01 November 2009

Sartorial imperfection

I saw a short piece on bad sports uniforms on ESPN last week, and some of the uniforms that our squads have worn are hideous. There are a lot of blogs and articles featuring these, but I'm going to do my own anyway.

This year, the Denver Broncos are foregoing their orange, white, and blue uniforms for the yellow-and brown originals worn 50 years ago when the old American Football League was founded.

I suppose they looked better on the 1960 Philco black-and-white television with the 9-inch screen, but I don't know about the knee-high vertical striped socks. Actually they remind me of the uniforms of these fellows:

The Swiss Guards of the Vatican. You'd join a military outfit that made you look like a Joker on a playing card deck, wouldn't you? Sure you would!

Yellow-on-brown was also worn by the San Diego Padres-

-back when McDonald's owner Ray Kroc owned the team in the 1970s and early '80s. Incidentally McDonald's workers also wore a similar shade of brown back then. Musta got a good deal on a containerload of brown polyester or something. Actually the Padres today have one of the better looking uniforms in MLB. They played better back in the day, though.

For at least one game the Montreal Canadiens hockey team went retro with the old striped sweaters. And you'd have had to be a rough, tough hockey goon to live these down:

Where have I seen this look before? Oh, yes-now I remember:

HMS Furious, aircraft carrier, 1918. Smart of the Montreal Canadiens to try dazzle camouflage to confuse the other squad as to direction and intent.

The Houston Astros of the 1970s and 1980s had a uniform that was right on the border of bad, although they weren't terribly garish and a lot of the Astro faithful still wear the throwback jerseys. I'll leave this one up to you.

Going over to pro hoops, we find some ol' school Denver Nuggets gear:

In the 1980s the rainbow was OK. Now that the homosexual community has adopted the rainbow as a symbol, I reckon no one wants to be the 'gay' team. And the stylized skyline of Denver looks like it ought to be in the old 'Missile Command' videogame:

Back to football.

I watched the Bears play the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year and couldn't help but comment on the green-and-black gear the Seattle eleven were sporting.

Kind of a day-glo green like you might find in a highlighting marker. I had a Plymouth Volare that was roughly the same shade. It wasn't pretty either.

But for a truly nasty looking football livery, it'd be hard to beat the Orlando Thunder of the late and unlamented World League of American Football.

"Sure, I look like a can of citrus soda. But I'm making $150 a game!"

The New York Islanders of the NHL sported this sweater:

-and it looks pretty cool. The 'seafarer' in the logo, however, bears a striking resemblance to the Gorton's fisherman.

"And if an Islander scores on a power play, everyone in Section 115 wins...fish sticks for a year!"

Let's go to Vancouver for an early Canuck uniform, shall we?

Why am I reminded of 'Rollerball'? Or 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century'?

The Washington Bullets of the NBA sported this outfit in the late 70s, before they changed the team name to 'Wizards' and donated their old uniforms to Brisbane under the Lend-Lease Act.

Actually, they weren't bad by the standards of the day, but I think you could get the old Bullets confused with the Harlem Globetrotters:

Both wearing red, white, and blue. Both play basketball. One was a consistent winner-and tossed buckets of confetti into the audience!

Locally, we had the Quad City Swing of the Midwest League. I went to plenty of Swing games, and I truly hated these uniforms, with the powder blue and the dumb-looking numbers:

A change of name (back to the old 'River Bandits'), team affliation (Cardinals-nobody's perfect), and ownership (a group that cares about the fans) brought a change back to a less avant-garde style unie.

But possibly the worst uniform ever issued by a team in any sport might have been worn by a few unfortunates that collected a check from the Chicago White Sox of the late 1970s. I believe it was part-owner Bill Veeck that thought this outfit would catch on.

A polyester pullover, knee-high socks, and...shorts! Like the man said-'There's no crying in baseball!' And there aren't shorts, either-at least not in the pros.

The late 1970s White Sox. When your team absolutely, positively has to look like a slowpitch softball team sponsored by Dave's Friendly Auto Service, or Al's Corner Tap!

Good stuff, eh? These are just American teams. If you know of some teams in your own countries that had wardrobe malfunctions, send a link!

yankeedog out.


  1. I am waiting to see the Doc's response to this post. You two are like uniform rainmans.

  2. I did this one a while back:
    I remember you pointing out that awful little-sailor-boy ChiSox uni of the 70s at the time.

    I actually don't mind the yellow and brown, possibly because of the Hawks in the AFL (Naut's band of no-goods) who manage the combo with reasonable class and decorum. So long as you don't include their 'clash' (away) jumpers. And of course NZ's greatest era of cricketers wore the Jersey Caramel combo special of beige and chocolate brown, and kicked off a retro cult which is still strong today.

  3. Some truly awful uniforms there YDog.

  4. Some shockers there. The Bullets' effort screams Wonderwoman to me.
    Can't go past All Black I reckon...

  5. Drej - dare we mention the dodgy silver All Black away jersey that half of NZ is STILL blaming for losing them the World Cup quarter final against the French? (The other half blame the Pom ref)

  6. Sorry Doc, what was that score on the weekend again ?
    (no, lets not mention anything of the sort. I did say All-Black didn't I?)

  7. The good thing about the Kiwis is they're not in any way sensitive about these things.

  8. Naut-Well, I guess I'm a sports fashion maven!

    Doc-With the Broncos uniform, it isn't the colors as much as the vertical striped socks. Very court jester-ish!

    Drej-True-except Lynda Carter filled out a red, white, and blue outfit much better than Wes Unseld ever did. Possibly she could play basketball better, also.

    I'll let you folks argue the merits (or lack thereof) of the All-Blacks.

  9. i was looking for wally in amongst the stripped hockey players

  10. Mick-Waldo was up getting a hot dog and a beer at the time!