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Purple, as a Team Color


BallWonk

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With the Rockies bringing purple back to the World Series for the second time this decade, it has me wondering what other people think about this troublesome color in sports uniforms. Who uses it right, who uses it wrong, and how could purple-wearing teams improve their colors? Do you think purple works better when it's closer to red, closer to blue, lighter, or darker? Or have you joined Pau Lukas's anti-purple jihad, and if so, why?

To get things started, I'll throw out this observation: I think my favorite purple-users in sports are the MLB Astros and Diamondbacks. I know what you're thinking, and you're right: that's not "purple" as we know it today. But their shades of deep red are awfully close to what the Romans called purple and what became therefore the European color of royalty. And unlike, say, the Rockies purple, you can't mistake that deep-red Roman purple for any other color. It looks like what it is, not like dark blue or maroon or charcoal or black, as many other shades of purple do.

Full disclosure: I was raised in Minnesota, so I have purple pride. Or I did before Denny Green. I like the color as a color, though I think a lot of teams use bad shades of it for TV broadcasting. I root for the Ravens entirely because I'm an Edgar Allen Poe fan and I like the purple. And I wish the Rockies would wear more purple, though I'd also like them to wear a lighter or more reddish purple.

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As always Wonk, your posts are well-thought out and written.

I agree that when used correctly, Purple can be a great, and original asset. How many Red, White and Blue teams can we really have?

Don't answer that.

Converse to your reddish-purple delight, i adored the near blue of the old Vikings jerseys.

1323__1_large.jpg

(add yellow trim to that and please zygi, re-adopt them as the queens unis!)

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I don't think purple is a bad color, but it has to work well within its scheme. Too much blue or red in it changes its value. None of the major league teams in my area wear purple, but plenty of minor league, college and high school teams do: Manchester Monarchs (AHL), Holy Cross (NCAA), Lowell Lock Monsters (original color scheme), Shawsheen Tech, to name a few.

Purple works well when surrounded by lighter colors. It's too dark to stand next to black unless there's a delineation of silver/white/gold in between. Shawsheen just added black to the scheme this year, and wears black jerseys with silver numbers and purple drop shadow. It's not easy to read. If the purple was lighter and had more red in it the contrast would work better against black.

Even though they are close on the color wheel, I'd like to see a team use a purple/red/silver or purple/red/gold color scheme. I used to think the Cleveland Indians wore purple and red (based on the 1982 & 1983 Topps card sets), but I have been corrected since then.

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To get things started, I'll throw out this observation: I think my favorite purple-users in sports are the MLB Astros and Diamondbacks. I know what you're thinking, and you're right: that's not "purple" as we know it today. But their shades of deep red are awfully close to what the Romans called purple and what became therefore the European color of royalty. And unlike, say, the Rockies purple, you can't mistake that deep-red Roman purple for any other color. It looks like what it is, not like dark blue or maroon or charcoal or black, as many other shades of purple do.

I do think, in varying light, the Astros' brick red looks reddish or maroonish. So must disagree on that one point. But you're right that purple as we understand it tends to be the color most dependent on lighting conditions, and most easily misunderstood by the lens.

I don't mind purple, as a rule. Not my favorite color, but not bad. I think it looks best when paired with a bright color such as the athletic gold of the Vikings or the metallic gold of the Washington Huskies, and it looks worst when paired with a dark color such as black (Ravens or Rockies) - its grayscale is way too dark to contrast with black and the whole thing gets muddy.

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The problem with purple is that its a color that dominates a look. Even if you use it as an accent color (i.e. Milwaukee Bucks circa 90's) it still dominates. Its just a color that as Gothamite said, has to be paired with certain colors or it will look real bad. It has way too many visual parameters to make it look right. IOW, the wrong lighting or juxtaposition to another color can completely change it.

I hate working with the color, looking at the color, or even saying the color. :D

put me on the 'purple haters list'

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football.jpg

slightly OT, but what's the significance of the Z under the right shoulder?

back on the horse, purple and black tends to be a good idea gone somewhat wrong, especially when you have purple numbers on black jerseys or vice versa. the shade most purple teams use is just too dark to pair with black all that effectively (see Rockies, Colorado; Kings, Los Angeles; Purple Raiders, Mount Union; Warhawks, Whitewater). I mean, there's a reason teams don't use navy and black together, should be the same reason a lighter purple would be in order for a lot of teams (the Eagles' current green also has this problem).

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I love purple in uniforms, if the teams are actually confident enough to wear it proudly, but I really can't stand when teams try to make purple more "manly" by making it too dark, too bluish, and pairing it with black. The LA Kings would have been better off sticking with just silver and black than trying to work in that half-assed blurple trim into their unis.

The Minnesota Vikings are a perfect example of purple done right. The other aspects of their uniform design, on the other hand . . . :unsure:

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The problem, as many have probably already stated, is that teams (specifically the Rockies) dont know how to use it! had the Rockies been around back in the 70's and 80's they would have had some great Purple and White uniforms that many would consider classics. Instead they're a product of the 90's (along with the teal Marlins) and like the Marlins and many other teams in the early '00's they decided that it would be way cool to add lots and lots of black to the unis.

Now that the Diamondbacks have stopped using purple the Rockies need to run with it next year, they need to adopt a new identity (and I've seen some great concepts on this board) and completely do away with the black and embrace purple like the Vikings do. We dont need any more blue teams, black teams, red teams, hell we might have enough green teams one pure-purple team in baseball would be great.

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Now that the Diamondbacks have stopped using purple the Rockies need to run with it next year, they need to adopt a new identity (and I've seen some great concepts on this board) and completely do away with the black and embrace purple like the Vikings do.

That might be possible now that the Rockies lost in the black unis. If they choose the purple jerseys tonight, win in them and then sweep at home, you might get your wish. It's possible. Unlikely, but possible.

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All this mention of purple up in here and NO ONE mentioned the LOS ANGELES LAKERS???

WHAT THE FLYING HELL????? :D

I actually like the color. Used right, there's a lot one can do with it. The thing about it, though, is that, to most people (read: macho men), it's seen as a "punk color", a "girly" color. And, let's face it--that is a serious block in the minds of "manly men". Outside of sports apparel, how many men do you see walking down a street wearing purple--or any derivative of it--on a normal, regular, or any day? It says something about security within a man to be able to wear purple...and wear it with PRIDE. (the problematic correlation with that statement, however--which may, upon completion of you all reading this next clause, may completely contradict the point I'm trying to make here--is that purple is also a moremost color of "Gay Pride"--which, again, ain't exactly well-received by "manly men".)

All of this above is why I do salute the use of purple by those who wear it--and by the sports teams who use it.

The thing about the teams who do use it, though, is this: too many teams use either gold(en yellow), (athletic) gold, or (some type of metallic) gold right next to it i.e. Vikings, Ravens (albeit only a little bit), Lakers, Jazz (well, before they started sippin' the same sizzurp as the heads in Denver and Memphis was on a couple years ago), the L.A. Kings pre-Gretzky, the U of Washington, East Carolina. This is why I liked the old Bucks joints--first and only occurence I can think of, outside the Manitoba Moose IIRC, of a team using purple and green. 'Tis also the reason I can get behind Clemson's Tigers--pairing purple with orange. (However, for some reason, I just can't get behind the SUNS' particular shade of purple paired with its orange--or that charcoal grey they use.) I can even argue a case for the Toronto Raptors using purple with red--a combo I can't recall having seen anywhere else since then, outside of the New Orleans Voodoo of the Arena league. However, that being said, I think that set looks much better without it. Of course, my favorite application of purple: the Charlotte Hornets, pairing purple with teal. (Did someone say Larry Johnson??? What...you thought those was punk colors? Bet you wouldn't have said it to Anthony Mason's face... ;) )

Having said all that, I think everyone's quintessential purple team, outside of Los Angeles, is the Minnesota Vikings. I somehow think the Vikes knew that too, and wanted to augment their "purple presence". However, even as much as I like bright, vibrant color (it's a Florida thang!), that damn-near neon purple the Vikes are using now--I'm sorry to say, it just ain't working. It's almost exactly the same shade of purple the Florida Firecats of the AF2 league used (ah...another purple-and-red team!)--and I ain't care much for that, either.

To wrap all this up...it's all in how you perceive it. I like purple and can live with it. Paul Lukas and I'd guess 30% of this community despise it. Me, personally...I wouldn't mind seeing more creative uses of it in pro sports. Even if it turns out to be a miss (think Vikings and Firecats), at least somebody somewhere at least tried... :wink2:

***EDIT: Old Skool Fool had to ruin my opening statement by posting up a pic of Kobe Bryant in a Lakers uni as I was writing out my post. Damn it...it's all good, though.

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