Thursday, September 18, 2008

In Name of Fashion, Embracing a Trend -

In Name of Fashion, Embracing a Trend -

Many N.F.L. and college football players — and children who imitate them — wear wristbands above their elbows.

"Some football players, like Jets defensive end David Bowens, pull fat 2-inch wristbands up into the crook of the elbows. Some, like Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson, use scissors to cut a skinny edge from the elastic band for a thin strand. Some even use sliced old socks, swatches of stretchy material or athletic tape to create the wrap-around look.

Some wear the bands at the elbow. Some wear them across the middle of the biceps. Some, like Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery, wear them over the top of a long-sleeved shirt.

A few wear a band only on one arm, a look popular in the N.B.A. Fewer wear two on each arm.

Most do not wear the bands to practice, signaling the vanity of their use. All admit that they wear the bands only because they think it looks good, which would be the only plausible reason.

“There is absolutely no benefit from a performance standpoint or a medical standpoint,” said Ralph Reiff, a certified athletic trainer and director of St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis. He has seen the upper-arm bands become popular on football players from the N.F.L. down to middle school. “It’s purely a fashion statement.”"