Thanks to guys like Paul Lukas at the very good Uni Watch blog, as well as our very own offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch, we've gotten a sneak peak at what UCLA will be wearing at the Rose Bowl, which you can see above (and below). Now, as I discussed a while ago, Coach Mora went on Twitter (after presumably being briefed by the Adidas uniform people) and answered fan questions about UCLA's uniforms. Unfortunately for our coach, it seems like Adidas left him hanging. While there's one significant improvement, but all-in-all, what we have is another half-hearted lame uniform from the morons at Adidas (who continue to flail away, all while Nike is busy slaughtering them).
Here's how Uni Watch responded:
If you like stretch marks, you'll love UCLA's new football jersey: pic.twitter.com/xayzzLwsQ3— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) June 24, 2013
Obviously, Lukas is referring to the weird stretch-mark looking pattern that drapes across the chest, shoulders, and sides. Naturally, this begs the question: if Adidas has the capability of developing a uniform that can have an intricate pattern (of various shades of blue) in various sections of the uniform (which fortunately aren't as ugly as the total-fail zubaz joke they revealed for March Madness), why can't they figure out how to either (1) re-work the shoulder seams to permit a true UCLA shoulder stripe of the proper length or (2) artificially lengthen the truncated UCLA shoulder stripe by imposing a white-and-yellow stripe pattern in the shoulder/arm-hole area?
In any event, let's talk about the one stand-out positive in this uniform set. Ironically, it's the part you can barely see: the pants. It seems that Adidas finally figured out to give UCLA the proper shade of gold for their pants, which actually appear to match both the gold uniform numerals as well as the traditional UCLA gold helmet. So, that's a nice plus for Adidas. But sadly, that's about it.
Remember when Coach Mora told us that Adidas was working on a rubberized paint that would extend the UCLA stripe? Obviously, that wasn't as important as making sure Adidas got it's newest (and ugly) pattern incorporated into our uniforms - it's like zubaz for football (and what's sad is that someone at Adidas probably thought zubaz would be a good idea).
Obviously, the weird stretch-mark pattern is not ideal. While it's nice that Adidas is trying to implement new "hip" and "cool" ideas for UCLA's football uniform, I suspect this pattern is going to look terrible on our big offensive linemen. And, to be perfectly honest, the design across the chest and shoulders reminds me of the faux wing design Nike came up for Oregon's uniforms, which begs the question of why we're trying to resemble or copy the Ducks. The other (probably unintended) effect of the pattern is that the secondary color is a darker shade of blue, which from distance, will give our uniforms a darker look than most of us would probably prefer.
As you can see, we're still stuck with boring block numbering as opposed to the very cool looking, unique, and popular Clarendon number font that we saw on past Adidas UCLA uniforms (the Gary Beban throw-back uniforms, the now-infamous "surrender whites", and the awesome looking L.A. Nights alternates). Adidas knows how to do Clarendon, and surprisingly, they know how to do it well, and it's apparent they're aware of the popularity and significance of Clarendon numbers in Westwood, so why are we still going with boring, same-as-everyone-else block numbering?
So, although Coach Mora "loves" the Clarendon numbering and being aware that it is "so distinctive" to UCLA's football identity, Adidas apparently didn't think it was worth doing. So, yes, it looks like more block numbering since Adidas didn't bother to stick with what they apparently told Mora - that the "plan is to use it on both home and away jersey[s] this year" - leaving our head coach hanging. Real cool move by Adidas and Chianti Dan.
And, while we are all able to see these new uniforms, why was there no marketing campaign behind the release of these new uniforms? Have the clowns at Morgan Center and Adidas learned nothing from Nike's carefully planned marketing campaigns for whenever they release a new uniform (see Oregon, Cal, Oregon State, etc.). Instead, we get no press release, no carefully marketed strategy to gin up interest, just leaked photographs. Whoever is in charge of marketing at Morgan Center should be ashamed: but then again, it's probably a Chianti Dan sycophant who thinks that sending out Dan's "Word from Westwood" via email is cutting-edge "new media" marketing.
All-in-all, it's nice to have pants that finally match our uniforms (isn't it kind of sad that we have to applaud Adidas for something to basic that it's assumed for pretty much every Nike school?), but chalk this new uniform to another second-rate lame Adidas gimmick that continues to fail at holding true to the identity of UCLA football (proper shade of blue, Clarendon numbers, and most importantly, actual UCLA shoulder stripes), all brought to you by our moronic, lazy, incompetent athletic director, Chianti Dan Guerrero.
Heckuva job Danny.