From acid wash jeans, to rat tail haircuts, to Miami Vice-style suits, the 1980s produced a number of fashion trends that probably never need to make a comeback.
Unfortunately, Adidas is bringing one back anyway this March: Zubaz.
Adidas rolled out new garish Zubaz-print jerseys Thursday for six of its flagship college basketball programs to wear during conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament. Baylor, UCLA and Louisville will don sleeved versions similar to what the Golden State Warriors wore in a game earlier this month, while Kansas, Notre Dame and Cincinnati will rock traditional sleeveless jerseys.
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The most amazing feat Adidas accomplished with these jerseys is the sleeves aren't the part drawing the most complaints. It's the fact that some of the nation's most recognizable programs will be wearing color schemes and prints straight out of the early years of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that has fans most furious.
In a press release revealing the jerseys, Adidas defended them, calling the unusual look "eye-catching" and "groundbreaking."
"The impact camo pattern is designed to let players stand out on college basketball’s biggest stage, while patches on the jersey backs feature school specific detailing to pay homage to team spirit and pride," the release reads.
If the purpose of the new jerseys is simply to draw attention, then this is the second year in a row Adidas has succeeded. Last year, Adidas also borrowed from the 1980s, putting Louisville, Baylor and Cincinnati in neon jerseys during the college basketball postseason.
Baylor's neon green look and Louisville's infrared gear were polarizing as well, but they were not immediately panned the way this year's jerseys have been. This year's looks range from not terrible (Louisville), to pretty awful (Notre Dame), to an abomination (UCLA).
For schools, the purpose of adopting alternate jerseys like these is usually twofold.
First, it's a money-making opportunity since it introduces a new product to sell. Secondly, it typically aids recruiting by letting prospects know that they'll always be outfitted in the freshest, most up-to-date gear if they choose your school.
The question with these Adidas jerseys is whether they fulfill either purpose. Maybe the initial uproar will fade, but it's hard to imagine recruits will be wowed by the new gear or fans will be lining up at campus stores and sporting goods shops to purchase it.
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