Adams: Fashion statement includes Dooley's hat, black jerseys

John Adams
Head coach Derek Dooley talks to the media after the Vols' first official practice of the season at Haslam Field at the University of Tennessee Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Head coach Derek Dooley talks to the media after the Vols' first official practice of the season at Haslam Field at the University of Tennessee Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010.

Although this column has a long history of avoiding fashion statements, I feel comfortable venturing into foreign territory today. You can archive it under fall fashion tips.

First tip: A Tilley Airflo Hat.

That's what first-year Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley has been wearing at preseason practices this month.

His choice of headgear has not gone unnoticed.

"You wouldn't believe how many calls I've got about it," said Roger Frazier, who has been UT's equipment manager since 1983.

Frazier has been around UT football too long to be surprised by fan reaction to a coach's hat. In fact, he warned Dooley that his chapeau choice would not be ignored. Consensus: The fans like it.

Employees at the UT Bookstore will vouch for that. They have received a number of calls inquiring about Dooley's khaki-colored, nylon hat. They don't carry it.

I even received a call about the hat. I don't carry it, either. But I know where to get one. I checked it out at River Sports, which is where Frazier purchased one on behalf of his coach.

The hat isn't as simple as it looks. It protects you from ultraviolet rays, is rain repellent and comes with a four-page owner's manual.

But it doesn't come with a Power T. Frazier had the patch added for Dooley.

Second tip: Black jerseys. Bring them back.

It might have bothered you last Halloween when the Vols donned black jerseys for the first time since 1922. It might bother you more that the jerseys are now connected to former coach Lane Kiffin, who has become persona non grata in Big Orange Country.

Here's something that shouldn't bother you: The black jerseys seemingly bring out the best in the Vols.

I discussed the jerseys with half-a-dozen UT players at football media day Sunday afternoon. They either liked the jerseys or loved them.

Senior wide receiver Gerald Jones and senior defensive end Chris Walker were the most passionate about them. They were among the players lobbying for the jerseys early last season. Kiffin passed along their pleas to athletic director Mike Hamilton, who OK'd them for the Halloween game against South Carolina.

The Vols warmed up in their orange jerseys, then changed to black and thrashed the Gamecocks 31-13. The performance wasn't necessarily a coincidence, according to the players.

"You saw how much energy it brought to us," Jones said. "We came out on fire and played the whole game really great. It may sound crazy, but it brings energy.

"We like to see new stuff."

UT offensive guard Jarrod Shaw said a change of color worked for his high school team as well. It opened a homecoming game in its traditional black jerseys and led 14-0 at halftime before switching to red jerseys in the locker room. The impact was immediate.

"We just blew them away," Shaw said with a smile.

The black jerseys worked just as fast for the Vols against South Carolina. They led 21-3 at halftime.

Asked if he had thought about those jerseys since that magical night, Jones said, "I thought about the black jerseys as soon as we took them off. Momma has got mine at home with her.

"But I got a feeling they won't do it again - unfortunately. . . . But hopefully, Coach Dooley will be flexible about it."

The Kiffin connection shouldn't be a factor in the decision. The black jerseys weren't his idea. The players came up with it.

Since the players still get revved up talking about the black jerseys, why pass on such an obvious motivational ploy? And what better time than the Vols' only home game in October, against defending national champion Alabama.

Maybe Tilley could complement the jerseys with a Tide-proof hat for the coach.

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com

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Comments » 168

FWBVol writes:

John, I know there will be some who disagree with me, but you should have stopped when you were ahead talking about CDD's hat.

Please, no black jerseys. If that's what it takes to get the players fired up then something is terribly wrong.

rockytopatl writes:

I like the hat, and the black jerseys. There is nothing wrong with new traditions.

VolsINFan writes:

in response to FWBVol:

John, I know there will be some who disagree with me, but you should have stopped when you were ahead talking about CDD's hat.

Please, no black jerseys. If that's what it takes to get the players fired up then something is terribly wrong.

I agree FWBVol. I hope the black jerseys never appear again.

MemphisVol writes:

no black jerseys.

flatrock writes:

Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Baltimore Orioles,
Cincinatti Bengals, Princeton, Ensworth High, The
Netherlands.

Those are the organizations that should wear
orange and black.

The Tennessee brand is Tennessee Orange & White.
No one else has that brand. It is a marketeer's
version of a perfect game.

Let the fans in the stands buy all the black they want. Buy all the black practice and
travel sweats Adidias can make for the athletes.

When UT athletes, coaches, cheerleaders and
band members take to the PLAYING field, there
should be no confusion with the organizations
named above.

Keep it simple - leave the brand alone:
keep it Tennessee Orange & White!

tree_em_smokey writes:

YES YES YES to black jersey's. Why do some of you say no to black jersey's? 1)It fired up the vols enough to whip the Gamecocks like cream. 2)It is a nice change to the normal orange and white (which I LOVE by the way), it's just new and refreshing. 3)It's attractive to recruits which will in turn bring more to UT, and will make us a better team. If it helps the team I'm all for it.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Afraid to say it..But I loved the black jerseys..Nothing wrong with a change every now and then..If the players want to wear them for one game, then so be it.

196SVol writes:

I like the black and white checkerboard idea!

flatrock writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hardKnoxLife writes:

It's the players that make this thing work. If it was the players idea and it provides them with some extra motivation, then by all means......let them wear the jerseys.

It's fun to do something different every now and then.

GO VOLS!

tree_em_smokey writes:

True flatrock but light practices and easy sex doesn't help them win.....black jersey's did. GBO!!!!!

flatrock writes:

I am sure the players at Alabama, LSU,
Oklahoma, Texas, USC, Ohio State,
Michigan, etc. like black, too!
When all those college nameplates decide
to mess with their brands, let me know.

markmcc98#635778 writes:

I just want the orange pants to NEVER come back. Always hated the orange pants. We lost almost every time we wore them except when they wore the black jerseys. I wish they would bring back the white pants with the black T without the orange stripes. All the national media used to say that our away uniforms used to be the best in the country. I just hate the orange pants!!!!!

Volz4ever writes:

Thats the problem with half of our fanbase. Its to traditional. Times have changed people. We aren't driving Model T's anymore. Does it really matter what color they wear? If they win who gives a sh*t? Wear purple for all I care if it keeps them from going 5-7.

govols1234567 writes:

Heck yes to the black jerseys!! The hat I could really care less about.. besides Tennessee has had black as their 3 color for a while. The trim on their away jerseys and some Vols merchandise tshirts,jackets etc sold in stores are black and have been for quite a few years. It's something that can really look good, but the helmets should be modified a little as far as color goes. Bottom line let's bring em back a game or two

BigOrangeTriedandTru writes:

Should be up to the players. They are the ones playing their hearts out black out for Bama game! Its great to be a Tennessee vol!

AllforTenn writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

I like the hat, and the black jerseys. There is nothing wrong with new traditions.

Duh. If it is new it isn't a tradition. No black jerseys. UT has a tradition. It is orange jerseys!

Classof72 writes:

I just created a new verb: kif

definition:

1) to kif is to behave in an opportunistic, selfish and irresponsible manner to the detriment of people and institutions that retained your services in good faith and at great cost.

Ex.: He kiffed us when he ran out on us and then dissed our 'yellow' jerseys.

2)To show utter contempt for the values and traditions of those who handsomely rewarded you.

Ex.: He kiffed us when he and his staff broke recruiting rules and left us holding the bag.

adv.: kiffing (kiffin') modifies the acts of kiffing

ex.: He kiffin' accused honest coaches of cheating.

or adj.: modifies the nouns resulting from, or pertaining to the act of kiffing.

ex.: He put the Vols in kffin' black jerseys.

Screw the kiffin' black jerseys, and screw the kiffin' horse they rode in on. I don't know how it is in Birmingham, but in Tennessee black jerseys equals Vandy equals Vandy. Many of the nominally Vol players who like black jerseys aren't playing for Tennessee. They're playing for themselves, so they want their own uniforms. I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it. I'll watch them play in their black jerseys...on television. Or maybe not. If they're not Orange and White, they're somebody else's team, not mine. Period.

'Volunteers' black jerseys' is an oxymoron. Have a nice day.

rudy123 writes:

Getting a bit off subject but I watched Monday NIght Football tonight. I noticed that the Jets
already had 4 quarterbacks. It doesn't look very good for Ainge once he returns from re-hab.
I would venture that Sanchez, Clemmens, O Connell and Brunnel will make the roster and Ainge will be out of a job. Not good to be out of a job now; especially in Obama's economy, huh??? Had he played during the pre season games, he may have shown enough improvement to remain on the roster.
Maybe another team who needs a 3rd string q.b. will sign him after training camp is over.
I would have liked to see him play tonight too.

orangeone10 writes:

The hat is cool and why not be the first to start a tradition of black jerseys with orange numbers on Halloween weekend? I love tradition and would love to see a new one!!

rudy123 writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Afraid to say it..But I loved the black jerseys..Nothing wrong with a change every now and then..If the players want to wear them for one game, then so be it.

What do you mean by, Nothing wrong with a change every now and then??? I used to have money in my pocket and now that Obama is President, I only have change in my pocket. I guess that you voted for him. Well, if you did, you got your change, huh? The coins in your pocket are the only change you will get from him.
There is something wrong with change!!! It depends on who is doing the changing. I guess you wanted Kiffin in and Fulmer out. How did that change go for you???
Don't minimize change. Obama and Kiffin brought change and there was something wrong with the change they brought. "Nothing wrong with a change every now and then" Whatever!!!!

Classof72 writes:

Try putting the Crimson Tide of Alabama in black jerseys and see where it gets you. They're champions, and justifiably proud of their team colors and traditions.

AlcoVOLic writes:

the black jerseys were awesome, and i certainly don't tie them to kiffin as it was the players' idea. besides, black is typically in the color scheme as its used to bolden the jersey numbers. it's just like the light blue with the lady vols for me, which i also love.

checkered jerseys...i gotta see it, traditions can be born all the time. remember, for some reason we have a vol army, vol navy, i think i saw vol marines, and who knows how many other odd traditions. bring on the new and crazy!

AlcoVOLic writes:

on a side note of tradition, saban needs to suck it up and go for the orange and maroon matchup with both teams in home jerseys...that's tradition! i say next year we show up to bama and do it, and sacrafice the 15 yds or 1 timeout or whatever the penalty is...it's still minimal

zigvol writes:

Why are the old guys hating on the black jerseys?

dvhill100 writes:

So long as they win, I really don't care what color jersey they wear.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Classof72:

Try putting the Crimson Tide of Alabama in black jerseys and see where it gets you. They're champions, and justifiably proud of their team colors and traditions.

Exactly. You'll never see the tide in black shirts. Nor should you.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

Go Big Orange! Not Go Big Orange and White. White is not a color. Not for any team. Black is not a color. Its neutral. I don't know what is wrong with our fans that we can't embrace success with a new generation. I received numerous phone calls that night who thought the black was really cool and progressive. Maybe even aggressive. It worked for the players. I like it. No harm no foul. Black will be Back someday. And so will Michael Jackson. "It dosen't matter if its black or white". BTW Happy Birthday Elvis.

thevoice writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Afraid to say it..But I loved the black jerseys..Nothing wrong with a change every now and then..If the players want to wear them for one game, then so be it.

2nd.

volpreacher writes:

I would be the first to complain if the Vols chose to wear black all the time. But to do it for these guys who practice hard all year long to have this little motivation. Those who complain probably have never played sports. Whatever it takes, maybe a press clipping, etc. The ones saying no on here probably thought Fulmer should stay too. After all, he was traditionally Tennessee's coach, former player, etc. Why change? Go black for Bama I say.

samuelroger4 writes:

If it fires em up, let em wear black for a game...especially against Bama or Florida! GO VOLS!

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to flatrock:

Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Baltimore Orioles,
Cincinatti Bengals, Princeton, Ensworth High, The
Netherlands.

Those are the organizations that should wear
orange and black.

The Tennessee brand is Tennessee Orange & White.
No one else has that brand. It is a marketeer's
version of a perfect game.

Let the fans in the stands buy all the black they want. Buy all the black practice and
travel sweats Adidias can make for the athletes.

When UT athletes, coaches, cheerleaders and
band members take to the PLAYING field, there
should be no confusion with the organizations
named above.

Keep it simple - leave the brand alone:
keep it Tennessee Orange & White!

....the band wears mostly black. I marched 3 years.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to rudy123:

What do you mean by, Nothing wrong with a change every now and then??? I used to have money in my pocket and now that Obama is President, I only have change in my pocket. I guess that you voted for him. Well, if you did, you got your change, huh? The coins in your pocket are the only change you will get from him.
There is something wrong with change!!! It depends on who is doing the changing. I guess you wanted Kiffin in and Fulmer out. How did that change go for you???
Don't minimize change. Obama and Kiffin brought change and there was something wrong with the change they brought. "Nothing wrong with a change every now and then" Whatever!!!!

You are way out of pocket. Also "there is something wrong with change...it depends on who's doing the changing" doesn't make any sense. You are screaming about the President in a thread about how the players like to wear black jerseys. You sounds like a lunatic.

...uh...Go Vols, in whatever jerseys. And go topic!

notoriousBIGorange writes:

I like the black jerseys but that hat looks stupid; like a red neck version of Indiana Jones. IMHO.

RaineyVol writes:

I say All Black, Black helmets, black jerseys, and black pants! with orange T and orange numbers and orange stripes down the side of the pants... would look insane!!

VolCrazy writes:

I love how supporters of the black jerseys get talked at like our I.Q. is 3. We know what the school colors are and any true Tennessee fan loves the orange and white. Any true Tennessee fan would also love what ever gets the Vols fired up and ready to play. I was in Neyland Stadium back in October and the reaction from the fans and players because of those jerseys was outstanding. I own a replica black jersey and can see it from where I'm sitting. What's that on the collar? It's orange! A school color! And what's this? Orange numbers with a white outline? School colors? It was new. It was well received in the stadium. God forbid we do something to excite our fans. The naysayers always treat the black jersey situation as if someone had painted an Alabama logo on General Neyland's headstone.

tnqball writes:

This is a new era and we as Volunteer fans should embrace it. I also like the practice jerseys with the Addidas stipes on the side. Black jerseys would be cool. I think that grey jerseys would be cool too.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Start saying it now...Guck the Fators........Say it every day.....

mwhla writes:

"But it doesn't come with a Power T. Frazier had the patch added for Dooley."

Wow. With all the UT hats out there, one would think that DD could find one he liked. But, no, he has to go the "custom" hat route.

chbradshaw writes:

Since Mike Hamilton is apparently willing to pay money to get out of two games with North Carolina, I suggest pink would be an appropriate jersey color until we have an athletic director who thinks of UT as a football power.

CroKev writes:

If they win with black, then...GBB (Go Big Black!).

wcirwin64#584242 writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Duh. If it is new it isn't a tradition. No black jerseys. UT has a tradition. It is orange jerseys!

DO YOUR HISTORY YOUNGSTERS !!! UT USED BLACK JERSEYS FOR YEARS BEFORE GOING TO ORANGE AND WHITE ONLY. I WONDER WHAT THE "TRADITIONALIST" WERE SAYING IN 1920-1930 ???? THE BLACK JERSEYS WORN LAST SEASON WERE ACTUALLY NOSTALGIC

nola_vol writes:

How about THIS as a COMPROMISE (coming from one who has ALWAYS hated the look of orange&black on ANY team, dearly loving the uniqueness of our orange & white ... who viscerally rejects the entire gangsta image associated with black jerseys today ... but who recognizes that the effects of a jersey change on team performance is as legitimate as posting quotes from the other team in the locker room):

What if we had, for "special" occasions, our normal road or home jerseys BUT WITH black on the lower third, starting below the ribs? From any distance, it would give the players the enhanced "V-shaped" torso of a super-hero! I doubt even our big-belly-boys would mind looking so svelte on TV.

Sure, the easiest joke would be that we're wearing cummerbunds, but isn't that just what you wear to a formal dinner... like when you're feasting on gamecock or gator?

(I may play with this in PhotoShop... check back for some image links later today!)

whippersnapper writes:

I'm old school but if the black jersey's get players excited then likely they would also excite the recruits who want to join the Big Orange. One or maybe two games a season with black jerseys won't hurt our tradition. Check out the teams that just a few short years ago were practially a non factor in the football world. Oregon ? These young men say black jersey's bring excitement and motivation to the team. Give it to them !

BrassMonkey writes:

Bring back the black jerseys.

AllUTAllTheTime writes:

Once again another UT story and another mention of Lane. What a shock.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Duh. If it is new it isn't a tradition. No black jerseys. UT has a tradition. It is orange jerseys!

Duh .. you can START new traditions. Dullard.

TLepage writes:

Hamilton is a big joke... I just saw on Rivals that we are going to have to buyout UNC, because he is canceling our home-and-home series with them that starts in 2011.... He said he wants to make the schedule more manageable.... First back-to-back 1aa teams (2010 and 2011) and now he is scared to play the Tar Babies... Come on!!!! I know we are down, but canceling a series with the Tar Babies further embarrasses our football program and fans.... Since when is UT scared to play UNC????? This is really pathetic.... He is turning us into a laughing-stock..... FIRE HAMILTON NOW!!!!!

UT37916 writes:

Black is associated with mourning and we may be doing a lot of that this season.

Classof72 writes:

Ole Miss has history and tradition. They also have two jersey colors and two helmet colors and nobody in America outside of Mississipi can tell you what their brand looks like. They have to write their name on their helmets so people will know who they are. Attractive uniforms; no brand identity. When you become generic nobody is going to walk past another competing product to get your product. If you like black jerseys, you don't have to drive 400 miles to see some. They have them in Nashville. This plays into the hands of the real competition of the Vols: The 'Tennessee' Titans. The guy who put the Vols in black shirts wanted the team identified with himself. He cared nothing for the Vols, as his subsequent actions proved. He is supposed to have said of the players he put into those black shirts,"Those guys came to play for us (me), not for those yellow jersies." If they ever wear black shirts again, they should be called the 'kiffins'. Wear black shirts, and 'win one for the Kiffer'.

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