We’ve mentioned this before during kit week, but it’s still slightly bizarre for us stateside Romanisti that soccer clubs release new kits every single year. Sure, it’s a new design every year, and that provides some interesting opportunity for stylistic departures, but at the end of the day a big chunk of why this happens is because both the clubs and the kit manufacturers know a way to milk a target demo when they see one. I’m honestly surprised that this trend hasn’t caught on in any major American sport.
As much as I like some of these new designs (the third kit this year in particular was an instant-buy for me), in my ideal world, clubs would keep their home and away kit designs for a decade, if not longer. Part of that comes from my love of the Boston Celtics, who have had the same jerseys year in, year out since the end of World War II. Even if you take away the other fondness I have for the iconic jerseys my other sports teams keep, there’s no doubt that there’s an awful lot of variability in kit quality on a year-to-year basis. A club like Roma, with one of the best possible color combinations you could have, still has dud home kits every now and then. This is why I would like to suggest that Nike, Dan Friedkin, and whoever else look back towards the recent past, recognize an all-time classic kit when they see one, and keep it as Roma’s home kit for the extended future.
I’m talking about this beauty, the 2014/2015 Home Kit:
There’s just something about these kits for me. Where the collar is often the biggest drawback to a kit (looking at you, 2019/2020 third and 2015/2016 home), these are simple, refined, and look good on and off the pitch. Although one of the biggest positives for this kit is the lack of sponsor, they’d still look lovely if you plastered Qatar Airways, Wind, Barilla, or even INA Assitalia on the front. In addition, this is a style that would stand the test of time. Polo shirts have been a thing for decades and I’m pretty sure they won’t disappear from the style lexicon as long as Ralph Lauren and Lacoste still exist.
I’ll also admit that one reason I love this kit is who wore it. Obviously Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, and Alessandro Florenzi are players near and dear to the heart of any Romanista, but the highs and lows of supporting Roma while they employed Mattia Destro, Maicon, and Gervinho were enjoyable in a weird way. Those three will probably never join the Roma Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have memories for a long time of Destro showing such promise in a Roma kit, or Gervinho blazing up the right flank, or Maicon dispossessing some unfortunate soul with ease during his first match for the Giallorossi. Maybe some day I’ll feel that way about this squad; maybe some day I’ll miss Diego Perotti, Justin Kluivert, and Leonardo Spinazzola. I don’t think I’ll miss this year’s home kit as much, though.
In sum, my proposal is as follows: create a template for the home and away kits that can last a decade. You can change sponsors, numbers, whatever, but the shirt stays the same. The third kit can change constantly, as that is where really interesting things can and should happen. But for a club with a city, with colors, and with players as iconic as Roma, we could stand for a little more consistency.
What do you think? What kits would you nominate to become Roma’s home or away kit for a decade? Be sure to sound off in the comments, and feel free to tell my idea is horrible (I get that a lot) or that it will never happen because kits are changed annually solely to rob me of my hard-earned cash (don’t I know it).