England may have gone down to Brazil this past Saturday but they sure looked sharp in defeat. Call me old-fashioned, call me Wilford Brimley if you must, but England currently rock the finest football shirts on this here planet Earth. Flying in the face of modern trends, their simple collared white shirt features nothing more than England’s venerable Three Lions crest and the Umbro logo. No piping, no weird splotches, no striping, no bicycle-short-style-skin-tight-fit, no sports-bra pattern, and no robotic number font.
While staying steady fresh in fashion is important, can England really win the World Cup sporting collared shirts? Inspired by the daring and outside-the-box analyses found in Simon Kuper’s and Stefan Szymanski’s Soccernomics (Why England Lose in the U.K.), I decided to study the shirts worn by World Cup champions throughout history. My exclusive and exhaustive research reveals that only 5 of the previous 18 World Cup winners, Uruguay in 1930, Brazil in 1958, Italy in 1982, Brazil in 1994 and France in 1998, have worn collared shirts. That’s only a 28% success rate for collars!
If England are serious about achieving eternal glory in South Africa next summer, then they must immediately snip the collars off their shirts. Oh, right, and learn to take penalties.