Male sports fans aren’t girls. We don’t go gaga for teams with catchy names and slick colors. We don’t throw our support behind a squad simply because we like the colorway. No, not at all, we’re way too manly for that. But despite our fierce masculinity and macho machismo, we do enjoy a well put together uniform and jersey. So it’s probably safe to say that after seeing the Washington Wizards new digs on May 10, the majority of men in the Washington, D.C. area (and most fans for that matter) breathed a heavy sigh of relief and rejoiced like never before. You can call the new (or retro, depending upon how you look at it) red, white and blue painted jerseys whatever you like: a blast from the past; a sight for sore eyes; a new lease on life, it doesn’t matter.
Whatever the label you want to issue the new uni’s is fine; just say thank you to Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. Thank you Leonsis for finally doing away with those tired, dry, lifeless teal outfits and getting this team back on track to respectability. It’s not much you can do when your jersey is absolutely hideous. You have to take pride in your work and it all starts with your appearance. The Chicago Bulls’ red and black jerseys are iconic. Laker purple, Celtic green, even the pale black and white Spurs jerseys are a great representation for a classic team. But the teal Wizards jerseys? Yuck.
“When I looked at the Wizards when they played in the teal, I did not really recognize them as part of the Bullet organization," former Washington superstar Elvin Hayes said at the unveiling of the new jerseys. "It was like another team had begun to represent them because they changed their name and they changed their colors and I think it was so drastic. As a player who played here, when I watched it on television, I think you had a disconnect. I think that all of a sudden, it's a great reconnect."
The star forward on the ’77 title team was all smiles at the unveiling as new bloods John Wall and Jordan Crawford modeled his No. 11 jersey. The Wizards in name are a long ways away from the classic Bullets title, but at least they look like them. “People really like the Bullets and the red, white and blue, because they won a championship. I understand that,” Leonsis said. “So what we've done is make something that's true to what we want to accomplish, but gives great comfort and harkens back to a big part of our past."
It’s not often men get excited about a simple color change but after enduring 14 years of the most hideous road jerseys in the NBA, fans and local supporters in the area finally have something to get excited about. Now, if only we can fix that name.