North Carolina hosts its first Thursday night game since 2009 tonight, and to commemorate the occasion the Tar Heels have dubbed tonight Zero Dark Thursday. It's the first in what will become an annual Tar Pit game tradition, where UNC will break out special uniforms.
If you're the type of person who wonders how much North Carolina spent to outfit the Heels in their special uniforms, it's probably more than they pay a GA. In an interview with ESPN.com, seven FBS equipment managers (including UNC assistant equipment manager Jason Freeman) answered somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000. North Carolina fell in that range, budgeting $35,000 for an extra set of helmets alone.
A one-time uniform set adds a lot of extra work for equipment managers, getting every player's facemask, visor and chin strap right to his specificity. North Carolina has to take it a step farther, as each Tar Heel wears a concussion sensor that has to travel from lid to lid.
"We let the players wear 'em a few times before the game, usually on days when there isn't a ton of hitting, just to make sure the helmet fits correctly," Freeman said of the time North Carolina spends breaking in a new helmet. "You don't want the helmets to get too banged up, because you want 'em to look as good as possible on TV."
The roundtable is an informative look at the folks on the business end of college football's ever-evolving uniform revolution. Check it out.
Update: The uniforms aren't the only thing at Kenan Stadium getting a makeover for tonight