Rent in the Fabric

Uni Watch has long decried the proliferation of corporate logos on team jerseys, primarily because they sully the bond between team and fan. But individual sports are different: Boxers, cyclists, and tennis players don't fall under the umbrella identity of a team, and many of them couldn't cover their training and travel expenses without sponsorship revenue from companies whose logos appear on their outfits. In the non-team context, such logos therefore seem less objectionable.

Even so, one has to wonder about the new ground broken a few months ago by pro bowler Kim Adler, who sold off eight square inches of ad space on her bowling attire via an eBay auction. Bidding started at $4000, with the winning bid of $14,389.89 submitted by Pacific Pools. As non-team athletes look to gather more sponsorships without having to hire agents, Adler's approach is probably the wave of the future, and it earns Uni Watch's vote as the most notable uniform development of 2002.

Meanwhile, back in the world of team sports:

  • Even the off-season provides no respite from the Mets' embarrassing uniform carnival. When the team announced Tom Glavine's signing and had him pose for the obligatory photos in Mets regalia, Glavine wore the team's black jersey and black cap. When Mike Stanton came on board a week later, he greeted the media wearing a pinstriped Mets jersey and blue cap. And Cliff Floyd's press conference found the outfielder donning the club's white jersey and the blue-and-black cap. Good thing the Mets didn't hold a press conference for Rey Sanchez—they might have had to create a new uniform design for him.
  • When 24th-century anthropologists dig through the wreckage of our society in search of cultural clues, let's hope they don't find that orange alternate jersey the Islanders have been wearing lately.
  • Uni Watch's November prediction that more NFL teams would don solid-color unis was borne out in December, when the Dolphins (solid aqua) and the Cardinals (solid crimson) joined the monochromatic bandwagon. Predictably, both clubs looked ridiculous. This style is strictly for losers, and not just in the metaphorical sense: Of the nine teams that wore solid colors at least once this season, only one—the Jets—made the playoffs.
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