people were in attendance to see this fashion statement because Stanford has a pathetic fan base.
Heisman Runner-Up Andrew Luck loves black jerseys
November 18, 2010
Washington 24 
Future potential 1st round pick Jake Locker has never lost wearing black jerseys

December 30, 2010: Holiday Bowl
Washington 19 
#17 Nebraska 7
Winners wear black