Nike is a pimp; Alabama is a whore

At SEC Media Days Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban warned that unscrupulous agents were pimps. Unfortunately, there are other pimps in this world. And whores. Both greedy of any gain and ready to exploit anyone to get it. In this case, the University of Alabama and its athletic department play the role of whore, and Nike plays the role of pimp.

The new uniform featuring Houndstooth is a blatant attempt to introduce more products to sell to already enthusiastic fans. It is not as horrible as it sounds; however, houndstooth is so overused that the design is obviously prosaic; it lacks any real inspiration. (RBR has a description and pic)

It is like when baseball added the designated hitter or interleague play. It just isn’t necessary. And just like interleague play, it is a desperate attempt to make money by undermining years of tradition.

That is not to say that uniforms can’t have variety. The NFL experiment with throwback uniforms was a very good thing. These uniforms added a dimension for the fans who had not seen some of the classic looks of the past. But the NFL is a different animal. It is a for-profit operation, and college football isn’t about profit or generating new revenue streams.

Wait. Today college football’s only reason to exist is to generate cash. And more cash. And more cash. This is done via television contracts and selling more goods at retailers from high end merchants to Wal-Mart. And don’t forget to raise parking fees.

Alabama will do anything for a buck. It will trade its self-respect for revenue, and sell its soul for royalties. It sued one of its best ambassadors over his paintings; the University has used public money in its persecution of respected artist Daniel Moore. Anything for a buck!

Alabama fans should be offended that the Unviersity and Nike chose to wrap themselves in houndstooth. They have brazenly decided to exploit the legacy of Paul W. “Bear” Bryant to sell Nike products. Where was the leadership of Nick Saban to protect the integrity of his program? Where was the leadership to protect the fans from such obvious commercial exploitation?

This is a cynical move by a mega-corporation. Perhaps one of the most cynical moves since Caligula named his horse a consul. Fans deserve better. The University of Alabama deserves better. Where is the leadership?