STILLWATER — Will black be back on Thursday? Oklahoma State says no.
The Cowboys football program insists the Pokes will be in orange uniforms when Texas A&M visits Boone Pickens Stadium on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. OSU wore black jerseys and black pants in the Pokes' last ESPN Thursday night game, a 31-28 win over Colorado on Nov. 19, 2009.
"We don't have any black (jersey) plan this year," coach Mike Gundy said shortly before the Tulsa game. "There was black in the plan for the Colorado game for over a year in advance. I haven't heard anything about black this year."
As of Tuesday, OSU had no official plans to wear black uniforms. But players, recruits, students and plenty of Cowboy fans like the black uniforms and would like to see them, if not Thursday, at some point in 2010.
In an e-mail poll of 28 OSU fans by The Oklahoman on Tuesday, the overwhelming majority said they would like to see the Cowboys in black on Thursday night, with only six Cowboy fans (21.4 percent) preferring orange against Texas A&M.
"There is something about black and a tenacious attitude," said Scott Gibson, an OSU fan from Mustang."Of course you can have the same attitude without them, but they will help."
Said Tristan Brown of Valliant: "I love the black uniforms. We wear them in basketball, why the uproar about them in football? Similar to Georgia, the black uniforms should be used as motivation for the team. All black is intimidating."
Cowboy safety Markelle Martin even posted a message on his Facebook page saying he would like fans to blackout the stadium so OSU could wear their black uniforms.
"It has been said that recruits and players love the black uniforms," said Michael Perez, an OSU fan from Tulsa. "What better time to showcase them than on national TV for the first conference game of the year?"
Wearing anything but orange uniforms is an issue for some Cowboys fans, who believe strongly in OSU's "Sea of Orange" at Boone Pickens Stadium and think the Cowboys' orange uniforms are a central foundation of the orange-filled stadium.
"Anytime you bring up anything but orange jerseys at home, the traditional Oklahoma State fans don't like it," Gundy said.
One often overlooked aspect of the debate is the fact the players enjoy wearing the black jerseys and recruits like the look of them. That fact alone should carry a lot of weight, because anything that excites current players and attracts recruits to the program should be considered a positive by everyone involved, no matter what side of the debate they reside on.
"At first I didn't like them, but they have grown on me," Perez said. "Besides, if they help sell a recruit on choosing OSU, I'm all for them."
Said Hiram Sasser, an OSU fan from Plano, Texas: "The black uniforms appeal to recruits, players, and a new generation of up and coming donors/season ticket holders — that's enough for me to support them."