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The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

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Old 05-18-2005, 06:59 PM   #1
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The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

Maybe Coach Gibbs, who is known never to pass up on a possible edge, will decide to wear the burgundy jerseys more often.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/sc...nd-red.html?hp

The Color of Victory Is Red, Scientists Say

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
The New York Times
Published: May 18, 2005

Wearing red increases the chance of victory in sports, say British researchers who clearly do not follow the Cincinnati Reds.

"Across a range of sports, we find that wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning," wrote Dr. Russell Hill and Dr. Robert Barton, researchers in evolutionary anthropology at the University of Durham, in a paper that will appear on Thursday in the journal Nature.

The research began a year ago, Dr. Barton said in an interview, on a hunch based on observations in the animal kingdom, where red coloration is often associated with male dominance. Zebra finches that have been fitted with red leg bands, for example, tend to become dominant, while those given blue bands are more submissive. In humans, anger reddens the face, so the color may send subtle signals of fierceness.

The two researchers studied results of the 2004 Summer Olympics to eliminate the possibility of a home team advantage, and found that contestants in tae kwan do, boxing and wrestling were issued red or blue protective gear at random. "It's almost as if somebody had designed an experiment for us," Dr. Barton said.

Dr. Hill said the evidence of a beneficial effect emerged, with red-wearing contenders winning 6 out of 10 bouts in close matches. "Even we were surprised at how consistently the results have been coming out across the range of sports we have looked at," he said. They have taken a preliminary look at soccer as well, and found that in the Euro 2004 international soccer tournaments, the five teams that wore predominantly red shirts did better.

This does not mean that a bad team can reverse its fortunes by wearing red, Dr. Barton said. The research applies only to competitors who are closely matched.

"Unfortunately, if you're hopeless," he said, "then wearing red isn't going to make you start winning." (And when both teams wear red, as in last year's World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, all bets are off.)

The researchers suggested that their work might help to explain the fashion statement made by executives and politicians who wear bright red "power" ties, but they sounded bemused when asked whether their work could shed light on the phenomenon of Republican "red states" and Democratic "blue states." Still, Dr. Hill noted that on British electoral maps, red is the Labor Party's color. And like the Republican Party in the United States, Labor is on a winning streak.

A consultant who advises corporate clients on the use of color applauded the report. "Red is the color of fire and blood," said the consultant, Jill Morton, chief executive of Colorcom, a company based in Hawaii. "Red speaks of extremes - heat, excitement, bellicosity, passion, intensity - and is perhaps the most powerful color of the spectrum."

In London, a representative of William Hill, a leading betting company, took the opposite view, calling the study "absolute rubbish."

"There is no such thing as equally matched opponents in any human activitity," and too many individual factors to pronounce a trait like color decisive, said the representative, Graham Sharpe, in an e-mail interview.

"Anyone who disagrees with us should immediately start betting according to this report's conclusion," he wrote. "They may be able to leave us 'red'-faced, but I doubt it!"

Dr. Barton acknowledged that the work might not hold up under further analysis. "All scientific results are a bit provisional, of course," he said.
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

No mention of the Redcoats in the tussle back in 1770's?

That didn't work out so well for the Red team, did it?
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:13 PM   #3
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

hey i like that article. that was pretty good, hopefully it rubs off on the skins this season.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

I have always thought that the burgundy is the best uniform color in football. But that's just because it's similar to the color of the football, perhaps making it more difficult to tell who has the ball on a play-action fake.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:33 PM   #5
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

I'm sorry, DCopper, but the best uniform in sports happens to be the oregon ducks uniform! Neon Green and Yellow -- can't be beaten!
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

It sure did work for the California,Anaheim,Los Angeles Angels. The first year we had red uniforms we won our first World Series. :headbange After waiting for 43 yrs!
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:15 PM   #7
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

The white jerseys are a tradition, we need to stay with them at home! I guess I'm a little biased though since my favorite college team is Penn State...
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:11 AM   #8
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

Whites at home, whites on the road. That way we always feel like were at home.

Except in friggin Dallas. Those bastards stole our idea!
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

I really like the burgundy jerseys and I wish they would wear them more than a few time a year.

Maybe its time for a new tradition, burgundy at home.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:43 AM   #10
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKINS73
The white jerseys are a tradition, we need to stay with them at home! I guess I'm a little biased though since my favorite college team is Penn State...

I too am too much of a traditionalist to stray from the whites at home. We've got the fans for all the advantage we need at home, save the burgundies for the road.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:55 AM   #11
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

White early in the season for day games, Burgundy late.

The white uni reflects sunlight and disperses heat. The burgundy absorbs sunlight and makes the wearer hotter.

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Old 05-19-2005, 11:00 AM   #12
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

As long as Gibbs is coach I don't see us straying from the white jerseys at home.

I really didn't like the reds at home when Marty was here.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:22 PM   #13
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

Just win!! I don't care what color they are! Wear yellow jerseys, whatever, as long as they win!!!
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:05 PM   #14
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

If burgundy jerseys are an advantage because they are similar to the color of the ball and make it hard to tell who has the ball on play fakes, then the Cleveland Browns ought to be undefeated in their brown jerseys, no?

A top notch team can wear transparent jerseys and win; a mediocre team can wear any jerseys they want and break even; a bad team can wear burgundy or brown or whatever and they'll lose more often than they win. It's what's inside the jerseys and the pads that counts.
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Old 05-19-2005, 02:29 PM   #15
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Re: The Advantage of the Burgundy Jerseys

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportscurmudgeon
If burgundy jerseys are an advantage because they are similar to the color of the ball and make it hard to tell who has the ball on play fakes, then the Cleveland Browns ought to be undefeated in their brown jerseys, no?

A top notch team can wear transparent jerseys and win; a mediocre team can wear any jerseys they want and break even; a bad team can wear burgundy or brown or whatever and they'll lose more often than they win. It's what's inside the jerseys and the pads that counts.
No one -- not even the researchers who conducted the study -- is suggesting that jersey color is all that matters, or even a major factor. The only claim is that they might play an admittedly minor role, which could affect the outcome only in otherwise close situations.
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