Football The Rivalry

Scout Team Blues During Michigan Week

Michigan Football Uniform


There are any number of Ohio State traditions surrounding the Michigan rivalry that deserve to have their stories told, but few of those traditions are as thankless (or painful) as what the OSU scout team goes through every year.

Throughout the season, the scout team will don generic mesh jerseys of different colors so as to differentiate from the Ohio State offense and defense that they happen to be going against.

For Michigan week, however, things get kicked up a notch. The scout team jerseys are a dark blue, the numbers a bright yellow, and the dark blue helmets sport bright yellow wings.

It makes you wonder how the Geneva Convention could even allow such things.

“No other opponent that we face during the year gets that kind of treatment,” said receiver Terry McLaurin. “It’s different. It’s kind of cool that we put that touch on it, but at the same time our scout team tries to give us the best look to prepare us. But we don’t like that color, so we try and give it to them.”

Sure, it’s cool, but those are still Buckeye football players being put into those blue uniforms and winged helmets.

“You know, you see those ugly colors and probably want to hit them a little bit more,” said linebacker Chris Worley.

Most of the eight Buckeye captains that spoke with the media on Tuesday have had experiences wearing maize and blue on the scout team in their early days, and even though they didn’t like any part of it, they understood the purpose of it.

“It was awful and wasn’t a good look,” receiver Parris Campbell said. “At the end of the day, I had to help get the defense ready to play a big-time game.”

“Awful,” is how center Billy Price described his time on the scout team.

“It’s part of the tradition. It’s part of the traditions here at Ohio State,” he said. “Everyone who’s on the scout team or a freshman or whoever’s involved in that side of it or won’t be playing, that’s what you guys do. You wear the jersey, you wear the helmet and it’s just to continue to grow and prolong the rivalry between us.”

There is an immense amount of psychology that goes on this week. From the years of playing one certain song on a loop during Michigan Week that now elicits an almost Pavlovian response, to the maize and blue uniforms on the Ohio State practice fields. Everything that is done this week is done with a specific purpose.

That doesn’t mean the players have to like it though.

“I don’t like them,” quarterback J.T. Barrett said of the uniforms. “I mean, that was the thing, I remember when I was on scout team, I had to wear it and it was awful. So I’m pretty sure those guys feel the same way, but I don’t like blue and yellow together.”

“First of all, we want them to take it off,” McLaurin concurred. “But it’s part of the deal this week and you just get used to not liking those colors. We’re not even allowed to wear those colors around this facility. It’s a nice touch, but it kind of almost locks you in to be even more focused on your assignment.”

And even though nobody likes seeing the colors, the thought of wearing them is much, much worse. But the scout team embraces the role they have this week, just as the captains embraced them back when they were on the scout team.

“It’s kind of two-headed because you don’t like wearing those colors, but at the same time you know if you do your job you can prepare the offense or the defense for the looks they are going to get on Saturday,” McLaurin said. “The scout team guys really play a really big role in this week as well.”


One Response

  1. Red meat to the wolves. Some (like Michael Jordan and this year J.K. Dobbins) might escape it but it’s still an important part of being a Buckeye.

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