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The Q&A: When The 90's Attack

We're heading into Joan and Melissa Rivers territory to examine one of the 90's greatest athlete-related fashion crimes.

It’s a bye week for Longhorn football, but The Q&A never rests. We decided to shift focus this week when we started getting some urgent questions about this photo, which came to light this morning courtesy of Seth Wickersham’s Twitter account:

Clearly, answers are needed. As always, these are real questions from real fake Barking Carnival readers. If you’re a real reader with a real question, fire away in the comments.

OK, here we go.


A: I know. It’s a lot to take in.

Q: What were they...why...I don’t even...

A: It’s OK. The early 90’s were a stranger time than most of us remember. Just focus on the fact that it’s all in the past and that none of these bad men can hurt you.

Q: I...I kind of don’t know where to begin here.

A: That’s understandable. Just breathe and take your time.

Q: Alright, I think I’ve got this. (Takes a deep breath). OK. So first off, was Jim Rome aware of this photo when he attacked Jim Everett’s masculinity on the air?

A: Obviously not. Rome was never one to bury the lede, and if he’d had this as ammunition then the whole "Chris Everett" thing would likely have been reduced to undercard status. Of course, referencing this fashion felony likely would have caused Everett to just slink off the ESPN set in shame rather than physically retaliate and thus launch Rome’s career into the stratosphere, so maybe it was just a canny move by Romey to keep this one in his back pocket.

Q: Speaking of Everett - and a lot of the other guys as well - what in the name of our sweet and fluffy Lord is happening with those pants?

A: They were a brand called Zubaz, and they were unquestionably one of the 90s’ more dubious ideas.

Q: Comprende what the fuck? Did some Mugatu-caliber fashion designer conceive zebra pants, but then stroke out in mid-explanation to his minions and only manage to slur out "Zuuubaaaazzz" and so they went forth and tried to execute a dimly-understood version of his idea in the worst possible manner?

A: That’s a reasonable hypothesis, but per Wikipedia they were actually developed as an offshoot from a weighlifting shorts concept back in the late 80’s. After a 90’s heyday they went bankrupt and... *reads* oh my. They’re still around.

Q: Fuck you. No, they’e not.

A: Not only are they around, they’re once again officially affiliated with the NFL.

Q: Truly, we are in the last days. But even in the 90’s, why did anyone think that a group of the NFL’s best quarterbacks should be packed into a bunch of Zubaz...Zubazes? Zubae? What’s the plural here?

A: I’ve received a ruling from recovering Zubaz-wearer Sailor Ripley that the plural form is actually Zubazz, so let’s go with that.

Q: Fine. Why would putting Zubazz know what? I can’t even talk about this any more. Let’s change gears. Who wins the Sitcom Dad-Off that Phil Simms (previously mis-ID'd as Boomer Esiason) and Dan Marino are clearly waging on opposite ends of Row Two there?

A: They’re both strong contenders, but Marino’s hand-on-hip, I’m-mildly-exasperated-with-my-spunky-teenage-daughter pose combined with a by-God denim jacket put him over the top in this one, IMO. It should be noted that Warren Moon is also throwing down a pretty solid Sitcom Dad vibe himself, but it’s somewhat distracting that he’s apparently dressed for colder weather than Jim Kelly despite the fact that he was playing in Houston at the time. Did they sell more than five of those double-lined Oilers jackets in Houston?

Q: Speaking of Kelly, should Steph Curry be embarrassed that Kelly’s shoes in that shot from a shameful period in the 90’s are nigh-indistinguishable from a pair of Curry 2 Lows?

A: Deeply embarrassed.

Q: I’d actually forgotten about the storm of Twitter hilarity that the 2 Lows brought about. Did you have a favorite Tweet from that magical summer?


Q: Can you rank the participants from most- to least-happy to be there?


  1. Phil Simms: He may have gotten pipped by Marino in the Sitcom Dad-Off, but he’s pleased as punch to play the overly avuncular uncle for this one and is really showing off the Uncomfortable Nephew Thanksgiving Shoulder Massage on poor Jim Everett.
  2. Bernie Kosar: Four drinks in, holding his legs, torso and head at three completely distinct and unrelated angles and loving every minute of it.
  3. Warren Moon: Seems genuinely happy to be there. This can probably be attributed to the fact that he’s wearing a reasonably designed if climatically-inappropriate jacket and only revealing a few square inches of Zubaz. All in all, he came out of this deal smelling like a rose.
  4. Jim Everett: He was having fun at first, and as a Los Angeles native didn’t have the slightest reservation about those Zubaz. However, he’s just starting to wonder why, during a shoot that’s taken well over an hour with frequent lighting changes and such, Phil hasn’t once relaxed his grip in the slightest.
  5. Jim Kelly: He’s fine now, but he’s going to be a lot more pissed standing next to Aikman in most future photo ops.
  6. Dan Marino: The exasperated Sitcom Dad pose seems to be giving way to actual exasperation. It’s like he realizes how many future Super Bowl appearances are represented in this shot and that he won’t be taking part in any of them despite having the best goddamn arm of the bunch.
  7. Jim Harbaugh: He’s doing a reasonable job of feigning positive human emotion here, but you can sense that he’s itching to sprint off that dais, rip off those godforsaken Zubazz and exchange them for a nice pair of Dockers. If any readers have a contemporary photo of Harbaugh in a Dockers ad alongside Sammy Baugh, Y.A. Tittle and Norm van Brocklin, please share it.
  8. John Elway: His equine countenance isn’t ideally suited to expressions of joy or sorrow, but it seems like he’s realizing that a combination of Zubaz pants, a t-shirt whose pattern somehow out-Zubazes the Zubazz and what appears to be a backwards ball cap will make him look like an absolute knob/Vanilla Ice video extra when he’s trying to throw down a SRS BZNS NFL owner/exec vibe 20+ years from now.
  9. Randall Cunningham: Not looking pissed off, exactly, but at least somewhat miffed that everybody else knew about this thing weeks ago and were provided official gear while he found out at the last minute and had to run right over in just a practice jersey.
  10. Troy Aikman: A decade of Broadcast Troy has made us forget how stiff and awkward Football Troy could be, but even for him that’s an uncomfortable deer-in-the-headlights look. He could be uncomfortable because he’s wearing a jacket (shirt? warm-up?) made from actual deer hide or possibly velour, but inasmuch as he hailed from Henrietta, Oklahoma he might have taken that aspect in stride.
  11. Steve Young: The unmistakable grim rictus of the hostage. Steve’s pretty sure he’s not getting out of this one alive.

That’s all the time we have for this one, folks. Tune in next week as The Q&A gears up for conference play.