The Best Fictional Sports Jerseys of All Time


You’ve seen The Mighty Ducks 97 times and watched the team go from the realm of fictional Disney tale to real-life National Hockey League team. We all want a jersey that no one else has, so why not go with one from a team that doesn’t actually exist? Here is a look at some of the best fictional sports jerseys of all time. You might just find something you’d like to wear.

The Springfield Isotopes

Named for the burgeoning nuclear industry in the The Simpsons‘ hometown of Springfield, the Isotopes don’t have a lot of star. The bunt, crazy, illegitimate great-grandson of Babe Ruth is the only name of real note. Thanks to corporate sponsorship by Duff Beer, constant appearances by Duffman, and singing of the national anthem at games by Cindi Lauper, the fictional minor league baseball team endures.

But even on their worst day, the Springfield Isotopes are better than the Burlington Drifters. The real-life Albuquerque Isotopes, an AAA minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, took their name from the pride of Springfield after a landslide fan vote in 2003. You can find a variety of unlicensed Springfield Isotopes gear online.

The London Jets

A zero-gravity football teams from 1980s BBC television series Red Dwarf, the London Jets don’t necessarily wear jerseys—they wear space suits. Character David Lester wears a t-shirt supporting the team in season one of Red Dwarf, and numerous references litter the series. You can checkout the simple but sweet t-shirt design above, with the shirt available from a variety of online sources, with no official version currently in production.

The Flint Michigan Tropics

A team name that brings about about cognitive dissonance on par with the NBA’s Utah Jazz, the fictional Flint Michigan Tropics bring with a design and color that features the best of 1970s sports vibes. The team’s swanky jerseys abound in the under-rated Will Ferrell film Semi-Pro.

However, the best of ’70s era ABA/NBA professional basketball failed to outfit a team, as well as one-hit wonder turned ABA player, manager, and owner Jackie Moon did. You can find Tropics jerseys and replica shirts online if you look, but no official distribution source exists.

The Miami Sharks 

Simple, kick-ass, black-and-white jerseys with stylized sharks emblazoned on helmets make up the on-field apparel in Oliver Stone’s  Any Given Sunday.

Any Given Sunday is a movie one either loves or hates, thanks to an over-the-top performance by Al Pacino, a scene where an alligator is tossed into a locker room shower and a lineman losing an eyeball on the field, but the design of the Sharks jersey is epic. I’d take it over the  light green and orange of the Miami Dolphins any day of the week.

The Globo Gym Purple Cobras

More in the realm of cos-play than a jersey you would pop on to go to the grocery store, Ben Stiller’s roided-up antagonists in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story sport black-and-purple uni. I’m not sure why shoulder pads are needed to play dodgeball, but the G.I. Joe-level awesomeness of the Purple Cobras logo (a logo that would make Serpentor proud) and color choice makes the jerseys stand out.

The New York Knights

Sure, you are probably looking for a Kenny Powers’ Myrtle Beach Mermen jersey on this list, but I’ll take a 1939 New York Knights jersey over a Merman uni every day of the week.

Created for the movie The Natural, the Knights’ jersey looks like something that jumped out of a Major League Baseball licensed time machine. Ebbets Field Flannels sells high-end versions of New York Knights jerseys, with prices in the $200+ range. Sear the name Hobbs on the back with lightning for extra goodness.

The Houston Energy

James Caan stars as Jonathan E. in 1975’s Rollerball, the star of the Houston Energy. Rollerball is a bizarre game—one part roller derby, one part football, and one part motorcross, with few rules. Jonathan E. brings nerves of steel and a cry for the common man amidst corporate-controlled teams who seek to kill each, as game’s commissioners keep altering the rules to up the violence in the sport.

The Houston Energy sports simple yellow-orange uniforms with a computer-stylized number on the front—not the most amazing design, but a clean one made even more iconic by James Caan. This movie kicks ass and is relevant play on social commentary, staying quite true to the source material (Rollerball Murder by William Harrison). Whatever you do, stay away from the 2002 remake. Red Bubble sells a t-shirt version of Caan’s jersey.

The Atlanta Braves

What? The Atlanta Braves exist? Yes, but in the television show Futurama, the Major League Baseball team has undergone a pretty significant transformation. In the 31st Century, the modern-day city of Atlanta, Georgia, is covered by water, and Atlanta operates as an Atlantis-type city with Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves continuing to exist, but as a blernsball team.

Blernsball resembles baseball, but with some interesting rules. Relief pitchers must ride to the pitcher’s mound on a giant tarantula, bribes are rewarded, and the ball is tethered to the pitcher’s mound. The Braves’ logo is slightly altered in the 31st Century: a trident replaces the current tomahawk, making for a very cool look.

Image Sources: Amazon.com, Allmoviephoto.com, Ebbets.com, Halloweenforum.com

Keith
Keith Veronese has a Ph.D. in chemistry and regularly writes for Gawker Media's science site, io9. His worked has appeared on the Gawker Media sites Lifehacker, Deadspin, Kotaku, and Jezebel in addition to Paste Magazine, AMOG, So Jones, Hip Hop Press, and FormatMag. Keith also has a non-fiction book in the works, Plugged In: Comic Book Professionals Working in the Video Game Industry, which will be released by TwoMorrows Publishing later this year.
Keith

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