With the NBA and NHL seasons now over and the sports schedule slowing down a bit, what better time to pay some mind to some sports-related things that aren’t the games themselves? With that sentiment in mind, I started thinking about the best uniform markets in all of sports. The only qualifier is that the market must have a team in each of the four major sports.
So without further ado, here are the top five uniform markets in sports today.
5. Minneapolis/St. Paul
We start our list with a bit of a surprise. The Twin Cities typically fly under our sports radar whether it be because of the frigid climate, the lack of winning or the size of the market. But the teams in Minnesota are quietly rocking some the best unis in sports.
The Twins lead the way with their beautiful navy and red color scheme, the purity of their cream-colored alternate jersey with navy pinstripes and “Twins” in script across the chest. Throw in the perfection of the interlocking “T” and “C” on the cap, and you have a winner.
The Vikings’ uniforms are pretty unspectacular, but I can give them some credit for the uniqueness of the purple. That and the Viking logo is pretty damn cool.
The Timberwolves use another one of my favorite color schemes, blue and green. The standard logo of a scowling wolf surrounded by trees is solid, and a variation with the wolf howling is legit. Add in the fact that their throwback logo and unis can go toe to toe with anyone, and the Wolves have one of the most underrated sets of uniforms in the league.
The Wild, well, the Wild have what has to be the busiest logo in all of sports. I mean, seriously, have you ever really looked at this thing? Go. Now. Look at it.
The Tigers have that classic navy and white colorway. The Olde English “D” is so striking and just pops on the home whites as well as the caps. The road grays mix in a little bit of orange to add some variety. And there are several variations of the logo, including one where a tiger is walking through the “D.” Overall, very well put together logos and uniforms, with a timeless feel that fits so well with the game they play.
Much like their football counterpart at No. 5 on this list, I can’t say anything particularly illuminating about the Lions’ uniforms. The blue and silver colors are alright, and the logo is kind of cool. They do have a throwback logo where the Lion is in more of a stalking type of position that is cool, but overall this is another football squad whose position is being carried by the other teams in the market.
The Pistons are also piggybacking on the strength of the Tigers and Red Wings. I mean, blue and red is a can’t-miss colorway, but the most credit I can give the Pistons is abandoning that multicolored horse atrocity that they used from ’96-’01. In 1978-79, they used a jersey that had a lightning bolt underlining “Detroit” and another lightning bolt that went down the side of the jersey and continued onto the shorts, which was interesting. The old Ft. Wayne Pistons also had a sweet logo involving some sort of tin man playing basketball, but all in all I think the Pistons would be best off turning back to the unis of the Bob Lanier or Isaiah Thomas days.
For the Red Wings, it’s all about the logo. The winged wheel is one of the most recognizable and best logos in all of hockey. It’s a perfect logo for the city the team represents and is basically everything you could want in a logo.
The Phillies hit you with a timeless, simplistic look. “Phillies” in print across the chest, with popping red pinstripes on the home whites. Their cream alternates are among the best in baseball. The solo “P” on the cap compliments the uniform perfectly. They mix a little blue into their Liberty Bell logo, which brings together a red, white and blue color scheme perfect for a city that played such a prominent role in our nation’s history. And the team’s 132-year history provides plenty of opportunity for throwback appreciation and to simply look at the progression of logos/uniforms from over a century ago.
The Eagles switch to midnight green from the Kelly green of years past was a mistake in my opinion. So too was the updating of the Eagle logo. The Eagles, like many teams in the mid 1990s, got caught up in the trend of modernization that was sweeping across marketing departments at the time. That being said, the updated uniforms and logo are still aesthetically pleasing and cool enough. The team’s black alternate jersey is used sparingly enough that it still has an impact. If the Eagles ever were to go back to the Kelly green, it would give Philadelphia a legitimate argument to be at the top of this list.
The Sixers have tinkered with their uniforms and logo more over the last 30 years or so than perhaps any team in sports. They, like the Eagles and the Pistons, tried to modernize in the mid ’90s with disastrous results. The resulting monstrosity was an affront to the history of the franchise and was only tolerated by the fans because it happened to coincide with a successful era in team history on the court and because team icon Allen Iverson happened to be wearing them. Luckily, the Sixers got back to the red, white and blue colors, paying homage to the patriotic history of their city much the like Phillies do. And this makes sense because their name happens to be the 76ers, as in 1776. But I digress. A new management group has once again taken the uniforms and logo back to the drawing board, with the new sets unveiled last week looking pretty fresh. They took elements from three uniforms of their past, put them together and added a drip of modernity, successfully achieving their goal of going back to their roots, which is smart because their throwbacks are some of the best out there and because they are truly and accurately representing their city.
The Flyers have two things going for them, two things that have helped other teams make this list. First, like the Red Wings, they have basically a perfect logo. Not only does the “Winged P” look cool, but it perfectly represents its brand. The other is the color scheme, with which the team has become synonymous, “The Orange and Black.” Orange and black is a fairly unique colorway, and the Flyers have made it their own. With the logo and the colors, there is no mistaking when the Flyers are on the ice.
2. Bay Area
The A’s and Giants both make strong contributions to the Bay Area’s high ranking. The Giants employ the unique enough orange and black colorway mentioned in the Flyers blurb, and the interlocking “S” and “F” on the cap is classic. The A’s kind of steal the show here, as their green and yellow colors are the epitome of uniqueness. The colors look great on both the home whites and road grays and as you can imagine provide some very interesting alternate possibilities. The A’s keep the uniqueness going by wearing white cleats. And the yellow brim on the green cap is a great touch.
The Bay Area also boasts two football teams, and they too add strength to the market’s uniform quality. The 49ers’ scarlet and gold fit with the uniqueness pattern we’ve been building here, and the gold pants are a home run, especially when paired with the scarlet jersey. They have also introduced a new all-black alternate for the 2015 season, which actually looks pretty dope. The Raiders are the other team on this list that have become synonymous with their colors, “The Silver and Black.” The silver pants are great, and both jerseys pair excellently with them. Whether it’s the white jersey with the black numbers or the black jersey with the silver numbers, they are classic. One of my favorite jerseys is my black and silver Charles Woodson. Add in the sick logo, and you have one of the best unis in football.
The Warriors simply have everything working together perfectly. The contrast of the yellow and blue is clean, and the logo is classic. I love that they get the full “Golden State Warriors” on both the home and aways, and the number inside the logo on the front of the jersey is a subtle but important touch. They also fell victim to the modernization failure of the ’90s and early 2000s but have recovered nicely. And their throwbacks rival any team in any sport.
The Sharks’ uniforms are perfect representations of their early ’90s conception. The teal colorway capitalized beautifully off of what the Charlotte Hornets were doing with their teal/white/purple unis. Sharks’ gear got instant cred with kids in the ’90s, but the teal still works to this day. The home teal and blacks look great, as does the all-black alternate. Then you have the shark-biting-the-hockey-stick logo to bring it all together.
The North-siders use that classic circular logo and blue pinstripes to complete one of the best home uniforms in the game. Not to be outdone, the White Sox go with pinstripes of their own and that unmistakable “Sox” design to stand right with their crosstown rival. The Sox lose a few points for actually wearing shorts in a game at one point but make up for it with their strong stock of throwbacks. Both teams use solid, classic color schemes and wear some of the most underrated uniforms in the game.
Da Bears rock the simple yet powerful “C” on their helmets. It is one of the most recognizable logos in all of sports and conveys a strength that works well in the sport of football. They do a nice job of achieving both classic and modern looks with the navy and orange color scheme, using either an orange alternate or a navy blue one with all orange numbers.
The “Bulls” in block letters across the chest is just perfection. The black alternates with red pinstripes added a nice bit of flavor to the classic Bulls jerseys. The older jerseys with “Chicago” in script across the chest are fantastic. And perhaps my favorite touch to the Bulls’ uniforms, the Bull logo on both sides of the shorts. I think shorts in basketball get overlooked most of the time in terms of design and truly complementing the jersey and completing the uniform, but the Bulls have avoided that mistake and have some of the best shorts in the game.
For my money, the Blackhawks have the best logo in hockey. From the detail to how perfectly it fits on the red home and the white away jerseys, it is just an awesome logo that works so flawlessly. Jersey-wise, beyond the logo, I love the three stripes across the bottom and across the sleeves. And the crossing tomahawks overlaid on a “C” that go on each of the shoulders is a brilliant use of space and brings the whole thing together. The black alternates are sick as well.
Some cities were hurt by one or two of their teams, while others were carried by the overwhelming strength of one or two of their teams. Ultimately ,Chicago was crowned No. 1 because of its consistency. While the Windy City was certainly bolstered by the strength of the Blackhawks, each sport was able to contribute and none hurt. While in Philly the Eagles uniforms aren’t bad, the fact that they aren’t as good as a previously worn uniform hurt them and prevented them from making a run at the top of the list. The Bay Area has an incredibly strong argument to be number one, but the fact that they had two extra teams to work with pushed me to keep them at number 2.
Josh Naso aka The Silver Fox has a love for all things sports that borders on disorder. Here, he aims to share his thoughts on and passion for those sports with you.
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