Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Still shaking my head

I get that preference in jerseys is mostly a subjective thing, so me saying 'bleh' is nothing more than that.

That said, a lot of my initial frustration comes from the fact that every couple years Nike seems to have an office party culminating in a drunken game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey to decide what the national team will wear. There does seem to be some consensus in that the powers that be don't have much regard for establishing any sort of tradition in our kits.

The sash that's been in the last two sets of unis is a valid attempt at getting something going in that direction - these ones have it too if you squint. Aside from that, though, our trademark has been shameless re-branding. Maybe that's the most American thing to wear, but I can't dig it.

The 10/11s overall look better to me than what we've seen of the 12/13s so far, but it usually takes some time to warm up to what's new. Or you just get over it.

Actually seeing the team run around and represent one's country goes a long way towards that process, so hopefully come May 26, Dempsey and co. wear their jerseys well and stomp Scotland. If the team's winning, what they look like matters very little. When the women were making their run at the World Cup last year, their odd jerseys didn't bother me. When that success ended the team's play was in question. That was all that mattered, as well it should have been.

I still think the women looked better last summer than either team does in the current mock-ups, again though, that's subjective.

Red and white are awesome, overused everywhere, but American and still awesome. I know I'd rather see something like what we wore at the 1994 World Cup than the hoops we have now. Seriously, is this year's something you'd wear out? I own last year's home jersey and it's a good-looking piece of fabric, but I won't get this one as I'm afraid of people running up and poking me shouting "I found him!"

This is still a case of "to each his own," but it'd be nice if as a fan I could feel some sort of ownership of what our teams are wearing. Instead, I just feel owned.

- Jacob Klinger


Chef Stan Witko and Paul Klinger said...

Last line was awesome "afraid of someone coming up to me and saying I Found Him". Priceless

J.D. Springer said...

The '94 WC kit you highlighted was fine, but the faux-denim blue with white stars the squad also wore was an all-time low, IMO. If we were going with red and white hoops, I'd prefer something more like FC Dallas, but that's adidas.

jake keen said...

ha, I can defiantly agree with this post. I think alot of US fans share your same frustration with the constant changes.

Paul Poenicke said...

I could cope with the changes if we actually found a pattern that looked decent. Nike can't get the sash right; even if they did, it still would probably look a bit odd. Peru wears the sash well, and I want to create a credible, distinctive pattern that identifies the team without being beholden to a particular period.

I guess things could be worse, given Nike's recent history of screwing around with jerseys. The 2006 World Cup unis don't look so bad now.

brian said...

are you just anti-change or do you really dislike these jerseys? i wonder if this 'rant' would have been written if the jerseys were more appealing to you...

dikranovich said...

nike does make the croatian national team jersey, distinctive, yet diverse.

Jacob Klinger said...

Overall we're lacking for an identity all over our program and that includes the shirts, but you gotta start somewhere.

@brian I love change, but I do have a lot of emotional attachment to my national team and their jerseys. For Nike to effectively say "screw tradition, we're making bank suckas!" bothers me a lot. So I'm against that kind of irreverent change, yeah.

To be perfectly fair if I loved the jerseys I probably would have written something saying "make this our tradition."