14 April 2011

Kit Happens

You're all probably well aware how much I enjoy irrelevant statistics. And often, they really are irrelevant; correlation clearly doesn't always imply causation and the past isn't always precedent. Still, coincidences can be fun.

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From 1896 through 1987, Liverpool wore just three kit colors: red, white, and yellow. Yellow was only added to the repertoire as an infrequent change strip in the late 1960s; it wasn't used as an away kit until 1982-83. Incidentally, Liverpool won the league that season. Liverpool branched out to a fourth tone with a striking gray number in 1987-88, and again won the title. Keeping the silver/gray for four seasons, the club picked up its last league championship to date in '89-90.

After finishing second in 1990-91, Liverpool added a fourth variation to the away scheme: green. It was the 1990s – that ne plus ultra of fashion and design – and everyone else was doing it. The club plummeted to sixth that season, its lowest position since the mid-sixties. Admittedly, Souness also may have had something to do with it. Regardless, and although results summarily improved once Souness got the sack, Liverpool kept the color for the next five seasons, usually with a heavy amount of white. But the damage had been done.

Really, this is a nonsensical correlation to my aesthetic preference. Liverpool's away kits should be white, gray, or yellow. Green almost always looked horrendous (granted, so did a couple of the yellow/gold kits), and I'll always think of black as a United color. No matter what the club claims, next season's away kit sure looks black.

But the club claims it's charcoal. Charcoal gray. And the difference between gray and black might actually matter. Liverpool have never finished better than 5th wearing black (sample size: 2) and never worse than 2nd in silver or gray. So which is it?

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Q.E.D.

You can find images of all of Liverpool's kits here and here.


Mike Georger said...

Now that I see it in action I love the kit, it's incredibly sharp and blows away every away one we've had from Adidas this stretch.

That being said, it should have been the yellow pinstripe one.

Anonymous said...

Slow week eh?

nate said...

"Slow week eh?"

Ha. There have been slower. The leaked kit was a big Twitter/forum topic of discussion yesterday, which for some reason prompted me to look up these "stats." Mostly, as I say above, because I dislike black away kits. Plus, it's not as if it's a very labor intensive (or very good, for that matter) graphic.

Also, I need to be less serious every now and then. It's good for my heart.

ad said...

Actually I quite like the shirt design, but after seeing your statistics my world has fallen apart! Noooooo... ok, maybe not that bad.

The shirt looks better than I expected - granted, I didn't have the highest of expectations. I blame Hodgson, of course.


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Book of Ra spielen said...

Hey...really a cool post...most of the things you said i didn know..
i will read more from you and i hope you continue ;)

drew said...

Love it myself, will grab one when I'm over again this summer.

You want anything from the club store Nate?

pancreality said...

Must admit I love the new away kit (although am biased being a kiwi).
Training instincts aside, one aspect about kit colour that I wonder about is peripheral vision whilst in flow - how much it helps when identifying their comrades movements and how much it effets their ability to know where to pass without thinking too much.. (and vice versa to remain incognito when attempting interceptions).
I guess with enough training they could most likely wear blindfolds! However, do imagine the colour has a wee effect.. hmm would be interesting to see how many interceptions ol Everton has had since the inception of shocking pink :/
p.s. Avid reader Nate - luv ya work mate