The other day I was telling Uni Watch botanist (and serious Dallas Cowboys fan) Jill Conley about this new Australian-themed pub that opened around the corner from my place, and she asked the best question I’d heard in ages: “Is it good, or is it stupid?”
Good vs. stupid — that’s really the fundamental question of our age, no? “Bad” has almost fallen out of the equation, because bad implies a failed attempt at doing something good, while most bad things in today’s world never tried to be good in the first place — they’re just pointless, insipid, stupid. Case in point: the new Reds uniforms, which were unveiled yesterday (to the strains of “Bad to the Bone” — that was the first bit of stupid right there, with this and this following close behind). Let’s take a look at how the new duds stack up on the good-vs.-stupid spectrum:
• Home uniform. The good: Finally — a solid red cap! About damn time. Admirably straightforward jersey design, too, and of course I’m totally on board with the Mr. Redlegs sleeve patch. Plus a red belt, red undersleeves, red background inside the wishbone “C” — nice. The stupid: The black drop-shadows have got to go. This is the very definition of stupid, because it’s so pointless, so “just because we can.” In addition to cutting down on legibility (especially from the back), it undermines everything else about the design — like, why have an old-timey sleeve patch and an old-timey typeface if you’re gonna have a modern drop-shadow? And speaking of the typeface, someone over on Chris Creamer’s board had a very astute comment. The type is waaaaay too busy. Also: I’m usually a fan of placket piping, but it really clutters things up here. Compare the new design to the late-’60s version — why bother with the piping? Oh, and speaking of stupid, can someone please explain why the Majestic sleeve and pocket logos are both black, instead of red?
• Road uniform. The good: Once again, gotta dig the red accessories, and vertically arched lettering is always a good thing. The stupid: First, get rid of that black-brimmed cap already. And again with the black drop-shadow — and a white border to boot! Why clutter up a lengthy word like “Cincinnati” with all that? Again, compare the new version to the similar but much cleaner late-’60s version — it’s no contest. And you can already tell that lengthy nameplates are gonna be tough to read.
Overall: Could’ve been worse, and a slight upgrade over the previous design. But the flaws are glaringly flawed. So is it good or is it stupid? As with so many things, it’s a bit of both.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fun story about double uni numbers from Doug Brei: “When I attended the University of Toledo years ago, we had 120+ players on our football team, so it necessitated some numbers being used twice. We had a backup quarterback wear the same uniform number as our starting punter. So when we wanted to fake a punt, we would send in the quarterback instead of our punter, and no one on the opposing return team would ever notice, since he was wearing the same number! It worked several times and no one ever caught on.” … Now that‘s a cool new logo. … Speaking of new logos, there’s a great article here about the crummy new civil defense symbol. … Check out the headscarves and leggings worn by some member of the Jordanian women’s soccer team. Further info here. (Nice contribution from Jeremy Brahm.) … Decent article here about the looming specter of uni-borne advertising. … SI.com’s latest Uni Watch wannabe photo gallery has two serious treats: the best Cooperalls photo ever (looks a lot like those NFL officials’ pants we’re expecting to see tomorrow, right?), and a White Sox in shorts shot I’d never seen before. … Serious throwback action last night between the Hawks and Cavs. … From yesterday’s Comments section: the Maple Leafs will soon be revising their logo. Will it be good, or will it be stupid? You can probably guess which option my money’s on.