You remember last March, right? Good times: Kentucky's triumphant promenade through the bracket, two No. 2 seeds upset on the same first-round afternoon, Louisville's unlikely, Russ Smith-led Final Four run, achieved while wearing those widely despised "infared" uniforms.
Of course, it is one thing to send experimental, eye-catching, buzz-groan-inducing uniforms to programs like Louisville or Baylor. Those schools don't really have an "iconic" uniform look, and so the changes, while infuriating in a general way, won't go so far as to strike at the heart of a historic program's self-identity. Come on. Adidas wouldn't do that, right?
Ha! Wrong! Wrong wrong wrong.
Here's a photo of new uniform "concepts" for Adidas schools Cincinnati, Kansas, Notre Dame, Baylor, UCLA and Louisville (hat tip: USAT).
Adidas, you see, is a habitual line-stepper, a troll, in Internet parlance
that trails its competition (Nike) in every meaningful way. It is thus determined to get people to talk about its new college basketball uniforms no matter what. The strategy for doing so seems to be to make their sponsored schools' uniforms as ugly as possible, and then to soak in all the hateful tweets and Facebook comments and Buzzfeed slideshows and, yes, blog posts like this one.
Well, guess what, Adidas. You win. It's one thing to get conceptual and weird with college hoops uniforms; it's another to throw some Zubaz patterns onto some shorts, add some weird pointless sleeves (which really don't bother me as much as some other people), and call it a day. It's just pure trolling at a global marketing level. If it weren't so cynical you'd have to be impressed.
Needless to say, tradition-obsessed Kansas fans are not impressed. They've already submitted a White House petition titled "Stop Kansas basketball from wearing the new uniforms proposed by adidas" that reads:
Adidas has designed uniforms for KU basketball that are stylistically heinous and tarnish a venerated institution. Stand up for our university, for coherent color schemes, and for the spirit of Wilt Chamberlain.
I'm not sure what Chamberlain has to do with it, but I couldn't agree more. Can we at least reach out to the German government? Guys, we love your cars, and your soccer boots, and there's this great beer hall in my neighborhood I love … but please. Make the bad uniform designers stop.