Weekend Observations: The Emotional Power of Uniforms

I was walking through Central Park with my sons on Saturday to soak in the nice weather.  Given my boys’ appreciation for sports (to put it mildly), they gravitated towards the baseball diamonds in the mid 60’s.  I was looking forward to a cool impromptu jazz performance or classical violin and bass duet that we usually come across while strolling the trails of the Park.  But the boys would have nothing of it.  So, here I was sitting on the bleachers watching some young men play b-ball.

But I noticed something: one team wore matching orange t-shirts while the other team was decked out in full baseball gear.  At first I giggled inside when I saw these grown men in their full regalia.  But this team had a discernible edge to them.  Not “edge” in a bad way; just a certain seriousness and pride.  The uniform meant something.  It pronounced not just team solidarity but a love and respect for the sport.  And I truly believe it made them better players.

I have to confess, we didn’t stay throughout the game so I don’t know if the uniform truly made a difference in their performance.  But as a spectator, it signalled something to me.  And perhaps that vibe got passed back to them.

Uniforms tell a story…to the other wearer and the viewer.  And even if they’re not truly necessary, as in the case with these ball players I observed, they can tell a great story to others and to oneself

Now, if only they looked cooler.