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Total Recall: Recapping the newest Uniforms in multiple sports

Hey everyone, I am finally back online. I know its been a few months, but I have been tied up in school, and my new television program that I co-host and co-produce, Ultimate Sports Show (watch the entire first season here). But there has been a flurry of uni-related news these past couple weeks that I had to give my two cents about, so let’s dive right in

Yes the Washington Redskins, just over a month after Nike unveiled their slightly altered home uniforms the Washington Redskins unveiled their new 80th anniversary throwback uniforms which they will wear during two unspecified home games this season.

According to the presser from Nike – the uniforms are a modern take on the team’s uniforms worn in 1937. I for one think they do look sharp but have some Florida State overtones, ironically, the last Redskins anniversary uniform worn in 2002 and 2003 to celebrate the team’s 70th anniversary also bore a resemblance to the Seminoles. Overall, I really like these uniforms, the helmets, which are supposed to resemble the leather helmets worn back in the ’30s, have a nice touch with the matte brown paint. Overall though, I do not like them as much as the 70th anniversary uniforms, but these are pretty good.

Arsenal

Well, this certainly is a case of two steps forward, one step back. After splendid kits for 2010 and 2011, Arsenal have decided to add blue back to the home strip for the first time since 2000. That 2000 home kit is one of my favorites of all time. This one is by no means terrible, just a bit surprisng to see the blue come back. Overall, it looks sharp, and I am not one of those die-hards who insists Arsenal must have the same red shirt white sleeves home kit every single season. So change is refreshing, but I still prefer the 2011 kit. JJB Rating: 7/10

 

Chelsea

I do have to say, this kit is MILES better than this past season’s atrocity for the blues, however, one has to feel Adidas may have stolen a page from Umbro’s playbook, as this bears a strong resemblance to Chelsea’s centenary kit from 2005 but at least this year, the sponsor agreed to go for the gold so the kit matches. Overall, a sharp kit, I do wonder however if it will make its debut when Chelsea takes on Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final on May 19, normally Adidas teams will debut the next season’s strip on the world’s largest stage in the Final, as they have with Bayern Munich in 2010 and Chelsea in 2008. JJB Rating: 8/10

Liverpool

The back of Liverpool's new shirt

Hello Nurse was my first response when I saw this absolute beauty of a kit. I, like many other kit enthusiasts, wondered how Warrior sports – new to the kit game, would make Liverpool’s first kit, and they rewarded Liverpool fans with this retro number that harkens back to the European cup winning teams of the 1980s. The use of the Liver bird in place of the traditional club crest, which has angered some of the family members of those who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster 23 years ago, the eternal flames in Liverpool’s club crest recognize those who died in the incident, however the tribute has been shifted to the rear of the shirt along with a ’96’ to commemorate the 96 lives lost. I for one love the kit, the only change it could use would be a switch back to Carlsbeg as the sponsor. JJB Rating: 9.5/10 (best Liverpool kit since 2006)

Manchester United

My first question about these kits to United fans – U MAD BRO? because these are the most hideous United kits I have seen in a very, very, very long time and the fact that they resemble a tea-towel makes me do this . The team claims it is an homage to the ‘gingham’ check pattern that pays an homage to the history of  the cotton industry in the city of Manchester. To all Man U fans: do the right thing, boycott this kit by NOT buying one this season and let all the fair weather fans and bandwagon hoppers sport this atrocity. JJB Rating: 1/10 (because at least they got the colors right)

Ink Stains:

  • In sad news, as I’m sure you all know, Junior Seau sadly took his own life last week, rather than draw judgement, I pray for his family and if you would like, watch this touching tribute to a great man whose life was tragically cut short. RIP Junior.
  • Liverpool wore a special ‘Seeing is Believing‘ sponsorship in their rout of Chelsea this past week
  • Texas Rangers rookie Robbie Ross forgot to change jerseys during a doubleheader against the Orioles
  • Both Everton and Manchester City have agreed to deals with Nike to be their respective kit providers, Everton for the upcoming season, Manchester City for 2013-14
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Picking the CL Final the most Irreverent way possible – Through Nike

Yes, as usual, I have found possibly the most obscure way for JJB to pick the Champions League Final – through the teams kit providers and their past 5 home and away kits, together, these will combine to create ratings score based on criteria that only I am fully aware of leaving this to be arbitrary, but a good way for a Jersey Blog author to form an opinion on the final.

Quick Facts:

  • This is a dream final for Nike, as Barcelona and Manchester United move more than 2 million kits combined PER YEAR for the Oregon based firm
  • Barcelona has the longevity, as they have had Nike since the 1997 season
  • But Manchester United has the money, as when they agreed with Nike in 2002, it was the largest kit deal in history at the time
  • These are two teams that often do not fall under Nike’s template rules that are used by many clubs as these teams are so important in world soccer.

Barcelona 2006-07 Kits

First season the side had UNICEF as a shirt sponsor, in prior seasons Barcelona had no sponsor at all, but this actually recognized the clubs annual agreement to donate 1 million Euro/season to the organization in exchange for advertising the foundation on the shirts.

Home: a solid if not bland Barcelona effort, less stripes than previous kits, but the gold font for player names and numbers was an excellent touch.

Rating: 7/10

Away: A very vibrant orange, this continued Barcelona’s trend started in 2005, having very colorful change kits which continued all the way through the rest of this countdown. A step up from yellow and has a very Barcelona feel to it

Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 15

Manchester United 2006-07 Kits

Home: A highly underrated Manchester United shirt flanked by new sponsor AIG. The white trim looks good and the gold was a great additional touch. Rating: 8/10

Away: Too plain for some, but two thumbs up from me, the Black outlined club badge is easily the best part, and the white black and gold is an undervalued color combination. Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 16

Barcelona 2007-08 Kits

Home: Kit had an excellent crest flanked by olive branches to celebrate 50 years of playing in the Nou Camp, a more traditional feel to it than the prior years kit, as good as the gold numbering looked from the prior season, yellow was a better choice.

Rating: 8/10

Away: Excellent sky blue and slime change kit, collar added a nice feel and the alternating blues used for the striping made it even cooler

Rating: 9/10

Total Score: 32

Manchester United 2007-08 Kits

Home: A plain, simple Manchester United shirt, all red, plain crest, worn during two seasons of absolute glory and worn by Ronaldo during his astonishing 42 goal campaign.

Rating: 9/10

Away: To put simply, probably United’s best away kit of all time, with its biggest rival from four years prior, easily the best change kit in EPL and is incredibly difficult to find today.

Rating: 10/10

Total Score: 35

Barcelona 2008-09 Kits

Home: For a further, more in depth description, read here but simply, one of my favorite kits of all time.

Rating: 10/10

Away: First yellow kit since 2005, the blue and red stripe over the crest and UNICEF symbol was a very unique touch to add some flavor

Rating: 9/10

Total Score: 51

Manchester United 2008-09 Away Kit (Home was worn for 2 seasons, 07-09)

Home: see above

Rating: 9/10

Away: Another underrated white Manchester United kit, the blue and red created a different style of kit, nice, but a bit on the simple side, still a classy shirt however

Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 53

Barcelona 2009-10 Kits

Home: An excellent return to stripes for the Catalonians, flanked by a yellow collar, and a good amount of stripes, the kit is not discussed by fans much but easily a great template for subsequent Barca shirts

Rating: 8/10

Away: There is something about this salmon/mango/pink/orange sherbert, whatever you want to call it kit that will always keep my attention, maybe it was because the color seemed to change depending on the light, but it will always stick out to me as a good looking shirt because you can’t pick exactly what color it is.

Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 67

Manchester United 2009-10 Kits

Home: For the first time from Nike, something that can be considered shite by United standards, I do understand its an homage to the early 2oth century, but in my eyes, just a garbage kit, and chevrons are so 2006

Rating: 6/10

Away: Recieved many complaints from supporters as the royal blue resembled Manchester City’s sky blue by just a little too much, but I actually liked the kit a good amount, but pales compared to its prior three bretheren

Rating: 7/10

Total Score: 66

Barcelona 2010-11 Kits

Home: At first, I did not like the yellow collar and sleeve trim, but it grew on me as the season wore on, but Barcelona should NOT wear red shorts, blue is a must.

Rating: 7/10

Away: Again, the mint green was something I was a bit hesitant with at first, but it actually was a great and vibrant color. My favorite feature of the kit is the diagonally divided red and blue rectangle, its Barcelona’s home colors which you typically never see on an away kit unless its the club crest, I wish more clubs would try something similar.

Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 82

Manchester United 2010-11 Kits

Home: I am not a big fan of new sponsor AON, and this kit left something to be desired for me, an update from the previous season’s home, but it definitely left me wanting more, the 2011-12 home kit however, looks a lot more like a proper Manchester United home shirt.

Rating: 7/10

Away: I was absolutely disgusted by this shirt at the start of the year, but it grew on me substantially once I saw it on the field. The chevrons are still in effect from the 2009-10 kit but have Nike’s ripple effect to them, and have been moved to the sleeves. This shirt is also prominent as it will be worn in the Champions League Final match on Saturday which could be Paul Scholes’ last game for United.

Rating: 8/10

Total Score: 81

Final:

Barcelona 82

Manchester United 81

That’s all she wrote folks, according to this author, and the historical kits of both sides, Barcelona wins by a late comeback 82-81 and by a changing of the guard in 2009/10. JJB can officially predict a Barcelona win. Me writing here as Jay Sarkar, I personally pick the following

Barcelona 2 – 1 Manchester United

I say the Red Devils put up more of a fight than they did in Rome in 2009, but this Barcelona side is too good to overcome.

Saturday marks a sad day for me, as worldwide club football comes to an end, and I am held until mid-July when friendlies start up again, but still stay tuned for a summer on new content here at JJB.

Mid-May Kit Roundup – Barca Bombs, Bayern Goes for the Gold, Bolton Goes Geometric

As many soccer fans probably know, new kits are abound from many teams, so here is a continuation from my last update.

Barcelona Home and Away Kit

The day of reckoning has finally come for Barcelona, they finally added a kit sponsor to their shirts, and the shame is that it looks TERRIBLE, it looks like a font stolen from Windows 95 and looks very slapdash. For the Home kit, Nike’s new stripe pattern looks fairly horrendous, and almost resembles piano keys. In addition, rather than just keep Unicef without showing sponsorship, Barca went the unclassy route of putting a rear sponsor, which as much as I support UNICEF and its cause, should not be on the kit, it makes the best club in the world seem like some mid table La Liga side. Overall, I would say in protest, the home kit looks AWFUL by Barcelona standards, however the away, solely because it is black and simple, will be a big hit with supporters, if only it had the UNICEF logo. Overall Rating: 7/10

Bayer Leverkusen Away Kit


The Power of Beige is being embraced by Bayer Leverkusen for 2011, in my opinion, as much of a snooze-fest as this looks like, it feels like an improvement to me over the most recent change shirt. The interesting aspect is that the beige panelling runs like an n around the shirt. I am interested to see this on the field, but I have to say, it does bear a resemblence to Leverkusen’s rivals in Munich change shirt. Overall rating: 7.1/10

Bayern Munich Home


Speaking of Bayern Munich, this is their new home kit for 2011 (They announced they will be keeping their same away kit for the 2011/12 campaign.) I personally enjoy the addition of Gold (Bayern claims it celebrates 50 years of partnership with Adidas, which is all they have to celebrate this season.) I think it looks much simpler than the Anniversary kit of the past season and for Bayern that is a good thing. It is also aided by the simpicity of the T-Mobile sponsorship logo. An excellent kit for the German Giants. Rating: 8.5/10

Bolton Home Kit


WHAT
is this? to me it resembles a geometric problem and it should belong in the 1990s. Sadly, Reebok has managed to grace us with more crap for Bolton. Rating: 2/10

Borussia Dortmund Home and Away and Third Kits

First, Dortmund wins the Bundesliga, then Kappa reveals their excellent new kit lineup. The Home (Yellow with dots) looks great, even with the sponsor breaking up the dots, and it is cool how they become more concentrated further up the shirt. The Away is my personal favorite, the yellow fading into black looks EXCELLENT, and is even cooler with the shorts, but looks great as a shirt by itself. The third kit is plaint, but looks incredibly classy. Great Work Kappa, great work. Rating 9/10

Hamburger SV Home Kit

Hamburg are lucky enough to have Fly Emirates (one of the classiest looking sponsors) to adorn their shirts, because if they didn’t, this could be mistaken for a Netherlands kit, which does not take anything away from it. However, since HSV’s official colors are blue and black, I wish they would tone down the overbearing amounts of red on the home, but one fun note – look at the sleeves, that is practically a dutch flag. Regardless, a simple and decent looking kit for HSV. Rating 7/10

Manchester United Home Kit

This has not been officially unveiled, but this is a screen rip from United’s website, so its all but confirmed to be the next home shirt for the new EPL champions. I think this is a large step up from the current season as it does away with the dodgy collar and unnecessary white trim adorning the shoulders. One rumor is that the red sleeve cuffs may fold up to reveal a design similar to the collar, much like the new France shirts allow for. If this is true, I think its a cool feature for fans, but it would look odd on the field if six men cuff the sleeves and four did not. A step in the right direction for United and another solid home shirt for the Red Devils. Rating: 9/10

Olympique Marseille Home and Away Kit

Well Adidas continues to show their creative side with Marseille’s kits this season, however this year they did not listen to Bob Marley records and eat the brownies prior to designing these kits. The home is simple and has some veyr nice light blue shading effects, the addition of a collar is an always classy touch also. The away is pulling a design cue from the 90’s, the background of the shirt are a collage of important people and places in OM’s history, Manchester United had a few similar designs in the 1990’s under Umbro. However, The light blue and gold make for a unique and cool color combo. Rating 8/10

Olympique Lyon Home Kit

Lyon enters their second year with Adidas and continue to reap the benefits of this new partnership. The most noteworthy feature of Lyon’s new home kit is the watermark Lions in the red and blue detail. Part of Lyon’s crest, this is a cool, subtle addition to a classy home kit, however, I do have one question regarding logo creep of another French symbol. Regardless, a solid kit for a consistent Ligue 1 side Rating 7.5/10

Rangers Home


As a Celtic supporter, it pains me to do this, but I am forced to. Rangers are sporting new Umbro kits with second year sponsors Tennent’s and they actually look quite good. The white trim is used properly in the collar and shoulders and the rest is royal blue. A very simple kit, but looks very classy for one half of the old firm. Rating: 8/10

P.S: FYI, Celtic is wearing the same kits as this season for 2011/12


Running Through the Rumor Mill – New Teams Rumored Kits

Photos Courtesy of FootballShirtCulture

Well, FSC, a website I check this time of year on a near daily basis to look for new kits, has released what look like teams new designs for the 2011-12 season. Now obviously, Nike will not confirm or deny if these are the team’s actual shirts, but I wanted to give my thoughts on some of these designs if they come to fruition, let’s take a look

Arsenal Away


Now many supporters (and critics) of Arsenal are up in arms about this picture being released, because it resembles what has been voted as one of the ugliest kits of all time for Arsenal, I however, liked that kit, and I think if this one is true, it can look good. Its a change of pace for Arsenal, typically the change kits are yellow every other year and then typically blue in the following year. Now, I do think this could be fake as the team will be celebrating their 125th anniversary, and I would think a more commerative kit (such as this or this) is in order than this radical design, but we will all find out in July. In conclusion: do I like it? Yes, do I think this will be the actual design? No Rating: 7.25/10

Manchester United Away


Now this one I find interesting because it seems Nike has been on a rotation of colors for United’s away shirts, white, black, white, black and blue, white, black and blue. Now the last time Man U featured this much blue in a change strip was the third kit from 2008-09, which I very much liked. This seems a bit too much like a Celtic type design (the hoops) for such a famous club like United, but it might play out well if this is the kit. Rating: 6.5/10

Juventus Away


Juve, a team that I do not really care for, I don’t hate them, don’t love them, my only connection to them is that Zidane played for them back in the day. However, trust me, if this kit is the real design, I will be ordering it the day it comes out. It is very rare that you see a kit be THIS creative, especially if they keep no sponsorship. Now some may wonder where did the big a$$ star come from, but actually, its a part of Juve’s history kit wise, the last time they had european success, they wore kits with large stars on the shoulders. Maybe they are hoping this kit will provide similar success as they look to reconquer Serie A. Do I think this is real? sure, if not, I hope its at least a training top. Rating: 8/10

Barcelona Away


Now this kit must have me dreaming, because it would be perfect if Barca wore this, however, the UNICEF on the shirt means it is a knock off, because of Barcelona’s deal with the Qatar Foundation, meaning the Unicef logo must be moved to the back of the shirt, under the name (I would rather they drop it than tack up their kits with two sponsors) As real as I want this kit to be, I have too many doubts, but anway, it looks awesome. Rating: 10/10

Well I wanted to give a quick kit blurb before I go under for the next few days, the next day I’ll have new content is Thursday (exam hell between now and then) but if anyone sees any new kit leaks, leave me links in the comments. – J

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