Retro uncensored
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2

Retro jerseys?

That's so last week.

Now that the throwback craze has gone mainstream, one thing is certain: $400 Wes Unseld jerseys won't be cool for very much longer. Not when everyone from PTI's Mike Wilbon to the entire staff of Page 2 has jumped on the retro express (next stop: headbands and Team USA Winter Olympic berets!).

He Hate Me
A retro jersey after only one year.
So what's a fashion conscious sports fan to do? Try getting ahead of the curve. In our ongoing quest to bring you what's Next -- you've heard of that LeBron kid, right? -- Page 2 presents the future of throwbacks:

Rod Smart Retro Jersey, 2001
In homage to: A player who became the XFL's top punchline. Quite an accomplishment, given the league in question.

Authentic details: Dubious grammar remains intact.

Fashion statement: Tryouts for MTV's "Tough Enough III?" I'm there!


O.J. Simpson
"If it doesn't fit ..."
O.J. Simpson Retro Gloves, 1995
In homage to: The NFL legend and Hertz pitchman who beat a double-murder rap in the mid-1990s Trial of the Century. Also a nod to Simpson's understated performances in "The Towering Inferno" and the "Naked Gun" trilogy.

Authentic details: Stitching patterned after original Aris Isotoners; genuine blood stains.

Fashion statement: Acquit, shma-cquit -- these gloves fit.


Howard Cosell, Muhammad Ali
"Hey, Howard. Is that berber carpet?"
Howard Cosell Retro Toupee, 1978
In homage to: The iconoclastic sports announcer, whose bombastic persona was oft-imitated but never duplicated. Sorta like his rug.

Authentic details: Can be pulled off, Muhammad Ali-style, with minimal effort.

Fashion statement: I tell it like it is. Let's talk male pattern baldness.


Groucho disguise
The Valentine Family Reunion is in full swing.
Bobby Valentine Retro Disguise, 1999
In homage to: The former New York Mets manager who, after getting ejected from a game, returned to the dugout wearing Groucho Marx glasses and a mustache made of painted-on eyeblack. Valentine was slapped with a two-game suspension for his attempted skullduggery; frankly, the Jedi mind trick would have been more effective.

Authentic details: Disguise costs $5,000, the same amount Valentine was fined by the National League.

Fashion statement: Bobby Valentine? Nope, haven't seen him.


Bam Morris
From #33 on the Steelers to #451208 on Cell Block C.
Bam Morris Retro Prison Uniform, 2001
In homage to: The former NFL runner who was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for a 1996 drug conviction, then sentenced to 10 years in Texas state prison for violating the terms of his parole.

Authentic details: Roomy fit around waist and thighs, the better to accommodate contraband and homemade shanks.

Fashion statement: I fought the law, and the law won. In a blowout.


Apollo Creed
After seeing Rocky V, Apollo got off easy.
Apollo Creed Retro Boxing Trunks, 1985
In homage to: The legendary Carl Weathers character who made Rocky a champ, taught us a little something about the Eye of the Tiger, died at the hands of Ivan Drago and almost allowed us to forget "Action Jackson."

Authentic details: Silky shine and decadent softness a poke in the eye to communism, should that outdated ideology ever make a comeback.

Fashion statement: I ... Live ... In ... America! Hit me!


Larry Brown
Before Cosby, there was Larry.
Larry Brown Retro Sweater, 1970s
In homage to: The current Philadelphia 76ers coach, whose button-down present belies his fashion, er, forward past as the ABA's "Modfather."

Authentic details: Sweater contains a hidden, Magic Eye-style picture that can only been seen if you stare at it for a few minutes.

Fashion statement: Do I make you horny, baby?


Hulk Hogan
Made in Tijuana.
Hulk Hogan Retro Steroid Needle, 1984
In homage to: The Hulkster, who admitted to steroid use during a mid-1990s federal trial.

Authentic details: Comes with a red-and-orange "Hulkamania" bandanna, the better to disguise your 'roid-ravaged scalp.

Fashion statement: Say your prayers and take your vitamins. Like Anabol and Decagabril.


Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at phrub@yahoo.com.




ALSO SEE:


Gallery: Ultimate retro jersey

Gallery: Best NHL retro jerseys

Gallery: Best MLB retro jerseys

Gallery: Best NFL retro jerseys

Gallery: Best NBA retro jerseys

Caple: Closet of Dreams

Shanoff: Jerseys speak a thousand words

Neel: Let's customize those throwbacks

Hruby: The seedier side of fur and fun

Hruby: It's a steal

Head-to-Head: Jon Gruden vs. Chucky





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