Arizona State fired up about new uniforms

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A great man once sagely noted, "It is better to look good than to feel good." But Arizona State hopes to look good, feel good and play, er, well in its new uniforms.

The Sun Devils, the favorites in the Pac-12 South Division in 2011, unveiled their new uniforms and pitchfork logo on Tuesday, but a handful of players got a sneak peek last week when they were asked to don the new duds for promotional photos.

That required keeping the new look a secret, which wasn't easy.

"It was real hard," center Garth Gerhart said. "All my buddies, the offensive linemen, are like, 'Show me some pictures!' My brother [Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart], guys on the Stanford team I know. They all wanted to know."

Added receiver Gerell Robinson: "Students, fans, parents, grandparents -- everybody was trying to figure out the big secret. I'm just happy it's over."

While the all-black combination was popular among their teammates, Robinson and Gerhart both said they favored the black jersey, gold pants combo.

The pitchfork replaces Sparky, which now becomes just the team mascot.

"It's different. I like it," Robinson said. "It's more aggressive. Sparky had a smile on his face."

But does it matter? Some. Image isn't everything, but it touches on the psychology of competition: You might play better if you like the way you look. Still, new uniforms aren't going to win games.

"As far as stepping between the lines, it really doesn't," Robinson said. "All the uniform talk stops once you walk out of the locker room. You've still got to play football."

But what about recruiting?

"If it was about uniforms, I would have gone to Oregon, signed, sealed and delivered," Robinson said. "They had the best ones at that point in time. It will give us an even playing field in recruiting. Everybody wants to see what's new. Nobody wants to be characterized as an older tradition."