By Josh Schiesl
All-Star Games are supposed to be an outlet for showcasing the league’s most skillful players but there has been an unfortunate hilarious trend in online fan voting over the last few years where the completely wrong players are either being chosen as starters or close to chosen as starters. Major League Baseball averted a disaster last year and the National Hockey League had their own little snafu when Zemgus Girgensons’ home country of Latvia stuffed the ballot boxes. However, at least the MLB All-Star Game disaster was actually diverted and Zemgus Girgenson “The Latvian Locomotive” is a young player with upside so not all hope was lost.
John Scott on the other hand, is not a young player with upside. In fact, in his entire 8-year career the 33-year-old has managed only 11 total points with 542 total penalty minutes. He has 5 goals in his career while Wikipedia has an entire page devoted to players who have scored 5 or more goals in a game. This is not to take away from John Scott though, he is not paid to score goals but he is paid to do things like hitting, or fighting, and as a hockey purist I still believe there is a place for this type of player in the professional game. Hey, even Dusty Baker thinks that allowing players to fight in baseball makes sense, but all that being said, John Scott is a “Fighter”, and he is not an All-Star.
On the contrary, this year, he is in fact an All-Star Starter. I’m sure that Lord Stanley is crying in his grave and Alexis de Tocqueville is laughing in his grave because after all this is what happens when you leave choices up to the “people.” It is for this reason that I present to you the Bottom 10: All-Star Game Jerseys and the Players that Wore Them edition. At first glance, a list ranking the 10 worst All-Star game jerseys of all time and the worst players on each of those teams may seem silly but one has to admit that All-Star games in and of themselves are pretty silly. After all, an All-Star game is still the only place where we’ve ever seen a professional baseball game finish in a tie.
So, without further ado, I give you the Bottom 10:
Jersey: 2014 NFL Pro Bowl Jerseys
In honor of Marcus Mariota’s forthcoming NFL debut the NFL decided to recreate the Oregon vs. Oregon St. rivalry matchup and went with the heinous neon green and neon orange looks. The white jerseys were a solid effort but the grey jerseys with the neon green almost seemed to blend in with the field and tended to produce a bit of a dizzying effect while watching. I give credit to the effort of the NFL to go outside of the box but this was a little too much a little too fast, especially when you compare it to the clean cut uniforms of the year prior.
Player: DeSean Jackson
Seeing as there are close to 45 players on each NFL Pro Bowl team and it’s almost impossible to compare Justin Tucker to Cam Newton, the pool of players to select from was narrowed to only the offensive skill positions (QB, RB, WR). With that being said, the “award” for the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl goes to DeSean Jackson. Now don’t get me wrong, DeSean Jackson is extremely talented but anyone who prematurely leaves the ball at the goal line before actually getting into the endzone due to celebrations not once, but twice, should not be allowed to play in an All-Star Game of any capacity.
Jersey: 2015 NHL All-Star Jerseys
Now widely known as the “Motocross Jerseys,” the NHL decided that neon green looked so good on the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl jerseys that they would do it too. Unfortunately though, it did not look good on the Pro Bowl jerseys and it does not look good on these ones either. Also, still trying to figure out if they had leftover referee jerseys that needed to be used because I have no idea why else they would decide to include the black and white stripes down the sides (which unfortunately found their way onto the pants as well).
Player: Zemgus Girgensons
As a Dubuque, IA native, Zemgus Girgensons holds a special plate in my heart because of his tenure with the USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints (which actually have some pretty good looking uniforms). That being said, Girgensons only reason that he was selected to the All-Star roster really was because his home country of Latvia voted him in. He does have potential but he isn’t quite All-Star material yet which gives him this “honor.”
Jersey: 2014 NBA All-Star Jerseys
There are certain things in life that are the way they are for a reason and very few people question it. For example, chairs have four legs because someone very early on decided that anything more or anything less than four legs just didn’t make sense and we don’t question it. There is also a reason why basketball players have played without sleeves forever! So please stop trying to make the sleeves work NBA. These uniforms actually had some potential but the sleeves completely ruin it. No, thank you.
Player: Paul Millsap
With such a small sample size on the NBA All-Star rosters (only 24 players total between the two teams) there aren’t a lot of players to choose from. Upon examination of the two rosters the player that jumps out as least All-Star worthy is Paul Millsap. Millsap has a career points per game average of 13.5 with a peak of 17.9 PPG in the 2013-2014 season. Millsap has had a good NBA career and the coaches voted him in as a reserve but he is definitely a few rungs below the likes of Lebron, Curry, Durant, etc.
Jersey: 1975 NBA All-Star Jerseys
The shorts alone on these uniforms push the 1975 NBA All-Star Uniforms into the Bottom 10, if you can even call them shorts. Upon closer look they actually look more like a cloth diaper than they do to shorts, and nobody wants to watch grown men run around in cloth diapers. Separate from the diapers, the overall look of the uniforms is rather bland too and the numbers on the uniforms don’t go well with the East and West font.
Player: Steve Mix
Steve Mix had a long 13-year career playing for multiple teams with the majority coming with the Pistons and 76ers. He managed a pedestrian 10.6 points per game over his career with a high of 15.6 coming in the 1974-1975 season where he was selected to his one and only All-Star game. Thus earning him the “esteemed” spot in our rankings.
Jersey: 2000 MLB All-Star Jerseys
The MLB All-Star Game jerseys are usually a pretty good representation of what All-Star Game jerseys should look like. The look is usually clean-cut and they find subtle ways to represent the host city in a way that isn’t in your face. The 2000 MLB All-Star Game jerseys on the other hand look like something that someone threw together last minute. The oversized vest just does not look good and it doesn’t pay any homage to the host city of Atlanta. The jersey is reminiscent of a Little League jersey and they decided to add in the gold 2000 just in case someone forgot what year it was. This one’s an all-around miss.
Player: Jeffrey Hammonds
Prior to his career beginning, Jeffrey Hammonds was ranked as the 19th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America but his career never did pan out. He was a career .272 hitter with 110 home runs and had literally only one good year which happened to be his All-Star year in which he hit .335 with 20 HRs and 106 RBIs. Other than that season, he never hit more than 21 HRs and didn’t have a year with more than 60 RBIs.
Jersey: 1979 NBA All-Star Jerseys
You can’t help but tilt your head when you look at these uniforms, which is not a good thing. This is an early attempt at thinking outside the box for uniforms but the slanted text is a big miss. The color scheme and overall feel of the rest of the uniform is okay but you just can’t ignore the slant which puts this uniform in the thick of the Bottom 10.
Player: Campy Russell
Along with numerous other players in this Bottom 10, Campy Russell also only managed one All-Star game during his career. He came out of college as an All-American for the University of Michigan and was selected with the 8th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had a decent career but it was unfortunately cut short due to injuries. Playing with the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving in the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Campy Russell’s mediocre career places him square on this list.
Jersey: 1984 NBA All-Star Jerseys
In 1984 the NBA bought a stitching company that mass produced little small stars of various colors. The stitching company went out of business and the NBA decided to use the excess stars on each one of their All-Star Game jerseys. Just kidding, but it wouldn’t surprise me after seeing these uniforms. There are just too many stars on these uniforms which winds up being extremely distracting. Even the 1984 NBA All-Star Game logo added stars everywhere just for good measure. “Just add more stars” is never good design advice and it certainly doesn’t work here.
Player: Rickey Green
Rickey Green’s lone All-Star selection came in the 1983-1984 season where he managed a pedestrian 13.2 points per game. As a point guard he was more known for his defensive skills than he was his offensive skills. He led the league in steals twice during the 1982-1983 and 1983-1984 seasons but other than that there isn’t much to look at on his statistics. The All-Star game is typically a place to showcase offensive talent and Rickey’s “stealing” skills won’t get too far in a game featuring Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Isiah Thomas among others.
Jersey: 1981 NBA All-Star Jerseys
It doesn’t matter from what angle, these uniforms are atrocious from top to bottom. The random stripes on the top seem to not line up and it looks like they accidentally made the “East” and “West” text too big and just tried to squeeze them in between the stripes anyways. The number on the front blends in with the stripes and on top of all this the shorts are completely plain which doesn’t match the crowded jersey. This one’s a complete dud.
Player: Michael Ray Richardson
Michael Ray Richardson was actually a 4-time NBA All-Star but his name reaches the list for the sole fact that he was banned from the league after the 1985-1986 season for violating the league’s drug policy. Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas are noted to have commented on his skill and as a point guard he had a lot of potential but it was all obviously cut short by the ban which is unfortunate. There’s apparently even a documentary about his struggles titled Whatever Happened to Michael Ray?, narrated by Chris Rock.
Jersey: 1982 NHL All-Star Jerseys
The stitching company with all the little stars that the NBA bought in 1984 was actually sold to them by the NHL. Seriously though, these NHL All-Star Game jerseys look like someone grabbed a handful of stars and just threw them at the uniforms to see what would stick. If the stars aren’t bad enough, the “V” design that is produced (see here) by the uniforms completely clashes with everything. This game had Hall of Fame names like Gretzky, Bossy, Savard and Messier just to name a few and it’s a shame that they had to wear a uniform like this.
Player: Al Secord
Al Secord had a solid 12-year NHL career where he played with the Bruins, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Flyers. He made it to two consecutive All-Star Games but he could never really produce consistent results year in and year out. In the NHL’s golden age of scoring where Wayne Gretzky was scoring more than 90 goals a season, Secord couldn’t manage more than 90 points in a single season throughout his NHL career thus giving him the moniker as the “worst” player for the 1982 NHL All-Star Game.
Jersey: 1995 NFL Pro Bowl Jerseys
Drumroll please, at the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) of our Bottom 10 is the NFL’s 1995 NFL Pro Bowl Jerseys. These uniforms look like they divided up a different section of the uniform between 4 or 5 designers and then they all left the room and came back with their final designs without consulting each other. Someone took the right shoulder, someone took the left shoulder, somebody else designed the front and then a random person added the design of the pants. The right shoulder is busy with huge stars that aren’t seen anywhere else and extends over to the left shoulder which gives the uniform a one-shoulder shirt feel. Whoever designed the front of the jersey produced a plain white design and then someone told them that they forgot to include the number so they just stuck it in the top left. Lastly, the pants are an okay design but once again they don’t match the rest of the uniform at all. Lack of cohesiveness and a non-comprehensive design that makes everything fit together is a designer’s worst nightmare and these take the cake.
Player: Jeff Hostetler
Once again, following along from before, the pool of players to select from was narrowed to only the offensive skill positions (QB, RB, WR) to decide the “worst” player wearing the “worst” uniform. Between the two Pro Bowl rosters, the list of quarterbacks for the 1995 NFL Pro Bowl included Drew Bledsoe, John Elway, Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Steve Young, and Jeff Hostetler. All of those names are no-brainers (and possibly even all Hall of Famers if Drew Bledsoe can get in) with the obvious exception of Jeff Hostetler. Jeff Hostetler never had a regular starting role and was always battling for playing time, that combined with the plethora of Hall of Fame Quarterbacks that he was playing alongside gives him the coveted spot.
Cover Photo Via ESPN