For the last eight seasons, Harlequins have used their Christmas fixture as an opportunity to pop over the road to HQ, bring in some live entertainment, bring in a bigger crowd that the norm, and most importantly raise loads of money for a great cause. It’s The Big Game, and once again, Quins will be wearing a special one-off shirt to mark the occasion.
We were heartily impressed with both of Quins’ regular season designs, one very traditional, and one defiantly more modern, and the Big Game 8 shirt is definitely more of the latter than the former.
The Big Game shirts have always been a little bit out there of course, as last year’s incredibly eye-grabbing shirt, Adidas’s first take on the concept, clearly demonstrates. This one is a lot more restrained, however, opting for a a moody black look with a pretty restrained sublimated pattern on the front.
The pattern itself is very cool, however. It’s vaguely reminiscent in vibe to the ‘multi-coloured barcode’ pattern on the regular alternate shirt, in the way the stripes emanate from the bottom of the design, however, the makeup those stripes is completely different.
Cleverly, the different height stripes are made up of many tiny diamonds, with occasional randomly positioned larger diamonds giving the shirt an overall sense of movement and dynamism. Why diamonds? Well, that’s the shape of the multi-coloured patches of the traditional jester’s tunic on the club crest, of course. Nice.
Black isn’t the most recognisably Quins-y of colour of course (it’s one of their many, many colours, but rarely a very prominent one), and so instead we have some nice little splashes of colour that make this feel more recognisably a Quins shirt.
For starters we have the shoulder stripes. Love or loathe the ‘over the top’ version this season (we dig them), you have to appreciate the way the stripes are blue and red respectively, reflecting the top two quarters of the Quins home shirt. Then there’s the collar piping and Adidas logo, both of which are a very striking shade of green, traditionally one of the Quins jersey sleeve colours (but not this year).
We don’t like to be negative about charity shirts, even if they’re not the most conventionally good looking designs, because let’s face it, raising money for good causes is a damn sight more important than our wildly unqualified opinions on style, or anything else.
The Big Game 8 shirt has no such issues, however – it’s a very, very cool, sleek modern-looking shirt, that’s packed with nice little Quins-y touches throughout the design. So when they run out wearing it against Gloucester on 27 December, not only will they be raising money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital, but they’ll be looking bloody cool while they’re doing it.