NFL Divisional Round: Picking the Playoffs By The Prettiest Uniform

Sara HannonCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Running back Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots celebrates as he runs off the field after defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-27 at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Anyone wonder how a person who knows little about football and virtually nothing about the teams can make picks in a pool and win by picking the team colors they like best? Is it dumb luck or is there really something about the color and what feelings they induce?

Partially inspired by this conundrum, and by the Oregon Ducks bright shiny BCS uniforms, I want to take a look at how color can affect a person's pick based on the idea of color theory.

Color theory is the idea that certain colors produce certain emotional responses. For example: McDonald's uses a lot of red because red makes you hungry. It makes you think of food. In this article, I will test the idea of color theory with picks for the Divisional Round and see if I can replicate the "dumb luck" picks that always win the office pool.

We'll start in the NFC.

The surprising Seahawks travel to Chicago to take on the Bears. The football fan part of me wants to take Chicago because Seattle's been terrible on the road this year, and Chicago's been kicking up their heels for a week and they don't have to fly half-way across the country. Lets see who the color's choose.

Seattle Seahawks:

  • Seahawk blue (for this experiment, we are combing the traits of blue and aqua) 
  • Navy
  • Bright Green
  • White


Chicago Bears:

  • Navy
  • Orange
  • White 


Seattle's Color theory starts with blue. Their particular blue, in color theory, elicits feelings of depth, stability, and protection. The navy stands for knowledge, integrity and seriousness. Green elicits feelings of growth, harmony, and freshness while white stands for purity, goodness and light.

So the Seahawks as a whole are stable, serious, smart, harmonious, and good. A very nice group of feelings.

Chicago's color theory employs two of the same colors, navy and white. The orange represents feelings of joy, sunshine, enthusiasm and encouragement. So the Bears are smart, serious, good, joyful, enthusiastic and pure. Also nice feelings.

Because they are so similar in color it is difficult to choose, you have to decide if harmony and growth outweigh joy and excitement. While they are nice to have, the latter is much more necessary in a football game.

Color choice: Chicago Bears (by a slim margin)

The other NFC game is different. The Falcons and Packers only share the color white, and their teams are as different as their uniforms. My football brain doesn't know who to pick. If the Packers contain Turner and Roddy White, they'll win, and if the Falcons find a way to stop Aaron Rogers, they win. I'll leave the choice to the colors because I can't decide.

Atlanta Falcons:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Silver
  • White

Green Bay Packers:

  • Green
  • Gold (yellow)
  • White

The Falcon's red color elicits feelings of danger, energy, determination and strength. The black represents power, elegance, evil and mystery while the while represents purity, innocence and goodness. Because silver is a metallic, and a color generally associated with some sort of money, it can stand for riches. It also gives a sense of glamour or elegance, and can be distinguished, sleek and playful.

That makes the Falcons dangerous, energetic, playful, elegant, evil, powerful, good, strong and determined. Actually a pretty good recipe for a football team.

The first issue we come to with the Packers is their "gold". Most people would agree that when you look at the Packer's "gold" it's really more of a yellow. Or at least, it's not the gold we think of when we think of the metal. So for the purposes of this article, that color "gold" will be considered yellow.

The main color of the packers is green. Green elicits a feeling of growth, harmony, and freshness. The yellow adds feelings of joy, happiness, intellect, and energy, while the white gives a feeling of purity, innocence and goodness.

So the Packers are harmonious and fresh, they are joyful, smart, energetic, good and pure. That's a lot of nice feelings around the Packers.

So do you choose the dangerous, playful, powerful Falcons or the fresh, smart, energetic Packers? In this instance you have to go with the red and black, since almost all of the feelings elicited by the Packer's colors can be found in the Falcons, with the exception of harmony and joy.

Color choice: Atlanta Falcons

Moving on to the AFC.

The truly unique hing about the AFC match-ups this weekend is that they are both "three-peats". The hard-hitting Steelers verses the heavy-hitting Ravens, and the laconic, cerebral Patriots against the bombastic, confident Jets.

Saturday's match up pits AFC North division rivals Ravens and Steelers against each other so we will start there.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

  • Black
  • Gold (yellow)
  • White

Baltimore Ravens:

  • Black
  • Purple
  • Gold
  • White

The Steelers colors almost contradict themselves. The black represents power, elegance, evil, and mystery,. They yellow stands for joy, happiness, intellect and energy while the white stands for purity, innocence and goodness.

So the Steelers are powerful, elegant, evil, good, joyful, smart, innocent and energetic. An interesting combination for a football team.

The Ravens have unique color scheme. The only other team that uses purple are the Vikings and their color scheme is very different from that of the Ravens.

The black in the Raven's uniform represents power, elegance, evil and mystery. The purple evokes a feeling of gloom, power, ambition, creativity, and  extravagance. The white elicits a feeling of purity, innocence and goodness while the gold (the real, metallic kind) gives a feeling of wealth and excess.

So the Ravens are powerful, elegant, evil, good, gloomy, powerful, ambitious, extravagant and creative.

Because both teams are elegant, evil, good, and powerful, those are a draw. That leaves us with the Steelers being joyful, smart, and energetic and the Ravens evoking feelings of gloom, ambition, creativity, extravagance, innocent, wealth and excess.

In this instance, the colors point to a more stable smart and energetic team. The gloom, extravagance, and excess can get in the way and a smart team would take advantage of those flaws.

Color choice: Pittsburgh Steelers

And finally, the New England patriots and the New York Jets.

New England Patriots:

  • Navy
  • Red
  • Silver
  • White


New York Jets:

  • Dark Green
  • White


The New England Patriots navy evokes a feeling of knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness. Their red gives a feeling of vigor, will, determination, strength, and the silver stands for being glamorous, distinguished, elegant, and sleek. The white, as always, represents goodness, purity, light, and innocence.

So the Patriots are smart, powerful, serious, determined, strong, elegant, and good.

The Jet's green symbolizes ambition, greed and jealousy while the white represents goodness, purity and light.

Since both teams have white, they are a wash. Which leaves us with the Patriots being smart, powerful, serious, determined, and strong against the Jets ambition and greed. No contest here.

Color Choice: New England Patriots


This is how I feel the picks will go down according to color theory. Now I';m going to be a total girlie girl and pick the teams based on who has the prettiest uniform:

Patriots, Ravens, Falcons, Seahawks.

We'll see how things turn out this weekend.