At first glance, the new uniform for the Los Angeles Kiss, the new Arena League team owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss, looks pretty outrageous, what with all of the heavy metal pyrotechnics and such.
But is it really?
In many ways, the Kiss uniform, which was made by Russell Athletic, is just a slightly sillier version of the designs that Nike and Under Armour have been coming up with for the NCAA and NFL in recent years.
The contrast-colored flaming shoulder yoke? Not really that different from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new jersey template. The flaming face mask? Just a more extreme version of the Bucs' new chrome face mask.
In some ways, the Kiss design is actually more reserved than some of the other ones we've recently seen. The flaming helmet may be ridiculous, but at least it's symmetrical, which is more than you can say for the University of Maryland's recent helmets. And the Kiss helmet doesn't have an absurd two-tone fade like the Jacksonville Jaguars' helmet.
And I hate to keep bringing up the Bucs, but you have to admit that the Kiss number font, even with the sophomoric flame pattern, is a lot better than the Bucs' new font.
In short: The Kiss -- much like the band they're named after -- are essentially a cartoon. But the same can be said for an increasing number of other football teams out there.
Paul Lukas owns several Kiss albums from the 1970s. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.