the anatomy of a “league of blogs” submission

Outside of my weekly Ten Words or Less postings, I don’t do a whole lot of pushing of other soccer blogs in this space. The reason for that is fairly simple: once I finally get you to visit WSOTP, the last thing I want to do is send your eyeballs elsewhere. But I really should try to engage with and tell you readers about some of the other blogs out there, as there are quite a few worthy sites worth checking out. Who knows: a little cross-promotion might even might even lead to more eyeballs landing on my site because of it.

The Football Attic League of Blogs
it’s that time of year again!

Anyway, one of my favorite spots to visit regularly is The Football AtticBased out of the UK, they catalog football nostalgia ranging from football games (Subbuteo) and collectors items (panini stickers) and retro-kits. Their blog is a virtual treasure trove for soccer hipsters the world over, and I can’t recommend them highly enough if you’re into what some consider the nerdy side of the game.

Last year, the guys at The Football Attic were even able to draw me out of my comfort zone to interact with my fellow soccer bloggers to participate in their inaugural “League of Blogs” project. Their aim: to get as many bloggers from our industry to design their own Subbuteo figure kit to represent their blog. A staggering 92 different kit designs were submitted from around the blogosphere, spanning a wide array of looks. An funnily enough, they even selected mine as their favorite of the batch… an honor I’m very proud of, as you might expect.

So when they announced that the 2013 edition of the “League of Blogs” was set to kick off yesterday, I was ready for them. The weight of expectation from last year’s high marks had me working on this year’s designs (I’m also including an away kit this year) the moment they hinted about it on their Twitter account last week. And for me, this raised a series of interesting debates.

Firstly, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t change my look too much. I wanted to pay homage to the first design, but also be sure not to butcher it or try to force through a design that wasn’t working. Secondly, what would I do for an away kit this time around? Should I go with an inverse of the home kit, or something completely different? And lastly, how can I make the designs better represent WSOTP and myself?

None of those were easy decisions, but as you can see from the designs below, I think I did a pretty decent job.

the new 2013 home kit (left) and away kit (right).
the new 2013 home kit (left) and away kit (right).

First, I stuck with a sash design this time around on both kits, though two stripes have given way to three for a slightly different feel. The addition of the WSOTP logo to the socks helped tie in the design a bit better, and the player number on the leg gives it a slightly more authentic look. I also added functional and aesthetically-minded venting to the jersey’s underarms and neckline, as well as the shorts for more realism. And lastly, you’ll also notice the wavy-C emblem on the left chest, which is a version of the flag of Cincinnati… my home town.

The home kit design largely stayed the same outside of the changes noted above. However, after trying both the light blue and orange from the blog’s official colors as an away kit, neither offered the look I really wanted. So instead, I reverted to an all-navy affair for the aways for the very scientific reason of it’s my favorite color. A feint inlay of the sash ties it together with the home kit to keep a clean unified look.

All in all, I’m not ashamed to say that I would most definitely be down to wear either kit. The Cincinnati-tie even has my head spinning about a potential shirt that we could put together here on the blog for public consumption, so stay tuned on that front. But I’m intrigued to know your thoughts on the designs. What would you have done differently? Feel free to rip them apart in the comments below.

And in the mean time, be sure to check out the good folks over at The Football Attic, and maybe even submit your own design if you’ve got your own blog. Just know that it’s going to lose to mine!

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