By Phil Hecken
I’m back again this weekend with Caleb Borchers, who last week gave us a preview of about half of the uniforms in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. If you missed that article, or want a refresher, be sure to check it out, as it sets up today’s grand finale. And now, the second part of that preview. Great stuff here, even if you’re not a fan of the sport. Oh, bring on the Haka.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup, Part II
By Caleb Borchers
A couple things came out in last nights opener.
Adidas wasn’t kidding when they said their new jerseys were super tight. Sonny Bill Williams needed help putting a replacement on in the opening game. The fact that his first ripped certainly didn’t speak well of the quality, however.
Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing part of opening night was the world class opening ceremonies. Auckland had a fireworks show for the ages.
And now, on to Part II of the uniforms:
Japan: Traditionally: The Japanese have two traditional looks that they wear frequently, due to the frequent use of red in international sides. These were on display in the 2007 RWC. The first is a red and white hooped jersey. The second is a dark blue jersey with red accents. Japan also has the least intimidating logo of any national side.
2011: Again Canterbury has stuck close to tradition with the typical jersey. Can’t tell if the second jersey is yet another BFBS number or just a very dark blue. Clearly the two jerseys have a bit much in the way of unnecessary piping.
Namibia: Traditionally: Don’t feel bad about knowing nothing about Namibia. Rugby fans have to look it up on a map every four years. In 2007, and most years, the alternated between a blue jersey with green accents and a white change strip. Like the Americans they have an eagle (of some sort) for a team logo.
2011: It appears that Namibia’s look at this RWC will stay under wraps until they appear on the field.
New Zealand: Traditionally: Perhaps no team is more defined by their jersey. It is black. All black. That is unless they are forced into a change strip that crushes their sense of identity and collapses their confidence, leading them to crash out of the RWC at a historically early stage. After that debacle they went to a white alt, but they still hate playing in it. On a side note, most teams will look oddly pleasing at the World Cup without the corporate sponsors which the IRB bans from the jerseys. That difference is not felt with the All Blacks because they don’t wear a corporate sponsor (at least not recently) due to Adidas paying premium dollar to keep that black jersey clean.
2011: Adidas has come up with a doozy this time. The traditional black jersey has a white collar, which from a distance make them look like the floppy flying collars of years past. Too bad they are charging Kiwi outlets double the cost of other countries, squandering the great reviews they got when it first came out. The change jersey is again white, with a black collar.
2011: The Romanians are coming with something new and interesting. They have a red sleeve and a yellow sleeve, an eagle wing on the red one, and an embossed eagle on the chest. The blue alt is very similar. Some will suggest it is all too much, and they are probably right. Still, I’d rather see adventure (Romania) over boring (Georgia) any day. No one will mistake Romania for the local State Technical College’s club team.
Russia: Historically: The Russians are the only newcomers to this year’s RWC. As such they have no uni history at the tournament, but historically have a very simple look. There most recent look was a simple red and white.
2011: Russia looks to have gotten nothing more than the standard Canterbury template. No word on an alt jersey, though a plain white jersey is likely.
Samoa: Historically: Over the years Samoa has not had a jersey that drew much attention. They have worn a solid blue jersey with white shorts. This was the 2007 look. In November 2010 they debuted a new jersey with some Samoan flair. They then reverted to a traditional look in June of this year.
2011: Last November was apparently a dry run for the jersey they will wear in 2011. In addition to the obvious sleeve pattern there is also a floral/vegetation pattern embossed into the jersey. (Kooga really loves that element.) They have a white alt as well, which may be needed against the Namibians. Again, like Fiji I am excited to see some national identity coming out of these Polynesian sides. Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji give the Rugby World Cup a flavor not seen at many sporting events.
Scotland: Historically: The Scots stay close their national flag with their jersey. In 2007 it looked like this and more recently like this. Scotland’s blue often leads to clashes, with both blue and black teams, so they have to have an alternate. In recent years it has been white, but historically was more exciting/ugly.
2011: Canterbury has tried to give the lowly Scots a more regal look by adding in a lot of gold trim. It’s an interesting and positive move, or least would have been if Canterbury didn’t feel the need to stripe rugby jerseys like you paint a basketball court. The alternates are white.
South Africa: Historically: The South Africans have a long history in the green and gold with the Springbok logo. For some, however, that history is more than a little tied to apartheid. (The recent film Invictus dealt some with the issue.) Over the years this meant adding the Protea flower to the Springbok, and eventually to a national Protea crest being added across the shirt from the Springbok. The 2007 jersey looked like this.
2011: The South Africans have created a firestorm this year, because they now have the same issue as the Wallabies. The crest, logo, and RWC patch cannot all fit on the front of the jersey. So, they merely moved the Springbok to the sleeve. Many within the South African rugby community are enraged. They see this as political correctness gone amok and the destruction of a century of team identity. None the less, the Protea is on the chest and the Bok is on the sleeve. Also, notice that they South Africans have the trophy embroidered on the sleeve with their victorious years (1995 and 2007). They have a white alt that is boring and doesn’t look much like South Africa. They will only need it if they see Ireland in the playoffs, which is a distinct possibility.
Tonga: Historically: The Tongans have worn a traditional red jersey. In 2007 they added some nice Tongan design elements to the sleeves. Tonga, coming from such a small nation, don’t get some of the perks that other nations get. In 2008 they clearly tried to save some cash by wearing their 2007 RWC jerseys with the patch pulled off leading to discoloration on the right chest. (You can kind of see it in this photo.) All that to say, the population of 100,000 leads to outfitters giving them little attention due to the lack of merchandising opportunity.
2011: Kooga have given them a very plain look. They may have attempted to emboss something into the sleeves, but its hard to pick up even in the promotional photos. The alternate is even plainer and likely will be needed against Canada or Japan.
USA: Historically: The Eagles have a long history of visual uncertainty. In 2007 they went with red jerseys with odd striping and a white change strip. More recently they have bounced around to different suppliers, including an Adidas nightmare and more recently Canterbury’s standard template. They’ve yet to settle even on red, white, or blue as a dominant color. This June they tried some novel ideas, including the Evel Knievel look and the patriotic remix of the Islanders fish sticks jerseys.
2011: Personally I was hoping for something along the lines of the Knievel jersey. Instead, they are going to go with standard Canterbury fare. The change jersey is blue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them wear each twice. Rumor has it that we might see these at some point as well. I really hope that is a rumor alone. While I like a little adventure, I’m not in love with the idea of an Uncle Sam sunburst popping out of the players genitals. A bit too much.
Wales: Historically: In 2007 Wales went with a simple look and an odd charcoal alternate. Since they have done a variety of red and white looks, with a brief stint of green socks. They’ve also been prone to adding alternates merely to appease sponsors. Most recently they have looked like this, emphasizing the white.
2011: The 2011 jersey has Under Armor putting the “Ree-Box” to shame. In addition to making sure no one within a mile forgets who made the jersey, I’m also sad they chose to go with red socks instead of green. They have a black alt, like the English but with slightly more precedent, which is extremely unlikely to be needed at any point. I would give short odds on Wales choosing to wear them anyway “just for fun/making money.”
Tremendous job with that Caleb. Thanks again for such a thorough preview. So what do you say, Uni Watchers? Are you ready for some footy?
It’s GOTTA be the shoes…
Well…somebody had to say it. I’m actually surprised it took this long.
For years, Nike, Reedidas & now UA have been using uniforms (and especially sneakers) as a recruiting tool, and many recruits have been known to publicly state their reason for attending a school came down to the “fresh” uniforms and kicks (see: Oregon & Maryland). But to my knowledge, no recruit has ever said he didn’t want to attend a school specifically because he didn’t like the uniforms or sneakers. But no more.
Check out this quote: “I didn’t like that they were an adidas team. … I didn’t like their colors, either. I don’t like green and gold. That’s ugly … When you got ugly colors like that, you gotta be Nike. … Baylor has some ugly shoes, too.”
That quote comes from Archie Goodwin, and you can read more about the whole story here.
Since I’m handling the Monday post, Paul has left me in charge of the uniwatching inbox for ticker material. It literally blew up when this story hit the interwebs. It’s probably for the best that he’s both out in the middle of nowhere AND out of cell/E-mail range because this may have been the last straw in a week dominated by shiny objects used to attract 17 year olds. We now know those same shiny objects can be used to repel them as well.
I’m just surprised no one said so sooner.
by Rick Pearson
“Here-a-logo, there-a-logo, everywhere-a…”
And, of course, the full-size.
We have another new set of tweaks today.
If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
And so, lets begin:
We start with Pat West, who begins our NFL Kickoff Weekend with some NFL tweaks:
Here are some tweaks of AFC teams. I tweaked 8 different teams as I would leave the other ones alone anyway. I copy pasted the Wikipedia templates created by Johnny Seoul into MS Paint and then tweaked them from there. Hardest part was to match the colors.
Bengals: Got rid of the funky white patch at the top of the pants, the side paneling and dropped the drop shadow.
Chargers: Made the powder blue the primary.
Chiefs: Made the black on the helmet logo yellow and fixed the pants striping on the red pants so they matched the white.
Dolphins: All I did was get rid of the drop shadow.
Jaguars: This uni obviously requires a lot of work. I got rid of the piping. I like how the helmet is a gradient change in the light between teal and black so I created some trim on the pants and sleeves to mimic that gradient shift.
Patriots: Got rid of the piping on the home and the piping and side paneling on the roads.
Ravens: Got rid of the drop shadow. I made their black pants have two purple stripes that mimic their helmet stripes. I gave them purple socks for the white unis.
Texans: Toyed around with white helmets but the navy looked better. Added some extra shoulder striping to match their pants.
Next up is our final tweaker for the day, Austin “Tex” Fischer, with some NHL concepts:
Hello UniWatch, I sent in some hockey concept several months back. Here are some new concepts.
Thanks fellas — back with more tomorrow.
Gridiron News & Notes:
There’s a bunch of things you need (and other things you don’t want) to know about the upcoming college and pro games this weekend.
• In one of the more disgusting “look at me” activities NFL players will be undertaking tomorrow is to wear gaudy stars-and-stipes cleats and gloves. Because nothing says America, Fuck Yeah than this. I wasn’t going to mention the tenth anniversary of a certain date on these boards, but this is really just taking it too far.
• I don’t know how many college teams are getting into the Stars & Stripes act, but here’s what Northwestern will be wearing on their helmets today. Not a fan of this, but it’s far less noxious than the “look at me” kicks & gloves the a few NFLers are planning to wear.
• The Buccaneers plan on paying tribute to the late legend Lee Roy Selmon throughout their season by wearing patches on their helmets. Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris hopes that some type of memorial will be used for the coaches, as well, since he would like to be part of the tribute, according to this article.
• Tonight’s Michigan/Notre Dame game will end two of the longest running helmet style streaks.
• Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s Reebok cleats will bear America’s Stars and Stripes with the word “Never” on the back of his left shoe and “Forget” on the right.
• Not to be out-patrioted, Major League Baseball teams will wear American flag patches on their caps Sunday.
• In college football, Tulsa will be going with a star-spangled helmet script Saturday.
• Boston College will have red bandana helmet stickers, to honor former BC athlete Welles Crowther, who saved a number of lives during the attacks on the World Trade Center.
• Arkansas will have a red, white, and blue mid-field logo.
• Samford will have a dual helmet tribute, for 9/11 and for Alabama’s tornado victims.
There will probably be a lot more…but that’s enough for now.
OK folks. Last night the Diamondbacks wore throwbacks to commemorate their 2001 World Series win. More photos here. ASU went BFBS. Joy. Enjoy a full slate of college football today — got a few very good early season match-ups, including the first ever night game in the Big House, replete with special costumes for both Notre Dame and Michigan. See you all tomorrow.
“Robinson spats his cleats when Big Ten season rolls around. He gets hard so many times it prevents his shoes from flying off.” — mmwatkin