Sports

Sure Blue Turf and Blue Uniforms Gave Boise State Advantage, But So What?

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Boise is blubbering. The Blue Man Group is no more.

Before the Mountain West Conference would allow the Boise State Broncos to join its mid-level athletic cartel, the MWC said the team couldn't wear all-blue uniforms on its iconic all-blue field during conference games.

Sacrebleu!

Unfortunately, Boise State agreed to this blue law. The school should have held firm, held out and held back. Instead of caving to a conference that needs the smurfs more than the smurfs need the conference, Boise State should have said this:

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Of course we have an advantage when we wear our all-blue uniforms on our all-blue field. Why do you think we do that, because it looks good? We don't have to do any scientific studies or optical exams. We know it. You know it. Stevie Wonder knows it.

There has to be an advantage. In baseball, teams must present a dark backdrop behind the pitcher so hitters can pick up a white baseball. In soccer, goalkeepers must wear a different jersey color so the referee and opposing teams can easily see the only player on the field allowed to use hands.

We admit all that. And we know that opposing players spend their entire life playing on a sane green surface and then they're suddenly -- for one day -- asked to fly in (on JetBlue) and play on something completely foreign. Meanwhile, we've trained on our bizarre carpet until we're blue in the face and we're comfortable with it.

Now mix in camouflage -- and that's exactly what blue pants, blue jerseys and blue helmets are against a blue backdrop -- and we've got an advantage. A little piece of blue heaven.

Perhaps it's significant. Perhaps it's a slight advantage. But it exists.

And you know what? Get over it. So the hell what? Isn't every team trying to gain a competitive edge wherever it can? Isn't that why we call it home-field or home-court advantage? Isn't that why fans wave like drowning buffoons behind glass backboards during freethrows? Isn't that why football teams that play inside eardrum-puncturing domes have an advantage when the visiting team is on offense?

Don't the Boston Red Sox have a competitive advantage with their quirky and crooked ballpark. Should they have to fix Fenway Park so it conforms to some type of standard look and feel?

Of course not. So Mountain West, you can take your request and kindly fold it up, place it in the back pocket of your blue jeans and forget you ever asked. It's not happening. Not now, not ever. The blue-on-blue stays.

But here's the thing. The anger of this news is targeted at the wrong party. Don't blame the Mountain West Conference for this request. Don't blame anybody else except Boise State for giving up its key differentiator.

Boise State has something unique in sports -- an azul playing field that looks like the surface of Mars. And the Broncos made it even more unique by wearing all blue.

Too bad they've given that up.

Blame Boise State.

I've got some strongly worded language for them as well -- too bad it's too blue.