In my perception, athletic apparel company Champion, is kind of B-level. In the past, they used to be among the pinnacle of the industry, being the official uniform sponsor of the NBA, among other notable partnerships. But as time passed, I don’t know who initiated the changes, but Champion kind of fell to the wayside; the NBA seemed to allow individual teams to make their own apparel partnerships, and in most cases, Nike was the brand making jerseys and other apparel. UnderArmour emerged, and the field began to get very crowded in athletic apparel.
Champion, kind of became a second-tier manufacturer in my eyes, and they weren’t nearly as cool as the aforementioned Nike, UnderArmour, or Adidas, among others. When I went to Braves Spring Training for the first time, I always thought it was cool that their ST venue was called Champion Stadium, but didn’t realize until I got there that that was on account of the Champion brand sponsoring it, with their wordmark being on the façade of the building.
It made me tilt my head at the low-key lameness of it, in spite of the cool name. The Braves have since moved out of Orlando, and fleeced the people of Sarasota to build them a $175M facility, but the point remains that even they, abandoned Champion too.
When I saw the mass unveiling of Cobra Kai training gear in season 4 (above image), my jaw did a quarter drop, at just how fucking baller and awesome some of it looked. As much as I think the Kyler Park character is a total choad and a disgrace to Koreans, the shirt he and Kenny Payne and that rando white guy in the back are wearing, is a training shirt that I must have if/when they become available to the public. And as the scene unfolds, you see that everyone is wearing some form of Cobra Kai gear, some more obvious than others, but they’re all, straight fucking fire.
And then, I noticed the Champion logos on everything, and suddenly, I’m like okay, okay… If ever there was a way to climb out of mediocrity, associating themselves with a popular IP like Cobra Kai seems like as good of idea as any, if there ever was one.
Now, I’m no longer thinking Champion is such a B-tier brand, and was actively googling to see if and when there was a chance that all this baller gear was ever going to be available to the public. And if this link is accurate, then yes, there will be.
Anyway, while I’m on Cobra Kai, let’s talk about season 4, and I think it’s safe to say that there will probably be spoilers written out.
The show remains a guilty pleasure that’s a combination of nostalgia for olds like me, and the cheese of the teen romance that has to be present as well in order to try and hook the youngs of the future. The plot remains as linear and predictable as the rest of the series has been, and there’s practically no barrel the showrunners won’t scrape in order to bring back a nostalgia act for the sake of progressing the plot.
To nobody’s surprise the big revival of season 4 was Terry Silver, from Karate Kid III, and it doesn’t take long for Kreese to mind fuck him into coming back to Cobra Kai, in order to reinforce their school against a supposed united front of Daniel and Johnny. Naturally, the latter partnership struggles throughout the season, with there being a lot of confusion with the kids themselves, not being able to comprehend who or how to train in karate.
It’s little secret that the show runners are big wrestling fans, because they utilize a lot of plot that reads like wrestling storylines, not to mention how often characters or background actors wear wrestling apparel, but there’s a whole lot of kids of one parental figure, being influenced by another sensei’s training. In fact, regardless of if there’s karate involved or not, just about every key teenage character in the season has the same arc with being influenced by someone else, that isn’t their primary influences.
But to cut to the chase, and the U-18 All-Valley Tournament that the season is building up towards, the real game of the season, is trying to predict who will be the winner of the whole thing in the end, because there are far more characters this season than there have been in prior. Obviously, the favorites are always Miguel, Robby, Sam and Tory, with there being some darkhorses like Hawk, but honestly I didn’t think about it until about episode 4, when a friend of mine asked what my prediction was going to be for the end.
Naturally, this is derailed a little bit by them ultimately deciding to do boys and girls divisions, because it basically pares down the respective finals for both, but I was still able to nail them both, because the girls’ side was so obviously going to be an inevitable Sam vs. Tory matchup, and some fuckface on YouTube just had to make a ANALYSIS OF THE COBRA KAI S4 FINALE video like 45 minutes after the show dropped, with a spoiler alert thumbnail of who was in the boys’ final, so I was able to predict the outcome of that one, based on how I figured other characters would progress.
Overall, the season was still pretty entertaining, and wasn’t too cringey or a chore to watch at any point; at least until the ending of the season, which led to a great bit wtf moment for me, but it’s no real spoiler that there will be a season 5. I can already think of one character who hasn’t been dusted off yet, that is pretty obviously going to be in S5, but then there’s another character that I’m wincing, even just thinking about how it ended, how it’s going to be moving forward into the next season.
And I imagine the following year will be more time for the showrunners to keep in touch with Hilary Swank if they already haven’t been, or maybe doing some MCU-Netflix like reveal by crossing the Cobra Kai universe with the Jaden Smith Kung-Fu Kid universe, seeing as how Will Smith is an executive producer of the show in the first place. Maybe see some Daniel LaRusso have a come to god moment when he meets Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han character. Wouldn’t that be some shit?