Today's Tidbit... Red Shirts, White Shirts, and Blue Shirts
Today’s Tidbit title is a salute to Independence Day, but we will focus on redshirts and the fact that redshirts once wore red shirts. It all started with college teams needing reserve or second-, third-, and fourth-string teams to scrimmage in practice. Generally known as scrubs, Cornell had their scrub team wear red practice jerseys by 1917 and referred to the crew as the redshirts.
In the mid-1930s, a varsity team member at Nebraska, who had not played by mid-season, asked to be moved to the redshirt team to ensure he did not lose a year of eligibility by playing a few minutes in a blowout game. The coaches agreed and the practice of hiding a player for a year and preserving their eligibility became known as redshirting.
Subscribe for free and never miss a story. You can also support this site with a paid subscription that provides additional content or check out my books here.