Boise State’s comeback win over Virginia Tech was probably one of the best college football games I can remember watching. Oddly enough, four days later, there’s one thing I’ll take away from that game: How damn ugly Va. Tech’s uniforms were. Have you seen worse digs in recent memory? I doubt it.
The rest of Nike’s Pro Combat line looks anywhere from acceptably decent to pretty cool, with the exception of the TCU and Tech editions. I get the feeling whoever was designing the line got halfway through the Va. Tech project and said, “Ah, screw it,” and submitted a half-finished disaster.
When the Hokies came out of the tunnel, I was mildly intrigued by the black duds, a clear departure from the usual maroon and orange. Then I saw that hideously stupid circuit board pattern that faded down the numbers on the front and back and wasn’t sure whether to laugh or throw up. Tyrod Taylor looked like the rejected Halloween Power Ranger. Is that what football uniforms look like in the Matrix?
It really shouldn’t matter what a team’s uniforms look like. The Arizona Diamondbacks won a World Series in some hideous purple digs, proof that looking like an idiot doesn’t necessarily translate to playing like an idiot.
But as superficial and downright irrelevant to the game as it was, the minute I saw the Virginia Tech uniforms, I knew the Hokies would lose. I’ve seen my share of ugly jerseys before and been indifferent, but this was a special case; never before had I been so incensed about clothing. Va. Tech deserved to lose.
As a sports team, your uniform is a big part of your image, like it or not. It won’t hold you back from on-field success if your jerseys look like something Cookie Monster threw up, but nobody likes staring at a bunch of grown men dressed like fools for three hours. If I were Frank Beamer, I’d blame the loss on Nike.
First, I need to get this out of the way — I absolutely loved those Boise State helmets. The awesome, giant oversized bronco logo on the left, the huge, bold numbers offset a bit to the right — just awesome. Awesome enough to use that word twice…or three times, I guess. Whatever. Just check them out for yourself if you didn’t watch the game, or if you did, look ‘em up again.
That aside, I’ll admit the rest of Boise’s unis were a bit weak Monday night. Grey jerseys are always hit or miss, and having two different shades definitely made the Broncos look a little funky. Additionally, you could barely see the “Boise State” across the chest on top of the numbers, sort of begging the question of why it was put there in the first place. Lastly — and I’ll admit I didn’t even notice this during the game — there was a “B” right above the left knee that just seemed too lonely, too out of place to be a solid addition.
Yet, whether it’s because of the awesome, awesome, awesome helmet or just simply due to the overall quality of the game, the Boise State Pro Combat uniform doesn’t top my list of worst sports uniform in recent memory.
If you’ve read this far, chances are there’s some mind-boggling (to me) reason you actually want to know what does. Either that, or you just missed the headline.
With that, drum roll please, I give you the Seattle Seahawks alternate jerseys. Originally presented last September against the Chicago Bears, these atrocities featured lime green — yes, lime green — jerseys with navy blue sleeves. Forget that the helmet remained the same and the pants were simply navy — lime green jerseys?
It seems completely conceivable that the Seahawks, either desperate for a PR stunt amidst a dismal 5-11 season or eager to adhere to Holt’s Power Rangers theme, let some 12-year old kid use the Madden “Create A Team” uniform generator to create the most bizarrely painful eyesore imaginable. Seattle could have come out wearing the jerseys of the long-defunct Memphis Maniax (quite possibly #2 on the list, if the XFL counts/counted as a sport) or even those Virginia Tech unis and the result would have been much, much better. Fortunately, Seattle’s lime green fiasco ended three months later when then-coach Jim Mora retired the alternates because his team “did not win in them.” I kid you not.