The 50 Sickest Throwbacks Ever

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2013

The 50 Sickest Throwbacks Ever

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    The uniform a team wears each game is important to consider whether or not it will be taken seriously.

    While some of these new uniforms have a certain style to them, is it any wonder why so many are using a more vintage look that's slowly been coming back?

    No.

    That's why I've scoured the Internet and put together this list of the best throwbacks anyone has ever seen.

Pittsburgh Pirates: 1977-79

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    While some fans may think these uniforms are too busy, the v-neck pullover top with the bold striped trim is easy to love.

    The only thing not to like about this combo is the hat. But we're doing strictly jerseys, so it passes the test.

    Besides that, 1979 was the last time the Buccos won a World Series, so maybe these will bring them more luck.

North Carolina Tar Heels: 1992-99

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    Though the current uniforms haven't changed too much, the style that the Tar Heels wore for much of the '90s is still one of the best looks in all of sports.

    Maybe it's because children at the time idolized everything Michael Jordan, dropping $65 on a pair of these authentics in fifth grade.

Indiana Pacers: 1967-76

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    There were few teams better than the Pacers during their ABA years in the 60s and 70s.

    With three championships and five finals appearances in the league’s nine-year existence, it's not too much of a stretch to call them a dynasty.

    It's great that the current squad gives props to those teams by rocking this look every once in a while.

Houston Astros: Houston Colt .45s, 1962

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    These are a good look because they break the typical logo that we see on every other uniform.

    The Astros could have easily played it safe and avoided putting the revolver across the chest—though it wouldn't have been a true throwback—yet decided to go old school and make this one of the most loved jerseys in baseball.

St. Louis Rams: 1988-99

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    There's something about the mixing of these colors that just really make these pop, don't you agree?

    Some of us remember when these were the Rams' actual uniforms, and Kurt Warner led the team to a Super Bowl win in 1999.

    They needed some updating then. But these days, they're classic.

Detroit Red Wings: Detroit Cougars, 1926

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    It may be simple in design, but as we've seen over the past couple years, having a bold stripe through the center of jersey is back in style. Thanks, Northwestern!

    The Wings wore these during the 2009 Winter Classic to pay tribute to the 1926 team, displaying a calligraphy-type "D" that's not exactly flashy or subtle.

U.S. Men's National Team: 1990 World Cup

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    If you ever played soccer in middle or high school, chances are, these were your uniforms.

    They were the top kit Adidas made at the time, outfitting the national team during their run in the '90 World Cup. And though they lost all three games, at least they looked good in defeat.

Portland Trail Blazers: 1978-90

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    The team hasn't really abandoned this look too much, but the original version seemed to be more condensed and a little bit busier.

    In some cases, that doesn't work. But with these, it's part of what makes them so cool.

Chicago Bears: 1940s

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    The simplicity and color combination makes these jerseys great.

    They look like Brian Urlacher and the boys just grabbed the first thing they could find in their drawers to go play a backyard football game against the neighborhood kids.

    Put your grown-up pants on, and let's start hitting.

Miami Heat: Miami Floridians, 1968-70

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    You can't help but think of Jackie Moon when you look at these uniforms.

    The mixture of pink and orange, along with the font for the numbers and lettering, is about as retro as it gets.

    And the fact the team paid homage to the disco era with some pretty cool photos makes them that much more appealing.

Washington Capitals: 1974-94

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    This jersey literally has all the components of a perfect throwback.

    • The classic colors of red, white and blue.
    • A bunch of accessories, like stars and stripes.
    • And of course, a hockey stick in place of the "L" for the team name.

    If the Caps wore these more often, a lot of people would honestly consider jumping on the bandwagon.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940s

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    One of many powder blues you'll see on this list, the mixture of royal and baby blue really makes the entire look pop.

    It's a great tribute to the 1940 team that featured guys like Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.

    The only suggestion for change would be to outline the script across the chest with the royal blue to make it just a little more put together.

Kentucky Colonels: 1974-76

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    When you come from UK, it's easy to see how basketball-crazy the entire state is. So while it'd be pretty dope to see them get a professional sports team, with the rivalry between the Cats and U of L as big as it is, it'll probably never happen again.

    But there was a time when college hoops didn't reign supreme. And that team, the Colonels, happened to have some of the coolest uniforms any franchise has ever had.

    With amazing font and perfect lines, these are classics a current team needs to try and duplicate.

Miami Hurricanes: 1983-98

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    It's called "swag."

    When you saw these uniforms walk into your home stadium, you got rowdy, scared and hyped.

    The Hurricanes may have some nice uniforms now, but when this look stretched from Vinny Testaverde all the way to Edgerrin James, you know it was good.

New York Yankees: 1912

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    It's all about New York.

    Though the Yanks are known for their pinstripes, the throwback to the 1912 team is a great uniform. The team wore these in Fenway Park in 2012.

    It marked only the second time they've worn a throwback, with the only other time coming in 1996 when they repped the New York Black Yankees of the Negro Leagues. 

NBA All-Star Game: 1993-94

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    By far the coolest All-Star jerseys ever made.

    Were they busy as hell? Sure.

    But when you think of what an All-Star epitomizes, these uniforms define it better than any other.

Brazil Men's National Team: 1970 World Cup

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    You can't mess with success.

    That's exactly what the 1970 Brazilian squad is known for thanks to players like Pele, Tostao and Jairzinho.

    Its simplicity is its finest characteristic.

Atlanta Braves: Atlanta Black Crackers, 1938

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    Honoring the Black Crackers of the Negro Leagues during Civil Rights Weekend in Atlanta a couple seasons ago, the Braves looked both classy and fresh in these throwbacks.

    The only beef with these is their bagginess, though that's all part of the authenticity of how they looked back then.

Chicago Bulls: 1979-85

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    It's Jordan.

    It's the Bulls.

    It's the off-center number with the cursive "Chicago" across the chest that makes it a little better than the current uniform look.

    Show up in one of these babies, and you're sure to get some good looks your way.

    It's all about respect.

Orlando Magic: 1989-98

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    While the Magic have been unlucky with losing guys like Shaq and Dwight Howard, one of the worst decisions they made was replacing these very cool pinstriped uniforms.

    For the first nine years as a franchise, they were known for the vertical lines while on the court.

    The jerseys they switched to afterwards were boring and ugly.

Anaheim Ducks: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 1993-03

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    Thanks to the success of the Mighty Ducks, some fans admit that this was the very first jersey they ever purchased with their own money. Didn't everyone want to be Charlie Conway?

    These were a perfect balance of hip colors and a new-age design that wasn't typical in the NHL then. This, of course, appealed to kids who were just getting into the sport.

    Besides that, they helped the fictional version of the Mighty Ducks win the Junior Goodwill Games!

Milwaukee Brewers: 1981-90

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    They aren't flashy or bold, but for whatever reason, it's easy to like this simple look the Brewers will bring back every once in awhile.

    It could be because it's the color scheme going on, but it might be because it's what people think a classic baseball uniform should look like.

Boston Bruins: 1927-31

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    This sweater was worn during the so-called "Stanley Cup Years," when Boston went to three Stanley Cup Finals—winning one in 1929.

    It's a clean look that adds a little flavor with the cartoonish "B" in the center of it, making it a little less square and linear.

Seattle Sonics: 1985-95

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    With word of the Sonics allegedly coming back to Seattle, we can only hope the team adopts the old-school jerseys worn from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.

    Some of us have a Sam "Big Smooth" Perkins one that we wear anytime we hit the blacktop with our buddies, so we wouldn't mind seeing a new era sweep into the Northwest in these.

Denver Broncos: 1977-96

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    The Broncos have always been a team that broke with the normal football uniforms—remember the reaction when they released their current look back in 1997?

    But instead of going back to their earliest days and wearing these hideous-looking digs, why not pay tribute to John Elway's two-time Super Bowl-winning teams and bring these orange Popsicle-looking guys back instead?

Vancouver Canucks: 1993-96

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    Besides the team seeing some success while rocking these sweaters—making it to the '94 Stanley Cup Finals with the Rangers—the logo on front looked like it was moving at the speed of light, which was fitting with the team's best player being Pavel "The Russian Rocket" Bure.

    The color combo is so-so, but they still look badass today.

Washington Redskins: 1932

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    The colors on these are absolutely amazing.

    Breaking the eyesore of the bright yellow mixed with maroon the team typically uses, these are much subtler.

    Though we're not judging the entire uni, props to the helmet for duplicating an old-school leather one from back in the day.

Los Angeles Clippers: Los Angeles Stars, 1967-70

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    Before moving to L.A., the Stars were actually called the Amigos and were based in Anaheim.

    Much like the current Clips, the team endured some serious futility.

    But regardless of how they played, the red, white and powder-blue the team wore while getting pounded on the court is a good look.

    The stars only add to the effect of this jersey.

Michigan Wolverines: Designs from 1890s to Present

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    OK, so these aren't exactly "throwbacks," but I'm the one calling the shots here, and they were designed using different elements from the Wolverines' first football teams to the current squad.

    Even Michigan haters have respect for the Big Blue's uniforms as some of the most iconic in all of sports.

New York Mets: 1986-92

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    Any baseball jersey that utilizes the v-neck pullover is a winner.

    It's no coincidence that the Mets' last World Series title came while wearing these back in 1986.

    Note to the Mets organization: Bring these back!

Phoenix Suns: 1994 Alternate

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    Thankfully, the team has decided to wear these a couple times this season, because they are just phenomenal.

    The exploding, cartoon-like basketball/sun makes this jersey look like it should be in Space Jam and not on an NBA court, but it's good to see the Suns will wear them again.

Buffalo Bills: 1964-73

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    It doesn't get much better than these.

    They look extremely patriotic—for whatever that's worth—and the lines on them are sharp and solid.

    I'm not sure why the team doesn't utilize this look a little more often.

Atlanta Hawks: 1982-91

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    Some might think that the colors are a tad obnoxious, and while the whole McDonald's color scheme can be a little much, these things are amazing.

    It's the perfect balance of using all the colors rather than overdoing it on any part of the top.

Miami Heat: 2000 Alternate

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    Fans almost forgot how dope this jersey was until the other night when the Heat came out donning them against the Pacers.

    The shadowed numbers on front and tapered lines down the side make the entire jersey worthwhile, so it's good to see the team wearing them these days.

Philadelphia Phillies: 1976 Road Uniform

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    If these jerseys were an ice cream flavor, don't you think it'd be pretty tasty?

    Yes, that's what it's come to at this point—judging the colors on a jersey by the way they would taste in a sugary, whipped form.

    Besides that, though, the placement of both the logo and numbers up top make them unique for a baseball uniform.

Denver Nuggets: 1981-93

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    Bright colors? Check.

    Outline of your city's skyline? Check.

    Rainbows? Check.

    This Nuggets design is one of the most iconic in all of sports, so who wouldn't want to own an Alex English or early Dikembe Mutombo replica?

Los Angeles Kings: 1988-95

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    Just an all-around great jersey, using the same colors as the then-hometown Raiders of the NFL.

    Great lines with a solid logo bring it all together. The uniform is synonymous with Wayne Gretzky while he played for the Kings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1976-96

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    It's funny how these jerseys were hated when they first came out—thanks in part to the Bucs' miserable performances on the field—but are now considered hip.

    One thing's for sure, they will always be remembered (whether for good or bad) and are a definite fashion statement.

Houston Astros: 1975-84

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    Say what you will about these, but they gave the Astros some personality.

    Obviously a call to the disco era of the 70s and early 80s, they look like your grandma's basement, which isn't such a bad thing in this instance.

Philadelphia Eagles: 1989-95

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    These things are just beast.

    Very simple with the typical block numbering, the helmet brought this whole uniform together perfectly.

    The green on this jersey isn't the dull color you'd expect, making it look a little cooler than the forest green the team wears now.

Cleveland Cavaliers: 1987-89

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    These make you think of your childhood and watching games in the old Richfield Coliseum.

    Great colors to go along with an easy logo that's not too much and not too dull, Mark Price, Brad Daugherty and "Hot Rod" Williams owned these back in the day.

Oakland Athletics: 1972-88

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    The mustard yellow might be too much for an everyday look, but when worn sporadically throughout the season, these things do the trick.

    It'd be interesting to see if the A's ever update them to add the player numbers anywhere on the front of the jersey, but that might take away the simple look they've got going on.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: California Angels, 1971-78

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    It's rare—if not unheard of—to see a team represent itself in full lowercase writing on a jersey, but the Halos pull it off perfectly with these throwbacks.

    The tiny halo above the "a" is what makes these jerseys one of the favorites, along with the Red Sox-like numbers in the lower left.

Pittsburgh Penguins: 1992-95

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    Though most people would say the 1969-70 rendition looked a lot cooler, these popular sweaters were worn when the team hoisted the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons (1991 and 1992).

    More than anything, though, the yellow, black and white have been adapted as the city's colors for their other sports teams, the Steelers and Pirates.

Tennessee Titans: Houston Oilers, 1960-64

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    Going back to their roots, when the team was based in Houston as the Oilers, the Titans donned some of the sickest tops ever.

    Yes, I just described something as "sick" for the first time since, like, 2002.

    The red outlines around the numbers make these things really clean, and the addition of the digits on the sleeves gives them an extra kick.

San Francisco 49ers: 1981-93

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    Thankfully, the Niners have ditched whatever the hell they were trying to go with in the late '90s and early 2000s and have gone back to a similar look from the Montana to Rice days.

    As is the case with some of the others on this list, the gold helmet is the perfect compliment to the traditional styling of the jersey, giving it just the right amount of color.

St. Louis Cardinals: 1974-82

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    Although they're pretty similar to the team's current look, as I've mentioned before, the v-neck pullover is always the jam.

    Rich colors with a nice, clean look and a tribute to the '82 World Series team, these jerseys are definitely classics.

New England Patriots: 1960-95

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    There's just something about this entire uniform that makes the Pats popular—though many people seem to can't stand them.

    The helmet with the Patriot in a three-point stance is probably one of the things people hate, but the jersey itself has strong colors and the perfect lines for it to avoid being overwhelming.

San Diego Chargers: 1968-73

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    Oh yes, the powder blues of the Chargers.

    One of the greatest uniforms in the history of sports, the Bolts started bringing back the look between 2002 and 2006 as an alternate throwback and finally adopted an updated version of the style full-time a year later. 

    The look came from their original design in the '60s, and honestly, it should have never left the team's locker room.

Brooklyn Nets: New York Nets, 1972-76

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    Though there have been a ton of great looks, for what it's worth, the Nets throwbacks are the absolute best in sports.

    Taking it back to the old-school ABA teams, with guys like Dr. J and Rick Barry, the team adopted red, white and blue as its colors and added the starry design down the side to make these things look incredible.

    Can Team USA just use a similar look for every single Olympics from now on?