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Stripes and hoops on sports jerseys


TraciLords

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...are very common in European football (soccer to some of you guys), with teams like Barcelona, Celtic, Juventus, Newcastle Utd, Atletico Madrid etc sporting one of either.

Why is it not usual for American sports teams to have jerseys of that style?

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...are very common in European football (soccer to some of you guys), with teams like Barcelona, Celtic, Juventus, Newcastle Utd, Atletico Madrid etc sporting one of either.

Why is it not usual for American sports teams to have jerseys of that style?

My entire answer is speculative, but I'll share my thoughts.

1. Soccer has only caught on in the US in the last generation. Before that, it was played, but it was a niche sport largely ignored by American fans. As such, the traditions of the Euro leagues was not widely pervasive among American sports, which had their own traditions.

2. To put it simply: the American character is one of independence, that "dammit, we do it the American Way, to hell with the Euros". With that mindset in place, it would be very strange for Americans to take their uniform cues from teams from across the pond. Traditionally, the US follows the sports that were invented in North America: baseball, football, basketball, hockey. The two biggest sports in the world, soccer and team handball, went and still go largely ignored respectively, in part because we didn't invent them, so we're not going to be the best at it, so why bother learning those silly games anyway? We'll just bludgeon them in our games! (America... :censored: YEAH! :hockeysmiley:)

3. The era of 24/7 worldwide information is barely a decade old, and the explosion of sports as entertainment isn't much older than that. Our uniform traditions date back from our culture, not Europe's. As sports evolved into their modern era, the uniforms were handed down from our predecessors and modernized. Knickers became baseball and football pants. Chuck Taylors became Air Jordans. And so on. We weren't exposed to the European traditions as widely as we can be today through TV and the internet. The world was much bigger years ago, and since most people rarely set foot outside the counties where they were born, it would be extremely unheard of for sports teams to be taking their cues from people in other countries, which was worlds away in those times.

4. We don't do stripes and hoops because we also don't follow the single uniform kit with clash kit system that European soccer does. Baseball developed white and gray, and the other sports went dark and light jerseys to tell one team from another. We don't rely on a single uniform; we wear certain colors depending on where the game is being played. Since every team wears at least 2 uniforms, there was less need to resort to stripes, hoops, checkerboarding and other means of distinguishing one team's only uniform from another.

5. We have our own uniform customs. You could just as easily ask, "Why don't Euro soccer teams wear pinstripes?" Or, "How come American teams have home and away uniforms, and they don't?" Or, "Why don't soccer teams have TV numbers on their sleeves and big team logos on the fronts of their jerseys?"

The answer may be any or all of the above. Just some things to think about.

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The Bears and Steelers 1994 throwbacks were very euro-soccer/football influenced.

My guess would be that the North American and European styles were influenced by how successful a paticular team was when they made such an innovation. Like what if the Broncos had finished last place their first two years in their side-paneled jerseys rather than won the Super Bowl. Any uniform designer who tried to use them nowadays would be ridiculed for wantin to look like "those terrible Broncos teams."

Kinda makes you glad the Zubaz clad New Orleans Night in the Arena League died after a couple seasons.

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Kinda makes you glad the Zubaz-clad New Orleans Night in the Arena League died after a couple seasons.

Gad, were those things hideous or what? Luckily, they only wore them their FIRST year of existence. I made a promise to myself that I would NOT go see a game unitl they were rid of them, so it wasn't until year two that I caught one of ther games.

Their second year unis were more traditional and not too bad, actually....

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Kinda makes you glad the Zubaz-clad New Orleans Night in the Arena League died after a couple seasons.

Gad, were those things hideous or what? Luckily, they only wore them their FIRST year of existence. I made a promise to myself that I would NOT go see a game unitl they were rid of them, so it wasn't until year two that I caught one of ther games.

Their second year unis were more traditional and not too bad, actually....

... yea, don't forget the Tampa Bay Storm in the first year of existence when they won Arena Bowl V at the Joe. I'll take that Zubaz as it's legacy over the Buffaslugs. Thank God the 'Slugs lost...

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The answer is simple:

Numbers are not that legible, from far away, on striped jerseys.

In the Champions League, they make Barca wear different jerseys with the back number on a solid patch of blue:

Champions back:

324552-1605927-458-238.jpg

Normal back:

eidu.jpg

Barca is pretty legible.

But Newcastle isn't at all. Imagine being a referee from 30 yards away.

699865_DV_L_F.jpg

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oops! You showed jerseys from two different seasons there for Barcelona - Gudjohnsen signing with an '05-06 shirt:

NIK_40124_A.jpeg

...where the numbers are definitely on top of the stripes:

fc-barcelona-home-jersey-2005-06-eto-o-9.jpg

...though they did put the numbers on a big blue block for the Champion's League last year too, odd rule:

barcaPA110906_600x467.jpg

(I don't want to talk much about that game, btw)

....and even though it does look like they use a different style for Europe, the homes they use in Spain are pretty readable:

DSC_0006w.JPG

anyways...I'd say it's more down to the sports than anything else. While the Washington Bullets for a while had jerseys that looked like hoops, basketball and American football jersey conventions don't really lend themselves to hoops or stripes (or another European football favorite, quartered jerseys). With needing to have a big, readable area for the big number on the front and back, football jerseys couldn't really be striped; stripes moved to the sleeves. Basketball's smaller jerseys don't lend themselves to it or to clashing shorts, leaving hockey....

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yes, but that's two years old. We're wondering why nobody has integrated them into regular uniforms as far as more traditional teams in American sports are concerned.

Though....

p2798581p275w.jpg

just a touch of stripe?

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I can't believe that at a board with so many Candadians (Canadiens?) and puckheads that no one has brought up this:

Canadiens5.gif

Might not be an "American" team per se, but they are on the left side of the pond.

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oops! You showed jerseys from two different seasons there for Barcelona - Gudjohnsen signing with an '05-06 shirt:

NIK_40124_A.jpeg

...where the numbers are definitely on top of the stripes:

fc-barcelona-home-jersey-2005-06-eto-o-9.jpg

...though they did put the numbers on a big blue block for the Champion's League last year too, odd rule:

barcaPA110906_600x467.jpg

I know they are from different seasons. One has gold numbers, one has yellow. But the point is still the same. Numbers are not legible on top of multi color changing backgrounds. Even on this year's Barca kit.

The Barca numbers actually pop nicely, but teams like Celtic, Newcastle, Washington Bullets, not so much.

My high school had dark green and white vertical stripes with yellow letters. You couldn't read them from more than 5 feet away.

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...are very common in European football (soccer to some of you guys), with teams like Barcelona, Celtic, Juventus, Newcastle Utd, Atletico Madrid etc sporting one of either.

Why is it not usual for American sports teams to have jerseys of that style?

My entire answer is speculative, but I'll share my thoughts.

1. Soccer has only caught on in the US in the last generation. Before that, it was played, but it was a niche sport largely ignored by American fans. As such, the traditions of the Euro leagues was not widely pervasive among American sports, which had their own traditions.

2. To put it simply: the American character is one of independence, that "dammit, we do it the American Way, to hell with the Euros". With that mindset in place, it would be very strange for Americans to take their uniform cues from teams from across the pond. Traditionally, the US follows the sports that were invented in North America: baseball, football, basketball, hockey. The two biggest sports in the world, soccer and team handball, went and still go largely ignored respectively, in part because we didn't invent them, so we're not going to be the best at it, so why bother learning those silly games anyway? We'll just bludgeon them in our games! (America... :censored: YEAH! :hockeysmiley:)

3. The era of 24/7 worldwide information is barely a decade old, and the explosion of sports as entertainment isn't much older than that. Our uniform traditions date back from our culture, not Europe's. As sports evolved into their modern era, the uniforms were handed down from our predecessors and modernized. Knickers became baseball and football pants. Chuck Taylors became Air Jordans. And so on. We weren't exposed to the European traditions as widely as we can be today through TV and the internet. The world was much bigger years ago, and since most people rarely set foot outside the counties where they were born, it would be extremely unheard of for sports teams to be taking their cues from people in other countries, which was worlds away in those times.

4. We don't do stripes and hoops because we also don't follow the single uniform kit with clash kit system that European soccer does. Baseball developed white and gray, and the other sports went dark and light jerseys to tell one team from another. We don't rely on a single uniform; we wear certain colors depending on where the game is being played. Since every team wears at least 2 uniforms, there was less need to resort to stripes, hoops, checkerboarding and other means of distinguishing one team's only uniform from another.

5. We have our own uniform customs. You could just as easily ask, "Why don't Euro soccer teams wear pinstripes?" Or, "How come American teams have home and away uniforms, and they don't?" Or, "Why don't soccer teams have TV numbers on their sleeves and big team logos on the fronts of their jerseys?"

The answer may be any or all of the above. Just some things to think about.

some interesting ideas there.

im not sure if point 2 is particularly valid with regard to 'soccer'. just look at the names of the american teams. many of them are ridiculous. whilst many of teh teams bring that good 'ol american influence to the game (new england revolution, la galaxy, chicago fire, kc wizzards) teams like dc united, fc dallas, huston dynamo ( a nod to many of the easter european and rusian teams eg dynamo zagreb, dynamo moscow etc etc) and in particular real salt lake are a totally out of place. okay i concede fc dallas as it just stands for football club. either way, i think many clubs have tried hard to get a sense of traditional european 'footballnes' aboutthemselves.

my other reason as to why striped and hoops are more prevalent in europe is that they are derived from the cities colours. heraldic influences engrain more than just colours upon a town or city but indeed patterns, stripes and hoop. blackburn for example. there are many places in teh uk where all sporting clubs from a certain town have no choice inteh colours they wear. newcastle (black and white for football and rugby), leeds (blue and yellow for both football rugby union and league) and more. admittedly large cities with multiple clubs cannot all play inteh same colours but each suburb often has a unique colour associated with it (rangers and celtic, blue and green scots and irish, protestant and catholic).

it seems to me to be harder to find similarities in the us. pittsburg with black and yellow, new york has a couple of orange and blue teams. cant think of any others? im sure there probably are and some use state colours (arizona springs to mind)

just a couple of thoughts.

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Numbers are not legible on top of multi color changing backgrounds. Even on this year's Barca kit.

The Barca numbers actually pop nicely, but teams like Celtic, Newcastle, Washington Bullets, not so much.

My high school had dark green and white vertical stripes with yellow letters. You couldn't read them from more than 5 feet away.

The white stripes cause the problem. Two dark color stripes are perfectly legible:

InterHSSNo.20.0506c.jpgACMilanHSSCLNo21_0607.jpgBarcaHSSNo.10.0506c.jpg

As for why American teams don't use vertical stripes, I believe it is because fairly early on we assigned a very specific connotation to vertical stripes:

ed-hochuli.jpg

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American sporting uniforms have traditionally had solid colors because they were the same kinds of clothing worn by middle-class people. Long-sleeved sweaters for gridiron football and ice hockey, three-quarter sleeve wool shirts for baseball, and double-knit fabrics for basketball.

Heck, the Princeton Tigers got their nickname because of five arm sleeves on their football uniforms. But the body of the jersey has been solid, and have remained so over the years. IIRC, the only time that the body of a football jersey hasn't been solid were Brigham Young's "bib" uniforms of about three years ago, NFL Europe in 1995, and a handful of U.S.-based CFL teams such as Memphis and Birmingham from the mid-1990s.

Stripes on our uniforms, other than pinstripes on baseball jerseys, have been historically quite rare; the 1934 Steelers and the early Bears were a number of early uniforms where leather strips on the front of a wool sweater was thought to add a little protection in the days before arm and rib pads. The early Detroit Red Wings' hooped uniforms as well as the early Blackhawks and some very early Boston Bruins uniforms come to mind when it comes to sizable horizontal stripes.

But some stripes have been, ah, reviled; vertically striped socks for the 1960-61 Broncos and the Astros "Rainbow Guts" unies (and their cousins from the 1980 Tuscon Toros).

Even though there are traditions involving solid-body uniforms, it seems to me as though some pro sports organizations have them written into the rules because of the difficulty of officials reading numbers. It has been discussed at length that some soccer uniforms are being altered because the checkers, hoops, or stripes make it difficult to read numbers (that was the reason behind Nike's 8 -Ball jersey of a few years back; you couldn't make out Croatia's numbers). Field hockey went to the solid body in 1995 (although the United States wore a flying-star pattern in Athens).

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Even though there are traditions involving solid-body uniforms, it seems to me as though some pro sports organizations have them written into the rules because of the difficulty of officials reading numbers. It has been discussed at length that some soccer uniforms are being altered because the checkers, hoops, or stripes make it difficult to read numbers

Thank you!

I said this 2 posts ago and nobody listens!

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