The Best and Worst Team Uniforms in Sports
One of the most appealing elements of watching sports – particularly if you're not a big fan – is seeing something visually stimulating. Here are the five best and five worst uniforms among the four major professional sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). Because, frankly who wants to look at ugly uniforms when you can look at pretty ones? This will help guide, and brace, your eyes for the next time you want to watch a game.
Carolina Panthers, NFL (Road White Uniforms)
It feels almost unnatural for grown men beating each other up for three hours to be wearing teal, a color more closely associated with the ocean, tropical climates and bright summer clothing choices. While the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars don't quite have their teal act together, the Panthers' road whites are a thing of beauty. It's really the subtlety that wins your heart; you can have your cake and eat it too, with a hint of teal draped across a ton of white. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they were the designated road team in Super Bowl 50, and when the Denver Broncos chose their road whites, the Panthers were left with their black-and-blue home unis.
Seattle Mariners, MLB (Home White Uniforms)
Are you sensing a theme here? Again, it's an aqua flavor with enough subtlety so as not to divert you from feeling like you are watching professional sports. Playing at spacious Safeco Field, a retractable-roof venue, fits better for these uniforms that the old Kingdome did. In the erstwhile Kingdome, there was just so much blue, green, aqua, and teal, you were color-blind to the uniforms. That is no longer the case.
San Diego Chargers, NFL (Powder-blue alternate uniforms)
I was on the fence about these until ESPN personality Chris Berman won me over by constantly gushing that these were the best uniforms in professional sports, a throwback to the Chargers' 1960's AFL days. Unlike their division rivals, the Broncos, the Chargers did not dilute the beauty of their alternates by converting to them full-time. This way, San Diego fans can still get their fill of the powder-blues without feeling overwhelmed by them.
Colorado Avalanche, NHL (Road white uniforms)
Growing up in the U.S., I wasn't overly exposed to hockey, but I recall always having a soft spot for the Avs' white-and-maroon mix. Modern franchises sometimes go overboard with their wardrobe choices, but the Avalanche have stayed relatively consistent, both with their color scheme and the fact that seeing their uniforms, representing an “A” with an avalanche wrapped around it, feels appropriate watching sports being played on ice.
Boston Celtics, NBA – Road green uniforms
Being rather anti-Boston sports makes this a difficult pick for me, but the green seems to be a winner among basketball fans. It isn't overdone, and many times when you see someone wearing a Celtics jersey it makes you nostalgic for the Larry Bird days. It's hard to pull off green in professional sports, but the Celtics have been making it work for ages.
Honourable mentions: Chicago Cubs, MLB (home white-and-blue pinstripe uniforms), Denver Broncos, NFL (road white uniforms), Kansas City Chiefs, NFL (home red uniforms), New York Islanders, NHL (road white/blue/orange uniforms).
Arizona Diamondbacks, MLB (All of them)
What on earth made the D-Backs go this drastic with their style? It's hard to even describe these monstrosities. When the expansion Diamondbacks arrived on the baseball scene in 1998, it wasn't all bad. It went downhill slightly, but what happened in 2016 is a travesty. Arizona went far too drastic, far too futuristic, and downright far too extreme with their uniform modifications – so much so that they actually slightly re-tweaked their unis a few days ago. Perhaps karmically, the Diamondbacks lost 93 games wearing mostly an unsightly combination of dark grey and red and finished in last place in the National League West.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL (Home red uniforms)
Another club who once owned by heart with the pewter and red home garb, the Bucs simply lost their way. Like the Diamondbacks, this outer-space theme is borderline nauseating. The Bucs, who have won just eight games combined over the past two seasons, aren't helping matters any in the merchandising department.
Nashville Predators, NHL Home (mustard uniforms)
The theme you might be sensing is that “new isn't always better” when it comes to style in sports. The Predators, a late-90's expansion team, just can't seem to get it right. The Predators logo is smack-dab in the middle of a jersey with primarily a mustard-colored tint, even though it's technically considered “gold”. Nashville, a playoff team the past two seasons, needs to up its uniform game, as the current look is far too in-your-face.
Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL (Alternate “bumblebee” uniforms)
Far be it from me to criticize one of the most historic and popular NFL franchises and its uniform choices. Frankly, I kind of like the Steelers' normal uniforms, even as a Baltimore Ravens fan. But their 1930's throwbacks, with a bumblebee pattern, look like – and even might illicit – regurgitation. Thankfully, the Steelers retired these uniforms prior to the 2016 season, but the horrifying image still lingers for football fans.
Washington Wizards, NBA (Road red uniforms)
Growing up not far from the DC area, I always kind of liked the old Washington Bullets and the simplicity of their uniforms. The Wizards have taken it too far, as the red engulfs too much of the shirt with just one white stripe across the middle where the player's number is. The lack of subtlety makes the Wizards' uniforms very difficult on the eyes.
Honourable mention: Miami Dolphins, NFL (home teal uniforms), Minnesota Wild, NHL (home green uniforms).