In an Olympic-free year, there is a competition underway just as capable of inspiring the world, and that competition is the Cosby Sweater Tournament. The 75-year-old television legend has pitted 32 of his signature colourful sweaters from his ’80s sitcom The Cosby Show against each other on BillCosby.com in a battle to determine which look is the most, um, Cosby-y? I don’t know what the criteria is supposed to be, I just picked the weirdest ones.
Here is how it works: the first category, “the Crew 32,” has already faced off and been narrowed down to the grossly titled “Sweat 16.” Every three days for two weeks, a new bracket will open: “the Fleecy 8,” then “the Warmest 4,” and finally the final two will go head-to-head in “the Champion Stitch.”
In an interview with Collector’s Weekly (via MTV Style), Cosby said he adopted the look because he didn’t want his playful Dr. Huxtable to spend his leisure time in a lab coat or a blazer. The sweaters communicated the relaxed, fun, making-faces-with-Rudy side of the Cosby patriarch. Cosby Show director Jay Sandrich added that because the Cosby family was so large, they wanted to differentiate people’s looks and, as it was the ’80s, patterns seemed like a good idea.
The only explanation Cosby himself offers for people’s fascination with the sweaters is that “youthful people have a long time to live, so they can waste some time on something like that.” So if you, too, have a long time to live, make your voice heard in the Tournament. I am calling it now—it’s those knitted marathon runners for the win.