20 Sports Teams That Desperately Need a Uniform Makeover

Sean HojnackiFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

20 Sports Teams That Desperately Need a Uniform Makeover

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    There are a lot of makeover-based reality shows on TV. I've seen my wife and her friends watch them (I never have, I swear).

    Why can't we have a more masculine version where the teams with the ugliest or most boring jerseys are invited on, and an expert panel of judges and gurus of cool execute a uniform makeover? I doubt Chuck Norris is busy.

    Well, if there was such a show, I'd be the executive producer since I came up with the idea. First, I would invite a whole bunch of college football and basketball teams, because there are a lot of terrible college uniforms.

    Then I'd bring on some NHL teams since Canadians have a crazy sense of what's fashionable. Next would be the MLB teams, simply because we have to look at those jerseys for so many games all summer long.

    And finally, the NBA and NFL teams, as their uniform issues are relatively minor compared to the rest.

    And these would be the 20 teams on my initial guest list.

Tulsa Football

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    Is that UCLA? Wait, no, the blue is too royal, the gold is too beige and the stripe is under the arm instead of over it. It must be the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

    Now is the time for Tulsa to come up with something unique for their football team. They're coming off dramatic victories in both the Conference USA title game and the Liberty Bowl.

    Fresh uniforms could attract recruits to a state where football is almost solely associated with the OU Sooners and OSU Cowboys. Though they did tweak the uniforms this past season (the white ones are kind of nice), they need to keep going.

    And while they're at it, please change the nickname. There are no hurricanes in Oklahoma.

Iowa State Football

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    Oh no, we're playing USC! Wait...it's just the Iowa State Cyclones.

    Seriously guys, c'mon! This is just lazy. I can only imagine that plagiarism is rampant at Iowa State, because these jerseys are ripoffs. Maybe we'll go with maroon and gold, take off the stripes and change up the helmet.

    Just stop aping the Trojans. You're cheating off of cheaters. And that's sad.

Notre Dame Basketball

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    I actually like Kansas' all-blue "smurf" uniforms that they wore recently, but these are just disgraceful.

    And Notre Dame's normal jerseys aren't much better.

    They should cut the sleeves off the football team's green jerseys and just use those.

Air Force Football

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    So if Air Force's nickname is the Falcons, why is there a lightning bolt on their helmet? That is not a paradox; it's a legitimate question.

    Shouldn't there be a falcon on there? Don't falcons fly like planes, and don't they have planes in the Air Force? But I digress.

    Granted, these grey jerseys are slightly better than the blue ones. Slightly.

    Can't we come up with something that looks regimental and regal? The armed forces are great at that. Take a hint, guys!

Utah Football

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    [Squinting] Not sure if Utah Utes...or Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

    You ought to be ashamed, Utah. These just look like what the Houston Texans wear on Battle Red Day every year. And you can't fool me by wearing white pants sometimes.

    Don't you have an alum who's in design? Send them to the drawing board!

Baylor Basketball

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    Okay, so your basketball program has national media attention. But it's for the Baylor Lady Bears. In fact, I'm fairly sure that Brittney Griner could wipe the floor with anyone on the men's team.

    That being said, the Baylor Bears need to update their kits. This faux monochrome look is not getting it done. Then again, neither were their neon green ones.

    How about some Kelly green and as little yellow as possible? Or change the yellow to gold? Get to the drawing board (copying the football team would be a slight improvement).

Delaware Football

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    [Squinting] Not sure if Michigan...or Michigan.

    Oh, wait, it's the Delaware Blue Hens. I think another jersey and a nickname change-up are in store.

    Maybe something to celebrate the rich heritage and pride of the state of Delaware? Like...credit card companies?

    Okay, we'll use the state nickname. Oh, never mind—it's the "Blue Hen State." Let's just move the college somewhere else.

Northwestern Basketball

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    If it weren't for John Shurna being in the New York Knicks training camp this year, I wouldn't even know that Northwestern had a basketball team.

    Their football team just won a bowl game for the first time in 63 years, so the basketball team needs to step up their game. They haven't made the NCAA tournament in their 74-year history. Do they know they play in a major conference?

    There's nothing wrong with purple per se, but it needs to be done right. This isn't how to do it.

    What are those random black stripes? If you want an easy solution, here it is: more black.

Boston College Basketball

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    The Boston College Eagles (not the Golden Eagles) have a storied athletics program. At least for football.

    Tom Coughin has won two Super Bowls. Matt Ryan had a great season. And Luke Kuechly shined as a rookie.

    And then there's the basketball team. Since 2009, the Eagles have hit some speed bumps. And they have these faux Harvard uniforms.

    Are these jerseys a billboard for the school or a basketball uniform? Well, it's a bit of both really. I know it's a Jesuit university, but can't we spice things up a bit? Maybe throw an eagle on there somewhere.

Maryland Football

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    These Maryland jerseys seem to have been created on the theory that any publicity is good publicity. But is having the ugliest jerseys in college football good publicity?

    Perhaps the goal is to confuse the opponent as to which team you're on, because the left side looks completely different from the right side. Or perhaps the goal is to nauseate the opponent.

    Unfortunately, they also nauseate fans and recruits. What was wrong with red and white?

New York Islanders

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    The New York Islanders had a great hockey team in the early '80s. Since then, they at least had some pretty decent jerseys. Until 1995, that is.

    In that season, they introduced the "Gorton's fisherman" uniforms. "We want fish sticks," chanted their rival fans. So they got rid of the fisherman after two years, but kept the weird teal wave on the jerseys for another season. Then came the horrible orange uniforms. And now they have a strange black (or is it navy?) third jersey.

    Fortunately, they have announced a move from the decaying Nassau Coliseum. In 2015, they will take up residence at Barclays Center in Brooklyn but they will retain the name "Islanders" (per Fox Sports).

    While Brooklyn is technically part of an island, it isn't depicted on their logo. This would be a great opportunity to update the logo and uniforms. They have until October 2015. They're on the clock.

Anaheim Ducks

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    Wait, the Anaheim Ducks aren't mighty anymore? Gordon Bombay would be appalled!

    This is an expansion team that began with what most fans considered to be truly horrible uniforms (although I miss them), and they're slowly becoming more tasteful at a glacial pace.

    Anaheim's current third jersey is pretty nice, so maybe they should just run with that (make a white version and presto!). As of right now, they basically just have a choice between black or white, with both saying "Ducks" across the chest.

    I certainly hope no one in the creative department there has received a raise or anything.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Phoenix Coyotes haven't been around for very long, but they already have some of the worst jerseys in NHL history.

    From 1997 to 2003, they had absolutely heinous uniforms. Now, they have better jerseys, but they're still plain, boring and...red. The logo is not immediately identifiable and almost appears to have no eyes. It's just a big, yawning maw.

    Can't we get an improved color scheme and some sort of fierce coyote howling at a moon? Maybe that will improve attendance.

Nashville Predators

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    So, yellow is cool, right? That's why it's such a popular color in the fashion world. People drive yellow cars all the time (Lamborghinis, anyway).

    At least I assume that's the discussion that occurred in the Nashville Predators' boardroom.

    This is another case of a team that hasn't been around for long and has always struggled with their uniforms. The logo is fairly threatening, but what specifically is a "predator" anyway?

    I give them two years to come up with better uniforms or we move them to Quebec City.

San Diego Padres

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    Yes, this monkey is wearing a San Diego Padres jersey. And even the monkey is not happy to be on the team.

    The Padres have finished below .500 in four of the last five seasons and they haven't won a playoff series since 1998. The last time they won a playoff series before that was 1984. And before that it was...well those were the only two seasons in their history in which they won a playoff series.

    They have their atrocious camouflage jerseys (with non-camo pants) as well as their sand-colored uniforms.

    As Buddy Kane says in American Beauty, "In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times." Change your uniforms, Padres, and don't let monkeys wear them either.

Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros have given us the "rainbow guts" uniforms (sorry, Yogi), and we're all very thankful for that. And as for the above jerseys, they're really not that bad.

    But this season, the 'Stros will be heading for the American League, and they've got to keep pace with the rest of the loud jerseys in the AL West.

    Sadly, they've already announced their jerseys for 2013, and they appear to have come from the 1950s. Look forward to another decade of futility.

    Is it too late to change the design? Or the roster?

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Why are the Milwaukee Bucks wearing these garish jerseys? Oh right, because their other jerseys are so terrible.

    Can't we just go back to the purple and green jerseys with the big buck on them? Now those were fun!

    I have no idea what's going on up in Wisconsin, but these are the same people who thought that Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings would be perfect complements in a backcourt together.

    I have Ellis on my fantasy team. He never stops shooting. Or missing. Maybe they can trade Ellis to another team in exchange for nicer uniforms.

Sacramento Kings

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    Honestly, the Sacramento Kings have had such ugly uniforms for so long, I can't believe the city is actually trying to retain the team. They even had two-tone jerseys at one point. And now, Mitch Richmond isn't even on the roster anymore.

    If (and when) the franchise moves to Seattle, they're sure to get a uniform update. The Sonics had some very loud and very fresh jerseys before they moved to Oklahoma City and became successful again.

    The only way to keep the Kings in California's capital is to update the jerseys ASAP. Inspire your city and the micro-donations will pour in. Remind them of how great Tiny Archibald and Reggie Theus looked back in the day. Or get ready to embrace the Monarchs of the WNBA.

Cleveland Browns

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    Yes, I know the history of the Cleveland Browns' name and franchise. Depressingly, that all belongs to the Baltimore Ravens now. I don't care what agreement was reached between the city of Cleveland and the NFL.

    The new Browns are an expansion franchise. No team can just decide to "suspend operations" for three years. And even so, the Browns have been completely irrelevant in the Super Bowl era. Bernie Kosar couldn't beat a Denver Broncos team that always lost in the Super Bowl anyway.

    So embrace the move to Baltimore. Congratulations, Browns fans, you're in the Super Bowl!

    As for the expansion Browns, is there any way we can update these uniforms? I know we have to use brown, but...okay, I'm out of ideas. Still, designing new uniforms has to be easier than finding a franchise quarterback.

Tennessee Titans

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    ESPN writer Gregg Easterbrook refers to the Tennessee Titans as the "Flaming Thumbtacks."

    Looking at these, it's easy to see why.

    This is a franchise that moved from Houston, insisted upon owning the rights to the name and jerseys of the Houston Oilers, and still persists in both fielding a subpar product and wearing these sad uniforms.

    Since they can't change Chris Johnson's contract, can't they at least change their jerseys?

    There are so many more jerseys to denigrate, but so little time. Please let me know you thoughts below. Or you can tweet me. Or both!