Last year, I made you scroll through six paragraphs before we got to the goods. This season, you’re getting two and a half before I reveal my second annual choices for the best T-shirts of every NFL team. When it comes to tees, there’s no time to waste.
How’d I pick ’em? I spent more hours than my bosses would like to know scouring online shops—many suggested by The MMQB readers—in search of shirts in two categories: Licensed, which covers all your big name brands like Nike, ’47 and Fanatics that can put official logos on their gear; and Non-Traditional, which includes all the local and independent brands that have to get creative with their products. For the Women selections, I leaned on my colleagues Kalyn Kahler and Bette Marston to let me know what the ladies like.
The choices are below; click on the yellow-underlined links for purchasing information. And please let me know if I missed anything via email or Twitter. Here we go—listed in alphabetical order, by conference...
• LICENSED (Nike, $31): Sometimes simple and direct, like a David Johnson run up the middle, gets the job done best.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (State Forty Eight, $30): Simultaneously support Bruce Arians, arguably the NFL’s best soundbite, and a good cause helping needy children.
• WOMEN (’47, $45): Easy to forget that the Cardinals are one of the NFL’s oldest franchises. The 1920 on the back will school the uneducated.
• LICENSED (Fanatics, $22): Look, you can’t hide from 28-3, so you might as well embrace it. Wear with self-deprecating pride.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (TownieMade, $24): A nod to the ’77 Falcons defense and one of the best nicknames in football.
• WOMEN (5th & Ocean, $39): Old-school stripes on the football sleeves? Yes please.
• LICENSED (Under Armour, $34): A modern take on those old-school caricature shirts that dominated the 80s. I’m in.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Roaring Riot, $24): As good of an example that I’ve seen of unlicensed apparel looking just as sharp as the real thing.
• WOMEN (500 Level, $26): Here’s hoping Cam’s shoulder is healthy enough for him to do this kind of hollerin’ this season.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (The Heckler, $20): WE’RE GOING STREAKING, but if you’re not into running naked through the quad, perhaps this 31 Apparel beauty is better. Or if you’re into math, this ChiTown Clothing shirt would be a good addition. (Count ’em up. They’re all there.)
• WOMEN (500 Level, $27): Because Sweetness never goes out of style.
• LICENSED (Nike, $44):Nearly half a hundy is too expensive for a tee, but can you put a price on wearing the same shirt as Jason Garrett?
• WOMEN (Fanatics, $34): Love the circular text surrounding probably the most identifiable logo in football.
• LICENSED (’47, $30): To be honest, the old Lion silhouette logo is better but the new one looks good too.
• WOMEN (’47, $38): Can’t go wrong with the bold uniform stripe across the front.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
• LICENSED (Mitchell & Ness, $49): Is a henley a T-shirt? Not really, but when it’s green, gold and gray, and old-school stripes are sewn on the sleeves, who cares.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
• LICENSED (Fanatics, $24): I predict the Rams will go exclusively blue and white by the time the new stadium opens in 2020, so enjoy the yellow while you can.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (TownieMade, $24): Like the throwback vibe here, and love the subtle In-N-Out shoutout via the crossed palm trees.
• WOMEN (Pro Line, $34): Bright and happy, feelings Sean McVay also hopes to bring to the Coliseum this fall.
• LICENSED (Fanatics, $24): Because Vikings fans have a cool battle cry and your fan base doesn’t.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (SotaStick Co., $28): This one is technically called The Minnesota Moon, but it easily could have been Joe Buck’s Nightmare.
• WOMEN (Nike, $21): It’s not everyday you can pull off a shirt featuring a man with a moustache and braids.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
• LICENSED (Nike, $35): Come for the cool stripe design; stay for the tiny type below it.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Prinstant Replays, $28): The diagram of the punt block that etched Steve Gleason into NFL lore and loudly announced the return of a region.
• WOMEN (Pro Line, $29): Long live Sir Saint.
NEW YORK GIANTS
• LICENSED (Nike, $31): This logo brings to mind the glory days of Phil McConkey, which is never a bad thing.
• WOMEN (Barstool, $28): Summer might be over, but beach bod Eli is still here.
• LICENSED (’47, $34): Gray tri-blend tees are still my weakness, and this one’s as good as it gets.
• WOMEN (TownieMade, $24): Anyone else bothered by the fact that none of the receivers are running a fly route on this design? Just me? Okay, carry on.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
• LICENSED (Pro Line, $29): Rock this quasi-throwback and hope Kyle Shanahan and Co. can get the franchise headed that way again.
• WOMEN (’47, $38): My friendly female correspondent says you can sleep in this, wear it to the game, then sleep in it again. Solid plan.
• LICENSED (Nike, $34): Choosing between the blue, the green or the gray must be like what Russell Wilson goes through when he drops back and decides where to throw. Too many good options.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Ames Bros, $29): Ex-Seahawk Craig Terrill pointed me in this direction, and I'm glad he did. These shirts, designed by a group who does poster artwork for bands like Pearl Jam, help raise money to fight hunger.
• WOMEN (’47, $38): The front is simple, but it’s the back that really makes this shirt stand out.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
• LICENSED (Nike, $34): These have been seen all over Hard Knocks, and it might be the first time I’ve enjoyed the new logo more than the old one
• NON-TRADITIONAL (National Fanthem, $21): A winning combination of the old face of the franchise with the new one.
• WOMEN (Junk Food, $33): The vintage vibe on this is damn near perfect.
• LICENSED (’47, $34): The muted yellow with the vintage logo is a keeper, but the sad model isn’t exactly raising morale.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Breaking T, $24): Enjoy him while you can, Redskins fans. The 2017 season may be the final frontier for Cousins in D.C.
• WOMEN (500 Level, $26): As a matter of fact, I do.
• LICENSED (Nike, $31): Black and subtle beats purple and loud all day in my book.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Barstool, $25): Make your voice be heard, and settle the debate once and for all.
• WOMEN (Fanatics, $39): The heathered purple makes this stand out in a good way.
• LICENSED (Pro Line, $29): I’m not saying the Bills haven’t won since they dropped this logo, but it certainly feels that way.
• WOMEN (Teespring, $17): Low-cost option to show off team and city pride simultaneously.
• LICENSED (Pro Line, $29): The NFL doesn’t allow alternate helmets, but if it did, the Bengals should go back to these once a season. Beautiful.
• WOMEN (Etsy, $22): The stadium-address-in-team-color-design is just good T-shirtin’.
• LICENSED (Nike, $35): Love this shirt design for all teams, but especially the Browns, particularly for the brown-white-orange tab on the shirt hem.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (GV Art + Design, $28): I mean, if Big Highway started putting brown stripes on orange construction drums, could you blame them?
• WOMEN (Cle Clothing Co., $30): For the ladies who are proud of their Browns ... but maybe not so much where they want to actually name them, ya know?
• LICENSED (Nike, $35): John Elway runs the team, and yet they still haven’t returned to the logo of his heyday. A real head-scratcher.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (500 Level, $26): I enjoy the nerdy orange gradient design behind the NFL’s most celebrated nerd. How can one not love Von?
• WOMEN (TownieMade, $24): Pay homage to the past with a design that’s very modern.
• LICENSED (Pro Line, $29): The trend lately has been to design team apparel that is less loud and more wearable in non-game situations. This is a good example of that.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Running Game Clothing Co., $24): RGC is locally owned by Houston resident Travis Drake, whose immediate family stayed safe during the recent flooding. Other family members and friends weren’t as lucky, so Drake is helping through the sales of these H-Town Strong shirts—a portion of the proceeds will benefit flood victims.
• WOMEN (Fanatics, $27): Because you can never get enough Texas with your Texans gear.
• LICENSED (Pro Line, $29): Eight bits of badass right here.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (The Shop, $25): Ear holes, single bars and a helmet that would never fly into today’s football world, but makes for a great shirt image.
• WOMEN (Fanatics, $29): Not a women’s cut, but my female correspondent couldn’t stop crushing on Emoji Luck. Careful with that shoulder though, Cartoon Andrew.
• LICENSED (’47, $38): This conjures up memories of when teal was having a moment back in the early 90s, as the Jags, Sharks and Marlins all adopted it as their color of choice.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
• LICENSED (Fanatics, $31): Forget Gronk. America’s Tight End is a Chief, and you should celebrate this fact, Kansas City.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Charlie Hustle Clothing Co., $32): Anybody who has tailgated at Arrowhead on game day would have to agree.
• WOMEN (The K.C. Clothing Co., $32): If Chiefs are good this season, this is your gameday shirt. If they’re bad, it’s your city pride shirt. Versatility.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
• LICENSED (Nike, $34): Advice for Chargers fans: Don’t invest too much in apparel that features a city name, in case this move thing doesn’t work out.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Ebay, $16): The quickly defunct logo—don’t mess with the Dodgers—lives on in the dark corners of the internet.
• WOMEN (Etsy, $23): Really cool idea for those who are into the non-blatant fan look.
• LICENSED (Mitchell & Ness, $49): If you ever wondered what the uniform would look like if the Dolphins were a 1970s baseball team...
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Honked Off Like a Goose, $20): All aboard! (Wonder if they’ll make one for Cutler, the other, much less predictable Jay Train.)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
• LICENSED (Fanatics, $34): We’ll get to the Super Bowl brag shirts in a moment. For now, let’s just enjoy Pat Patriot and his two-point stance.
• WOMEN (Pats Propoganda, $27): No shortage of ways to troll Falcons fans and tout title No. 5 of the Belichick/Brady era.
NEW YORK JETS
• LICENSED (Nike, $34): Just because the Jets are going to be bad this season doesn’t mean their fans can’t look good.
• WOMEN (The Loyalist, $29): I like it when a shirt doesn’t beat around the bush and gets straight to the point.
• LICENSED (Nike, $31): Question for designers: Do they teach classes around the Raiders logo? It is perfect. Favorite detail? The unbuckled chin strap.
• WOMEN (Beast Mode, $34): Who knows how long Marshawn Lynch will be a Raider, so soak it up while you can.
• LICENSED (’47, $32): New shirt, old message, and something that will spark conversation around the tailgate.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (Steel City, $29): Never has a complete sentence on a shirt been so appropriate and cool.
• WOMEN (Pittsburgh Clothing Co., $28): Accurate, whether you root for the Steelers, Penguins or Pirates. Well, it’s been awhile for the Buccos.
• LICENSED (’47, $32): Looks like the kind of shirt fans were wearing at Adelphia back in ’99. That’s a good thing.
• NON-TRADITIONAL (McEwen Classics, $30): I grew up with the two brothers behind this brand, and they are as Old Nashville as it gets. None of that new, transplant Nashville here.
• WOMEN (Junk Food, $29): Great color, killer cursive and just the right amount of vintage vibe.