Alex Smith

New NFL uniforms: sorry Nike, I’m not a v-neck guy

There are two different guys out there. Guys who wear v-necks and guys who don’t. It’s silly, the idea that a neckline on a man’s shirt could mean anything. It’s not like men are hiding anything people really get all that excited about seeing. Guys walk around with their shirts off all the time, even in the United States where breasts are only readily visible in public on premium cable (and the internet, from what I’m told).

Still, there’s something different about a men’s shirt where the neck comes down to a point in the middle of one’s chest. If the angle isn’t severe, it isn’t that noticeable. But when the neckline plunges, the entire look changes. It gets fancier.

I’m not a v-neck guy. I don’t judge v-neck aficionados, but they just aren’t for me. I’m also not a scarf guy*. I don’t know what it is with stuff on or around my neck. Maybe I feel like if I focus more attention on that area it’ll look like I’m trying too hard. Once I pick a therapist someday, I’ll probably hash the reasons out and you’ll see me walking around wearing a v-neck, scarf, and a beret for good measure.

* That’s right, this means there won’t be any new contributors who go by @BAVNeckGuy or @BAScarfGuy on Twitter. Figured I might as well make that joke before someone else does.

Just wanted to give a little background on my fashion preferences before I show you this photo:

That’s the new 49ers jersey made by Nike, who takes over the official licensing deal from Reebok this year. (Niners Nation has a picture of an ad featuring Alex Smith wearing the new uniform.) A lot of people are excited by this, since Reebok’s image has screamed “JCPenney” for about two decades.

That shinier material framing the v-neck on the above jersey is called Flywire. It’s a lightweight material designed to add support to the fabric. Most new Nike athletic shoes include Flywire somewhere in the upper.

I’m sure this jersey, complete with a Flywire v-neck and shorter sleeves, will look good on the field worn over pads. But how about for the fans who buy jerseys of their favorite players? That’s where I fear Nike’s going to experience a little backlash. The replicas might have higher, more rounded necklines that don’t include Flywire, along with sleeves free from elastic. But if I was in the market for an authentic Niners jersey, and my only choice looks like the photo above … no thanks. Too cute.

Here’s the bright side: at least Nike didn’t botch the 49ers’ authentics like they did with the New Orleans Saints’ jerseys (from Adam Schefter’s Facebook page). What the hell is going on there? It’s like one of those t-shirts that’s supposed to look like a tuxedo, except without the bow tie. Nice collar, Drew Brees.

Diary of a Swoosh addict

Don’t get me wrong, I like Nike stuff. I’ve probably owned about 40 pairs of Nikes over the years, I currently have a few pairs of Air Max I’s in the rotation, I even wrote posts on the best and worst Jordans a long time ago.

Nike’s also in a tough spot. Besides the Seahawks’ uniforms (which Nike was allowed to make the most drastic changes on because Seattle’s way the hell out there in the Northwest, and everyone has kind of agreed to let Nike do whatever they want with the teams in their own little corner of the United States), the NFL is pretty strict about uniform changes. So the Swoosh guys were only allowed to make slight changes, sort of like how Toyota and Honda will put out the same Camrys and Accords for five years, only changing the headlights and tail lights every year.

Still, I’m probably not going to buy an authentic 49ers jersey because of my already mentioned disdain for bringing too much attention to my neck. Maybe I’ll have to satisfy my apparel cravings by purchasing an official Jim Harbaugh 49ers sweatshirt (black, no hood) that I can tuck into some well-pressed khakis. Nike’s still making those sweatshirts, right?

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