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Grading the English Premier League Kits, Part I

EPL Kits hed 1 550
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[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from the site and will return in September. Daily content is continuing under the direction of deputy editor Phil Hecken, who’s running the site this month.]

By Phil Hecken

I’m pleased to present to you today the first of two (very) comprehensive reviews of the new EPL kits for 2015-16. When I put out the call for readers to pitch articles to me during Paul’s sabbatical, one of the readers who answered the call was Anthony Emerson, who asked if he could do a preview and grading of the forthcoming EPL kits. Since I’m not a soccer guy (although I’m finding myself watching more and more), I wholeheartedly agreed to Anthony’s proposal.

Here then, is Part One (for all images, click to enlarge):

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Grading Premier League Kits 2015-16, Pt. I
By Anthony Emerson

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Arsenal
Kit supplier: Puma (2nd season)
Kit sponsor: Emirates (10th season)

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Arsenal home

Home
Arsenal sport classy kits this year, their usual red and white home number is stylized with a polo collar and a button-down placket in the front. The Puma logo appears three times, once on the chest and once on each sleeve. The Arsenal badge itself appears to be made of that “flex” material that the recent Super Bowl and World Series patches were made of. There’s not much to complain about here; while the red striping on the sleeves and the white swooshes under the arms seem superfluous, I think it gives Arsenal a nice modern look and I think it’s an improvement over last season’s dreadful home kit. Not sold on the collar, however. Overall: B+
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Arsenal change

Change
The change kit is an attractive metallic gold with navy features. A sublimated diamond pattern makes the kit appear to be patched together at first glance, but I like the way it looks.. The Puma logo again is on the chest and both sleeves. I love this kit, I think it’s absolutely gorgeous…unfortunately, it doesn’t look that way on the pitch, which is the only place it matters. The gold gets dulled by the players’ sweat and turns a muddy brownish color. Not good. Overall: C
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Arsenal also has a third kit that is, as of now, unreleased.

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Aston Villa
Kit supplier: Macron (4th season)
Kit sponsor: Intuit (1st season)

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Aston Villa home

Home
Villa’s traditional claret and blue looks particularly stunning this season, with classy striped cuffs and collar. Macron’s logo appears on both sleeves as well as the chest. The only negative aspect is the intrusive Intuit QuickBooks sponsorship logo, and the only thing that keeps Villa’s offering from getting an A. Overall: B+
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Aston Villa change

Change
Villa’s away kit is equally classy, with eye-catching yellow and black. Macron’s logo again appears on both sleeves, and Intuit QuickBooks’ logo again subtracts from an otherwise gorgeous kit. Overall: B+.

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Bournemouth
Kit supplier: JD Sports (1st season)
Kit sponsor: Mansion (1st season)

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Bournemouth home

Home
Bournemouth’s first ever season in the top flight of English football will be experienced in this rather unspectacular, but certainly not ugly kit. Bournemouth’s usual red and black stripes and scoop neck evoke a traditional look. JD Sports’ logo dominates both sleeves, and when the Premier League badges are added beneath them, the sleeves will look quite cluttered and unsightly. The Mansion logo’s colors fit in with the Cherries’ overall color scheme, but it appears JD Sports played it rather safe with Bournemouth’s inaugural Premier League kit. Not bad, but not great. Overall: B.
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Bournemouth change

Change
Bournemouth’s change kit this season will be carried over from last season, save for the Cabrini and Energy Consulting logos being swapped for JD Sports and Mansion. I’m curious to see how Mansion’s logo will look on this kit, as it will impact whether I give it a D or an F. I despise (most) gradients on football kits.
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Bournemouth third

Third
Pinkwashing comes to England! JD Sports pretty much took their template for Bournemouth’s home kit and painted it pink. Keeping the Mansion logo red was also a bad move, as it creates a headache-inducing color cluster. Overall: F.

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Chelsea
Kit supplier: Adidas (10th season)
Kit sponsor: Yokohama Tyres (1st season)

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Chelsea home

Home
Chelsea first kit in a decade without electronics giant Samsung on the front, Chelsea is now sponsored by tire giants Yokohama. The worst part of this new sponsorship deal is Yokohama getting to add their intrusive “Y” logo in addition to spelling out their entire name. Downgrade from just “Samsung”. I dislike the collar as well…either go full collar or don’t. Chelsea’s kit also has sublimated pinstripes, largely invisible on the pitch. Overall: C+
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Chelsea change

Change
Chelsea’s change kits is white and evokes their classy 2013/2014 kit. The crest is monochrome blue, which makes you wonder why they even bothered with that because most people won’t notice the difference anyway. The Yokohama logo fits in more with this kit, probably because it’s not surrounded by dark blue and there are red elements in its immediate vicinity. I don’t like the unequal striping on the sleeves, though. A pretty good effort for a change kit. Overall: B
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Chelsea also has an all-black third kit coming, as of yet unreleased.

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Crystal Palace
Kit supplier: Macron (2nd season)
Kit sponsor: Mansion (1st season)

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Crystal Palace home

Home
Crystal Palace and Bournemouth share more than a league this season: they also share a sponsor and, seemingly, a kit, as both clubs have thick stripes with a scoop neck. I can hardly blame them, though, it’s a classy look. Like with the other Macron kits, the logo appears on the sleeves. I couldn’t find any great pictures of the kit with the Mansion logo on the front, unfortunately. Overall: B+
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Crystal Palace change

Change
I adore this kit. Evoking Paris Saint-Germain, but decidedly putting their own Palacian twist, this kit will look absolutely stunning on the pitch. It’s simple, elegant and timeless. Overall: A+

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Everton
Kit supplier: Umbro (2nd season)
Kit sponsor: Chang Beer (11th season)

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Everton home

Home
Umbro is the latest manufacturer to join in on the “let’s put our logos on both sleeves” crowd. Anyway, Everton’s home offering this year is decent, but I don’t get the point of having a fake v-neck. Either have a v-neck or don’t. Stupid. Overall: C+
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Everton change

Change
Hooped sleeves create a unique and not at all unpleasant look for Everton’s away offering. Hard to find anything to complain about in the design, as white is always striking on the pitch. Overall: A-
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Everton third

Third
Everton seem to have been inspired by hunterswear, with bright orange accents on a military green shirt. It’s a color scheme not often seen on the pitch, and while this comic-book inspired announcement image is certainly nice, I’ll wait until I see it on the pitch to make a final judgement: Overall: B (subject to review)

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Leicester City
Kit supplier: Puma (4th season)
Kit sponsor: King Power (6th season)

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Leicester home

Home
The biggest change for Leicester it seems is the new King Power logo; no longer with a strange “K” mark, King Power has simplified their logo, and Leicester City’s kits are better for it. The actual kits are nothing to write home about, as it almost seems like Puma forgot about Leicester and just put their crest on a blue shirt. Overall: C
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Leicester change

Change
I feel like we’ve seen this before. Yes, it’s Arsenal’s (in)famous diamond change kit design, here in black. Again, I like the idea of it, and I’m pretty sure it won’t turn an ugly brown color a-la Arsenal’s gold. Overall: B

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Liverpool
Kit supplier: New Balance (1st season)
Kit sponsor: Standard Chartered (6th season)

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Liverpool home

Home
Liverpool put out a classy design this year, with a sublimated checkerboard pattern that gradients into pinstripes. A gold “96” bordered by flames in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster appears above the player’s name, as it has for several years.The rest of the kit is pretty conservative, no gratuitous striping like last season’s, nor does the New Balance logo show up on every conceivable surface. I don’t entirely dig the collar stripes, but it’s not enough to diminish the kit. Overall: A-
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Liverpool change

Change
New Balance also plays it conservative for Liverpool’s away kit. The all white is broken up by a red faux v-neck collar (stupid) and red stripes on the sleeves that scoop up towards the shoulders on the back (also stupid). If New Balance continued with the conservative streak and toned down the collar and sleeve stripes, it would’ve been to this kit’s benefit. Overall: C+
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Liverpool third

Third
New Balance wraps up Liverpool with a classy all black kit, with a sublimated hoop design. The traditional color works well, and while I dislike the shoulder stripes and it could use just a touch more red, it’s a well-done kit overall. Overall: A

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Manchester City
Kit supplier: Nike (3rd season)
Kit sponsor: Etihad (7th season)

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Man City home

Home
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Three years ago, Nike sponsored three of the five largest clubs in the league, plus a few smaller ones. Now, it’s only City. Nike’s sole kit for the Premier League is solid if unspectacular. Worth noting is that City’s returning to radially arched NOB’s, as opposed to the straight that we’ve seen in recent years. I like the collar, and the return of City’s traditional white shorts is certainly welcome, but Nike’s insistence of putting City’s crest inside of a badge continues to piss me off for some largely inexplicable reason. Overall: B
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Man City change

Change
Here is where Nike goes full Swoosh. While it’s hard to see in that image, Nike has added a moon motif to each of the sleeves. Yes, I’m serious. And it’s a shame, too, because I like the rest of the kit! The midnight blue with electric blue accents is gorgeous, and it would easily be one of my favorite kits of the season if it weren’t for that damn moon motif. In case you’re wondering, “Blue Moon” is one of City supporters’ favorite chants, and a blue moon is visible on the scoreboard. Still. No. Overall: F

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Manchester United
Kit supplier: Adidas (1st season)
Kit sponsor: Chevrolet (2nd season)

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Man Utd home

Home
Adidas’ inaugural United offering evokes the classic strips of the 1980s, the last time Adidas outfitted Manchester United. The three stripes will take some getting used to by United fans (it’s been 25 years since they were last featured), but add a nice bit of color to United’s usual all-white shorts. Chevrolet’s gold logo continues to be an eyesore on the front of the kit. The thick white cuffs on the sleeves seem superfluous. Overall: B
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Man Utd change

Change
White and black, per usual, make up the base of United’s change strip. The red three stripes again add a welcome bit of color to this unsurprisingly drab offering, the v-neck the only bit of style. I do like the white socks though. Overall: D
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Man Utd third

Third
While I’ve tried to hold this piece to kits that have been officially released, I had to share what is certainly my favorite shirt of the year: United’s 3rd. This is the best of United’s kits, and should be the primary change kit. All black with a sublimated design evoking one of United’s most famous change kits (and the last under United’s previous deal with Adidas), this will look striking on the pitch and stylish on the fans. Overall: A+

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OK — that will do it for Part I — big thanks to Anthony for his preview & grading. What say you, Uni Watchers — do you agree, disagree, or are you somewhere in between? Let him know below. Be back with Part II later.

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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

I usually run this feature on the weekends, but since I’m running the show during Paul’s sabbatical this month, I’ll probably (or at least as long as guys submit to me) run these once a week during August. Got several today, all from Bruce Menard.

Click any photo to enlarge

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

1938 (Aug9) Walter Johnson local Dr Pepper Team (2015  combo)W - Bruce Menard

1938 (Aug9) Walter Johnson local Dr Pepper Team uni BW vs   COLORxW - Bruce Menard

Hey Phil,

~ Walter Johnson & Son Play For The Dr. Pepper Team (Washington, D.C. – August 9, 1938)
(Wire Tag) “The Big Train Still Packs ”˜Em In – Walter Johnson, coach of a local team representing a beverage manufacturer (Dr. Pepper), takes his son Eddie, left, a student at the University of Maryland, to one side to give his instruction in the game where Johnson won his fame as the Big Train of the Big Leagues. Eddie plays with his Dad’s team when not at school. 8/9/38”

. . .

z1969 (Aug9) YS Mickey Joe OTD (2015 edit)7W - Bruce Menard

zz1969 (Aug9) YS Mickey JoeD OTD (BW vs COLOR)W - Bruce Menard

~ Mickey Mantle & Joe DiMaggio Reminisce At Old Timers’ Day (Yankee Stadium – August 9, 1969)
(Wire Tag) “Stars Of The Past ”“ It must be a moment for reminiscences as Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, fables stars of the Yankee days of glory, get together Saturday on the steps of Yankee Stadium dugout prior to annual Old Timers Day.“

. . .

1970 (Aug8) YS Casey Stengel Uniform 37 Retired (2015  edit)3BrdW - Bruce Menard

1970 (Aug8) YS Casey Stengel Uniform 37 Retired (BW vs  Color) - Bruce Menard

~ Casey Stengel Has His #37 Retired By The New York Yankees (Old Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium – August 8, 1970)

. . .

1972 (Aug8) Sparky Lyle NYY Dalmation Pup helmet (2015   combo color)W - Bruce Menard

1972 (Aug8) Sparky Lyle NYY Dalmation Pup helmet (BW vs   COLOR)W - Bruce Menard

~ Sparky Lyle & His New Puppy “Little Spark” (Yankee Stadium – August 8, 1972)
(Wire Tag) “Lapping It Up – Sparky Lyle, New York Yankee relief pitcher, is presented with a dalmatian pup for the great job he has been doing as the Yank’s top relief artist, during pre-game festivities at Yankee Stadium, Tuesday. Lyle entered the game with Detroit in the seventh inning and went on to get a victory, his fourth, 4-2. He has also registered 24 saves thus far this year.”

Cheers,

Bruce

That’s it for today. Great job, Bruce!

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got a really cool e-mail from Ferdinand Cesarano over the weekend, and it’s just chock full of goodness. It’s simply too good for the ticker.

Here’s Ferdinand:

. . .

Phil,

I have attached the only latter-day picture I have ever seen of Willie Mays in a New York Giants uniform.

mays-bonds

mays-ny-giants

I don’t want to overstate things, but the New York Giants have been popping up in various forms lately. There was the rehabilitation by the New York City Parks Department of an outdoor stairway located in High Bridge Park at Coogan’s Bluff near the Polo Grounds site. The stairway had been completed in 1913, and was built by New York Giants owner John T. Brush, who died a year before it was done. It was refurbished with the help of contributions from all the existing teams that had ever played at the Polo Grounds: the Yankees, the Mets, the football Giants, the Jets…and the baseball Giants!

Dig this quote from Giants’ president Larry Baer: “The San Francisco, formerly New York, Giants are very proud to join in the restoration of the John T. Brush Stairway. Our team remains deeply connected to our New York roots, and the stairway will forever serve as a reminder to all Giants fans of our rich history and the many Giants greats who played at the Polo Grounds.”

“The San Francisco, formerly New York, Giants”. An absolutely beautiful acknowledgement of the continuity of the franchise.

The Giants have always been great at acknowledging their history. They long ago put Mel Ott’s and Christly Mathewson’s names alongside the club’s retired numbers. And they have brought the World Series trophy to New York after each of their recent World Championships, each time characterising the trip as visiting the club’s former home. Larry Baer said in 2010: “Toward the top of our list, after winning, was doing something for our fans in New York.”

Here is a shot of a New York fan enjoying the 2012 trophy.

The club recently gave a new 1954 World Series ring to Monte Irvin, whose original had been stolen. Here’s a shot of Baer making the presentation to Irvin, joined by another Giants executive, Bobby Evans.

The most surprising thing occurred during a recent trip to Lids, I was pleased to see at least five different kinds of New York Giants caps there. In fact, they had more New York Giants caps than Brooklyn Dodgers caps — and this Lids was in Brooklyn!

The fact is that the New York Giants as a cultural phenomenon in the City peaked in the 1890s through the 1920s. The Giants stopped being a big deal in New York when Babe Ruth started hitting home runs in the Polo Grounds for the Yankees, helping them to outdraw the Giants in the Giants’ own ballpark (which cheesed off the Giants so much that they kicked the Yankees out). The Giants didn’t have as much cultural cache in New York as the Brooklyn Dodgers during the teams’ last several decades in New York; and, since the teams’ moves to California, the Giants certainly haven’t become a phenomenon of nostalgia anywhere near to the extent that the Dodgers have.

But the history is evidently not entirely forgotten. We should note that a major sporting-goods retailer stocks so many varieties of New York Giants caps only because it thinks that it can sell them. And the heart is warmed to see the Giants organisation itself playing a big role in creating these conditions, and acting to keep the history alive.

Ferdinand Cesarano

Thanks, Ferdinand! Great stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here’s a good article on baseball managers wearing uniforms with some interesting observations from Buck Showalter, an analysis of the sartorial stylings of Bobby Cox and even a Seinfeld reference (from Patrick O’Neill). … You may recall Cameron Maybin wore quite a high set of stirrups last week. The reaction was swift and severe: Apparently MLB won’t let Maybin wear the stirrups he wore anymore; Braves beat writer Dave O’Brien responded, then took a shot at pajamaists (from Michael Rich). … “The Blue Jays are still using a shot of Justin Smoak wearing #14 on their promos on Rogers Sportsnet,” notes Dave Feigenbaum. “He gave it up to David Price and is now wearing #13.” … Trying to break out of a slump (or so the thoughtline goes), the Twins wore red Batting Practice jerseys Friday & Saturday. They won Friday, but got their asses kicked on Saturday. … When you play on artificial turf do you really need a groundskeeper? Yes, yes you do (from Cassian Wykes). … “With the Braves making good use of the trade system within the MLB, an Atlanta fan had a pretty clever shirt,” (thanks to Dustin Semore). … Saturday night, the Akron Rubber Ducks wore old style Browns’ jerseys (from Mike Neely). … Tweeter Rich Miller found his old collection of Dairy Queen mini helmets. Sweet. … The Detroit Tigers will be having a TBTC game, and here’s the cap they’ll wear. Submitter “Fuck School” isn’t certain of the date. … Wow, check out this old Vancouver Mounties jersey, with quotation marks! (from Dan the Baseball man); further research shows this was only worn for a few years in the mid-60s. … As pointed out by many, the As have really been inconsistent in their sock/stirrup colors/patterns this year, but none works worse than these horrible 2-in-1’s with cuffs pulled up the knee. There were apparently 4 different socks/stirrups worn Saturday. Yesterday, as noted by Richard PalomaBrett Lawrie’s choice for today — looks like two-in-ones but I could be wrong. Regardless, given that Billy Burn has ‘A’s’ logos on his, this adds to the plethora worn this weekend.” … Over the weekend, the Kokomo Jackrabbits had Margarita-themed jerseys (from BLRMKRdave). … “New Nats T-shirts provide a chocolate syrup shower without the mess,” (according to Scott Allen). … This is kinda neat: the State College Spikes wore Jerome Bettis HOF jerseys yesterday (h/t David Gutting). … Here’s a great chronology/evolution of the Pittsburgh Pirates logo (from Todd Radom). … We’ve had several pics of MLBers in what appear to be different shades of gray, but this Birmingham Barons set definitely appears to have mis-matched shades (via Josh Claywell). Must be on a Minor League rehab assignment. … 58 yrs ago (on August 8th) the Dodgers announced their move from Brooklyn to LA. Here’s where they got their “LA” cap logo (from Todd Radom, sent in by Brinke). … Psst. Wanna see some photos of the 1969 Mets?

NFL News: “Ever see the (NFL 50) patch below the number?” asks Brinke. “Has to be pre-season 69.” … A Kansas City Chiefs fan has decorated a toilet with logos of the Chief’s AFC West rivals (from Aaron Husul. … “How BOUT dem Cowboys?” asks Brinke). … Think you know everything about the Pittsburgh Stillers’ helmets? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. … Lions WR Golden Tate wore a wrestling mask during practice warmups (thanks, Mike). … At yesterday’s Military Appreciation Day, the Eagles went with camo-themed jerseys, including the red, no-contact one (via Jeff McLane, Bleeding Green Nation and Mike Tilley, respectively). … Here’s a wonderful old shot of the Cowboys and Cardinals from the 1960s (from Super 70s Sports). … If you weren’t aware, Alvin Wyatt had a very oddly shaped facemask. Reader Aaron Hosul writes, “I had seen this Helmet Hut classic mask on UW before but here are some screenshots in action.” … As always seems to be the case, the HOF field (HOF game was played last evening) seems to have a plethora of lines and dashes (yes I know high school and college teams play there, so that’s why). Also, get used to seeing gold “50” yard numbers this year. They’ll be at every stadium (in celebration of Supe 50). … RIP Frank Gifford.

College/HS/Other Football News: Like a number of schools, now Miami has made a move to sell more generic jersey numbers. … Have you ever asked, why do all of Marshall’s wide receivers have a yellow stripe down the middle of their helmets? Me neither, but now you know. … A Barnes & Noble in Ohio is selling Ohio State jerseys that feature a curious placement of Ohio State’s eighth championship Buckeye leaf. … Jimmer Vilk will surely hate the Manvel’s squad’s white-on-white football uniforms. … The Arena Bowl XXVII logo has been released. Mike adds, “Looks kinda amateurish, right?” … The St. louis Post-Dispatch has an Illinois High School obscure mascot slide show gallery. Says Iggy Blissful, “I love the Hoopeston Cornjerkers.” … Magnolia High School here in WV will apparently be using the Navy helmet with an M on it this year (via Coleman Mullins). … Whitmer High School, where David Hamen works, released their own uniform reveal video. ” They unveiled 12 different combinations using a Navy, Maize, and White jersey that can be paired with a Navy, Maize, White, and Grey pants.” … Here’s a first look at THE Ohio State University’s new training camp helmets. … Check out this beautiful 1971 Auburn vs. Alabama game program (nice find by PressRoomGFS). … These UNC Tar Heels jerseys show a name font that is in none of the fonts in Nike re-branding (Carolina Bold, Champion, Franklin Gothic), from James Gilbert. … Johnny had this in yesterday, UW, but…Um…the Oregon Ducks 2015 football magnet schedule is complete with glow in the dark uniform elements (from Matthew Robins). … Bowling Green’s switch from adidas to Nike requires MAC patch over Adidas logo on practice jerseys (from Noel Blaha). … Utah Football asks Did U know our new Utes have to earn the drum and feather on their helmets? … And while some guys have to earn their stripes/logos, other schools put on a black stripe and make you ‘lose’ it. … Hmmmm — will this end up being the Ohio State University BFBS uni? (via Timothy Gilliam).

NBA News: Here’s a great look back at the Atlanta Hawks’ jerseys throughout history. … Whoa! Check out these “wild unis from the ’40s. Submitter Phil Lawson didn’t provide any additional details, but those are…wild. … Also from Phil, check out this old Keds ad. … One last one from Phil: “Chuck Taylor from the 40s”. … No list of terrible 70s mascots is complete without the Sonics’ Wheedle, who “looked like a badly disfigured Muppet,” according to Super 70s Sports. … Here’s a first look at the new Milwaukee Bucks’ uni (from Shane Cox).

Soccer News: BBC Sport made interactive page documenting the statistical history of the current 20 Premier League teams after the date of your birth (from Saurel Jean). … Man United’s Memphis Depay is wearing #7, and has his first name on the back of his jersey (thanks to Brian Mazmanian). … According to Clint Richardson, the Auburn ladies have added an orange version of the Northwestern stripe slash uniforms introduced last year. … Here’s a look at Nebraska’s new soccer kit tops (via Eric Leach). … Ooops — Red Bulls player Felipe suffered a pretty brutal pants rip yesterday (nice grab by Matt Harris). Here’s another look (from Diego Bauzá).

College Hoops News: Here’s a first look at Virginia Tech’s new basketball court with the Carilion Court sponsorship (from Andrew Cosentino). … On Friday, a fresh coat of paint was reapplied to white portions of the Smith Center court floor (h/t James Gilbert).

Grab Bag: The jumper worn by the Australian rules football team of St Patrick’s College, Ballarat has vertical stripes on the body and horizontal stripes on the sleeves, notes Graham Clayton. “As an aside, every player appears to have their socks pulled down, rather than pulled up towards their knees.” … Wales’ new rugby World Cup kit has been revealed. … From trailers to tents: NASCAR changes souvenir merchandising (from Tommy the CPA).

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Phew! That’s going to do it for this Monday. Big thanks to Anthony for the EPL preview/grading and Bruce for the colorizations, and to everyone who submitted for the ticker by e-mail or Twitter. Catch you guys and gals tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“R.I.P. Frank Gifford”
–Skycat

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83 comments to Grading the English Premier League Kits, Part I

  • timmy b | August 10, 2015 at 8:05 am |

    Vikings wore the NFL50 patch BELOW the numbers on the white jersey (except for Super Bowl IV) and the mesh purple jersey. On the durene purple jersey, the Vikes wore NFL50 on the left shoulder. The pic you have of Joe Kapp was from the game at Los Angeles against the Rams in Week 12, the only time the purple mesh was worn in the regular season.

  • JE | August 10, 2015 at 8:46 am |

    Poor EPL kit reviews.
    Calling the arsenal collar a “polo” style? It’s completely different. Nehru might be more appropriate.
    Also, the only difference across Man U’s jerseys are color for the most part – and one gets an F and another an A? Ok…

    • Silver Creek Doug | August 10, 2015 at 9:21 am |

      United’s third kit (the black one) is much different that the home and primary change kits. It has a sublimated pattern on it evoking memories of United’s last change kit produced by Adidas in 1990-92. See image link below.

      http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Manchester_United/Manchester_United-change-kits.html

      As a longtime United supporter, I hate the white change kit; to me, it’s lazy. I much prefer the traditional blue change kit (http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/assets/4833158/Man_Utd_3rd_FINAL_original.jpg) or the yellow/green halves kit paying homage to the club’s beginnings as Newton Heath https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a7/01/70/a70170f7652655c5e5d88cd6470a54a8.jpg)

    • ThresherK | August 10, 2015 at 9:48 am |

      Was wondering about that. I thought “Maybe the term ‘polo collar’ means something different over in EPL-land’.”

      Others:

      Arsenal went from thick-striped socks to thin-striped socks. I’d rather the former, but agree that the rest of the red uni looks better, less cluttered.

      Palace’s change kit (black with the red-blue “sash”) I enjoyed, and I like the new one too. Wish they could keep both.

    • Vee63 | August 10, 2015 at 11:22 am |

      Reminds me of a cadet collar, or standing collar, as used early baseball jerseys.

      I really like Man City’s tiny little collar. Opposite of those awesome huge collars soccer teams wore in the ’70s.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm |

      I’m sorry you didn’t like the post. The collar has been referred to as “polo” in Puma and Arsenal marketing. I was ambivalent about referring to it at first, but ultimately decided to go with it.

      United’s away kit gets an F because they always, always just recolor the home jersey white. It smacks of lazy design, which is not something I expect from Adidas. I don’t even really see the necessity of the white kit, they could’ve just used the (stunning) black as the change.

      My opinion on change kits is: that’s the opportunity for the club to do something fun, unique and original. And United, whether under Nike or Adidas, rarely do that.

      • Silver Creek Doug | August 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm |

        Anthony, that’s not true. Maybe in the recent past (especially under Nike), but go look at the link I posted showing the historical change kits the club have used. United have a history of not choosing white as the primary change kit.

        I agree that Adidas could have gone bolder, but I doubted they would in the first year of a new deal.

        • Colin T | August 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm |

          Hmmm, in the last 40 years, Man U have used ~2.5x more than blue as an Away strip, including the sublime 84-86 white away kit (ironically, essentially a reversal of the home that year, an approach that I personally like).

        • Colin T | August 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm |

          Sorry, that should say that they’ve used white 2.5x more than blue.

        • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 9:53 pm |

          Just going back through the last ten seasons, in reverse order:

          15/16: White with black shorts

          14/15: White with black shorts

          13/14: All blue with tartan motif

          12/13: White with black shorts

          11/12: Black and blue hoops

          10/11: White with black shorts

          09/10: All black

          08/09: White with blue shorts

          07/08: All black

          06/07: White with black shorts

          So that’s six white jerseys, five of them with black shorts in the past decade, and this season is the second consecutive. If they needed a white kit (which, IIRC, is a rule; a team must have a “light” option), they should’ve made it the third and used the black kit as the “official” change. They’re going to need to use the black one at Sunderland, Southampton and Stoke anyway, and they’d look better at their rivals Liverpool and Arsenal in the black.

        • ColinT | August 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm |

          Well, lets just say I disagree. White is the best (and most frequent) choice for a Man U away shirt, ideally coupled with black shorts.

          Colin

    • Bush League Bill | August 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm |

      Man City’s away kit is an A+ in my book.

    • EdBegleysMindScooter | August 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm |

      Agreed. This really is a pretty terrible rundown. The pictures are shite and the ritualistic hatred for anything not totally bland is tiresome.

      Overall Grade: D+

  • The Jeff | August 10, 2015 at 8:50 am |

    So here’s a question… why do they still have different hashmarks for each level of play? For that matter, with players getting bigger and faster as they advance… shouldn’t the progression be the other way, with the NFL having the marks farther apart to allow for more room?

    • Original Jim | August 10, 2015 at 9:58 am |

      They have different hashmarks because the goal posts are not the same size. In Ohio, there are three different football field markings: NFL, NCAA, and High School Federation. Here in Massachusetts, our high schools play by NCAA rules, so we don’t encounter Federation games unless we go out of state, like New Hampshire, for example.

      The Federation hashmarks are furthest out (I think), then work their way towards the middle of the field.

      NCAA/Federation goal posts are also wider than the NFL’s.

      You may also have noticed a set of lines between the numbers and the sideline. The field numbers in the NFL are much closer to the middle of the field. NCAA numbers are further out, and are used as a guideline for eligibility of substitutions (all legal players must be “inside the numbers” at some point between the end of the previous play and before the ball is snapped). You will see this on most NFL fields that also host NCAA games.

  • Tony C. | August 10, 2015 at 9:05 am |

    “Think you know everything about the Pittsburgh Stillers’ helmets? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t”

    Stillers??

    • The Jeff | August 10, 2015 at 9:09 am |

      It’s a Pennsylvania thing. They don’t do E’s very well. They have the Stillers and the Iggles. Don’t question it, it’ll just make your head hurt.

    • Dumb Guy | August 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm |

      Yinz wouldn’t understand.

  • Sixte | August 10, 2015 at 9:07 am |

    Actually, as any follower of the french Ligue 1 would know, Crystal Palace’s change kit is reminiscent of Lyons’ home kit (especially the version of the late 90’s /early 00’s, with Sonny Anderson and Juninho.)

    http://www.soccerwallpaper.mackafe.com/var/albums/Juninho-Pernambucano-Wallpaper-Gallery-838076242/Juninho_Pernambucano-lyon.jpg?m=1294127701

    • J Clayton Davis | August 10, 2015 at 9:25 am |

      Little-known fact about Palace – Barcelona actually ripped THEM off in designing its original kits/colours.

      • Sixte | August 10, 2015 at 9:44 am |

        While it’s a true that some continental teams earned their colors from english teams (best known example might be Juventus/Notts county), it’s not the case here.
        It has been proven that Barclona played in “blaugrana” as early 1900, while Crystal Palace has been founded in 1905 and started to use this colour scheme in the mid 70’s.

        • J Clayton Davis | August 10, 2015 at 10:58 am |

          My mistake there – I remember reading that a few years back but obviously whomever had written it was far off base.

          Per the invaluable historicalfootballkits site, it looks like Palace was originally kitted out in Villa hand-me-downs.

          Looks like the ever-beloved (to me, anyway) Malcolm Allison set them up in their current scheme.

      • Nathan | August 10, 2015 at 2:43 pm |

        It is more likely that Barcelona took their colors from the Swiss team FC Basel. Barcelona was founded by a former Basel captain, Joan Gamper, and the colors are identical.

  • J Clayton Davis | August 10, 2015 at 9:30 am |

    Phil, you are a bit harsh on City’s away shirt. It actually looks pretty nice in person, and the blue moon sleeve pattern is so sublimated as to be almost unnoticeable.

    You make a good point about the club crest being inside the shield. This has been a sore point with City supporters since Nike took over our shirts prior to 13-14. My understanding is that their sweatshop/mass-production model does not allow the irregularly-shaped bade to be applied directly to the shirt without an unacceptable and unprofitable amount of work being done by the slaves- er, employees.

    City’s third shirt figures to be ghastly. Neon yellow with gradient black ends of the sleeves. Typical mass-produced Nike template crap – much as every Nike club was stuck with the same template for a third shirt last year.

    • Phil Hecken | August 10, 2015 at 9:42 am |

      “Phil, you are a bit harsh on City’s away shirt.”

      ~~~

      Perhaps you missed the intro and subsequent by-line — these grades were provided by Anthony Emerson.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm |

      Eh, might be my disdain for City eeking into that. Don’t blame Phil!

      Anyway, I really, really like the rest of the kit. But the moon motif is just…ugh. I know it’s sublimated but the entire idea and just seems a little strange. Maybe if it were on the inside of the kit? I don’t know.

      I find it weird that they started with the “badge within the shield” thing after Nike took over. After all, Nike bought Umbro and used them to take all their best sponsorships (City and the English national team most prominently). Did Umbro have enough control not to use the sweatshops?

      • J Clayton Davis | August 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm |

        Interestingly, the “badge within a shield” is not a new feature on City shirts. We had this in the 1990s a few times (with Umbro, no less.)

        Umbro in recent years always did an embroidered badge. Once Nike took over that was all for that. Three consecutive years now with the stupid shield.

        If you look at the other Nike clubs with odd-shaped badges (i.e. QPR) you kind of see the dynamic in play. Just a shoddy company and with relatively cheap material on all their gear compared to our last stretch with Umbro.

        When crap Nike first foisted the shield on us they talked a bunch of bollocks about how it was an homage to the 1956 FA Cup-winning change kit. Not having that, obviously. Three years of homage to Don Revie and the boys? Never knew Nike had such respect for tradition.

        The blue moon design could have been worse! The original mockups had the thing more or less extending across the entire upper torso!

        Anyway, I liked your ratings in general! Just love reading/talking about kits!

        • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm |

          As a United fan, I’m super excited about Adidas taking over. Their kit designs have been uninspired throughout the ten years they had the contract (save for 12/13).

          I haven’t seen the mockups! Wow, I would’ve had to give City a Z if that’s the Swoosh went with that.

    • Colin T | August 10, 2015 at 2:59 pm |

      I agree. Haven’t seen it in person yet, but I admit I do like the MC Away shirt, though I do think the dark + fluorescent highlight designs are at risk of becoming unfashionable and old at this point.

      • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm |

        Prediction time: we’re going to see a resurgence of “classic” looking kits because of West Ham this year.

        • ColinT | August 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm |

          Claret and blue is my favorite kit combo, and West Ham is usually the best of them each season. Their new away kit is again top notch.

          Colin

  • Matthew Toy | August 10, 2015 at 9:40 am |

    That Cowboys-Cardinals photo is from the mid 60s. The star on the helmet doesn’t have the blue outline yet. They added that in 67.

    • Phil Hecken | August 10, 2015 at 9:44 am |

      Ah. Good catch (I thought it might be older). Will fix. (Usually the stuff Super 70s Sports posts is from, ya know, the 70s).

      • TIm | August 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm |

        Yet another Cowboys photo that shows how grey the pant used to be, vs. the stupid greenish ones they wear now.

        • The Jeff | August 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm |

          Meh, the old pants were a worse match with the helmet than the current ones are. The Cowboys bigger problem is the multiple shades of blue.

        • TIm | August 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm |

          Disagree about the pants, but agree with the comment on their blues. The other component I hate is the stupid black outlines on their sleeve stripes (white jerseys). It’s strange; I like their “away” getup in almost every way, but hate their “home/white” combo in just about every way.

  • walter | August 10, 2015 at 9:44 am |

    The jumper worn by the Australian rules football team of St Patrick’s College, Ballarat has vertical stripes on the body and horizontal stripes on the sleeves, notes Graham Clayton.

    That’s one of the handsomest pullovers I’ve seen in years. But I always thought Aussie football jumpers were sleeveless. Feel free to disabuse me of such wrongheaded ideas.

    • timmy b | August 10, 2015 at 10:02 am |

      A lot of them were, until about 15-20 years ago. Then the macho element took over. I guess if you wear a sleeved jersey/jumper today, you’re a wuss. Footy players love to show their guns, mate.

      • Graham Clayton | August 10, 2015 at 7:34 pm |

        From what I have read, apparently long-sleeved jumpers got very hot quickly. With footballers doing more running than ever before, they need to cool down more, and not having long sleeves helps that process.

        Why I like the St Pats jumper is that it has just one stripe on the front and just one stripe on the sleeve.

        I might add a piece of long-sleeve trivia. Brad Hardie played his entire WAFL/VFL/AFL career with South Fremantle, Footscray, Brisbane and Collingwood between 1979 and 1992 in a long-sleeve jumper. The reason? At the age of 15, Hardie received burns to 65% of his body in an accident, and wore the long-sleeve jumper to hide the scars.

  • Jordan W | August 10, 2015 at 9:45 am |

    Thanks for the hard work, Anthony. Just wanted to say that the Manchester City name stamps are radially arched, not vertically.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm |

      D’oh! I only just noticed that they had changed it before sending it to Phil, so that was one of my last edits to the piece. Should’ve studied harder.

  • Omar Jalife | August 10, 2015 at 10:07 am |

    Great Preview
    As an Arsenal fan I really loved the new collar in the jersey. Looks different than regula uncollared shirts and the ones with the polo collar. Already bought it and it frankly looks wonderful.
    About the liverpool third kit, just foubd it odd that no black players appear in the picture while they do in the other kits

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 3:26 pm |

      The reaction has seemed pretty much split on the collar. I think it’s a real love it or hate it feature.

  • Original Jim | August 10, 2015 at 10:20 am |

    The font used on the back of UNC’s football jerseys is one of Nike’s standard nameplate fonts. I think Georgia was the first to use it a few years ago. Offhand, I know it’s used by Georgia, Ohio State, FSU, Washington, and UNC.

  • Mainspark | August 10, 2015 at 10:26 am |

    All EPL kits have advertising which is prominently displayed on the front of the jersey, correct? League Grade – F

    • The Jeff | August 10, 2015 at 11:02 am |

      Exactly. The team crest is so small you can’t tell wtf it is. The sponsor logos, on the other hand…

    • MG12 | August 10, 2015 at 11:45 am |

      At this point just about every football, futbol, and soccer league shirts have sponsorship on them.

      Get ready for NBA and NFL to follow suit.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm |

      Without them, many of the teams would’ve died decades ago.

  • ChrisH | August 10, 2015 at 10:39 am |

    The NASCAR Bazaar at Pocono was much better than the trailer set-up in terms of traffic (less congested and speedy checkout). Product mix was improved too, though the mark-up did cause some sticker-shock.
    I do miss the independent/unaffiliated merchandise haulers that have been phased out. Haggling was possible and they usually carried a wide range of new and discontinued/vintage items.

  • Lindy | August 10, 2015 at 10:44 am |

    There’s still an Arena League?

    • The Jeff | August 10, 2015 at 11:14 am |

      Yes, though it’s a bit convoluted. The original AFL died and then the AF2 took over the name and brought back a bunch of the old team names. It’s kinda like the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens situation, only for the whole league.

  • Jerry | August 10, 2015 at 10:54 am |

    I’m thinking that the Tigers cap will be worn against the Cubs, next Tuesday or Wednesday (8/18 or 8/19), at Wrigley. As a celebration of the 1945 World Series, which the Tigers won in seven games, all four of their wins came at Wrigley. It is also the series, where the Billy Goat Curse comes from. It also the last time the Cubs appeared in a World Series.

  • Bryan | August 10, 2015 at 11:09 am |

    Aston Villa had a MNOB instance as new signing Idrissa Gana Gueye used “Gana” on his shirt. UTV

  • Mike Rhodes | August 10, 2015 at 11:33 am |

    The New York Giants Preservation Society Facebook page has a grand total of 891 likes, or fewer than Facebook likes for individual dogs. I hope that puts everything in the right perspective. It’s fine to appreciate baseball history, but “continuity of a franchise” is right up there with “national championships won by Florida colleges”. It’s an innocuous, ceremonial, statement with little traction.

    The only reason NY Giants hats been increasing in sales is because of the recent world title success, let’s be clear about that. After more than a half century, the San Francisco finally won their first WS. And if you do your research, you’ll find the vast majority of folks who occasionally wear NY Giants gear are either Mets or Yankees fans most of the year, or have an older family member connection.

    Make no mistake, the New York Giants officially died in the late 50s. The San Francisco Giants will always be different, as a new set of memories and accomplishments began the day of the first pitch in San Fran. The simple, harsh, reality, would be the diminishing numbers of living folks who even saw the NY Giants play in person.

    Having the SF Giants doing something ceremonial in NYC is almost irrelevant to the big picture. The smartest approach should be to acknowledge the history of a relocated franchise with retired numbers, and the occasional throwback uniform. Anything more looks foolish, as if the person has a self-esteem problem when rooting for their local team.

  • James G | August 10, 2015 at 11:50 am |

    Who in MLB or the Braves front office thought the stirrups were awful? What’s awful is the pajamas pants look. Maybin looked great. If MLB was to do something in terms of a uniform standard, it should ban pajama pants, require stirrups and then maybe regulate the height of the stirrups and how low the pants can go. Pajama pants need to be totally banned if anything.

  • umplou | August 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm |

    Most of those Mets pics come from September 13 of 69 – Ron Swoboda hit a grand slam in the top of the 8th, so the Mets could beat the Pirates 5-2. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1969/B09130PIT1969.htm

    Two days later he hit the two 2 run hrs off of Carlton, while Carlton was striking out 19 Mets, and losing.

    • mild bill | August 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm |

      I got a kick out of those Met pictures. I know Donn Clendenon played first base but on the ninth picture he appears to be wearing a catchers mitt.

  • MRB | August 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm |

    A little off-topic:
    I was rewatching a world cup game recently and noticed that the USWNT’s jerseys were really, expertly tailored. Snug, but not tight, no billows, and design elements matched up very nicely between the jersey top and the shorts.

    I was wondering – is it common practice that players on World Cup, UEFA, or even MLS have custom-cut and tailored jerseys on an individual basis?

    • Nick Moe | August 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm |

      I do not think they are tailored but I know that players have a different jersey version than what is for retail sale. You can tell by the side ventilation holes on the jersey.

  • Mark | August 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm |

    I’m guessing that the grades are based on the kits only? The shorts that go with the Man U third kit are horrendous.

    http://www.footyheadlines.com/2015/07/adidas-manchester-united-15-16-third-kit.html

    • Nick Moe | August 10, 2015 at 6:13 pm |

      I agree 100%. They might be the worst shorts in the EPL this season. Man City will have bad shorts for their 3rd kit this year as well. Also “kit” means jersey, shorts and socks.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm |

      Oy vey. I tried to limit the piece to only “officially” released kits (which the United third isn’t) specifically for this reason. I maintain that that shirt is aces and my favorite, but those shorts are enough to ruin that kit. I’m holding out hope that that image is of a fake and that Adidas isn’t actually that dumb.

  • muddlehead | August 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm |

    Guess I’m the only one who thinks the November 1957 Dodgers LA logo letter from a Boston company is the neatest thing ever.

  • dmuir | August 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm |

    I read that Memphis Depay only puts MEMPHIS on his jersey to take a jab at his father, who has been absent most of Memphis’s life.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfers/11551546/Manchester-United-Liverpool-and-Arsenal-target-Memphis-Depay-eight-things-you-should-know.html

  • Pedro N | August 10, 2015 at 2:33 pm |

    I had read somewhere that the Dodgers got their LA logo from the old minor league L.A. Angels. As the story goes the Dodgers purchased that team and discontinued it in order to have rights to the LA. Ill try to find a reference.

  • RSB | August 10, 2015 at 2:34 pm |

    Anthony,

    It’a an adidas standard that first year clubs have to pick out of the book o’ templates. Apparently, even Manchester United. Hence the lack of adventure with the kits. The white cuffs on the first kit baffle me considering there’s a red/black accent on the neck. The whole kit, right down to the numbers Adidas employs when it’s not an EPL match, remind me a ton of early 82-84 kit. Minus the numbers, the 86-88 kit is also very similar.

    BLACK KIT – have you seen the shorts that reportedly go with it? You might want to reconsider your assessment in lieu of your stance on gradients.

    Looking forward to your Watford assessment. Seeing the kit, I had a pretty set, low opinion. After seeing it in action on TV, however, I have a greater appreciation for it.

    SB

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm |

      According to an interview with the designer, he took a huge amount of inspiration from 1982’s kit. The designer, Inigo Turner, is a lifelong fan who grew up during that period. Pretty much the dream job for uni freaks like ourselves.

      http://www.footyheadlines.com/2015/08/interview-with-adidas-manchester-united-kit-designer.html

      Yeah, someone upthread posted the shorts. Say it ain’t so. That shirt is still my favorite of the first 10 clubs.

      The piece was written before the teams actually took the field, and I agree that opinions change when you see the kits in action. But, for me, not for Watford :)

  • Colin T | August 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm |

    Standout kit for me this season so far is Norwich City, but I may be a little biased on that one. Eager to see what rating it gets in the next article. Strong half split, and the names/numbers stand out really well. Away is good too, but the 3rd kit smacks of a money grab (if anyone actually buys it), seeing as it’ll likely never be needed.

    • RSB | August 10, 2015 at 3:26 pm |

      I can’t think of a single situation where that third could be used and the other two could not.

      Generally I like the concepts of each of the Norwich kits, but i really dislike this patten of “boxing out the pinstripes, stripes, sashes, and hoops for sponsor space. It really bothers me that it’s build into the shirt.

      SB

      • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm |

        I agree absolutely. It’s what makes the Aviva logo look so big.

      • ColinT | August 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm |

        Yeah, that’s the only downside. Other that, they are both sweet shirts.

        Colin

  • Tim | August 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm |

    Phil, I’ve found myself watching more soccer also…I watch replays at about 10:30 pm. Beats the heck out of using a sleeping pill to get you to sleep.

  • Dan T. | August 10, 2015 at 5:46 pm |

    Why even bother doing an breakdown of the aesthetics of soccer kits when they all have giant advertisements on them? They all look like crap.

    • DJ | August 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm |

      Plenty of uniforms in sports without advertising look like crap as well, yet we critique them. Soccer is a major enough sport to warrant our interest. If commercial advertising automatically turns a uniform to crap in your eyes…fair enough.

      • Dan T. | August 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm |

        Yeah, it’s just my opinion, but to me the ads are such major eyesores that the entire look of the uniform is ruined. These are not uniforms, really, they are billboards.

    • kooklaFran&Ollie | August 10, 2015 at 9:15 pm |

      /\THIS/\

      Might as well judge the employee uniforms of those companies

      #trash

  • Nashalot | August 10, 2015 at 7:43 pm |

    Fake v-neck for Everton is a throw back to their ’84 league winning kit. Anyone with an interest in kits should know this.

    • Anthony | August 10, 2015 at 10:07 pm |

      Doesn’t change the fact that fake v-necks are ugly.

  • Ben Miller | August 12, 2015 at 9:46 am |

    I say we give an F to all of these sponsor-addled soccer uniforms and be done with it.

  • JWren | August 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm |

    I completely understand your issues with the insistence to put the Man City Crest on a Badge. Also it seems to me that the Everton Home Kit is invoking at least their 1984 kit with the faux v-neck collar. There are possibly other years they used it but I know for at least that year. I’m not sure or can prove that is why they did it but they look too similar to say the classic did not inspire this season’s.