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ICONS ARE BETTER #72: US REFEREE’S UNIFORM

“HEY REF! CHECK YOUR VOICEMAIL BECAUSE YOU MISSED A CALL!”
No matter what it is you yell to a referee, you know exactly which person it is on the field. The iconic design of a referee’s shirt has always been a conundrum to me. The most neutral people on the field are wearing the boldest uniforms!
As the story goes, back in 1920 a quarterback threw a ball to a referee mistaking him for a teammate. The referee, Lloyd Olds, was so disturbed by this incident he asked a friend, George Moe, to make him an eye-catching shirt that would set him apart from the players. The shirt made its debut at a college basketball tournament in 1921 in Detroit.

Fans hated it, but the design caught on. Now the NFL, NHL, lacrosse, wrestling, and boxing have almost a century’s worth of this black and white striped uniform. Oh, and shopping at Foot Locker wouldn’t be the same without it.

Adrienne Houghton – Senior Experience Planner, mcgarrybowen Chicago