View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/17

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 17, 2013 - 2:01 PM

I am a fan of football and everything that goes with it. The stadiums, the traditions and the uniforms, yes the uniforms.
These days the uniforms are changing every year though it almost feels like minute by minute. Ok, I know I am going to sound old when I say I’m not in love with all the new jersey and pant combinations but I’m not.
I have a friend who says that when you have 17 different combinations they are no longer uniforms they are costumes. I laugh every time but the point he is making is valid. When teams have different helmets, jerseys and pants it is tough to pick them out when you watch a game on television or see some highlights.
Those issues are more for the college game and even though the NFL has been slow moving when it comes to fashion something tells me that trend is coming to the pros.
For high school teams the different uniform options aren’t really a problem. Mainly because schools can’t afford to have a lot of different options and when you get in your car and drive to the game who know which team you are watching.
The problem on the high school front is some of the basics of the uniform that in the name of fashion have lost their function. When you do things like have the same color number on the same jersey simply picking out who is who is tough.
About 10 years ago there was a team that I covered on a regular basis that got new uniforms. For the first time the head coach let the players have input on the design. The players came back with black numbers on purple jerseys with small gold outlines on the numbers.
Needless to say you couldn’t read the numbers even if you were standing on the sidelines let alone from the stands or press box. They were so hard to read that I misidentified a player in a story who had scored a touchdown. His father sent me a nice email to alert me of the mistake. When I apologized he told me not to worry about it because he couldn’t read the numbers either.
That team only had those uniforms for two seasons because the coach told the parents and booster club that college scouts couldn’t read their children’s numbers and the parents went and bought a whole new set of uniforms.
That’s the problem. The numbers on the uniform have a purpose. They are not decoration. Numbers need to be able to be read by everyone. The new styles of uniforms are here and I can live with that. Just give me some numbers I can read. That’s all I ask.