Today, as Menelaus wrote, UCLA unveiled this season's alternate football uniform called "LA Steel".
Having had a chance to digest my breakfast which is no small task when it comes to some Adidas uniforms, I've decided to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of UCLA's new "LA Steel" Uniforms.
Let's take a look at "The Good" first, shall we?
July 16, 2014. Yes, that right. Read it again. July 16, 2014.
What does the date have to do with "The Good" of the "LA Steel" unis? Simple: Too often, in years past, the Athletic Department has waited far, far too long to unveil our alternate uniform for the year. "LA Nights" wasn't announced until midway through the season. Even last year's excellent "LA Midnight" unis weren't announced until the beginning of the season.
The Morgan Center finally gets the fact that, to maximize revenue from alternate jersey sales, you need to announce it prior to the start of the season. So, I want to give kudos to the Athletic Department staff and Adidas for finally getting the timing right. Anticipation for the season is building now and this was the correct time to unveil this season's alternate uniform.
Continuing with "The Good", let's talk about the UCLA Stripe.
(The above picture was apparently taken with some of the leftover Zubazz basketball unis as the background.)
Based on the images shown by Adidas on Twitter, the UCLA Stripe appears to be much improved on these uniforms. Looking at the full uniform shot, it certainly appears that the UCLA Stubs are gone and the UCLA Stripe is, in fact, back.
But that also let's us transition in "The Bad".
If the UCLA Stubs are gone and the UCLA Stripe is back, the natural question is "Why isn't it even longer?"
In the past, Coach Mora went on Twitter to explain the problem that Adidas had. The explanation was that the presence of the seams used to put the jersey together forced Adidas to reduce the size of the UCLA Stripe.
Well, again, based on the pictures posted by Adidas, they appear to have overcome that obstacle.
This image clearly shows how Adidas has overcome the issue related to the seam and the UCLA Stripe. I don't know if that is the reason the UCLA Stripe is broken up the way it is or not, but the end of the UCLA Stripe clearly does not coincide with the presence of a seam, at least on the back of the jersey.
Based on that, it appears that the seam issue is no longer a problem, meaning that all of our jerseys should have longer UCLA Stripes and not stubs.
And, to be perfectly honest, I'd like to see the stripes even longer than they appear in the images revealed today. That may be me nitpicking, but, traditionally, they've gone completely around the arm of the jersey.
Let's move on to the Ugly.
There's really only one thing I find completely and utterly repulsive about the "LA Steel" uniforms and that's the availability of the so-called "LA Steel" jerseys available for pre-order online at the UCLA Store.
When I first looked at the "LA Steel" uniforms, I actually thought they were black. It's because the color is such a dark gray that it looked that way. It wasn't until I looked closely at the UCLA Stripe photo above that I realized that it's a really dark shade of gray that some might call graphite and not black after all.
Let's contrast that with the jerseys shown in the image above that are available for pre-order.
The color isn't even close. The actual uni is dark gray while the one available for purchase for $65 is a much lighter color. They don't look anything alike and that falls on Adidas who is making both items.
Last year, I really wanted to purchase the LA Midnight jersey. However, because they sold out (I'm not sure why they weren't re-ordered), I settled for the shirtsey. At least they were both black.
This year, the shirtsy looks even worse than the jersey. Rather than being a solid medium gray like the jersey, the shirtsey takes your standard athletic gray (dark in some places and lighter in others) t-shirt and throws numbers on it.
But, I think I have a solution! If everyone just takes last year's LA Midnight merchandise (both jerseys and shirtseys) and washes it as much as possible between now and the day we actually wear LA Steel, the black color may just fade enough to look dark gray/graphite and appear to be closer in color to LA Steel than the actual LA Steel merchandise available for purchase!