We’re simple, sartorial folk here at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers. We enjoy good suits, good ties, good uses of color… The sophistication of the art (ART, we say!) of the Christmas sweater is beyond us. …Okay, okay, we’re kidding. We enjoy the delicious, absurdest irony of the hideously ugly Christmas sweater as much as the next guy. So, in honor of the holiday occasion, we wanted to take a break from things like “being fashionable” and “wearing clothes we aren’t embarrassed by” to take a look at some of the most terrifying, egregiously bad examples of that rarest of art form, the ugly Christmas sweater!
It’s the height of the football season, so let’s take another quick trip into the world of the NFL. The last couple of times we were here we took a look at some of the more questionable design choices of the current NFL…
What about logos, though? Those contribute just as much to the overall “feel” of a team’s image as the uniform designs themselves do. The NFL is very good at logo continuity and integrity, especially compared to some other leagues.
But what about the logos that we almost got? The lost logos of the NFL, if you will? …Well, let’s just say there was a reason they were lost.
Seattle’s less-than-threatening mascot, a sea hawk, better known as an osprey, never lent itself well to logo design with its small head and ruffled feathers.
The Seahawks did their best with this slightly sleepy looking osprey head for many years, mostly relying on the strength of their great color scheme to get by.
Otherwise known as the exact same logo with a different helmet color. Well, not all of these are going to be that drastic, right? After all, NFL teams aren’t crazy. They wouldn’t go completely off the deep end, right?
…Okay, maybe they would. For many, many years, this has been the logo of the Colts, both in Baltimore and in Indianapolis.
For the 2001 Season, the team wanted something new, something exciting, something that just screamed “Indiana” and “Indianapolis” and “not hideous.” How could they go wrong, with one of the simplest, cleanest logos and color combos? They couldn’t possibly muck this one–
What the heck are we even looking at here?? The blue has gone purplish, the font design is lifted from a cereal box, and the horse head is some sort of terrifying, abstract Picasso-esque monstrosity! What were they thinking? Thankfully for everyone, the Colts didn’t go with this, instead choosing the following update:
New England Patriots
The Pats used to have a rather busy logo for their first few decades…
Oh, poor Jacksonville, here you are again. Before deciding on the Jaguar head for the logo in their inaugural 1995 Season, the Jags had an entire logo and uniform set all ready to go from 1993 to late 1994 featuring a very different Jaguar…
The Miami Dolphins started out with another AFL-staple clearly hand-drawn logo design, which they kept through the 1996 Season.
Uh… Well, if we’re talking airline livery… Circa 1981… Sure, good design. But for an NFL team? It looks like they swiped it from the dolphin enclosure at SeaWorld. The logo was outdated the moment it was designed, and accentuates the orange and aqua of the Dolphins logo over the much more prominent and well-known lily-white. The team scrapped it, opting instead to update its existing logo, making the titular dolphin more three-dimensional, well-defined…
This year, the team went back to the abstract, with a logo that… Looks more like the scrapped 1997 logo, actually.
The Bills logo has been the same since 1974. This familiar, sleek, and very functional design, that was actually rather ahead of its time in terms of logo design, looking for all the world like a logo from the late ’80s or early ’90s.
It’s probably for the best that they stuck with the old logo…
San Francisco 49ers
You may know this logo well, it or some slight variation on it has been the 49ers logo for basically forever.
Did you know that in 1991, the team changed it, even going so far as to make entirely new helmets, and introducing the new logo and helmets at a press conference before the 1991 Season? Why haven’t you ever heard of this?
Yeah, the Bay Area basically went insane, demanding it be changed back. The response was so overwhelmingly negative, the team did so just days later.
Oh, my, where to start? The Browns have never had a true logo, per se, always just being represented by their helmet, in one way…
And then a “B” in a football…
And then a… Dog face? Because of the “Dawg Pound,” whose name has nothing to do with the team name or colors or city, but is actually because of a really obscure story involving Hanford Dixon, a Browns cornerback in the 1980s?
Well. Whatever they actually flirted with as an official logo in 1965 can’t be any worse than those, right?
Yeesh. Go with the dog, guys. He’s much better.
Remember how we talked so much about the power of your image? How people make quick and lasting assumptions based on what they first see? A very talented guy that doesn’t look ready for a promotion based on his horrible suit… A young man trapped in his college years, who might be very capable, but comes off as unreliable. A very smart person that is not so smart, since he always looks so preppy. Don’t get stuck with the wrong character! …Unless you want to role play, and be a bad boy rocker for the night to get some extra attention from the females!
The True Gentleman
This guy looks sharp even in his PJs. The epitome of a “gentleman,” the highest tier of manhood. From his fabric and color choices to his always classic accessories, this is as good as it gets. His spruce and stylish look is a true representation of everything he is and does, always number one!
Who’s That Punk?
Let’s face it, he is out there prowling for his next heart to break, and he will find plenty of girls willing to give it to him. His black jeans and T-shirt, in combination with his Harness Fry boots, creates his mysterious, rocker look. Thanks goodness he goes with the wind, so he wont stick around for long.
Swanky, Preppy and Ultra Cool
This guy loves fashion, and he is not shy about letting everyone know about i. Très sartorial, always looking to push the envelope, he is young and gets away with being young while getting the respect of someone twice his age. He will wear that great suit fabric you wish you had the, well, courage to wear. Needless to say, this look opens all kinds of doors. He might not be the brightest bulb, but indeed, he is the savviest!
This specimen, hopefully soon to be extinct, usually comes with the worst, unfitted, outdated suit (because of work, you know?). In his mind, the bad pant pleats are probably part of the dress code, too! In general. his whole wardrobe is a mess, yet he still wonders why he doesn’t get that promotion. What can a nice suit do? It can erase that incompetent look.
His look is fitted, somewhat up to date and is just flat-out boring. You’ve got to figure that you can only do so much with a pair of khakis and shirts in a three color palette range. Let us tell you something pal, besides boring, that look comes with a big tag that says “lack of creativity.” Not a good thing to spot, especially when looking for a job.
Let’s Be Friends (Neo-Hipster)
Ah, this kid. Left his brain, and probably his heart, in college. Basically a low-rent version of all those way-too-genre-savvy-for-their-own-good kids in Williamsburg, he still wears those funny saying and cartoon heroes T-shirts with jeans and sneakers. Because his brain is still somewhere in college, this kid is not stressed, he is chilling all the time. The girls love him. He is nice, sweet, almost always very funny, approachable… Harmless. The perfect friend, and he will always be just that until he finally mans up and throws his whole wardrobe away. This look is just unreliable.
Special Entry: The Reformed Nerd
Sitting somewhere in a demilitarized zone between formal and casual, this fellow found his confidence and sense of style later than most, and it shows. Part hipster, part preppy, part “John Smith,” part gentleman, he favors dark colors and sleek lines, but probably dresses a bit too young for his age. He also probably needs to loosen up a bit! Open up those collars, man, you aren’t in church! But he’s come a long way from the Super Nintendo T-shirt days, and thanks to that old streak of nerdiness, actually knows how to polish his shoes and color coordinate, and for that, we salute him!
The 2012 baseball season is just around the corner, and probably is one of the most anticipated in a while. Lots of new kids on the block with enough swagger and talent to keeps us entertained all the way to October. Not to mention Bryce Harper, whom some say is “the most entertaining prospect since Babe Ruth”! Wow!
Anyway, we all love the game and can’t wait to get to the ball park for some fun games, and, of course, hot dogs ‘n’ beer (mouths watering even now). But before that, being so sartorial, we couldn’t help but go a little Fashion Police on some great baseball uniforms as well as some… Well, not so great.
Here are our top (and bottom) picks!
The Super Bowl. Such a stupendous and grand event, which started with something as petty as two leagues arguing over who was really #1. In 1967, this argument gave birth to what is today the most anticipated and viewed sporting event in the U.S. The rise of its popularity has turned the whole event into a tradition that many wouldn’t miss for the world, while others prepare themselves to monitor it for “offensiveness” at all cost (the Parents Television Council comes to mind).
Anyway, we were wondering how we got from squeaky clean marching bands and musicians to nipple shields and middle fingers in just four decades.
Halftime, the name given to the interval between the two halves of the game, is typically just a brief period used to swap the ends of the fields of play for the teams, and allow competitors to rest briefly in the midst of a decidedly physical sport. Somewhere along the way, this innocuous event became the love child of mass media and marketing.
The first Super Bowl halftime shows featured marching bands from universities, and then, as they got bigger, performances by Disney and Broadway stars, with themes ranging from tributes to America to tributes to football. Back then, a commercial segment during the broadcast was just $42,000, and we could be certain that expectations for a grand halftime show weren’t at their highest, either.
Production companies and marketing teams are playing all their cards, nowadays. With big-ticket spenders (the average price of tickets for Super Bowl XLVI was $4,000) and commercial segments going for $3.5 million for just 30 seconds (plus around $2-3 million for production and celebrity fees), expectation for EVERYTHING in the Super Bowl now reaches stratospheric levels, given that we live in a society that has seen it and heard it all, or so we think. It’s no surprise that everyone wants more.
It is in wanting more that we might have ended up with more risqué or vulgar scenes during halftime. It is with wanting more (if you are paying $3.5 million+ for 30 seconds) that commercials are getting, according to some, a bit too hot, offensive and even sexist. A whole campaign went off during this just passed Super Bowl to tag commercials that viewers might consider sexist under the #imnotbuyingit tag.
But with all the controversy from past mishaps or Janet Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII “wardrobe malfunction,” there is still out there a crowd that is getting harder and harder to please, and production and marketing teams that are overwhelmed with trying to find ways to please without offending.
So, the next time we see a Super Bowl commercial involving whipped cream, a couch made of bikini clad women, Beckham in underwear or Adriana Lima in a state of relative undress (which is always good), we can thank all the people behind multiple marketing teams trying to please us and their bosses.
We also can thank the halftime producers who are on a mission since we evolved beyond marching bands to provide shows that blow us away (or make us double take), with top performances by the best artists: Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, Sting, U2, No Doubt, Janet Jackson, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and The Black Eyed Peas, to mention just a few. And, of course, Madonna, who’s Super Bowl XLVI performance ranked as the all-time most watched halftime show in TV history, with 114 million viewers.
We are sure there will be more bumps in the road ahead just as classy as flipping the middle finger to 114 million viewers, as well as more amazing performances as flawless as Diana Ross’ halftime performance in 1996’s Super Bowl XXX, which ended with her departing by helicopter, hanging from a ladder as she was lifted off!
We are also sure that more regulations and fines are ahead, so secure your bra, hold down your finger and chill a bit, or we are going to end up watching marching bands again!
P.S. – Marching bands are amazing, just not when you’re paying four grand.