When asked about his team wearing different color pants for a football game, an old high school football coach said, “The color of the pants don’t matter. The pants aren’t going to tackle anybody or score touchdowns, it’s the players wearing the pants who will win or lose the game.”
He was right about that. They don’t make a difference in playing the game but it’s nice to look good doing it.
The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is the newest professional football and they will kick off their first season the week after the Super Bowl in Atlanta (GA), Birmingham (AL), Memphis (TN), Orlando (FL), Phoenix (AZ), Salt Lake (UT), San Antonio (TX), and San Diego (CA). Last week the league released the uniform and helmet designs of each team. Here’s how I would rank them:
#8 – Atlanta Legends
Boring. I think they could have done better. I still have issues with the name. Not that it doesn’t fit Atlanta in some way but it wasn’t very creative and neither are the uniforms/helmet. The helmet will have a crown which could be a reference to Martin Luther King, Jr. The colors will be purple and gold with the letters “ATL” up each side of the jersey in gold. Maybe it will work and if they can do better than the Falcons I don’t think it will really matter.
#7 – Birmingham Iron
Boring #2. The Iron’s colors are black, dark grey and light grey. They were inspired by the three elements needed to make steel – iron ore, coal and flux. Not sure what flux is. With no logo on the black helmet it is much like the non-logo side of a Pittsburgh Steeler’s helmet. And that name – Iron – singular. I’m not a fan of singular nicknames for sports teams.
#6 – San Antonio Commanders
I like the name but there is a lot of red in their team colors. The colors are a combination of red, silver and maroon. The sword is a nice touch and identifies with the Alamo. San Antonio is a city in need a professional football team that will stay. San Antonians have been dealt with teams in the World Football League (WFL), United States Football League (USFL), Arena Football League (AFL) and even the Canadian Football League (CFL). Hopefully this one will stick.
#5 – San Diego Fleet
Again with the singular nickname but with the strong navy influence, I guess this name works. It is expected that jilted Charger fans might come aboard. The colors are grey, dark grey and gold in a military style design. The helmet includes a battleship which is pretty fitting with the player’s number on the other side of the helmet.
#4 – Arizona Hotshots
Not a fan of the name but the uniforms identify them with designs based upon the United States Forest Service firefighters. Their jersey is gold with an orange collar and green sleeves. The helmet is gold with a green face mask. The primary logo features two crossed fire axes on a shield. I don’t think it will be hard to distinguish this team as an Arizona-based team.
#3 – Memphis Express
I was unsure where to place this one on my list. I really like the uniform and design but it’s hard for me to identify this with Memphis. I suppose the name is derived from Federal Express which is based there. The helmet is a gradient from blue to read with a jet ascending from back to front. The jersey is blue with red sleeves and collar.
#2 – Salt Lake Stallions
This is one of the team’s that I think got it right with the name, logo and colors. The only thing that puzzles me is the helmet logo. The logo looks more like wings rather than a horses’ mane which I assume is what they were thinking. The jersey is silver with a light blue collar and sleeves, darker royal blue for the player numbers. Not bad.
#1 – Orlando Apollos
This is my favorite of the eight teams. I think they got it right with the name and designs. Orlando is another city which has been through several failed leagues and franchises. Maybe this one will make it. The team colors are orange, blue and white. The helmet features a logo of Apollo ready to shoot his arrow inside of a faint hint of the letter “O”.
So now we need to wait to see which players will wear these uniforms and helmets.