I was playing Madden a while ago and set up a season as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. This option allows you to choose what attire your character wears on the side lines for those cut shots between plays in the game. Within seconds, no, nano-seconds I chose my character to be wearing a suit. It was an obvious choice in my eyes. I never wear any sporting paraphernalia or jogging bottoms and love to dress smartly. It got me thinking, the amount of smartly dressed head coaches and managers in sports seems to have dwindled.
Now I know a lot of football managers wear suits and in America most Ice Hockey and Basketball players have worn a suit. But there is a difference between wearing a suit and looking stylish in a suit.
Take football for example. Both Sam Allardyce and Pep Guardiola wear a suit. But the difference between the two is very clear. After having a little think I could only come up with a handful of football managers who fall into the same category as Pep.
- Paul Tisdale (Exeter City manager)
- Diego Simone
- Any Italian manager
- Jose Mourinho...with his coat circa 2006
Now anyone not on that list who does wear a suit, at least they tried. Most wear the club tie which is bonus. We like our authority figures to look good because then we think they know exactly what they are doing. Not like some who decide to go too far the other way. When I discussed this topic with a work colleague the first person he mentioned the prime example of the anti-christ to style. Tony Pulis.
Not only are his tactics unpopular, his dress sense is too. Why does he wear that stupid baseball cap? Why does he look like a chav-grandad? I'm sure he earns a few quid keeping teams up in one of the richest divisions of football on the planet. And the clubs he has managed surely have better sporting attire.
Other culprits include the collar up, long sleeved polo men that have emerged from players who played under Martin O'Neil (Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon).
It gets worse when you go across the pond.
The NHL and NBA have head coaches in suits, but yet again they fall into the Allardyce and Mark Hughes style. Not many Pep's in those sports. In baseball's MLB, for some reason, they wear the jerseys as if they were playing. But American football, once a gold standard for smartly dressed head coaches has gone from Armani to Primarni.
This is proven when arguably the best-dressed current head coach in the NFL wears $5 pants from Wal-Mart.
Among the worst are New England Patriots Bill Belichick, who wears a hoody, one time it was a low cut hoody! Andy Reid, now of the Kansas City Chiefs was seen with his bum-bag or, as the Yanks call it, fanny pack. But the rest of the league is just shabby. Too many trainers, anoraks and baseball caps.
What happened to the days of Tom Landry and his fedora and Lombardi in his smart suit and overcoat with a Russian hat. What about Mike Ditka in that glorious Cliff Engle sweater from the 80s?
That is what an NFL coach should look like.
These people of sporting authority should ignore some of the fans who accuse them of being 'fancy dans'. Tisdale should be able to wear his flat cap and smart suit as manager of Exeter. Just because they are in the lower leagues doesn't mean he should dress like John Still.
I want them to have a bit of personality. Some swagger.
All the best dressed seem to have done well in their career when looking good, so what harm could it do to the scruff bags we have today?