2012 Missouri Black & Gold Game: Sports, Logos And Tradition

Old photos via The Savitar, new photos via Bill Carter, 2007 photos via Sarah Becking.

This is Mizzou Gold. It is gold, not yellow, and it is exactly what I was hoping for. Most of the great recent memories I have experienced at Faurot Field were tinged with what seemed like this exact color of gold.

The jerseys have changed from year to year, but the moments have (in this case literally) colored my fan experience.

This is the Mizzou logo. It has been Mizzou's logo since, I believe, 2000. When it was created, a good portion of the Missouri fanbase mourned "lost tradition" and complained about how Mizzou was forsaking its history for the sake of marketing (which, in many ways, is the point of a logo). For current Mizzou freshmen, however, it has been Mizzou's logo since they were about six or seven years old. At this point, it is Mizzou's single most unique, recognizable identifier. And it is a pretty damn sweet logo.

This is the Rock M. It has been part of Memorial Stadium since the stadium was built in the late-1920s. It is Mizzou Football Tradition™. It is not going anywhere, no matter what borderline insane stadium expansion ideas we create in our heads.

Mizzou's helmet has changed an almost infinite number of times over the last 60 years or so (since teams started putting things on helmets). Until the early-1970s, Mizzou's helmets had a number on the side.

From the time Missouri wore an M on its helmet to the present, the M has changed dramatically.

This is a very long way of saying that Missouri's "tradition" has not changed, has not been forsaken, because Nike has taken an expanded interest in Missouri. We can nitpick the jerseys all we want; that is to be expected. (As I have already hinted, I am not in love with the alternate jerseys -- especially the back of the helmets -- but that's fine, because I will only have to see them once a year.) But no great moment in Missouri's history has been lost because of this. The Rock M still stands. The logo is still the logo. Black and gold are still black and gold. Missouri still beat Oklahoma in 2010, and Nebraska in 2007. Brad Smith was still a gorgeous runner. Corby Jones still flipped head over heels into the end zone. The Fifth Down and Flea Kicker still happened. James Wilder still punked that Nebraska defender in 1978. Missouri still beat unbelievable teams and lost to terrible ones through most of the 1970s. Mizzou still started and ended the 1960s with conference titles. Don Faurot still invented modern-day option football. And, perhaps more importantly than anything else, everything associated with Homecoming is still associated with Homecoming.

Like them or hate them, Missouri's new jerseys are Missouri's new jerseys. And if great things happen in them, they will pretty quickly become part of Missouri "tradition" as well.

Let us now shift our attention to the players that will be playing in these uniforms next year.

(And no, I was not intending to pick on Bryan Burwell in this post. That was just a bonus.)

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