Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2010 Sports Writing Part 3: Uniforms

The Charlotte Bobcats changed their uniforms at the start of the 2009-2010 season. Instead of the orange road unis they had sported previously, the Bobcats adopted a pinstriped slate blue with checkered sidebars (in honour of North Carolina’s NASCAR addiction). The tragedy of this switch is not in the aesthetic of the new uniform – the effect is surprisingly pleasing, given the conceptual clutter – but in the loss of an orange team. After the neon craze of the eighties, professional sports uniforms have slowly regressed towards a ‘tasteful’ mean. All games are, at a fundamental level, red vs. blue, and any orange, purple, green, or pink teams feel left out. They seem like teams that came later and took the leftovers, and every team must present itself as a possible protagonist. Professional sports hope to cultivate fans who would never choose to play the outsider.

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