Top 10 Ugliest Jerseys in NBA History

Given that my lists on the ugliest hockey jerseys and ugliest baseball jerseys are my two most read posts, continuing the series was a no-brainer. Coinciding it with the end of the NBA Finals is decent timing on my part, but the truth is, I started working on this list months ago and gave up. The history of the NBA simply doesn’t get much attention, so the resources for finding some of these ugly jerseys was getting too difficult. It’s a league very much focused on the now, paying little attention to anything that happened before Magic and Larry, other than the obligatory nod to Dr. J, Russell’s Celtics, and Wilt. But I persevered, using the knowledge that people everywhere will click over to this blog, get pissed because I’m insulting their favourite team, and then never visit again.

To tell the truth, I could easily do ten butt-ugly jerseys from the mid-to-late 90s alone, and it would look pretty convincing. A basketball jersey should be a simple thing: choose a two-colour scheme (with maybe a third shade for accents), put a word mark across the chest, number on the stomach, number on the back, done. Sure, you could mess it up by choosing ugly colours, but more often (and especially throughout the mid-to-late 90s) what makes an ugly jersey is messing with this formula. There’s not a lot of real estate on a basketball jersey, so when teams try to push the limits, the results are usually gaudy monstrosities.

One note: given that there’s some repeat offenders, I’ve limited this list to one jersey per team. That way this whole list wouldn’t be all Detroit, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. Also, given the spotty info available out there on NBA history, some of my dates might be wrong. Feel free to point them out, just try not to think of me as stupid for making them (instead, rely on my opinions and prose to make your judgements on my intelligence).
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Top 10 Ugliest NHL Jerseys of All-Time

The NHL season is now upon us and as mandated by my Canadian passport, I’m obligated to make some sort of hockey-related post. In a former life, I used to work at a store that sold jerseys, with NHL jerseys being our most popular sellers, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Of the four major North American sports leagues (we here in Canada still like to think of the NHL as being part of the four major North American sports leagues, and in fact aren’t so sure if the other three measure up), I’d say that hockey lends itself best to providing really ugly jerseys. Most of this has to do with the simple fact that hockey jerseys (or sweaters as traditionalists like to call them, even though they stopped being sweaters sometime around the advent of colour TVs) are the biggest jerseys, and thus provide a bigger canvass for people with no taste to mess with. It doesn’t help that NHL teams aren’t exactly run by the savviest of marketers (when much of the talent and front office personal in a sport come from backwater Saskatchewan and the like, fashion sense isn’t an overly valued commodity).

So while baseball has its basic button up shirt designs, football has its basic colours and big numbers design, and basketball has the smallest canvass to work with, hockey jerseys are neck to thigh, full sleeved chances to throw in far too much colour, piping, or horrible logo choices. The flip side to this is that when a jersey is done right, it can be amongst the best looking jerseys in all of sport. But that’s not the case with these abominations.
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Top 10 Ugliest Uniforms in Baseball History

Apparently, MLB used this as their logo from 1960-1968, which makes it fitting for this list, since it looks like it was designed by a retarded six year old with a crayon. On LSD.For the most part, baseball uniforms are all pretty similar and business-like with the buttons down the front. For most of major league history, all home jerseys were white with the team’s name or logo on the front, and the road jerseys were grey with the name of the team’s city on the front. They brought in colour in the seventies, often replacing the road jersey, or just using the coloured jersey as an alternate jersey. Currently, every team in the league has at least one white home jersey and a grey road jersey. Then, teams have a bunch of other coloured jerseys as alternates, some with home and road alternates (generally, but not always, distinguished by the name on the front – nickname at home, city name on the road). None of the uniforms on this list are currently being worn in the majors.

A couple of notes on the list before I begin. One, I’m only counting jerseys that were worn in games by major league teams (not including gimmick jerseys, like the time the majors had futuristic jerseys). So no batting jerseys, which are often so experimental and gaudy that they’d need their own category. Two, while I list a year for the jersey, it isn’t necessarily the only year that particular jersey was worn, it’s just a year I know for sure it was worn.

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Coke Zero Man’s League Update… Update… Update

If you recall, earlier this month I mentioned that I had gotten an e-mail read in the ESPN Fantasy Focus Football Edition Podcast, which led the host to proclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. This resulted in them asking me to join the Coke Zero Man’s League, a 16-team fantasy football league they created in an effort to embarrass and shame their producer Jay Soderberg, since he plays in a small, 8-team fantasy baseball league (and because embarrassing and shaming Jay is their most favourite thing to do).

So they wanted to see how Jay would do in a deep league, and set up a 16 team listener’s league (which is a really deep fantasy football league. Standard sizes for fantasy football leagues are generally 10-12 teams), filling the other 15 spots with listeners who e-mailed in to be a part of the podcast. One of the 15 listeners (dubbed “Crazy Guy”) subsequently started being a jerk on the message boards, and was hurting the league’s competitive balance by giving away his players in terrible trades. So they kicked him out, rescinding his last trade in the process, then eventually offered me his spot in the league. I accepted the offer mostly to be a part of the show, since I knew his roster was terrible and that it’s difficult to improve a roster in a league that deep (not that I haven’t been trying).

They routinely give updates on the progress of the league throughout the week on the podcast, giving the one host (the Talented Mr. Roto, Matthew Berry) plenty of opportunity to call me “Stupid Andy from Calgary”, since my e-mail disagreed with his opinion. Since the other host (Nate Ravitz) agrees with my opinion, he countered by calling me “Sage-like Andy”, which quickly morphed to “Horine-like Andy”, with “Horine” being the last name of their boss (Mark Horine), and thus becoming a synonym for “sage”. “Horine-like Andy” has become my nickname (accept to Matt, who gets upset when he hears that and continues to call me “Stupid Andy”).

A continuing bit they do on the show is that they chat with whoever is playing Jay during the week before and after the weekend. Sadly, the hosts were away last Thursday, so I didn’t get my pre-game interview as I played Jay this past weekend. But they did call me up today to discuss the horrible 122-59 defeat I suffered at the hands of Pod Vader (Soderberg’s nickname), making it my international podcast debut.

To listen to my appearance on the show, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 and play or download the podcast for 10/30. My segment comes up at the 21:20 mark. Behold my witty repartee.

The Saga Continues…

Once again, Andy from Calgary gets a mention on the ESPN Fantasy Football Focus podcast, this time as the big news item of the day (it’s a very slow news day in the football world, as Tuesday is an off day). To hear the brief segment about me, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then choose the podcast for 10/3. I’m the lead story at about 1:55 in, and then they talk about my entry into the league for about a minute or so before moving on.

So, there you have it. Minute 14 of 15 of my fleeting brush with fame.

My Brief Flirtation with Almost Fame

Most of you know that I am a participant in that wonderfully wacky pasttime known as Fantasy Football. As part of my fantasy football preparations, and more importantly as part of my attempt to distract myself from my job, I listen to ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast featuring The Talented Mr. Roto Matthew Berry and his co-host Nate Ravitz. I mostly listen to it for entertainment purposes, as most of their advice doesn’t really pertain to the rules and make-up of my fantasy league, and, as a four-time champion of said league, I don’t really need much advice (3-1 so far this year, and the league’s highest scorer).

But it’s an entertaining listen if you’re in to fantasy football and have a half hour to kill Monday through Friday. One thing that bugs me is that Matthew Berry is always going on about the importance of handcuffing your studs (for you non-fantasy football fans, this means to draft the real-world NFL back-up of the best runningback on your fantasy roster, in case that best back, AKA your “stud”, gets injured). I think this is one of the most overrated pieces of fantasy advice, leading people to hype the unknown runningbacks that happen to occupy the spot behind your guy in the depth chart, even if that guy has never proven himself a viable fantasy player. NFL players are not interchangeable, so just because one guy performs really well for a team, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy replacing him will also do well.

An example of this came this weekend, when Brian Leonard replaced the injured Steven Jackson as the St. Louis Rams starting runningback, and proceeded to do nothing. Seizing upon this example, I e-mailed the show in an effort to expose the flaw in Berry’s logic. They, in turn, read my e-mail on the show, and then proceeded to engage in a rather spirited debate about the subject that led to a rather exasperated Matthew Berry to exclaim “I hate Andy from Calgary”. For the rest of the podcast, they kept coming back to me and my e-mail, to the point where Nate suggested that I should replace Matthew on the show (as a joke… I’m mostly sure).

As a result of the six minute debate my e-mail set off, I was invited to join the 16 Team Man’s League the show set up, to replace a crazy guy they had to kick out, an invitation I accepted. I expect this to not be the last you hear them talk about Andy from Calgary, as they update league progress a few times a week.

To listen to this ever-so-brief brush with ever-so-small fame, go here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=2942325 then select the Fantasy Focus Football: 10/2 edition and play it (or download if you so chose). Then skip about a third of the way in (in the ESPN player, you can scroll to above the rewind button) and that will get you to the part about me. I keep coming up for about six minutes, then come up again a few times after that.