In part 3 of a series, I’m looking at Group C’s jerseys.
Yes, that’s a fox on the shoulder (Algeria’s nickname is the Desert Foxes). Yes, it looks silly. Yes, it’s completely and totally awesome. One of the main things I liked about the 2006 World Cup was the trend of putting animals on the shirts, especially for African teams (the team nicknames are conducive to such design elements). I like how the fox is there but it’s not garish, as if it’s sneaking up on Algeria’s opponents. It is the flair that, say, the Nigerian jersey was missing. The rest of the shirt is simple and to the point, so bravo to Puma for not screwing it up.
You want simple? Umbro gives you simple. Derided as a schoolboy shirt when it was released, the England shirt has grown on me. I like the name and number font, as well (I’ll post action pictures when the World Cup gets underway). I like the collar and I love the Three Lions crest. This is the epitome of a modernized retro shirt.
I like Slovenia’s colors. I like the crest. I do not understand the Charlie Brown stripe in the middle. Maybe it’s meant to reflect mountains. Maybe it’s a graph of Greece’s economy now and in the future. Maybe it’s a sine wave of some sort, designed to paralyze opponents like Monty Python’s joke that kills. Whatever it is, I kinda like it, even if I don’t understand it.
Let’s get this out of the way first: the home jersey is significantly better than the away jersey. I love the subtle stripe on the home shirt and hate the huge white beauty pageant stripe on the away shirt. There is something to be said for having two different designs. Then again, that’s not the Nike way (or the American way, for that matter; look at US sports and their home/away jerseys). The rest of the shirt is excellent: clean lines and good colors. Contrast where there needs to be contrast. Nike did good with this shirt, except for the away stripe. That annoys me to no end.
On the whole, Group C is the best looking group so far. We’ll see what the others bring to the table in the next few days.