Earlier this week, the XFL (Vince McMahon’s SECOND attempt at minor league pro football) released official images of the uniforms for their eight new teams. At long last, potential fans of the “league” were able to get a glimpse of what each of the teams will be wearing come next spring. Since there are 8 initial teams, that means there’s 16 sets of uniforms headed our way. For some reason, our Nelson Rockingham has been oddly stoked about what’s to come for what’s best known to date as the conservative “no kneeling league.” But for every yin, there must be a yang. To give us an honest reaction to these fresh threads, we also enlisted the help of Jenn Coulter. She’s stylish and chic; he got a B+ in 3rd grade art class. A wise man once said: “Look good, feel good, play good”, so let’s see what our newly-appointed fashion experts make of these new threads.
Jenn: Oof. The dragon logo is one beefy arm away from being Trogdor, and the orange footwear makes it look like the players are wearing knock-off Timbs, and the Away uniforms remind me of the Duck Hunt color scheme. I’ll give these guys points for the thought put into the color choices: green for dragon scales and orange for fire is fitting. I guess it’s easier to pick colors that say “dragon” than it is to pick ones that say “defender.” Still, this uniform is an overall miss since it looks like an ill-fitting Broncos costume bought at a Spirit store a week past Halloween. To be honest, the overall color palette is a liiiittle too close to the University of Miami uniforms for it to save the look, anyways.
Jenn: Wow, three different shades of orange? Is the wildcat supposed to be CHESTER CHEETAH?! [uproarious applause from the audience] Thank you, thank you. [standing ovation] I’ll be here all week! No, but really, these are pretty meh. That Atari Jaguar claw/stripe motif on the sides of the thighs just aren’t doing it for me. The team logo on the helmet isn’t half bad, though, I will give them that. It was a BOLD choice to make their logo out of the letters “L.A.” instead of, you know, the obvious “wildcat”.
New York Guardians
Jenn: SO FIRST OF ALL: The New York Guardians home stadium isn’t even in New York, it’s the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. And yeah, I know that’s where the “New York” Giants play, too, but that doesn’t make it any less disrespectful. The 2001 XFL team was the New York/New Jersey Hitmen, so why couldn’t the Guardians represent? I know why – because they’re COWARDS. That panther logo thing? Looks like a coward. Those color choices? Boring and cowardly. Coward!
St. Louis Battlehawks
Jenn: Blah. These are just boring, mostly. Blue and grey, oooooh. Wings. Wowww. How about some FLAIR? Give me a WHOLE BATTLEHAWK on your helmet, man! Not just some WINGS! Apparently the wings are supposed to be made of swords, but that didn’t really come through to me. If anything, they give more of a “complete kitchen knife set that was on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond.” Actually, the blue & white ARE BB&B logo colored…maybe there’s a sponsorship deal coming?
Nelson: Look, I appreciate what they wanted to do here. That near-Carolina Blue and black combo is sexxxyyy. The issue is their third color here: red. I get it, their logo’s eyes are red, they need some accent to make it pop. But my eyes can’t help but go straight to that red stripe on the sleeve. It’s so out of place. The pants incorporate it perfectly but it sticks out like a store thumb on both jerseys. Also, pretty sure their logo is taken straight from a Madden or NCAA Team Builder’s Create-a-Team’s generic choice of logos, so Mr. McMahon can look forward to a getting a copyright notice from EA.
Nelson: This is, in the opinions of both writers, the best overall set. It isn’t edgy or trend-setting but it’s a solid look. These uniforms, combined with their logo on their helmet (nice touch on the metallic finish, btw) are clearly trying to bridge between Houston’s Oiler’s of yester-year and today’s Texans. I believe it was George Washington who once said “These colors don’t run.” Hopefully the Roughnecks can live up to that.
Tampa Bay Vipers
Nelson: Ok these are, BY FAR, the most ambitious of the XFL uniforms that were revealed. Lime green, regular green, and yellow being put together usually ends in me grabbing a shotgun and demanding to know who’s responsible for this atrocity. Usually. However, after considering they are the “Vipers”, I think it’s juussttt crazy enough to work. The lime green and yellow have a definite venomous feel, and their clash with the darker green makes it truly poisonous, perfect for a Viper. Under the bright lights and television screens, this whole look could flop, leading to humorous John Deere comparisons, but the possibility of abject failure is an important part of being really ambitious! The Away uniform is very average though, since the lack of enough lime green makes the helmet look garish. I really do love the alternate snake logo on the center of the uniform though, just to remind you what you’re dealing with. Similarly the fangs in the V on the helmet are a great touch. It’s too bad this logo artist wasn’t around to help stop the final choice in artwork for the Dragons.
Nelson: After such a gamble, let us turn to the most basic of the bunch: the Defenders. Look, the XFL is a brand new league, trying to break into a market the NFL has had a stranglehold on for a decade. They put a team in the Capitol because Vince McMahon is an American Patriot. Part of the decision that large cities like Chicago did not receive an XFL team is because the fans there are apathetic towards their current NFL team. At least St. Louis had nothing before the Battlehawks swooped in, DC has the Dan Snyder Factory of Sadness and Indifference, also known as the Redskins. This is a golden opportunity to win over a desperate group of victory-starved fans in your league’s infancy. Instead, they get the least inspired uniforms of the lot. All red (with some white accents like numbers ‘n stuff) for home games, and the exact opposite color scheme for away games. These look like a Chinese knock-off version of themselves. And how exactly do lightning bolts embody or represent a “Defender”? In fact, if you squint, and look at the helmet, it almost looks like a drunk person’s attempt to draw the Confederate flag. But hey, at least the pants are cool, I guess.
Considering it’s not a guarantee we’ll even see XFL football on the actual field, it’s good we could share this hopeful moment together. We’ll be sure to check back in on this cheeky little upstart headlined by an overreaching blustering billionaire (that always ends well) as the season gets underway in the spring. Hell, there’s even talks about formulating a TehBen XFL fantasy league, we’re all in on this shit y’all.
…Matt opens the draft by picking the kicker for the Tampa Bay Vipers, Blair Walsh!