Why the world loves soccer jerseys – the athletic

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You might be familiar with Jerry Seinfeld’s joke about the silliness inherent in supporting a sports team. “Loyalty to a sports team is quite difficult to justify – the players are constantly changing, the team can move to another city. In fact, you are rooting for clothes.

In theory, this is an ironic joke, slightly embracing a logical nonsense that we all tend to ignore or accept. But Seinfeld, probably unintentionally, stumbled upon something, the idea that what our team wears is actually very important.

The players come and go, the owners are temporary keepers, the managers change, the stadium or the location too. So what we’re actually supporting is not exactly the clothes, but the idea of ​​a club, some sort of fleeting concept that can mean something different to all of us – but all of which come together around it. ‘a single thing.

It’s all pretty intangible, but the visual representation of it is the kit, more specifically the jersey the team is wearing. In theory at least, it’s a still point in an otherwise undulating and ever-changing entity, something that we can hold onto and identify with, that is the root of Seinfeld’s joke. This is why people go out so categorically whenever the idea of ​​a color-changing team comes up: It’s not just people having a fit because they are needlessly clinging to tradition for the sake of it. tradition, but instead they just try to hold together an important part of their team’s identity, and therefore, to some extent, their own identity.

Jerseys are physical representations of the game that we can take anywhere. We can watch the highlights of the games and have memories of the action that we saw, but there is nothing tangible about it. Every goal is a fleeting moment that doesn’t return, but a jersey that might remind you of that moment is still there.


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