Prior to last season, Auburn fans were given a small hint by EA Sports NCAA Football 12 of a very subtle uniform addition. I speak of the small "War Eagle" on the back of the pants, across the belt. Coupled with a previous statement by uniform fiend Uni Watch, it was all but certain that this change would come to fruition when the season started. As we all know now, it did.
Earlier today, the guys over at The Gaming Tailgate posted a few pictures that were released by EA Sports to show off a little bit of the game play in NCAA Football 13. Being one of the greater teams in the history of college football, Auburn had a few shown (Georgia and Alabama were only included as part of the Auburn pictures).
In the picture below, you will plainly see that as Nosa Eguae (or DE #94 as EA Sports calls him) prepares to put a tear in Aaron Murray's eye, there is no name on the back of his jersey. No big deal. They probably just left it off because it's just a preview picture, right? Maybe not... In the pictures of other teams, there are last names (or their position and number) on their jerseys as there always has been. That's not all, either. Notre Dame, being the traditional institution that it is, has never had names on the backs of their jerseys. Do they have names in their preview pictures? No, they do no
So let's recap... this isn't just a case of EA Sports leaving off all names as a whole due to these being promotional pictures because other teams' pictures have them, and Notre Dame, who never has last names, doesn't have last names in their pictures, and Auburn doesn't have last names in their pictures as well. Sounds like more than a coincidence to me.
Wouldn't it be just like Chizik to do something like this? Some argue that last names on the jersey take away from the team aspect of the game. As they always say, the name on the front matters way more than the one on the back. I can definitely see Chizik making a statement by ripping off those names and showing the team that his team will always be run that way. Not to mention, he always focuses on "the AU" and the legacy at Auburn over the individual players in most of his team speeches.
Now if this turns out to be nothing and is just an oversight by a programmer, oh well, it was fun. But before you just laugh it off and say this is nothing, remember how stupid "War Eagle across the butt" sounded last year, and it ended up being real and EA Sports ended up being right.
On a completely different and disappointing note, it does appear in the other pictures that were released, that the smaller numbers remain, which could mean that the almost illegible tiny last names could remain (if there are last names), too. In that case, I could argue that no names are the same as tiny names, so we might as well just not have any.Update: more pictures have been released, with Auburn in their away jerseys, and there are still no last names, but The Gaming Tailgate says that may not matter. Plus, there are other teams that normally have last names that do not in these preview pictures. Much ado about nothing, or huge national cover up? You make the call.You'll also notice that EA Sports doesn't have the cut off pant stripes, but they didn't last year either, even when they got pretty much everything else right (besides the fact that the orange stripe has always been too skinny).