[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Angus OKeefe, who recently tried his hand at one of those “What if NFL teams were actually soccer teams?” projects. I was impressed by the results, and I think you will be too. Enjoy. — PL]
By Angus OKeefe
I recently sat down and redesigned all 32 NFL franchises as soccer teams. I took my time and tried to incorporate elements of their NFL uniforms, nods to the city/state, and the actual naming rights advertisers of each team’s stadium (or a primary advertiser if they have haven’t sold off the naming rights). I also used accurate starting quarterback numbers and fonts on the leg. In a few instances I also incorporated some classic designs from the world of soccer kits, if I felt it was appropriate and matched well with the NFL team.
Here we go, one division at a time [for all images, you can click to enlarge]:
Cowboys: In keeping with their preferred look, I let them wear their home whites.
Eagles: Went with a very subtle tartan on the chest as a bit of an homage to Irish descendants being the largest ethnic group in the city. Added their original logo to the sleeve because I hope they change back someday.
Giants: Solid blue with a single red stripe, echoing their helmets. Subtle pinstriping as an homage to the Yankees. Was a bit odd having to make their home pants white instead of gray. Added the home pants striping to the socks.
Washington: Native American pattern for the body of the jersey. Simple, accurate socks.
Bears: Went for the Ditka sweater vest look. “GSH” tribute down the pant stripe.
Lions: Figured that if they just went through the trouble of redesigning their uniforms, I should honor them with a pretty straightforward rendition of the new design.
Packers: Can’t mess with tradition.
Vikings: One of my favorites. Incorporated their Viking boat sleeve stripes and emulated a classic Sweden international kit (to honor the Scandinavian influence in Minnesota).
Buccaneers: Went literal with theirs. Tried to emulate the jersey as much as I could.
Falcons: Again, tried to emulate their actual jersey. Added striping to the chest, with a very subtle wing pattern.
Panthers: One of the few that does not incorporate much from the NFL uniform. Modeled after a PSG kit from a few years ago that is one of my all-time favorites. Just felt that the colors would really stand out in this design.
Saints: Fleur-de-lis! Kept in the team’s theme of black on black. A subtle fleur-de-lis pattern to the kit with gold accents popping off. Not every uniform needs white!
Cardinals: Adapted a killer Lazio kit from a few years ago to have a cardinal’s head. Went black-heavy, in part because I felt like it was necessary to distinguish this one from the Niners.
49ers: Went with a traditional vertical-stripe kit to match the Niners’ traditional unis. Started out using their three sleeve stripes, but felt like it was sacrilege to put three white stripes on a Nike kit — it just screamed Adidas. Subtle Golden Gate Bridge trim on the shorts, and sleeves in gold.
Rams: Adapted my favorite of their great old jerseys to fit a soccer kit. Think the horns really hold their own on this. A beautiful sock stripe was adapted from another designer’s pant stripe concept. Added Wal-Mart as the advertiser because of Kroenke’s marriage to a Walton heiress.
Seahawks: Figured I could really get after this one. Only time I didn’t use the team’s primary logo as a badge. Modified their current jerseys’ silver panels and let myself get a little creative with it. Helmet stripe pattern on the lower third of the jersey, standard stripe from their football pants on the shorts.
Bills: One of my riskier designs. I incorporated the red stripe from the Bills logo all the way down onto the shorts. Felt like it was a nice shout-out to how their logo has the red extending past the blue buffalo. A real hit or miss amongst my friends. Accurate socks.
Dolphins: One of the teams that really gave me trouble. In the end I went with an overlaid graphic (like Man U is incorporating into their third kit this coming season). Felt like the pure aqua gives a greater sense of the dolphin swimming underwater.
Jets: Went with a fairly accurate representation of their uniform, with the addition of a Nike camo pattern that they are rumored to be rolling out to all the major European clubs this coming season. “Jets” to me always gives off a military feel, so I felt it was appropriate.
Patriots: The Pats remind me a lot of PSG these days. No nonsense, consistently dominant. With Belichick in charge of everything, I can’t imagine it would be any frillier than this. I adapted the current PSG kit for the Patriots with a very subtle difference: Instead of 14 thin red stripes down the chest, there are 13, for the original colonies. Added the original 13 stars to the thigh for continuity and didn’t overthink it.
Bengals: I adapted an old Werder Bremen kit that I love for this one. I almost added the Bengals’ traditional stripes but felt like that would be too obvious. This gives them the striped feel, but in a more cosmetically pleasing way.
Browns: Shockingly, I really like this one. Modified their sleeve stripes to create a pretty cool shirt design. After that went standard with their pants stripe.
Ravens: This is a team that always seems dignified to me. Modified a Man U kit with alternating sleeves as a subtle nod to the Maryland state flag’s four quadrants.
Pittsburgh: Bumblebee! One of the teams had to get a Celtic-style full hoop design. Who better than the Steelers, who’ve used a similar look for their throwback.
Colts: A no-nonsense football uni leads to a no-nonsense soccer kit. Incorporated their horseshoe logo’s white dots on blue background into all the trim pieces. Other than that, not much to it.
Jaguars: Had to incorporate their awful helmet gradient into the full kit. I couldn’t bring myself to make it as jarringly abrupt as their actual helmet is, though.
Texans: Went with a stylized steer’s head as a chest graphic. I think it turned out pretty cool. A friend said the bottom looked like two legs kicking, which I guess is appropriate for soccer.
Titans: A tough color combo. I used the two blues in a quadrant pattern as a nod to the Volunteers.
Broncos: Another rare instance of not using any details from the team’s football uniform. This was a bit of a nod to a friend, who is a massive Broncos and Netherlands fan. I used one of my favorite Netherlands kits and tweaked it for the Broncos.
Chargers: Bolt up. Pretty basic influence from the powder blue throwbacks. Used the original LA Chargers badge, which I would love to see them revert to. Interesting to note their advertiser is StubHub, because they will actually be playing in a soccer arena next year.
Chiefs: Took their sleeve stripes to make a center strip. Added a bit of a gradient pattern for interest’s sake. Pants stripe is accurate with added gradient as well. Chose the University of Kansas Hospital as an advertiser because that’s who has the naming rights to their training facilities.
Raiders: It killed me to even add the subtle pattern in the background, but a solid black shirt just didn’t feel like I was working hard enough. And of course, “AL” on the leg.
Paul here. Let’s have a round of applause for Angus — not just for his designs, but for the informative text. Nice to have insights into a designer’s creative process.
New T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, our latest T-shirt in the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, designed by the great Scott M.X. Turner, is now available, and it’s a doozy.
Here’s the concept: If Uni Watch had a bowling team, what would the team be called? The Athletic Aesthetics, of course! And what would the team wear? A classic bowling shirt with chain-stitched embroidery, of course!
Scott’s T-shirt is based on that idea, with a simple “Uni Watch” insignia faux-chain-stitched on the front-left chest and a spectacular design faux-chain-stitched on the back. First let’s look at the front (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):
Pretty cool, right? Scott originally wanted to just draw the lettering, but I encouraged him to make it look chain-stitched (much like our 2015 “ugly sweater” T-shirt looked knitted), and I love how it turned out. But that’s nothing compared to the design on the back. Dig:
How great is that?! An anthropomorphized magnifying glass wearing a ballcap and stirrups — tremendous! The graphics really capture that old-school bowling shirt style, too. As a collector of vintage bowling shirts myself, I can’t say enough about how awesome this is. I’m super-proud to have the Uni Watch name on it.
Even better, the design works well in a wide variety of shirt colors. Here are some of the ones we’re offering (there are several more on the sales listing page), just to show how flexible the design is:
Creating all of that chain-stitching texture on the back took a lot of work, and at one point Scott thought it might not be feasible. I was prepared to do the back design without the stitching effect (plenty of bowling shirts have silk-screened graphics on the back, so we could have said we were matching the silk-screened style), but Scott got some crucial assistance from the great Larry Torrez, who helped with crucial advice regarding faux-stitching techniques and then actually did a lot of the work on the back design. Thanks so much, Larry — this one wouldn’t have reached its full potential without your midwifery.
Okay, enough of my gushing. Like all of our Artist’s Series shirts, this one is a limited edition, available for nine more days. You can order it here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration.
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: There are two Turners playing on the Nationals right now — Jacob and Trea — but neither is wearing a FIOB (from Bob Berman). … Donruss baseball cards are licensed by the MLBPA, but not by MLB itself. That means all of their cards are void of any team or MLB logos (from @KUKCSGF). … Jorge Cruz spotted a cesspool pumping truck on the field at Yankee Stadium yesterday. Definitely not something you see every day. … It’s weird seeing Johnny Bench wearing anything other than his iconic No. 5, but here he is wearing No. 53. The caption on the photo says it’s from a 1969 Topps card, but it would appear the photo was taken no later than 1966 (from Brice Wallace). … The Frisco RoughRiders will become Los Jinetes and wear special jerseys on Cinco de Mayo (from Phil). … Quite a nickname matchup in NCAA DII softball between the Southern Arkansas Muleriders and the Arkansas Monticello Cotton Blossoms. Monticello was also sporting some nice tequila sunrise unis (from loyal and longtime reader ThresherK). … The Busch Stadium scoreboard couldn’t fit Salty’s surname last night (from Erik Spoonmore).
NFL News: Once again, Cris Routh has reimagined this season’s Color Rash matchups as “Throwback Thursday.” Much, much, much better that what we’ll actually see on the field. … Some Giants showed up at a “Play60” event recently and wore jerseys that didn’t have the little “ny” chest logo (from Jamie Burditt). … Friend of the site David Firestone discussed the Eli Manning memorabilia scandal over on his blog.
College Football News: Interesting quote from new Oregon head coach Willie Taggert: “I think a lot of the young men that were here, they came here for the uniforms, not to be a great football player. That fell by the wayside” (from Jon V. Buerstatte).
NBA News: Short-sleeved suits? Belly-button v-necks? Matching dinosaur sweaters? Players always seem to take their post-game outfits to the next level during the NBA playoffs (from Andrew Cosentino). … Check out the jersey on Big Bird. Perhaps a tribute to Larry Legend? (From Jamie Burditt.)
Soccer News: Liverpool’s kit for its upcoming 125th-anniversary season has reportedly leaked (from Mikey Traynor). … Flamengo has released its home kit for next season (from Patrick Thomas). … Sporting Kansas City’s kitman had some fun with the Daniel Salloi’s askew NOB that he wore in Monday night’s game (from Todd Engle).
Grab Bag: Nordstrom is selling ridiculous faux-mud-splattered jeans for more than $400. The mud supposedly “shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty” (from Mary Bakija). … John Lesnik played in a “Draft Hockey” tournament in Nashville a few weeks ago. The company that put on the event provides teams with jerseys with some pretty wild designs . … Longtime funny car driver Bob Tasca III will be making a return to competition racing a with new paint scheme that has an annoyingly slanted logo (from David Firestone).