All season long, Roosevelt's players eagerly had been awaiting the arrival of special throwback uniforms that were part of this season's 50th anniversary season of varsity football at the school. The uniforms were delivered . . . to Pakistan!
"Shipping delay, shipping error," is how Rough Riders coach Joe Vito described the situation, diplomatically.
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Vito called an expert audible for Saturday's final regular-season home game. He contacted a friend at EndZone Sports of Long Island and requested a rush order on uniforms. "As of Friday morning, they still weren't complete," Vito said, which allowed him to shrug with ignorance when his players asked him, "Where are the new uniforms?"
The duds finally arrived Friday afternoon -- bright yellow jerseys with matching pants. Vito donned an outfit and came out to greet the players before practice. "They were ecstatic," Vito said. "Like kids on Christmas morning."
Roosevelt, nattily garbed in all yellow -- except for their traditional blue helmets -- was uniformly superb in Saturday's 53-0 Homecoming victory over West Hempstead.
"I love representing 50 years of Roosevelt football," said defensive tackle/fullback Rob Hansen, referring to the color scheme of the Rough Riders' first varsity football team of 1963. "The yellow was pretty bright. I thought they'd call us the Bumblebees."
Bingo! According to Vito and other Roosevelt officials, that's exactly what the first team of '63 was known as, even though the official nickname remained Rough Riders.
"We knew the uniforms were coming since summer camp, but we were starting to get worried," defensive end Raymond Jones said. "It's great with all the alumni here and they get to see us wearing what they wore 50 years ago."