Seasons change, people change, and so do uniforms, but sometimes change isn't for the best. Uniforms can say a lot about a team. The character and image of a team is practically defined by the look of their unis. Uniforms have a wide spectrum of success among fans and the general public, but the best ones are awe-inspiring and can even be the reasoning behind fandom. Some sports franchises have had brilliant uniforms in the past, but changed or modernized their uniforms for various reasons.
Some sports franchises have brought back "retro" uniforms for temporary revival on several occasions, but it is rare to see a sports team completely revert to an old uniform as the permanent primary uniform. This is truly a shame, as some uniforms are just too nice to only bring back for a handful of games a year, and should return permanently.
Fans often crave the revival of an old uniform for nostalgic purposes, and I don't blame them. Uniforms can often be overcorrected and ruined through modernization, and this can cause a franchise to lose it's identity. Many team's new uniforms are clearly no match for their predecessors. From color changes to logo changes, a uniform can be completely transformed at any time for no good reason.
This list consists of some pretty sweet classic uniforms that should be blatant replacements for the team's current uniform. All aspects of the uniforms will be analyzed, including color scheme, logo, lettering, and overall cohesiveness. These unis all fit the bill for necessary restoration.
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15 New England Patriots (1960-92)
These are an undisputed classic. It certainly says something about a uniform if you keep it around for 32 years. The clean red, white, and blue colors make this uni just as patriotic as the team name would suggest, but what really brings it all together is the helmet. The "Pat Patriot" logo that New England adopted during this time period was just about as eccentric as a logo could get without being overly provocative. Plastered on the side of those red and blue striped white helmets, Pat Patriot was the symbol of this era for the Pats.
These unis did make a comeback for the Patriots multiple times as alternates throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, but in 2013, they were coercively dropped due to a new NFL rule outlawing retro alternate helmets. It's a shame that the Patriots can't quite bring these classic uniforms back. They deserve consideration as the default uniforms for the Pats.
14 San Diego Padres (1984)
Sports franchises have had little to no success implementing brown into their uniforms in the past. The Padres' 1984 uniform is an exception to that trend. Has brown ever been utilized more brilliantly on a uniform? The crisp yellow and orange lining on sleeves, collar, and pants accent the dark brown hue so perfectly. The best part about the brown jerseys: dirt stains blend right in! No, but seriously, these unis were sick! Oh yeah, and the Padres were actually pretty darn good when they wore them. A 92-70 record propelled them to winning the NL pennant in the lone year that they wore these magnificent uniforms.
Too bad they discontinued them, 1984 was the Padres' first appearance in the playoffs in franchise history, and they failed to make the postseason for the next 12 years without these exquisite jerseys. Maybe the Padres can return to the heights that they reached in that glorious 1984 season if they reverted back to the brown, yellow, and orange.
13 Indiana Pacers (1984-90)
Young Reggie Miller rocked these uniforms throughout his first few years in the league. The Pacers weren't particularly good at the time, but they had some awesome jerseys. The blocky blue lettering within the dedicated yellow strip of jersey sprawled out across Pacers players' chests made these truly unique. The funky lettering paired with the bright royal blue and gold simply can't be beat.
It would've been interesting to see the Pacers rock these unis in their spectacular run in the 90s and early 2000s, but they were unfortunately discontinued in 1990. While there is nothing wrong with the Pacers' current uniforms, they are quite drab. Replacing their current uniforms with these would surely boost the team's swagger on the court.
12 St. Louis Blues (1992-94)
Simple, clean, and stylish, three accurate words to describe the Blues uniforms of the early 1990s. The Blues have always had a fairly basic, but iconic logo featuring a winged music note as a tribute the famous W.C. Handy song "Saint Louis Blues." These sweet unis featured an eye catching red lining to compliment the classic royal blue and yellow colors that the Blues have always rocked. Hints of white dispersed across the entire uniform help the colors stand out and distinguish this uniform from others. The current Blues' unis lack the extra flare that the 1992-94 uniforms brought with the red lining.
11 Chicago Bulls (1973-85)
The Bulls have stayed fairly consistent with their uniforms over their franchise's rich history. Frankly, you can't really go wrong with any of the Bulls' previous uniforms. However, this particular version of the classic red, black, and white stands out because of that smooth cursive lettering. The standard lettering that the Bulls currently use doesn't have the same allure as the curvy calligraphy of the past. A symbol of the beginning of Michael Jordan's legendary career, the cursive has to make a comeback. With D-Wade coming home to Chi-town, it would only make sense to commemorate the occasion by reviving these classic jerseys.
10 St. Louis Rams (1988-99)
Only having these uniforms as alternates is just disrespectful. These unis need to be the only uniforms the once-again-Los Angeles Rams are rocking in 2016. The jersey, pants, and helmet all work together harmoniously to create one of the nicest uniforms in football's history. Not to mention, these uniforms were worn at the height of the Rams' success. Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk formed the most formidable QB-RB tandem in the league, and they won a super bowl in 1999. The Rams can only hope that Jared Goff and Todd Gurley can be as great as Warner and Faulk were, but putting them in these sick uniforms could certainly give them the same feel as the NFL legends.
9 Atlanta Hawks (1982-92)
I've always dreamed of owning a classic Dominique Wilkins jersey in this style. I definitely could have made it happen by now, but it seems like a rather silly purchase at this juncture of my life. However, these unis were anything but silly when the Hawks of the 80s were sporting them. These were some serious uniforms...seriously.
The subtle touches of yellow make this uniform a winner. I like uniforms with yellow as a secondary or tertiary color if you haven't noticed yet, but it works so well here, sandwiched between the classic Hawks red and white. The Hawks' uniforms today are about as flashy as they get. Why not go back to simpler times, when Donald Trump was on TV a lot less and people actually paid attention to each other instead of just watching their Snapchat stories?
And that folks, is how you make yourself sound 20 years older than you actually are. Moving on...
8 Pittsburgh Penguins (1974-75)
When thinking about the 2016 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, we generally don't think of any sort of blueish hue. This is because the Penguins haven't worn any shade of blue as a primary home or away uniform color in over 35 years. The powder blue shade depicted above complements the classic black, white, and yellow colors that the Penguins are known for wearing so impossibly well. The Penguins currently wear a fairly similar, but modernized uniform that doesn't feature an ounce of powder blue, and that is simply a huge mistake. The vintage unis were absolutely killer, and they blow the current uniforms out of the water.
7 Utah Jazz (1996-2004)
These are just cool, like really, really cool. Sometimes the best uniforms in sports are the simplest ones. Well, not this one. While this is one of the more ornate uniforms basketball has ever seen, it is still far and away the best Jazz jersey in franchise history. With the purple backdrop, the rigid teal and white Rocky mountains that then fade back to purple on the torso, and the extra mountains on the side of the shorts, these unis crush it! Stockton and Malone wore these uniforms at the height of the Utah Jazz's success, back when they made two straight Finals appearances, and consistently visited the Playoffs as a dangerous team. Maybe reviving this uni in Utah could bring back the same success to an intriguing young core of players.
6 Philadelphia Eagles (1985-96)
Kelly green is a staple in Eagles history. Everything about the bright, grassy shade works seamlessly in this uniform. The Eagles logo, jerseys, pants, and helmets were all at their best in the kelly green days. That sick silver wing on each side of those classic kelly helmets brought this whole uniform together. The current "midnight green" shade that the Eagles currently rock just doesn't have the same appeal as the kelly green. The Eagles did bring this uniform back for one lone game back in 2010, but haven't honored the classic kelly on any other occasions. The Eagles currently need a fresh start. Why not symbolize a fresh start with some fresh, new (but actually old) unis?
5 Charlotte Hornets (1989-96)
When these unis were in use, the Hornets were one of the most exciting teams in basketball. With one of the league's best young frontcourts, the shortest player in NBA history, and a plethora of efficient three point shooters, the Hornets were a solid, well-rounded team. Throughout the first half of the 90s, they had some of the best uniforms in basketball as well. The blue and purple stripes draped over that classic teal mesh make these jerseys a must-have for NBA jersey collectors and enthusiasts. The Hornets have worn a modernized version of these sweet unis since they moved back to Charlotte, but nothing beats the real thing. The original Charlotte Hornets uniforms need to return to regular usage.
4 Houston Rockets (1976-95)
How fresh are these unis? Once again, the strategic use of yellow in this uniform really helps everything else pop. Even the slightest yellow lining on the pants, collar, and sleeves makes a world of difference here. The signature slanted text across the chest is what separates this uniform from others. Hakeem Olajuwon played some of his best basketball with this uniform and the Rockets even won two championships during that span, but the biggest reason that the Rockets should bring this uni back is that their current uniforms are just bland. Adding the touch of yellow and the slanted letters back to Houston's primary uniforms is a must.
3 Philadelphia 76ers (1997-2009)
You can't argue with the Sixers' uniforms prior to this era, or their current uniforms (Which mimic their vintage uniforms of the 70s), but these uniforms symbolize the career of one of the greatest players in NBA history, Allen Iverson. This uniform change in the late 90's was quite a dramatic change, but the Sixers absolutely nailed it. These somewhat flashy uniforms featured a completely new, refreshing color scheme. Silver, gold, and black were added to the classic red, white, and blue that the Sixers always sported. The star atop the "i" in Sixers in addition to the swoosh under the lettering gave these uniforms a modern twist. The Sixers should pay homage to the great AI by bringing these unis back.
2 San Diego Chargers (1968-71)
The timeless powder blue uniform is currently the Chargers' home alternate uniform, but it should be their primary home uni. It really doesn't get much better than these uniforms in football's rich history. The electric yellow bolts on each shoulder, each side of the helmet, and each side of the pants are a classic design that is still being retained today. However, the powder blue jerseys have been replaced by a rather dull navy blue. There is no reason that the powder blue shouldn't return as the Charger's primary home uniform color at this point. The Chargers need a fresh start as well, and just a simple color change could help fuel a change in the team's play.
1 Orlando Magic (1994-98)
Not much needs to be said about these uniforms. They're that amazing. Pinstripes have never been used more beautifully (Sorry Yankees fans, but it's true), the starry designs made these uniforms pop, and the colors worked insanely well together. These uniforms were the most desirable blend of flashy and modest. Penny and Shaq starred together on a new expansion team during the span of this uniform's existence, and experienced success quickly. With a similarly young and exciting team down in Orlando, bringing the stars and pinstripes back to life might not be the worst idea. In fact, it would be a spectacular idea. The current Magic unis lack the pizazz of the retros. One could even say that they are simply not as "Magical." Oh dear, I really wish I didn't have to end this article on another corny joke. Oh well.
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