If there's one current theme in our Sports Jersey Week coverage, it's this: Roma are a damn good looking team, and I'm not talking about that six month stretch when we had Luca Toni. My parents were both artists, so I should be able to articulate this better, but having the ability to dance along the red, yellow, and orange spectrums gives the club a wealth of design options. They're not bound by a rigid striped aesthetic like Juventus or the Milan clubs, and they can tweak the warmth of the red base and yellow/orange trim to provide their fans with fresh looks every year. It's somewhat ironic, but there's a certain freedom designers have when working with perhaps the oldest color scheme in Western Civilization.
Even with that artistic license, at the end of the day Roma fans can take comfort in their home shirts always being red and their away shirts nearly always being white. But when it comes to third shirts, there are no rules. We've seen blues, bright yellows, blacks, grays, that weird brown/black/camo melange from a few years ago, and even a neon-creamsicle look from 2016-2017.
While you may not love each and every one of those kits, you could at least appreciate them for being different. That's the point of third kits after all—to have a bit of fun. But there was one third shirt that not only failed to inspire me, but continues to mystify me to this day.
This shirt—which liked to call the “Print in Grayscale”—was so ugly, they barely wore it that season; it took lots of searching to even find a shot of it in our database. Now, your opinion may differ from mine, and I certainly can understand the design elements they were striving for, but these shirts were just so bland and boring.
It's one thing to shoot for the gradient look—they did that the very next season with these—but there was just no focal point on these gray kits; nothing that anchored the eye. In those creamsicle kits, you're drawn to the shoulders—the orange sherbet section—and then your gaze is led down the shirt as the space between the color sections increases and the colors themselves become brighter.
You may not have liked that bright orange shirt, but you understood it. I can't say the same for this gray kit: nothing draws you in, nothing pops and nothing blends. And look at that photo; if that lineup was an LCD screen, Woj was the only pixel working properly. These kits were the embodiment of the “fuck it, it's laundry day” ethos.
Roma have mastered the gray shirt before—back in 2006 and just last season with the light gray away kit—but these always fell flat for me and narrowly edged out the 2016-2017 home shirt for my least favorite in recent memory.
What about you? Is there any Roma shirt you particularly hate?