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odd cards... not sure who the target market is for those. is an 11 year old kid gonna want to see al toon's underpants? i guess pro-line was trying anything to move those cards. when i was a kid, everyone i knew had a huge pile of baseball cards, but not many had even a handful of football cards... and basketball and hockey cards were practically non-existent.

Gyula Németh

I liked these. There were some grat shots on these cards. Id love to see the whole series somewhere. Ok the 90's stuff was very disturbing indeed.

johnny griswold

ahahahahaha! Zubaz! Classic!

Zubaz is zu-back!

I love Zubaz! It was HUGE in the early 90's. Today we think it looks pretty gaudy and loud, but back then Zubaz was the shiz! It was such a big fad that some arena football teams even had Zubaz uniforms.

You say, "Success aside, I'm sure everyone will agree that the Zubaz pant has to be one of the greatest sports design blunders of all-time."

Personally, I wouldn't call Zubaz a blunder. How is capitalizing on a trend a blunder? In it's heyday, it was VERY successful. According to Wikipedia, "The Zubaz company sold $100 million worth of products in 1991 alone." And did you know Zubaz is making a comeback? To get in on the current retro and throwback trend, in 2007 they got back into business. Zubaz.com has a GREAT gallery of people and entire teams wearing their products, from the past to the present. One guy even has a Zubaz-print tattoo!!!

I'm sure you'll agree that there's a huge kitsch factor to Zubaz clothing, but that's part of the appeal. I'd say most of the people making purchases on zubaz.com have intentions of wearing the items as a gag. They know it looks ridiculous, but that's why they want to wear it, for the irony of it. How could you take something that looks so outrageous seriously? The outrageousness of Zubaz pants are GREAT for getting attention and raising team spirit while tailgating outside a stadium.

Don't hate on the Zubaz! It's no blunder; it's a sports/fashion PHENOMENON!!!

Also, about that Al Toon card. That's not his underwear that's showing. That's spandex, being worn under short shorts. This was also an early 90's trend, right before long baggy shorts became popular. Lots of athletes--especially basketball players--rocked this look. Suddenly, for some reason, athletes started becoming self-conscious about showing too much thigh when they wore shorts, and spandex solved that problem--"brief"ly. Then some sports tailor took the obvious, logical next step and just started lengthening shorts. This has escalated into what we have today: basketball players wearing ridiculously long and ridiculously baggy shorts. I think they look like freakin' skirts.

On Ricky Proehl's Pro Line Portaits card, he's also wearing spandex under short shorts. Al Toon wasn't the only one! You can see Ricky's card here:


Jim Ransdell


Just because called Zubaz a sports design blunder doesn't mean they weren't a huge success. Those things were everywhere and I sold a ton of them myself. The design was a blunder that turned out to be a huge success, like Billy Bass and the Snuggy, sometimes the craziest things can become huge! Zubaz definitely deserve their spot in sports apparel history. BTW, I didn't know they had come back to the marketplace!

The Pro Line card set on the other hand......

Zubaz is zu-back!


Just because you personally don't find Zubaz designs aesthetically pleasing, it doesn't make them a "blunder." A blunder is defined as "a gross, stupid, or careless mistake," and "a usually serious mistake typically caused by ignorance or confusion."

The Zubaz patterns and prints didn't come about through error, mistake, ignorance, or confusion. The patterns were designed to look the way they do on purpose. Spelling your own name wrong on a job application is a blunder. Using your free will to make design choices on a product is not a blunder.

I think what you mean by "blunder" is the phrase "to blunder on," which means "to find or reach as if by an accident involving more or less stupidity -- applied to something desirable; as, to blunder on a useful discovery." You personally think Zubaz items look stupid; therefore, you find it ironic that something so stupid became so successful.

I agree that Billy Bass is pretty dumb, and I have no idea why so many were sold. However, I think the Snuggie is pretty clever; I have a couple, and despite making you look like a monk, they work great. It's such a simple concept that I can't believe it took thousands of years for a human being to think of it. Maybe some people did, but then thought to themselves, "Nah, that wouldn't sell, a person can just put on a sweater." Thanks to those people who doubted it, the Snuggie inventor is now a very rich person.


He hee. Funny stuff. I actually just finished a great book about sports blunders titled, "What Were They Thinking?: The Brainless Blunders that Changed Sports History" by Kyle Garlett that I found to also be quite entertaining!


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