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When I get bored, I loooooove to think up wild hypotheticals. Usually they are of the 100 duck-sized horses mold, and end up with an exasperated wife reminding me of how unhinged I am.

Since being unhinged from society is now the norm, I’ve embraced silly hypothetical situations and have a fresh one for you all.

What if every professional sports team had to have a different primary color?

As in—the main color of logos, jerseys, merchandise, stadium decor, etc.—had to be unique for each team. For example, the Philadelphia Eagles are a unique shade of dark green. They can own that one, but regular green—which maybe a dozen professional sports teams claim—would go to the highest bidder. (Obviously, secondary colors could be shared, I’m not a monster. Even Crayola gave up after the 96 pack.)

Philadelphia, congrats on this indecisive shade of green.

But then the hypothetical took another twist…

What if we decided which team owns which color by how dominant that team had been while wearing it?

Basically, seniority and legacy would help decide which teams could keep the color and which teams would need to go searching for a new one. For this thought experiment (more experiment than thought), we won’t be using every minute difference in every color; we’re keeping it to shades that are obviously perceptible to the average human eye.

(Writer’s notes:

1) Apologies to color blind people. I can’t believe you’ve made it this far and understand you quitting now. 

2) I want it to be clear that I do not condone segregation of colors. 

3) You will not see any professional women’s teams listed below, nor MLS teams. This is about sustained legacies, and unfortunately we have not had those leagues around long enough for them to have long-term greatness. Blame me if you want. Blame the patriarchy. But please know we are not one and the same.)

Based on those criteria, let’s take a look at which teams would own which colors:

Purple – L.A. Lakers

Purple goes first because it is the easiest. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful franchises ever. They are wildly popular because of their multitude of superstars and championships. The Minnesota Vikings (0 Super Bowls), Utah Jazz (0 NBA titles), and Colorado Rockies (0 World Series) are officially (hypothetically) banned from purple. Also, purple weareth the Ravens, nevermore.

Orange – Baltimore Orioles

Orange is another relatively easy one because of how few teams use orange. On the collegiate level, Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State all wear its different shades well, but in pro sports, there aren’t lots of standouts. This really comes down to the Baltimore Orioles, the Houston Astros, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Denver Broncos (nicknamed the Orange Crush). After all the calculations, orange belongs to the Baltimore Orioles.

Hey! The Orioles won something!

Black – Oakland Raiders

Black is a great sports color, but rules are rules. That means when the San Antonio Spurs, the Oakland Raiders, the Chicago White Sox (odd, I know), and the L.A. Kings duke it out of supremacy, the Raiders get to go black, while the rest go back to the drawing board. It’s tough to take black away from the Spurs, but they win silver. And while we’re here, the Brooklyn Nets can have gray.

White – Still Available

“What about white?” asks someone who probably thinks Colin Kaepernick should shut up. Weirdly there are no teams that take up white first and foremost. Consider it up for grabs.

Green – Mo Shades, Mo Problems

Green can be divided up because there begin to be a few different identifying shades. Dark Green belongs to the Green Bay Packers (over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Minnesota Wild, the Dallas Stars, and the Oakland A’s). Neon Green goes to the Seattle Seahawks, who ran unopposed. Regular Green is a runaway victory for the Boston Celtics over everyone’s least favorite losers, the New York Jets.

These jerseys should be called “The Secret of the Oooohs”

Blue Green – The Lose-Lose Hues

Blue-green can be divided up into the brighter “teal” and a less exciting “turquoise.” In the teal matchup, the Miami Dolphins edge the Miami Marlins, while the Charlotte Hornets Bobcats Hornets earn the turquoise over the San Jose Sharks and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Finally, whatever color the Carolina Panthers are using, is all theirs.

Yellow – Primary vs. Mustard vs. Gold

Yellow, like green, has some variations. For your standard yellow, the Pittsburgh Penguins skate by the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators, and hold off the Pirates and Steelers (hey Pittsburgh, if you don’t like it, diversify it a bit!). Also receiving votes – Indiana Pacers. The Golden State Warriors get the darker, mustard-ier shade of yellow. Gold, under the yellow umbrella, and another iconic sports color, ends up with the New Orleans Saints.

Brown – Not a Lot of Competition

Brown is a funny one. The Cleveland Browns are somehow an orange team, which is a pretty Cleveland thing to do. That leaves the San Diego Padres who recently left brown behind and then more recently came back to it.

You ARE the Padre!

Blue – You Blue It

Blue is one of the most common sports colors, by far. We have royal blue, dark blue, navy blue, light blue, and powder blue.

Powder blue is the easiest: It belongs to the Los Angeles Chargers. Light blue becomes the color of the Dallas Mavericks, instead of the Tampa Bay Rays, Memphis Grizzlies, or Tennessee Titans. Navy blue has lots of candidates but none with the rings and iconography of the New York Yankees. For a darker blue (but not as dark as navy), there are also gobs of options, but none more deserving than the Dallas Cowboys. And finally, if you’ve cleaned up the vomit from letting the Yankees and Cowboys win, royal blue, belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, beating the Chicago Cubs in an extra-inning battle.

Red – Wanted, Red or Alive

For red, we are separating into the following subsections: red, bright red, darker red, and maroon. Maroon is pretty dominated by the Washington football team, but if you can’t trademark or even say their name, it’s easy to disqualify them. So congrats to the Colorado Avalanche for their victory! When it comes to bright red, the Detroit Red Wings eke past the Kansas City Chiefs thanks to Cameron’s jersey in Ferris Bueller. As we go to darker red, the Boston Red Sox take the category.

And finally, the last and toughest division: true red. Red is full of teams with championship pedigrees in each of the four major American professional sports leagues. The Montreal Canadiens have won the most Stanley Cups. The Chicago Bulls won six NBA titles in the 90s. The San Francisco 49ers have five Super Bowl wins. And the St. Louis Cardinals believe they are the greatest baseball team ever, so there’s that. In the end, the dominance by the Bulls cannot be denied, and earns them red (and, hopefully, enough for an 11th episode of The Last Dance).

If you didn’t see your favorite team, please don’t be mad at me. Be mad at them for not being better! If you think I’ve erred anywhere, hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk about it.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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