Some Lessons in Uniformity

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Rob Yunich:
When it comes to clothing, and especially sports uniforms, I am firmly anti-monochromatic. But, as with many things, there are exceptions.

Let’s start with the sport that boasts the worst offenders: football. Quite frankly, teams should not be locked into one color, especially black.  There’s a reason why the Washington Redskins look great in their traditional or throwback burgundy and gold (or even burgundy and white) uniforms, but not in their all-burgundy monstrosity. The Seattle Seahawks are frequent monochromatic offenders, as are the New Orleans SaintsBuffalo Bills (who are going to be announcing new uniforms later this week), and Baltimore Ravens.

In college, the poster boys for the ugly-monochromatic uniform movement are the Oregon Ducks, but lately, thanks to a certain company, the Florida State SeminolesColorado BuffaloesVirginia Tech Hokies, and Washington Huskies have joined the offenders.

As for hockey, it’s best when the jerseys are a different color than the shorts, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. The Washington CapitalsNew York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, and Colorado Avalanche do this better than anybody else. In my mind, there’s really only one team that can pull off the all-black look, and that’s the newly crowned Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Otherwise, teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning (who have announced new uniforms for next season), Anaheim DucksSan Jose Sharks, and Pittsburgh Penguins really don’t look good in black.

In baseball, having a one-color uniform is not only acceptable, it’s quite classy. A few fantastic examples are the Boston Red SoxBaltimore OriolesChicago Cubs and, as much as I hate to admit, the New York Yankees.

My beef with baseball teams is when they don’t put the name of their city on road jerseys. But that’s the exception these days, with only the Florida Marlins, Milwaukee BrewersPhiladelphia PhilliesSt. Louis Cardinals, and Tampa Bay Rays not following the trend.

In the NBA, black is still the minority (and it’s usually an alternate uniform), but it’s awful nonetheless. Case in point are the Minnesota TimberwolvesChicago BullsOrlando Magic, and Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs, as far as I could tell, is the only team in the league whose road jerseys are always black – and the design is very well done.

Finally, if you really, really want to read a lot more on this subject, check out Uni Watch.

To read more of Rob’s work, check out the blog Storming the Crease!

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