The Patriots and Eagles may be the class of the NFL this season, but they receive only middling grades when it comes to their uniforms.
Which threads are hideous and which have a kick-ass aesthetic? Here’s a 1-32 ranking in which I tried very hard to insult your favorite team.
32. Buccaneers. Like a clock radio exploded on your grandmother’s Jimmy Carter-era sofa. Even Bucco Bruce thinks these are ridiculous. Bring back the creamsicles.
31. Jaguars. Good news: The Jags reportedly are ditching their infamous two-tone helmet in 2018. Bad news: Their new uniforms will focus on the color teal.
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30. Bengals. The helmets look like the “before” shot in a Hair Club for Men ad.
29. Ravens. I have a shin bruise with the exact same color scheme.
28. Panthers. The Panthers combined the colors of UNC and Duke to come up with something I call Carolina Boo.
27. Titans. The dark-blue-on-light-blue is pleasant, but the “Flaming T” logo looks like some seventh grader’s dreamy doodle in sixth-period pre-Algebra. See me after class.
26. Browns. Orange is the new blech! These once-classic duds went downhill – and became too busy – when Nike got involved a few years ago. Imagine that.
25. Dolphins. The hospital-scrubs-blue is a reminder that you probably should schedule that colonoscopy one of these days.
24. Broncos. The Broncos and the next two teams suffer from the same issue: the swatch of color up and down the side of the uniform. In Denver’s case, it’s armpit orange and it’s a fad that has long expired.
23. Cardinals. The Northern cardinal is the state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. But not Arizona. (Then again “The Arizona Cactus Wrens” would require a full redesign).
22. Patriots. Betsy Ross, whose 1776 flag design inspired the Patriots uniforms, was born in Philadelphia. Awkward.
21. Chiefs. In 1963, a proud franchise chose red and yellow as its color scheme. That franchise: McDonald’s.
20. Redskins. Bold conversation starter at a beltway cocktail party: What do you think of Trump as a president? Bolder: What do you think of “Redskins” as a mascot?
19. Texans. A longhorn? Really? Houston’s history with cattle ranching is as deep and storied as Denver’s history with whaling. An Enron “E” would be more appropriate. Don’t think we’ve forgotten those rolling blackouts, Houston. Watch your back.
18. Falcons. The red-striped epaulettes look like something hanging in Muammar Gaddafi’s or Elton John’s closet. They’re just short of tassels.
17. Eagles. In 1996, the Eagles changed their uniforms to a deeper, more menacing green. Yeah, that’s what Philadelphians need – to be more aggressive.
16. Lions. Rorschach test question: What do you see when you look at this blotchy helmet logo? Answer: No Super Bowl appearances in 52 years.
15. Seahawks. The uniforms nicely capture the city, from the Northwest tribal art-inspired logo to the “it looks like rain” color scheme. The yellow, however, looks like cat vomit.
14. Rams. They have the coolest helmet design of all and are drifting in the right direction – toward the cream and white uniforms of the early 1970s. But they seem to be stuck somewhere mid-transformation and have not yet fully shed their St. Louis gold.
13. Jets. Good choice, Jets – always stick with the uniform in which your franchise had its proudest moment. (And burn anything associated with Rich Kotite).
12. Bills. They look like kids jammies.
11. Chargers. The team’s powder blue-and-yellow threads are a perfect match for sunny, mild San Diego. … What do you mean, “They moved?” … Where? … Where’s Carson? … A soccer stadium? You’re kidding me.
10. Vikings. The Vikings were one of the teams that added those awful armpit swatches to their classic uniforms, which is like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa or a speedboat on Water Lilies. Thankfully the mustache has been removed.
9. Packers. Their colors, “bay green” and “cheese gold,” may sound like Pringles flavors, but somehow work well together. The classic “G” is the only logo this team has worn on the side of its helmet.
8. Saints. In a division with a pirate, a big cat and a fearsome bird of prey, you counter with a French lily … and it totally works!
7. Cowboys. The only thing more presumptuous than a star on your helmet would be halo. It’s a solid uniform, but I think we still can all agree that Cowboys fans are pretty much jerks.
6. Giants. No shadowed numbers. Nothing on the sleeves. A simple red stripe on the helmet. This is a confident, I’m-Walking-Here uniform.
5. 49ers. If I don’t rank them in the Top 5 I’ll get hate mail from Folsom and Rio Linda and Youngstown. Bring back the iconic striped socks and I’ll consider raising your grade.
4. Steelers. Yellow pants usually only work for clowns and firemen, but the Steelers somehow make them sing.
3. Colts. The horseshoe is as simple and enduring as the blue-and-white color scheme. Note to teams considering a redesign: Come up with half a dozen cool design elements and then drop five.
2. Bears. Aggressive and they don’t incorporate a bear claw anywhere on the uniform. That’s called restraint.
1. Raiders. Versace, Dior … Davis? The Raiders’ most effective marketing tool has been their dazzling – and intimidating – duds. The city may change; the uniform stays the same.