As you may have noticed on Sundays, some NFL coaches are now wearing suits on the sidelines again. The League had previously rejected requests to wear suits because of its agreement with Reebok. However, the NFL coaches were granted permission to wear them last year. Reebok initially designed them, but it turns out they were not “suited” for the task. The athletic sportswear corporation soon outsourced the job to Joseph Abboud.
Mike Nolan of the San Francisco 49ers and Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars have been suiting up ever since. As reported at Defining Men’s Fashion:
After signing on to lead the team in 2005, Nolan asked the NFL if he could wear a suit during the games. That request was initially denied due to the league’s contract with Reebok, which stipulates that coaches wear the company’s team gear on the sidelines. But Reebok amended its policy last year, allowing Nolan to wear a company-issued suit to two games.
But Nolan persisted and in June the NFL announced a deal that allows the coach to wear a suit to all of the 49ers home games this season. But this time Reebok partnered with industry vets JA Apparel to dress him.
The men look dapper on the sidelines at a time when the trend had been most strongly heading in the opposite direction. Steve Spurrier, for instance, can toss a visor or clipboard pretty far. He also typically wears a visor, khakis, and a t-shirt. How does Nolan deal with the heat of the game? And what does the suit say about the game? The answers are in this month’s issue of Men’s Vogue:
Four hours of pacing, yelling, and Gatorade–dunking can take their toll, so the suits have been vented and lined with an absorbent, elastic material in team colors. Despite this last point, Nolan believes he has accomplished his goal: “I feel the suit shows respect for the position,” he says. With Michael Vick running a dogfighting ring and coach Bill Belichick accused of cheating, respect for the game has been scarce. Maybe a change of uniform can force these wayward men of war back into formation.
( Also reported in USA Today, from where the photo was taken. Graphics credit: Jack Del Rio from Getty Images, Mike Nolan from Presswire )