Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Bruce Deserves Better

Follow me! Follow me to the Arena Football League!
All the jokes that need to be made about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new uniforms have already been made.

Alarm clock numbers? Olbermann got it.

XFL look-alike? Done

Arena Football rejects? Yup.

Helmets that can be seen from space? A throwback to the bad old creamsicle days? Leftover costumes from the set of The Running Man? Heard 'em all, seen 'em all. Anything else at this point is just piling on, another close range artillery blast at a lone fish swimming in a very small barrel. They're ugly and they're ridiculous and odds are they're going to be replaced themselves in n years, where n < 3.

Which of course raises questions like "why are they changing their uniforms now" and "if they're going to change them, why change them to that". The answer to the first is, of course, money. Jersey sales are slowing down? Change 'em up and all your loyal fans who don't want to look like they're shopping off the remainder rack at TJ Maxx will pony up for a new jersey (home AND road AND special throwback, if you're lucky). It's a way to goose the merchandise sales if they're down in the bottom third of the league, and once you get all the die-hards to buy the incredibly ugly ones, you "bow to public pressure" and bring out new uniforms and get people to buy them all over again.

The solution for fans, obviously, is not to fall for it. To not buy the new jerseys and new logo merchandise every time they get rolled out, which with alternate jerseys and throwback jerseys and the pernicious influence of Nike is increasingly often.  Alternately, the solution for the teams is to do some research, come up with something classic that keeps on selling, and keep on selling it instead of chasing color and font and logo trends that look dated before opening day. 

But it's hard to come up with a classic. And easy to keep changing it up instead. 

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