Let me begin by saying that I know that there are still a few clubs that have not revealed their 2012-2013 kits- or at least not all of them. Still, I came across a group of kits this morning that I do not think can be topped in the next few weeks. ”Topped” in this case is neither a good or a bad thing, it is simply a “thing.” Please allow me to take a moment to explain that to you. When evaluating a club’s kits I’m not one to get too hung up on a club (or its kit supplier) coming up with a clunker. No, what bothers me is when a club gets one of their kits exactly right and then follows it up with an absolute tragedy of a kit. That is why I have selected Bradford City A.F.C. of England’s League Two as this season’s winner/loser.
Let’s start with their home kit:
This kit is, in my opinion, perfect. The colors are traditional (the black that has been used on and off for the last quarter century is gone), hoops are back for the first times since 1903 (hence the “Spirit of 1903″ branding), the sponsor logo is unobtrusive, and the solid white shorts and socks give the whole kit a very crisp appearance. This kit isn’t going to blow anyone away with bells and whistles, but it’s handsome as heck and if there were players out there who still wore black boots it would be positively dapper.
Normally, this is where I’d show you the away kit, but I’m going to hold off on that for a moment and show you the club’s third kit:
Personally, I don’t care for the third kit. I don’t hate it, it’s just not something I’d choose if I was given the power to do so. What I particularly don’t like is the unbroken stretch of pink from the neck to the bottom of the shorts. If this is the color scheme the club wanted it might have been improved by a navy waistband on the shorts- anything to break up the monotony. Now, while I don’t like it, I do understand it. First, for a club like Bradford City it’s a money-maker. They are unlikely to “need” it (They won’t be playing in Europe next year unless they win the F.A. Cup…), but it is something that they can trot out for the occasional match to get it a little exposure and then point everyone in the direction of the club shop. Second, this color- more fucshia than pink- has been popular for the last few years in the footballing world (much like teal was for so long in U.S. professional sports)- Everton has worn a shade of it for years, Juventus has worn it, Malaga has worn it, various goalkeepers have worn it, etc.. In short, it’s an offense, but it’s an excusable one.
This, however, is not:
(the full kit includes black shorts and socks and, as you can just make out, there is a third, wider, set of “stripes” that tucks into the shorts)
Is this the worst kit I’ve ever seen? No, not by a long shot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well below average. However, it’s the comparison with the home kit that makes this away kit unforgivable. Nike calls this design the “Precision” jersey and as you can see, in some color combinations it is not that bad- particularly the white and grey and red and white versions. Bradford’s away kit could possibly have been improved by combining it with white shorts and socks with black and gold trim, but even then I think “mediocre” would be the best term with which I could brand it. Even these changes, however, would be little more than sartorial triage.
I welcome your feedback…