9. Houston Texans

How could I possibly rate the Texans at #9?

The Chargers, Cowboys, Jets…they’re all ranked behind an expansion team that has only been in the league for 9 years. This is a team whose city couldn’t even keep their first club, the Oilers, who now reside in Nashville as the Titans. Their uniforms aren’t even all that memorable, and they don’t really revolutionize anything.

But the Texans beat a trend that bears mentioning: most “modern jersey” teams try too hocking hard. Their logos are cheesy. Their jerseys have stripes, spikes, and odd colors that make them seem more like an AFL team. The Texans beat all that with solid jerseys that feature one of the absolute best logos in American sports, especially for teams younger than 30 years old.

For the second installment in a row, I’m beginning with the logo:

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve probably caught on to my appreciation for teams that integrate their region’s history and character into their uniforms and logos. The Texans use their state flag’s colors and overall scheme, while also incorporating a bull’s head, tapping into the cowboy roots of the Lone Star State (note: the star’s five points represent pride, courage, strength, tradition and independence). Texans bleed state pride, and the Houston Texans have done everything they can to avoid relegation as the state’s “little brother” football team.

Now for the uniforms.

No, they’re not reinventing the wheel, and that’s why they work. The logo is featured very prominently on the helmets, almost to the point of being oversized. The stripes are minimalistic in design and proportion, leaving all of the emphasis on the colors of Texas and that beautiful logo.

The Texans did it the right way, and that’s why they’re #9. They might not be America’s Team. They’re not really even Texas’ Team. But due to a future that’s looking way up (many analysts are predicting a great season for them), they might see a lot more appreciation shortly.

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