Dumbest Sports Fashion Decisions
Apparel has long been a cash cow for major sports leagues. But, with team colors limiting the number of style options, organizations are challenged when it comes to creating more product.
Lately—however—it seems that uniform designers are taking the Miley Cyrus approach to brand strengthening, stirring up so much of a ruckus that the world has no choice but to notice.
That said, this list is not about postgame presser style or ridiculous magazine spreads. Instead, we're focusing on in-game uniforms, regrettable throwbacks and color schemes that seem to have been created for the sole purpose of trolling hometown fans.
While you might expect the Creamsicle Tampa Bay Buccaneers or '70s era Houston Astros to appear on this list, they're not. Those uniforms, like the Volkswagen Bus or Hulk Hogan's acting career, are so bad that they're good. This article is about uniform choices with absolutely zero redeeming qualities.
From neon jerseys to baseball shorts, these are the dumbest sports fashion decisions.
Throwing It Back to a Regretful Time
As Seen on the: 2007 Philadelphia Eagles
Looks Like: Three aspiring X-Men who were kicked out of Westchester mansion because their only super power is the ability to rewind VHS tapes telepathically.
I'm all for the throwback movement, but some jerseys need to stay in the attic.
In 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles busted out a depression-era kit that looked about as heartbreaking as the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Tampa Bay Acts Like It's Never Had a Major League Baseball Team Before
As Seen on the: 1998-2000 Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Looks Like: Wade Boggs is the manager of an indoor water park that specializes in children's birthday parties.
During the late '90s, MLB was a place for oafish sluggers to hit 500-foot bombs, not a place for hopeful graphic designers to experiment with color palettes.
The original Tampa Bay Devil Rays jerseys were 47 different shades of corny.
It's like "designing team uniforms" was a stipulation in Jose Canseco's contract.
When the V-Neck Is Just Too Deep
As Seen on the: 1978-'85 Vancouver Canucks
Looks Like: These uniforms were made with recycled German flags and on a $200 budget.
Say what you will about avocado green appliances and shag carpet, but nothing embodies the tasteless '70s quite like these Vancouver Canucks uniforms.
Poor Stan Smyl looks like a Speak & Spell personified in this picture, and—if you can believe it—the yellow alternates were worse.
Trying to Predict the Future
As Seen on the: 2009 Seattle Seahawks
Looks Like: Nicki Minaj designed a signature line of football jerseys for Hot Topic.
Like building a KFC x Taco Bell combination in the Great Pyramid of Giza, these neon green eyesores irreversibly destroy something that is perfect.
Today, the Seattle Seahawks have the cleanest kit in the NFL, but that doesn't make this picture any more forgivable.
All Mustard Everything
As Seen on the: 1972-'73 San Diego Pardres
Looks Like: An unsightly mattress stain.
The aesthetics of the '70s era San Diego Padres seem to have been inspired by a septic tank explosion, which is especially strange because America's Finest City vaunts amazing landscape.
Given the beauty of Balboa Park and La Jolla Cove, the team would have been much better off adopting a chill, beachside motif.
As it stands, this slugger looks like a summer squash that was dropped in a puddle of diesel fuel.
But, if he were wearing a floral print oxford shirt and some flip-flops, he'd look like a hulking surfer—which makes more sense for a team from SoCal.
As Seen on the: 1976 Chicago White Sox
Looks Like: They're joking.
Look at those collars and tell me that the shorts aren't the second worst thing about this uniform.
Late Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck was to marketing as Perez Hilton is to journalism, and he didn't limit his questionable ideas to on-field apparel.
Chain Gang Chic
As Seen on the: 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers
Looks Like: Byron Leftwich is making a brazen escape from the Frackville State Correctional Facility.
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers threw it back to 1934 with a uniform that makes the team look like a band of fudge-striped shortbread cookies.
If you've ever driven by a prison camp and thought to yourself, "Now, those guys have style!" then this is the look for you.
Experiments with Neon
As Seen on: 2012-'13 Notre Dame Men's Basketball Team
Looks Like: Someone replaced the team's supply of Muscle Milk with radioactive waste.
Lately, uniform designers seem determined to create the perfect abomination, and the 2012-'13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish were an absolutely flawless tragedy.
Congratulations, guys. You can all take your fabric samples and sketches home now. Your work is finally done here.
The Islanders Troll Their Fans
As Seen on: 1995-'97 New York Islanders
Looks Like: The Gorton's Fisherman commissioned a picture of his likeness and the New York Islanders just ran with it.
The New York Islanders had a harder time re-branding in the mid '90s than Abercrombie & Fitch has had since the publishing of its "plus-size policy."
The face (so to speak) of that struggle was the team's reinvented insignia, which looked like Sean Connery playing the role of a left winger-turned-deranged hobo.
As Seen on the: 2011 Maryland Terrapins Football Team
Looks Like: The equipment manager is mixing prescriptions and is a huge Game of Thrones fan.
This look is almost brilliantly awful. Almost.
From the Magic Eye sleeves to the mismatched helmets, watching the Maryland Terrapins play football in these is enough to trigger epileptic seizures.
The Price of Gold
As Seen on the: 2007-'08 Washington Wizards
Looks Like: The spilled contents from a real housewife of New Jersey's Salvatore Ferragamo handbag.
If you're going to suck, you want to suck so bad that you're good, like Rebecca Black or Sharknado.
But, like Terry Bradshaw's catalog of country music songs, the gold Washington Wizards jerseys suck just bad enough to be completely devoid of meaning.
These jerseys are the Circus Peanuts of sports uniforms.
Pittsburgh Orders Its Logo Super-Sized
As Seen on the: 1999 Pittsburgh Pirates
Looks Like: Kris Benson reported directly to the ballpark after picking up a shift at Long John Silver's.
If you gave a 1999 Pittsburgh Pirates alternate jersey to Brett Michaels as a gift, he'd say, "Thanks, man. But this is way too fugly for my taste."
This shirt seriously looks like a picture of "Macho Man" Randy Savage passing a kidney stone at a Gold's Gym squat rack.
Now, please, someone get that image out of my head.