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Minium: ODU Football Team to Wear Light Blue Jerseys we call 'Carol Hudson Blue' for the First Time This Fall


By Harry Minium 
For all of the fans of the light blue color worn by all Old Dominion University athletic teams before the school went to silver and slate blue, we've got some good news.
The ODU football team will wear that traditional light blue worn by Nancy Lieberman, Dave Twardzik, Anne Donovan and Wilson Washington for the first time in 12 seasons this fall. Football Coach Ricky Rahne, who pushed for the change soon after he arrived on campus nearly 15 months ago, decided to keep it a secret until today's spring scrimmage at S.B. Ballard Stadium. 
When former ODU quarterback Taylor Heinicke was on campus to do some promotional videos for the football program, he spied a light blue jersey and smiled broadly. 
"Sweet," he said. When I asked him if he wished the Monarchs had worn them when he played, Heinicke's head bobbed up and down. 
"I'd love to wear that jersey now," he said. 
Game day attire featuring the light blue will go on sale soon at the ODU Bookstore soon. 

The color is commonly called "Carolina Blue." That's a description that my boss, Dr. Jason Chandler, certainly loves to hear. Jason played football for the North Carolina Tar Heels. 
But that's not a description all ODU fans like to hear.  Former long-time sports information director Carol Hudson told me about a conversation he had with Twardzik, the former basketball All-American, that may sum up the feelings of most ODU fans: 
"Dave and I, we never call it Carolina Blue. We never associate ourselves with Carolina Blue." 
Columbia University wore the color decades before UNC and technically, that's the real name of the color. But that doesn't sit well with Rahne, who graduated from Cornell, Columbia's Ivy League rival. 
So we're calling it "Carol Hudson Blue," and hope you'll do the same 
Senior Associate Athletic Director Bruce Stewart, who administers football, coined it Carol Hudson Blue more than a decade ago, and the name has stuck among ODU's inner circle and among many fans. 
Maybe, at some point, we'll try to get Carol Hudson Blue trademarked.

Rahne said his players love the color and that he loved it from the first time he saw it worn by ODU teams. 
"I didn't really have to say yes to this," he said.  "I pushed for it. I wanted it. I think they are awesome and think they are a great look. 
"Every time I watch our basketball teams, and baseball, lacrosse or field hockey teams wear it, it just looks so good. I think that's a great look for us." 
Rahne says his Monarchs will wear the blue twice next season, with the first game against Buffalo, a Top 25 team last season, on Sept. 25. Both the jerseys and pants will be Carol Hudson Blue.

It won't happen when the Monarchs open at home against Hampton on Sept. 11 – that's a white-out game. White-out games have been a success at ODU and were a major part of Penn State's program, where Rahne was offensive coordinator. 
"I do love white-out games," he said. "I love anything that's going to energize our fan base which in turn energizes our players. Being at white-outs at Penn State, that was a pretty awesome experience. 
"Anything that gets our fans going gets our players going and gives us a little bit of an edge. And I think the Carol Hudson Blue jerseys will give us an edge. I think our fans are going to love them." 

Defensive end Marcus Haynes, a redshirt junior from Bowie, Maryland, said that Rahne gathered the entire team together for the first time in more than a year on Friday for a team meeting.

Rahne had been meeting with the offense and defense separately but got everyone together to meet for reasons the players did not at first discern.

"We were all six feet apart," he said. "We went through a regular meeting. And then he showed us a video."

The video begins with a graphic that says "Code Blue," then morphs into a player opening a bag, then putting on a helmet and walking out into S.B. Ballard Stadium with a Hudson Blue jersey. There is a link to the video below.

"Everyone went crazy," he said. "We loved the new jerseys. Any time you get a new uniform, it gives you extra motivation."

When I explained to Haynes who Carol Hudson was, he said he will tell his teammates that the uniforms are "Hudson Blue."

Hudson retired in 2015 after working at ODU for more than four decades – he was already working at ODU in the mid 1970s when I was a student here. 
He said the older fans, who loved the light blue jerseys decades ago, will respond warmly when the Monarchs hit the field in them. 
"For a lot of our older and some of your younger fans, that's their favorite color," he said. "It's certainly mine.   
"I think most of our fans will love it." 

You can count me among them. I can't wait to see the Monarchs enter the stadium wearing that delicious color. 
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