NFL Uniforms We Love to Hate
Nothing stirs emotions of sports fans more than their favorite and lest favorite team uniforms. I have heard guys discussing the 3-4 defense versus the 4-3 and whether a”Tampa-Two” style defense has run its course or if it is still effective. I have also heard those same tough guys argue back and forth about who has the best and worst uniforms. Somehow the sports fan that walks out of the house wearing Zubaz pants (photo) and a stain-riddled t-shirt becomes a fashion expert when discussing team uniforms. Well, folks mccrearybroadcasting.com wanted to throw in our two-cents, so here we go. Here are the uniforms that we love to hate.
Throughout the years there have been some glorious football uniforms take the field in the NFL. Lets begin with some of the most controversial uniforms ever to be discussed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL in 1976 and were originally in the AFC West. They made a splash with their Florida Orange uniforms and the Errol Flynn-like pirate clutching a knife in his mouth. Some say the Buccaneer logo was winking, but let’s just assume he lost his eye patch. The Buccaneers Orange “creamesicle” uniforms have made the list of top 10 best and top 10 worst uniforms in football history. So the Buccaneers top the list in the uniforms we love to hate.
The next NFL uniform that makes the list are the current St. Louis Rams uniforms. The biggest problem with the Rams’ current uniforms is that they never needed to be changed. The old blue and yellow Rams of the Eric Dickerson age were classic and bold and had been around since 1954. In 2000, the yellow was replaced with “old gold” and the original blue with a darker “Millennium” blue. The change took the Rams to classic to USFL-like uniforms. It was a bad decision for the Rams and the history of NFL uniforms.
The next blunder to land on the uniforms we love to hate is the New England Patriots. The Patriots entered the AFL in 1959 as the Boston Patriots and introduced the world to Patriot Pat. The scowling Blue-coat with his red tricorn cocked back, his right hand grasping a football on the ground, and his left elbow draped across his left knee preparing for battle. The symbolic red, white, and blue uniforms served the NFL well, but not the Patriots. They struggled mightily only making the playoffs six times in from 1959 to 1993. A change in uniform in 1993 replaced Patriot Pat with a one-dimensional sleek-jawed patriot with flowing head wear. The most unusual aspect of the uniform change was the addition of silver to the red, white, & blue. The change put New England near the top of the list of uniforms we love to hate.
The saying goes “Nobody circles the wagons, like the Buffalo Bills.” That may be, but nobody screws up a football uniform like the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been searching for an identity since O. J. Simpson. They came close with Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Bruce Smith, but the epic four-year run of Super Bowl appearances without a win overshadows those “good years.” Since the Bills have changed their uniforms three times. In 2011, the Bills returned to a more traditional look with the white helmet and the charging buffalo, which was a step in the right direction. But the recent changes don’t change the history of the red helmets with the blue buffalo, which was hideous. Their feeble efforts lands them on the uniforms we love to hate list.
Lastly the NFL uniform that we love to hate wraps up with a uniform that was wrong from the beginning. The Carolina Panthers entered the league in 1995 with the ugliest uniforms in NFL history. Silver has been a contentious color for uniforms. Black and Silver of Oakland is acceptable, but add Royal Blue as the Panthers did and you have violated a rule. The Panthers also introduced a triangular logo that just was a head-scratcher. A panther is a great mascot. It is fierce, quick, and can dominate its prey. The Carolina Panthers, however…not so much. And, even if they did they wouldn’t look good doing it. But to the Panthers credit, they have seen the light and they have been incorporating more black and less silver into their uniform scheme. They also re-tooled their logo, which is marginally better. There may be something with attempting to use the panther as a mascot, because Georgia State Panthers have their own issues with the panther logo. But, we will save that for the NCAA version of uniforms we love to hate.