The Away Kit is Here: Not so Legendary

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – Bill Shakespeare

:::::::::::

Austin‘s away kit is here.

In typical fashion, I’m tempted to moan and bitch about the “Legend” naming convention and fluff marketing campaign, but there’s no use . . . we’re all going to buy the damn thing sooner or later.

About a week ago, Austin was struck by a city-wide phenomenon. People from every corner of Travis County reported deafening sequential beeps resonating throughout town. Some people believed it to be an air siren of sorts warning of incoming cedar fog, others believed it to signal The End of Days.

Lucky for Austin, the source of this intrusive noise was something far less menacing. Those with a duty to know traced it back to a colossal Brinks truck backing into Austin FC’s headquarters, in anticipation of the innumerable cash pallets soon to arrive.

This story checks out; moments after the pulses were heard, the public’s inboxes were flooded with “The Legend’s Jersey” preorder emails.

I am not a mindless consumer.

This is shrewd business in times where people are still shut in and horribly desperate for reprieve. The carrot of team uniforms has been dangling in our faces for years and with the inaugural season this close to starting (pending a lockout), everyone is feeling soccer-starved.

The hunger pains are growing. Our desperation runs so deep, I’m convinced Austin fans would buy a generic Adidas 3rd jersey, fashioned in “doo doo brown” and nameplates reading “just take my $” — as long as the Austin FC crest was sewn to it. Austin’s thirst for soccer paraphernalia is both remarkable and insatiable.

ATXFC/Adidas/MLS didn’t bother to show us these uniforms or even confirm this was the away kit before asking for preorders — no ma’am, just enter your credit card information and allow 3-5 business days for shipping. You’ll see it when you see it!

I will not engage in retail therapy.

And see it we did. Considering the equal measure of hype leading up to Austin FC’s inaugural home kit, the “Legends Jersey” seemed poised to deliver certain disappointment. Did we get another generic Adidas template? Yes. Was the away kit white? Of course. Are there three stripes on the right shoulder? You bet your ass there is.

There’s not much to this thing. I feel like we’ve seen this jersey before in Major League Soccer, except this time they hit “Bright Verde” on the color-wheel. Much of the internet appeared to share a similar sentiment of general letdown, but Major League Soccer / Austin FC / Adidas don’t tally the downvotes — they count dollars.

Regardless of the dissatisfaction, Austinites will be running in droves to the Verde Van for the inaugural away kit. The green color pops and the cliche Austin symbolism included on the neck tape is by no means radical, but it’s fun. The jersey’s details aren’t so bad that I don’t want to own it, except for one small inclusion: the Grackle logo as the jocktag.

I am strong willed.

First, I’ll gladly admit not knowing these little jersey patches at the waist were called “jocktags” until the ATXFC jersey-explanation-graphics started coming out. Second, it’s fair to say I’m not the largest fan of the Austin Anthem and their impotent grackle mascot.

Know that. The minute the jocktag was revealed, I went from a state of mild letdown to genuine rage. Being forced to include the bird with my purchase pains me in a special way that only a swift kick to the jewels or burying your childhood pet can replicate. Keeping my cool while dealing with these heated feelings, and trying not to be the biggest asshole I known I can be, I took to Reddit and shared my disapproval.

As I posted to that site, I’m not in love with being forced to include the grackle tag on my own away kit, and this certainly sways me further away from purchasing this already bland offering. If the jocktag was optional, this decision would have been easier, but regardless of my preference, it is very much included at the full retail cost of $145 (+$25 for customization). With this in mind, I made the Austin FC subreddit aware of my decision.

I make wise financial choices.

If you were one of the folks kind enough to read my previous post (linked above), then you know the Austin Anthem’s resident propaganda cleric was already scanning posts for ill speak of their beloved bird, never casually interacting with the fan base or sharing genuine insights — only policing.

I went back and forth with this innocuous Anthem troll until they finally had enough or ran out of excrement to fling. I hope the truth didn’t hurt his frail character.

If you’re interested in our exchange, I posted it below (for the Lulz). If you’re apathetic, scroll past the next image. For those who do read it, please don’t reduce the entirety of Austin FC’s fandom to being as bizarre as these folks. They know not what they do:

“The Austin Anthem has left the chat . . .”

I saw a commercial for ReputationDefender.com the other day and my mind immediately raced to the Anthem and their tarnished reputation. In this low rent commercial, a man is asked to explain away negative internet narratives about his company. The F-list actor mutters something like “Oh. Boy. hOw DiD tHiS hApPeN?”, as if clueless to why reviewers rate him as such an intolerable moron.

This must be what the Austin Anthem leadership feel like, confident that whimpering X-mas Eve messages to the community and policing Reddit will turn things around for them, all while remaining blissfully ignorant to how the knowing general public actually perceives them.

I would like to offer my ReputationDefender.com-style services to the Austin Anthem; I’m not a professional, but I’m deadly serious. Let’s chat and have an honest conversation about the things you could change to become “likable” again. Your ignored posts and instantly downvoted comments are a bad look. I’m even willing to do this pro bono, as this would be considered charitable work and give a modest boost to my resume.

I approach opposition with zen-like patience. Contact me: iAmBronaldinho@gmail.com

Still, it’s hard to get behind this debut, but it’s equally as difficult not to participate. Like the rest of our town’s futbol fans, I’ve been gobbling up Austin FC merchandise at a feverish rate. The opportunity for “firsts” surrounding this club are dwindling fast, and I intended to indulge in as many of those firsts as possible.

But just like the Legend’s Jersey will be a temporary fixture at away games, so too is the patch that I so incredibly loathe. With that in mind, I can confidently say I’ve come up with my next post idea. So confident in fact, I’m putting the title here so that I’m forced to add a link to it: How to Replace an Adidas Jocktag in Just a Few Easy Steps!

My jersey will arrive in 3-5 business days.

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