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Power Rankings FAQ


Paul here, back in the saddle after a month away. It was good to have a break, but it’s even better to be back.

Day Four of the Uni Watch Power Rankings is now up for your enjoyment (or vitriol, as the case might be). Meanwhile, lots of you have had questions and comments about the Power Rankings, so today I’ve prepared an FAQ-ish entry to address some of the most common queries that have come up this week:

Why did you do a big list? I thought you didn’t like lists.
It’s true that I generally avoid lists and rankings, because I think a list-based approach to, well, anything is too easy, too lazy. But when one of my ESPN editors proposed this project to me, I embraced it right away, because it’s not just any old list — it’s the list, the ur-list. I liked the audaciousness of it, the apples/oranges/kumquats-ness of it. Along the way, I learned a few things, because the project forced me to think about certain aspects of the uni-verse in ways that I hadn’t before.

Is each team’s ranking based on some sort of numerical point total?
No. Although I occasionally wrote that a team “earned bonus points” or “lost points” for this or that, those terms are just colloquialisms. There was no actual points system, no checklist, no mathematical formula, no algorithm. There was just my opinion.

Once you actually sat down to begin the project, how did you do it? Like, did you arrange 122 index cards on a bulletin board or what?
In retrospect, index cards on a board, or maybe Post-its on a wall, would have been a good approach, but I didn’t think of that. Instead, since I knew the project was going to be spread out over the course of five days, I set up a blank chart on my computer — 122 rows by five columns, with each column representing one of the five ranking quintiles (1-25, 26-50, 51-75, 76-100, and 101-122). Then I put every team in one of the five columns, based solely on my gut feeling of which quintile it belonged in. That was my starting point — I wanted to see if the teams ended up roughly evenly distributed across the five columns. For the most part, they did.

Then I began looking at photos to make sure that my gut feelings matched up with reality. This led to reassigning certain teams to a higher or lower quintile, until I was satisfied that each team was in its proper grouping area.

Then I started to arrange the teams within each quintile. Doing the best and the worst seemed easiest, so I did those two quintiles first. Then second-best and second-worst, and then the middle. During all of this, I kept looking at photos, which led to a countless small ranking adjustments. Frankly, I could have kept tweaking the rankings forever, but at some point I had to say, “Okay, that’s it.”

The last step was writing the little comments for each team, which was a shitload of work. As any writer will tell you, writing short is way, way harder than writing long.

Why did you format each segment from top to bottom, instead of putting the worst teams on top?
We thought about doing it that way. In the end, we decided that there was a lot of symbolic value in having the No. 1 team at the very top of the chart and the No. 122 team at the very bottom. So we formatted each individual quintile in ascending order, even though the quintiles themselves are being rolled out in descending order. I agree that it’s an imperfect format; maybe we’ll change it when we update the rankings.

Hey, speaking of updating the rankings, when will that happen?
Next year at this same time, at the latest. And maybe sooner, if events warrant. I confess I’m a bit spooked about this — like, what am I going to write for all the teams that make no uni changes? Hmmm.

Why didn’t you include MLS teams?
Because (a) I’m too soccer-ignorant to write authoritatively about MLS uniforms and (b) like it or not, MLS is not on the same level as the Big Four. I don’t mean that as a knock; it’s just reality.

How could you rank the Edmonton Oilers so low? That’s crazy!
The consensus among readers seems to be that the Oilers, ranked at No. 104, have been my biggest miscall so far. And frankly, upon reflection, I agree — I got very hung up on the fact that their logo (which is the centerpiece of all their jerseys) is badly outdated, but I probably overreacted to that. I still think they have some aesthetic issues to address, but they deserved to be ranked higher.

How could you rank [some team] so low, and [some other team] so high? That’s crazy!
I’m sure persuasive arguments could be made for revising certain teams’ rankings. Aside from the Oilers, though, I’m pretty comfortable with where everyone landed.

Why did you rank the Nets based on their New Jersey uniforms?
There was no other choice. As of today, that’s still their uni set. I’ve seen the new uniforms that’ll be unveiled in September, but (a) I’m not allowed to discuss them until the unveiling, and (b) I only saw them once and don’t remember enough details to fully evaluate them. This was just an unfortunate but unavoidable case of bad timing.

This whole thing is bogus, because you’re biased against some things (purple, BFBS, etc.) and biased in favor of other things (old-school design, green, etc.). You can’t have legitimacy with bias!
This is basically an argument against the whole notion of aesthetic criticism. Every music critic has a baseline set of standards, likes, and dislikes; every restaurant critic has a baseline set of standards, likes, and dislikes; and so on (and I should know, because I’ve worked as a music critic and a restaurant critic). The point is not whether I have certain aesthetic predispositions or tastes; the point is how I harness and articulate those tastes in the pursuit of my work.

Now, if you don’t like the whole idea of aesthetic criticism, then the Uni Watch Power Rankings aren’t for you (and neither is Uni Watch itself). And that’s fine. But it also means you’re rejecting the entire world of aesthetic critique. That’s fine too, but it means you and I are living on different planets, so maybe we shouldn’t have lunch.

As for the term “legitimacy,” I honestly don’t know what that means for a situation like this. The Power Rankings are no more (or less) “legitimate” than anything else I’ve ever written. Everyone is free to embrace them or dismiss them (or, most likely, something in between those two poles), just like anything else I write.

Your rankings are so predictable. Everyone knows you like [whatever] and don’t like [whatever]. Where’s the element of surprise?
No offense, but my job here is not to surprise anyone. My job is to offer my honest assessments. If you’ve followed my work long enough to have a sense of my tastes, that’s flattering — thanks. But you’re basically accusing me of being consistent (which is also flattering, actually, so thanks again).

Keep in mind, incidentally, that the Power Rankings are also being read by lots of people who’ve never even heard of Uni Watch before this week. So for them, there are plenty of surprises.

The term “Power Rankings” implies the use of objective criteria, like the criteria used for’s MLB Power Rankings, NFL Power Rankings, etc. How can you call it “Power Rankings” if it’s based on one person’s subjective opinions?
We used the term “Power Rankings” because (a) it already has currency with readers and (b) it’s fun. Obviously, a uniform doesn’t have any “power,” so our use of the term “Power Rankings” admittedly entails a bit of creative license. If you think this somehow ruins or compromises the project, that’s certainly your prerogative.

For what it’s worth, I think the more “objective” power rankings lists are pretty silly too. Which team is the most “powerful”? The one that wins the last game of the season.

Are you aware that Dave Dameshek at ripped off your idea? How can he get away with that?!
I heard this from a lot of people. The timing was certainly suspicious: Dameshek’s rankings went live last Friday afternoon; mine went live the following Monday morning.

My first reaction, as I posted in the comments a few days ago, was, “Eh, whatever. The concept of ranking all 122 uniform sets isn’t proprietary or exclusive. Dameshek’s free to do it, and so is anyone else.” (Frankly, the bigger surprise is that nobody had ever done it before.)

I’ve since been told by people who listen to Dameshek’s podcast (which I’ve never heard myself) that he announced his project back in July. So the fact that two such similar projects rolled out at almost the same moment appears to be a genuine coincidence. Or in the words of reader Dave Gilmore, who says he’s a fan of both Uni Watch and Dameshek, “I believe this is an Armageddon/Deep Impact situation.”

(Incidentally, several of Dameshek’s readers have accused me of ripping off his idea. A few of these people have peppered their emails with comments like “Leave this stuff to the professionals” and “You wish you had his job.” Uh, right.)

That’s about it, at least from my end. Do you have additional questions that I didn’t address? Feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond. Also, I’ll be doing a live web chat on ESPN tomorrow at 3pm Eastern.

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Duck Season: Oregon’s uni unveiling yesterday pretty much confirmed what we already knew, so no biggie either way. Personally, I always liked the winged jerseys from the past few years (and I said so right from the start), but I don’t care for this feathered-shoulder design at all — looks way too cartoon-ish to me and feels like overkill. Disappointing.

Looking forward to seeing how many helmets they end up rolling out. Until then, though, yesterday’s announcement was dog bites man.

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Membership update: A new batch of cards has been added to the membership card gallery (including Seth Wiley’s handsome Kansas basketball treatment, shown at right). The printed/laminated versions of these cards should mail out either tomorrow or Monday. My thanks to everyone for their patience as we caught up with the flood of “Get in before the price hike” orders.

As always, you can get your own membership card by signing up here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Ah, back to the Ticker after a month away from it. Where shall we start? How about this: College football logos are now available on Pop-Tarts (from Dave Wilson). ”¦ High school football zebras in Oregon can use blue penalty flags — to promote prostate cancer awareness, of course — for games in mid-September (from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ A kindergartner in Oklahoma was forced by his principal to turn his Michigan shirt inside-out (rare non-hockey contribution from John Muir). ”¦ Bit of a tiff over the city logo in Steubenville, Ohio, which is facing a legal challenge because it contains Christian symbology (from Yancy Yeater). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: More on the video-game leak of the Knicks’ new uniforms here. … And while we’re at it, here’s a video leak of the Nets’ new uni. That’s pretty close to what I recall being shown at the NBA offices last winter. … Sex columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage and marriage equality opponent Brian Brown squared off last week in a dinner table debate on the subject of gay marriage. The uni-notable aspect of this is that Savage chose to wear a T-shirt featuring a football helmet with a unicorn logo for the occasion. You can see video of the whole debate here. … The Memphis Redbirds will uniforms honoring a local children’s hospital this Saturday (from Kevin Eckhoff). … Louisiana-Lafayette football will wear a memorial decal showing a girl riding her bicycle, in memory of a student who was murdered back in May. She was last seen riding off on her bike (from Jarrad Tauzin). … NFL headset technology is making the leap from analog to digital (from Jarrod Leder). ”¦ The Seahawks will wear white over gray tomorrow. The gray still just looks like it needs a laundering to me (from Jerry Gardner, Jr.). ”¦ Rangers starter Derek Holland, who’s usually a pajamist, wore (backwards) stirrups last night. ”¦ Speaking of the Rangers, remember those horrific two-tone helmets they briefly considered wearing? They apparently saved them, because now they’re showing up at youth camps (from Nolan Brett). ”¦ The Phils and Reds wore throwbacks last night. ”¦ Ian Stewart designed his own “I Still Call It Pac Bell” T-shirt (and, as you can see, is a card-carrying member of Uni Watch). ”¦ Hmmm, not bad for the first day back. It’s like riding a bike.

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I’ve said it a few times already but it bears repeating: Doubleplusthanks to Phil and all his contributors for their great work over the past month. And Phil has asked me to thank all of you who had kind words for him in the comments yesterday. Uni Watch: It’s one big lovefest (at least until the next debate over gray facemasks).

286 comments to Power Rankings FAQ

  • Sonny | August 23, 2012 at 7:51 am |

    Reds/Phillies looked fantastic. That is one pullover that could still be worn today.

    • boxcarvibe | August 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |

      Besides the jerseys fitting too loose, they did look good. Too bad the Phillies couldn’t wear maroon cleats. Majestic nailed the Reds pullover, but they can’t get the 70’s era Detroit pullover right.

    • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am |

      Man, if the Phillies looked like this today, I would be unable to sustain my Nats-fan hatred of them. They’d be my second-favorite team in the NL on the basis of uniform alone.

      That uni is right up there with legalized homebrewing among the best things to come out of the 1970s.

      • ChrisH | August 23, 2012 at 11:52 am |

        Conversely, my disgust for the Nats would diminish if they wore something resembling this today:

        I prefer the Phillies’ current home day games alt over the pinstripes; those Lefty/Schmitty-era threads are almost as over-rated as the ball-and-glove Brewers.

        • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

          But the Nats do wear something resembling that today! They even put the number in the same place (which apparently earned them severe demerits from Paul on the 2012 UPR). The current Nats home uni is essentially an amalgam of the forms that defined the 1901-1958 Senators and the forms that defined the 1969-1991 Expos.

          But I agree that the Nats would improve if they swapped the headspoon for a red/navy racing stripe, and slapped navy pinwheel-style side panels on their caps, both to be even more Exposesque.

      • Rob | August 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

        Agreed… 1980s uniforms as so much more interesting than the blandness that permeates the MLB landscape today. The NHL seems to have figured out that the 1990s/2000s didn’t really work out, and teams are going back to their older looks (Flyers, Canucks, Caps 3rd, etc.)

      • Le Cracquere | August 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

        Death to the Seventies, sez I! There’s one look, and only one, that’d be an improvement over the Phillies’ current duds:

      • Le Cracquere | August 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

        And speaking of the Nationals, I’ll love them forever if they adopt this, the greatest uniform ever worn in D.C.:

        Lose the alternate, of course. And replace “Senators” on the jersey with the large script “W” at home, and a script “Washington” for the road jersey. The last look they’ll ever need!

    • walter | August 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |

      The Phils would jump up several rungs in my pantheon if they returned to those uniforms. Their current suits look as if the words and numbers were rendered with a red Sharpie.

    • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

      I’d prefer this with this done to it. If you’re going to have a white wishbone-C on a home jersey, make the uni cream colored so it’ll pop.

      That white outline trim was a late addition to that road pullover.

  • Joe O | August 23, 2012 at 7:52 am |

    Welcome back Paul! I’ve enjoyed the rankings thus far. I’m worried that my Dolphins’ new sweat boxes are going to cause them to plummet however.

  • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 7:58 am |

    If the Oilers are your biggest oversight, the Dallas Cowboys are number 2. I just realized that they haven’t been mentioned yet, meaning they’re in the top 50. That’s far too high for a team that can’t seem to figure out what their colors actually are. The helmet is silver-blue (or silver-green, whatever they’re calling it) and navy, but their white uniform features royal blue numbers and royal blue pant striping & socks. Then, you’ve got the navy jersey, worn with silver pants that also fail to match the helmet. That uniform is a mismatched mess, and is totally not worthy of being ranked so high, regardless of how “classic” or “iconic” the helmet itself may be.

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 8:08 am |

      yeah, i seem to recall something PL wrote on the ‘boys a while back

      • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |

        Damn, I forgot about that article… so, yeah. Paul, you got some ‘splainin to do.

        • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 8:20 am |

          They wear the white jersey and blue-ish pants 90% of the time, and I like that uniform a lot, even with its slight color mismatches. They weren’t ranked solely on the basis of that uniform — the blue jersey is still part of their set — but their basic look, the one we all see for most of their games, works fine for me.

    • Ry Co 40 | August 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |

      nah, i still say the biggest oversight is the penguins. they should at least be a spot behind the sneators (which sit at 99 i believe). that uni set as a whole is just terrible.

      also, runner-up-oversight: the ducks. not sure exactly where they sit right now, but if they’re not in the bottom 5, then they’re out of place.

      *these thoughts are not a knock on you or your work paul. it’s a great list and really enjoyable to follow, natch!

    • Oakville Endive/Celery Root | August 23, 2012 at 9:44 am |

      The Cowboys white uniform also has the oddity of black outlining on the side blue stripes, I believe the only part of the Cowboys uniform that has black in it, it’s minalist black for minalist black sake.

      • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 9:59 am |

        That too.

        The uniform worn by Roger Staubach might be worthy of that 30th position Paul put them in, but the uniform worn by Tony Romo really isn’t.

    • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 11:17 am |

      I agree….too high for all that mismatched blue. But, whatevs…the world will keep spinning!

      • Connie | August 23, 2012 at 11:40 am |

        Fresh from the awesome experience of moving six hominids and their nine tons of junk from NYC to DC, I would just like to say by way of re-entry that I think Paul’s Power Rankings constitute a terrific tour de force. Each paragraph is observant, concise, droll and — here’s the beauty part — different from any other. Love it.

        So Paul, why don’t you grab an Amtrak and let your Nat-crazed UniWatch DC team hold a party for you?

        • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

          Hear hear! Or better yet, here, here! Here in DC, that is.

    • BK | August 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm |

      The mismatched blues and silvers on the Cowboys uniforms have always irritated me, and until the colors on their uniforms become more, well, uniform, I will consider Dallas’ among the worst in the league, just above the Bengals, Vikings, and Seahawks. I have heard it said, though I don’t know that it has ever been confirmed, that Jerry Jones has been approached by uniform makers and also by several members of the Cowboys organization about changing the uniforms to navy and silver since those are the official colors of the Cowboys. Each time Jones has declined because he doesn’t see any need to change-Jerry Jones is colorblind.

  • daveclt | August 23, 2012 at 8:27 am |

    It’s naive to think the dual roll out of power rankings was a genuine coincidence, especially when you claim they have never ever been done before.

    The most logical explanation is that someone (editor/VP/office assistant/anyone) at ESPN or got wind of the other’s idea (probably back in July), and then pitched it to their own powers-that-be.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 8:34 am |

      “Back and to the left…”

      • boxcarvibe | August 23, 2012 at 9:57 am |


      • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |

        My favorite reply to folks waxing on about a conspiracy!

    • Craig D | August 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |

      I don’t put a lot of stock in the conspiracy angle. Uni watching is bigger than ever these days. How else can you explain the deluge of throwbacks, pro combat, cancer awareness, camo madness, etc. unis that pop up literally every week? I think if anything, the need for these lists may be a cry for some level of uni stability. We see so many variations that a team’s “normal” uni is getting lost in the shuffle. Uni watching is not exclusive to the fine people of this blog, but has grown and spread throughout the land. Paul is a pioneer, but he is no longer the sole town cryer of all things uni.

    • Dane | August 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |

      In Mr. Dameshek’s defense, he first started talking about doing this over 3 years ago, but never stuck around with one employer long enough to get it going. I did enjoy his Best and Worst Jersey by City podcasts – interesting twist on rankings.

    • daveclt | August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

      I’m not claiming this is a conspiracy. And I’m not claiming anyone was hiding in a closet spying on anyone. I’m just saying it’s the nature of the media business to know what your competition is up to. And that knowledge led to both rankings coming out within days of each other.

      Knowing that one of Paul’s ESPN editors proposed the idea to him sometime before 8/7, and the rankings rolled out a short time later (8/20), that makes me believe had their date first, and ESPN rushed to get their’s done around the same time. Of course, it could be the other way around.

      Note, I’m not saying anyone stole the idea. Because the idea is not groundbreaking. I’m just saying the closeness of the roll out dates is due to one side knowing about the other.

    • Pat | August 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

      While we are talking conspiracies and Dameshek…I for one have not nor do intend to read his uni rankings, but he does these videos on called the N”if”L. Very entertaining and conspiracy theorists are always operating in the “if” paradigm. Here are couple of them.
      I recommend the Elway staying with Colts and the Luck coming out in 2011 ones.

  • Chris LaHaye | August 23, 2012 at 8:30 am |

    glad to have you back Paul, especially on my 41st birthday.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 8:34 am |

      Happy bday, Chris — hope you get everything you wish for when you blow out the candles!

    • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |

      I’m starting to think the Seahawks unis wouldn’t be so über-awful if they’d just have a normal pants stripe, not that thing they have with the repeating 1970s-airline logo. (The logo actually looks to me like something else, but I won’t say what…)

      I actually liked their previous uni set, in fact I really liked the jerseys and the color scheme, and like the rest of us thought they really blew it by always going with the unsightly blue-over-blue monochrome look instead of the infinitely superior blue-over-white, which I think they only wore a couple of times in preseason. (White-over-blue was also a good look for them.)

      I sort of get what’s going on with their new unis, and the shoulder treatment is interesting, but I don’t get the airline-logo thing on the pants stripes.

    • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 9:42 am |

      Sorry; don’t know how this comment ended up here. Meant to post at the bottom. Will try again.

      BTW, happy birthday. I’m still not over being 40, let alone 41, with 42 coming up in a couple of months. Enjoy.

  • Tony C. | August 23, 2012 at 8:51 am |

    i like the Seahawks white over grey look

    • NickV | August 23, 2012 at 8:18 pm |

      The Seahawks new uniforms and color choices are absolutely worse than their previous uniforms. The new shade of Blue is much less good looking than the last, and the stripes, numerals and trimmings are total disasters.

      The Seahawks have had essentially four different uniforms, and this current uniform is by far the worst.

      The new Nike uniforms are all wose than those worn last year, particularly with the lower chest numerals on most teams’ jerseysto make room for the clutter on the neck and chests of each player. The Dracula collars on many teams are needless additions that in many cases destroy the upper lines of the jerseys. I still say that the “Count Floyd from SCTV” collar points are solely there to promote Nike’s pointe end of their “Swoosh” — Douchebaggerry at it’s apex.

      The Seahawks new uniforms are horrible. With Nike driving this, I expect ALL future uniform changes to also be for the worse.

  • Jon | August 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |

    Have you or your editors considered a summary column once all of the rankings are revealed? I know someone mentioned in the comments yeaterday averaging the scores by league, how about a formula to see which city has the best/worst dressed teams?

    • Bernard | August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |

      It’s been done, though not for quite a while, so it’s probably due for an update.

  • Coleman | August 23, 2012 at 8:59 am |

    I don’t know if someone broke this yet, but Man City just released their new 3rd shirt…

    • andyharry | August 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |

      That looks very nice.

    • George Chilvers | August 23, 2012 at 10:07 am |

      “The black colourway is inspired by kits worn by St. Mark’s (West Gorton) in the 1880s “.

      What? You mean this one – from Historical Kits?

      If you want to have a black and carbon design then fine. But don’t try and pretend you’ve gone back into the club’s history to resurrect something that only uniwatchers and aficionados of kits even realised they wore.

      • Coleman | August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |

        Agreed. Black for a 3rd kit is probably the only acceptable use of “BFBS” in sports, no need to make up an excuse.

        I like the shirt though. That Man City blue goes great with the gray, or carbon or whatever they called it.

      • Shane | August 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |

        Nike gets what Nike wants (even through Umbro).

        The Manchester United shirts from three years ago were supposed to be based on the 1909 FA Cup final shirt. White with a red V. What’d we get? Red with a black V and black with a blue V.

  • Paul Stave | August 23, 2012 at 9:00 am |

    The Seahawks, sadly, have become the Nikegon Ducks of the NFL. For those hating the monochrome look, I dont think they will disappoint, since they now have a million and six different combinations, and I am sure they will try them all. If the NFL ever allows alt helmets, the Hawks will no doubt be the driver that makes it possible. How I hate the Nike Knights of Eugene. Time for sanctions, and to put them back in their rightful place of NCAA bottom feeders, as they were up thru the 80s. They suck

    • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |

      The Seahawks don’t have any more combinations now than the Titans had a few seasons ago.

    • Glen | August 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

      Nine (including the NFL-restricted alternate) combinations are possible, not the “million six” you claim. Nine.

      The linemen have been lobbying for the darker pants (they say it is more slimming–true story), so it is very likely the Seahawks will only wear the blue or gray pants most of the time.

      • Seth | August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

        The grey pants might actually not look so bad with the blue jerseys. At least there would be some contrast in that case, plus the pants stripe is blue instead of that horrendous neon green.

  • Mirliton | August 23, 2012 at 9:05 am |

    What a wonderful thing Louisiana-Lafayette is doing.

    • James A | August 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

      Agreed! Heaven forbid that something ended up on a helmet that isn’t meant to appease a corporation, boosters, or potential recruits. The fact that the logo is unique and tasteful to her memory simply makes it that much better.

  • Andy | August 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |

    Welcome back Paul! That Nets jersey is so dull. Do they still have time to scrap it and create something like that Chinese knock-off?

  • Brade | August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |

    I enjoy the rankings so far. You definitely know how to nitpick correctly. My only issue remains your hatred of purple — it’s the only thing that strikes me as irrational about your whole process.

    The true test will be where the Lakers end up on your list — while I’m not an L.A. fan, those unis really are top 10 material. And I’ve liked other purple teams such as the Suns and the Rockies. Sacramento deserves scorn because of their frequent and pointless updates and font problems. But last place? I dunno.

    But it’s hard to pick a worst these days, because we’re in an age of minimalism. So I’m inclined to choose a team that had something great and blew it. That’s why I’d probably stick the Padres in last place — bring back the brown and gold! (Also I utterly hate just about all of the NFL Nike designs, so those would probably make up the bulk of my bottom feeders.)

    • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |

      My alma mater’s colors are purple and gold, so I don’t hate purple. But I’m not sure Paul’s been that irrational so far. Sacramento isn’t last-place bad to me, but they are far from great. The Suns? Just a bad color choice for that nickname, and the gray seems a bit dumb. And the Rockies have all but eliminated purple from their color scheme, except for the occasional softball top. I don’t like their uniforms because they are so boring, and purple and black is just not a good combo anyway (which again makes Sacramento look bad).

      I personally think purple is best suited to be paired with a light color such as gold or white, or it doesn’t need to be on a uniform. Obviously the Lakers fit that criteria and are going to be ranked higher than the aforementioned teams. And something tells me Paul wouldn’t have the Vikings so low if they were still wearing their classic unis. Then again, he’s a Packers fan if I recall, so there may be some bias there!

      All in all, I’m enjoying the rankings as well. And Brade, I agree about the Padres! It sounds crazy, but the Big 4 need more brown!

  • Ryan | August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |

    What’s with the truncated stripes on the Knicks jerseys? It’s nice they eliminated the black, though.

    • Dirk N. | August 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

      RIGHT? It would be a wicked sharp set if they just surrounded the armholes.

  • Danya | August 23, 2012 at 9:14 am |

    Paul, I totally get what you’re saying about the fact that no criticism can come without bias. But that being said, I do think some of your precepts go a little beyond what should be expected from a reviewer, be it of the arts, sports or whatever. Subtle differences between what makes something effective, cohesive, pleasing etc. is one thing; “I hate purple” is another. You don’t see end-of-year best album lists, in any reputable blog or publication anyway, where the reviewer writes “just so you know, I hate R&B, so there’s definitely not going to be any of that on here.”

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |

      You don’t see end-of-year best album lists, in any reputable blog or publication anyway, where the reviewer writes “just so you know, I hate R&B, so there’s definitely not going to be any of that on here.”

      No, you don’t. And do you know why? Because most critics aren’t as upfront about their predispositions as I am. But believe me, every critic has his/her own biases.

      I’m not sure what you’re asking of me. Should I somehow make myself like purple, or really hate green? My tastes and preferences are my tastes and preferences — they’re genuine and sincere. And my work reflects that accordingly. If you think my tastes and preferences make my work disreputable in some way, well, I can’t control what you think, just like I can’t control how I feel about purple and green.

      • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 10:04 am |

        There is a legitimate complaint here. Yes, most critics have their personal biases along the lines of “I don’t like purple.” But criticism is not fundamentally a matter of judging the world against one’s personal tastes. It is most fundamentally a search for and application of standards of quality or excellence that can be applied objectively, or at least in a way that transcends the most subjective aspects of mere personal preference.

        Simply put, “I don’t like purple” is a form of saying “This looks pretty to me.” Which is fine! But it’s not criticism. I don’t need anyone else to tell me what he thinks looks pretty. I can look at it myself and decide whether it looks pretty.

        A critic may very well dislike purple, but a critic looks beyond mere personal preference to discern whether the thing is good, and why it is or is not. Criticism is, “I don’t like purple, but setting that aside, these uniforms are/aren’t well designed because …”

        In reading your writing, I see you wearing both the hat of the personal observer (“purple, bah!”) and the critic (“well-designed unis, even with the purple”) at different times. Which, again, is great! But in your defense of expressing your own biases, I wish you’d make a clearer delineation between the types of writing you do. In eliding the difference between personal expression and criticism, you wind up suggesting that you don’t actually differentiate between personal opinionating and criticism. I think this is a false suggestion, and tends to devalue your own work as a writer and a critic.

        • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 10:09 am |

          But – but! – I agree 100% that the critic who clearly states his own personal aesthetic preferences is much more to be trusted than the critic who pretends not to have them. The former is much more likely to succeed in transcending his biases than the latter. One has only to look at film reviews to find numerous examples both of writers who are mere reviewers, not critics, because they simply tell you if they liked the movie; and of writers who pose as critics but fail and offer mere reviews precisely because they pretend not to be have personal aesthetic biases to overcome.

        • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 10:10 am |

          criticism is not fundamentally a matter of judging the world against one’s personal tastes. It is most fundamentally a search for and application of standards of quality or excellence that can be applied objectively.

          Yeah. But for me, purple is an objective measure of poor quality. I honestly think the design world would be better without it.

          Does that make me an irrational critic? Does it call all of my work into question? Maybe yes and yes. I can live with that. But I can’t change what I think, because what I think is what I think.

        • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |

          The most famous purple team of them all is a Top 25?!

          It’s Paul’s list and he can do what he wishes with it. But to me, the Buccaneers look always reeked of being a 49ers rip-off with a darker shade of gold & and miniscule orange trim. The 49ers changed to cardinal red, Metallic Gold & black in 1996 (sometimes deemed “the perfect tweak”; whom I always felt was completely unnecessary since Day 1) with hints in 1994. Then the Bucs drop the Creamsicle in 1997. With the return of 49ers gold pants, they basically look the same. There are shade differences of course but basically a metallics gold helmet with red logo outline in black; red jersey & gold pants with lots of stripes. I wonder if this was intentional or completely a coincidence. I also happen to find the Bucs wordmarks cheesy & logos generic. But better than the SF Giants or Blackhawks? This grows on me every single year. A great shot in the arm of color & perfect for Florida football.

          The Eagles at #28? I cannot fathom that.

  • Lose Rem | August 23, 2012 at 9:15 am |

    Nice work by the Wheeling paper to cover the Steubenville controversy and manage NOT to show a picture of the logo in question.

  • Justin H. | August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |

    I was pleasantly surprised to see my Titans ranked as high as they were considering the disaster that is the white helmet over light blue jersey over navy pants look. it still pains me to see that at home games. Oh how I wish they’d bring back the navy as primary.
    Good work Paul and all those who helped with the project.
    as far as gray facemasks, if it’s not part of the team’s color scheme, it shouldn’t happen.
    Yes: Raiders, Cowboys, Kansas State
    No: USC, Colts, Browns

  • Danya | August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |

    Does anyone else find “I still call it Pac Bell” to be really stupid? Pac Bell was a corporate name itself! Have we really sunk so low that while we once were disgusted by any corporate name at all, we now say “well, corporate names are okay…but where I draw the line is at CORPORATE NAMES THAT DON’T ROLL OFF THE TONGUE”?

    PS I’m a diehard Giants fan, I’ve gone to the park many times under all three names.

    • Tom Nawrocki | August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |

      Plus, that’s not the real Ian Stewart.

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        I was wondering why a current Cub/former Rocky would be showing off so much Giants-related stuff.

        (Nice-looking shirt, by the way.)

    • Craig D | August 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |

      I was sensing irony at work with that t-shirt.

    • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |

      I admit that saying “Pac Bell Park” was more fun to say than the others. I usually still call it that on the rare occasion I mention that stadium (my favorite in the majors, btw). Has nothing to do with who or what owns the naming rights.

    • Mark K | August 23, 2012 at 9:50 am |

      Or maybe that’s what he still calls it.

    • Le Cracquere | August 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

      Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium, Turner Field, and Gillette Stadium are all corporate names, and they don’t bug me. I don’t think it’s just because we’re used to Wrigley and Busch, either.

      I don’t think it stupid to have a particular aesthetic problem with corporate names that are a meaningless string of initials, or some non-English portmanteau like “Invesco” or “Qualcomm.” Not only are they clumsy, something about them always reminds me of Orwellian or Soviet coinages: NewSpeak, MinLuv, Komsomol, GUM. Such names strike one as technocratic and inhuman in a way directly opposed to the spirit of baseball (though I’m not so sure about football).

      • apk3000 | August 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

        Maybe because we just don’t like stadium renaming in general? Heck, I still call it Enron Field.

    • Ian Stewart | August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

      Hey, this is Ian — I made that shirt. Two things: No, I don’t play for the Cubs, but I wish that guy played for the Giants, just for the jersey potential personally. No. 2: I meant it to be sort of ironic. Actually I wanted to do “I still call it The ‘Stick,” but that was a different stadium entirely, so it just didn’t really work. Anyway, Pac Bell is definitely a corporate name, and I thought it was funny that people still kind of “pine” for the good-ole-days of THAT corporate name, rather than SBCGlobalPark or AT&T Park. (That being said, I really do still call it Pac Bell).

  • Tom Nawrocki | August 23, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    Calling the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a “local children’s hospital” is like calling the Mayo Clinic a local Minnesota hospital.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |

      I’m not familiar with St. Jude’s status in the world of children’s hospitals — apologies.

    • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 9:47 am |

      I’d say it’s more like calling Mayo a “Rochester-area hospital,” but yeah. On the other hand, unless one is a medical professional or has had a very sick child in the family, this is the kind of thing a person probably doesn’t know. I mean, heck, growing up in Minnesota, I did think of Mayo as a local hospital!

  • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |

    Paul – as others have said, glad to have you back, though Phil did a fine job manning the shop while you were away. One question for you: now that you have taken the time to compile this list, is it possible we will get any others in the future? I know the options are limited, but I guess specifically I’m thinking of college teams. I realize you are more of a pro-sports fan, but with college football season about to start it led me to wonder what a list of all 125 or so FBS teams might look like.

    No biggie if it isn’t something you’re interested in doing, as I’m sure others have put together their own lists. Just hadn’t seen anybody else ask before now.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 9:40 am |

      Doing a ranking of FBS uniforms would be problematic on several levels:

      1) The teams now change uniforms so often that a given uni set often doesn’t exist long enough to assess it in any meaningful way. If a team has four helmets but wears one of them only once, how do you factor that in? Etc.

      2) There are many FBS teams that I’ve never seen play on TV, esp. teams from the MAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA. I wouldn’t want to judge teams strictly on the basis of photographs. (In the case of the Power Rankings, of course, I’ve seen every pro team on TV plenty of times.)

      • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |

        Points taken. Thanks for the response.

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      while we didn’t rank them, me and the mothervilker did grade the FBS unis (a couple times, i think) — maybe i can convince him to take on a ranking project with me since he’s free of 5 & 1 duties…

      or maybe not

      • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |

        Come on Phil, you expect me to remember something a year old? I can’t remember what I had for breakfast! :)

        I do remember that column though – thanks for linking it. As Paul stated, I realize ranking all the different uniforms and combinations isn’t easy. I DO enjoy lists though, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s just human nature to want to rank things.

        Wonder how hard it would be to set up a 1 through 100whatever list of FBS schools, and allow the readers to interactively rank everyone? Is that something that could even be done? My experience with polls is, shall we say, limited (hey-o!).

      • Jim Vilk | August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

        or maybe not

        Go with that last thought, Phil.

  • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Mark K | August 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |

      I love how espn uses the Knicks logo with black right next to your write-up explaining how they’ve gotten rid of it.

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 9:52 am |

      ok…penguins ahead of blackhawks?

      i did NOT see that one coming

      • Kyle Schroeck | August 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |

        Agreed LI Phil. And I bleed Black and Vegas/ Athletic Gold. The Hawks white sweater is the best shirt in hockey. The red is blech, and that’s the one the home fans get to see.

      • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 11:25 am |

        Red jersey is much beloved by Hawks fans….I’m a fan of wearing your colors at home and washed out/look like everyone else on the road. In my fairly large friendly circle of Hawks fans, I don’t think more than 10% of them prefer white over red.

        • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 11:30 am |

          Clearly you’re hanging out with a bad crowd.

        • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 11:51 am |

          Um, just 20k or so of my best friends over on Madison….

        • James A | August 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

          The ranking of the Blackhawks surprised me as well. I think it’s a classic look that I expected to be higher. I was surprised to see that Paul, like me, prefers Chicago’s white jersey more. It’s not just Blackhawks fans that like the red jersey better. I see that opinion from a lot of hockey fans. I’ve always felt in the minority for liking the white unis more. At least I know that minority is one louder.

    • Winter | August 23, 2012 at 10:04 am |

      Once again, a stellar job, Paul.

    • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 10:28 am |

      Today we start to see the first members of the Top 32, which forms a sort of uni super-league. And 26-32 are looking good. Bodes well for the rest of the Top 32. Not necessarily the best-of list I’d have made, but solid choices and an interesting, varied cohort. Anxiously awaiting tomorrow’s finale!

    • Coleman | August 23, 2012 at 10:43 am |

      Gotta love the Bucco’s uniforms. Grew up going to Pirates games and there’s just something about that “P”. For some reason I’ve always thought it looked like a sword, something a pirate would actually use, with the points of the rounded part of the P resembling a kind of “brass knuckles” hand guard or something. Anyone else see what I’m saying?

      Anywho, loving the list, and I can’t wait for the final installment tomorrow. The goddamn Yankees better not be in the top 5!

    • Jim Vilk | August 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

      The Pirates belong in this part of the list. Not because of the black alt, which I like, but because of the number font. It looks great on the letters, but that’s it. Change that and you have a Top 5 or 10 uni.

      Welcome back, Pau…wait a minute…the Chiefs are rated how low?? I take that back…go away for a few more days.

      The Chiefs are the best-looking team in the NFL, as long as they wear the red pants on the road. Even when they don’t, they’re easily a Top 25er.

      Fine, I’ll say it anyway. Welcome back, Paul.

      • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

        What I don’t get is Paul doesn’t really like red, yet he prefers the Chiefs in red pants when this looks astoundingly better. Red & Athletic Gold is a vastly underused scheme & it really stands out on the white pants.

        why an increasing number of Uni Watch readers have recently been clamoring for them to get a makeover.

        Inebriated radicals; each & every one of them. I think why the Chiefs are a target is because nothing about their look is “sexy” and they haven’t won anything since the 1960s. The Chiefs kinda remind me of the Bears in general, actually.

        • quiet seattle | August 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

          Yeah, the Chiefs white on white is such a great look.

      • Mark in Shiga | August 24, 2012 at 9:51 am |

        I don’t mind the rest of the number font, but the “7” just looks so awful. Rounding both of the top corners makes it look like a 2 with the bottom cut off. It’s ridiculous.

    • Terry Proctor | August 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

      Glad to see that my beloved Maple Leafs and Blue Jays made your “Top 25” list. My only complaint with the Blue & White is the sadly-dated 1970s stylized Maple Leaf, or as it’s derisively called “The Ballard Leaf.” Leafs’ broadcaster Joe Bowen pointed out years ago that the Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup without the city name “TORONTO” being in either a reverse arch (1931-32) or a regular arch (all the rest). And to some of us older fans Pal Hal’s buzz-cut leaf is a sad reminder of all of his years of meddling mismanagement.

      The Leafs should immediately install the 1963-67 outlined Leaf as their primary logo. And the White version of that sweater is as outstanding as any other “Original Six” White sweater. I heartily second your decision to make White the color of home sweaters in the NHL. Go LEAFS Go!

  • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 9:44 am |

    [Re-posting from accidental reply above…]

    I’m starting to think the Seahawks unis wouldn’t be so über-awful if they’d just have a normal pants stripe, not that thing they have with the repeating 1970s-airline logo. (The logo actually looks to me like something else, but I won’t say what…)

    I actually liked their previous uni set, in fact I really liked the jerseys and the color scheme, and like the rest of us thought they really blew it by always going with the unsightly blue-over-blue monochrome look instead of the infinitely superior blue-over-white, which I think they only wore a couple of times in preseason. (White-over-blue was also a good look for them.)

    I sort of get what’s going on with their new unis, and the shoulder treatment is interesting, but I don’t get the airline-logo thing on the pants stripes.

    • Glen | August 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

      The “1970s airline logo” is actually a direct Pacific Northwest region-inspired design piece from the indiginous Salish people.

      That is the best part of the entire uniform. It actually brings the Salish-inspired logo together with the jersey instead of just giving the Seahawks another generic jersey in a different color.

      • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

        Uhh…. OK, I’ll take your word for it, even though I don’t see anything that looks like it on that page. Its origin or regional connection still doesn’t make a strip of 12 of them look good as a pants stripe.

    • NickV | August 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

      The Seahawks new uniforms and color choices are absolutely worse than their previous uniforms. The new shade of Blue is much less good looking than the last, and the stripes, numerals and trimmings are total disasters.

      The Seahawks could have kept last years’ uniforms, and added Grey pants, or, wore White pants with Blue tops, or vice versa. Instead, the took 20 steps backwards with these new Nike = Arena League Seven disasters

      The Seahawks have had essentially four different uniforms, and this current uniform is by far the worst.

      The new Nike uniforms are all wose than those worn last year, particularly with the lower chest numerals on most teams’ jerseys to make room for the clutter on the neck and chests of each player. The “Dracula” collars on many teams are needless additions that in many cases destroy the upper lines of the jerseys. I still say that the “Count Floyd from SCTV” collar points are solely there to promote Nike’s pointe end of their “Swoosh” — Douchebaggerry at it’s apex.

      The Seahawks new uniforms are horrible. With Nike driving this, I expect ALL future uniform changes in the NFL to also be for the worse.

  • Oakville Endive/Celery Root | August 23, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    Wow – Chicago Blackhawks – only 49th – I would have thought top 25 for sure. Toronto may be the biggest North American wasteland, but in terms of uniforms , two in the top 25, now that’s something to celebrate.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 9:53 am |

      Like I wrote, the Blackhawks’ red uni has always been problematic for me, even when I was a little kid. Just doesn’t work for me like the white jersey does.

    • ClubMedSux | August 23, 2012 at 10:23 am |

      When it comes to beer evaluation (and I’m sure the same is true of other types of sensory evaluation), some people have higher or lower thresholds for certain faults. I was once judging a homebrew competition with two other judges, and while two of us found one beer to have an absolutely disgusting flaw, the third judge (generally a very knowledgeable judge) didn’t notice it at all. Turns out his palate essentially had a blind spot for the off-flavor the third judge and I were both picking up.

      I can only imagine that ranking the Columbus Blue Jackets ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks is the result of a similar blind spot.

      [And yes, Paul, I realize the whole thing is, by nature, subjective. Just having a little fun with you!]

      • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 11:14 am |

        I agree, this may sound silly, but as any hockey fan knows – the Chicago Blackhawks up until a few years ago were an absolutely dead franchise, now winning helps a lot, but I can’t help but think, one of the reasons the fans came back so strongly, was people simply love that uniform.

        While I understand why Paul has Dallas so high, it is a one jersey team, that has never had a blue uniform that has seemed more than a after thought. So it seems a little inconsistent dinging the Blackhawks so hard for their red jersey. The look of the numbers of Dallas white jersey, seems really sloppy, something happened to them, relative to the way they looked in the Roger Staubach era.

        The other surprise was the Eagles – when they made the Super Bowl – I don’t remember Paul being that flattering to them. (maybe my memory is deceiving me)

        So 5 of the original 6 NHL teams are going to make the top 25, plus the Flyers.

  • Morgan | August 23, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    Firstly, let me say kudos to Phil for a great month! And now a question/comment regarding the Uni Power rankings for Paul. I am a NJ Devils fan and I was pleased to see the Devs crack your top 50 Paul. I also think the look is solid. The one gripe I have heard about the design from some quarters is that it is basically the Blackhawks look with a yoke. I found it interesting that you ranked the Devils ahead of the Hawks. I guess the question I have is how much did tradition come into play when you were tackling this project? Since most of the long established teams have laid claim to certain color schemes or design elements, did you find it harder to rate a newer franchaise that took an existing look/color scheme and made it there own?

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |

      how much did tradition come into play when you were tackling this project?

      Not much. I tried to assess things based on how they look, not based on their reputation or tradition. Now, certain uniforms have become iconic over time, and that does count — I can’t deny that certain iconic looks have established themselves in my brain as “That’s really good.” But that was more of a tiebreaker than anything else.

      If you look thru the rankings, you’ll see that teams wearing solid red didn’t do so well with me. I didn’t plan it that way, but one thing I became aware of during the ranking process is that I find too much red to be off-putting. That’s why I’ve never liked the Blackhawks’ red uni. The Devils wear solid red as well, of course, but with a difference: There’s a lot of white negative space in their crest, and I think that helps the crest stand out a lot more, which I like.

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |

        I find too much red to be off-putting.

        Well then, it makes perfect sense that this team cracks your top 25.

  • Winter | August 23, 2012 at 10:01 am |

    As far as the current set of rankings go, the only issue I have isn’t really an issue, but an observation – The Angels.

    I used to be local to the stadium, and have attended several Angels games, and it always bothered me that for all the fuss about them changing their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, it doesn’t say LA anywhere on the uniform. Even the t-shirt swag tends to say “Angels Baseball” instead of mentioning either LA or Anaheim. I know the Lakers only have “Lakers” on their stuff, too, but for some reason the lack of place identification on the Angels just annoys me.

    • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |

      Maybe it’s because the “place identification” for that franchise is so ludicrous; they don’t want to call attention to it.

      • TA | August 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

        More specifically, they know that many of their own fans hate having Los Angeles in the name, so the team almost never uses it in game presentation or merchandise. The name change happened mainly so that they could have “LAA” instead of “ANA” in the TV score box, which according to their market research would have more appeal to Southern California TV viewers outside of Orange County.

    • Mr. T | August 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

      What’s more annoying to me is that “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” translates to “The The Angels Angels of Anaheim.”

      • Marc | August 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

        Well “The Los Angeles Dodgers” translates to “The The Angels Dodgers”….and for that matter, the “Saint Francis 49ers” :)

        • Marc | August 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

          The Angels should just change their name to “Los Angeles” (The Angels)

  • Mike Engle | August 23, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    I am stunned to see the Zombie Sonics (I swear, it is I, Mike Engle, not Bill Simmons incognito) ranked so highly. Didn’t a certain Mr. Paul Lukas call the powder blue roadies “a fail” because the bright sky color doesn’t jive with a state of bad weather that IS thunder?

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |

      I have literally never called anything “a fail.” Nor will I ever.

      • Kyle Schroeck | August 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |

        How about a Failure,.. to keep things grammatically correct.

    • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |

      To coincide with the comments about the Suns wearing gray, and that not making much sense… should the Thunder and Suns maybe trade colors? It’s kinda dumb that the Suns have the darker-color set while the Thunder are significantly brighter/lighter.

      • Mike Engle | August 23, 2012 at 11:36 am |

        Suns: IMO, the gray stinks, and there is way too much of it in all of the wrong places. (In other words, Steve Nash’s NOB looked OK, but Amaré Stoudemire’s looked atrocious.) Purple and orange work as well as they can, given the “hotness” of orange and ultraviolet rays.
        (This is where Paul comes in and says, “But people can’t see UV. So it would be great if we couldn’t see the purple either!”)

        • Mike Engle | August 23, 2012 at 11:37 am |

          (And crap, I’ve just opened up the “navy and orange bear” argument. I’m closing it right here. No, the Zombie Sonics and Suns need not exchange uniforms. The Zombies might pick a better road color, though.)

    • Seth | August 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

      I was surprised by that too, but I’m probably biased as a jilted Sonics fan. Speaking of which, if they still existed and were using their most recent green/gold uni set, where would they have ranked?

  • Kyle Schroeck | August 23, 2012 at 10:19 am |

    I igured I would comment here since’s commenters ar blathering idiots and do not understand this is one man’s opinion. Effing Morons.

    Big Pittsburgh fan here, and I mst say, I am surprised at the Penguins being 25th. I don’t think it’s that good of a ni. I wold rather see a return to athletic gold and the early 90’s Cup winners.

    The Cowboys colors are so inconsistent. 3 shades of blue and 2 silvers. It just feels amateurish.

    Keep up the good work. Look forward to the Steelers ranking… Here We Go, Steelers, Here We Go.

    • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 11:28 am |

      I agree, the folks on the ESPN boards are loathsome….Some really, bottom-of-the-barrel insulting fodder…..

  • brian e | August 23, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    paul, i’ve really enjoyed the rankings. it may have been a taxing project to put together, but it’s made this week at work very enjoyable for me!

    thanks for doing it, and welcome back from your break. looking forward to the final installment tomorrow and to see where the metsies land!

  • GC | August 23, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    “Black and orange is a seriously undervalued color combination in sports design, and nobody uses it better than the Orioles”

    /scours list for particular hockey squad…


    Great list thus far though. Only major quibble would be the praise of the Rays’ 2005-2007 vests. I just can’t like that wordmark.

  • Steve D | August 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    The disappearing nfl sleeve stripes , which Paul calls distracting, is to me so ridiculous that it borders on the absurd. After we win the NBA no ad fight, this has to be the next mission of this community.

  • Darren Walton | August 23, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    I love to browse through the membership card designs. I just wish the team and era was noted. Some of the early cards even had stories as to team/number choice.

  • Kek | August 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |

    Lists and rankings are pretty much just one person or group’s opinions of things. That being said, I totally dig these ones because there has been so much thought and work put into them… not just a cheesy slideshow (looking at you bleacher report, SI, etc, etc)!

    Has the thought been given to refresh every five years or so? As teams upgrade/downgrade their looks? This could be something to look forward like Bill Henderson’s updates.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |

      As has been stated several times, we plan to update it sometime next year.

      • Kek | August 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |

        Ha! You’ll have to forgive me. I’m having a bad day, overslept, forgot work ID, spilled coffee…. and it’s not even Monday!!!

      • phillipwilson | August 23, 2012 at 11:57 am |

        When you do update it. Update it from scratch. Don’t fall into the tempation of using last years rankings and adjusting to be easier. That then falls into the trap of tradition similar to how preseason CFB rankings affect the outcome of the final rankings.

  • walter | August 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    White Plains (NY) has a Japanese-language high school (Keio) whose mascot is a unicorn. I doubt they play American football but their soccer squad is highly regarded.

  • Kek | August 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    I’ve never met a fan of his own team that just has utter disdain for his team’s current unis than Mr. Connelly and the Pens!

    Keep up the good fight RyCo… maybe we’ll get a refresh sooner rather than later!!!! I don’t have a problem with them, but would like an alt inspired by the first two cup years unis.

    Although at this point, let’s just have a hockey season this year. Getting nervous.

    • walter | August 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

      You’ll have a hard time finding a franchise that have changed their uniform more times. Ultimately, they must have worn something that you like!

  • Shane | August 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |

    “I don’t mean that as a knock; it’s just reality.”

    Reality’s averaging a little under 19,000 fans per game this season.

    • Shane | August 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |

      By the way, Paul, serious question:

      Did teams with Native American names/logos get lower rankings than if it were the same uni set with a different name/logo? I know you had the Indians pretty low on the list, but uni-wise it makes sense.

      • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 11:02 am |

        The Native American thing was a very, very small factor.

    • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |

      Reality is that without Seattle, that number is a bit smaller.

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 11:27 am |

        To be fair, there are other teams that draw full houses (or more) on a regular basis so the attendance figures might be higher if they played in larger venues.

        But in *reality* it’s not just the big four that Paul mentions that are ahead of MLS. NCAA football and basketball both have far larger followings in this county, as do pro golf and tennis.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 11:10 am |

      Reality’s averaging a little under 19,000 fans per game this season.

      You want reality? Try this: Go to the home pages of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Yahoo Sports, look at the top menu bar, and see where soccer is listed relative to the other sports.

      I’m not anti-soccer, and I don’t think popularity is a gauge of quality. But the fact of the matter is that soccer is not a major sport in the U.S., at least for now. It may change, esp. if current immigration patterns continue, but it’s not there yet. That’s not a knock — that’s reality.

      • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 11:15 am |

        it will overtake hoops however, as soon as those 2″ x 2″ things start appearing

        that’s reality

        but that won’t make soccer a major sport, it will simply relegate the NBA below soccer in the minor sport category

        • Kek | August 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |

          Wait, you’re saying if/when NBA adds ads (see what I did there) that soccer is going leapfrog over them?

          I hope you only mean in your opinion.

        • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |

          It really shouldn’t. It’s got larger ads than the NBA is proposing.

      • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 11:20 am |

        I think the MLS title game only gets about a 1.0 rating or less? I think the league is doing a lot of things right, but it’s probably another 10 years away (although it does amaze me – that it’s getting stadiums tailored built for it)

        • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 11:59 am |

          The 2011 MLS title game garnered a 0.8 overnight rating on ESPN, which puts in the same category as the WNBA and Arena League Football – and if you view things from a North American perspective as opposed to strictly a US view, behind the CFL.

    • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

      The sad reality is that European soccer is closer to being a major sport in America than MLS is. I’m a soccer fan and a major soccer jingoist – I don’t care that MLS soccer is objectively not as good as EPL, one is American and the other is not and that’s all I need to know to prefer the one over the other. But in the last couple of years, European soccer, especially EPL, has become much more mainstream and commonly talked-about among casual sports fans and mass-media talking heads than our own domestic league.

      I suspect that in the medium-term, a bootstrap effect will happen here, and the mainstreaming of international soccer among American sports fans will raise interest in MLS. Especially with MLS teams doing ever more promotional games against quality foreign sides.

    • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

      some MLS teams may have good followings in stadium, but people can’t find the MLS on TV, mostly because even when it is on TV, no one wants to find it.

      Listen, MLS teams sell out because the best/only way to experience the game is in person. The NFL has a TV plan that has up to three primetime games a week on national TV, a service on satellite that allows you to watch every game every week including a highlight exclusive channel (srsly, the RedZone channel is the greatest gift god gave man.) and people still sell out 100,000 seat stadiums.

      Now that’s the greatest sport in America, not the NBA, NHL or MLB who aren’t as popular but the lack of a television audience demand is symptomatic of a lack of a fanbase OUTSIDE the stadiums.

      Hell, even the lowly NHL manages to get their playoffs on NBC (assuming they come back after this next lockout, [grumble]).

      And I love good soccer, but unlike Arrrrrr, I’m not a jingoist. I only want to watch a good product. But I’m also not willing to devote time and effort for some foreign club so I can MAYBE watch a game on the internet whenever I can because I can’t fake a passion to a team I barely know overcome those barriers.

      I love team USA and watch them whenever they’re on TV, but the MLS : EPL :: Iowa Cubs : The Cubs. And until that changes, it’s just not a good product to watch.

    • James A | August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

      I like soccer more than Paul and I agree with his comment. The NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL are generally regarded as the top professional leagues in their respective sports. If they weren’t, a talent like Kobe Bryant would maybe be playing in Greece (Or Ovechkin in Russia, Jeter in Mexico, etc.). The MLS is not even close to the top professional league in soccer (be it in terms of talent, salaries, game attendance, ratings, or advertising dollars). Even friends and family that are more passionate about soccer than I openly admit that the MLS is nothing more than a minor league compared to others around the world. The attendance figures for the MLS are to me commended, but Paul’s statement was accurate.

  • odessasteps | August 23, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    Paul can correct me if he remembers, but i thought he has been one of damsheks various radio shows in the past, either in pitt or l.a., discussing uniforms.

    Dameshek had done his “uniform czar” schtick as far back as being on carolla’s morning show in the mid 00s.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 11:45 am |

      I’ve been on dozens of radio shows over the years, and they mostly blur together. Have I been on Dameshek’s? Maybe; I honestly have no idea.

  • Brian Schulz | August 23, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    Dear God, that Seahags white over grey look is hideous.

    • NickV | August 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm |

      The Seahawks new uniforms and color choices are absolutely worse than their previous uniforms. The new shade of Blue is much less good looking than the last, and the stripes, numerals and trimmings are total disasters.

      The Seahawks have had essentially four different uniforms, and this current uniform is by far the worst.

      The new Nike uniforms are all wose than those worn last year, particularly with the lower chest numerals on most teams’ jerseysto make room for the clutter on the neck and chests of each player. The Dracula collars on many teams are needless additions that in many cases destroy the upper lines of the jerseys. I still say that the “Count Floyd from SCTV” collar points are solely there to promote Nike’s pointe end of their “Swoosh” – Douchebaggerry at it’s apex.

      The Seahawks new uniforms are horrible. With Nike driving this, I expect ALL future uniform changes to also be for the worse.

  • The Rob | August 23, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    Here is my thinking. The top level of college football now has a playoff. That means there is a championship, even if there is still bowls. So, it is now the Football Championship subdiviaion. But wait, FCS is already taken. So we have to go back to Division 1 and 1AA, right? My way of seeing it.

  • matty blue | August 23, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    on the other hand, dameshek’s rankings are, inevitably, a slide show, and there’s no FUCKING way i’m going to click through to all SIXTY THREE PAGES. it might as well not exist.

    • Chris Holder | August 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

      One of THE most annoying things about webpages today. I guess they’re trying to get more “page hits”? Whatever.

      Sometimes I miss the internet of the 90s. It was a simpler place.

  • Leo | August 23, 2012 at 11:58 am |

    By my count. Oregon will have 6 different jersey tops. The wings on this white top are grey or white and has black numbers (, while this white ( has green wings and numbers.

    Also the helmet shown with the yellow jersey has the carbon print on the front of the face-mask while chrome sits on the sides (

    • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

      Those white jerseys are the same, just one is photoshopped and the other is photographed.

      The numbers on both the forest green jersey and the white jersey are the same iridescent (Showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles) material as the Rose Bowl jerseys.

      They still might have a jersey or two down the pipe that we haven’t seen, but the white jerseys are the same thing.

      • Eric | August 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

        I’m highly doubtful they’d photoshop a white jersey so much for a promo shot as to remove the contrasting green shoulder wings and add in a yellow number outline. As we’ve seen in the past, don’t put it past Oregon to have multiple white jerseys.

  • pflava | August 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

    Eagles and Thunder ranked above the Blackhawks, Cowboys, Braves, SF Giants, Devils and Chiefs? Today’s entry surprised the hell out of me.

    • quiet seattle | August 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

      Yes. I am crestfallen.

      I don’t understand. The Eagles and Thunder are easily in my bottom ten. I look at the Eagles uniform–especially the goofy wing treatment– and it actually makes me feel sad, like a cloudy summer day.

      Having said that, I love this site more than ever.

  • Anthony Nuccio | August 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    I definitely do enjoy the power rankings so far. However, I do think my Blackhawks are a little low. Even with the consideration of listing all of the Big 4 teams, I think they should be the top 50. But then again, it is my opinion and you will have yours.

    I absolutely love the Phillies-Reds throwbacks, they’re an example of picture perfect. And yes, that’s coming from a diehard Cubs fan.

    Lastly, it’s nice to see you back Paul. I did have a question about the membership cards though. Would it be possible for you to do a Cubs throwback for mine? I’ll probably end up ordering it in a few weeks, I just have to get my job situation figured out.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

      I think [the Blackhawks] should be the top 50.

      They are.

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

        The Cubs, on the other hand, have no business being in the top 50.

        • Mark in Shiga | August 24, 2012 at 9:23 am |

          Back in the mid-2000s when their home white jerseys didn’t have names on the backs, the Cubs would have been in the Top 1.

          Once they go back to that, dump their dull gray road jersey, and wear blue on the road full-time (with the great understated walking-bear logo) they’ll be back there for sure.

      • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

        Civic pride and wanting my teams to be at the top makes me not like the ‘Hawks low pick (I’d put them in the top 122, but I guess you and I just differ…). I do, however plead with you to place the Bears higher than the Packers.

        I know there’s probably no shot of this happening, what with you affinity to the Packer’s color scheme and both teams, otherwise, having pretty much equally great uniforms and logos. But you took away Chicagoans’ last best hope for a top fiver when you ranked the ‘Hawks so low.

        And please don’t opine for this: When this: is so much better.

        • The Jeff | August 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm |

          The Bears uniforms will always lose to the Packers as long as they continue to put that GSH in the stripes.

        • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm |

          Sock stripes > collar stripes.

          It’s a fact, not an opinion.

        • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

          Considering that George Halas was the father of the NFL, maybe all teams should have it on their sleeves…..

        • JenInChicago | August 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

          Not really, but that shouldn’t be a contributing factor to their uni ranking vs. the Pack.

        • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

          Yeah, Jen’s particularly right. Without Papa Bear, Green Bay would not still have a team.

          That man is one of the singular most important figures in making the NFL the most popular sport in America.

        • Coleman | August 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

          If the Pack doesn’t switch to the sock stripes for the regular season I could ALMOST understand the Bears getting ranked higher. Almost.

        • Anthony Nuccio | August 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

          Tim, my dad and I have been diehard Bears fans for our respective lives. I love the second Payton look, but this one happens to be my personal favorite:

        • Anthony Nuccio | August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

          Sorry, I didn’t link all the way through above:

      • Anthony Nuccio | August 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

        Sorry, I meant higher up. As of today’s posting, I believe they should have been top 15 at least. However, I’ll wait on tomorrow’s post before I change my mind on that one.

    • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

      While those Phillies & Reds TBTC are good, those looks are dated & not my favorites.

      I’m still torn between the uni having “Phillies” or “P” on it. It’s difficult to pick the best Phillies set because there’s more than one great set.

      I agree the Blackhawks should be at least in the Top 25. Very colorful while being restrained & tasteful with plenty of tradition. It physically hurts me that the Blue Jackets are ranked higher & while I really like the Wild sets, there’s no way IMO two freakin’ expansion teams get the nod over the Blackhawks. I mean, seniority & sticking with basically the same look for 56 years has to count for something. And I always preferred the [road] red jersey to the [home] white jersey. I think the red compliments the colors better & the white jersey kinda “muted” the chest design.

  • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    Have you noticed that the Hoosiers started out fall practices wearing Red helmets but then recently switched to white? I know they’re using both this season, but I figured they’d only use one for practice.

    Maybe they’re just breaking them both in…

  • Ben D | August 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    That look IS the Cincinnati Reds to me.

  • Ray Barrington | August 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    I did like the day 3 comment:
    “somehow this guy will rank tebow’s practice jersey the best in all of sports, way to go espn, you’ve taken a quantum leap in stupidity with this garbage”

    Obviously a Skip Bayless fan.

    One other question, Paul – what input if any did you have on the sidebar articles (“What makes a good uniform…”) A lot of folks are linking the two together when, I’m guessing, there was no contact between you and the writers.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

      One other question, Paul — what input if any did you have on the sidebar articles…

      Zero. Didn’t communicate with the other writers, didn’t see their pieces beforehand (all of which I’m fine with).

  • Graham Jaunts | August 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

    The Power Rankings are fun, as lists tend to be (even if everyone pretends not to like lists… come on, we’re always clicking on them). Thanks for taking the time to put them together.

    I’m with you on the bulk of the rankings. I think the only ones that I really disagree on are the Blackhawks (and as the comments section indicates, I’m not alone on that one. PS oh god never read the comments section of an ESPN article). I’m also a little surprised by your ranking of the Thunder, who, while featuring nice colors, have always seemed pretty forgettable to me. Don’t the Thunder’s jerseys have the same boring, rounded wordmark font that you docked other teams for having?

    • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

      PS oh god never read the comments section of an ESPN article“.

      I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself that very same thing (not just ESPN but Yahoo, YouTube, etc.) and yet I just… can’t… stop… reading… them.

  • Kevin | August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

    Paul, any truth to the rumor that you waited until the Mets ditched the black to do this list so they would be in the top 25?

  • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  • tom | August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    the silver in the knicks uniforms look AMAZING.

    big congrats to the NYK for finally doing something right.

  • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    Collin McHugh, pressed into service when Johan Santana was put on the shelf yesterday, is making his MLB debut for the Mets. The “c” in his NOB is lowercase and superscript.

    I’m trying to remember the last time the Mets had a McNOB — maybe Joe McEwing? I’m not sure, but I think they’ve always styled the “c” as a lowercase letter, base-aligned with the rest of the letters. So the superscript treatment may be a team first.

    • Mark in Shiga | August 24, 2012 at 9:30 am |

      I know Kevin McReynolds had a correct small C, but I can’t remember if it was superscript or on the baseline.

      Another thing I remember from that era’s Mets is that at one point they must not have had any apostrophes in the clubhouse because Charlie O’Brien had a twisted-around tilde instead of an apostrophe in his NOB.

  • Alex | August 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    As a Bengals fan, I am mildly offended their uniforms are 121st instead of 122nd. Then again, Bengals uniforms are more than mildly offensive.

    • quiet seattle | August 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

      Don’t worry, Alex. I’m sure our team will do something to rectify the situation. By this time next year, you’ll seem them ranked in their rightful place.

  • JimWa | August 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

    You know what would be fun? For someone to create a way for us all to provide our own personal rankings, merge them together and see – as a community – what we think.

    It would be best to do so on this site, IMO … I don’t know that I’d want to dirty the water with opinions from with the non-obsessives.

    • DenverGregg | August 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |

      Good idea. My twist: only site members may input. surveymonkey would probably be a feasible way to do this if site members were to get invites/passwords.

      • JimWa | August 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

        I like your thinking. No uniwatch card, no vote.

      • G Ram | August 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm |


  • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    Local business press reporting terms of potential Sacramento Kings relo to Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

    Kind of about time the Norfolk/VB area got a major team, but the main thing is that such a move would very much call for a name change and a uni redesign.

    • pflava | August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

      Virginia remains the largest state not to have any of the four major professional sports. I’m usually not a fan of franchise relocation, but I’d have no problem with this one.

      • Winter | August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm |

        And of course, they’d play in the Pacific Division.

        I’d move the Kings back to KC, change the colors back. Sprint Arena’s ready and waiting.

      • Chance Michaels | August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

        Virginia remains the largest state not to have any of the four major professional sports.

        Except, of course, for the teams in each of the four major professional sports (plus soccer) that play in and around the major city of which Virginia’s most populous county is a suburb…

        • pflava | August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

          Just stating a fact, Chance.

    • Jim Vilk | August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

      Virginia Squires! I’m sure there would be some realignment in that case. Move Sacto to the SE, then move Charlotte to the NW with OKC, Minnesota, Denver and Utah. Portland can go to the Pacific.

      I’d like to see the KC Kings again, but the return of the VA Squires would be intriguing.

    • ChrisH | August 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  • Feit Can Write | August 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

    Help a lazy guy out: Which teams are left for the final 25 tomorrow?

    I know my Royals have made the cut, but I’m too apathetic today to try to figure the rest out.

    • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

      Let’s see…

      NFL: Raiders, Steelers, Bears, Packers
      MLB: Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Royals, Tigers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Phillies
      NHL: Flyers and the original 6 minus Blackhawks
      NBA: Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Bucks, Warriors, Jazz

      Can I possibly have gotten that right?

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

        And the answer is no. The Bucks were mentioned yesterday or the day before.

        • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

          Oh, duh — the team I forgot wears green and gold, of course. It’s the A’s.

          So that means all three Oakland teams cracked the top 25.

      • feitcanwrite | August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |


  • dae | August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    QUOTE: “This whole thing is bogus, because you’re biased against some things (purple, BFBS, etc.) and biased in favor of other things (old-school design, green, etc.). You can’t have legitimacy with bias!”

    Gee, this sounds like my criticism with the BCS and college sports’ ranking systems… Just sayin’!

    In hindsight, maybe you (Paul) could’ve had some of your other UW correspondants and other UW friends make rankings and combine them like the NCAA polls. Otherwise, a point system could’ve worked but it would’ve been cumbersome as well.

    • Tim E. O'B | August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

      He wasn’t deciding the fate of a murderer. His ‘bias’ stirs the debate. If there was an objective ‘best uniform’ this list wouldn’t need to exist.

  • Seth | August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

    Good call on the Mariners. A nice, clean look, but not really remarkable in any way. I kind of wish they’d pull a Blue Jays / Orioles and go back to their 1980s look, blue and yellow with the trident logo.

    • Glen | August 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

      I agree. The Blue/Yellow with the skinny trident was by far the Mariners best look.

  • Le Cracquere | August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

    Outstanding job on the rankings; the work Paul put into them is highly appreciated.

    (Jerks who post this stuff always have a “but,” don’t they?) But…

    ..My only cavil would be with the treatment of alternate uniforms. They’re certainly fair game, and part of the team’s overall look, but not sure I agree with letting alt uniforms exert the HUGE effect on rankings that Paul seems to give them.

    Take away the alts, and one could reasonably rank the Orioles, Braves, and Red Sox in the top 15. Now, Paul might not share that high assessment, but if he’d rank the plain home/road uniform pair anywhere within sniffing distance of that level, then he must be assigning a mind-boggling amount of weight to the teams’ alternates. I wonder if that’s wise.

    On a related note: Paul, does the frequency with which a team wear its alternate uniforms influence how much your grade factors them in?

    • pflava | August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

      Totaly agreed, Cracq! Alts were given WAY too much consideration.

      • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

        I think it would help things A LOT if teams only picked *1* alternate & basically had a plan with it. Way too many options & total randomness.

        The cameos & special one-off jerseys & caps needs to STOP pronto.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

      does the frequency with which a team wear its alternate uniforms influence how much your grade factors them in?

      To a degree. It’s not like I sit here and chart how many times a team wears its alt (although I know some of you folks do). But if I’m aware of a team wearing its alt a lot — like the Astros, say — or if I know a team has a specific protocol (red alt on Friday home games, or whatever), then I consider it a significant part of the uni program. Not as significant as home or road, but not just an afterthought either. Remember, it’s not so long ago that the White Sox were wearing their black alts more than their road grays!

      The Mets have only worn their black alts twice this year, but they took a disproportionate hit for that, because (a) there’s no other black anywhere in their uni program, so the alt no longer makes any sense, and (b) I really hate it.

      I gave less conisderation to alts in the NFL, since they’re only worn for one or two games.

      • Graf Zeppelin | August 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

        I agree the Mets should be docked as long as the BFBS jersey/cap is still in the rotation. Nevertheless, with respect to the criticism here that it “no longer makes any sense,” is this offset at all by any credit for the fact that they are phasing it out, that it’ll be gone next year? Or that they’ve worn it a lot less than we expected, and not (so far, fingers crossed) in place of the gorgeous road gray jersey?

    • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

      Again, it’s all personal tastes. Personally I wondered where the White Sox would be had this not been 2012 with the 1972 Sunday home (13X btw) or the Ozzie Guillen era where the black alt is much more used. Maybe 5 to 13 spots lower? A look & scheme many people like, though personally I don’t. Tinker a few things with it & it could be a lot better (tho I would go much farther than most people).

      For a team known for changes, I’m just so bored with the current set. I would probably rank it somewhere between 60 to 75 on the list.

      • JTH | August 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

        Where would you put the Cubs? Because I think that 60-75 range is about where I’d put them.

        • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

          I’ve thought about this, and here’s what I think:

          1. NNOB, blue numbers on the homes
          2. Change that sleeve patch to a cub head. I never liked that 1990s walking cub
          3. Change the road script. It is like it’s vertically AND radially arched.
          4. If you’re going to have an alternate, put the primary logo on there. The N.L. patch is fine. And make sure the jersey is tinted to the same shade as the cap. It always seemed like that alt was a couple of shades lighter than it should be. It is really obvious at night.

          I would put both Chicago baseball teams at a dead-tie because both need work & both are too modern looking for such old teams.

        • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

          5. For the cap, if it absolutely must be 3-D embroidered, emboss the whole logo, not just the red C part. It gets way too distorted on pretty much every angle. Mimic the batting helmet.

  • daveclt | August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

    As someone already mentioned above, I love the Pirates font as well. But the P on their jersey looks stretched out and “sad” compared to the way it used to look. What’s up with that? I wish they’d fix it.

    McCutchen P

    Stargell P

  • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

    Has anyone else noticed that MLB baserunners and batter-runners are increasingly giving the “safe” sign on close plays, before the ump gives his call? I’ve already seen it twice in today’s Mets/Rockies game, and it’s only the top of the 3rd (once on a grounder to the infield, once on an attempted steal — in both cases, the runner was called out, even though he called himself safe).

    Seems like a good way to annoy an ump….

    • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

      I’ve seen that from time to time in the last decade. Pretty sure I remember Pete Rose doing it occasionally back when the earth was young. (Proof that it’s a classy move!)

      I’ll respect the player who does this, if and only if I have first seen him give himself an “out” sign when he knows that he got beat. Any player who has not previously in his career given himself an “out” sign, who gives himself a “safe” sign on a close play, is an a-hole. If I’m an ump, I’m calling “out” no matter what I see if the runner calls himself “safe.” Because screw it, the league is about to replace me with Skynet anyway, so as of last week I’m not taking crap from any player ever again.

    • Chance Michaels | August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

      I see that in football all the time, where a play ends and players from both sides run up to officials and start giving signals. Long thought that it would merit an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

    • KWChris | August 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

      When I coached baseball I would spend most innings down the third base line as third base coach…when there was steal of third, I would often make a “safe” sign when our runner slid in safe…

      I never thought about how that was annoy the ump, but was eventually told that the next time I make such a gesture, I would be spending the rest of the game in my car…

  • odessasteps | August 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

    I used to live in hampton roads for a few years and cant imagine an nba team being successful.

    The only thing i think would work there is nfl, since its only 8/10 dates a year. And prob nascar.

    Both would draw not only from HR, but also richmond, williamsburg, and parts of northern n. carolina.

  • Arr Scott | August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

    Anyone in for nickel bets on tomorrow’s installment? I’m reconsidering my earlier Packers prognostication and plunking my pennies down on the St. Louis Cardinals. Chain stitching, they’ve retained striped socks, and no alts to speak of.

    • pflava | August 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the top spot belonged to the Habs.

    • ChrisH | August 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

      Will that Cards’ navy away cap impact the final ranking?
      I have no predicton as to which uni Paul will anoint as supreme, but I’d be surprised if the #1 slot belongs to a team that wears black (the Raiders and Flyers should make the Top 10 IMO).

  • ThresherK | August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

    I’m late to the party, just meandering my way to the end of the second day’s list. This is fun stuff; the only thing I could imagine to make it better would be betting on it in a pub.

    Is anyone else purposefully going for the “countdown effect” by advancing to the end of every article and consuming it backwards?

  • mike 2 | August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    Count me among those who have thoroughly enjoyed the Power Rankings so far this week.

    The one thing that’s surprised me is the lack of attention paid to the Redskins, Black Hawks, Indians, Braves names and logos. When the project was announced, I was expecting these to rank near the bottom for the reasons that have been made clear on this blog. You’ve taken a strong position on these names and logos, so I was expecting something along the lines of “If your logo is a racist caricature or your nickname is a racist slur, your uniform deservedly ranks as the worst in sport. End of story.”

  • mike 2 | August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    Also, huge kudos to Phil and everyone else for the great efforts the last few weeks.

  • Joseph Gerard | August 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Buccos at 29, Penguins (surprisingly) at 26. You have the Steelers at number one, right? lol

    In all seriousness, though, I’m pretty sure both teams would be a LOT lower if the Pirates caved to fan pressure and went back to the Bumblebee look full-time and the Penguins still had the “flying penguin” logo. The Pens do need a jersey overhaul, though.

  • Skycat | August 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

    I know I’m jumping the gun a bit, but I suggest Phil have a contest for the best colorization for the Brooklyn Nets’ unis.

  • scottj | August 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    Is this the Dolphins’ “infinite regression” you were talking about?

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm |


    • quiet seattle | August 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

      That’s funny!

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

      jesus fuck…i just had a seizure

    • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm |

      Yaaaaaaaaay, wheeeeeeeeee!

  • Mike | August 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    Red Sox at #42? Behind the Minnesota Wild and the Blue Jackets? sheesh, I was thinking at least top quintile for the Carmine Hose…

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

      Red Sox home is top-10 material. But the rest of their set is not.

      • Geeman | August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

        Would love to see the Sox get rid of the red jerseys nad red sleeves, and keep the navy blue top for a once in a while deal.

  • Geeman | August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Pleasantly surprised to see the positive comments on the OKC unis, which got a “meh” here when they were introduced four years ago. But Paul’s right; they are underrated.

    • quiet seattle | August 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

      What are you guys seeing?

      They are dull. The number font is goofy. There’s excessive trim and multiple colors which don’t complement.

      I just don’t see it.

      • Glen | August 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

        OKC unis are trying too hard to be the Hornets.

      • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

        I see a guitar pick in the modern generic logo that shows yet another basketball but nothing about its name in graphics (it’s a stupid name), another endless stream of an NBA team in a light shade of blue, navy blue that doesn’t belong on there, a road jersey with a wordmark that’s way too small, and a team that shouldn’t even be there because David Stern is a greedy SOB.

        I like light blue & orange as a color scheme & home jersey is the strongest piece, but as a whole package it doesn’t deserve to be ranked as high as it is. Maybe it’s great by modern standards, but it’s not on par with real classics.

      • Wheels | August 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

        It’s a joke of a uniform. Looks like some fictitious NBA team in a movie or something.

        • Wheels | August 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm |

          A made-for-cable movie.

  • Geeman | August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

    And go back to the road unis that won two World Series.

  • Bob Sullivan | August 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

    One thing that I think works for hockey uniforms is when the sleeves, sweater bottom, and socks match. Devils, Red Wings, Blackhawks white jersey, etc. Makes for a symmetry that I like. Yokes without stripes are good too, but I think the “triple match” makes a good looking uniform.

    Then again, there’s the Maple Leafs socks, which are just the bomb.

  • Attila Szendrodi | August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    That’s a bear head on the Wild jersey? I thought it was a cat of some sort.

  • Ken | August 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    While I disagree with quite a few of the power rankings, I must admit that I love a skating penguin. What I had not been aware of, until seeing the three photos together, is that each of the penguins in the current set is slightly different. Interesting.

  • PJ | August 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    Not that anybody will, or should care, but division II Chico State just unveiled their redesigned logo.

  • Caleb Borchers | August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    With the Tigers and Wings both in the Top 25, I’m at least pleased there will be no gross lack of justice. Would like to see both in the Top 10, but we’ll see. I personally think Detroit is the best dressed sports city in the country. Maybe a city ranking could be a fun side project here. Appeal to the local pride and I’m sure the comment sections would be exploding!

    • concealed78 | August 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

      You could easily make a case that New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, or Chicago are the best dressed.

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

      ” Maybe a city ranking could be a fun side project here. Appeal to the local pride and I’m sure the comment sections would be exploding!”


      that’s actually something i’m considering doing this fall…perhaps with voting

    • DenverGregg | August 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

      Detroit before the Lions last makeover would have made the list, but now not so much.
      Chicago, NYC, Oakland for best.
      Atlanta, Miami and Phoenix for worst.

      • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

        im thinkin’ denver’s on that worst-attired list too

        rockies? broncos? nuggs? ‘lanche?

        none are by themselves really bad (ok, the nuggs are bad) but taken as a whole…

        definitely gonna give miama a run for its money

    • Bernard | August 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

      You mean, do it again? Unis have changed since then, so it’s probably time to revisit.

    • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm |

      Cities with 4 teams – Philadelphia is in the running – currently ahead of Detroit.

  • G Ram | August 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    Regarding Derek Holland wearing stirrups:

    I noticed he was wearing them on the August 11th game against Detroit. I was in attendance and noticed he was high-cuffed right away. This was the same game where the Rangers had a big pre-game ceremony celebrating their 40th Anniversary in Texas and wore the powder blue throwbacks. Derek threw for 9 strikeouts and only allowed 3 hits against Verlander. I imagine this is why he is choosing to go high-cuffed now.

  • JJD | August 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    I just wanted to give +1 (or really, +1000) to whoever picked THAT photo of Elmer and Daffy as the sidebar to the section on the Ducks.

    • Paul Lukas | August 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

      Thanks. It does liven up the page, doesn’t it?

  • Kenneth | August 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

    Seattle Seahawks #27 LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    Not that it’s a surprise, but Paul likes baseball and more importantly baseball uniforms. I caculate there will be 10 baseball teams in the top 25.

    NFL: 4
    NHL: 6(Including 5 of the 6 original teams)
    NBA: 5
    MLB: 10

    If you assume an average score of 13 for the remaining teams (the average of 1 to 25), the scores are

    MLB: 46.7
    NHL: 64.1
    NFL: 65.5
    NBA: 69.5

    While this will obviously change when 1 – 25 is revealed, it is looking like the NBA will get the distinction of the most satorically challenged league.

    • Phil Hecken | August 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm |

      “it is looking like the NBA will get the distinction of the most satorically challenged league.”


      well, there is much less there, and hoops pretty much sucks so combine the two and you’ll get the bottom of the uni barrel

  • Oakville Endive | August 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm |

    One other thought, if this was the 2nd annual power rankings, I think the Toronto Blue Jays and the Golden State Warriors would be battling out for most improved. Both probably going from bottom to top quartile.

  • Simon Lindsay | August 24, 2012 at 3:54 am |

    I liked your little comment about a ‘certain Uni ranker loving Pat’. that was funny.

    Also your list is way better than his. you actually look over many issues with the unis and he goes for a basic idea (and his hatred for the Ravens)while setting his up. Can’t wait for the top 25

  • Steve V. | August 24, 2012 at 8:56 am |

    How any list ranking uniforms doesn’t list the Blackhawks in the Top 5 should be considered toilet paper. Paul in an epic “fail”!

  • RMc | August 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    “(i.e., a dolphin wearing a helmet with a dolphin wearing a helmet with a dolphin …)”

    I always thought it would be interesting if the Dolphins (for just one game) wore the *dolphin’s* helmet…you know, a helmet with a big orange M on it!