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Aacceptable in one sport, but not in another.


gmat

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I recently noticed that certain things on uniforms are accepted in one sport but considered hideous in others. For example:

Piping has been used in baseball for years, but why can?t it be used in other sports?

In football monochrome uniforms are terrible (according to most people on this board) yet in most other sports, monochrome is accepted.

In fact football has teams with multi colors (pants, shirts, helmets) which are perfectly acceptable. Yet the Wizards look horrible like this.

A captain C is acceptable in Hockey, yet it looks ridiculous when other sports use it.

Side panels look good on NBA uniforms, but everybody hates them when they are used elsewhere.

Why is this? Is it because we are used to seeing it this way?

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in hockey white shorts are laughed at. in baseball, pants that are any color other than white, gray or in the Padres' case khaki, are ridiculed.

Most NBA teams wear plain white or plain black socks, regardless of team colors (the Nets' red socks being a notable exception, though only in the playoffs), while the other sports use team colors for socks.

heh, that's all I could come up with.

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Imagine any other sport than baseball where the visiting team wears gray. Doesn't work.

Flip side of post-60s baseball is two teams both wearing colored tops -- see Padres-Astros on Sunday among the many examples. But it's rare in football and hockey. It happens occasionally in basketball, mostly in the NBA. If it happens in college basketball, it's usually because one team is wearing yellow or orange.

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This has almost everything to do with tradition and expectations. We become conditioned to expect uniforms in certain sports to look a certain way, so most of us reflexively resist anything that doesn't meet those expectations.

A perfect example in my own life is that I loved the Braves' 714-era uniforms (blue jerseys, white front panel with lower case "a", etc.) and the Astros' "rainbow guts" uniforms when I first saw them. Now, with the wisdom (?) of experience behind me, I'm almost positive I would dislike both of them if they were introduced tomorrow. As a 5-7-year-old, I had very little conditioning as to what a baseball uniform "should" look like (the A's alternating green and yellow jerseys and the Royals/Cardinals/Phillies/Expos' powder blue road uniforms were perfectly natural to me). As a soon-to-be 40-year-old, I have been conditioned to expect that baseball uniforms are usually white/gray and have minimal striping/piping, with colored alternate jerseys being acceptable from time to time.

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Why is this? Is it because we are used to seeing it this way?

Yes. Which is to say, most of the things you raise are nothing more than subjective personal bias unsupported by any attempt at rational thought or reference to any kind of design principles. (Which I don't say to condemn; I'm guilty of this sort of conservative if-I'm-used-to-it-it's-good thinking all the time too. But it is what it is, and none of us who approve of pinstripes in baseball, but not in other sports, and not other patterns in baseball, should pretend that our opinion on the matter is anything other than the complete and utter BS.)

It's basically the same thing as the way that most of us will spend our lives believing that the music that we liked when we were 13 is the greatest music ever. We form most of our basic aesthetic opinions at an age when all people have terrible taste. None of us would allow a 13-year-old child to choose our clothes, yet we are all guilty of letting the 13-year-old we once were dictate our taste in sports uniforms. Witness the nostalgia for the crappy old ultra-generic Brewers uniforms, or quite possibly my own nostalgia for the maroon-era Phillies unis.

However, I do think that some of these things can be supported by rational thought and basic design principles. Pinstripes in hockey is probably a good example: The way the players are in nearly constant motion makes their uniforms ill-suited to that kind of fine detail, whereas baseball players have longer periods of relatively little movement between shorter bursts of activity, so pinstripes "scan" better to fans and TV viewers. But I find that people here, myself included, very rarely make reference to any such rational, design-principle-based arguments when poo-pooing this or that innovative uniform design. And it's a fair assumption that if a rational appeal to principle would support an opinion you already have, but you express that opinion without reference to the principle, then your opinion almost certainly reflects the bias and not rational thought. Again, not to condemn: I plead guilty of this myself. The trick is being honest to oneself about the basis of one's opinions.

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Aside from both being sporting events played by teams of men, there's precious little that basketball and baseball actually share.

Why should it be unexpected that the various sports should develop distinct aesthetics?

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In sumo wrestling it perfectly acceptable to wear a large diaper, but in other sports it is considered tacky.

Ads on soccer jerseys are fine, but on any jersey in the big 4 would make it seem like a laughingstock

I just can't get used to it. I wish it was banned here in the MLS. I think THAT'S tacky. Those new Herbalife, I mean Galaxy unis would look so much cleaner without.

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The C on Variteks jersey looks stupid. The C should only be in hockey imo and it looks really bad in basketball and baseball.

That is for Catcher. Duh!

No, it is because he is the team captain. Please tell me that you were just trying to be funny.

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Imagine any other sport than baseball where the visiting team wears gray. Doesn't work.

I also think it works in baseball because the game isn't as fast. In hockey, teams in white and gray on white ice where they mix it up pretty fast would probably increase the number of giveaways because gray at a distance on white ice could look white.

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Imagine any other sport than baseball where the visiting team wears gray. Doesn't work.

I also think it works in baseball because the game isn't as fast. In hockey, teams in white and gray on white ice where they mix it up pretty fast would probably increase the number of giveaways because gray at a distance on white ice could look white.

I agree. And there is rarely a time in baseball when teams gwt packed together. (on the boards, in the paint, on the line of scrimage, etc.) Baseball is so spread out--except during a bench clearing.

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Imagine any other sport than baseball where the visiting team wears gray. Doesn't work.

I also think it works in baseball because the game isn't as fast. In hockey, teams in white and gray on white ice where they mix it up pretty fast would probably increase the number of giveaways because gray at a distance on white ice could look white.

I agree. And there is rarely a time in baseball when teams gwt packed together. (on the boards, in the paint, on the line of scrimage, etc.) Baseball is so spread out--except during a bench clearing.

Not to mention television broadcasts. I could see it being pretty hard to distinguish hockey teams in those colours on TV.

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Imagine any other sport than baseball where the visiting team wears gray. Doesn't work.

You're right about that:

admiralsva7.jpg

While some may not be convinced by this picture, I assure you that in person, it's an absolute disgrace...

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