Good Sunday Morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a good Saturday.
About a month ago, guest author Chris Diamond embarked on the first of a multi-part think piece in which he imagined every American city giving its sports teams a “Pittsburgh” treatment — that is, what if all the major sports teams from a given city were to adopt the colors of their city flag as colors for all their sports teams, much the way Pittsburgh does today? It’s a really fun project, and Chris returns today with Part II of that. So, I’ll just turn it over to Chris now as he asks…
by Chris Diamond
In Part 1 I started to look at what other city’s teams would look like if the all shared the same colour scheme of their host city. Here in Part 2, I look at four more cities that have the “big four” sports teams – Los Angeles, Washington, Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul. As some of you have already noted some of these are potentially problematic as we shall see…
The splendid flag of LA is a green-gold-red tricolour representing olive trees, orange groves and vineyards. Like with New York in Part 1, I have divided the city’s teams into two “camps”, but in this case they are Red+Gold and Green+Gold. As LA has only one hockey team, I’ve done two different versions for them, one in each camp. The LA Rams briefly flirted with red/gold uniforms in 1949 and so this is what they might look like if they’d stuck with that. I’ve also tweaked out some of the fussier elements of the uniform for the sake of my sanity! Like the Rams, the Lakers also have yellow/gold as a colour already, so it’s not a huge jump to image what they would be like. With the Angels, I also added a very small amount of the green as a third colour as their scheme as I felt like it worked better with it. Finally for the Red+Gold teams we have the crown logo version of the Kings, based on their rather nice 2022 Reverse Retros. For the Green+Gold teams, replacing the Chargers’ powder blue with green looks pretty good I feel. The Dodgers in green and gold will probably horrify their fans, although Paul might like it! The Clippers existing uniforms are a bit underwhelming and replacing blue/red with green/gold doesn’t really help! The Kings in green and gold looks quite sharp.
The flag of Washington is based on the arms of the Washington family. It’s already used by some of the Washington teams in various forms. But just using red and white doesn’t really work with the teams’ three colour schemes so I’ve added silver (which heraldically is the same as white anyway). As it’s already a thing, I’ve tried to fully incorporate the design in each team’s uni as well as the colours. As has been discussed at length, the Commanders uniforms are a bit of a car crash. Perhaps because here they aren’t in the familiar burgundy and gold, I think these versions look better. The twin sleeve stripes just needed the three stars above to work. The Nationals already use red as their primary colour, so the red and silver doesn’t look that strange. I managed to include the flag design on the stirrups! The Wizards horizontal striped jersey easily lends itself to the two stripe flag design. The Capitals already have an alternate logo based on the flag so it made sense to use that as the primary. All-in-all I think the Washington teams make for a really coherent set.
The current flag of Detroit is a bit of a mish-mash with quarters representing the different colonial powers that controlled the city. New designs have been proposed, and one in particular Detroit Rise designed by local artist Deon Mixon stands out. So I have taken this as the inspiration for Detroit’s colours instead. The flag is blue, black and white and the shade of blue is close to the Honolulu Blue of the Lions, so it already feels like a good fit. The Lions have used black as a secondary colour in the past so it doesn’t feel too out of place. For the Pistons it is simply a case of replacing red/blue with blue/black. It also it reminiscent of the 90s Teal jerseys (good or bad!). For the Tigers, mostly using black seemed a better fit with blue as the highlight colour. Finally we have Detroit’s Hockey team. This is a bit of a problem as a team called the Red Wings not wearing red at all is a bit odd. So, just for this I have renamed them the Blue Wings!
Finally for Part 2, we have the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, so the single city colours idea doesn’t really work. The four pro teams all use the Minnesota state name and of course that has a flag. But it is just the state seal on a plain blue background so isn’t really a proper colour set and so that doesn’t work either! The Minnesota State Legislature has its own official colour scheme which is very similar to that used by the Timberwolves. Also given the Vikings’ and Prince’s purplephilia, there have been motions to get it recognized as the official state colour, but to no success. There are also efforts underway to change the state flag. A number of designs have been proposed and several feature the North Star, in particular this one. So like with Detroit, I have used a proposed flag (in this case the “Etoile du nord”) as a basis for the teams. As it’s a midnight blue and gold, the Vikings look quite at home, and it’s reminiscent of their old uniforms which had a much bluer purple. The Twins new set already has an alternate cap that uses a North Star based logo, so I have that as the primary here. I’ve also made the dot in the Twins “I” a star as well. For the Timberwolves, it was a simple case of swapping out colours. For the Hockey team you may be wondering what has happened to the Wild? Well with these Minnesota teams identities so bound up with the North Star, the idea of losing that identity would be unthinkable! So I’ve assumed that when the franchise moved to Dallas, they left the North Stars identity behind for the expansion team.
Thanks, Chris! Another stellar job with this. Some of the teams shown here are so classic, with unis unchanged for decades, it’s almost unfathomable to think of them in colors other than what they’ve been wearing for so long — but it’s a really fun exercise and I’m enjoying it immensely.
Readers? What say you? Please let Chris know down in the comments below!