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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Look good, play good”

Redshirt sophomore Nick Foles? dedication to his aunt is visible as he hands the ball off during Arizona?s game against UCLA on Oct. 24. Foles is just one of the Wildcat Football players that uses their equipment accessories to dedicate to certain individuals.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Foles? dedication to his aunt is visible as he hands the ball off during Arizona?s game against UCLA on Oct. 24. Foles is just one of the Wildcat Football players that uses their equipment accessories to dedicate to certain individuals.

There once was a time when football players would just strap on their pads, get out and play. No questions asked, no fame and certainly no glamour. It was a simple time, it was a pure time and it took place very, very long ago.

This isn’t your granddad’s version of football anymore.

Today players are surrounded by so much media and cameras that they’re photographed and filmed more than Brangelina or the ridiculous Jon, Kate and any of their eight. Being a football player in the NCAA or NFL makes you as much of a celebrity as it does an athlete.

So, with all this exposure, what’s a player to do? Just ask Arizona wide receiver Delashaun Dean.

“”I like to look good out there,”” Dean said. “”Look good, play good. That’s my motto.””

With ESPN “”College GameDay”” in town this weekend and ABC broadcasting Arizona’s showdown with Oregon as its primetime game, Wildcat players aren’t going to want to just play well, they’re going to want to look the part, too.

The comfort level

Sometimes the best attribute a player can have, above things like speed and strength, is confidence. When players are confident, they feel comfortable. Insert any adage about how football is X percent mental here. Sometimes comfort comes from knowing the opponent through watching game tapes or knowing your playbook inside and out. And sometimes comfort comes from what you wear under your pads. Whether it’s superstition, a feeling or a medical reason, players have reasons for wearing what they wear.

Player: Trevin Wade, sophomore CB

Accessories: Clear helmet visor, half sleeves on both arms that are color-coordinated with his uniform pants.

Reason: “”I’ve been wearing a visor since ninth grade because I had surgery on my eye, so I wear a visor because I don’t like people touching my eyes. Grass just irritates my arms but I don’t like long sleeves. I used to use socks in high school, but then I got to college so I was like, ‘I need to make it look real,’ so I went with the half sleeves. I try to match them to my pants. Like if we go white top, red pants I’ll wear the red sleeves, and if we go white pants I’ll wear the white sleeves.””

 

Player: Juron Criner, sophomore WR

Accessory: Long sleeves, always white, regardless of weather.

Reason: “”I started wearing long sleeves since before camp started, and a couple games I tried to come out in short sleeves, and I was just uncomfortable. So I’d go back in and put the long sleeves on. It’s a comfort thing.””

Player: David Douglas, sophomore WR

Accessory: Never wears long sleeves, regardless of weather.

Reason: “”I don’t like wearing long sleeves, even when it’s cold. It’s just a comfort thing.””

 

Dedications

Made famous by Reggie Bush’s “”619″” eye black during his Heisman days, some players use their uniform accessories to make dedications to people and things that mean something to them. Some players choose to write something as simple as their area code or initials of others, while others are known to write small novels on taped wrists. It all depends on what’s on their mind — and how small their handwriting can get.

Player: Ricky Elmore, junior DE

Accessory: Black half-sleeves with written dedication

Reason: “”I wear black half-sleeves because I’ve worn every color so far, and white and red haven’t done it for me, so I’m sticking with black. And just like everyone else I write my little mottos. I go with the traditional ‘Mom’ and then some numbers, and lately I’ve been doing my dog’s name — I just got a little boxer named Bruce Wayne — and whatever else is on my mind.””

 

Player: Terrell Turner, senior WR

Accessory: Eye black with his number written on it

Reason: “”I just hit ’em with the ocho-cuatro (84) on the eyes for my man (Cincinnati Bengals WR) Chad Ochocinco.””

 

Player: Nick Foles, sophomore QB

Accessory: QB arm band with dedication

Reason: “”I write my aunt’s name, Nancy, on my arm band. She passed away before my sophomore year.””

 

Look good, play good

And, of course, players wear accessories for no reason other than to look good. These items are as trendy as women’s handbags and they cycle through as quickly as parachute pants did. The common culprits are arm bands — which as recently as five years ago were well over an inch thick, but now the “”cool”” band is the quarter-incher — but other things such as visors, towels, ankle tape and eye black are sported for no reason other than players want to do it up nice on game day. Receiver gloves used to be the hot item, but NCAA mandates that all gloves must be grey in color. Plus, certain teams are sponsored by certain companies. For example, all Arizona players wear Nike gloves, and some, like Trevin Wade, have at least eight pairs. Players on every single team across the country have some sort of knick-knack, but here are a few Arizona highlights.

Player: Delashaun Dean, junior WR

Accessory: towel, visor, small arm bands above each elbow and below each knee

Reason: “”I’m a towel guy, I’ve always gotta have my towel. Skinny Nike wristbands, any color. I just like to look good out there. Look good, play good. That’s my motto.””

 

Player: ‘Bug’ Wright, sophomore WR

Accessory: High, white socks

Reason: “”I wore them in high school and I got injured this year, so my year started off in a negative way. So I thought I’d get back to the stuff I did in high school and take it back to the basics.””

 

Player: Ricky Elmore – again.

Accessory: Eye black

Reason: “”I wear eye black every game. I’m not good (at putting it on) so lately I’ve been having (senior offensive lineman) Blake Kerley put it on for me. When I smear it on it looks like crap, so Blake puts it on and it looks pretty decent. I need to learn how to do it by the time he graduates.””

 

Player: Terrell Turner – again.

Accessory: Long sleeves

Reason: “”I usually have a red and blue sleeve on each arm. Always gotta’ keep the red on the right and the blue on the left.””

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