Storified by Digital First Media · Mon, Nov 19 2012 10:48:39
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night in an important AFC North matchup, but the story, to someone just tuning in, was Pittsburgh's belated bumblebee-themed Halloween costumes err, alternate uniforms.
Every time I see the Steelers striped bumblebee jerseys, I die a little on the inside -.-Mr. Solo Dolo
They Steelers jerseys are horrible.Craig
My thoughts on those ugly ass jerseys the steelers were wearing http://pic.twitter.com/MddkiBqlMarc Cantines
You are more likely to find a twinkie than someone who likes the steelers throwback jerseysKen Wicker
Alternate uniforms can be quite nice. They can break up the monotony of seeing the same uniforms over and over again, and can make lots of money
when they're sold in the team stores.
Sometimes, they're just ugly. These uniform horror stories can be broken down into a few categories.
Some grand statement
When you open up your uniform's design to a company, you can get mixed results. For exmaple, to open the 2011-12 season, the University of Maryland went with custom jerseys
from Under Armor, in a design that's an homage to Maryland's state flag
Maryland Pride & Under Armourunderarmour
There was one small problem: Depending on what side of the players you were seeing, you may have seen two separate uniforms, as demonstrated here:
Horizontal stripes should be avoided at all costs. Yes, it's understood that, in the case of the Steelers, these uniforms were once actually worn by the team. But in those days, those hideous jerseys were not seen by a national audience. Wearing them now, you'll look like either a prisoner, or like you are wearing your great-great grandfather's old pajamas . . .
Shawn Thornton vs Alex Henry Feb 1, 2009 - NESN feedhockeyfightsdotcom
. . . or you can be the butt of a "Where's Waldo?" joke.
The San Diego Padres, who share the city with the Marine Corps, pay tribute each year to the men in service by wearing camouflage jerseys. This is what they've come up with.
What does it look like in action?
Long story short: Want to express patriotism? Do something else.
A sorry trend in the 1990s, the practice of using a cartoon in the middle of a uniform, was a plague that was not specific to one sport. The Toronto Raptors decided to channel their inner Jurassic Park.
On the ice, the expansion Anaheim Mighty Ducks, owned by the Disney Corporation at the time, naturally found that they should base their team around the famous movie and cartoon spinoff of the same name.
Mighty Ducks - The First Face-Off Part 1bw13
Avoid whatever Oregon is doing
This cannot be stressed enough: The Oregon Ducks do not have a uniform. They have 512 combinations of uniforms
. They are the Lady Gaga
of organized sports. If you try and out-Orgeon Oregon, you'll go bankrupt very quickly.
Here is a small sampling of their various uniforms:
When crafting a jersey to wear (and sell), make sure to take some care so that they won't be the butt of many jokes in the future. And if you're creating an alternate jersey on second thought, don't. The ones you're wearing should look nice enough as it is.