The Penalty Box: Look good, play good.

Justin Franiak, Asst. Sports Editor

The University of Oregon is on the forefront of uniform innovation. They have released tons of uniform combinations within the last few years making them one of the flashiest teams in America. But does looking good really make a team or individual play better?
With the recent fining of the Chicago Bear’s Earl Bennett for wearing bright orange shoes, and the NFL cracking down on uniform violations, I asked around to get opinions on looking fancy while playing a sport.
Sophomore Education major and wrestler Phil Racciato gave his thoughts on looking good while on the mat.
“Look good, feel good, you are good,” Racciato said.
Racciato usually sports his zip-up white and red wrestling shoes while on the mat. He said he liked them because they did not have any laces on them. He did, however, purchase them to make a fashion statement.
“Our singlets were green in high school,” Racciato said. “My coach told me to buy red and white shoes so I’d look like the Italian flag. He wanted me to look like him back when he wrestled at Pen Argyl.”
Being flashy has always been a trend in sports. We all remember track and field star Michael Johnson wearing his infamous solid gold shoes, or Alexander Ovechkin’s neon laces. The fancy shoes trend transcends all levels of sports, whether you are a collegiate athlete, a professional, or an amateur.
These custom shoes always bring an intimidation factor to one’s oppenent. Junior Engineering Major Griffin Panicucci customized his shoes to his liking.
“I purposely cut the Asics symbol off the side of my shoes because it looked cooler,” Panicucci said. “ And I always wore colorful socks to stand out.”
There is a unwritten rule in wrestling that if someone looks good that means they are good. Panicucci gave his thoughts on that.
‘It’s intimidating to wrestle someone who looks good,” Panicucci said. “And all the good kids wear sweet kicks and socks.”
Shoes aren’t the only way to be flashy on the field or court. Uniforms have always different variations throughout seasons, but unfortunately my teams usually come out looking hideous.
Uniforms have come and gone. A stone’s throw away in Philadelphia there have been many uniform mishaps. The Eagles throwbacks of light blue and yellow may have been one of the most horrendous get-ups this sport has seen. The Sixer’s recently retired black, gold, blue, red, magenta, etc. uniforms and tired rabbit mascot made then the laughing stock of the league. The Flyer’s uniforms are such an ugly color combination that people love them.
With Reebok losing their merchandising contract with the NFL soon, and Nike taking over, we are bound to see new technologies arise on the gridiron. Nike has proven that some sweet uniforms can really help a team win, until this past Saturday where No. 4 Oregon couldn’t wear enough fancy uniforms to save them from a huge loss to USC. Hopefully Nike can create some new nostalgia with redesigned uniforms and give teams an extra boost of confidence. Because if the Eagles keep losing, they might as well looks good.