Saturday, June 14, 2008

SPORTS: That Classic Look

Tonight's Chicago Cubs-Toronto Blue Jays game was a triumph of the good ole days, when Toronto wore their powder blue uni's and Chicago wore, what they always wear, road greys with the traditional dark blue and red trim. Refreshing.

The hated black Toronto uniforms were out because of flashback Fridays, the one day a week at home that the Blue Jays haul out the old-style uniforms and hats and please the crowd that pays their salaries. Tomorrow, the team will once again revert to those gawdawful black uniforms with the horrible logo. Wish they'd learn a little bit from their opponents this weekend.

Last night (Thursday), the Cubs actually DID wear throw-back uniforms themselves in a game against Atlanta. There wasn't much difference to their regular attire. Although, it WAS striking to watch the players wearing stirrup socks, showing the white athletic socks underneath. They looked like ball players. Not like hobos, which many of today's players seem to aspire to. I'm frequently surprised Manny Ramirez doesn't trip over his heels. Or worse, have his baggy drawers fall down around his ankles.

There's a lot to be said for tradition. The stated reason for why the Dodger, Yankee and Cubs' uniforms are among the best-selling is that they come from big cities. Poppycock. It's because their uniforms are eternal. Maybe a little change here and there for exceptional seasons. But principally, they follow the credo of the Montreal Canadiens. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

In this "if it's 10 minutes old, it's out of fashion" world, the Blue Jays feel compelled to change with the times. But they keep screwing it up. Adopting the universal black for a primary colour goes beyond stupidity to idiocy. Inner-city kids supposedly prefer black. So, since they are the half of the primary uniform shirt-buying audience (the other half are suburban wannabe's), it's only natural to appeal to their sense of colour. This might be true in New York or L.A. But see many black Toronto shirts other than at Blue Jay games?

Following the same reason, the Yanks should give in to the current eco-green movement and make those pinstripes green. Think the management is thinking about that for any longer than a New York second, and I've got a bridge to sell you.

It takes intestinal fortitude to stick with good people and traditional looks. It's a missing component in Toronto management. Maybe after JP Ricciardi and his mentor, Paul Godfrey, find themselves no longer employed, their replacements will show some gumption and restore traditions like wearing blue and winning.

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