By Michael Barzee
Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy come to mind when think-ing of Thanksgiving Day dinner. In recent years, though, losing seasons and bibbed jerseys and helmets come to mind when thinking of Cougar football.
The only way to change that thinking? Go back to the old winning traditions.
?BYU has had such a great tradition over the years with extreme success and we need to go back to that,? junior linebacker Cameron Jensen said. ?I just couldn?t wait to put those new jerseys on.?
On April 1, the BYU foot-ball team unveiled the new traditional looking jerseys and helmets that will be worn for seasons to come.
?This isn?t about new uni-forms,? head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a football press release. ?This is about honoring tradition. This is about respect for and accountability to the coaches and players who have made BYU one of the national pillars of college foot-ball.?
Before the 1999 season, the Cougars did away with the traditional jerseys for a more modern look. In the six seasons since the change, BYU has made two bowl game ap-pearances and compiled a record of 40-33. But from 1974 when the tradi-tional uniforms were created until 1999, BYU made 21 bowl games and compiled a record of 231-81.
Since the Cougars weren?t able to bring Lavell Edwards back, they brought back the old traditional jerseys that were worn throughout all the success.
?Bringing the uniforms back is just a reminder and it moti-vates me,? Jensen said. ?You respect those players so much and you want to live up to what they built.?
The BYU football team not only brought back traditional uni-forms and helmets, it brought back former players such as Steve Young, Ty Detmer, and Chad Lewis to come and talk with the team. Mendenhall hired Robert Anae, a member of the 1984 Championship team, to be the new offensive coordinator.
?Coach Mendenhall wants to bring back the tradition,? freshmen linemen Dallas Reynolds said. ?Go-ing back to the old style of doing things. The offense is pretty similar to how they used to run it. Every-thing we are doing so far is headed in the right direction.?
After giving the players? jerseys and helmets a makeover, there was only one thing left to makeover- the football field. The Cougars re-cently decided to change that look as well. BYU block letters will be in the end zone like in the 1984 champion-ship season. But Mendenhall is bringing something new to the field as well.
?You will also see the helmet symbol in the middle of the field which hasn?t happened before,? Mendenhall said. ?Just to make sure everyone understands that?s the direc-tion we are going.?
Hopefully, the letters will be able to be put on the end zone before this weekend?s game against Boston College but there was a trademark setback that might prevent it from appearing in Saturday?s game he said.
Only time will tell if these changes will truly bring back the winning traditions of old but it never hurts to dress for success.