The NFL has a ton of classic throwback uniforms.from Philadelphia’s Kelly Green to the powder blue of the L.A. Chargers, the list goes on and on. One team that should stick to the present day? The Pittsburgh Steelers, who brought out their bumblebee-inspired threads for the first time since the 2014 NFL season. We hated them then, and we hate them now, even if the team seems to perform well while they’re wearing them — back in 2014 the Steelers went 51-34 for a victory over the Colts and stomped the Jets 31-13 this year.
A win’s a win, but it’s a fact that old school jerseys for any team can be tough on a typical human being’s retinas. Inspired by the Steelers’ threads, here are six horrendous NFL throwback jerseys that we would love to never see worn again. Entries are listed in no particular order, basically because there’s no way to rank which design is the most awful. Let’s just say we have a six-way tie.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a look best described as an angry bumblebee fresh out of, well, wherever it’s acceptable to wear knee length tan shorts. A 311 concert? While the Black and Yellow is an integral part of the Steelers aesthetic, we’re not fans of the retro embrace. At least they won, so the (visual) insult came without any sort of injury.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles busted out these sky blue-and-yellow uniforms in 2007 and promptly scored a season-best 56 points against the Lions. Okay, on second thought, maybe the team should bring this ugly design back more often. At Chip Kelly’s tempo, the Eagles’ offense could probably hit triple digits wearing the retro unis.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have never lost in their throwback uniforms, a look that hearkens back to the team’s early days as the Acme Packers. (Really? Acme? Who knew? Wile. E. Coyote would be proud.) Apparently having any two parts of the ensemble actually match colors just wouldn’t work, as the combination of the dark brown helmet, tan pants, and navy blue jersey with yellow logo is forever seared into our brains.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
From 1976 to 1996, or, as you might better know it, the “Creamsicle era,” the Buccaneers were 100-223-1. In other words, we have no idea why a franchise would possibly want to remind itself year after year about a 20-year stretch when it only won 30% of its games and wore the ugliest jerseys in the NFL. (The old-school Bucs were best summed up by coach John McKay back in the expansion days: When asked about his team’s execution, he said, “I’m in favor of it.”). Well … let’s just say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
5. Denver Broncos
The helmets are dull. The tops are bad. The pants are an ugly brown color. But the socks! Oh, the socks! Apparently the Broncos’ old-school uniforms have the same issue as the Steelers’: They didn’t properly understand the concept of stripes being slimming. Others’ assessments of the notorious and hideous Denver apparel were even more harsh than ours: Pro Football Talk used the term “excrement brown” to describe these “throw-up unis.”
6. New York Jets
Have you noticed how many of the worst NFL jerseys include some form of yellow or gold? Coincidence? You be the judge. The same is true of these New York Jets throwbacks, which pay homage to the jerseys worn by the “Titans of New York” in the ’60s. While we hate the look, the design, and really everything about these uniforms, we also propose that the Jets should have to wear them every game at least for the rest of this season. After all, with the team on a seven-game losing streak, they’re going to look ugly no matter what they wear. Might as well get their money’s worth out of this old Titans gear.