How do you make a “ghost” look ghost-lier?
Add a little gray. Or, in the case of Illinois, a little gray-ish chrome:
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) October 26, 2016
The chrome-on-navy helmet will make its first appearance during this weekend’s homecoming game against Minnesota. It’ll be the third straight homecoming game in which the program has gone with the ‘Gray Ghost’ look, worn in honor of former Illini running back Red Grange, “The Galloping Ghost.”
The new-look uniforms debuted in 2014 as a tribute to the 90th anniversary of the first game at Memorial Stadium. On Oct. 18, 1924, Grange scored six touchdowns against heavily-favored Michigan in a 39-14 Illini victory. The performance inspired Grantland Rice of the New York Herald Tribune to pen one of the most famous sonnets in sports writing history:
A streak of fire, a breath of flame
Eluding all who reach and clutch;
A gray ghost thrown into the game
That rival hands may never touch;
A rubber bounding, blasting soul
Whose destination is the goal.
The full Illini uni against the Gophers is as gray as they come:
The new and improved Grey Ghost Unis pic.twitter.com/MLvMDdjlwX
— Illinois Football EQ (@ILLequipment) October 26, 2016
The 2-5 Illini could use a little Grange magic this weekend — they’re currently a nine-point underdog, according to VegasInsider.com.