Friday, October 29, 2010

It Never Rains in California.....OH REALLY

When we get to the stadium tomorrow, each player will have at least 2 or 3 different shoes to choose from. They will choose depending on the field conditions. Most all the players will start out in a molded bottom grass cleat, because that is the shoe they like the most. Some will change to a detachable and longer cleat if they feel the footing was not good during pre game warm ups.

The equipment staff is on full alert when field conditions are not ideal. We try not to make a big deal out of it with the players, but we watch them closely to see how their footing is. We take a couple of trunks with extra shoes in them. We will have those trunks in the equipment room with us in the locker room until right before kickoff, then we push those trunks to the sidelines.

These trunks have individual compartments in them (I will have pictures on gameday blog) and each compartment has the players number in numerical order so we can find the shoes quickly. The shoes are laced up and ready to go in short notice. Just this past week against Washington, Trevin Wade changed shoes on the sideline to a detachable cleat because he felt he was slipping way too much. We were able to change him out just like a pit crew in a NASCAR race!

In 2008, we were playing against Washington State in Pullman, and we noticed Nic Grigsby wasn't necessarily slipping, but to me, his footing wasn't like his normally is. They have field turf and for whatever reason, Nic seemed to be having trouble. Again, we changed him into a detachable, which he wasn't crazy about doing, and he ended up having a great game.

We have very little upside when it comes to the outcome of a game, but sometimes having the right cleats really helps! I learned that in the 1992 Apple Cup when I was the Equipment Manager for the WSU Cougars. We got tons of snow and the field was so slippery a player could hardly stand up. After pre game, we changed out about 50 players into Nike Destroyers, which are designed for those conditions, and we beat the Washington Huskies so bad, and they were ranked in the top 5 in the polls! The Huskies wore Converse at that time and they did not have access to those kind of shoes. It was one of those rare times we might have made a difference?

That just means you never know when you are going to be needed. That is why we pack so much gear and take so much stuff to the field. I want us to be able to knock it over the fence when given the chance at a nasty curve ball.

Below are some of our options that we will have tomorrow against the Bruins.

This is the Zoom Code Pro Shark and is worn by many of our offensive linemen. The shoe tends to be wider than the normal Nike shoe, which they really like. It is a molded cleat configuration and works well in most all conditions, but players may opt for a detachable when field is wet or muddy:

This is the Zoom Code Pro Shark which is mentioned above:

This is the Flyposite molded cleat shoe that is popular with some of our linemen and even some of our linebackers. It has a similar cleat configuration to what skill players wear, but the shoe is designed for heavier players

This is the Flyposite molded shoes that is mentioned above:

This is the Nike Speed TD and has been with Nike for a long time. It is very popular among skill players, but some tight ends and linebackers choose to wear them too, but only if their body weight permits. It also comes in a 3/4 top that some of the linebackers and tight ends like better than the low cut. Some running backs or wide outs will go to the 3/4 if they are having ankle issues. You can see the molded cleat configuration in the next picture.

This is the molded cleat configuration of the Nike Speed TD, a very popular shoe that has been in the Nike line for years. It is worn by skill players and some tight ends and linebackers. It really depends on their weight and foot.

This is the Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly and is one of our most popular shoes! They are worn by most skill position players. It is the lightest shoe Nike makes. You can see the molded cleat configuration on the next picture:

This is the Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly molded cleat configuration:

This is the Hyperfly Detachable and the bottom of the shoe can be seen on the next picture:

This is the Hyperfly Detachable which can be worn by linemen, linebackers, tight ends when field conditions are not ideal:

This is the Flyposite Detachable cleat; you can see the bottom of the shoes on the next picture:

This is the Flyposite Detachable shoe and is worn by mostly linemen and some linebackers when field conditions require the best traction:

This is the Speed D detachable cleat, you can see the bottoms on the next picture:

This is the Speed D with detachable cleats; this shoe provides the best traction for skill players, especially on wet or muddy field:

No comments: