England’s New (Old) Look

March 28, 2009


In today’s friendly with Slovakia at Wembley Stadium, England broke out their much-anticipated new kits. Moving away, this time, from the pointless, weird, accented, ugly and ridiculous that have marred England’s kits over the past twenty years. Instead they went with a very clean and classic, almost Wimbledon look. I can’t say I really like the names across the back or the numbers font, but compared to what they could be, they’re not so bad. All in all, it appears rather pristine. At least until a huge grass stain is earned.


New Kits for 2009/2010 in the Premiership

March 27, 2009

I certainly can’t claim credit for these but I thought it was interesting to see the continued evolution of some of England’s top clubs in terms of their kits.

Here’s Arsenal’s away look for next year. I actually really like it. I wonder if they’ll rock the same socks they did with a similar look in 1982? Compared with this season’s away look, it’s a huge improvement, at least in my opinion. Though the ones they wore in 2007/2008 were simply fantastic.

Next is Chelsea and their curiously-similar-to-Bayern-Munich home design. I guess this look isn’t all that bad, though the zipper on front is really kind of lame. Compared to this season’s look, it’s a much more machine-like design and loses the collar.

What about Liverpool? Well this is an away kit for the ‘Reds.’ I hate when clubs wear black when it’s not part of their regular scheme, and this is a perfect example. BUT, it is so so so much better than what they’re wearing this year.

Finally, the weirdest of the bunch are the Manchester United attempts at recreating some sort of a throwback/tribute kit for both home and away. Here is the home idea. Minimalist in design but will have the new sponsor of Saudi Telecom on the chest. Obviously AIG isn’t really a viable option anymore. The away look is more specifically based on the 1909 FA Cup champions and again with the Saudi Telecom sponsorship. I have no idea if United will actually wear these kits all season or if they’ll just be for a game or two like their Munich memorial kits from last season.

If you know of any other new designs for next season, let me know.

What Have We Done to Deserve This?

March 11, 2009

I know that the NCAA tournament has become the coming-out party for Nike’s ventures into next year’s uniforms. It started (unless someone knows of something earlier) with the System of Dress that they introduced for teams like North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse and Florida. Those looks, debuted in the tournament a few years ago, are now the semi-norm for Nike-contracted schools. Here are some other examples: West Virginia, Oregon (who have really gone overboard, surprise surprise), Arizona, Kentucky, more Syracuse, and even Oakland (shout out for Ryan P).

So what is this year’s new, big thing? A few weeks ago I brought up Duke’s uniforms with the background image of the Duke gothic on their uniforms. I guess technically they were debuted with the US Olympic team in the ’08 Olympics but Duke debuted that kind of a thing this season (though really, I guess Florida’s scales, as linked above, can count as the first attempt at this kind of thing).

That is the kind of thing we’re going to see in this year’s tournament, and if the past holds true, in next year’s regular season. Thanks to Paul Lukas over at Uni Watch we can see who will be sporting new looks for this tournament. Of course, Duke will be rocking the look already detailed before. Here are the others, at least the ones that we know so far:

Michigan State
UCONN will also be wearing new unis but there is no picture yet.

So the preliminary review is: AWFUL. At least with Duke and Michigan State the designs are based on something related to the school. In Duke’s case it’s gothic. With State it’s clearly the sword of the Spartan mascot. But what is going on with the rest? GO ZAGS??? And Memphis, I don’t even know where to begin. Oregon we knew would probably be the weirdest but what’s up with the camo on the side and not even in the school’s colors? (Though it does look like they’ve been wearing something similar all year)

This is definitely a bad trend that I hope doesn’t extend into next year, though I’m sure it will with an even larger group of schools signing on. And my guess is that there will be two or three more schools who are actually in the tournament (unlike Oregon who is 8-22 this year!) who end up with some kind of new look.

Duke’s New Alternates

February 23, 2009


I didn’t actually watch last night’s Duke-Wake Forest game but check out what Duke was wearing (above). They’ll wear the whites again against Florida State and break out the blues for the second North Carolina game. Apparently they’re supposed to be a lot lighter fabrics and some kind of breathable mesh that’s supposed to improve performance. It’s all part of the Nike scheme of course and is sort of based on the USA basketball unis worn in the 2008 Olympics. The design is a depiction of the gothic look that is pervasive on Duke’s campus.

This is a trend that I really hope does not spread, whether through Nike or otherwise. And honestly, it’s not because Duke did it first. I actually don’t mind what Duke did because it’s kind of a vertically based scheme that isn’t overwhelmingly obvious or annoying. But I can just picture what other schools or NBA teams would do with this kind of a concept, even if it’s just for an alternate. I’m afraid it would turn into slightly backgrounded versions of those ridiculous baseball turn-ahead-the-clock unis from the late 90s. Not the futuristic part but just the huge logos.

What Gives with the Super Bowl Logo?

January 29, 2009

logoPaul Lukas asked a good question on the Uni-Watch blog the other day about the Super Bowl logo being used this year. Why does it feature so much green and blue? The logo clashes pretty badly with the Cardinals‘ red uniforms and just looks kind of cheesy with the Steelers‘ (especially because they always have a chest patch, so adding a second one starts to look like NFL Europe). Which leads to a larger question, why isn’t the logo tailored to the two teams involved in the game instead of just being generic? Can you really say it would take more than the two weeks between championship games and the Super Bowl to color coordinate a logo to the appropriate teams?

In this vein, the New York Times put together a pretty cool slideshow of alternative logos made by different graphic designers from across the country. Some of them are really fantastic, like the one pictured above. Some of them are downright odd or have nothing to do with the Super Bowl. But either way, take a look and let me know which one you like best.

LA Gripe

December 26, 2008

Yesterday the Lakers ended the Celtics’ 19-game winning streak on Christmas Day at Staples Center. Big win for the Lakers and I guess a small measure of revenge for the NBA Finals loss back in June. But what kills me is that the Lakers continue to wear those awful white uniforms. Yesterday was a perfect opportunity to see a good, clean uni-match up between Boston’s classic green and LA’s classic yellow. Boston did their part and wore their very classy green and white looks. They could’ve worn the terrible green with black disasters they have but it was a nice treat to see the regular set. But the Lakers blew it and wore the dopey whites. I know all teams go through different phases with their uniforms and colors but this should’ve been a showcase of the two most classic clubs with the most classic unis.

Anyway, the good news is that the Celtics finally lost and we can now finally stop hearing so much about how they’re going to challenge the ’95-’96 Bulls‘ record of 72-10. Those Bulls were 42-3 at the All-Star break, probably the most amazing basketball statistic outside of Wilt Chamberlain‘s averaging of 50 points per game.

Barça Continue to Save the World

December 15, 2008


Barcelona, long the last major club to go sponsor-less in terms of uniforms, have added a second logo (beside their Nike swoosh and club crest) to their kits. The MÉS logo has been added just under the neckline to go along with the unicef brand across the chest. MÉS is a partnership with Barcelona, Nike and UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency) to “bring sport and education to underprivileged youth and refugees around the world.”

As with the unicef logo, Barça is trying to raise awareness and money for humanitarian aid and charities. All of the MÉS products (not just the uniforms themselves but all other apparel) are made from 100% organic cotton and the ink for the logos themselves are soy-based.

Similar awareness and humanitarian concerns have been raised at Aston Villa with their acorns shirts this year. Perhaps this will be an increasingly prevalent phenomenon going forward instead of clubs (particularly in England) falling back on sports bookmaking houses or online casinos for their sponsors.