Speaker by Various Artists


KICK IT! A Good Lookin' Squad

by FIFA World Cup 2010 The last few games

We all know the "Curse of Nike". It spread like wildfire across the sports section of internet last week and even made it to the last-item-of-the-news-that's-a-little-bit-quirky last night on TV3. Of course it's a joke and one that Nike set themselves up for by showing predictions of the future. But there's a couple of things that bugged me about it last night, and seeing as how it's a while before the next game I thought I'd write them down.

The article last night on TV3 was the usual generic review of Nike's Write the Future ad. They pointed to the early exits of Frank Ribery, Didier Drogba and Fabio Cannavaro; and the later exits of Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo. They point to Ronaldhino not even making the Cup at all (though didn't mention the new Robinho clip). They neglected to mention the US team (seen in the Rooney "caravan future"), but did mention the three Spaniards who feature (in the Rooney "knighted future"). And this where they went a bit far.

The article pointed out that Spain are dressed by adidas (their dark-blue strip is fantastic by the way), but neglected to mention that so are France. Or that Italy's uniforms are made by Puma, so are Côte d'Ivoire. Oddly though they claimed the curse extended further when Brazil, who featured heavily in the Nike "Airport" ad two World Cups ago lost to the adidas wearing French. Yet only four years ago the adidas wearing French lost to the Italians... I don't know what that means either.

But the most annoying thing about the puff-piece (and yes, I'm dissecting a stupid piece about a non-existent curse, but it's uniforms ... ... and that's my turf) was they didn't mention the one Nike team that is still in the competition and is in the ad: The Netherlands! They're the team that fouls Ronaldo, allowing him to line up the possibly historic free kick.

And let's not forget that Nike has made some of the nicest uniforms of the whole tournament: New Zealand's. White with simple black lettering and numbers (and without the awful font that adidas like so much), it was truly iconic. The US uniforms were similarly simple. The diagonal stripe a throwback to the "miracle on grass" that the Americans were so keen to remember this year. While the English (technically in Umbro, which is a Nike brand) had actual, honest-to-goodness collars!

Though Nike could've done with having a few more colourways for its boots, I'm getting sick of all the orange.

But adidas aren't leaving without a fight (the F50 adizero for example). There will be at least one adidas team in the final and both of them (Spain and Germany) have awesome uniforms. The Germans didn't just look cohesive and brilliant in beating Argentina, they looked goooood. Those black strips are my picks of the tournament, because while simplicity is great, going for something more complicated and pulling it off is even better.

Runners up for best uniform go to Solvenia for their "Charlie Browns". Worst uniform goes to the Australians (home and away)... nothing new there.

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