"Ooh, why is Peter Crouch staring me down with his sultry gaze?" you may ask.
The 6'7 English extraordinaire is proudly displaying the new Tottenham Hotspur kits for the upcoming 2010/11 season, of course.
Now, let me preface this by explaining my enthusiasm for soccer and hockey uniforms.
I love understanding how people decide to represent themselves visually. They have to retain their years of tradition, while at the same time looking toward the future.
Soccer kits are unique among sports uniforms, because unlike North American sports jerseys that sometimes remain unchanged for decades, soccer teams release a new kit almost every single year--they may be drastic shifts in image, but often they're very minor changes just to cash in on supporters wanting the most updated shirt.
In addition, soccer teams usually display their club crest as a small badge on the left breast, while almost all feature a huge sponsorship logo across the chest. It's ironic: you'd think the famously materialistic Americans would be the ones releasing new jerseys annually for the fans to buy, with advertisements emblazoned bigger than the club logo. Instead, it's the Europeans!
Anyway, back to the new Tottenham kit. Let's compare with last season's home shirt. A lot of Spurs fans complained about the yellow in last year's kit, but I actually liked it. It was distinctive. With the 10/11 kits, Tottenham return to a more classic two-color look, with a bold diagonal blue shoulder flash.
The multiple Puma logos on either side of the collar were excessive in 09/10. There are still too many pumas on the new kit, but the fact that they're on the sleeves makes them more bearable.
A drastic improvement over last year is the sponsor. Yeah, it's still a random software company, but that's better than a shady online gambling site. Plus, Autonomy's color scheme matches the Spurs shirt much better than Mansion's did.
I also highly enjoy the white stripe on the right leg of the new shorts.
Overall, I think this is a slight improvement over last year. Most other Tottenham supporters will see it as a huge step up.
The away kit doesn't pass nearly as well. It's a completely uninspired generic Puma template.
That color? I swear I've seen it on another Puma kit. Oh yeah... Uruguay's 2010 kit.
Those stripes? That collar? I swear I've seen it on another Puma kit. Oh yeah... Italy's 2010 kit.
This second-choice shirt is an insult to Spurs fans. Massive downgrade from last season's classy away kit.
The new third kit is much better than the second choice. It's a very fitting shade of navy blue, and the Spurs crest looks great in white. The lime green trim is adventurous, and I appreciate that; it's what non-home kits should do. I just wish this was the away kit.
This is a substantial upgrade from 09/10's "nighttime jogging" third.
Taking all three new kits into account, 10/11 is a decent move up from 09/10, with the unfortunate exception of the second-choice. But alas, it's the home shirt that matters most, and it delivers.