According to Wikipedia (started by an Auburn grad), Auburn’s colors of burnt orange and navy blue were chosen by Dr. George Petrie, Auburn’s first football coach, based on those of his alma mater, the University of Virginia. More on that history here.
From that point on, Auburn wore blue jerseys with white lettering and orange trim, which is the reason that Auburn has cheers such as “Let’s go, big blue, let’s go…” and Bodda Getta that ends with “kick ’em in the butt, big blue.”
Growing up, and even now as I watch replays of old games, fans never really had a uniform color that was worn on game days. Sure there were some blue shirts, but in general people seemingly just wore whatever was on top of the stack that day. Football games were not the events back then that they are now, so no one really dressed up, or had “game day outfits,” or even wore bold colors to show their team affiliation.
Early in the Tommy Tuberville era, a marketing campaign was spawned that encouraged Auburn fans to wear orange to sporting events. I don’t know if this campaign was actually Tuberville’s idea or if he was just the most public Auburn figure pushing it, but it definitely picked up steam quickly and is alive and well today. Ten or so years later, to the outside world and to younger/newer Auburn fans, orange is as much of one Auburn’s primary colors as is navy blue.
If you walk into an Auburn store these days, 95% of the shirts are orange. You’d be hard pressed to find anything in blue with some sort of design other than “AUBURN” (in orange) across the front. The landscape of Auburn’s color scheme landscape has changed. There is no denying it.
Those that do not know any different obviously do not mind, but some traditionalists (and girls who say orange just isn’t their color) want Auburn to squash this campaign and go back to “big blue.” A quick Twitter poll I did a few weeks ago showed close to a 50/50 split. I lean towards the blue side, but part of me is still on the fence for a few reasons.
I’m about as “Pat Dye” as it comes as far as Auburn football is concerned. I like old school. I like navy blue jerseys, white helmets, white cleats, and blood-stained white pants. But in terms of what the fans wear, a stadium full of navy blue just doesn’t pop on television as much as orange does. Navy blue is a pretty boring color when trying to be boisterous and draw attention.
Last season, Auburn had a “True Blue” game against Clemson, and two seasons ago there was the “Navy Nightmare” against Ole Miss. It was good to see blue back in the stands, but it definitely didn’t look as vibrant as the orange that we had gotten used to. So in that respect, I would have to say that orange wins out.
However, after a decade of bright orange shirts, I’ve grown tired of the whole thing and almost feel as if they look a little redneck. And the girls are right, orange doesn’t really go with anything, so unless there’s a blue “Auburn” across the front, it usually looks pretty bad, and in turn cheap, and in turn redneck. Just my opinion.
A few years ago I began to see fans of other schools wearing shirts that said “I hate orange,” and have Tennessee, Clemson, and Auburn listed on the back. That’s just wrong. We’re not orange. Orange is Auburn’s secondary color. Kick ’em in the butt big BLUE.
There is a sect of fans that were obviously grateful for the wins during the Tommy Tuberville era, but also feel like that decade was not true Auburn football. They felt like he tried to make too many changes with the program and promoted himself too much. The push for orange was just another small, but big enough example for them to be happy with his departure.
Now that Chizik has come in and it appears that old school is back in, some see it as time to put orange back in its place as just the small stripe on the jersey and helmet and as the trim on their blue, white, or grey t-shirt. I somewhat feel the same way. I’m not saying get rid of orange altogether. An occasional orange is fine, but I just don’t like being called an ‘orange’ school, and as long as we fill the stadiums with orange and hand out all orange shakers, it will continue to happen.
On that note, can we seriously get rid of the all orange and even all blue shakers? They look cheap. And the all orange one screams Tennessee like it’s nobody’s business. The orange and blue mix is classic and perfect and works in every way.
It wouldn’t be a blogle if I didn’t throw a little rumor in here. I’ve been told that Chizik hates orange and wants to get rid of it, but because of how “All Auburn, All Orange” is used in the spirit points system, it can’t be dropped just like that (I snapped). I have alluded to this before, but think about it: when is the last time you saw Chizik wear an orange shirt? I know he did the first few games of his first season at Auburn, but since then he’s rocked the white jacket over a white or blue Under Armour shirt. This is just what I’ve been told by someone who would know…
A lot of money has been put into making orange bigger over the last decade, so I’d say the idea that the school would just automatically stop pushing it would be highly unlikely. However, there was that “Jungle” thing that ended pretty quickly.
So over the course of writing this, I’ve pretty much convinced myself that I don’t care what it looks like on television, I just don’t want orange to be pushed so much. Blue has it’s pitfalls in terms of excitement (yes, I’m suggesting the color of t-shirts influences excitement levels), but just orange is not Auburn, and Auburn is not just orange.
All of that being said, I have worn an orange shirt to every game (besides the “blue” games) since this whole thing started because Auburn told me to do so. And I probably will until they tell me otherwise.
Tell me what you think by voting in the poll and leaving your thoughts in the comments below. This is a huge, pressing matter that trumps all other aspects of Auburn Athletics at this moment, so do your part.
If you think I’m harping too much on colors of shirts, go read the Graphic Services website for Auburn’s Office of Communications and Marketing. Talk about wordy and detailed…
**Note: this is my 800th post. You are the wind beneath my wings.
I wouldn’t mind the orange so much if it were the true burnt orange that it’s supposed to be. I don’t like the “traffic cone” orange that seems to be the only orange the clothing manufacturers can use.
Amen Sherri! The sad part is I was in the bookstore last year & bought a shirt that actually had the true burnt orange color. I was so excited as I was checking out I was telling my sister how hard it is now to find one & the student checking me out said “really that’s our true color I didn’t know that.” I HATE that redneck traffic cone orange. I feel like I’m wearing a hunters vest.
As poorly timed as “True Blue” was (2 pm in September was HOT), it looked really freaking cool, especially the student section with the blue shakers. Almost intimidating. But maybe that’s just me. But I’m with you. I’m old school and love the blue. Orange is a nice accent.
As a Grad of both Auburn (under grad)and Clemson(grad) I personally would like to add to this. My blood is Orange and Blue. Clemson is Orange and Purple. (Ok some color of Orange and some color of Purple) Auburn is Orange and Blue (Again some color of Orange and some color of blue) if you care about the particular shades of the colors well…football isn’t your thing and you would fit in much better in San Francisco, catch my drift? The all Orange/Blue days are what can distinguish between the Navy Blue of Auburn and the Purple-esque color of Clemson.
And yes I regret going there for grad school.
I’m old school Auburn from the 80s, and I’m definitely all for the blue with a little white and orange, and not day-glo orange but burnt orange. Not VT orange though, that’s just gross!
With you on this one. I was always led to believe that a good fan should dress according what the team wears on the field. That, of course is probably hogwash, but nevertheless when I go to games I wear navy and can’t remember the last time I’ve bought a orange AU shirt. Thus, I wore blue to home games, white on the road (plus Vandy at home in ’07), throughout my college tenure and beyond.
Also of note that different shirt manufacturer’s mass-produced “oranges” typically vary from one another and lead to a plethora of shades that run the gamut from Tennessee to V-Tech. Never looked good in my opinion.
Growing up I never once owned an orange Auburn shirt, but when Tubs told me to wear orange to games, I started wearing orange to games! Moreso than the appeal of the color orange (though I do prefer it to blue), I like the idea of all the fans wearing the same color. Presenting a united front makes the panorama of the stadium SO much more impressive. So I think we should stick with the orange in the stands, while leaving “True Blue” as an option for an important night game against Clemson or Florida or Tennessee. Orange is more distinctive and has come to define us in the past (quite successful) decade.
I’d never support orange uniforms, btw.
I have refused to wear orange and have continued to wear blue
IF the University were to be hard on ALL manufacturers about BURNT orange and not PRISON JUMPSUIT orange then the orange thing would be okay, maybe. But I can not wear the safety officer orange that all hunting vests are, Home Depot orange is less bright than most shirts at J&M… just saying.
Besides NOTHING rhymes with Orange!!(for cheers and cool sayings)
I like orange. It is a lot more intimidating and eye popping when everybody is packed into the stadium wearing orange, rather than blue. When I arrived at Auburn 2 years ago and learned the “kick em in the butt big blue” thing I was a little confused because from an outsiders view, I had assumed our main color was Orange not Blue. That is just my opinion though, and I was not around cheering when blue was the more dominant color.
I haven’t lived in Auburn since 1971, and I didn’t go to school there, so I’ve been more of an Internet/TV fan over the years. I stopped at a store around the corner from Toomer’s Corner about 8 years ago and sort of put the shopkeeper on tilt by asking if a certain shirt came in blue. :)
I love burnt orange. It has a little style to it. I search everywhere I go for a less eye-hurting shade. I found a great one at Tiger Rags. Stained it beyond repair after three wearings. Will try to find another one. No one seems to know what burnt orange is these days. We are burnt orange. Florida is orange, but if you put a piece of clothing side by side, the orange part of the two are the same shade. Yes, Auburn needs to send manufacturers color swatches letting them know that is our true orange….the burnt variety.
Blue looks weird with jeans
Have to agree that our traffic cone orange is an accent color, but depending on who we are playing and their colors, we obviously need to strategize accordingly. For instance, playing Tennessee or Clemson, we need to be predomininantly blue. Against teams with blue colors, we need to kick up the orange to make a stronger statement of who we are and where we are in the stands so that when we are bringing the noise, there is no question who is bringing it. In other words, we maintain a flexible strategy just like our beloved team on the field and take one game at a time, just like CGC tells us to. With this year’s schedule and the challenges we face in the SEC, I’d say we have bigger fish to fry.
I like the orange but would love more “white outs” or “blue outs”. I think the changes bring an added amount of excitement to the stands. Maybe two home games/year do these untraditional colors.
I just don’t like to wear the blue simply because it is so hot at the games, as I am sure you are well aware of. I am tired of the orange for me, but love the way it looks in the stands and on TV. So, I encourage others to wear it and give orange AU t-shirts to friends and family, and on game day, when attending, I wear WHITE and accent it w/ blue/orange jewelry and other accessories! War Eagle!
Considering 8 of the 12 teams in the SEC wear a shade of red or orange (3 in the West alone that have no official secondary color) and only 4 that wear blue (two being navy and the other two wearing shades that either look neon or stonewashed) I’d say it’s a no-brainer.
I completely agree that we should be a “blue” school. I’m not opposed to orange as a secondary color, but I much prefer the look of navy blue, both in apparel and in how the stadium looks on TV. Having said that, I will still rock my orange pants again this year.
I personally like seeing the variety of color. If I had to choose though, I’d definitely say blue. However, I think Auburn’s colors are orange AND blue, and it would be nice to be known for both, and not just one. I think it looks cool to see both orange and blue in the stands, but it would be cooler to have mostly blue with some splashes of orange here and there. I agree with the shade of orange discussion though. It needs to be more of a burnt orange. We dont want to look like rednecks…the redneck look is strictly for bammers.
I’m for both – all orange for some games and all blue for others. My issue with orange is that we’re seeing more and more bright, fluorescent shades of orange (a la Florida) rather than the classic Auburn orange. I’m all for weeding out the bastard oranges.
Also, the one thing we do not need to do is go back to an 80s/early 90s mindset of “I’ll just throw on this white Tiger Rags game shirt”. The bleached out look with a smattering of blue and occasional orange shirt never translated well on TV.
I am big time supersticious. I wore blue last year for the first time since 1989. It felt good. I agree with other posts about liking the orange as long as its Auburn orange. I say we quit pushing the orange down the throats of fans and let it get smaller on its on. Secondly, we only push “1” kind of shaker for the games. It needs to be heavy on the burnt orange with a splash of blue. That way, you have both colors throughout the stadium. Lots of blue shirts waving orange back and forth. Sweet Jesus I am ready for football! BTW….I retired my shirt and plan on framing it with a few autographs on it. Always retire a garment with wins at seasons end. It will ruin good memories if the team stumbles during the next year. On the other hand, everytime you pass the victory/championship/big game shirt in the mancave, you will continue to smile for years to come. I speak from experience. Trust me.
Orange looks better in the stands. I like the idea of our two colors represented by fans and players — orange in the stands, blue on the field. Anyway, orange shouldn’t be relegated as an accent color. After all, when someone lists Auburn’s colors, it’s, “orange and blue,” not, “blue and orange.”
The first Auburn shirt I owned was a white, with blue accent, jacket I got for Christmas when I was about 3. It was awesome.
Growing up, I went back and forth between orange, blue, white and oxford. But the first shirt that I bought when I became an Auburn student in the fall of 2001 was a simple champion burnt orange tee, with Auburn arched across the chest (white in, blue outline). I wore that shirt every game for 7 years (I actually still have it…although it’s a little worse for ware at this point… Needs to be framed, well, fumigated first THEN framed…). I have since bought another orange shirt. A Russell Athletic shirt, to be exact (work plug…buy my shirts at Anders!!…kthanx).
Anyway, all this to say personally I prefer orange, looks good with jeans and is not nearly as hot as navy. BUT, as far as the stadium goes, I would LOVE to see everyone in either orange or blue, like a live shaker. Sure, AA,AO games and the True Blue games are fun (blue shakers were pretty swell), no more than once a season. It gets too gimmicky.
The all orange shirts was so Tuberville and wearing thin really fast.
The blue shirts and coach Chizik are throw backs to the good old days. Besides, blue is more classy and has a lot more football history.
Those of us of advanced age remember that when one attended a football game, the men wore suit and tie and the ladies wore dresses and heels. Since an Auburn lady was forbidden to wear pants or shorts anywhere on campus except the tennis court (lest we tempt the male libido), we had to put on our overcoats to walk back to the dorm after a tennis match. Therefore, the idea that a tshirt was acceptable in public was totally off the radar.
So, back then, and I’m not talking 1920 but 1965, there was little opportunity to pick your outfit by color. Few men’s suits came in orange and women were limited to the shades of ladies’ dresses – primarily pink, white and baby blue. However, these were not “top of the stack” decisions; these outfits were carefully chosen to not only portray the image of upright morality, they were also chosen to fit in at the fraternity house after the game, where we danced wildly to rock music.
“…Fight on, you orange and blue…” So, okay, orange goes first because nothing rhymes with orange, but still, orange is as much our color as navy blue. The tradition is for blue to be dominant and I agree with that as long as orange is used as an accent. I don’t like seeing navy and white without our burnt orange somewhere. I tend to be traditional, but I liked that Tubs gave orange some legitimacy. I think with Pat Dye we were straying too far away from orange. I agree with the previous posts that we should use all navy or all orange for its effects as appropriate. And yes, please, when using orange as more than an accent, it should be auburn orange. [oh, and it annoys me that Florida is orange and blue. I think orange and green would be more appropriate for them]
’87 grad here. Blue. I’ll never wear orange as the predominant color (too loud and ugly as the main ingredient).
It’s go big BLUE! I have refused to wear all orange from day one, although I was forced to buy SEC and National Championships shirts in predominately orange since nothing was really available in blue.
For those who commented that blue is hot early in the season, a great compromise is white with both blue and orange as accent colors.
Me, it’s blue with orange and white accent colors!
Regarding the “orange,” I think it would be different if what we see where Auburn’s traditional “burnt orange.” Instead, what you see now is an “orange” that is on par with anything UF would wear and that you’d see worn all along the Redneck Riveria.
The blue out from the other year look pretty cool and ominous from TV – the whole stadium looked seriously dark.
Now, if we can just get the team to wear those alternate navy helmets and navy pants in a “blue out”
[…] Orange or Blue, What Say You? – WarBlogle.com Early in the Tommy Tuberville era, a marketing campaign was spawned that encouraged Auburn fans to wear orange to sporting events. I don't know if this campaign was actually Tuberville's idea or if he was just the most public Auburn I found a great one at Tiger Rags. Stained it beyond repair after three wearings. Will try to find another one. No one seems to know what burnt orange is these days. We are burnt orange. Florida is orange, but if you put a […]
As a student and someone who has worked with many different offices on campus to promote Auburn I have to say both!
Blue is a very good formal color. Whenever I’ve traveled to formal events on behalf of the University nothing says professional Auburn man like a navy suit with a blue tie with small traces of orange. But when it comes to the look of the stadium and GAMEDAY atmosphere I have to go with orange. The problem with navy is that it’s so dark, on television it can be easily mistaken for black, and just doesn’t have the liveliness of the orange. Not to mention, I feel that bama folk hate the orange more, which further drives me to wear it.
Auburn, unlike Bama & MSU, has 2 TRUE colors not just a (insert random color & white). We might as well sport both of them.
completely agree, but it goes back to what “stands out in the stands”. I kind of like mixing it up depending on the colors of the other team (think Clemson and Tennessee) and the same holds for the shakers. A little variety and going “All Blue” is ok, even if it doesn’t pop like the orange does.
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