The New Uniforms

By Jason Gay:

And don’t get me started about golfers who now look like NASCAR drivers.

It’s the Notre Dame uniform that’s really the piece de resistance, no? I don’t even think of basketball. All I want is a Shamrock Shake.

Adidas is capable of sublime design. It designed the greatest two tennis sneakers in the history of humankind, the Rod Laver and the Stan Smith. The company’s trefoil logo is an iconic piece of art. It does many other things well. But less is always more, and these uniforms are more, more, more. Public freakout is part of the formula. You can’t help but suspect that this is what happens when schools go in for the big sponsorship agreements. They become part of a bigger machine.

This is a minor tempest to be sure. I’m sure I sound like a loopy hyena. I know I’m making too big a deal of it. These uniforms will be ridiculed on social media for a while and do their job of grabbing brief attention. Adidas will sell some gear, and it will come and go, probably soon to be forgotten. But the devolution of design isn’t usually a single abrupt act. It is a slow drip of surrenders and alterations until you no longer recognize something you once loved. It is why office buildings looks like shoe boxes and people walk onto airplanes dressed to weed the garden. Style matters. Design counts. OK I’ll go yell at the pigeons now.

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