Quick post today as I am writing this on airport wifi.
Arsenal released their new kit today and as some predicted there are two stripes on the sleeves: one red and one Obsidian. As with any news story about Arsenal these days as soon as it breaks, lines are drawn and people form factions. Some people are for whatever, some are against, some believe it’s the board’s fault, some blame the players, and some people believe Steve Bould will never work with Arsene Wenger because he’s got a problem with Arsene’s managerial style.
In this case the lines have been drawn over whether the second color on the home kit is blackish or bluish. And as usual, this is a religious argument. Arsenal have stated that the stripes or hoops are an homage to Herbert Chapman who invented the red and white kit and at the same time made the players wear socks with hoops on them believing that this improved visibility. And I love the idea of honoring that tradition with the players wearing socks with hoops.
What I don’t love is hoops on the sleeves and I don’t love the color of the bluish stripe, Obsidian.
There’s probably a grammar nerd who keeps cringing every time I capitalize Obsidian but I am doing that intentionally. Because Obsidian is the official name of that color, branded and copyrighted as it is by Nike.
I know that it’s a color that is vaguely similar to previous colors worn by Arsenal. I know that the Arsenal crest has blue in it. But Obsidian is not Arsenal blue, it’s Obsidian by Nike.
It’s a minor quibble. Just a few hexes difference in color from the various shades of blue that Arsenal have ever worn. But for me, the heart of the matter is that it’s a Nike color, not an Arsenal color.
We are The Arsenal and we will be The Arsenal long after the contract with Nike runs out. If we wanted blue stripes on the shirts and socks they should have been Arsenal Blue and not Nike Obsidian.
I’m sure that I will now be hammered by whatever side of this religious debate you all fall on, have at it, I’m defenseless as I will be flying this afternoon and then at a conference all day.