If you've clicked on this list, then it means you have major courage and you're alright with seeing your eyes bleed. We commend you for your bravery and we'd offer you something to help your eyes, but we've already cleared every store possible out of such items.
Fine, not all of these jerseys are that ugly and unappealing - some are just too bland - but when you're talking awful sports uniforms, those disclaimers need to be said. All it takes is one disgusting jersey set to make one vomit through their ear, bleed from their eye, want to jump into oncoming traffic on Interstate 95...
...wait, I-95 is usually pretty backed up. Florida's Turnpike, then.
Because we're using 'recent' to define this list, we may as well set up some ground rules.
- There are no current NFL jerseys on this list, meaning those who wanted to see me rail on the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns' modern looks will be disappointed. Make no mistake, though - they are indeed on this list, but for other jerseys.
- Any jersey sets will have had to be used more than once, so the Philadelphia Eagles 2007 monstrosities that were used only once (in a week three game against the Detroit Lions) do NOT make the list. However, any jerseys that were included in the 2009 AFL anniversary set are eligible because they were part of a two-for-one deal.
- Any ugly patches that were put on regular jerseys (i.e. an anniversary patch) are not included.
If you're willing to cause your eyes pain, let's do this.
16 15. All-red Washington Redskins
I may as well be honest: I don't hate these uniforms. In fact, these uniforms were pretty good for an all-colored set and, when it comes to the eye test, they get the job done. However, I've seen some people suggest the Redskins bring them back in upcoming years as a third home jersey - or, potentially, an alternate while moving the current alternate into the main spot. Could it work? Sure. Should the Redskins do it? No.
If the Redskins are going to make a uniform change, than the NFL should change their helmet rules and allow Washington to bring back their leather helmet look from 2012. I get the concerns about concussions, but there has to be a way to make those helmets work, right?
And if you think we're going to be this light on every team...no.
15 14. Classic Arizona Cardinals, part one
I've always been personally torn on the decision NFL teams make to pair white jerseys with colored pants; the New York Jets and Chicago Bears, for what its worth, do it well, but there's a good chunk of teams that don't. Luckily, the Arizona Cardinals realized that their mid 2000s idea of a white jersey with red pants - which may have looked good on paper - wasn't exactly the prettiest sight.
Seriously, seeing those jerseys again makes me think of a guy in a tanktop rocking red jeans and Crocs walking down the street. Yeah, it's a sight to see, but you want to get one quick look and never think of it again. But at least 60 minutes of play with these jerseys? This isn't the only time on this list we'll discuss the Cardinals, by the way.
14 13. Cleveland Browns post-revival (orange)
Even now when one goes online in Madden, they'll see people trying to rock the orange Browns jerseys from the early 2000s. What's the appeal? Granted, I may be in the minority for actually really liking the Browns' current orange uniforms, but these are so bland and lack the 'risks' teams at the time tried to make. I get the throwback to the Browns' solid years in the 1980s with the bright coloring, but those pants?
Later on, we're going to talk about the 2009 Denver Broncos and how horrific their uniforms were, but the Browns have almost the same exact pants style! Going entirely orange may have been a bit too much, I agree, but why not keep the pants entirely white or go for a neat design? Anything but what we have there...
13 12. Raiders AFL Throwbacks
Some of you will say that we're cheating by including the Raiders' current Color Rush uniforms, but you'd be surprised to know the team actually used a similar design in 2009 as part of the AFL throwback series. Is that cheating? Maybe. Do we care? No, of course not; but please, keep these uniforms far, far away from the public eye and the Raiders' new stadium in Las Vegas.
While the Raiders' uniforms may not quite be the New York Yankees' pinstriped looks, they're a simple set that shouldn't be altered. If there's one positive of these uniforms, it's that they retain the simple look the Raiders are known for and don't try to do anything ridiculous. But please, Oakland, don't use the gray numbers anymore. Not even for Color Rush.
12 11. Chicago Bears white-out
What? I praise the Oakland Raiders' for their simplistic uniform set but hate on the Chicago Bears for their set? Here's the thing with these Bears uniforms: I do like the idea of an alternate team uniform compared to the current white and blue set, but these are just a bit too bland for my liking. Maybe it's because the Bears don't use a full whiteout and instead have the stripes? I'm not sure, but I will say I'm glad the Bears are using the white and blue road uniforms they seemingly always have.
But, I'd be remiss in my duties as a Madden-loving sports writer if I didn't mention the white and orange road set that Madden NFL 13 mistakenly used. Again, it's a neat concept of coming up with something different, but please...never again.
11 10. Philadelphia Eagles go all-green
Yet again, the uniform set is a smart concept - giving the Philadelphia Eagles an all-green set to wear as a home alternate - but it turned out so horribly that the only thing keeping it at the tenth spot is one thing: the Eagles have fantastic home uniforms in general. I've always really liked the green home set - not as much as the throwback worn in 2010 and the Michael Vick game - so I don't have anything against the top part.
It's those pants, though, that make this set not work. Thankfully for our eyes and Eagles fans, the team realized that their alternate black uniforms made for a much better all-colored set; and if you aren't a fan of those jerseys, I don't know what to tell you. What's next on our list?
10 9. Tennessee Titans AFL Throwbacks
Ironically, some will wonder why I'm choosing to hate on the old-school Oilers uniforms but ignore the throwback New York Titans uniforms, which seem to be on most people's "awful uniforms" list. Me, I love those Jets throwbacks more than any of the other retired jersey sets; it's a nice color mix and it sells the 1960s really well, so it gets a pass in my book. When are the Jets going to use these again??
These Oilers uniforms, on the other hand, are just too dull for the Titans to consider bringing them back as a full-time option. I love other Oilers uniforms, especially their home AFL throwbacks from that same season, but these road ones? Yuck. Then again, the Titans' curent uniforms aren't much better. Is anyone else sensing an upcoming rebrand?
9 8. Teal Jacksonville Jaguars
I suggest we take a break from the AFL throwback jerseys to talk about a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey the team used on a fairly consistent basis. By no stretch of the imagination are these jerseys any worse than their current sets - and please, I never want to see those mustard Color Rush uniforms again - but these suffer from being a bit too bland.
If the Jaguars were going to replace their current uniforms by going back to these, I suppose I'd be alright with that, but they're another team in need of a serious, more modern rebrand. There are elements to this jersey I like and I wouldn't mind seeing a form of the teal return again, but these jerseys and the current jerseys both need to go far away.
8 7. Cleveland Browns post-revival (brown)
Like with the Jacksonville Jaguars, I can't say these Browns uniforms are that much different in terms of suckiness, but the blandness issue really is apparent with these uniforms. In fact, I may be the only person on this planet who prefers the all-brown Browns uniforms to these - wait, don't throw things, I'll explain it. With those all-brown set, there was at least an identity the team was trying to show (and no, we're not talking about the team playing like dog crap); they were the Cleveland BROWNS, so they wore entirely brown. Fine!
But the brown and white set? Even the orange uniforms we railed on earlier are better, but how much is that really saying? I like to think the Browns made the right call by rebranding.
7 6. Pittsburgh Steelers throw-up backs
Everything wrong with these 2012 Steelers jerseys have already been beaten into the ground, so I think we can skip this one. Right? Right??
No? Alright, I'll take this time to really pan these jerseys and the Steelers' thinking for using these jerseys and getting rid of their previous alternate set. Listen, I'm all for celebrating anniversaries and events with jerseys and patches, but did the Steelers have to really use these jerseys for two different games?
These are absolutely disgusting - that there are somehow two worse jerseys on this list really says something about the rest of the NFL's decision making - and the Steelers used these TWICE? Why not use these once and the other ones another time? I'd say I need to see the next option, but that's not much better.
6 5. Pre-Eli New York Giants Whites
For some reason in the New York area, some Giants fans seem to think highly of these uniforms, though that may be the nostalgia talking. I mean, I already talked about why I like the Jets throwbacks, so maybe I'm missing something with that other New York team who I don't root against. But with these jerseys, my main issue is that there's too much going on; you have the white jerseys with a blue helmet and a blue collar, while the numbers are red with a blue outline.
As for the pants, they're gray with both blue AND red stripes, but they stand out more than they're probably supposed to. When it comes to white Giants jerseys, I have to think the current set are the best - and I loved last year's Color Rush set - but these? Pass.
5 4. Pewter Buccaneers
I could vent for nearly 300 words about my outrage upon seeing and hearing so many people hating on the creamsicle jerseys, but I'll try to keep that part short. The two tie in, I promise. Why the Buccaneers didn't make those the primary sets were beyond me, but I actually wasn't totally against the team's red home uniforms; they weren't perfect and maybe a bit bland, but they got the job done and were never forced.
As for their road uniforms at the time, what is with those pants? I can understand the top part and I actually really like the colors on it, but those pants bring the entire uniform set down so much and it's a shame. Why do the Buccaneers try to force the pewter? It doesn't work!
4 3. Classic Arizona Cardinals, part two
Normally, when someone calls something filthy, it's supposed to be a good thing. 'Did you see that pitch Chris Sale threw for the Red Sox last night? It was filthy!'
Alas, Sale was still many years away from reaching the big leagues and becoming a perennial All-Star when the Arizona Cardinals were rocking these filthy jerseys on a weekly basis - and that's not the good form of fifthly we're talking about.
There are so many things going on with this jersey that I don't know where to start; and for my sanity, that may actually be a good thing. I feel so bad for Emmitt Smith that he had to wear these jerseys in the final years of his career, but he could have come to the Jets and been a solid number two back behind Curtis Martin...
2 2. Mean Neon Green Seahawks
I really don't know what to say about these jerseys other than they look like a Photoshopped set gone bad. I'll let Uni-Watch's Paul Hecken explain what went wrong with these 2009 Seahawks uniforms.
"In Week 3 (9/27), the Seahawks pull off a stunner by wearing a lime green alternate jersey at home against Chicago. The jersey follows the template of the usual white and gunmetals, same neck and sleeve edge trim, white numbers with navy outlines, white wordmark and (name on back), and navy sleeves. Overlooked in the neon green hubbub are the equally new navy pants, with gunmetal/lime/gunmetal stripes, certainly the first time such a color combo was used in an NFL game. "
Please, I never want to see these jerseys again. And yet, there's something worse...
1 1. Denver Broncos AFL (home)
Come on. You had to know these were going to win the top spot, right? These Denver Broncos throwback uniforms, which somehow helped them to an upset of the New England Patriots early in the 2009 season, may be the worst jerseys in any sport I've gotten to see in my nearly twenty years of being a sports fan - and trust me, I've seen some bad ones. That the Broncos have been wise enough to NEVER AGAIN use these jerseys makes me so happy.
What really bothers me, though, is that the Broncos used these for two straight seasons in 1960 and 1961. How did no one at the time say, "yeah, let's try something new" when they were first brought out. We were still nearly a decade away from Woodstock!
Which of these jerseys is the worst to you? Do you like any of them? Let us know in the comment section below!
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