The 10 Ugliest Sports Uniforms Of All-Time

Warning: The following list contains photos and descriptions of sports outfits so horribly hideous, so abominably awful, so visually vile that reader discretion is advised. This is not a joke or a test. Seriously. Step away from your computer and go do something contructive right now. This list of the 10 most God-awful uniforms to ever grace a playing field features a fashion montage the likes of which could cause fever, sweating, heart palpitations, projectile vomiting and even death. So I strongly suggest you leave now and go watch football or something.

Still here? Well, read on if you must, with the knowledge that I am hereupon not responsible if this ridiculous hub leads you to an untimely death. I've done all I can to dissuade you from wasting your time on this, so I'm washing my hands of it right now...with soap and water.

Anyway, since you're so adamant about seeing these sports clothing catastrophes, feel free to peruse the following hub to your little heart's content. Pretty pictures and poor attempts at humor are certain to follow.

#10 New England Patriots

Around the time Drew Bledsoe was drafted into the NFL, someone in the New England Patriots organization decided the team needed a new look. Replacing the original “Pat the Patriot” would be a nigh-on-impossible task, as finding something more uniquely American than a Minuteman hunched over a football was about as likely as the team’s shot at a Super Bowl in that era. Undaunted, the chowder-chewing fashionistas finally decided on this All-American number pictured just above:

Yep. The New England faithful waved goodbye to the subtly awesome red jerseys worn during the 1985 season (en route to a Super Bowl XX trouncing by the “Super Bowl Shuffle” Chicago Bears) in favor of Captain America’s least favorite pair of pajamas. Apparently, the super hero threads have worked out nicely, as the team has won three Lamar Hunt trophies in four “Big Game” appearances since 2001. Nevertheless, looking like a 1940s comic book cover isn’t getting Belichick’s boys on the cover of GQ anytime soon. Well, not in those unis anyway.

#9 Montreal Expos

If this man can't pull of your team's "look," then God Himself couldn't help you.
If this man can't pull of your team's "look," then God Himself couldn't help you.

If you went solely by their ‘70s and ‘80s uniforms, one could come to the conclusion that the lack of baseball in Montreal could only be a good thing. The garish baby-blue hues and what-the-heck-is-that logo combined for a Canadian assault on the U.S. of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut proportions.

But it doesn’t take a third grader to see that the uniforms were at least partially responsible for the team’s 2005 move to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals. In the land of hockey, dressing like an ice cream man and playing baseball in the world’s ugliest stadium went a long way in having a low fan base. Well, that and years of ineptitude due to the club simply not having the money to keep its star players.

But for the purpose of this article, we’ll just blame the awful uniforms. The biggest victim in all this, however, is Andre “The Hawk” Dawson, forever enshrined in Cooperstown in an Expos hat. Cub Nation - and the fashion industry as a whole - weep in unison.

 

#8 The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Good thing Crystal Lake isn't anywhere near Duckberg.
Good thing Crystal Lake isn't anywhere near Duckberg.

This is what happens to your team’s uniform when it's owned by Disney. In the early ‘90s the NHL offered a couple expansion franchises to sunny California, in an effort to spread the game of hockey westward. San Jose wound up with a club known as the “Sharks,” while the poor people of Anaheim were designated a team moniker that was probably a little more “goofy” than they’d have liked: The Mighty Ducks

With that abominable team name came equally atrocious hockey jerseys that not even the combined coolness of Emilio Estevez and Guy Hebert could save us from. If Jason Voorhees and Scrooge McDuck, through some unholy mallard-on-zombie coitus, gave birth to a child, this is probably what it would wear.

 All the time.

Without any pants.

 

#7 Boston Bruins

"Only you can prevent forest fires." Well, you and Cam Neely.
"Only you can prevent forest fires." Well, you and Cam Neely.

Beantown’s ice hockey club is known for having one of those classic sports uniforms you just can’t ever change. You know, like the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Rangers. After more than 80 seasons, the main jersey has changed very little and will probably remain this way for at least the next century, when hockey is played solely by robots, space aliens and Chris Chelios.

And that’s makes this mid ‘90s jersey all the more abominable. This sweater has more in common with the prevention of forest fires than acceptable hockey threads. It’s as though its designer went out of his or way to include the team’s mascot on the uniform, culminating in an ugly hodgepodge of Smokey the Bear and the state flag of California. The result was something simply unBEARable. Yeah, it’s even worse than that pun.

 

#6 Cleveland Cavaliers

Years before LeBron James went on ESPN for an hour long “eff you” to the city of Cleveland, Cavs fans were given a proverbial middle finger by this awful blue and black ensemble. The Terrell Brandon days of Cavalier basketball were dominated by a slow, plodding half-court game that usually resulted in less scoring than an Amish after-prom.

Adding insult to the oft-injured Shawn Kemp's crew was the wearing of this tasteless uni for several cornea-searing years. It wasn’t until Cleveland secured the first pick in the 2003 draft (and LeBron James with it) that it finally came to its fashion senses. Now that the King has left the building for good, the Cavaliers have once again updated their uniforms. However, actually finding players who want to wear them won’t be all that easy.

 

#5 New York Islanders

Already used all of my good jokes about this in the actual column.
Already used all of my good jokes about this in the actual column.

I can only imagine the decision to alter the hallowed logo and uniform of the New York Islanders went something like this:

“Guys, you know what would be a good look for us?”

“Nope.”

“Ta-da!”

*Holds up box of Gorton’s Fishsticks*

“Let’s do it! That 68 year-old-shrimp boat captain is freaking wicked, man!”

This can be the only explanation - in my mind at least - for this hate crime against hockey AND seafood. These uniforms were so bad they only lasted for one season, which coincidentally, is about as long as you should leave that box of battered fish filets in your freezer.

#4 Washington Wizards

This logo needs a bullet.
This logo needs a bullet.

When you’re the murder capital of the United States, having the word “Bullets” as your team’s nickname probably isn’t the best idea in the world. You may as well call your basketball team the Washington "StabYouInYourSleeps" or the D.C. "Rapey McRapersons." At any (murder) rate, Washington decided to go all Lord of the Rings on their NBA squad and change the team’s name to “Wizards.”

The result put C-Webb and company in clothes better fitted for Magic: The Gathering tournaments than the NBA hardwood. The hideous attire reached its ugly apex when Michael Jordan un-retired for the second time, returning to the court to don this disaster en-route to the worst seasons of his basketball career.

What could have caused “Air’s” sudden decline? Age? Nagging knee injuries? Wearing a jersey adorned with Gandalf the Grey spinning a basketball like some kind of mystical Harlem Globetrotter? Yeah, that one.

 

#3 Utah Jazz

If my mailman wore this, I'd be getting a P.O. box posthaste.
If my mailman wore this, I'd be getting a P.O. box posthaste.

After moving west from the non-stop party of Bourbon Street, the Jazz settled in Salt Lake City to start a new era for the financially struggling NBA franchise. The team’s fortunes would soon vastly improve, as the Utah Jazz drafted future Hall-of-Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone in the early '80s. The team kept the same classic unis worn in New Orleans in their “Beehive State” closets until the ’96-’97 season brought a change of the most heinous.

Gone was the multi-colored music note logo, replaced seemingly forever by a blue mountain travesty. The end result was something not altogether dissimilar from a Coors Light can... without the Rocky Mountain freshness.

Over the next several years, the uniforms would change a number of times, but the atrocious logo and color scheme remained. An arrest warrant by the fashion police was finally issued in 2010, leading to the team returning to the original logo for the ‘10-’11 season. Better late than never, though trying to un-see "Mailman" Malone in those repugnant things is an unfortunate impossibility.

#2 Houston Astros

Long the poster child for bad sports fashion, the much maligned Houston Astros jerseys of the late '70s and early ‘80s deserve every last iota of ill directed at them. The ugly orange and yellow stripes backed by a single star will likely go down as one of the worst fashion experiments in history, narrowly eclipsing wearing your jeans backward (a la Kriss Kross) in 1992.

That's a travesty in and of itself, but whoever came to the conclusion that requiring Nolan Ryan to step on the mound dressed like a Rainbow Brite doll needs some serious Texas justice. Or at least a stern talking-to from Clinton Kelly.

The saddest part of all this is that Houston’s former team name was the Colt .45s. Most sports fans will imagine uniforms decorated with Dirty Harry-esque firearms, but I’m thinking of something else altogether: Billy Dee Williams chugging malt liquor out of a cowboy hat. That level of awesome is probably too much for the entire state of Texas to contain, let alone a simple baseball jersey. Oh, well. A man can dream.

#1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

"Well, Lee Roy... look like ice cream... and he wear them fancy clothes."
"Well, Lee Roy... look like ice cream... and he wear them fancy clothes."

When it comes to fugly uniforms, these dandy duds are the Sarah Jessica Parker of the 1980s NFL wardrobe. For almost two decades, in fashion terms AND basic football ability, there was plenty of “sucks” in the city of Tampa. The team’s regrettable on-the-field performance was perhaps influenced by the creamsicle accoutrements the players were forced to wear. After all, trying to stop the opposing team on third down is much more difficult when you’re supposed to be a menacing pirate, but just-so-happen to be dressed like a bucket of sherbet ice cream.

And like that deliciously fruity dairy confection, the team melted in the scorching Florida sun, finishing 120-229 as an all-time record prior to the team’s uniform change in 1997. Since then, the Bucs have secured a few playoff appearances as well as that little Super Bowl XXXVII championship.

All this serves to show that looking good can be one of the keys to success in the NFL, though taking the field in more orange than an exploded Tang factory deserves some props, too.

 

What do you think are some of the sporting world’s most woeful wearable wares? Let me know in the extremely fashionable comment box below. Thanks for reading!

 

Posted September 18, 2010

 

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Comments 11 comments

Nick 6 years ago

I totally disagree with you on Utah and NE...I think those are two great uni's!!


Natural Remedy profile image

Natural Remedy 6 years ago from Canada

The Vancouver Canucks from around the mid to late 80's had those horrendous yellow jersey's. If you haven't seen them you've got to have a look. If they aren't worthy of #1 on your list, well surely you can bump Utah off, I think that jersey is alright.


brentbrown98 profile image

brentbrown98 6 years ago from Indiana, United States, Earth Author

Natural Remedy, I made a list of about 30 uniforms in the four major American sports that I thought were terrible. Those Canucks unis you mention made that list and I almost added them to this one. The only reason I didn't put them on was because I couldn't think up any bad jokes to go with them. :) You're right... they were totally awful and deserve a spot a spot on this list, at least as an honorable mention. One thing I don't understand is how people could like those Jazz uniforms. I guess I'm alone with that one.


ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 6 years ago from NE Ohio

What a fine piece of writing, Brent. Nice work. Especially like:

the Washington "StabYouInYourSleeps" or the D.C. "Rapey McRapersons

L.T.

Very clever.


brentbrown98 profile image

brentbrown98 6 years ago from Indiana, United States, Earth Author

Thanks, L.T.! I'll always think you're the funniest guy on Hubpages, so anytime you read and enjoy my work, I'm honored. :)


HepCat61 profile image

HepCat61 6 years ago from Boston

Gotta be a Boston fan to love those jerseys, I guess. I have to admit though, the fug-fug-fugliest unis on the planet belong to the San Diego Padres Chocolate Covered Banana unis from the 70s and 80s.


brentbrown98 profile image

brentbrown98 6 years ago from Indiana, United States, Earth Author

HepCat61, I totally agree with you on those old San Diego Padres uniforms. I can't explain it, but I somehow... actually like them. I know they're hideously ugly, but they conjure up images of Tony Gwynn and Steve Garvey, so I reckon that's part of the reason I have such a strange affinity for them. Thanks for the follow and thanks a million for reading, too! :)


A.Villarasa profile image

A.Villarasa 6 years ago from Palm Springs

Hi Brent:

Now you've really hit my tickle spot with this one. Seriously,you should be writing for Sports Illustrated. Stylistically, the current slew of writers on SI could not hold a candle on your lucid, luminous, and levitating prose.


brentbrown98 profile image

brentbrown98 6 years ago from Indiana, United States, Earth Author

Thanks, Dr. Villarasa! That's high praise and I really appreciate it.


jim sherriffs 5 years ago

I really like the Montreal Expos uniform, it does remind me of Andre Dawson, when he played. The red white and blue is fine. I also liked the Astros, Padres, and all the teams in the 70's. Ity is better then the "coffin" grey, and "coma" white we have nowadays. What is wrong with color in uniforms? By the way the Broncos Brown and yellow and the Tampa Bay Bucs, are the best selling uniforms for the teams.


brentbrown98 profile image

brentbrown98 5 years ago from Indiana, United States, Earth Author

Thanks for the comment, Jim. I actually have a soft spot for many sports uniforms of the '80s (even some I made fun of on this list) despite their ugliness. Thanks for reading!

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