Norway Home Kit Review
By: Robert Alex Kaufman (Dallas, Texas, USA)
The Norwegian national football team’s new home kit resembles its homeland’s countryside: clean, crisp, and distinctly Norwegian. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that a nation, which speaks a language that does not have a word for “city”, would outfit its national team in a jersey with such understated elegance.
There are some attractive accents on this jersey: the navy bars on the sleeves and the white framing of the collar reinforce the Norwegian flag, which is featured on both the front and back of the jersey. The flag on the back looks like a designer’s afterthought, and the small size and low quality of this flag on the back detract from the power and beauty of the red-white-and-blue Nordic Cross. However, the stitched flag on the front is exquisite.
Another interesting detail is a narrow silver sliver on the front that reads: OFFISIELT NORGE PRODUKT (followed by the Umbro emblem). I love that this jersey features something in Norwegian (albeit something extremely small and subtle), although I don’t understand why Umbro chose to repeat the same words inside the jersey in English.
Yet the most obvious component of this jersey is its unapologetic color: red. Red everywhere. So red I half-expected Taylor Swift to start playing tracks off her latest CD when I first opened the packaging. But the jersey is not just red. Upon further scrutiny, this kit is composed of three distinct shades of red: the red of the stitching, the red of the sides, and the red of the Norwegian flag on the crest. Perhaps if I sold or wore makeup, I could properly label each shade of red, but I don’t, so I can’t. However, just as most all Norwegians share a common love of their native land, but they love it for different reasons, so too each of the three reds on this kit are different and beautiful.
Although this jersey’s overall simplicity of style is unlikely to attract fans without a connection to Norway, anyone who loves Norway as much as I do would be proud to wear that exquisite stitched flag over their heart. Whether you’re walking up Karl Johan gate on the 17th of May or watching the Norwegian national football team strive to qualify for World Cup 2014 in a country that has a word for “city”, this jersey will wrap you in stolthet. Pride.