Utah Practice Helmets To Feature “22%” Front Bumper
SALT LAKE CITY- Utah is about a year removed from one of the hardest seasons they’ve ever encountered in program history, but the team is still determined to keep the spirit of the strength they found in 2021 through their 2022 season.
Up close look at the new front bumpers for the practice helmet. A great reminder of the promise made to get 22% better every day. Shoutout to @SportStarGear for making it happen. #22Forever pic.twitter.com/EN3CPq6f0c
— UtesEquipment (@UtesEquipment) August 2, 2022
The Utes Equipment crew tweeted out a picture of the practice helmets Utah will wear through fall camp and they feature “22%” on the front bumper. The Utes adopted the saying “22% Better” in 2021 after the shocking death of teammate Aaron Lowe at a house party in September. The phrase was first featured in cornerbacks coach Sharrieff Shah’s eulogy for Lowe at his funeral. Lowe wore the number 22 in remembrance of another Utah teammate and his high school best friend Ty Jordan, who tragically died nine months prior. Both incidents were gun-related and shook the team and community to its core.
The number 22 and “22% Better” became a rallying cry for the Utes in 2021 after a disappointing start to their season. Despite the slow start, and the devastating tragedy the team was constantly faced with, they managed to hold it together and get stronger as the season went on largely due to playing in the memory of their fallen brothers.
Utah retired the number 22 in honor of Jordan and Lowe in a ceremony during their UCLA “Dark Mode” game a few weeks after Lowe’s funeral. Both player’s families were in attendance as the Utes for the first time in football program history, retired a jersey number. Utah would go on to score 44 points that game, 22 points each for Jordan and Lowe.
Despite all odds being stacked against them, Utah won their first Pac-12 Championship in 2021 and stamped their ticket to their first Rose Bowl, putting on a show for the nation against Ohio State in their teammates’ memories. While they came up short, 48-45, the backstory and the pluck the Utes showed in the face of immense adversity really captured people’s attention and has put them on a hot path for the 2022 season.
Shortly after their Rose Bowl appearance, the Utah social media crew put together a short, four-part docuseries titled “22 Forever” that gave fans a small glimpse into how the Utes pulled off one of their most historic seasons while coping with extreme loss. The very end of the series revealed that Utah plans to further honor Jordan and Lowe through the 2022 season with their traditional hand-painted helmets that will feature portraits of the two athletes along with the “22 Forever” logo.
— Steve Bartle (@SBartle247) April 5, 2022
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