Is there something lucky about the Utes’ dazzling crimson unis?

By By Tom Quinn

By Tom Quinn

When Michael Jordan won big games, people used to say that it had to be the shoes. As far as Utah’s football team is concerned, a growing number of students believe that a piece of its equipment may have a similar effect.

This time, it’s got to be the pants.

Some fans insist that the Utes are at their best if, and only if, they don their red pants on game day, something that didn’t happen in last week’s loss to UCLA.

“I knew that we were in trouble the second they stepped on the field,” said Melissa Lawrence, a junior English major. “When we’re on the road, we always do better when we wear the red pants. No doubt about it.”

Those who subscribe to this theory tend to cite a few specific examples to prove their point, the most convincing of which is last fall’s showdown at BYU.

With their backs against the wall, the Utes overcame injuries to key players such as Brian Johnson and John Madsen en route to a 41-34 overtime victory that saved the season by making Utah bowl eligible. And they did it wearing red pants.

There is do denying that the win was a small miracle, especially considering the Utes’ annoying habit of losing close games in 2005.

“I would say the pants definitely helped them out a little,” Lawrence said.

Anal fans and/or stats majors are quick to point out the dubious nature of the relationship; there is no logical way that the color of a player’s pants could possibly affect his performance on the football field.

Although the theory regarding pant color may not be logical, everyone knows that logic has no place in sports. The football gods work in mysterious ways, and history suggests that wearing red pants might be one way to appease them.

First of all, while pondering over the merit of this theory, one must completely disregard the Urban Meyer era; his teams were so good that they would have won with pink pants, yellow pants or even no pants at all.

Looking even further back, one might note that the last time the Utes wore white pants consistently in both home and away games was during Ron McBride’s stint at the coaching helm, and everyone knows how those seasons turned out.

Observant fans point out that the teams with the best records aren’t just good, they’re also lucky, and McBride’s squads were some of the unluckiest Utah has ever seen.

No one can say with certainty that wearing red pants would have changed the outcome of last week’s game at UCLA. Nevertheless, some fans insist that the Utes caught an inordinate number of bad breaks and that they were one lucky rabbit’s foot away from a win.

“I know that wearing the red pants isn’t going to guarantee a win,” admitted Lawrence. “But still, it’s kind of like praying. What have we got to lose?”