The 2012 kits have finally been unveiled along with a brand spanking new sponsor that's reportedly shelling out around $8 million over three years for the right to have the Quaker Oats logo adorning the front of shirt. My thoughts on the new look?
Okay, so that road jersey isn't exactly the "Chicago Flag" jersey that everyone has been clamoring for over the better part of the last several seasons but it does look pretty good. The "Our City, Our Club" theme that the Fire has been trumpeting since last summer is evident in the color of the jersey along with the red Chicago stars that accompany the light blue striping in a nod to that "Flag" jersey that supporters want. What really makes it stand out is that it's different from your typical MLS/Adidas template that makes some kits look downright boring. It's pretty sharp but I can't help but think this would have been more appropriate as a third kit rather than the primary road outfit.
The lack of a "stripe" across the chest in the 2010/2011 road shirts is something that bothered a lot of supporters and this will likely annoy some people as well. Some fans let management know during last year's town hall meetings that the lack of a stripe in the white road kits was bothersome because the stripe itself was emblematic of the Chicago Fire Department and a typical fire fighter's uniform. That complaint apparently went unnoticed and probably should have been worked back into the design of the new road jersey somehow.
I like the road jersey but can understand some displeasure among those with an issue regarding the stripe. As far as the home jersey goes, I have two big issues that really distract from the look for me.
I can't stand soccer kits with collars. Just don't like them and probably never will. The addition of the collar really irks me even though the 1998-99 versions sported that feature. I'm also not buying the solid blue stripe across the chest. I think it looks much nicer and allows the lettering/logo to "pop" off the shirt in white. A white band with blue lettering would have looked cleaner, brighter, and kept with the traditional Fire home jerseys of the last fourteen years.
Ah, who am I kidding......I'll buy them both anyway. The collar on the home jersey will just allow me to wear it while dining at fine restaurants.