LARAMIE – The misspelling across the chest of Alijah Halliburton through the 2019 football season was as shocking to him as it was to any of his University of Wyoming teammates.
More importantly: How had no one noticed?
The senior safety was named the defensive MVP of the Cowboys’ 38-17 Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State on New Year’s Eve. Two days later, Hallibur- ton achieved internet in- famy when teammate Dontae Crow uncovered the misspelling.
Crow quote-tweeted a UW football post about the bowl win by tagging Halliburton and adding the commentary: “How (did) you manage to get the jersey with WYOMIMG...?”
Sure enough, Wyoming was spelled “Wyomimg” on Halliburton’s white jersey. And, perhaps more amazingly, it had been that way all season.
“I looked at my jersey and I was like ‘Oh my god … that’s the jersey I’ve been wearing all year,’” Halliburton said with a laugh. “I’m just astonished … how no one caught it.”
Halliburton proceeded to go through his pictures from throughout the season to make sure his eyes were not playing tricks on him. They were not. Teammates, coaches, staff and family – none of them had noticed. Halliburton is the only player on the team with the mistake, he said.
UW signed an equipment contract with Adidas before the 2018 football season. Halliburton’s Adidas jersey last season, however, did not have the typo. UW was previously a Nike school.
“The whole year? Come on now? That’s pure comedy. I don’t even know if the equipment staff noticed,” Halliburton said. “It just has to be me.”
Halliburton, who was named first team All-Mountain West after the 2019 season, his first full-season as a starter, said he had already planned on framing the jersey. After all, 66 of his team-high 130 tackles came in the team’s road white jerseys. After showing the jersey to his mother in-person, however, there might be more to the plan: she wants him to sign it before framing it, he said.
Halliburton had 11 tackles and an interception in the Arizona Bowl.
Halliburton said he plans on signing with an agent in the next few days as he prepares for what he hopes is a future in professional football. The finality of his collegiate career being over has sunken in to an extent. Halliburton started having moments of nostalgia at practice, he said. But he has accepted that his Cowboys career is over and is at peace with the how it turned out.
“It doesn’t get much better than that … I’m just happy that I had a game like that. But it does suck though. I am emotional about it,” he said. “It’s kind of sad right now, but it is time for me to move on.”
And, if nothing else, he will always have a piece of history with him in the form of a white UW jersey from his senior season. Halliburton has been a good sport about the miscue.
“I’m the only one probably in our history to have a mistyped jersey, especially the word ‘Wyoming,’” Halliburton said with a chuckle. “I don’t even think fans that have knockoffs have typos.”