The NFL's Ugliest Throwback Uniforms
Pittsburgh Steelers 1934 Throwback
Modeled after 1934 Pittsburgh Pirates
The Steelers were originally named the Pirates, taking their name after the baseball team. That’s all well and good, but when we look at this uniform, we think a bumblebee in prison garb, not pirate. Running back Isaac Redman certainly doesn’t seem thrilled with the “new” look and we can’t say we blame him.
Philadelphia Eagles 1932 Throwback
Modeled after 1932 Eagles
The Eagles debuted these beauties in 2007 in honor of the franchise’s 75th anniversary. No one can really blame anyone for not instantly recognizing their hometown team in these as the color scheme looked more like the San Diego Chargers, or perhaps the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. The truth is the colors for these uniforms, which hearken back to 1932, came from Philadelphia’s city flag. When it comes to these unis, the only flags that should be involved is a yellow one. As in a penalty flag for illegal fashion statement.
Green Bay Packers 1929 Throwback
Green Bay Packers
Modeled after 1929 Packers
As bad as Pittsburgh's "bumblebee in prison garb" look is, it's better than this eyesore worn by the Packers. The Packers' signature look, green and gold jerseys with block "G" helmets, has been in place since 1961, and for good reason. These blue-mustard-tan-and-brown disasters were declared the NFL's worst when they first debuted, and this ignominious title remains in Titletown to this day.
Denver Broncos 1960-62 Throwback
Modeled after 1960-62 Broncos
What can brown, not to mention a lot of mustard yellow, do for you? Well, when it comes to this look for the Broncos, not a whole lot. These are about as dull and plain as they can be as the palette's two dominant colors do little other than to drag down this style. Speaking of style, what’s up with the white stripe and numbers on the helmet? It’s the only white used. With all the yellow and brown throughout, why even bother with a little contrast? Regardless, look at these long enough and you will be begging the Broncos to bring back the John Elway classic orange jerseys and royal blue “D” helmets. You know the ones I’m talking about.
Chicago Bears 1950s Throwback
Modeled after 1925-26 Bears
The Bears donned this look in 1994 as the franchise celebrated its 75th anniversary along with the NFL. Because of the history associated with the style, we will cut the Bears a little slack. Otherwise we are pretty sure no one would willingly choose the tan pants, logo-less helmet and blue jersey with orange vertical stripes. At least they stayed true to their team colors, right? The same can’t be said for the other teams (Eagles, we are looking at you.). We’re also not sure about the white shoes, but legend says that was an edict from head coach Dave Wannstedt, who at the time was in his second year at the helm. Perhaps this was the first of what would end up being many poor decisions he made during his six-year tenure in the Windy City.
PIttsburh Steelers 1930s Throwback
Modeled after 1933 Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates, I mean Steelers, make the list again thanks to the first throwbacks the team ever wore. The Steelers chose this look back in 1994 in commemoration of the NFL’s 75th anniversary, and we’re not sure why. Besides the vertical stripes that worked so well (not) for the Bears look that same season, the jersey features a gigantic city of Pittsburgh crest in the center. Maybe it’s just us, but this look seems like it belongs more on a palace guard or perhaps a jouster, rather than a football player. In all fairness to the Steelers, not all of their throwbacks are fashion disasters. We have no problem whatsoever with the team’s official alternate uniform (below), a look modeled after their uniforms from the 1960s and one they debuted in 2007 in celebration of the franchise’s 75th season. Those are nice. The ones from the ‘30s, not so much.
New York Jets 1960s Throwback
New York Jets
Modeled after Titans of New York 1960-62
Don’t point at us Bart Scott, we’re not responsible for you having to wear these duds (in every sense of the word). The Jets first donned these back in 2009, when they, along with the other eight original AFL teams, wore throwbacks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the league’s founding. The Jets have continued to wear them on occasion since, though we’re not sure why. They certainly aren’t as awful as the previous ones listed here, but we also can’t help but notice the disconnect between this look and the team’s current, more familiar one. Between the odd, somewhat boring color scheme (navy and a duller shade of gold) and the fact that these unis are associated with the franchise’s former name, which is now used by a current AFC team, this choice seems a little confusing to us. There’s no telling how much chaos would reign should the Titans, er Jets, play the real Titans in these. Better to just stash these beauties away in the archives to prevent that from ever happening, right?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976 Throwback
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Modeled after 1976 Buccaneers
Last, but certainly not least, is the Buccaneers’ old school look, otherwise known as what the Tampa Bay Creamsicles wore back in the ‘70s. We know, they weren’t really called the Creamsicles, but that’s what happens when you lose 26 games in a row while wearing these uniforms. This is a franchise that won a grand total of seven games in its first three seasons (inaugural season was in 1976), and really not that many overall until the arrival of Tony Dungy in the late ‘90s. These are certainly among the most colorful uniforms in sports history with the bright orange, white and red color scheme and perhaps the least threatening pirate logo ever. Colorfulness aside, we also can’t help but point out how this look will forever be tied to the team’s historic lack of success. Why that’s something you want to remind fans about once a season is beyond us.