4. San Francisco 49ers
August 24, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Levi
The San Francisco 49ers are ‘Exhibit A’ of the magic and wonder than can happen when you remove all of the unnecessary black trim from a uniform.
By the late 90’s and early 00’s, it seemed like every bit of the uniform was outlined in black: the helmet logo, the helmet stripe, the pants stripe, and the uniform numbers. But in 2009 they realized this was awful and so reverted back to the more classic look of the 1980’s.
Better. Much, much better.
3. Oakland Raiders
Aug 28, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Denarius Moore (17) celebrates with tackle Menelik Wilson (71) and tight end Jake Murphy (82) and running back Latavius Murray (28) after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders haven’t had a particularly strong team in over a decade – no playoffs since 2002 – which is sad for a uniform that has always threatened to pound opponents into submission.
The black, the silver, the no-nonsense block numbers, and the pirate crest logo all combine to say the football equivalent of “give me your lunch money”.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Dec 29, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Not necessarily one you’d pick out as overly exciting, but the Indianapolis Colts’ uniform is clean, classic, and nearly perfect. It’s definitely one of the more old-school looks in the NFL, but it’s one that doesn’t change because it doesn’t need to. The blue-white combination is excellent and the double stripe design on the shoulder and pants is all you need.
Sometimes it’s best to just not over think it (now if we can just get Andrew Luck to shave the beard).
1. Seattle Seahawks
Aug 15, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Garry Gilliam (79) and quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) celebrate a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the second half at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks beat Chargers 41-14. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
My list heavily favors team with iconic looks — those who have had to make few changes over the years — but one of the few teams who truly nail a modernized look are the Seattle Seahawks.
I think it works so well because the modern elements — the use of “Action Green”, textured helmets, and textured numbers — serve as accents rather than the basis of the entire design. The bright green is a nice complement to the classic-looking navy, giving the uniform some nice pop — especially under the lights in prime time.
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