July 16, 2011

"What in the world is a beer-drinking, chest-hair-sporting Abby Wambach fan supposed to wear?"

The Wall Street Journal looks at the shirt-buying issues of male fans of women's soccer.
Until now, looking like the players was not such a problem for guys. The women's uniforms, with their formless, masculine cuts, were essentially "sized-down versions of men's jerseys," according to Nike. This year, the team's sleek cap-sleeve jerseys zip up the front, hug the bust, taper in at the waist and jut out at the hips, drawing comparisons on soccer forums to Halloween's ubiquitous "sexy nurse" costumes...

Brian Bober, an executive director at Morgan Stanley from Pelham, N.Y., who coaches his eight-year-old daughter's soccer team, says the situation has left him frustrated. "I've been trying to think of a way I could buy a jersey or something without looking like Freddie Mercury," says Mr. Bober, referring to the late lead singer of British rock band Queen, who wore a lot of tight clothing. "I generally dress with complete disregard of what people will think of me, but based on what's available I would get ridiculed right out of my town."
Bober doesn't sound like the kind of guy who should be experimenting with wearing women's clothes. By contrast: Alexi Lalas. La la la.

Nike denies the charge that they deliberately made the uniforms sexy. Their spokeman says they made "the lightest, most comfortable" jersey cut to "provide the greatest range of motion." Range of motion? All right then: Let's see the cap sleeves on the guys' clothes.

By the way, I think team sports uniforms should be figure flattering to the players. These are spectator sports. The point is to watch impressive human bodies. We want to see what we're looking at. It should look great. Not like pajamas. Not like you're a kid wearing your older sibling's playclothes.

52 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

OK, its soccer, not to mention women's soccer.

I assume this is a fashion challenge for about a dozen guys out there.

Paddy O said...

Are men allowed to sport chest hair again?

edutcher said...

What Phil said. Sports uniforms are supposed to allow freedom of movement, not let everybody check out what a nice ass #65 has.

(notice I did not specify 65's gender)

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, I think team sports uniforms should be figure flattering to the players. These are spectator sports. The point is to watch impressive human bodies.

In the Olympic Games 2500 years ago, maybe. today, we're supposed to be watching the play.

Am I going to get in trouble if I say that's a woman's comment?

/ducks

PS Professional baseball started snugging up the uniforms and introducing brighter colors (think Oakland A's) in the 70s and it really didn't bring in the women the way they hoped.

Fred4Pres said...

A real man doesn't wear a women's soccer jersey. A real man has it laying on the side of his bed and that man and the player are not wearing anything.

And she is very happy.

Oh!.

Christopher said...

I don't care what they wear just so long as commentators stop claiming that women's soccer is somehow purer than men's.

Enough about fundamentals.

gerry said...

As if we don't have enough headaches, they make more up.

Sports bras flatten tits down, don't they, to reduce injuries?

The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

By the way, I think team sports uniforms should be figure flattering to the players. These are spectator sports. The point is to watch impressive human bodies. We want to see what we're looking at. It should look great. Not like pajamas. Not like you're a kid wearing your older sibling's playclothes.

You don't know the first thing about sports - yes, they are spectator sports, but we're watching athleticism, not a fashion show or a display of rock-hard abs - whatever makes doing the job better (even pajamas) is what's necessary.

Your priorities, here, are all messed up.

BTW - what do women's sports teams wear? That's their problem, not mine. Preferably something that will turn that attitude around. (Nobody had to ask it about male sports,...)

gerry,

As if we don't have enough headaches, they make more up.

What else are some women for, man?

Curious George said...

Althouse is on to something.

The only women's sports I will watch are:

Golf

Volleyball

Beach Volleyball

and Tennis

traditionalguy said...

The times they are a changing.

Most men are falling for the cheerful boy image these days.

Even the chrome dome look is not as much masculine as it is a surrender to a 20 something military look.

The women athletes who compete look like men in female bodies. But the men in the stands are boys trying to pass for men in female bodies.

When your child is a cheerleader (a very female look indeed), you will attend many girl's games where they cheer .

The girl's basketball players are tough and skilled, and I have known many to become lesbians as soon as they get on to a college team.

I miss Elizabeth Taylor as the icon for femaleness in body and personality. She hasn't been beat yet.

The Crack Emcee said...

Male fans of women's soccer:

Can we please call manginas what they are:

"Manginas"?

Phil 3:14 said...

George;
Your shots of women's volleyball. I've heard of some men's interest in girl on girl action but don't find it all a bit creepy

to watch

Curious George said...

Oh, and sometimes soccer

especially when Iceland is playing

G Joubert said...

By the way, I think team sports uniforms should be figure flattering to the players. These are spectator sports. The point is to watch impressive human bodies. We want to see what we're looking at.

Hey, I'll admit it. That's exactly why I like women's beach volleyball.

And, why did Brandi Chastain rip off her jersey down to her sports bra on national TV in 1999?

edutcher said...

Is it women's soccer or rugby where the winners pull off their jerseys at the end?

And aren't wearing any bras.

SunnyJ said...

I have no doubt its function over form...women tend to grab each others jerseys and using the longer leverage of the cloth they can whip the player to the ground..same with hair (which is why you see more women playing with short hair also. Women were grabbing the ponytails of others and pulling them down.

This form to function/function to form discussion has taken place in swimming, equestrian, basketball,cheerleading, gymnastics, volleyball,tennis, golf and now soccer. (more probably)

Does that mean that the ever present Marketing 101's of our world do not take it to the max to increase the "brand" and sell more stuff...absolutely!

rhhardin said...

That's why I don't subscribe to the WSJ any longer. Women's pages infest the paper.

virgil xenophon said...

TG/

Women's sport is about NOTHIG BUT Lesbo action. Think the Dinah Shore Open in Palm Springs when the place is nothing but wall-to-wall lesbos. Women's tennis has looongg been known for rampant locker-room lesbo action. Billy Jean King, Rosie Cassells (a particularly open and aggressive lesbo-babe) the list goes on and on. The fact that most college women's athletic.PE Depts are staffed by almost nothing but lesbos is a well est. fact. Every member of the staff at Eastern Illinois save one was a lesbo when I was growing up on campus in the 50s) And the lesbo effect has been reinforced/intensified by the fact that dabbling in lesbianism by hetro chicks has become the chic-chic thing to do in college in the last quarter century--hence the new designation of LUGS--lesbians until graduation--created to reflect this (relatively) recent phenomena.

James said...

I'm rooting for the Japanese women tomorrow but I'm afraid they will be steamrollered by the U.S. women.

This is what I said about a week ago on another forum:
this U.S. team doesn't have the skill of previous teams. They rely on their fitness and physical size rather than technical skills. You don't see them dribbling and attacking defenders; they also don't seem to be able to string passes together and they lose possession easily. Most of their goals come on set pieces.

The only U.S. player who is comparable to the French, German, or Brazilians women is Megan Rapinoe and she only comes on the pitch as a substitute.


So imagine my great surprise when this article appeared on Yahoo yesterday. It has been heavily criticized but valid points are made about the U.S. style of play:
Storybook Cup win will hurt in long run

"The good old romantic American character traits of grit, hustle and determination have lifted them past Brazil in the quarterfinals and France in the semifinals, both in dramatic fashion. (Their effort, it should be noted, has also supplied the same sort of easily packaged storyline – heavy on the schmaltz – as the pig-tailed All-American “girls” in the 1999 World Cup.)

The problem is the big picture.

If the United States wins, it will validate an increasingly outdated style of play: one that values speed and strength over skill and imagination. And that would be awful for American soccer.

Remaining married to those qualities – from the youth levels on up – is going to continue the United States women’s steady backsliding over the last decade. Soon, they will be in the same position the men find themselves – hopelessly overmatched against the world’s elite.

It is already happening.

Watching France and Brazil elegantly and consistently move the ball in and out of tight spaces against the United States with great skill and vision it was hard not to think: geez, was it only a generation ago that the Americans, with unmatched power and pace, ran roughshod over all but a few nations (China and Norway)?"

Curious George said...

James said...

Watching France and Brazil elegantly and consistently move the ball in and out of tight spaces against the United States with great skill and vision it was hard not to think: geez, was it only a generation ago that the Americans, with unmatched power and pace, ran roughshod over all but a few nations (China and Norway)?


Actually, it is quite easy. I had no problem.

James said...

@Virgil

I'm willing to bet that Abby Wambach will not get endorsements like Mia Hamm did.

Also, the coach Pia Sundhage looks remarkably like Pete Carroll.

Shouting Thomas said...

Somebody is interested in women's soccer?

G Joubert said...

Somebody is interested in women's soccer?

When the USA team is winning.

traditionalguy said...

It was amusing when Truett Cathy of Chik Fil-A fame became the sponsor of a local LPGA tournament to help a friend at his baptist church who owned the Country club.

There were about 50/50 lesbians among the players, but so what. The shock to Truett was that the gallery attending the weekend days was 90% lesbian by appearance...and they seemed a bit hostile at Heteros crashing their party.

Anyway, that tournament is history and Truett now proudly sponsors the Kick off Game for college football in the Georgia Dome and the New Years eve Chick Fil-A Bowl ( the old Peach Bowl).

Sheepman said...

Here in politically correct Norway, a soccer commenter once said that the problem with women's Soccer was that it wasn't really soccer and the players weren't really women.

Crudely put, but the main point about the quality of the play compared to the men's game and the attractiveness of the women compared to other sports, like volleyball or tennis, has some validity. However, after seeing part of the US-Brazil semi-final, it looks like this is changing. The quality was much better than what I've seen of Women's soccer in the past and the uniforms were flattering.

Alex said...

I wonder what Crack thinks about pro tennis.

James said...

LOL...that columnist could have been describing the WNBA.

Here in politically correct Norway, a soccer commenter once said that the problem with women's Soccer was that it wasn't really soccer and the players weren't really women.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

I wonder what Crack thinks about pro tennis.

I don't usually. I'll watch a match, now and then, but that's about it. Couldn't care less actually.

Titus said...

I just pinched my morning loaf.

I am eating tons of greens and beans and no meat and my loaves are really dark.

I also peel out some amazing farts. Loud, solid and strong.

tits.

Curious George said...

Shouting Thomas said...
Somebody is interested in women's soccer?


"Women's" is the only potential reason to watch soccer. What a horridly boring game.

Alex said...

Womyn soccer players are usually quite unattractive. Why would anyone want to watch them?

SteveR said...

Although I understand the various reasons some might not find women's sports appealing to watch or follow, I will admit to a very certain sexual attraction in many cases. Volleyball especially.

Patrick said...

Sports jerseys are for athletes (while competing only) and children. Period. Adults wearing sports jerseys or (even worse) basketball shorts look like complete idiots.

Titus said...

I enjoy lifting my leg or squatting before I fart in order to announce the fart.

I do this around my mother and she says, "didn't I teach you any manners"?

I also enjoy aiming the fart at people.

G Joubert said...

Quite the performance artist.

Fen said...

Crack is partly right. Its about the action, not the player. Spectators are invited guests. Secondary. Thats the way it *should* be.

Unfortunately, its about merchadising and filling up the "Tide Metrobowl" that the city taxpayers were conned into ponying up $26000000000 for.

The coruption of our society has become systemic. Our Olympiads are now held in the Roman Collesium.

Fen said...

Wow. That was dark.

I guess I'm off to torture some small cute animals now.

tc

Alex said...

I prefer tennis because it's pure physics and geometry with constant scoring. There's no other sport like it. Oh and it lacks the drama queens of the NBA/NFL.

HT said...

Pajamas.

I can only assume you are referring to the hideosity that is the baseball uniform in recent years. One of the many reasons (interleague play; steroids) I gave up baseball in the early 90s.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are men allowed to sport chest hair again?"

I don't know, but if it's a tight-fitting shirt that zips up the front, please be careful.

Fred4Pres said...

He scores!

flenser said...

Nike denies the charge that they deliberately made the uniforms sexy. Their spokeman says they made "the lightest, most comfortable" jersey cut to "provide the greatest range of motion.

Reminds me of the way the female volleyball players wear super tight and skimpy outfits - which is also supposedly to provide the greatest freedom of movement, and emphatically not to juice up the spectator figures! You've noticed, haven't you, that the male volleyball players play in nothing but a jock-strap?

The dishonesty is far more irritating than the practice itself. If women's athletics is to be partly a T&A show (and a great many women as well as men seem to want it to be that) then can't we all be adult enough to admit that and stop lying to each other?

Shanna said...

If the United States wins, it will validate an increasingly outdated style of play: one that values speed and strength over skill and imagination.

So, let me get this straight. Speed and strength are bad. In a sport.

Interesting. One more reason to continue not giving a crap about soccer!

Shanna said...

As far as validating a style of play, if it works you win. If it doesn't you lose. People will do what works, in the end.

MarkG said...

Women's World Cup Soccer is a very watchable sport. Since I don't have a TV, I'll have to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for two hours to watch the final.

Alex said...

f women's athletics is to be partly a T&A show

Where's the T&A? They're all flat as boards.

flenser said...

Where's the T&A? They're all flat as boards.

Think of it as T&A for women.

ironrailsironweights said...

Are men allowed to sport chest hair again?

Or are women allowed to sport ... oh, never mind.

Peter

Browndog said...

Femi-nazi's demand the female athlete look manly...

Anything less puts them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, burning dinner, subsequent beating inevitable.

What do beer drinking chest-hair (Who the hell is Abby Wambach) fans demand?... body paint

Mike said...

Power and pace--it's the Amerricuhn way! Always has been, always will be. All you traditional types worrying about "lesbos" get over your own self.

Soccer may be boring to watch (although when you're close to the pitch at even a fourth or fifth level team match in England, you'd be surprised at the athleticism that's there) but scoring is fun to watch.

If you'd seen Alex Morgan behind the French defenders tearing in to score the third goal on Wednesday, you'd realize that it can just as exciting as (to use an old football example) Dan Fouts putting a touchdown pass into Kellen Winslow's outstretched arms for a touchdown. Big, strong, fast--that was Winslow who redefined what it meant to be an NFL tight eng. And Ms. Morgan is big, strong and fast. What in the world is there not to like about that?

Now maybe the supposedly diminutive ankle biter Japanese team may bring the US team down tomorrow--or maybe not. I'll be watching anyway.

Cedarford said...

It's really football. The Brits set up the rules of modern football and coined the word soccer in 1863 to distinguish it from other forms of football sports played globally.
A great invention, it spread worldwide in 40 years, and was called football everywhere but the USA.
The US, meanwhile, took to rubgy to "toughen young men in universities up for future war and showing manliness in the rough and tumble of life: - following the British logic for creating rugby in the 1st place.

But renamed it football because unlike rugby, they had pads, and stoppage of play that allowed the boss to run in plays, specialists, then whole separate teams set up for offense and defense.

Although touching the ball with the foot whenever it was not in possession of a team was quickly banned as a foul..due to injuries and some deaths as guys diving to grab the ball were kicked in the head.

When real football came to America, US rugby rules "football" was so well-established and universities through their amateur association actually OWNED the brand name - that they prohibited use of football to the upstart rival game.

Like our non-metric system, American watery piss-beer, and Constitution (that unlike all others is not revised and updated every 40-50 years)....football US style is American Exceptionalism.

Just don't go outside the US and call it soccer. It's like being an Arab visiting America seen looking with wonderment at a roll of toilet paper.

Maybe the solution might be to leave American rules rugby as "football" given all the trademarks and branding issues and call the global sport Americans are beginning to get with...as "real football".

PS - I don't like Bill Mahre that much, but he had a good line when he asked a jock on his show about the NFL lockout.
"So what will be the impact if NFL players don't start the season..other than the crime rate going up?"

PS2 - On the mannishness of female athletes...you get to an elite sport level, physical conditing shapes bodies. Lesbianism is more common in elite female athletes (though not as much as one would think), but stupidity, quick temper, and thuggishness related to high-T is more common in male athletes (though not as much as one would think, contrary to the journalists/writers)

HT said...

Is the final only on cable TV????? I can't find it in the online guide.