In the world of sports, where tradition and innovation often collide, few things stir up as much conversation as the unveiling of new uniforms. As an enthusiast of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), I’ve found myself engrossed in the annual ritual of dissecting the latest PLL throwback jerseys. This year’s 2023 season has proven to be no exception, as each of the eight teams embarked on a creative journey to capture the essence of nostalgia while infusing it with a contemporary twist. While opinions may diverge, it’s important to remember that these opinions are my own, offered as a passionate fan of the PLL and as a team branding critic. So, without further ado, let’s delve into a whirlwind of color, patterns, fonts, and logos as we explore the captivating tapestry of the 2023 PLL throwback jerseys.
The Archers’ throwback uniforms for the 2023 season fall short of the mark. It feels like there is an intentional push behind the scenes to sabotage the Archer’s entire aesthetic, clearing the way for the team to be branded once the PLL adopts a city model in the coming months. Their primary uniform rebrand felt lackluster, and this uniform feels very on par for the course. The inclusion of “lacrosse” instead of “lacrosse club” beneath the numbers irks me to my core. The navy uniform salvages some semblance of the team’s identity. The number font, although intriguing, stumbles due to the navy border instead of orange. I have never been a fan of recurring pattern choices throughout the team’s history. This throwback look uses a thin, construction-like pattern on the collar and shorts. The throwback logo seems forced on the jersey, which will be a reoccurring trend. While potentially salvageable without the retro logo, the dual sleeve stripe fails to align with the collar design. The mismatched pairing of white shorts doesn’t make sense considering the team no longer utilizes a white helmet. This is going to look very questionable on the field.
Among the PLL throwback jersey spectrum, Chaos shows promise with a few tweaks. This jersey captures the quintessence of throwback aesthetics – a clean, timeless look that resonates with the Chaos brand. The color and well-executed sleeve pattern align seamlessly. The team name font’s bold, black-only presentation earns praise. However, the whimsical number font is off-note, diverging from the jersey’s overall tone. The oversized retro logo on the sleeve demands attention, yet not in a positive light. Despite this, the retro logo is appealing, as I love when the Chaos utilizes any scorpion emblem. The decision to go with black shorts was the right one, enhancing the overall presentation. Overall, the number font and logo utilization really hold this look back for me.
The Whipsnakes’ throwback uniforms are a battle of admiration and skepticism. The vivid Whipsnake red looks great, harmonizing the intricate color palette, even with the challenging teal hue. The team’s font deserves some appreciation, although the number font, while on-brand, diverges from traditional throwback norms. The shoulder stripe needs to improve in execution, even though I appreciate the attempt. An enigma to me is the unwarranted enormity of the retro logo on the sleeve, accompanied by the full team name, resulting in a baffling visual imbalance. The potential impact of wearing the white shorts with a matching white helmet really salvages this look.
I’ve been on record as saying that the Atlas has one of the best color schemes in all professional sports, and that continues to be true. Their vibrant shade of blue will truly never get old. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand why we are not getting more purple and tan! Both colors work so well with their primary blue, yet we keep seeing navy and white utilized. While this jersey resides in the mid-tier, the glaring highlight is the disproportionately colossal retro logo on the sleeve. I can’t wrap my head around the choice to use these retro logos on every jersey sleeve. My biggest gripe is that the sleeve pattern does not connect with the sleeve cuff. The font choice and collar design resonate well, but the uniform doesn’t stand out in any way. This was a safe look which I can appreciate, but earns it the No.5 ranking.
Despite my historic rivalry with the Redwoods’ design choices, their throwback jersey pleasantly surprises me. The bear throwback logo expertly showcases some vintage charm with swagger, effectively striking a balance. The restrained number and team name fonts complement the logo and Redwoods branding well. The collar pattern feels just right for this look, resonating with the team’s identity. The green shorts are also excellent and should look great on the field.
I cannot understand how the Cannons are not relying on their historic assets for these PLL throwback jerseys. Though the nod to Boston is appreciated, I yearn for a deeper homage to the team’s past, spanning beyond the “Boston” name. The Cannons are the only team in the PLL with actual history, so let’s acknowledge this. The collar and short pattern, symbolizing red, white, and blue, resonate with the Cannons’ essence. The bomb logo stands as the second-best retro logo in the collection, capturing a playful throwback spirit. Stars decorating the sleeve stripes add a distinctive touch. My main critique lies with the number font, which skews more cowboy than classic, detracting from an otherwise commendable effort. The gray shorts are the cherry on top of an all-around solid look.
The Waterdogs’ throwback jersey is a testament to the Premier Lacrosse League’s growing understanding of color schemes. The utilization of dark and light purple showcases masterful design execution, which the team has lacked in years past. The jersey exudes authentic throwback sentiment, from the fonts to the refined collar details. It feels genuinely timeless, which is what you want in a throwback uniform. An unexpected highlight is the light purple outline encased within a black silhouette for the number font. Though not my favorite, the dog paw logo remains palatable, and the choice of purple shorts resonates well, aided by a patch logo that actually works well.
Fans’ persistent requests for a pink jersey from Chrome have been answered with flair. The fusion of pink and light blue strikes a harmonious chord, exemplifying impeccable balance. The team name etched on the front, particularly on a throwback uniform, is undeniably the team’s best look. Despite the knight and horse logo’s potential, its execution disappoints. However, the timeless stripe pattern on the sleeve revitalizes the throwback ethos. My primary issue pertains to choosing white shorts, a disheartening decision given the team’s helmet options. The PLL’s dedication to reinventing uniforms is commendable, and while opinions on each team’s aesthetic journey may diverge, the league’s commitment remains praiseworthy.