XFL 2020 Eastern Conference Uniform Review
The XFL draft came and disappeared just as fast, along with the draft disappearing, the anticipation leading up the draft evaporated just as quickly. Following the XFL draft, it was announced that there would be a supplemental draft to follow suit in November. Heading into Thanksgiving, the buzz surrounding the uniform reveal grew to astonishing heights, the supplemental draft took place without a mention of the uniforms. Finally, last week, through their respective social media accounts, the D.C. Defenders, New York Guardians, Tampa Bay Vipers, St. Louis BattleHawks, Seattle Dragons, Los Angeles Wildcats, Dallas Renegades and Houston Roughnecks revealed their 2020 inaugural uniforms for the XFL season! Without further delay, Mark Angst, my fellow AFN Live Host, and I are here break down our overall thoughts on each team’s uniforms.
Mike: The old saying that less is more applies here to the Defenders’ uniforms. These uniforms stood out to me the most amongst the eight teams for one reason: two colors. The Defenders are the only team without a representative third color in their scheme which makes the uniform the most unique. The helmets are awesome; the XFL did a great job capturing their logo on a helmet that really pops. The overall design of the uniform is classy, it represents a very professional looking sports team that’s all business. The whole uniform is slick and represents the District of Columbia in everyway. XFL.com, the official XFL website, mentions that the red represents D.C’s flag while the white embodies the stone that the Nation’s capital was built on through their monuments. My only negative critique to the uniform is that they’re rather boring. There’s nothing flashy or exciting about them, which fits perfectly into their basic logo and dreadfully dull name.
Mark: First, let me say before I get into the Defenders how great of a job the XFL did overall with these uniforms. Now, for the Defenders uniform; the uniforms are not the best, but not the worst of all of the uniforms. They are basic and very plain looking. The red on red doesn’t stand out that much; they have no accent color to make the colors pop more like other teams have with their uniforms. This goes for both away and home jerseys as they did nothing between the two but swap the primary colors of red and white. The best thing about the Defenders uniform is their helmets. These are some very slick and sleek helmets with showing off a plain logo and actually making it look better then it does anywhere else. Overall, the Defenders uniform does not impress.
New York Guardians
Mike: The consensus number one pick for best name and color scheme here at AFNN, the New York Guardians’ uniforms didn’t disappoint either. The black and grey are fantastic contrasts to one another that compliment each here instead of detracting from one another. The helmets showcase the strong logo that traces all the way to the back end of the helmet. They did a great job of keeping the teeth red which adds another dimension and depth to overall uniform. The home jerseys for the Guardians are sharp, the black on black really captures what the Guardians are representing. Black on black is really the only color capable of pulling this off for a football uniform, as the other colors flood uniforms and make them look tacky. The away uniforms, in contrast to the home uniform, miss for me. They’re too basic and almost come across in the same style as the University of Virginia Cavaliers jersey. It’s a little too amateurish, in my opinion, in comparisons to the other uniforms. Hopefully, the XFL will introduce alternate uniforms and we can get black pants to go with the away uniforms.
Mark: For starters, I’m going to say that I love the uniforms and helmet design for the Guardians all around. Similar to the Defenders’ helmets this is the best part of the Guardians’ uniforms, as well. They took an already great logo and portrayed it on perfectly on the helmet. Now, unlike the Defenders, the design of these uniforms stand out. The way they took the black and just highlighted it with the red and grey makes the black stand out so much more then they usually would. I do enjoy the away uniforms but for me if they had chosen a black pant instead of the white and grey they would have been more aesthetically pleasing. Overall, these are one of the top two uniforms in the XFL.
Tampa Bay Vipers
Mike: One of the two teams that I was concerned about the most, the Vipers’ uniforms were a pleasant surprise. The helmet is the right color green and it captivates the Tampa Bay emblem perfectly. The yellow of the color scheme is strategically placed to pop against the two different shades of green used throughout the uniforms. The Vipers also are ownership of the only jerseys with their logo placed on the front of the jersey instead of elsewhere, as the other seven teams have their team names showcased along the front. This is the one uniform, outside of the black on black of the Guardians and Wildcats(to be discussed later), that the primary color on primary color pattern works. This is helped with the lighter green socks and yellow embroidery to help soften the color flood to the eyes. While the lighter helmet works for the home uniforms, it takes away from the overall effect for the away uniforms. The away uniforms are white on white(can we seriously stop that??? Please? Get creative, people!), but are highlighted with the darker green from the numbers to the lining of the pants. It lighter helmet feels like it doesn’t belong and hopefully, the XFL introduces multiple helmets for teams. As of now, the lighter helmets are a double-edged sword for the Vipers, because they complete the home uniforms, but really are an eye sore for the away uniforms.
Mark: The Tampa uniform was one that I was concerned, but surprisingly, they come across nicely. The odd color combo they assigned for this team works really well together. Using the two different shades of green and the yellow in the way they did makes these colors actually stand out instead of overwhelm each other. The helmet doesn’t portray the logo, which by the standards of the rest of the league is one of the worst, in comparison in the same manner that the Defenders’ and Guardians’ helmets achieve. These are one of the better away uniforms of all the teams because they do a good job of using the white to go along with hints of the green and yellow. Overall, their uniforms are middle of the pack but on the better side of the middle line.
St. Louis BattleHawks
Mike: The most unique and creative team name in the XFL, the St. Louis BattleHawks, received one of the most unique and sleek uniform designs for the 2020 season. One of only two teams to feature home jerseys that are not same color on same color, the BattleHawks will roll into their home games with a dark blue top paired with silver pants. Unlike what we saw with the Vipers, the BattleHawks’ helmet is one of the most defining features for the overall uniform as they complete both the home and away jerseys. The BattleHawks’ logo is the most prominent feature as it dominates the entire helmet almost engulfing it from front to back. The wings sit higher than the other seven logos on the helmet, as well, making it appears as if they’re taking flight. The Navy blue primary color here is used in a supporting role instead of a primary role on the pants, this effect achieves the most crisp and overall clean look out of the eight teams. In comparison to the other three teams in the East, St. Louis’ away uniforms have a white on blue appearance which separates them from the white on white we saw with the other teams. I’m not sure I can find anything with these uniforms that stand out negatively to me, but this “KaKaw!” cry needs to stop being a thing – it literally makes no sense!
Mark: Finally, for the East we get to the BATTLEHAWKS!! (And it must be said like that because the name gives you that snarl!) Now for the uniforms, which were quite underwhelming, in my opinion. They are just a notch ahead of the Defenders but worse than the Guardians and Vipers. They are just plain to me overall but just a little more flashy than the Defenders. I do enjoy the home and away combo of the different jersey color compared to the pants. Now these helmets are top notch and up their with the Guardians helmet. The wings on the side with the side down the middle was such a great choice by this team. Also, the chosen blue for the helmets and jerseys were a wonderful choice. Overall, these uniforms disappointing and they fall on the rather bland side of the middle line.
Overall, the XFL has put together a really strong effort with the uniforms, you can tell that they spent their time designing a uniform that portrays how serious the league is in wanting to build something special. The Eastern Conference is completed and Mark Angst and I will be returning with the second part, the Western Conference uniform review sometime later this week!
Michael Washington-Weeks and Mark Angst are hosts of AFN Live and writers for the Alternative Football News Network.
All social media: @afntalk