Write Again . . . Doesn’t tradition matter?

Published 7:01 pm Monday, April 20, 2015

Gray. GRAY?

They now wear gray uniforms, I tell you true. “They” are the Washington High School Pam Pack track team.

Lord-a-mercy. What hath follow-the-trend wrought?

The Pam Pack football team, those gallant lads who made us all so proud during the 2014 season, debuted their gray uniforms. Gray. Someone quipped that it looked like the Confederate army in football helmets.

There is no basis in tradition for the ‘wearing of the gray.’ None. A one-and-done coach added a silver accent many years ago to the football uniforms. He was a New Bern native.

Washington’s traditional colors are navy and white. Emphasis on “traditional.”

They changed the alma mater at dear old WHS many years ago, as well as the fight song. An early break with tradition. As in, heritage isn’t important.

And our colleges. Dear old ECU clad in black; in purple and black; in all white; on the gridiron. To think that some of us thought our alma mater’s color were purple and gold. Whatever gave us that notion?

The latest promotional publication sent out by those in Pirateland about athletics shows athletes in football, soccer, and track and field all attired fully or mostly in — want to take a guess? —black. The baseball team also has black jerseys. The lovely young ladies that perform at basketball games wear black tights. The band, I think, has partially black uniforms. The . . . well, enough. The point is made. And nobody connected with athletics at the school seems to give a rat’s rump what some of we older, irrelevant alumni think. They could not care less.

But hold on. The don’t-wear-traditional-school-colors trend isn’t just a Pirate thing. Think Duke in black. Duke! The Blue (?) Devils. And the Tar Heels in black numerals and stripes in football, and dark blue, opposed to traditional “Carolina blue.”

Oh, well. A civil, thoughtful, mostly complimentary note to ECU’s athletic director, questioning not wearing the traditional purple and gold, has brought no response.

On page 12 of the 2014-15 basketball gameday program is a piece about “School Colors.” The first, very first sentence states: “The school colors for East Carolina University — purple and gold — go back to the time when the first students arrived on campus in 1909.”

The article further states “ . . . the selection of school colors represented one of the first traditions established by the students. In the early fall of 1909 the administration asked students for their suggestions on school colors. Old gold and royal purple won the vote.”

So it was. And now isn’t.

Such a shame.