“No mustard yellow,” Cooley said Wednesday morning. “Huge news. Burgundy on burgundy. They can change. I think they can still change. But as of now, it is certainly burgundy on burgundy.”
Two years ago, you’ll recall, Redskins players petitioned the front office to wear white-on-white uniforms for a late-season road game at Carolina, since they had missed out on the beginning of the Thursday night “color rush” phenomenon and wanted to enjoy a facsimile. Players told former Washington Post beat writer Mike Jones that they thought the white-on-white look was “fresh,” and that they needed to present their request to Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen, the organization’s two top figures. The former had no problem with an all-white look, but Allen demurred.
Last season brought its own quirks; the Redskins’ only scheduled Thursday game was a Thanksgiving afternoon meeting with the Cowboys, which thus didn’t fall under the Thursday Night Football color-rush brand. That meant a second straight season with no monochromatic color-rush designs.
“They are playing a Thursday afternoon on Thanksgiving Day,” team VP Larry Michael explained in April. “They don’t have to wear the color-rush uniforms.”
Promotional images last September showed Trent Williams in an unforgettable all-mustard-yellow jersey — jerseys which remain on sale at D.C. retailers to this day — but the team indeed avoided wearing those jerseys during the 2016 season. The front office shed no tears, and in fact, during the offseason, the Redskins proposed a rule permitting clubs “to opt out of the ‘color rush’ jerseys created for Thursday Night Football,” with the justification being “Garish uniforms.” But they later withdrew that proposal before it was voted on.
Then came this year’s back-to-back Thursday night November games. The Redskins wore their traditional burgundy-over-yellow jerseys in their Thanksgiving night win over the Giants, but for the pending Thursday Night Football meeting with the Cowboys, some sort of color rush felt inevitable.
A team spokesman has said for weeks that he doesn’t know what the team will wear Thursday night; he repeated that message on Tuesday. An NFL spokesman referred all Redskins uniform questions back to the team. Coach Jay Gruden laughed Tuesday when one of the area’s most dogged reporters attempted to find an answer; “ooh man, that’s a great question,” he told the reporter, to laughter. “One of the better questions I’ve had since I’ve been here at the podium.”
(I’m blushing for some reason.)
“You came all this way to ask me that?” Gruden continued. Eventually he asked the team spokesman, who said that he didn’t know what the team would be wearing.
“I have absolutely no idea,” Gruden said. “Sorry, what a wasted trip.”
(I’m so ashamed.)
But players were actually discussing this very issue when reporters entered the team’s locker room, with one starter asking another whether it was true that the team would wear all-burgundy uniforms against the Cowboys. I don’t want to dabble in fake news, and clearly there was no confirmation to be had in the locker room, but here’s what I learned.
- One player said he had learned that the team would not be introducing any new pieces of clothing Thursday. Since the team has never worn the gold tops, this would imply that any monochromatic outfit would either be all-white or all-burgundy.
- Another player said that Redskins players who wear Nike cleats had already been given burgundy cleats for the game, and added that he was expecting the team to wear all burgundy.
- A third starter, asked directly what the team would be wearing Thursday night, answered that it would be all burgundy.
- But three other starters professed ignorance. A fourth other starter, asked what the team would be wearing Thursday night, said “that’s what I’m trying to figure out myself.”
(No, no one is spending significant energy on this. Other than me. Please do not ask the players to spend more time practicing.)
At least one player has publicly advocated for the all-burgundy look, with cornerback Bashaud Breeland telling The Post’s Master Tesfatsion that’s his preference, not least because of the Young Thug lyric that mentions “wearing all burgundy like the Redskins.” The team has played that track — “200” — at the start of practice, and Breeland has often uttered the lyric in the locker room.
“That would be dope. That would put us on edge, put us on go,” he said. “You feel good, look good, you play good. … We’ve been trying to bring that all-burgundy back for a minute now, you know what I mean? I’d love if they let us decide to play in ’em.”
Former safety Duke Ihenacho also lobbied for burgundy-on-burgundy last year, a look the Redskins used during the Jim Zorn era, thanks to lobbying from players like Santana Moss, Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, Clinton Portis and Mike Sellers.
“Just a change of pace,” Marcus Washington said then. “We always kind of wanted to do it, just because we’ve never done it before.”
Of course, some of the team’s most dreadful moments thus came in burgundy-on-burgundy uniforms, including the primetime Swinging Gate fiasco against the Giants.
Will they fare better this time around? Will the plan remain the same? Will fans like the look? Stay tuned for more on this breaking story, I guess.
Read more on the Redskins: