For this week, I wanted to investigate a club that hits home hard for me, as it is the club that I grew up supporting and spent most of my weekends being engrossed in. Not to brag, but our original colors and kits are simply some of the most beautiful in the history of football and the absolute epitome of the 90’s football shirt. This would be any kit from the brand-new MLS club that had just arisen in the country’s “Heartland”, the Kansas City Wiz. The club would soon rebrand to be known as the Kansas City Wizards and are now known as Sporting Kansas City. With the MLS playoffs currently happening in the States. I thought what better time to write about my hometown team’s kit than right now. Of course, MLS football may not rival that of the European leagues, but it is still entertaining nonetheless and the way my weekends would be spent with both friends and family. With the team being only four years older than myself, I have been able to really grasp the history of the club and live through its ups and down from playing out of an NFL stadium to our very own football specific stadium. Now the symbol for the club, and our good omen for the week leading up to a match, is to see a double rainbow in an area heavily affected by thunderstorms and tornadoes. For this is our original team colors in what was an absolutely stunning kit.
Kansas City is, of course, best known for the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a classic movie as well as the first movie to use color in a film. Henceforth, the football franchise was named the Wizards, as the movie and specifically the phrase “you’re not in Kansas anymore” is known worldwide. As a side note, yes, I get asked this by everyone whenever I tell them where I am from. So this is where the club first got its name, but how about the colors? Why would a team brand itself so boldly and not choose a set color to be its home apparel? Well let’s be honest, it was the 90’s and fashion and football kits had really gone for a special, bizarre turn. So the brand-new club thought more about the iconic movie that was not only a classic, but also changed movie-going forever as well as considerably advancing technology to get to where we are today. From the film, we got the original rainbow colors that would be displayed on a neutral background for our inaugural kits. However, the club didn’t relatively want its image to be completely known as the “Wizard of Oz” club, so they did not completely opt for the rainbow look. The colors that were chosen for the new club were a lighter blue, yellow, a reddish orange, green, and dark blue. The colors were inspired by the historic Kansas-set film’s most famous song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and perfectly represent the city that the club played in. However, the kit was really only truly halfway done in this regard.
To truly understand the kit, it is very important to realize the geography of the city who would dawn this rather unique jersey. While the colors and the name of the club may have been inspired by the Kansas side, what about the state in which the club is located, Missouri? The city actually lies along two states, and Kansas City, Missouri was founded before the state of Kansas even existed. This led the city to be located more in Missouri and it later spread into the state of Kansas as time went on and that area became more settled. How were they going to intertwine the two states into one kit and truly represent the whole of the city? Well, Kansas City Missouri lies upon the Missouri River which is the longest river beating out even the historic Mississippi River. So, the rainbow pattern, for the seasons in which the colors were used, was meant to be windy and curvy like that of a river to incorporate the Missouri side of the city. The Pattern beautifully rounded off the homage to the area in which the club would represent. Finished off by the classic Adidas box logo, sewn patch, and the name of the city proudly printed on the front, the unique jersey is in my opinion one of the best, if not the single best, to come out of the MLS for not only the beauty and originality of the kit, but its representation of a relatively unrecognizable part of the country. Plus, I will never forget the playoff run in 2013 in which two double rainbows glimmered over Sporting Park only for the team to win only its second MLS Trophy shortly after. Some things truly are just written in the stars themselves.
-Big thank you to Sam Pierron
Author: Riley Moore
Twitter: @Riley_Moooooore Instagram: @rileymoore_18