You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about what NFL coaches wear on the sideline. Who cares, right? It’s the playoffs! You may not admit it, but everyone noticed when Mike Nolan wore suits in honor of his dad (Dick Nolan), when Belichick cut the sleeves on his hoodie, or the remarkable unmovable hair of Jimmy Johnson. Maybe by fashion statements, we get some insight into the personality of coaches that we don’t get from interviews or talk shows. Whatever it may be, random things coaches wear on the sideline remain a topic of conversation, even if it’s a small topic. If anything, it’s water cooler talk and gives us something to break the monotony of never-ending analyzes of the upcoming games.
Lately, one coach stands above all. One of the most low-key, cards to the chest, and successful coaches in the NFL is none other than Bill Belichick. His guarded personality doesn’t portray to welcome or invite attention to him or the Patriots. So, why every weekend, especially doing the winter months, doing the NFL season, we witness a new fashion statement? First, it was the hoodie, then the hoddie with the sleeves cut, and this past weekend was the old school wool hat with the furry ball on top. To quote the guys from Monday Night Countdown, “C’mon Man!” In retrospective, Belichick was one of the first to wear wind pants and hoodies on the sideline. You can say he contributed to the new laid back attire commonly worn by NFL coaches. That being said a few questions surfaced. What happened to the business suit days? What happened to the cowboy hat (Bum Phillips) or the felt hat (Tom Landry)? What happened to the days when you can distinguish between the head coach and the athletic trainer? Every once in awhile a coach will try to bring back the business like attire (Mike Nolan), but Nolan had to ask permission from the NFL to do so. Yes, ask permission. As of July 2009, NFL policy states, coaches are allowed to wear suits for home games, only.
I’m all for being comfortable while at work. Not all of us are able to do so, but when coaches make statements whether there verbally or fashionably people will have opinions. Just think if Deion Sanders was a head coach. Neon Deion only wears the same suit once every three years. That’s the kind of fashion statements I would like to see on the sidelines, not cut off sleeves or wool hats with furry balls on top. Granted, I thought the cut off sleeves were clever, but coming from an outspoken coach like Rex Ryan would have been understandable not from the coach we love to hate. In my opinion, who wouldn’t want to see their coach in a black suit with a gold pocket-handkerchief and gold tie? I know I would.
The players have fashion police, why not the coaches? NFL players get fined if their socks are not pulled up or if their uniform is out of place. They wear uniforms and coaches don’t, but coaches somewhat dress the same and have to stay within the boundaries of the dress code. As ex-NFL players regulate the player uniforms, the NFL should hire “C’mon Man” guys regulating the hats with furry balls on them. Yes, Job title should state “C’mon Man Regulator.” Does Belichick have that dry humor that we have not seen or does he just grab whatever is on the table? As much as he denies or doesn’t comment on what he wears, he has to get some enjoyment out of his hoodie phenomenon. I know Reebok sure isn’t complaining.