I'm on record as being very emphatically anti-"retro." I've had more than enough of intellectual stagnation and lack of creativity disguised as kitsch and worship of the past. On one subject I diverge significantly from this position – sports. No one in any sport from golf to bowling to soccer to baseball has better uniforms today than 50 years ago. No one. "Modern" uniforms all reek of the 1990s fad of swooshes and fake abstract designs. For the 50th anniversary of the old American Football League, throwback uniforms are out in force this year. So tell me, is there anyone on the planet who thinks this…

…looks better than this?

I mean, come on. Do I need to go on and compare the old Patriots or Buccaneers uniforms (long live the Creamscicle) to their new crap? Or the Chargers' powder blues? Of course I don't. Being people of discriminating taste you already know.

13 thoughts on “NPF: AESTHETICS”

  • Being a person of discriminating taste, but one who knows absolutely nothing about sports, I have to say that I don't even see a remarkable difference between the two styles of uniform. But I don't really see any swooshes or fake abstract designs in the top picture, so maybe it's just the shot you chose.

  • I say you're right for about 80 percent of throwbacks. My 9ers certainly look great in the Joe Montana-era duds, and not just because it brings back memories of the dominance we exhibited while wearing them full-time.

    But occasionally teams feel the need to throw their uniforms back to the ugliest thing they could come up with, almost as if the ugliness of the fad unis of the early 80s was in and of itself charming, and thus deserving of a teary-eyed look from the present day.

    And some teams, like San Diego, originated during the years when ugliness was in fashion, and never really had a chance to look like the Steelers or Oilers in the photo you provide. The lucky ones were lucky because they played back when it was a game, not a fashion show.

  • I hate the abstract designs on most of the helmets, and the color schemes are all off (purple, black, metallic blue).

  • professor fate says:

    Well the Jets keep using their Titan's era throwbacks which are just ugly as hell. Still the old Detroit Unis look better than the current ones.

  • The best throwback – IMHO – is the Buffalo Bills uni. You can't go wrong with the classic buffalo nickel design. Frickin' awesome.

    I felt bad for Kansas City today – they had a very humiliating throwback experience. They had to wear their Dallas Texans gear with an outline of the state of Texas on their helmets while playing the Dallas Cowboys.

    And it sucks to be Jacksonville and Carolina – no throwbacks to replace their hideous helmets that look like they came from an 80's-era action figure toy box.

  • No one in any sport from golf to bowling to soccer to baseball has better uniforms today than 50 years ago.

    Clearly you did not see the Bronco's puckifying original equipment display today.

    Now, I'll grant you, it was only 49 years ago, not 50, when they first disgraced themselves, the AFL, the U.S. of A. and humanity itself by appearing in public so horribly attired. They won that first game – by way of atonement, no doubt. And they discarded those uniforms after their second year.

    Still – I attribute their first 13 years of futility to the embarrassment and chagrin caused by the ugliest outfits ever seen in North America.

  • I love sports throwbacks. Buffalo Sabres, Patriots, Chargers, and any baseball uniforms from the early part of the century look super sharp. I never thought the powder blue uniforms of about 8 MLB teams from the seventies and eighties look good except the KC unis. I also think the modern day Broncos and Pats uniforms look too similar for my tastes. The nineties had a big trend of having the team logo stretched across the whole helmet. Pats, Jags, Panthers, Broncs, etc. Browns unis are the best in football for my money.

  • I don't know – the Broncos throwbacks almost fall under the So Ugly You Have to Admire Them category. I mean, objectively they're hideous. But there's a car wreck-like quality about them. You just keep staring at it until it starts to make sense.

  • Sorry, Ed. Every throwback uniform I've seen reminds me why they are throwbacks and not current! The Oilers' large derrik just looks like a silly worship of an outdated technology. The Creamsickle looks like a normal uniform was washed with bleach. And the Broncos? Oh god, the Broncos. That was such a sad display.

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