A while back I gave curved grades regarding the XFL uniforms. Overall, not a single one of them looked appetizing, but now that we’ve seen the threads in action for the first time, my tone is changing a bit.
Just like you can’t judge the NFL Draft until roughly three years after the event takes place, something similar can be said about uniforms. You can’t judge them during the unveiling – you have to wait until they take the field.
And take the field they did.
So let’s look at the four games over the weekend where we got to see the uniforms in action for the first time.
The Defenders went with their red on red home look while the Dragons followed with white on white. I’ll be honest – when I took a look at both of these uniforms I thought they were hand-me-down high school duds, but the simplicity of the Defenders’ look drew my praise.
If you gave the Defenders white pants to pair with the red jerseys, the look could be an instant classic. There’s just enough going on with this uniform with its LA Chargers-like lightning bolts running horizontally across the sleeves with the bolt also featured within the pants striping. I was also a fan of the white socks, which drew away from a potential leotard look so many teams in both the NFL and college ranks tend to go with.
As for the Dragons, their white on white trumps the navy on navy which will serve as their home uniform – perhaps they were Seahawks-inspired? But the all-white look coupled with the dark but not too dark shade of green really works for this team. The colors scream Northwest and it’s a very positive thing. My only gripe is I wish they numbers were green rather than orange. Either way, this look took to me.
For this matchup, the Wildcats’ roadies predictably blew. They look like a hybrid between the Atlanta Falcons and old school Buccaneers. In all honesty, if they went with a white rather than a black helmet, the uniform could work, but at the same time it’d be the butt of all XFL uniform-related jokes since they’d be eerily 1976-1996 Buccaneers-like. But why would anyone pair a black helmet with, well, red and creamsicle? The only other shade of black is in the socks and base of the pants striping. I’d love to know who thought this look would work.
As for our Roughnecks, I get that we’re trying to pay tribute to the old Houston Oilers while adding in some elements of the Houston Texans and Houston Astros. But the end result is a New England Patriots-like uniform that’ll probably debut when the NFL celebrates its bicentennial anniversary. Don’t get me wrong, the helmet is badass, but could you imagine the frenzy that would’ve erupted if it were either white or if the Necks went with Columbia blue? Good uniform, poor color choices.
I’m going to tell you right now that after watching this game, the Guardians have the best uniforms in the XFL. They are rather plain, but you can’t go wrong with all black. You never can and while they resemble something that the Cincinnati Bearcats would wear, this look works for a pro football team. For one, the black, red, and silver colors work. For another, the Indianapolis Colts-like jersey is a tried and true concept. Ditto for the pants. Plain Jane with just enough going on to scream iconic. The only thing wrong with the look are the socks. I’d rather see red socks to evoke more contrast, or maybe go with silver or white pants instead of mono-black for this look.
The Vipers road look really surprised me. It still isn’t great, but it’s edible, something I wouldn’t have told you when I curved the uniform grades two months ago. The lime green is dated, but it works well with the yellow and dark green, so I’d at least bump the road look up a few kegs. Not great. Never great. But manageable.
Everything works with the Battlehawks’ uniform other than the helmet logo – if there’s one team that could probably go without one, it’s the Battlehawks. It takes away from a rather aesthetically-pleasing look. Perhaps the only other thing that needs fixing here is the black – I’d get rid of it in favor of silver or even a bronze color. The helmet logo is just annoying and oversized, but other than that and the black accents, I’m a fan of the look.
As for Dallas, they were another team whose uniforms I couldn’t bear to look at during the unveiling but the home look works. They’re very Tennessee Titan-like to say the least – the 1999-2017 Titans. And to be honest, if you gave the team some white pants to pair with the home look, the team’s Titan-like uniform may be the best in the XFL. But it works – even the sky blue, or whatever they want to call it. Like the Guardians, I’m calling for blue socks rather than black and the look wins.
My Rankings (Definitely Subject to Change)
So, what do my rankings look like after seeing these uniforms in action?
As for the dark jerseys, I’m going to go with this:
1. New York
And for the roadies, it’ll be…
1. St. Louis
3. Tampa Bay
Uniform matchup rankings:
1. Dallas versus St. Louis
2. New York versus Tampa Bay
3. D.C. versus Seattle
4. Houston versus L.A.