The internet didn’t take too kindly to Nike’s release of the new American men’s soccer kits for the upcoming Qatar World Cup.
And I understand.
There is a powerful dynamic when it comes to a uniform. It not only represents current players, but also the history and legends who have worn it before. It is an identity; a way of living.
For some fans, the jersey is the holy grail and it is better not to waste it. Whenever there are rumors of the New York Yankees adding names to the back of their jerseys, it always ends up in a fucking riot by Yankees fans.
And if you ARE a fan who bought the fake Yankee jersey with the name on the back, you are immediately accused of being a fraudster.
FASHION TRENDS COME AND GO
For other fans, the simple look of a jersey will bring back horrific and dark times from an organization they’d rather forget.
Choosing the Top 5 Ugliest Swimsuits has been particularly difficult due to how fashion has changed over time. Something that looked hideous decades ago doesn’t seem so bad anymore. At first, I hated those Tampa Bay Buccaneers creamsicle uniforms. But now? They’re not THAT bad, although their team was a disaster on the pitch carrying Bucco Bruce.
The sportswear market is booming right now – expected to reach nearly $250 billion in revenue by 2026.
With that will come leagues and teams that will continue to oversaturate the market with alternate, throwback, anniversary, random jerseys for no real reason except to make more money out of them. Just wait for other jerseys to have sponsored logos. Yeah.
But let’s not look to the future, but rather to the past, and have a good laugh at some of these uniform gems:
5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS BUMBLEBEE JERSEYS 2012-2016
One word: prison.
I look at these uniforms and immediately think I’m looking at a group of players all lined up – numbered and ready to go to jail. The Steelers wore these bumblebee schemes to give a modern twist to their inaugural 1933 jerseys. The fact that they wore them for multiple years is simply stunning. And that giant number in the middle looks like someone drew it with a magic marker and stuck it on a piece of tape.
4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 2007 YELLOW AND BLUE SATIN
It’s always a bad idea when someone turns on the game and can’t tell which team is playing because of their jersey.
There are many examples of this in all sports leagues. This Philadelphia Eagles throwback on the team’s 75th anniversary takes the cake, however. Looks like someone cut up the Swedish flag and made uniforms out of it. The Eagles have so many different green options, and they picked this? Poor Donovan McNabb.
3. SEATTLE SAILORS 1998-1999
The Mariners wore them as part of Major League Baseball’s “Turn Ahead The Clock” promotion in 1999.
It is clear that those who designed them were so worried at the time of the impending threat of the year 2000 that they decided that everyone had to relearn how to use a compass. So here is the sleeveless jersey – with a giant compass on it. Even Ken Griffey Jr. – so slick and cool, couldn’t make this jersey work.
2. THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES 1999
This jersey was supposed to be the future of the Pirates. And just like their annual playoff dreams, it ended quickly. I can only assume whoever came up with this idea was quickly fired once the players ran out of the dugout onto the pitch. I wish Twitter was there for their debut.
It feels like some kind of last minute cheap Halloween costume shopping when you and your wife are suddenly told that you have to dress up for the party.
I have to hand it over to the organization though – the Pirates have had a ton of awful looks over the years. It was hard to know which one to put on the list.
1. CHICAGO WHITE SOX 1976
These are so bad I love it. It’s a total, “We don’t care at all that our players are comfortable.” From the stiff collar to those shorts that remind me of my parents dressing me as a child for family portraits. THE most uncomfortable and rigid shorts ever. God I hated wearing them.
Fun story – the White Sox actually brought back the uniforms as a throwback to 2016. White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was so mad – that he started cutting the uniforms with scissors before the game, causing him to induced to be SUSPENDED FOR 5 MATCHES and also fined by MLB.
WHO DO YOU THINK HAS THE UGGEST JERSEY?
So this is it. There are a ton of honorable mentions – from the New York Islanders “Fishsticks” jerseys, to the fluorescent lime green the Seattle Seahawks have worn, to the powder blue/mirror jerseys of the New Jersey Nets and many football jerseys questionable academic. .
As they say, beauty or ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.
So join your Top 5 below!