As the California athletics department sets about re-branding itself with a uniform unveiling on…
Cal Uni Countdown: Far From Cloud 9
Yes, it's back, back again. In today's countdown to the California athletic department's new re-branding uni-veiling, we take a look at the No. 9 uniform on our list, and, well, the one thing I can safely say is best said by esteemed film star Rainier Wolfcastle:
We already took a gander at the worst uniform in Bears football history, and today, we continue the onesie theme with a tropical flavor. Oh, how I wish these uniforms were an April Fools joke.
NO. 9: TALLY ME BANANA
Why it worked
Cal wore these uniforms twice, both against Oregon at home, and went 1-1. The first game was a resounding 26-16 win in 2008, when the latest uniform set debuted, and the second was the 15-13 heartbreaker marred by a Giorgio Tavecchio false start on a field goal that would have given the Bears the lead.
It's hard to separate the banana look from the gold jersey itself, which debuted at home in 2006 against the Ducks, and then came back for the 2007 season-opener against Tennessee, a resounding home win if ever there was one. Fond memories are nice, but at the end of the day, we're talking about the gold-on-gold look, and the best thing that can be said about them is that the Bears weren't winless while wearing them.
Why it didn't
The unitard look has never been one of my favorites, but it's here to stay. As much as I like superheroes -- and believe me, I do -- dressing up as one for a football game is a bit much, but it's what this generation of players likes. This uniform's greatest crime is that it's entirely derivative, and just plain unoriginal. It's like wearing a tuxedo to a pool party: It's playing dress-up for the sake of playing dress-up, and it's an attempt to artificially fabricate a special occasion. Plus, a little gold is nice for trim, but let's just see how ridiculous all-gold looks when you take it to its logical conclusion.
Devil in the Details
When modern all-gold uniforms get wet, the different fabrics from which they are constructed tend to absorb moisture at different rates, leading to some rather embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. In simpler words: jockstraps ahoy. That particular problem is a consequence of high-tech fabrics, but one can't help but think that a more Vegas-gold approach -- or even the older, shinier pants -- would alleviate that problem. On the other hand ...
The overall problem only gets worse when a team is going for the head-to-toe monochrome pajama motif, and then winds up wearing two or three shades of the same color.
With the Swoosh also spearheading the newest redesign of the Bears' uniforms, and with NIKE designers' fondness for interchangeable parts that would put Henry Ford to shame, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven't seen the last of the urine-specimen-cup look. Let's just hope they don't add gold cleats, socks, gloves and helmets to complete the look. Gold helmets look fine all by themselves. Don't be that guy, NIKE. Don't be that guy.
CHECK BACK EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF THE BEST AND WORST UNIFORMS IN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL HISTORY AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE APRIL 10 REVEAL.
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