This is not a post about the Sacramento Attack (who played only five home games at ARCO Arena before folding) or their opponents on this night in July 1992, the Dallas Texans. This is a post about Zubaz.
I won’t write too extensively here about the stunning rise and rapid fall of zebra-striped workout gear. If you were at least 12 years old at the dawn of the Nineties, you remember. Besides, Ethan Trex at Mental Floss has already written the definitive history (must read). I plucked this program out of the FWiL files because the cover offers the best Zubaz money shot I’ve seen from this psychedelic moment in Arena Football history.
You see, the inventors of Zubaz – a couple of bodybuilding Minnesota gym owners named Dan Stock and Bob Truax – struck a sponsorship with the Arena Football League that seems to have lasted from 1991 to 1992. Some – but not all – of the league’s teams agreed to incorporate Zubaz into their game uniforms. The participating clubs in 1991 included the Albany Firebirds, the Denver Dynamite, the New Orleans Night and the Orlando Predators, most of whom added a Zubaz strip in their respective team colors to their sleeves and shoulders, along with vertical piping on their uniform pants. But nobody – and I mean nobody – rocked the Zubaz liked the Tampa Bay Storm. The Storm were the only team to use Zubaz stripes as the base design for their uniform pants. The full glory/horror of the 1991 Storm unis is on display on the cover of this ARENABALL game program, showing the purple/blue/white striped Tampans in action against fellow Zubaz perpetrators the New Orleans Night.
Very little archival video of the early days of the Arena Football League lives on the interwebs today, but I did find this grainy, apparently home-made loop of 1991 league highlights, which can be viewed as an unintended symphonic ode to Zubaz. Enjoy.
And yes, the Zubaz jerseys do have a certain cache among obsessive collectors. The guys at Classic Stuff offer a pair of circa 1991 Orlando Predators home & road Zubaz-tinged jerseys on sale for $250.00 each: