November 01, 2011
The St. Louis Rams looked splendid this last weekend. I don't mean that they played good football against the Saints (though they certainly did); I'm speaking strictly in a sartorial sense. They wore the old royal blue and deep yellow throwbacks of the Jim Everett area, and for one Sunday, they were beautiful, beautiful men.
I noted this on Twitter and found that people shared similar sentiments. Following that were suggestions of other teams who would look better in old uniforms, and more often than not, I found myself agreeing.
It's a subject worth exploring a little deeper. If we can make the NFL a better place aesthetically, it's worth doing. These are the five teams most in need of embracing a brighter time in their fashion history.
The Chargers get partial credit for incorporating a little bit of the powder blue into their everyday jerseys, and their alternate jerseys are primarily powder. But they don't stack up to all powder blue, all the time, especially with the numbers of the helmets. Who doesn't love a helmet with numbers on it?
It's very unlikely that powder blue will make any progress than it already has under current ownership. They prefer a dark blue and feel like the lighter shade isn't as manly as it could be.
4. Denver Broncos.
The team with the defense once known as the Orange Crush has been wearing navy blue for years now. Of all the teams that have fallen in love with navy blue at the expense of a less formal shade — and there are plenty of them, Chargers included — the Broncos are the worst offenders. The Elway-era orange jerseys were iconic. Today, the Broncos are uninspired and very ordinary.
The Broncos are going back to orange as their primary color next year, and that's a nice step, but it's not enough. The blue needs to revert to more of a Mecklenberg tone, and the "D" logo needs to come back, too.
3. Seattle Seahawks.
If it was good enough for Steve Largent, it's good enough for Tarvaris Jackson(notes). Like the two teams listed before them, the Seahawks also went to a darker shade of blue, but not navy. They invented some bizarre shade of blue and dropped the silver.
What did royal blue ever do to anyone? One day, it was a perfectly acceptable color for a sports team to wear, and the next, for some reason, everyone was terrified of it. It was treated like white Ford Broncos after the O.J. thing. Arguably, it's hurt the Seahawks worse than anyone else. Now that the Bills have come to their senses and gone back to a classic look, the Seahawks are, in my opinion, the worst-dressed team in the league.
I can understand the arguments against the creamsicle color scheme and the swashbuckling pirate. They do not represent a proud time in Buccaneers history, and perhaps they do not mesh seamlessly into a macho, masculine culture.
But no NFL look has ever been more distinctive and striking than those Buccaneers. Uniqueness is worth holding on to. Today's logo; the skull on the pirate flag? That's clip art. That could be the logo for any Arena Football or Roller Derby team. Bucco Bruce, when paired with a bright orange jersey or some smooth orange pants, was instantly recognizable as a brand. The Buccaneers do themselves no favors by trying to be like everyone else.
1. St. Louis Rams.
You saw them on Sunday. We've been over the disrespect for royal blue, but it seems like traditional yellow gets the shaft these days, too. Few teams have the fortitude to go with a pure yellow. Everyone's got to mix metallic into it. Can anyone honestly say that Pitt looks better today than it did in the Dan Marino era?
The same is true of the Rams. They used to be bold; they used to grab attention. Now they just blend in with everyone else with their drab gold. Stephen Jackson deserves an aggressive, eye-grabbing look. He deserves to wear what Eric Dickerson wore.
What about you? Are there any other teams that need to hop into the wayback machine? Should any of these teams stay with what they've got now? Let us know in the comments.
All photos: Getty Images
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