GAINESVILLE, Fla. — At the end of his hour-long interview session during Florida’s media day on Wednesday, new Gators quarterback Malik Zaire was finally asked the tough question.
What’s the deal with the retro-style longer sleeves on your jersey?
“Oh, listen, listen, listen. So it’s about being comfortable,” he said. “You [want to] be as comfortable as possible. The more relaxed you can play as a quarterback, the better. So I just try to pay some homage to the great quarterbacks like Steve McNair, who had the long sleeves, Doug Williams, who had the long sleeves, and all those guys who rocked the long sleeves. But if you’re relaxed, smooth, you can handle your job.”
Zaire’s Nike Florida jersey had sleeves extending to his elbows — rather than the more common look with sleeves cropped close to the shoulder.
Such nuances don’t sneak past the scrutiny of the ever-observant media contingent.
The graduate transfer said he didn’t have the sleeve option during his time at Notre Dame, so this will be new for him this season.
“We didn’t have these kind of jerseys, so this is kind of a step up. I’m excited that we get a chance to have some jerseys that don’t feel like I’m putting on one of those constrictive vests,” he said. “You’ve got to be comfortable when you’re out there.”