Best and Worst Uniform Changes of 2011

Holy Tim Tebow-loving Christ, this year just absolutely flew by. I honestly cannot recall a year going by faster than 2011, which is good because a lot of it sucked taint. And while that’s fine for some people (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I can’t wait to get 2012 (and the end of the world!) underway.

One thing we got this year was a metric fuck-ton of uniform changes, across all sports and across both the collegiate and professional levels. As usual, there were good and bad iterations. For some reason Under Armor decided to try and be like Nike and design multiple uniform combinations for a couple of college teams (more on that in a moment) and attempted to make the sports teams look like clown college graduates.

Not unlike the Catholic Church, some of these changes simply didn’t need to be made (Attn: Pope Benedict II: I go to church twice a year maximum, and only after being good ol’ Catholic-guilted into it by my family near Christmas and Easter. Some of the changes you made were insanely out of touch, and really, is it too much to ask that when I return to mass the prayers remain the same? I’m really not going to be interested if I can’t coast through the prayers like normal), some were unnecessary but in good taste, and some were just total abject failures from conception to production.

2011 Uniform FAIL:

The University of Maryland Terrapins this year unleashed the Two-Face-Reminiscent Under Armor monstrosities you see in the banner image. My favorite part of the national reaction to those things being the ugliest uniforms on the planet was the smarmy sports columnists patiently explaining to everyone that the uniforms were Maryland flag-themed, and that they represented the entire state, and so they were acceptable, for FREEDOM®. Yeah, fine, we know they’re flag-themed. Problem is, the Maryland flag is perhaps the ugliest in the country, and basing a football team’s uniform on it might not be the best idea. For anyone.
Thankfully, Under Armor didn’t just follow Nike in the “make shit really loud and obnoxious” department; they also followed Nike into making multiple combinations of jerseys, helmets and pants. And while some of these weren’t as bad as the Terps debut, the awfulness of that uniform hung over the program like a dusty fart, and the team was putrid.

Other poor choices:

No. No, no, no, no, no. No.
Combined with the new paint job on the regular, non-shamrock Notre Dame helmet this year, the Irish were a sartorial disaster. Adidas has done the impossible: taken an iconic uniform look and shit all over it to sell more uniforms. They put extra sparkles in the gold helmet and took all of the gold shimmer out of the pants, so they look like tan pants. Bad taste. Which is just more proof that you shouldn’t trust Germans with ANYTHING.

Why? Why do this to a beautiful, classic, recognizable uniform? Hardly any gold or purple throughout (since the Dawgs decided to go white-jersey-white-pants, which is a look I’ve always hated), including on the helmet. Colorless, lifeless, and flat. Did not like. And for the record, the all-black uniform trend has got to stop. Oregon can pull it off; they were first, and to the victor go the spoils. Deal with it, and stop using all-white or all-black and calling it “creative” or “innovative.” It is neither.

The Best of The Best:

The Washington Wizards finally got their shit together, got a clue, reached back into the past and pulled out a really good look from the days when they were still the Bullets. Got away from the awful teal and gold and black color scheme they’ve been working with, too. This is a winning look.

Liverpool’s third kit is just awesome. Nothing beats the original reds on the Reds, of course, but this nod to the club’s original colours was a masterstroke.

Sorry Oklahoma fans and traditionalists. OSU looked great this year. As a sucker for orange, as well as for the new slate/matte style of paint on college helmets, I’m a huge fan of these looks. There was no shortage of combinations the Cowboys could come up with, and they brought it every week. Extra nice, given their season this year.

Oregon gets a lot of shit from traditionalists because of their loud and sometimes over-the-top uniforms, but come ON. That’s just sexy, and even in a still photo the Ducks look fast. Of course, being that Nike Pro Combat has made Eugene its Guinea Pig for new fabric and designs, next year’s look will be completely different again… and will likely land right back here on this list.

The Buffalo Bills finally got it right. A few years after going to their Canadian Football League Lite uniforms (blue on blue, lots of red piping, red helmets), they turned back the clock and got damn dead sexy with it. Classic look for a historic team (how many teams have employed a Senator AND a murderer? Not many), and will look even better when they leave Western New York for greener, more Canadian pastures in a couple of seasons.

Have some good uniform changes that I missed? Leave yours in the comments. And as always, links are appreciated.

Happy End Of The World Year!

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