It finally happened. The long rumored gray away jerseys have replaced the sand. I’ve been writing this post in my head like a breakup speech all winter long. This is enough to wake me up from my writer’s coma. Suffice it to say I’m pretty pissed off, the new jerseys are not unique and they’re not San Diego.
This isn’t about uniform aesthetics, that is, what I think looks good or what someone else thinks looks good. There is no right or wrong with design. Someone isn’t going to like every design out there.
No, this about the boringification of the team. It’s about the lowest common denominator. It’s about removing every ounce of risk and fun from the jersey until the focus group just says “meh” and moves on. Or goes to breakfast. Motel art.
They just look so run of the mill. Don’t believe me?
It is interesting that when the Moorad group took over, one obvious goal was improving the Padres brand. They hired Laura Broderick, a Senior Vice President for Brand Development to do so full time. She’s done a good job too, the brand is more consistent today than I ever remember. One of the most important aspects of any brand is being unique and distinguishable. Yet the Padres are one of 16* teams in the league that use blue as their primary color, and one of 6 teams to use shades of navy blue and white exclusively. Hardly distinguishing. This isn’t the first time an organization with Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel in powerful positions pulled this same shit, exhibit a and b here and here.
People have been yelling for a return to brown for years. It will never happen, at least as a complete brand overhaul to what the team wore in the 70s and early 80s, or something similar. But I did hold out hope we would see at least some homage to it, which one might interpret the new brown camo jersey and hat as such.
The idea behind Bringing Back the Brown is to have something of our own as fans of the San Diego Padres. We don’t want to be the Dodgers or the Brewers. We need something that’s us. Sand away jerseys were something us. Powder blue and navy blue could have been us, but the Rays beat us to it. We don’t want to be them, either.
I hold out hope, but it’s fading fast. What’s funny is I’m more upset about this than I was about trading Adrian Gonzalez, Jake Peavy, or any single on the field decision the team has made the last few years.
This is my Matt Bush. Come 2015, if there is still nothing about the look that screams “PADRES!”, I’ll be complaining.