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Let's talk about the intersection of three things I love: Nebraska football, history, and uniforms.

We'll start off with something you definitely know, and something you may not have known:

  • What you knew: The 2023 season marks the 100th anniversary of Nebraska playing at Memorial Stadium.
  • What you may not have known: In Nebraska's very first game at Memorial Stadium (October 13, 1923), the Huskers wore blue jerseys.

Why did Nebraska wear blue? Per the Omaha World-Herald report from the game: "Oklahoma's colors are red and white and the Nebraskans changed out of courtesy to the visiting team”. *

*It is cool to know that "Nebraska Nice" was a thing 100 years ago.

What did these blue jerseys look like? Unfortunately, this been lost to time. To my knowledge - and the efforts of those who have explored before me - none of these jerseys remain. Any photographs of the game are black and white.

We know the 1923 team photo (presumably, wearing red) looked like this. It's possible that the jerseys did not have had numbers on them. (That's a separate rabbit hole, but the first Husker roster to include uniform numbers was still two years away). The program from that game shows red and blue teams playing, but that was likely unrelated to Nebraska switching to blue.

With the 100th anniversary of the stadium this fall, Nebraska is planning to celebrate and honor the stadium's history in 100 different ways.

For one game in 2023, Nebraska should wear blue.

* * *

The concept is relatively simple: Take the classic Nebraska home uniform: white pants with stripes, red jersey, and the iconic white helmet with sans-serif red N. Then, swap the red for blue.

Fellow Husker fans and uniform nut Brett Baker was kind enough to mock up some visuals. They are exactly what I was picturing.

Obviously, this isn’t what that first game in 1923 looked like. Heck, we don’t even know what shade of blue NU wore in 1923. But I think this is a fun way to pay a one-time tribute to an interesting chapter in Nebraska history.

Personally, I'd recommend wearing the blue jerseys either for the home opener against Northern Illinois or in November against Maryland. Both of those teams wear red uniforms, so it could be a nice way to re-create the historical moment - and create a visually interesting color-vs.-color matchup.

* * *

Earlier this year, I saw a post purporting to be a sample of an Adidas alternative uniform that Nebraska will wear this fall.

That uniform is a standard Nebraska home jersey, but with a thin blue outline around the numbers, as a (very) subtle nod to the historical footnote. The four inscriptions on the corners of Memorial Stadium are subtly printed within the sleeve stripes.

To me, that jersey looks like a cross between Shane Falco ("The Replacements"), Bobby Boucher ("The Waterboy"), and an old Kansas uniform.

In other words, it is disappointing. Which, if it is real, would be par for the Adidas alternate uniform course.

If Nebraska is going to call back to their first game at Memorial Stadium (which they should), they should go all-in. A thin blue outline on the red uniforms won’t be visible to the fans in the stadium. On TV, it would cause more confusion than anything else.

* * *

I can hear your screams now: "This is Nebraska! We wear red! We're not Creighton!"

I agree.

I like to think of myself as a uniform classicist: If it ain't broke, there's no need to fix it. I think teams in the "blue blood" tier of college football (Alabama, Nebraska, Michigan, USC, etc.) don't need exotic alternative uniforms. But throwback and historically inspired uniforms are a different story.

Nebraska - and our fans - love to embrace the program's rich history. The Memorial Stadium centennial will likely be a season-long celebration of NU's history.

Besides, It's just one game.