The Plight of the Bumblebee
Now…when people speak about ‘Bumblebee’ in 2012, they are speaking about the absolute coolest car/transformer that has ever been created. Bumblebee is that sleek, hot yellow shape cruising down the highway with guns mounted, radio blasting and an attitude that can’t be beat. But yesterday, the word bumblebee took on a whole new meaning – and not for the better.
The bumblebees took the field in Pittsburgh as the Steelers came out to play against the Washington Redskins dressed in the absolute worst uniform the NFL has ever seen. The socks – the jerseys…come on! These guys were most definitely ‘throwbacks’ (who should have been thrown back), although they mostly looked like jailhouse inmates who were sick of the orange colored outfit’s that the warden always passed out, so they decided to do something about it.
Upside for Pittsburgh? The Steelers won. Perhaps it was because they blinded the Redskins’ defense, or made their QB’s eyesight waver as he tried desperately to bring home the win but felt like he was back in a college dorm with a funny-smelling smoke circling his head. These were not new uniforms; they came out of the closet from 1934 when the squad apparently didn’t know what they looked like on television sets across America.
But you can’t call the Steelers the only difficult uniform that has ever reared its ugly head in the NFL. In fact, there were very painful ‘wardrobes’ shown by almost all of the NFL teams over time. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
When the Cardinals’ home was St. Louis in the mid-1980s, they wore the dullest red color on the books. In fact, their uniforms matched their downtrodden looks most of the time.
The Atlanta Falcons, who have one of the absolute coolest uniforms in the NFL, back in 1966, sported hideous outfits at their debut. Thankfully, someone saw the ‘bad’ and turned them into a team that would look good on a concert stage in front of millions.
Ah, Buffalo. The Bills came into the AFL in 1960 with, oddly enough, no buffalo at all on their helmets. And they certainly had some beasts in various positions over the years, so the bison was added and the red, white and blue made them a truly patriotic team to watch.
The Cincinnati Bengals wore a uniform in 1968, that had those awful orange helmets with the word “Bengals” spelled out on the side. The stripe is really far better and has the ability to bring that monster cat to life…even when the team seems to be dead in the water.
Now, the Cowboys can always claim their official and much beloved ‘star,’ but back in the 1960’s that star was huge and white, with big white stars on each shoulder. It looked very much like a group of seamstresses in the depths of the Russian cold winter sat in a small room and made them for the ‘Boys.’ Like a prom dress from the 1980s that should always REMAIN in the closet, these uniforms made the usually energetic America’s Team look like they were wearing a gift from Grandma.
The Denver Broncos of the 60’s actually should be placed right up there with what the Steelers trotted out yesterday, because once upon a time they wore a hideous thing that came with a solid brown helmet and crazy socks with stripes running up and down, instead of sideways.
Now, the Packers back in the 50s were far too busy wracking up wins. They were the ‘it’ team for a good, long time and basically had to only worry about how not to freeze in the wintry winds of Lambeau Field. Their uniforms were solid green – top to bottom – and looked a great deal like the Hulk on a bad day. The only other color was a boring grey helmet with a green racing stripe right down the middle. At least today’s yellow brings a little sun into the winter storms.
One of the saddest – now that all fans everywhere have enjoyed the bright aqua and orange for a long time – was the Miami Dolphins back in 1966. The team jerseys were a boring, humdrum blue and had none of the fire that their uniforms eventually gained. With the bright Miami colors, they now always look like they’re headed to a party!
And a long time back, when the Jets were actually called the New York Titans (and none of their players had yet to copyright prayer), they had the dullest uniforms in the biz. These particular jerseys have made a comeback… Unfortunately, the team hasn’t.
The Raiders, the Patriots – each and every one have had their off picks and bad days. And, except for the new expansion teams who haven’t yet found a way to ruin themselves, most of the NFL can claim a ‘horrific’ uniform choice over the years.
But when it comes to the Steelers, these guys have had a variety of moments over the decades. It was the 1930’s when jailhouse costumes first came into play. In their 1966 season, yellow stripes ran on the top of the back and top of the front. But whether you call something a throwback or a choice, or a retro look – some things are better off left in the locker room. And the Steelers’ uniforms we saw on that field yesterday are one of those things!
This Moment in Sports is Brought to You By: Be First Media Group
Until Next Time, Everybody,