Rider Prophet Salutes Bad Jerseys (originally posted in March 2010)
For many years, jerseys for sports teams were pretty simple… they had a white one and a coloured one and was usually limited to the team name or a logo. Then somewhere along the hippie artsy-fartsy crowd decided that the existing jerseys were too plain or lacked feng shui or whatever it is those beatniks call it and began coming up with new designs. Then the marketing crowd came along and realized just how much potential money could be made off these hippies and ever since there has been a never ending stream of new jersey designs.
Now many of these new designs are successful but as you’ll see below, many of them end up being massive failures. For the purposes of this list I'm excluding the NFL Color Rush experiment (remember those vomit inducing Jaguars jerseys?) and also any of those special one night only jerseys that abound in the junior and minor leagues.
Top 15 Worst Jerseys
15 - Pittsburgh Pirates
Let's see, giant ugly pirate face on the front, numbers and names that are trying to be new and cool and go in new directions but failing miserably. Yup, this is a good way to start off our list.
14 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Early in this list and already 2 appearances by Pittsburgh, what is it with that city? These jerseys look like a cross between a prisoner uniform and a Grade 3 art project. It almost made your stomach ill watching these fly around the field
13 - Birmingham Baracudas
Both the Mad Dogs and Cudas experiment with the front logo and nipple numbers. Can't see why it didn't catch on. Throw in some bad 90s colour palette and the made up word CUDA on the front and you have a jersey almost as bad as the team that wore it.
12 - St Louis Blues
11 - LA Kings
Although the rainbow-ish shirts leave a lot to be desired, my bigger concern is the questionable choice to place the numbers directly next to a player’s crotch. Generally speaking, that’s not the first place I look when I’m trying to identify someone. “Hey, you figured out my number 2 minutes ago, now you are just being creepy!”
**Anyone else think the white guy looks kinda like Ricky Ray?
If you were going to prominently feature a timid, cute, non-threatening looking bear on your jerse
y you could have at least gone with a more publicly recognized bear such as Winnie the Pooh, Baloo or at the very least put a forest ranger’s hat on him to make it look more like Smokey.
8 – Vancouver Canucks
It honestly looks like they ran out of money for equipment and were forced to decorate a set of plain black jerseys in coordinating lines of duct tape.
7 – Seattle Seahawks
Apparently Seattle didn’t get the memo that the “Everything automatically becomes cooler with neon green” phase died back in the early 90s.
6 – Denver Nuggets
It’s fitting that Denver is know as the mile-high city since clearly whoever designed this jersey was also extremely high. I’m shocked that the “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” look never caught on.
5 – New York Islanders
The only explanation I can think for this jersey is that Captain Highliner secretly cut a sponsorship deal with the Islanders.
A jersey such as this is what happens when you base a professional hockey franchise on an Emilio Estevez movie, create a spin-off cartoon series based on that hockey team and prominently feature a character from that cartoon series on the hockey team’s alternate jersey. It’s a wonder more teams haven’t followed suit.
3 – Philadelphia Eagles
Marketing lesson #1 – In a town notorious for the toughness and aggressiveness of its sports teams and its fans, a delicate blend of pastel colours is likely not going to be well received.
1 – Montreal Canadiens
1 – Dallas Stars
Marketing lesson #2 - Logos that look suspiciously like a uterus will likely end up being huge failures.