They don’t have an effect on the outcome of games, but uniforms have a surprisingly large impact on sports. They give fans a symbol of allegiance, almost like a country’s flag. Some teams’ uniforms have a positive influence (think Yankees), and others’ impact is negative (think Jacksonville Jaguars). A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking, “What are the five best uniforms in every sport?” After a lengthy, heated discussion at dinner, here are the definitive results:

NFL

1-Oakland Raiders: The black and silver doesn’t only look good, but it’s intimidating as well. For the NFL’s “bad boy” team these are the perfect uniforms.

2-Chicago Bears: I love everything about the Bears’ uniforms. The stripes on both the sleeves and socks are unique, the blue and orange are the perfect shades, and the GSH for George Halas is classy. Unlike most football teams, the away uniforms are almost as good as the homes.

3-San Francisco 49ers: When the ‘9ers switched from a hideous maroon to a true red in 2009, it was one of the best moves they ever made. The 49ers went from having some of the worst uniforms in the league to having some of the best. The gold helmets and pants work because of the name 49ers (49ers were part of the California Gold Rush). Stripes are used very well throughout the uniform, making them almost look like throwbacks.

4-Green Bay Packers: These have a recognizable logo, creative color scheme, and a classic feel. The Packs’ uniforms are the most iconic uniforms in the NFL and it isn’t even close.

 5-Indianapolis Colts: I love these. I’m always a fan of uniforms that keep it simple by only using two colors, and the horseshoe logo is one of the best in the NFL. It’s awesome that the Colts haven’t changed their uniforms since their Baltimore days.

 College Football

 1-Texas Longhorns: Iconic logo? Check. Awesome color? Check. Simple? Check. Tradition? Check. The Horns’ uniforms have it all, and the all-white “Stormtroopers” are the best in all of sports.

2-Michigan Wolverines: In a 1938 victory over Michigan State, the Wolverines debuted the winged helmet. Coach Fritz Crisler developed the helmet so receivers could be easily distinguished down field. Ever since then, the maize and blue have been donned by greats such as Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, and Desmond Howard.

 3-USC Trojans: I hate USC, but I love their uniforms. I couldn’t imagine them wearing anything but red and yellow.

 4-Georgia Bulldogs: An awesome color scheme and logo are keys to a top-notch uniform. Throw in the fact that UGA’s have barely changed since 1912, and you have a winner.

5-Wyoming Cowboys: Mustard yellow and brown are two colors you wouldn’t suspect to see on a football field. Yet, the Pokes make it work. Paired with one of the best logos in sports, these are the most underrated uniforms in college football.

MLB

1-New York Yankees: The NY logo and pinstripes are the two most iconic uniform features in baseball.

2-Atlanta Braves: The font on the chest is perfect for baseball, the war club is awesome, and the stripes bordering the collar and running down the center work perfectly. I prefer the grays to the whites, but overall these are some of the premier uniforms in baseball.

3-St. Louis Cardinals: The birds on the bat are as iconic as the Yankees’ pinstripes. The STL logo is excellent, as is the color scheme. I love that the Cards added an off-white alternate that says “St. Louis” on the front instead of “Cardinals.” They look like they’re from the ‘20s!

4-Houston Astros: The Astros announced a uniform change on Friday, November 2. In a league where most uniforms are all very similar and boring, these new uniforms incorporate tradition while staying original. The new hat (err…old hat that’s new again) is awesome, and the font couldn’t be better. The color scheme is just like the Astro-Dome Astros. If the Disastros continue to play as they have, these uniforms may be the only reason to watch the team.

 5-San Francisco Giants: The Giants’ cream-colored home uniforms are one of my favorites in sports. I’m just not a huge fan of the neon orange and gray uniforms. Overall neon orange never works well for anything, especially not a baseball uniforms (yes, I’m also talking to you, Miami Marlins). If it weren’t for that cream, the Giants would be much further down on this list.

 Minor League Baseball

Let’s take a quick break from ranking the best uniforms. Here are the funniest logos in minor league baseball:

Montgomery Biscuits: I think we need to get this biscuit an audition to be on Sesame Street. He looks like a Muppet!

Normal Cornbelters: The Cornbelters are technically not a Minor League Baseball team (they’re in an amateur league), but this logo is just too funny. In case you were wondering, the Cornbelters’ stadium is named the Corn Crib.

Fort Wayne Tin Caps: Terrifying.

Richmond Flying Squirrels: This is just awesome.

Lexington Legends: Yes, that is a mustache on the hat. And yes, Lex (the mascot) is my hero.

NBA

1-New York Knicks: The Knicks have the perfect shade of blue and orange. Over the off-season, the Knicks got rid of stripes on the side of their jerseys and added a bright waistband. The removal of the stripes on the side makes the jerseys a little simpler, but the waistband ties everything together nicely. The Knicks logo on the back of the jersey is one of my favorite uniform features in all of sports. In my mind, no one in the NBA comes close to touching these.

2-Boston Celtics: Nothing about the Celtics’ uniforms are exciting. They’re just simple, tradition-rich, green and white basketball uniforms. The font is perfect, the colors are perfect, and the simplicity is perfect. If they would stop wearing those black uniforms, they would contend for number one in basketball.

3-Los Angeles Lakers: Purple and gold! Behind the Celtics, these are the most iconic basketball jerseys ever.

4-Chicago Bulls: These are basically the Celtics’ but in red, black and white. The jerseys with “Chicago” written in cursive are one of my favorites, but they sadly don’t wear them any more.

5-Washington Wizards: When the Wizards were wearing those awful tan and black jerseys with Gilbert Arenas, they were one of the worst dressed teams in sports. Now, the Wizards have gone to a Washington Bullets style striped red, white, and blue uniform. Normally stripes don’t work in basketball uniforms, but they certainly work here. These uniforms have a lot of little, yet awesome things about them. Look closely and you’ll find a star on the shorts. In the “D” of “Wizards,” the straight line is a hand blocking a basketball. Small details and bold stripes brought the Wizards from worst dressed to one of the best.

 NHL

1-Boston Bruins: The Bruins have everything anyone could ask for in a hockey uniform. A classic crest and lots of stripes make these one of the best in hockey. What puts these over the top is the color scheme. It’s hard to find anything better than black and yellow.

2-Chicago Blackhawks: Nobody uses more stripes than the Blackhawks. Nobody uses them better either. I just wish the Native American on the front would get some treatment for that acne breakout on his face.

3-Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have one of the best logos in sports.

4-New York Rangers: Red, white, and blue! The diagonal lettering makes this uniform special.

 5-Toronto Maple Leafs: That’s right! We’re going for an Original Six sweep. The Maple Leafs’ uniforms are as classic as you can get.

Soccer

1-Barcelona: Unlike most sports, stripes work in soccer, and they certainly work here. The blue and red work well together and can be found all around the globe. They’re the pinstripes of soccer.

2-Real Madrid: Real Madrid’s all-whites are almost as iconic as Barca’s stripes. Unlike most loud and crowded soccer kits, these are simple. As I’ve made clear before, when it comes to uniforms, simplicity is best.

 3-Newcastle United: These aren’t too simple. With black and white stripes, Newcastle’s kits look like referee uniforms, but on Newcastle’s players they look really intimidating. It is almost as if they are jail uniforms.

 4-Inter Milan: Some more stripes!

 5-AC Milan: And more!

 College Basketball

1-UCLA Bruins: The baby blue and yellow work perfectly with each other. These are as classic as you can get.

2-North Carolina Tar Heels: These are so iconic that Carolina blue is how people describe the Tar Heels’ blue.

3-Georgetown Hoyas: The navy and gray go perfectly with each other.

4-Duke Blue Devils: Everything you could want from a basketball jersey is in these. The classic colors, the cool font, plus they’re iconic. If Duke stopped using so much black, their uniforms would be contending for the top spot on the list.

5-Long Beach State 49ers: Black and yellow is a great color combination. The shorts and the number font are both cool. I don’t love these uniforms for any of those reasons though. The reason? The name on the front. Most teams would have simply put LBSU or Long Beach or 49ers on the front of their jerseys. These 49ers? They have the swagger to put “The Beach” in a ridiculously awesome font. It makes the team look so darn intimidating. Imagine showing up to play a game against Long Beach State. You leave the hotel thinking, “Long Beach State. Hah! We’re gonna crush these guys.” Then you show up at their pyramid (no, seriously. They play in a pyramid), and see all of these intimidating jerseys. You would be ready to go home.

Next Sunday, don’t forget to pledge allegiance to your teams’ jersey.

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