Top 10 Uniforms (Of Teams That No Longer Exist.)
I don’t know if anyone asked for a list this epic…but you’re welcome. Some teams on this list may have packed up and moved on to greener pastures (aka re-located.) Some teams may have faded away into the sports abyss. Whatever the case may be, these are some of the most dope uniforms that have ever graced our planet.
10. Atlanta Thrashers
The Thrashers existed for a brief stint during the turn of the millennium. Their first season of play was in ’99, but the franchise would only last until 2011 when they eventually re-located to Winnipeg for the second coming of the Jets. I couldn’t tell you what a “Thrasher” really is. I’d venture to guess it has something to do with mosh pits and daddy issues, but the design suggests otherwise. Bird-like tornado logos aside, I am a huge fan of the baby blue (as you’ll read.) My favorite part of this uniform is the city name down the left sleeve. It pays homage to the classic hockey sweaters of teams like Pittsburgh and New York without copying the diagonal design across the chest. I like the alternate red that Dustin Byfuglien is sporting as well. The font is cheesy, but the layout is still cooler than their plain white away jerseys.
9. Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) were conceived in 1996. Nothing screams mid 90’s like bright colors, patterns, and a cartoon coyote. That being said, I happen to love all three of these. My favorite though has to be the green alternate. Guys…there’s a full desert landscape at the bottom of the jersey (complete with a crescent moon.) And for as big of a douche as Jeremy Roenick has turned out to be, he definitely rocked the shit out of these jerseys back in the day.
8. Houston Oilers
The Houston Oilers were founded in 1960 as part of the American Football Leauge. 1970 was their first NFL season, and they would only stay in Houston until 1996. A pretty simple uniform set all things considered, but that baby blue (or Columbia blue according to Wikipedia) looks gorgeous against those red accents. Kudos to the logo creator as well. Imagine being tasked with creating a logo for an Oiler. Good luck. The Oilers’ helmets are pretty underrated as well. The simplistic white with stripes is a perfect accompaniment to the home and away jerseys.
7. Colorado Rockies
Yes, there was indeed an NHL team called the Colorado Rockies (1976–1982.) In ’82 the Rockies re-located to New Jersey and would become the New Jersey Devils. A simple color palate across the board, but somehow the white jersey isn’t boring to look at in the slightest. I love the logo. It reminds me of the Chicago Cubs’ logo, only cooler and better. In my opinion this look is far more eye-catching than both the New Jersey Devils and the Colorado Avalanche uniforms, but that’s just me.
6. Seattle Supersonics
The Seattle Supersonics (Sonics) were a professional basketball team in the NBA from 1967 to 2008. The team was sold, and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. But not before drafting Kevin Durant in 2007. A lot of times in pro sports we see teams with basic/easy color palates. There’s a lot of red and blue, red and black, blue and yellow, etc…Basically, no risk is being taken. So it’s nice to see a team break the routine every once in a while, and that’s what Seattle did with the green and gold. I especially enjoy the white “Sonics” lettering in Durant’s jersey, as it ties the whole uniform together really well.
5. Minnesota North Stars
What’s better than green and gold? How about green, gold, and black? Um…yes, please. Before departing for Dallas in ’93, the North Stars were wearing these sick threads. The black — even as an accent color — really makes the uniform pop. The logo isn’t my favorite, but I am a big fan of the stars lining the shorts. It gives the feel of an all-star uniform without seeming tacky. I’ll give the now Dallas Stars some credit for updating the logo and switching over to an all-black uniform, but I could do without the Vegas gold. Stay away from the Vegas gold!!!
4. Vancouver Grizzlies
The Grizzlies were only in Vancouver from 1995 to 2001. After which they turned into the Memphis Grizzlies and got rid of the gorgeous jerseys pictured above. The home and away combo is fairly plain, but the 3D block lettering really works for these uniforms. The black alternate jersey is pure beauty. Sleek, simple, and I love the city name across the chest. Hey Memphis, bring these colors back…please!
3. Memphis Maniax
Speaking of Memphis. Vince McMahon of the WWE had an idea in 2001. It was basically to make professional football fun again. As we know his brain-child, the XFL, died after only one season. But it left behind some amazing jerseys to say the least, lest we forget about Rod Smart and “He Hate Me.” The Memphis Maniax took the unconventional route with their uniforms, and if you ask this guy, the risk was worth the reward. Almost identical to the Vancouver Grizzlies color palate, the Memphis threads are visually pleasing and they are anything but boring. The helmet might be one of my favorite parts of this uniform. The “AX” logo was actually an attempt to get fans involved by referring to the team as “The AX.” I don’t know that the ploy worked, but the logo turned out to be very cool.
2. Montreal Expos
Before we get into what are possibly the most dope uniforms ever to grace the MLB, what in the world is an “Expo?” If you guessed an abbreviation for “Exposition” then you would be correct. Specifically the Montreal Expos are named after Expo 67, which held one of the most successful World’s Fairs as 1967 was also Canada’s centennial year. I’m a huge fan of the tri-tone hats. The Baltimore Orioles have a similar hat/helmet combo and it really gives the uniform a classic, throwback feel. As you know by now, I love the baby blue look. White can be a pretty boring color when it comes to uniforms, but in this case it really highlights all three versions. Again we see a beautiful tribute to the city with the red “Montreal” over a grey background. But one combo stands out above the rest. At one point the Expos wore these amazing red jerseys, which given any ordinary circumstance wouldn’t mean much.
But to pair the red shirt with the baby blue pants, just adds so much depth to this uniform. Add in the tri-tone hat, and you have the Pascual Perez special. Typically red,white, and blue is an easy way out when it comes to threads, but I’d say the Expos pretty much nailed it. In 2004 they would re-locate to Washington, leaving the Toronto Blue Jays as Canada’s only MLB team.
1. Hartford Whalers
Originally members of the World Hockey Association, the Whalers didn’t add blue to their uniforms until 1979 when they joined the NHL. Again we see how the risk was worth the reward. I love the all green look complimented by the white logo and numbering. Take a look at the whale patch on the left shoulder. Granted a “Whaler” might not be the most threatening mascot, but both logos look pretty sick against the green background. I’d like to point out the whale-tail (get your mind out of the gutter) on the white version. The blue tail is just a subtle change from the green jersey, but doesn’t take away from the look at all and still makes for a really cool logo. In 1992 the Whalers would go full Seattle Seahawks and add a hint of grey to their threads. I personally don’t think they needed it, but the grey added a modern touch and sets a perfect background for the logo. The Hartford Whalers had the coolest uniform set until their dying day. In 1997 the Whalers re-located to North Carolina to become the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes colors are…wait for it…red and black. How original.
Honorable Mention: Team North America
In September of 2016 the NHL held an international tournament called the World Cup of Hockey. And for a brief moment in sports history it felt like everyone was rooting for the underdogs. It’s tough referring to them as underdogs because Team North America had a decent showing throughout the tourney. Though, the under 23 team was just that…young. But they had a spark. They had energy. Most of all they had swag. I mean just look at those sweaters. Remember what I said about the Hartford Whalers adding a touch of grey? Look at how the grey compliments the other colors. Not to mention the orange and black just jump off the jersey. For as boring as a Team North America logo could have been, I approve of the intersecting “N” & “A.” Shout out to the designer for also acknowledging the young guns with a “23” in Roman Numerals. Overall these were solid eye candy to look at for a few weeks. Rest in peace Team N.A.