by Richard Martin
The Arena Football League has gone all in with reinventing itself. 2019 brought a new league logo, two new teams, and a new optimism.
Earlier this week, the league also unveiled new uniforms. Phenom Elite, based out of Columbia, South Carolina, designed the new uniforms. According to their website, Phenom Elite has deals with NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Phenom Elite’s redesigns are…interesting. The unveiling got people talking, including a tweet from Barstool Sports that received 90 retweets and 969 likes.
But how do the uniforms look? Some of the new threads look fantastic. Some are boring. Others are all over the place. Let’s take a look, and rank, the 2019 Arena Football League Phenom Elite Uniforms.
#6 Philadelphia Soul
What in God’s green Earth am I looking at here? These are hideous. I understand wanting to be unique, but then there’s throwing every design you can at once onto a uniform just to see what happens.
This seems like a good idea, but just too much. The fading of colors. The embedded logos. The random stripes. Just a lot going on.
Using the word “Philly” as the city name is unique, and the gloves are nice. But other than that, there’s too much going on here. Which is a shame, because the old Soul jerseys were fine in my opinion.
Final Grade: D
#5 Albany Empire
These uniforms were so close to ranking higher on the list. The embedded logo isn’t as bad on this jersey as on the Soul’s.
But then you get to the pants. I get the idea of wanting it to look like a Gladiator skirt, because of the Roman, now Albany, Empire, but this just looks weird. Add in the weird swoosh line, it feels like, once again, a lot going on.
The numbers are a unique font and will help with the team identity.
The pants don’t quite ruin this uniform for me, but they don’t quite help them either.
Final Grade: C+
#4 Washington Valor
The Valor rank so low because they didn’t really do anything to change it up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Valor have always had nice jerseys that embrace the good ole USA and our nation’s capital. The stars on the side of the pants are subtle and don’t distract too much.
While it’s not much of a change, it’s hard to beat a good design and I’m glad Phenom Elite didn’t change too much.
Final Grade: B
#3 Baltimore Brigade
Once again, a subtle change, but more of a change than the Valor.
The words on the side of the pants don’t distract too much. The embedded Maryland flag on the sleeves is really nice, especially on the white uniforms.
A solid change to a solid uniform will have the Brigade looking good on the turf.
Final Grade: B
#2 Columbus Destroyers
The Destroyers are back, and while they’re not red and blue like the original team, the black and silver look fantastic.
Using an alternate font on the black jerseys is an interesting choice, as all the other teams have the same font on both uniforms.
The helmets do have a weird Seattle Seahawks look to them, and the full uniform reminds me of the Birmingham Iron of the AAF (RIP).
Besides this, this is a clean look and, while simple, is effective.
Final Grade: A-
#1 Atlantic City Blackjacks
The Blackjacks have an amazing logo, mascot and color scheme, so I was excited for these new uniforms, and Phenom Elite did not disappoint.
The all whites using “A.C.” as the city name is unique, and the font instantly makes you think of the points on a crown. The card symbols on the side of the pants are amazing to promote the Blackjack name.
The only problem I have is that the stripes on the side of the uniforms feel kind of random, but other than that, these look amazing. I’m really excited at how these turned out.
Final Grade: A+
Overall, the new uniforms are unique and got people talking, which is what the league wants.
And who knows, maybe with the exposure, the league gained a couple new fans who want to see the players that wear these uniforms.