By Paul John Goatee
Everyone knows the #1 priority for every team on an SFL Gameday: looking good. I mean, what’s the point in scoring touchdowns and winning games if you’re not going to look sharp whilst doing it? It’s a proven fact that teams who put time and effort into their appearance gain a larger fan base – okay, it’s not a proven fact but who wants to root for a team that wears jerseys that look like they have been designed by your grandma’s friend, Beryl? Exactly. Point proven. With this in mind, I’ve scanned my fashionista eyes over the uni’s worn by every SFL team in their last game. It proved to be an interesting experience to say he least (the fact that I have also contracted conjuncitivities in that time is just a coincidence, I’m sure). Either way, let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the brighter side of the SFL.
21. Las Vegas Fury
Like the city of Vegas itself, most people (and by most people, i mean myself) just couldn’t handle the Fury’s jerseys against London without being changed for the worse. The ‘mix’ of a pitch black torso, deep red shoulders and blink-inducing yellow lowers makes this kit a feast for the corneas, but not in a good way. Watching Vegas on Saturday night was a bit like staring into the sun; you couldn’t do it for more than a few seconds and if you tried, well, pain would follow. There was actually rumour that you could see the pants the Fury players were wearing on Saturday from space. I have no reason to doubt them.
20. St. Louis Gladiators
There’s not much to say about the uni’s St. Louis trotted out in against Indianapolis. They essentially just look like they were once white and are in need of a strong wash. On first glance I assumed the Gladiators’ kit man had forgotten to turn on the washing machine that week. As it happens, the coffee stain/dirt colours the players were adorned in were planned from the start. Do me a favour Glads, go back to green.
19. Oklahoma City Renegades
The fact that the jerseys Oklahoma City wore against Houston were the nicest they’ve used all season pretty much sums up how I feel about their wardrobe. I didn’t actually mind the top half, combining a bright white torso with a blood orange helmet and yellow facemask, and I like the touch of the golden feathery-looking dagger (or daggery-looking feather) down the side, but what is it with those pants?! I can’t even put my finger on what colour they are supposed to be? I’m sure I could think of many an appropriate comparison, but I shall refrain. I’ll let the readers elaborate for themselves.
18. Carolina Skyhawks
Individually, I like all of the colours that the Skyhawks used against Chicago. My problem comes with how they have been hastily thrown together. Mixing the red, white and blue, Carolina look like they’re trying too hard to be the ‘Team USA’ of the SFL, and it doesn’t quite work for me. Nothing about Carolina’s uni’s confuse me. Classic colours and isometric design. They just bring out a feeling of cringeworthiness from within me that I don’t enjoy.
17. Houston Hyenas
I really want to like the Houston Hyenas jerseys. They have a great team with a storied history and some brilliant players, especially off the field, but the dominating ‘reddish-brown’ colour of their latest uni’s is just far too much. I actually like the colour, but in small doses (see the colours they used against Dallas). Against Oklahoma City, it was too much. Had these rankings dropped a couple of weeks ago, Houston would have been higher.
16. London Knights
The white road jerseys that the Knights used against Las Vegas are my least favourite of their collection. The deep red and yellow combination was working again, however this time the yellow was more muted and less obvious. I don’t hate the white torso either, although the yellow numbers and ‘hoops’ around the shoulders really put me off my breakfast. Being located in such a fashion capital, The Knights’ poor look surprises me, but then again, so did Brexit. They can climb up this list if they rid themselves of the ‘hooped’ yellow shoulders.
15. Sioux Falls Sparrows
If this fell on the majority of weeks, the Sparrows would find themselves easily in the top 10 of this list, but something went wrong against Mexico City (and I don’t just mean the lack of scoring). The Sparrows’ colour scheme works excellently and they have worn some knockout kits, but their latest effort was marred by a vertical mountain range climbing up the side of each player. I don’t get it! Were they playing during National Geographic Week or World Mountain Appreciation Day?! I guess not as Mexico City didn’t seem to get the memo (to their advantage). I suppose there is a silver lining. I think Sioux Falls will get sent a complimentary edition of Mountain Magazine, the monthly subscriber book containing all things ‘Mountain’.
14. Indianapolis Red Devils
Similar to Indianapolis’ offence this season (St. Louis and Baltimore games aside) the simplistic red and white jersey just doesn’t have any ‘punch’ to it. There’s not too much more to say. They’re clean cut and the colours work well together, but I want to look at a jersey and feel something inside. When I looked at the Red Devils last time out, I felt nothing.
P.S. The dark grey and black jerseys they have worn before are top drawer. The clean cut style really compliments that alternate look.
13. Tallahassee Pride
I am a huge supporter of the Tallahassee Purple. They have taken a polarizing colour and made it their own. However, the colours they wore against Tulsa made me feel like there was something not quite right. For me, Tallahasee aren’t Tallahassee without a big shot of purple injected onto the screen, and this combination of black torso, purple shoulders and gold trim doesn’t give me that. They almost looked like Pride ‘imposters’. They rank this high because it’s still a decent looking uni, but I’d recommend going back to the classic look for the next contest.
12. Chicago Wildcats
Speaking of a shot of colour being injected onto the screen, the Chicago Wildcats did just that in their last game against Carolina, trotting out clad in ‘all orange’ with a thin black stripe down the side of the pants. Reading that description alone, my gut reaction would be to find some sunglasses and hope for the best, but actually seeing these bold uni’s on the field, it surprisingly works. Now, from the position in the rankings this clearly isn’t my favourite look, but you have to applaud the ‘ballsy’ decision to go with all orange, a colour that is an intergral part of the Wildcats’ make up. Some may hate it, but as I see it, orange is the new black.
11. Atlanta Swarm
There’s something about the Swarm’s colours that makes me like them more than I feel comfortable with. The jerseys they wore in Week 11 lit up like a city at night, the contrast of the poolside blue and empty black really fixing the gaze. If I couldn’t say anything else about this effort, I could say it grabbed my attention. I’m not a huge fan of the positioning of the colours and I much prefer when the jerseys compliment the nuclear green sleeves that some of the players wear (possibly my favourite sleeves of the SFL) so that knocks Atlanta down slightly. Still, it’s a bold attempt at flashiness and that I have to reward.
10. Baltimore Vultures
The dull and dreary conditions that plagued Baltimore’s Week 11 contest with Dallas perfectly complimented the deep red and muddy white combination the Vultures wore in the game. Simple yet easy on the eye, there’s something just ‘quite nice’ about Baltimore’s uni’s. I can’t help but feel a little more comfortable about life when I look at them. The SFL doesn’t always need to be ‘flashy’, although the Vultures do get downgraded rather heavily due to the fact that they are apparently trying to be the ‘Manchester United‘ of the SFL. Tut tut.
9. Alaska Storm
Now we enter the Top 10 (Top 9 to be pedantic). I think it’s fair to say that I like every uniform alot from here on out and they were extremely hard to rank. I just had to think ‘If I was a player, my entrance music would be Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top. Which uniform would best do justice to that entrance’. This is why we have the Alaska Storm sitting at number 9. You can help but recognise the distinctive contrast between white and the ‘Alaska Blue’ that the Storm wear most weeks. The colours alone make this a Top 10 choice. The lightning bolts down the size are a nice ‘not so’ subtle touch, although they are a bit like Marmite for me. Some days I love them, some days I hate them.
8. Tulsa Desperados
There are no dull Tulsa jerseys. They go from slightly wacky to absolutely insane with nothing in between. Why the zaney orange-red and slightly off-the-wall green work so well together, I have no idea, bit they do. Couple that with the bright white jersey-helmet combo and you have a feast for the eyes. Tulsa’s season on the field hasn’t exactly gone to plan, but their jersey design is on point.
7. Dallas Lobos
Smart, sophisticated and suave, Dallas may exhibit the ‘classiest’ looking uni’s in the entire SFL. I feel like I could turn up to a job interview wearing Dallas’ jersey and it would increase my chances of being successfull. I prefer the darker home jerseys than the lighter away kits, but they still look sharp. The Lobos look smooth when they’re on the field and no one colour overshadows another. Excellent work.
6. New Orleans Pharaohs
Has anyone realised that I have a sordid love affair going on with purple yet? I cant help but applaud the subtle hints of purple on New Orleans’ shoulder pads, just the right amount to maintain the franchise’s image without overdoing it. I’ve never been a massive fan of the golden helmets but they don’t look out of place. The Pharaohs’ results have seen a huge up turn recently, and so has their on-field look.
5. Vancouver Legion
There’s not much to say about Vancouver’s jerseys as they were absolutely awesome. The dark blue torso contrasted with the white gives the whole team a ‘minty fresh’ feel, and you may be wondering why I’ve put them at 5th, not 1st. That logo on the helmets. Vancouver have quite possibly my least favourite logo of all the SFL, and it dominates their helmets like a coldsore on some lips. That is why they are bumped down to 5.
4. San Francisco Sharks
Great logo. Clean design. Smart colour scheme. Nothing else to say. San Francisco Sharks were the 4th best dressed team in the league in Week 11.
3. Mexico City Aztecs
Mexico City’s all black uniforms with the long, red stripe bisecting the black on the pants are near perfect. This is what representing your colour scheme whilst also looking good is all about. Some of The Aztecs’ uni’s don’t grab my attention much, but this one blew me away. I’d happily wear that if I was talented enough to play in the SFL.
2. Queen City Corsairs
Queen City boast the most recognisable colours in the league. The midnight black contrast with fresh green is a classicly excellent colour scheme, the black jerseys pronouncing the effect of the green gloves and sleeves, giving the whole look depth and life. There aren’t many instances where I would be happy about putting on green gloves. Playing for Queen City in those all black uni’s would be one of the exceptions.
1. Denver Nightwings
At the top of my Power Rankings are the Denver Nightwings. Their uni’s are cooler than the other side of the pillow. The black jersey and metallic blue pants are an all season great combination, capped off with the stylish black helmet. Since the Nightwings replaced the San Antonio Vaqueros, the look of the team has changed dramatically and for the better (except I preferred the Vaqueros logo). My only remaining question is, where can I buy a Nightwings jersey?!
Due to the length of preparation time that this article took, Week 12 has also come and gone. This is just a reminder that the rankings were based on Week 11 games.