Not that there aren’t some rules, of course. There are occasions where a coat and tie is required, for instance, but even there, a guy wearing a pretty fancy coat might also be wearing well-worn Wranglers that have long since lost most of their …
Wyoming generally is a place where the term “appropriate dress” is a somewhat flexible concept.
Not that there aren’t some rules, of course. There are occasions where a coat and tie is required, for instance, but even there, a guy wearing a pretty fancy coat might also be wearing well-worn Wranglers that have long since lost most of their blue dye.
Despite that casual approach to dress around here, I received two reprimands over the way I was dressed at the football game Friday night.
My crime? I was wearing a blue and gold jacket.
Now, I’ll say right up front that it might have been inappropriate to wear the colors of the Cody Broncs while on the sideline covering the Powell Panthers, but, in my defense, it was totally inadvertent. I didn’t even realize I was in violation of Friday’s dress code until one of the Panther players called it to my attention as I walked behind the Panther bench after a change of possession.
“What are you doing?” he asked while tugging on my blue sleeve.
This player is a fine young man, so the question was asked politely, but, by the look in his eye, I understood that it was definitely a reprimand.
Then, on Sunday, as my pastor greeted me at church, she noted that she had seen me at the game, and commented that I was wearing “the wrong colors,” leaving me to wonder if my eternal soul was in danger, or at least on a slippery slope, due to this violation of protocol.
I’m guessing these two people weren’t the only ones who observed color faux pas, and there are others out there were just too polite to comment.
Now in response to the two who did comment, I explained that this blue and gold was not Cody’s blue and gold. The color used on my jacket is usually called “bright gold” in the catalogs—in other words, yellow. Cody is presently using sort of a dull tone on their uniforms that looks more like bronze than gold to me. It certainly isn’t bright.
More importantly, I said, my jacket celebrates, not Cody, but Greybull High School’s record of nine state wrestling championships over 11 years back when I was a cog in the machinery of GHS. There is, after all, a large embroidered buffalo on the back that looks absolutely nothing like a bronco, or even a filly for that matter. I’ll admit that the hood of the jacket usually covers up part of the buffalo, but it certainly doesn’t cover up the word “Greybull” beneath the critter’s feet, although I guess it would take really sharp eyes to read it from the stands.
I wear this jacket for several reasons. I did spend 30 years at home on the range where the GHS Buffaloes roam. Consequently, I was, and remain, a fan of blue and gold Buffaloes, two of whom were my children back when I was a bit younger. Moreover, part of my DNA was represented on three of those state championship teams, so I feel morally obligated to celebrate them periodically.
I’m also kind of attached to this jacket. I’ve been wearing it for about 15 years, and it is the only light jacket I possess. Besides, I paid about 70 bucks for it, and it isn’t worn out yet, so, being something of a cheapskate when it comes to purchasing apparel, I have no plans to replace it.
For what it’s worth, I could have corrected my sinful appearance Friday simply by leaving my jacket in the car. Underneath it I was wearing a bright orange T-shirt proclaiming that I am a fan of the Lady Panther swim team. I had carefully selected that shirt Friday morning in anticipation of covering the conference swim meet that afternoon. That event, plus a couple of intermediate stops, including one for a sandwich, made me late for the football game. In my haste to see if the Panthers could recover from whatever it was that happened in the first half—which I didn’t see, but heard about on the radio—I didn’t stop to adjust my wardrobe.
At any rate, the Panthers and their fans should be grateful that I showed up, however I was attired. When I left my car, the blue-and gold guys were ahead. Within minutes of my arrival on the sideline, the orange-and-black crew tied the game and went on to a big win, despite the splotch of blue and gold that popped up on their sideline in the third quarter.
Coincidence? Well, maybe, but how can you be sure it wasn’t the appearance of my off-color jacket that turned the Powell fortunes around and helped them win the game? And even if it didn’t, it certainly didn’t jinx the Panthers, as evidenced by the final score.
That’s a good thing, or I might have felt bad about violating the dress code, and I might have had a whole football team angry at me. I’ve had that experience before, although it wasn’t because of a blue and gold jacket.
That night my jacket had black and white stripes.