Jerseys We Wish Still Existed
Styles come and go, and as long as the seasons keep turning, we’re going to have change with them.
But “new” doesn’t necessarily mean “fresh,” and sometimes the coolest gear is still the old stuff—particularly in the world of sports, where teams change uniforms just to switch it up, and it's not always for the better.
Now, we’re not against trying new things, but some jerseys we remember from our youth have burrowed their way into a soft part in our hearts.
That’s what we’re here to explore today—the jerseys and kits we hated to see go. They were cut down in their prime, and we would walk over a hot hibachi grill just to see these beauties return as the team’s default look.
“Miracle on Ice” Team USA Hockey
Steve Powell/Getty Images
Team USA defeating the Russian hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics was a singular moment in American sports history.
And if you don’t like these jerseys that basically drip U.S. Constitution cream and bald eagle blood, well, then you can "geet ourrrt."
’92 Olympic Dream Team
Mike Powell/Getty Images
“I have a dream, that one day, our children, and our children’s children, will grow up in a world where hate is no more, and everyone—EVERYONE—owns a dunk-o-licious Dream Team jersey for recreational purposes!” —Martin Luther Me Jr.
Spreading the joy and memories that the Dream Teams of the '90s brought me as a child is a personal goal of mine, and I won’t stop until all basketball fans have a crisp, red-white-and-blue Magic Johnson Olympic jersey in their closet—whether they like it or not.
'90s Phoenix Coyotes
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
The early Phoenix Coyotes jerseys and their “Wild West meets desert-wolf pancho” look was unlike anything ever seen before in hockey.
The artistry of the hockey-playing coyote along with the tribal pattern trim around the hem amounted to a look that said “Yes I play professional hockey, and my best friend is a horse named Paco.”
'80s Atlanta Hawks
Ken Levine/Getty Images
Simple, fire-orange goodness.
The '80s Atlanta Hawks jerseys make me want to kick back with a Creamsicle and watch Dominique Wilkins highlights on a 500-pound box television set.
All while flipping through a Sports Illustrated for Kids and contemplating buying a pair Spud Webb City High shoes, of course.
'90s-Early '00s US Postal Service
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Simple and iconic, the kits worn by the U.S. Postal Service Team showed national pride and love of country without clubbing you overhead with a storm of stars and stripes.
And if the team's clean look isn’t enough for you, I hear the long-sleeved version came with an IV drip and a squirt bottle full of red blood cells.
'80s Denver Nuggets Jerseys
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
I’ll say one thing—whoever originally designed these jerseys for the Denver Nuggets in the '70s didn’t come up with the idea of having the Denver skyline doused in a technicolor rainbow by slamming back a Snapple.
No, pure chemical insanity must be behind this one; but until we can be sure, let’s just hope the Nuggets continue moving closer and closer back to this acid freak color scheme.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
No turquoise flames. No gunmetal swords.
Before moving to Nashville and becoming the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Oilers franchise played the violent sport of football wearing powder blue and white simplicity.
'70s-'80s Chicago Bulls
Image via hottkickz.com
Team Garmin Chipotle Kits
They were a never-ending line of argyle everything, and they were brilliant.
The Garmin Slipstream cycling team has changed names more times than P Diddy, but the orange, royal and baby blue jerseys they had while partnered with Chipotle were the best we’ve seen.
I mean, they had a burrito in the back pocket.
'90s Toronto Raptors
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The '90s Toronto Raptors jersey is as divisive as it gets for sports fans—you either love it or you hate it.
There’s no in-between.
Some people want this jersey displayed over the headboard in their bedroom, and some would rather eat a big red axe handle than having to look at the thing.
Me? I believe it’ll go great over my fireplace in a nice teak wood frame.
1927 Toronto Maple Leafs
Image via nhluniforms.com
The hockey team in Toronto had a couple of names before becoming the Maple Leafs franchise we have today.
The team was originally named the Toronto Arenas when it was founded in 1917, and shortly thereafter was purchased by new owners and renamed the Saint Patricks in honor of the growing Irish population in Toronto.
I wouldn’t get rid of the classic blue-and-white kits, but the wavy green leaf would make for a smart and dapper alternate jersey.
Early Arizona Diamondbacks
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Infinitely better than the current wet concrete colored jerseys the D-Backs are sporting these days, the Arizona Diamondback jerseys from the '90s and early 2000s mixed neutral colors with splashes of purple, and bright, “hell yeah” turquoise.
'70s-'90s Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Image via snappingreality.blogspot.com
“Yeah we look like a tropical smoothie, but smoothies are delicious.”
Color me crazy, but I liked the tangerine and peach fuzz insanity the Tampa Bay Buccaneers threw at us for about 20 years, and I hope the Bucs bring these back from time to time.
'60s Northern Ireland National Team
Image via soccerlens.com
You have to love the old-school implementation of the collar in this jersey, but what really separates it from other retro soccer designs is the white Celtic cross in the center of the design.
It would be great to see this one come back, you know, for all those Northern Ireland friendly matches we’ve all been watching.
Washington Bullets Jersey
Image via sportsmemorabilia.com
I know the Wizards have retrofitted their uniforms to match the clean lines and colors of the old Bullets jerseys, but it’s still not quite the same.
There’s a certain "Je ne sais quois” about the old Bullets jersey with the L's extending up to grab the ball that just seems like perfection.
And yes I know, I'm nitpicking.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Holy font, Batman!
The jerseys of the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques featured a ridiculously oversized “N” logo that could possibly be mistaken as a GOP party emblem from afar.
You know, if it weren’t for the fleur de lis dotted around the hem.
Regardless of your political beliefs, I believe we can all agree we wouldn’t mind seeing the team resurrected, if not just to see these jerseys back on the ice in high definition.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Gone, but not forgotten, the now-defunct Montreal Expos and their red, white and blue bubblegum jerseys still stand as a tribute to the “less is more” style of design.
We can’t bring them back, but we can pour a little out and honor them here.
Mid-'90s New York Islanders
Image via nhluniforms.com
Wavy names on the back? Check. Old Man and the Sea on the front? Roger that.
The wave may have died in the crowd, but it’ll forever live on in our hearts with these mid-'90s New York Islanders jerseys.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
With the New Orleans Hornets possibly rebranding themselves as the “Pelicans” next season, the “Hornets” name could make its way back to Charlotte, according to Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.
And if it does, as a former Charlotte resident who grew up with the Hornets in town, it would be glorious to see the turquoise jerseys back in town and in their original form.
Come on, MJ! Make it happen! We’re getting the band back together!