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Arizona football’s new copper helmets? I like them

Courtesy Arizona Athletics

I’m usually apathetic about uniform changes. Who cares? Play the games. Let’s see who wins and loses.

But this stuff matters to recruits, which means it matters to coaches, which means it matters to athletic directors, which means everybody wants to keep up with Oregon.

That’s what Arizona State tried to do last spring. Complete in a fashion show setting, it unveiled a new logo — “a pitchfork with an attitude,” was how then-athletic director Lisa Love described it — and a new all-black look.

OK, fine.

And, now, the Arizona Wildcats have a new look, too — a new lid, to be more specific — as announced by athletic director Greg Byrne in his Wildcat Wednesday e-mail. The football team, on occasion, will wear copper helmets.

Initial reaction?

I like them.

I’d be just fine if Arizona wore white helmets with a red and blue stripe down the middle with a big block “A” on the sides — it was just fine for Desert Swarm era teams — but I’m probably in the minority here and showing my age.

First-year coach Rich Rodriguez most recently came from a place — Michigan — that should never, ever change its helmet.

Arizona? Why not. The Cats can use some re-inventing.

The copper will be distinctive in college football — if not the state, considering the indoor Arizona Rattlers use that helmet color, too — and anything the Cats can do to be distinctive is a plus.

Here’s one player reaction (senior punter Kyle Dugandzic) via Twitter: “Our copper helmets are gunna be sick!!”

The Wildcats wore some version of a white helmet from 1981 to 2003 and then switched to blue when Mike Stoops arrived for the 2004 season. Arizona re-introduced white into the helmet rotation for the 2009 Holiday Bowl (although the block “A” on the sides is smaller than the one that adorned the helmets until 2003).

The next natural move is a red helmet, last worn by the Cats in 1980. It’s only a matter of time.

Wrote Byrne in his e-mail:

“Copper is not only associated with our great state’s mining history, but it has influenced architectural design on our campus, including our athletic facilities – most notably the ring at the top of the McKale Center, and the future North End Zone Football Complex. As such we embrace the idea that as the University of Arizona we will incorporate copper into a special helmet design to represent our state and University. Copper will not replace our traditional colors of red and blue, and the copper helmet will be worn on a limited basis. Bear Down!

Related link: With new copper helmets, Arizona following the Pac-12 trend

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