I have wondered for several years why no NFL coach ever dresses up on the sidelines anymore, and now I know why. I was aware that the league had a deal with clothing suppliers like Reebok for coaches and players to wear certain stuff, but I didn't know that the rule was enforced across the board.
So much for class, money is the name of the game.
Remember a year or two ago when Jon Kitna was fined for wearing a cap not supplied by Reebok in postgame interviews? Don't get me wrong, if the NFL signed the deal, then they should honor the terms. What I fault them for is signing such a restrictive deal in the first place. If coaches want to show some class on the sidelines instead of wearing a baggy gray sweatshirt or a gaudy striped-up pullover, they should be allowed to.
Nolan's goal to dress up shot down
By Skip Wood, USA TODAY
New San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan may yet one day be able to pace the sideline in a shirt and tie like daddy did, but not this season — if at all.
Although Nolan recently expressed a desire to honor his father by dressing similar to the way Dick Nolan often did while coach of the 49ers from 1968-75, the league replied that would be a no-no under the apparel agreement it has with Reebok. Says Reebok vice president of team properties Eddie White: "One way of looking at it is Mike Nolan is our runway model."
Toward that end, league coaches and anyone else on the sideline are required to wear garments (except pants) from Reebok, which began supplying all teams with sideline apparel in 2002 as part of a 10-year exclusive-rights agreement for a reported $250 million.
So why not wear an officially licensed sweater vest over a shirt and tie, the way some coaches have done in the past?
"Because he'd have to wear a dress shirt," White says, "and we don't make dress shirts."
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice ceased the practice following the 2003 season at the request of the league.
Although the 49ers already have this season's line of clothing designed, Reebok and the league might come up with a compromise or some other solution for 2006.
From NFL director or corporate communications Brian McCarthy: "We're exploring that, yes. We're exploring any number of options."
Adds White: "The good thing for Coach (Nolan) is that he's so good looking, he's going to look good whatever he wears."