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The Day After

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Jeez, what a fuss over nothing.

Okay, it wasn’t completely nothing, since the Seahawks revealed a significant redesign. So let’s just call yesterday’s Nike/NFL event the most overblown single-team uniform unveiling ever.

For the other 31 teams, it was mostly the emperor’s new clothes. Not only do most of them look the same — which is what I’ve been predicting for more than a year now — but things that could have been fixed (the 49ers’ sleeve stripes, the Colts’ shoulder stripes, the Bengals’ everything, etc.) were left untouched, which feels like a major missed opportunity. As for the few small but genuine changes that took place, which I’ll get to in a second, they could have been handled in a press release. Someone needs to tell these people that playing a lot of dramatic music and renting a smoke machine don’t add up to noteworthiness all by themselves.

After seeing and photographing the new uniforms, I banged out a quick ESPN piece (I wrote it while still there at the event), which you can see here. It summarizes my initial reactions to yesterday’s developments. If you haven’t already read it, start there.

As I noted in that column, most of the changes involve the uniforms’ physical design (tailoring, construction, etc.), not their graphic design. In particular, most teams have embraced two elements that Nike has utilized for several years at the college level: the mesh abdomen panel, which we here at Uni Watch refer to as the sweatbox (because it often changes color at a different rate that the rest of the jersey when the player starts sweating) and the Flywire collar, which we here at Uni Watch refer to as”¦.

Hmmm. We’ve never come up with a nickname for that. But there’s no way I’m gonna parrot a gimmicky marketing term like “Flywire” for the next five years. I was thinking about this yesterday, and it occurred to me that one reason I’ve never liked the name “Flywire collar” is that I don’t like thinking about wire near my throat. And the collar design actually looks a bit sharp, like barbed wire — again, not something I want near my throat. So I’ve decided that from now on, this collar design will be known as the Colombian Necktie. (And if you don’t know what a Colombian Necktie is, look here.) Nobody liked the name I came up with, so we’ll call it a Nikelace.

Now that I’ve had a bit of time to comb through all the small details, here’s a comprehensive team-by-team breakdown:

[table id=11 /]

There are also lots of league-wide details worth noting. Por ejemplo:

• First, here’s something I mentioned in yesterday’s ESPN column but didn’t illustrate with a photo: In the past, pants piping has been added in the form of stretch insert panels. But now they’re going with mesh inserts, for better ventilation. Not sure how visible this will be on TV. I initially spotted only one exception to this new format: the Packers, who appear to be using the traditional stretch panel (that’s particularly interesting because last year several Green Bay players said they really liked the team’s throwback pants because they didn’t have striping and were therefore more comfortable). After going back over my photos, it now appears that the Raiders, Panthers, and Eagles may be sticking with the old striping panels as well.

• The NFL Equipment shield, which had appeared on jersey collars and pant thighs, is gone. Now it’s just the NFL logo. And as you can see in that shot, the logo is now a little plastic chip, not a woven patch like they’d used in the past.

• For teams that have chest logos or wordmarks, those marks appear to be riding lower than ever.

• Get ready for a lot of glove silliness.

• When Nike outfitted several NFL teams back in the ’90s, the swoosh on the right sleeve always faced to the left. This is because the Nike style guide has always specified that the swoosh must be left-facing except when used on the right side of a shoe. But that guideline has apparently been rewritten, because the right-sleeve swooshes on the new uniforms are facing rightward.

Some readers have compared this to American flag protocol, which states that the blue field should always be facing forward, and a few have even said, “Great, now Nike is comparing the swoosh to the American flag.” I don’t see it that way. I think they just decided that they want the swoosh to be facing forward, just as it does on the right side of every sneaker they’ve ever sold.

• Nike has come up with a new line of padded socks. NFL hosiery protocol has become a total mish-mash (tights, leg-warmers, etc.), with players wearing pretty much whatever they choose, so it remains to be seen if these new padded socks will be worn on a widespread basis. I hope not — the padding looks like warts. On the other hand, one of my biggest fears yesterday was that the NFL’s socks would suddenly become swoosh-emblazoned, so I’m relieved that didn’t happen.

• The mannequins at the unveiling were all wearing two-tone shoes in team colorways colors:


At first I thought these were just for display. But Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba tells me that all players can now wear team-colored shoes, although they have the option of sticking with white or black. So the longstanding rule mandating predominantly black or white footwear has apparently been scrapped (I’m trying to get league confirmation on this). This is basically the same thing the NBA has done. Of course, many players have shoe contracts with companies other than Nike, so it’s it’s gonna be a real crazy quilt out there on the footwear front.

• As you’ve probably noticed, only home jerseys were on display. Not sure why. I have no reason to think there’s anything secretive going on regarding the road jerseys, however.

• I’m told that several teams have alternate jerseys that will be unveiled later on. (Specifically, I overheard Brian Orakpo of the Redskins saying that the ’Skins have an alternate in the works. He said he hadn’t seen it yet, but his comments suggested that it might be black. We shall see.)

“The jerseys come in three different price points and I can’t decide which one to get and they won’t be in stock until April 15 and my local store may not have them so I’ll to go to the mall and the parking at my mall sucks but I do like the food court there so maybe it isn’t so bad and do you know if the middle-priced jersey has the stretch-twill numbers and how come they’re not selling practice jerseys yet and do you think the new jerseys will be easier or harder for the Chinese to counterfeit and”¦” I honestly couldn’t care less about any of this. Has zero bearing on Uni Watch.

Lighter, faster, drier, cooler, blahblahblah Nobody cares. At one point a Nike exec even bragged that the D-rings in the belts were made of “airplane-grade aluminum.” I guess that means the players can now fly. Or the belts can fly. Or something.

• Possibly the best thing about the entire Nike contract: The uniform template they’re using for the NFL is called the Elite 51. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about that name, except it means we won’t have to keep hearing “Pro Combat” every five minutes. A huge relief.

I’ll say this much for Nike and the NFL: They move the needle. As of Sunday night, I had 12,500 followers on Twitter; now I have over 44,000 (hi, new Twitter followers!). Our site traffic and comments exploded, ditto for the ESPN piece I wrote, and you don’t want to know how many e-mails I got (the most amusing of which said it was “pitiful” that I stopped Twittering in the midst of yesterday’s event and then added, “What, did you stop for lunch?”). I generally value quality over quantity, but the sheer numbers are still impressive. Quite a day.

I’m pooped, so that’s it for today — sorry, no Ticker. I’ll try to get back to some semblance of normalcy tomorrow.

Want more? You can find more photos and info on each team’s new uni package by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.

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Membership update: Membership orders have slowed to a crawl over the past month. Since we produce the cards in batches of eight, that means some of you have been waiting a long time for your cards — my apologies to those of you who’ve been waiting. The good news is that I sent our latest batch to the printer this morning (it included Neville A. Louison’s card, shown at right, which is based on the old Brooklyn Horsemen) and should be able to mail out the finished cards by the end of the week.

As always, you can see the full gallery of card designs that we’ve produced here, and you can sign up to get your own custom card here.

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Kicking the Habit, Day 2: The Nike people set up a little eats/drinks nook at yesterday’s NFL unveiling event, and of course the offerings included Diet Coke. Those evil Swooshkateers, always messing with me! But I stayed strong — “Orange juice, please.” Then I had some water later on. Reallyreallyreally wanted some of the carbonated stuff once I eventually got home but managed to resist the urge. Everyone’s telling me I’ll probably go through some sort of withdrawal (headaches, the shakes, etc.), but that hasn’t happened so far. Two days down, five to go.

Tomorrow: There’s this other sport, maybe you’ve heard of it. Its season is about to start.

More on Uni Watch
Comments (447)

    “Somewhere in the Nike offices, there’s probably an exec whose sole job is to convince the Browns to adopt a helmet logo.”

    ~~~

    THE now has a dream job to aspire to and a purpose in life

    Somewhere in the Nike offices, there’s probably an exec whose sole job is to convince the Browns to adopt a helmet logo.

    And we shall scream, “Defiance!” from every rooftop.

    At this point, I think I’d almost let them keep their stupid blank helmet if they’d reverse the pant stripes to brown-orange-brown and went back to a white facemask.

    Pants stripe? Depends on how your perceive it. Was originally designed for a team that intended to wear a white jersey all the time.

    Ergo it is the same pattern as the white jersey sleeve.

    Sleeve center stripe brown.
    Then two orange stripes.
    Then two brown again.

    To make it narrower for pants, they just eliminated the outermost pair of stripes.

    All in how you look at it. :)

    I do like them better with the white facemasks, but to me they’re fine either way.

    As someone who lived through the Browns’ brown jersey/orange pants era, I say: no thank you. Awful combo.

    Those uniforms & helmets are not changing any time soon. They tried going brown/orange/brown with the pants stripes a few years ago and changed right back. Don’t even get us going on the helmets (no logo forever!).

    The only change we want is a few winning seasons here and there. That’d be nice.

    I loved the Orange/white/orange combo, looked way better IMO than the white over white.

    The brown jersey looks OK either way.

    They should go back to white over white at home, maybe go white over orange on the road. For an alt, go with a white helmet, orange shirts, white pants, and put a simple logo on the helmet.

    As long as there’s a pro team wearing brown, I got no beef. But I leave it to the true believers to mess/not mess with Cleveland’s uniforms. I’d tweak here or there; nothing major.

    Paul- here in east tn we have a local “energy drink” called Dr. Enuf that for years a partook of to the tune of 4-5 a day. I recently decided to kick the stuff. It was tough as it had become part of my routine and part of my being. Everyone knew I was going to have an “Enuf” on my desk at any time. Stay strong. I never had withdrawal symptoms. But I did crave one at certain times. If you replace it with water or tea you will start to feel better, more energy etc. good luck.
    Oh by the way- the big unveil was like a topless car wash. You get all excited and then the girls who are not topless leave the top of your car unwashed.

    I think it’s funny that the NFL mannequins all have massive thigh and hip pads when barely anyone in the league actually wears them anymore. I’m sure these tighter-fit uniforms will only reinforce the “ballet tights” look most players now sport.

    One thing Nike does is put integrated pads into the compression shorts or the pants themselves. The complaints were about the hard shell pads and about having to wear a girdle, so I think we’ll be seeing more players wearing their ancillary pads this year.

    I drank way too much Diet Coke consistently from the mid-80s until going cold turkey in 2006. Was way easier than quitting smoking, which I still miss 16 years and one month since my last cigarette. You can do this.

    Rams are messing up big time.
    If they must ditch the gold pants, then they must ditch the gold #’s.

    Gold pants had been something of a tradition for the Rams since the 1970s, but it seems as if the Rams’ current owner(s) seem dead set on sartorially distancing the team from longtime owner Georgia Frontiere.

    I have mixed feelings about this. I remember watching back when Martz was the coach, and when those gold pants would get sweaty in the dome, they’d start to look sort of brownish. Perhaps different material would look less ugly.
    But by getting rid of them, that leaves only white, which I rather like, and navy, which I care for even less. The white-over-navy look is pretty awful (the worst of the 3 combos with white jerseys they’ve worn in the past decade), but they could potentially be tempted to go full navy at home. I’ve never been a fan of monochrome football unis–the Saints in all black, the Seahawks in their greyish metallic blue–or darker pants in general–Jags teal-over-black, Titans sky blue-over-navy.

    The gold pants made the Rams unis the best in the league IMO. SOOOO sad to see them go.

    I definitely prefer that color scheme over the navy and gold. Then they could use the even-older blue and whites as their throwbacks.

    Dolphins white jersey uses the 2 tone collar and the aqua marine pants are now a matte finish instead of the horrible disco glitter pants of the past few years. The latter is a pretty huge change and a great change at that. Now if they would go back to more of the true aqua color…

    You say the home jersey unchanged, and the away has the two-tone collar. But don’t forget Miami often wear white at home in the heat, and white on the road too – so much more often than not we’ll be seeing the neck-rolls.

    Is it just me or does the Giants helmet look darker than last year?

    …and yes, whoever made the decision for the Rams to ditch the gold pants (if they really are) should be fired.

    Speaking of the Giants, I really hate their new pants.

    I loved the link because they fit my “pants should reflect the helmet” personal aesthetic. The thick red stripe surrounded by two thick blue stripes brought an echo of the helmet design onto the gray pants.

    Plus the five-striped pants feel out of place against the very simple jersey, helmet and socks.

    Usually, more stripes = better. I just can’t agree in this particular case.

    I agree, it’s too bad–the old home pants were great. Now if only they’d ditch the stripe design/red on the road jerseys. But I guess we’re stuck with them since they’ve won 2 SBs in them.

    “too sweet” – that’s not something you hear associated with regular Coke too often.

    Coke sweetened with HFCS is definitely sweeter than in the sweetened-with-sugar era. It had more of a bite.

    Luckily more and more places are selling glass bottles of the Mexico formula with cane sugar.

    If the only soda you drink is Diet Coke, and you drink that long enough, the taste of a regular Coke is overly sweet.

    That’s not a Columbian Necktie. It’s a link.

    Which has the added bonus of also being the nickname for the ridiculous decorative bars you sometimes see on the front of trucks and SUVs, which serve no useful purpose other than murdering pedestrians.

    Columbian necktie is morally and culturally equivalent to every “Redskins Scalp Cowboys 13-7” or similar headline, and here I thought you weren’t down with that anymore.

    The striping on the flywire also looks like a link to me. Cattleguards are ugly and unpleasant to touch, and their purpose is to keep the herd in line. Perfect!

    I think the striping on the flywire collars looks more like Zubaz stripes than anything else.

    In homage to “Hang ‘Em High” it could be known as the “Clint Collar.”

    Mr. Eastwood lost points with me after his “Halftime” spot during the Super Bowl. I’d settle for ‘SwooshNoose’ though.

    I have to agree that “Colombian necktie” doesn’t sit well with me. Yeah, it’s clever once, but I really wouldn’t want it to become part of the Uni Watch lexicon.

    agreed. I didn’t know what it meant, but when I saw the definition, I went, ewwww.

    Sorry, Paul, if I had anything to do with the Columbian Necktie backlash. I was mostly kidding! My only real gripe with it was that it was just too wordy. Like, Charlie being “short” for Charles despite having the same number of letters and twice the syllables.

    “Nikelace” is a good compromise, because it still refers to a gruesome form of link. And the execution of the collar on some of these unis is truly gruesome.

    The ridiculous bars on trucks are called bull bars or push bars, not cowcatchers. Cowcatchers are the triangle things at the front of trains.

    Someone suggested Nikelace; that’s my favorite.

    I’m not a fan of the Colombian Necktie name.
    I like the other suggestions that have been put out.

    Cowcatcher or Cattle Guard. Or even plastic collar.

    Gotta agree, I gringed a little when I read Colombian Necktie. Points for being clever, but I think it crosses a line somewhere that “makes me feel ickie”.

    “Tomorrow: There’s this other sport, maybe you’ve heard of it. Its season is about to start.”

    Huh? Playoff hockey doesn’t start until next week.

    Major sports are the ones with the flagrant and admitted drug use/abuse with little to no repercussions, right? ;o)

    Bowling?

    No, no, no. The one where everyone constantly spits and scratches themselves.

    I’m thinking about the Masters, but I may be the only one (at least on this board).

    Ha! From one Chris H. to another… funny story.

    I have had my name in the Masters ticket lottery for a few years now. No luck yet. Those things aren’t easy to get. Heck, I’d be happy with just a practice round.

    From the Panthers’ blurb: Jersey apparently has some slogan on the inner collar, but that’s just a retailing gimmick, which is of no interest to me.

    Possibly marketing, but it’s more of link to one of their originals, Sam Mills, who coined the phrase during their 2003 playoff run.

    Fine, it’s a tribute — a tribute being used as a marketing gimmick. The point is that if they didn’t sell these jerseys at retail, it wouldn’t be there.

    I would say it’s more than a tribute. It’s the slogan of a charity that raises money for cancer research.

    You can read more about it here: link

    I guess that doesn’t mean it’s not a marketing gimmick, though. Hopefully it’s a gimmick that helps to drive funds to the charity more than just the jersey sales.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if more teams are doing something like this. Nike slaps a word/phrase behind the club crest on all of their soccer jerseys now.

    The only “elite” jerseys that have the collar message are the Panthers and the Seahawks, who have a “12” patch. If they were going to put them on the inside collar of every team, they’d be on those teams’ merch too.

    Some readers have compared this to American flag protocol, which states that the blue field should always be facing forward …

    This is not “American flag protocol.” This is U.S. Army protocol. Anyone who is actually serving in the Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard gets to wear the flag backwards on his or her right uniform sleeve. For the rest of us, link is simple: The union (the blue bit with the stars) is always displayed on the left, which is the place of honor. Always. Even on the right sleeve.

    The assumption that just because the Army does it one way, that’s the correct way for everyone is an even more pernicious bit of cultural militarization than Nike’s Pro Combat BS. The Army’s rules are an exception to long-established etiquette that still applies to civilians who wish to honor the flag.

    And by keeping the swoosh forward-facing, Nike is in fact treating it LESS like the flag.

    don’t stick a flag swoosh on everything

    Fixed. There’d be nothing wrong with a swoosh on just one shoulder. Thanks to the fact that football is a field game where each team faces the other, the swoosh will always be in view to every fan. That, or design a logo that doesn’t appear to “face” only one direction.

    Just b/c you’re tired of seeing the white flag flown by the Islanders every year, doesn’t mean we can’t honor a real flag!

    Sigh. Yes, vehicles. It’s based on the fact that when you stick an actual flag on the front of a vehicle, and then move forward, the flag flies backwards.

    Point being, neither a man nor a football jersey is a vehicle. So the vehicle custom doesn’t apply here. We can still tell the difference between a polyester shirt and a 747 airplane, yes?

    I don’t understand the crap that Nike was pointing out on their site about the flywire collars:

    “The Ravens design aesthetic will stay true to years past while [b]updating the color-blocking in the neckline in order to accommodate the Flywire technology[/b] to reduce weight and provide a lockdown fit over the pads”

    Really? You can’t make the flywire collar/necktie thing in black? You went out of your way to do so for the Saints.

    Yes, the Nike press materials have lots of chatter about the two-tone collars being necessary “to accommodate” the Colombian necktie. But it’s NOT necessary, as you can plainly see by looking at the Colts, Giants, and Jets, which are wearing the necktie without the two-tone format.

    But is it really accommodating them, since the collars and the rest of the jersey are one and the same color?

    They accommodated The Texans, who have a red collar and navy blue jersey. The Texans were the only team that went with a full Flywire collar. So it *can* be done, but then the collar looks HUGE.

    I mean to say, the Texans are the only team that went with a solid color Flywire collar that is a different color than the rest of the uniform top.

    And even though the collar looks huge as a result, it still is much better than the abominations that teams like the Rams, Ravens and Dolphins (white tops) are going to be wearing.

    Cowboys are using their old pants style.
    Eagles pants don’t have a belt.
    Falcons pants don’t have a belt on drawstring.
    Packers are using old pants with a zipper.
    Jags are using old pants.
    Raisders using olds pants with the drawstring.

    Cowboys are using their old pants style.

    Not completely — the striping is now mesh.

    All the other pants formatting you mention (zipper, drawstring, belt, etc.) has nothing to do with team design. That’s a player-by-player thing.

    i was wondering this same thing yesterday looking at photos. Will the drawstring/zipper/belt styles really be a player decision? I know players where different cuts sometimes, but that’s a legit different construction/style.

    “Pants closure is player option.”

    ~~~

    so…it’s come to this

    *This* is why I hang on every word of this website! Until this moment I always thought this detail was determined by the team.

    Do the teams that don’t have “sweatboxes” use a different type of material or use a “heavier” material than the “sweatbox” teams? To me it seems like the mesh would be lighter.

    Isn’t the swoosh on the back of the gloves backwards (I noticed it in the Packers pants photo)???

    yes, but the swoosh seems to be facing (fat end) the opposite as it is on the shoes. I.e., on the shoes they face (fat end) one way, while the glove logo of the same side faces the other.

    I certainly hope they’ve gotten better since I was 13 or so. I wore a pair one summer in Babe Ruth and they were shredded beyond use before the end of the season.

    Are the Falcons using Pee Wee football pants with an internal draw string? Scratch that,not even my son’s Pee Wee team has a drawstring. They look like T-Ball Pants.

    There was actually a nice spread. But I almost never eat lunch (I have a real breakfast and a real dinner, and then I munch on some crunchy things during the afteroon), and I had no time to stop working anyway.

    Shouldn’t one of those be bigger than the other and in a different color scheme?

    That slogan in the inner collar of the Carolina Panthers Jersey isnt a gimmic! If you remember Sam Mills..that was his saying before he died of cancer. Most people dont know what he meant to the city of charlotte and fans! He wasnt just a saint he was a Carolina Panther! So that Logo has a sentimental meaning to the Carolina Panthers…Keep Pounding!

    In fairness, the Keep Pounding keychain hammers they sold here around the time of Mills’ death were a marketing gimmick. The words aren’t visible unless the jersey is on a hanger, it has great sentimental value to both the Panthers organization & its fans, and do you really think its inclusion will sell more jerseys? I love buying “$200 polyester shirts” as you say, but buying a jersey for the tagline in the neck would be even more ludicrous. If they emblazon the front of shirts with “Keep Pounding” it would strike me more as a gimmick. Another example would be the Saints/Bengals printing Who Dat/Dey (dunno which is which) in their collars.

    That said, I love living in my hometown of Charlotte, I don’t like the Panthers, the NFL sucks, and most importantly the Stanley Cup Playoffs and MLB are about to kick off. Time for the real sports.

    Serious question:

    On the Seahawks, the “2” covers part of the “sweatbox”…does this consist of a design flaw of the intended purpose of the “box”? Is the Number a solid piece of material or does it consist of the same “mesh” crap the “box” is made out of…(that box is the stupidest idea yet)

    Seattle now looks like a WLAF team…maybe an Arena if they are lucky.

    The NFL’s numeral size requirements will force more numerals to overlap the sweatbox. NCAA teams used smaller numerals, so they only overlapped the sweatbox on tiny players like LaMichael James.

    Hey, Paul’s rules against bad taste only extend to purple and Native American imagery. He never said anything about affronts to the eyes.

    Long-time reader, infrequent contributor, but “Colombian Necktie” is, IMO, a bit too much. I know and readily accept, Paul, “your blog, your content” but using such a term for a jersey collar, no matter the sins of the manufacturer, seems to jar more than a little with the overall tone of Uni Watch which I’ve enjoyed for several years.

    Yes, I acknowledge that but whereas “Riflery” rightly mocked Nike’s Pro-Combat Rivalry nonsense, “Colombian Necktie”, as a term that might see frequent use and require repeated explanation, just doesn’t seem as humorous. Dare I say it, but crassness is best left with Nike. They’re so damn good at it.

    Until I looked it up I thought he was referring to a coat hanger garrotte, which isn’t as bad as the actual meaning. Colombian necktie does seem a little too much to me. Of course, that’s just Paul’s term and if the commenters don’t use it the descriptor will eventually normalize to the most common term used.

    “Columbian” imagery: not offensive…”Pre-Columbian” imagery: offensive.
    Is that correct?
    How about calling said collar the “Beaverton Ring” or “NikeLace”(who came up with that?)?

    We could just go with the slightly off-kilter ‘Cincinnati Bowtie.’ Might need Urban Dictionary for that one.

    ADDING a logo or otherwise to the Browns’ helmet would be as ridiculous as REMOVING the star from the Cowboys’ helmets or the wings from Philadelphia’s. Not having such an adornment on the helmet makes it unique … enough so that it actually the most recognizable team logo.

    Not having such an adornment on the helmet makes it unique … enough so that it actually the most recognizable team logo.

    Only within the context of being viewed with all 31 other NFL helmets. On it’s own, it’s just a blank helmet – completely generic.

    If a high school team were to put a double outlined red star on a gold helmet – anyone who saw it would still say they’re ripping off the Cowboys. If a high school team uses a blank helmet… well they’re just using a blank helmet.

    Also:

    “Who’s that team with no logo on their helmet?”
    “That’s the Browns.”
    “Well then why is the helmet orange?”
    “Umm…”

    Here’s the response to everyone that says the Browns need a helmet logo: do you have a serious suggestion for what they should put on it? I say serious, because the obvious answer is always ‘poop.’

    Well let’s see, there’s the dog face logo, or the brownie elf, or the (=B=) logo, or the team wordmark, or a block C or…

    Block C would work. None of the others would work in the context of their uniform.

    They are also not named for a color, for the fiftieth time.

    I’m well aware that they aren’t named for the color, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t wear it anyway.

    The St Louis Blues aren’t named for a color either, but they’d look pretty stupid if their team colors were red & gold.

    Which is why they have a brown jersey… and brown numerals and brown trim all over the place.

    …just as Smell the Glove is the most recognizable album cover!

    as a matter of fact, from now on when i see that “depiction of a halmet/browns “logo”” i’m going to refer to it as the:

    the Browns “Smell the Helmet Logo”

    (i’d say “Smell the Browns Logo” but giggles and obnoxious jokes on top of my already obnoxious joke would ensue…)

    “How much more brown could this helmet be?”

    “Well, *none* more brown..”

    Except it’s orange.

    That’s the first time in a long time that I’ve laughed out loud reading the comments. Well played!

    I’m of the camp that thinks a logo unnecessary. In my opinion, the color is the logo. You asked “When you see a blank helmet, do I think they’re ripping off the Browns?”…

    When it’s a blank orange helmet with brown and white stripes I do.

    If it was blue stripes, I’d think they’d be ripping off certain Syracuse teams.

    Is the changing direction of the swoosh Nike’s way of saying they are on the same level as our military, who do that with the American flag?

    For the love of Celestia, NO.

    The swoosh faces both directions on every pair of shoes they’ve ever made. Now it faces both directions on football jerseys too. So what? It has exactly NOTHING to do with the military. Hey, did you ever notice how every NFL team’s logo always faces forward on both sides of the helmet? Yeah, that has nothing to do with the military either.

    Yeah, I just made that comment before I got to the part that mentioned it. My bad and lesson learned: read it all before commenting!

    Nice work covering all this, Paul!
    This may have already been discussed, but with this switchover, do you know if the Redskins are officially dumping the yellow pants and striped socks when they wear their maroon jerseys? I do hope at some point the Jets retire their green pants…not a good look especially when paired with solid top socks.

    Except that the Jets have always used white socks with 2 green stripes when they have used the green pants. Unless Nike is not gong to make that particular set of socks for them.

    They would also have to shortchange the Pats, who use beautiful striped socks with their navy pants.

    What is the new protocol for NFL team shoe colors? Will the teams be wearing the two tone
    colored shoes that were on display yesterday or will they be allowed to wear predominately
    black or white shoes?

    Wait, there’s an article each and every day?! I just read the blog for the pretty pictures.

    /sarcasm

    I do have one question after that though. Teams previously had to designate whether they were white shoe or black shoe teams. Even though they don’t have to stick to those two colors, will they still have to designate which one the players have to wear if they don’t have team colored shoes, is it now a free-for-all, or is it only team colors now with no black or white shoes?

    The old black or white designations are still there. So a Giants player, e.g., can wear black. But not white. Unless white is considered a Giants team color…..

    I’ve always disliked what the stretch jerseys have done to the sleeve striping, I mean, they’ve pretty much eliminated the arm sleeve and just slapped on a decal in my mind to make it work. Call me crazy, I just want my sleeve striping to travel 360 degrees.

    I really like what the Seahawks did with their striping which starts from the shoulder and extends to the arm. I think this design adapts to the jersey construction and looks so much better.

    The sleeved cuts (like the one Urlacher is wearing) do a pretty good job, and even on the Reebok Super Stretch did an admirable job, but the sleeveless cut is bad for stripes.

    I think the cleat rules are following the Prohibition; it’s against the rules, but because “so many players” are breaking that rule (I know that the players who were fined for different cleats are less than the players wearing different cleats), that the NFL can’t enforce it to the level they would want to, so just kill the rule.

    It’s dumb: the NFL could easily bunker down and actually enforce this, but they don’t want to now. Too much work. They’re too busy being angry at the Saints to actually enforce other rules that don’t involve suspending a coach for a year.

    Can’t wait to see breast cancer awareness cleats! /sarcasm

    70s flashback.

    I remember, for instance, the Raiders. Multiple colors not uncommon. Stabler wore black. Biletnikoff black with lots of white tape. Branch wore white. Raymond Chester, at least one time, wore silver.

    Giants mostly wore black, but Lockhart, McNeil and Dryer in white. And Ron Johnson wore royal blue.

    49ers mostly black, but many in white. And Vic Washington and Johnny Fuller wore red.

    Others, too, just using examples that come quickly to mind.

    I think the cleat rules are following the Prohibition; it’s against the rules, but because “so many players” are breaking that rule (I know that the players who were fined for different cleats are less than the players wearing different cleats), that the NFL can’t enforce it to the level they would want to, so just kill the rule.

    I think that’s pretty accurate — “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” or something like that. Exactly what happened with sneaker colors in the NBA.

    it’s what usually happens when there is a rule that’s impractical to enforce because there are so many offenders. a bit of pragmatic democracy there :p

    I am still curious to see whether more players will wear their pants longer and elect to wear padding beneath their pants. If the new Nike Elite 51 pants are designed for greater freedom of movement then do the same excuses for biker short pants still exist…or is that totally an aeshtetic thing among players? Same for padding…if Nike’s integrated padding system is much lighter and allows for greater freedom of movement, what excuses do the players have for not wearing them? Or, again, is it just a fashion thing to not wear pads?

    It’s a macho thing. Pads are required in college. When a kid is drafted and makes the team, the veterans say, “You’re a pro now — get rid of those sissy pads.”

    Stefan Fatsis wrote a great article about this several years ago. Not available on the web, unfortunately.

    It may be a macho thing, but it’s also a performance thing. If wide receivers could wear a spandex singlet, many of them would.

    As a Bills fan, I have to bring your attention to the fact that the “non-horizontal” shoulder stripes are a sort of “split the difference” tribute to the teams of the 60s. After shedding the Lions look alikes, they wore jerseys with the high (almost vertical) stripes (similar to the Colts) before they made the change to the horizontal stripes in the mid/late 60s.

    Also, I feel you on the collars. I’m really trying to like/justify them, but I’m coming up short. I guess, if they are more comfortable and play better, I’ll forgive the neck roll.

    GO BILLS!
    #BillsMafia

    The new collars are supposed to be harder for the opponent to grab onto. I’m just not a big fan of collars in contrasting colors…with some exceptions, perhaps. I think it’s usually a cleaner look with a non-contrasting collar.

    The Browns, Bears, Panthers, Cowboys, Giants, 49ers, Redskins, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, and Steelers all show how much better that two-piece collar looks when it’s all one color. A few teams do have jerseys that the two-tone collars look fine with, notably the Bucs, Ravens, and Bengals.

    The first few pictures released of the Seahawks jersey did them no justice. As the day rolled on and better resolution pictures surfaced, we got a clearer look.

    That being said, I love them. Could do without the collarbone thing, but I like it…but I like the whole Oregon uniform thing, so that’s just me.

    Interesting how the new Seahawks helmet does not appear to have a metal flake paint job as many NFL teams now have.

    link

    Awful. Why not use the stripes on the bird on the helmet on the sleeves and pants? Is it that hard to do?

    I agree, when I saw that I had the same feeling, the Seahawks are the Ducks of the NFL.

    After seeing them a few times, they have started to grow on me – as a ‘Hawks fan, maybe its the realization that I will have to see them constantly over the next few years.

    But considering how much I disliked the old jerseys – particularly the home ones, I think the Nike set is much better. The shoutouts to the 12th Man may be a marketing effort, but I like those as well.

    They wouldn’t be bad if they had shown some restraint in the application of the pattern. The collarbone design is awful, though.

    So when will Portland get their own NFL team so Nike will have a closer in-house guinea pig?

    Really wish you would have done some reseach on the Panthers “Keep Pounding.” Calling it a retail gimmick is a insult, this was done in honor of a great Panther and greater person in Sam Mills who succomed to Cancer and that was his mantra. The Panthers did this in honor of him. Gotta say I would think someone writing an article like that would at least look into what it stood for instead of making an assumption and making an ass of yourself.

    I think Paul already responded to this above:

    Yes, it’s a sentimental tribute – being used as a marketing gimmick. Glad we cleared that up.

    I have to ask what comes first, though.

    The possibility that they want to market this to the fans, or the tribute to the Mills as a motivator to the team?

    I mean, they’ll sell Panthers jerseys to Panthers’ fans regardless. I just wonder how much the slogan is really a selling attribute.

    the swoosh hasnt faced right on the right side of EVERY shoe nike has produced.
    example: air darwin
    link

    For now on if anyone asks me for whatever reason if something has been changed, and it hasn’t, my response will be, “No innovation taken”

    Paul has the Chiefs list as “No” for the Nike flywire collar, but Nike’s website shows the Elite jersey with it.

    link

    What gives?

    Actually the more I think about this, the more I think Paul’s list of “Yes or No” should have an asterisk next to it. I’ll use the ????-2011 New York Giants uniforms for my example. Some players preferred the skin-tight stretch jerseys while others preferred the traditional look. That being said, I have a strong feeling that the flywire and cooling technology cut jersey options will be available for players on every team if they want it.

    That’s odd. Press materials specifically say they’re NOT wearing it, and the mannequin wasn’t wearing it either:
    link

    I’ll try to get some clarification.

    I’m surprised that the Nike swoosh isn’t on the front of the jersey like it is on all the college togs. I know it is on the sides of the sleeves, but I was sure that Nike would want their logo showing in every close of up Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, etc. And the sides of the jersey don’t get nearly as much TV/photo time. Would be curious if the NFL had some influence on that.

    This might surprise you, but the NFL doesn’t let companies come in and tell them what they want. On an NFL jersey, licensee logos go on the sleeves, and that’s that.

    yup, no matter how much money nike shelled out for this 5 year contract, the NFL keeps the makers mark on the sleeves.

    Except that you can now put ads on practice jerseys and those go on the front…it is only a matter of time before they give on this rule and let the swoosh roam free.

    Nike should have used the “color matching” issues with “midnight” green as an excuse to force the Eagles back into kelly green. There would be much rejoicing.

    I agree completely. There’s just something about “midnight green” that really bothers me. Ugly.

    While I agree with you that kelly green is far superior to midnight green, aren’t a few teams supposed to get full updates for 2013? I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Eagles get one–it’s been awhile since they’ve made a change and while Nike might screw it up Seahawks-style, they could make a pretty sweet-looking classic uni for Philly. That may be why they didn’t make any changes.

    I assumed that those getting updates in 2013 have to wait because of the NFL’s 5-year rule. I don’t think that affects the Eagles.

    Forgive my skepticism but do you really think Nike in this era is about to make a uniform we can call “classic”? As an Eagles fan I’d like to see them basically go to the throwbacks they wore weeks 1 in 2010 (as does the Philly Inquirer editorial page).

    On their own? Probably not. But if the Eagles tell them “We want to bring back the 1960 uniform”, then that’s what they’ll do.

    IMO, the midnight green looks fine…it’s the numbering and lettering font that kills the overall look of the Birds’ jerseys. That, and the head logo on the ‘sleeve’ (or that on anything else for that matter. Don’t care much for it at all, never did).

    My problem isn’t that I think midnight green is bad or ugly. It’s just that kelly green is soooo much better.

    While I agree on the kelly green, I’ve always heard that the owner is who won’t let that happen, it’s been said he hates the kelly green

    The midnight green doesnt bother me, but nike had a year+ to come up with the right shade of the color and couldnt do that it doesnt make any sense to me. so the eagles were kinda forced by that to not be able to get the new uniform material and cuts thats messed up.

    Actually the first “GSH” was a patch added to the front of the jersey after Halas passed away midway thru the 1983 season…it was then moved to the sleeve starting in 1984.

    ’84, thanks for the correction.

    But I always remember it being on the left sleeve (which is the traditional place for a link or link).

    Seems to me that Urlacher’s right-sleeve tribute is the Halas outlier here.

    A continual reference to his initials says “we’d forget him otherwise because we don’t care what he did” to me, which seems very disrespectful

    No disrespect to Halas or his place in history. Babe Ruth was the most important figure in Yankees history and one of the most important if not the most important player in baseball history. Should the Yankees still be wearing a Babe Ruth memorial patch?

    Is Babe Ruth’s number & monument not present at Yankee Stadium?

    And remember Soldier Field is owned & operated by the Park District. But to remove the “GSH” after all these years “oh just because, now” is ridiculous. Cleveland Browns & their Al Lerner sleeve “AL” seems more like a mockery.

    I read that the Browns will be removing the “AL” after this season (sorry, don’t have the citation handy). Randy Lerner, Al’s son, has said 10 years has been long enough.

    Nope. I hate the Bears but this is one thing they’ve done right. They can’t name their stadium for him as Green Bay and Cincinnati have done; this is probably the next best thing to keep him a constant presence. It’s the best tradition the Bears have, aside from lousy quarterbacking.

    Yeah, his initials are there on the jerseys for the whole league to see also. Unlike Paul Brown and Curly Lambeau, George Halas was part of the founding of the NFL, and owned the team the whole time until his passing away.

    “Nike has come up with a new line of padded socks.”

    FYI- I submitted a pic of Lawrence Tynes wearing those padded socks back in November (when NYG played the Saints), so they weren’t technically launched yesterday:

    Ryan Perkins notes that Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes has had some serious padding on his left ankle.

    link

    That’s the one piece of functional innovation that actually seems genuinely helpful, as its very common to have your ankles stepped on, especially if you’re wearing low cut cleats.

    I had to comment on the soda withdrawal. I gave up soda for Lent and I must admit it has been one of the hardest things I have ever tried. I’m ashamed to admit how much I missed it and how much I look forward to downing can after can of that carbonated gold on Easter.

    “Lighter, faster, drier, cooler, blahblahblah Nobody cares.”

    You’d be surprised at how much it matters. Okay, so Nike gets a little ridiculous with bragging about something being .08% lighter than the previous iteration, but having athletic clothing dry faster and be lighter actually does make a difference. When I played football a million years ago, we had cotton undershirts that just absolutely soaked up sweat and stuck to your skin like crazy. It was awful having to take those things off. I wish we had had Dri-Fit or Under-Armour or whatever back then. That’s all I wear when I work out nowadays and it actually does make things better.
    Dismiss the companies’ overzealous marketing, but don’t dismiss the claims. Athletes do benefit from drier and cooler clothing.

    Like Paul said “Lighter, faster, drier, cooler, blahblahblah Nobody cares.”

    Lee

    I don’t disagree with you but on this blog how fast a uniform dries is a non sequitur.

    (Remember…”The Obsessive Study Of Athletics Aesthetics” not “The Obsessive Study Of Athletic Uniforms”)

    Paul:

    Love the content 99% of the time. I know its your blog, but…the necktie line is pretty off color. Not sure that people (incl myself) who click over from ESPN, want to read a blog that uses an execution term to refer to something on an NFL uniform. You can do better.

    Oh okay, okay… Jeez, I try to reference a badly underappreciated political assassination method (subject of a great Big Black song, too), and what thanks do I get? Pfeh.

    So we’ll call it a Nikelace. I’ll change the text now.

    Grumble-grumble….

    Seriously, though, no joking: What exactly is your objection? That I made a connection between football and violence? Nike and the other companies do that every single day. So do me a favor: Next time Nike (or whomever) calls a uniform the “Intimidator” or the “Vengeance” or whatever, object to that as much as you objected to Colombian Necktie.

    My feeling on the “Columbian Necktie” thing is that it is too graphic for me. I also feel there is no place in sports for the whole “Pro Combat” or “honoring the military” thing. I don’t give a crap if it is P/C or not, I HATE military tributes in sports and in the public in general. They serve our country, that’s awesome, thank you for that, but why the constant tributes and pats on the back? When are the Padres going to have special jerseys honoring teachers, or doctors, or other professions that help society?

    Anyways… I think my biggest gripe on the Columbian Necktie, is that I don’t feel it is widely known. I had no idea what it was until you described it. If you use that name in features on espn.com, you are going to have a lot of people Googling what it means, and I feel that can cause a lot of problems. Not that anyone can’t Google anything on the internet and see inappropriate things, but maybe we shouldn’t bait readers into having that graphic image in their heads whenever it is referenced to a Nike jersey collar.

    I think it’s just too brutal a nickname for something so mundane. I mean, if there was a part of the the shoulder pads that dug into your neck on certain hits or something, you could say man, that guy almost gave me a columbian necktie.

    But this is just some extra stitching around the collar. I do believe there is an appropriate name, just haven’t hit on it yet. Nikelace…eh.

    My grumble is that it is just not appropriate. You are using an execution term (and a bloody one at that), as a term for a design on an NFL uniform. While it may be a clever term to use, it just doesnt sound right, and doesnt sit right with me (and others, it seems).

    With regard to Nike’s Vengence/Intimidator terms, that cant compare to your line. Those are generic terms. And football is a violent sport. Executions are not funny. Im sure Nike would never use the C/N term.

    Im sure Nike would never use the C/N term.

    Um, that’s the fucking point.

    So what you’re basically saying is that it’s fine to reference violence, the military, warfare, combat, etc., as long as you do it cartoon-ish ways that don’t make anyone actually think about blood and death (even though warfare and combat are ALL ABOUT blood and death). But a reference to something that’s more overtly bloody offends your sensibilities.

    For the record: The point that I just spelled out was *not* what I had in mind when I came up with Colombian Necktie as a nickname. Honestly, I didn’t like the idea of wire and throat so close together, and that’s how I got the idea. But the reactions from some of you are v-e-r-y interesting. Cartoon violence as a way to sell things = fine; a reference to actual violence as a nickname = not so fine. Fascinating.

    “I try to reference a badly underappreciated political assassination method…”

    Good stuff right there.

    Nike and the other big American football outfitters draw deliberate and explicit parallels between the game (which can be violent in a powerful force/impact sort of way but need not be destructive if played correctly) and warfare (which is inherently violent in a gunshot/explosive-pressure-wave sort of way and necessarily destructive). It’s sort of disrespectful to soldiers who actually fight, and also lowers football to being *about* violence instead of just containing violence. Paul’s just extended that nonsense to its logical conclusion.

    I thought Columbian Necktie was a great term. I understand that just because we use that term here that it doesn’t mean we condone murder and execution. Oh well. I guess when football players refer to themselves as warriors and they are “going to battle”, that means they also stick close to the Geneva Convention protocols when playing and would be offended by the Columbian Necktie term as well.

    Come to think of it, just so we can make the world that much blander…I mean safer, for their throwbacks this year the Astros should remove the gun from their Colt .45 uniforms. If kids see that they may want to start shooting people.

    Yeah, I thought it worked well too. Sometimes, the things that offend people leave me with a bewildered stare. Different strokes I suppose.

    Maybe its a little too dark to go with Colombian Necktie. Although, make no mistake Phil Knight and Nike set new records for being douchebags and have earned all the contempt we offer.

    My impression is that the offensive thing about the collar is that it claims to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. Honestly you don’t really need super strong material on the collar since being yanked by said collar is illegal. Its sole purpose is to prominently display the “brand” which makes it as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Maybe we should call it a “Screen Door Collar/Necklace”?

    “Honestly you don’t really need super strong material on the collar since being yanked by said collar is illegal.”

    I thought it was only illegal to yank someone down by the *back* of the collar, aka the horse collar tackle? That is actually what the penalty is called. I’m pretty sure it’s still ok to pull down someone by the front of the collar.

    And even if yanking someone down by *any* area of the collar is illegal, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Saying super strong material on the collar is pointless because that tackling method is against the rules is ridiculous! That’s like saying, “Stealing a GPS is illegal so I might as well not lock my car doors.”

    I was under the impression (from yesterdays post) that that area of the jersey took a lot of stress and that extra reinforcing would help the thin jersey fabric “hold on” to the collar when it was tugged on. But then again, I’ve never seen any pictures of jerseys torn away from the v-neck area of the collar.

    I think we officially need to start a petition to bring back the ‘Colombian Necktie’ term for the collar.

    Paul,

    Do you think NoMas could make a shirt that says, “I’m Still Calling It Columbian Necktie”?

    Meh. Sometimes simple is best. Just call it the Ugly Collar.

    Ugly Collars, Sweatboxes, etc…to paraphrase Lloyd Bridges in Airplane, “Looks like I picked a bad good time to stop sniffing glue watching the NFL.”

    I’m very old school…so I’ll call it the Colombian Necktie until I die!

    Get off my lawn!

    If you look at Paul’s Falcons photo, you’ll notice the Broncos’ orange shows through the white pants. The old pants weren’t perfect, but this seems worse. Think that’s going to be noticeable going forward?

    I actually like the idea of colored shoes on the field. I think I just want them to be uniform. Colored cleats work really well in baseball and when players on teams like the Chargers and Chiefs have worn shoes with broad patterns its always looked good. I just dislike the quilted effect of too many shades on the same team.

    If the NYFG elect to wear mostly-blue cleats with a little bit of red trim *at all times*, I’d be aesthetically pleased.

    It appears that the Cowboys are ditching the shoe-string tie in the center of their jerseys. Any confirmation of this, or did they just leave it out for the unveiling?
    Sad if they do ditch that. I like cheering for the strangest uni-team in the league.

    Doesn’t the new Colombian Nec… er Nikelace collar eliminate the need for the shoestring?

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about this Colombian necktie thing…

    link

    ;) anyways, all the noobs to this blog should have a limit to the number of spoofs things they can say in the comments.. Paul is an awesome journalist ave if you take offense so easily, hit that little “x” in the corner and keep moving!

    I’m confused. I thought that the white jersey was the
    Dolphins’ home jersey. Aren’t they a white at home team?

    Yeah, “home jersey” is ambiguous for some teams. The Browns wore white at home last season, but they showed a dark jersey for them yesterday.

    As opposed to the Cowboys, who use white at home ALL the time, save for the throwback jersey here and there, I believe the Dolphins “official” use of white at home is for day games, teal or orange for night games.

    So are the Browns and Redskins.
    Methinks it’s just a Cowboys exception. Some teams wear white at home for tradition’s sake, others do so strategically (for weather or “we’re against the Cowboys” considerations), but only the Cowboys actively treat their non-white jerseys as “bad luck.” So Nike probably elected to unveil all of the team color jerseys, but they likely made the Cowboys exception because they anticipated the complete shitstorm the fans would have created.

    While I understand your post and your point a bit clearer now, I could not help but observe that the ‘Colombian necktie’ you linked to appears to have Native(South)American imagery on it. That too may be considered offensive to some?

    I’m surprised Nike didn’t use the shoulder stripes that LSU had on their 2011 Pro Combat jersey for the Colts. It would have looked so much better!

    link

    I remember when Peyton Manning had his messy split from the Colts, there was a shitstorm of photos of him in various points in his Colts career and it’s amazing to see just how horribly truncated those shoulder stripes became. His first few years they went completely around the shoulder area and underarms. So sad.

    You’re right. They didn’t go completely around, as many people think they did. The only reason they appeared to go all the way around was because of those disgusting purple armpit panels.

    Paul:
    I’d be more concerned about wire near my fly than near my throat. But that’s just me…Yes, the Flywire name is pretty ridiculous.

    This link jersey looks like it has more of a sweat-trunk rather than a sweatbox. See how it goes more from hip to hip rather than just around the link area? Perhaps to allow for more flexibility and comfort when striking poses like link

    Stirrup Star Josh Outman to the DL with a strained oblique.

    And the link tells you how he hurt himself.

    link

    Probably realized he has to wear purple.

    That sucks. I remember I pulled or strained something once from vomiting too. Those muscles don’t get used often(?).

    Those stirrups are a sight for sore eyes. And I still think the Rockies primary color should be purple.

    How dare you! He was probably vomiting once he realized how long he had lived BEFORE he GOT to wear purple!

    :^)

    The “flywire” looks more like cat whiskers with the shield as the nose. Maybe pussycat collar? That would work for everyone that is bent out of shape with the Colombian necktie reference.

    What a mess. Gone are the days when a jersey wasn’t wrapped around a player like saran wrap. Now all of a sudden it seems necessary to put padding in the pants by the hip? Does Nike really think that will stop hip pointers? I for one, truly miss those jerseys of the late sixties and early seventies.

    Color coordinated shoes? What is this the circus?
    Loved the old school black shoes made by Hyde (long gone. Would love to see someone buy that pattern and start reproducing them.

    Now all of a sudden it seems necessary to put padding in the pants by the hip? Does Nike really think that will stop hip pointers? I for one, truly miss those jerseys of the late sixties and early seventies.

    Now wait a minute. In the era you’re talking about (which I also miss), many players wore hip pads. If they wore them then, what’s wrong with hip padding now?

    nothing, but that “padding” that they show on those pants doesn’t look like it will be much help.I remember Franco Harris wearing his hip pads and they protruded up from the waist and you could actually see them.

    Just because you can see something doesn’t mean it works. Unless you play football and have worn both styles of pads, you have no idea which one works better. There’s a lot to hate about Nike, but this sort-of mandatory hip padding could be a great thing since most players would rather go without any hip padding due to a comfort issue.

    If this prevents one player from missing one half of football on your team, the pads are well worth the small infringement on the pants design.

    The hex padding works pretty well, but I still find it bulky. Wehen you’re wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, though, it’s probably no big thing to be wearing thick pants.

    that’s true but if you go back to the sixties, the jerseys then were tight fitting and they also had sleeves. I’m tired of seeing armpit hair.

    “go back to the sixties”

    A lot of Uni Watchers want to.

    I honestly don’t understand the fascination with football uniforms from this decade. Maybe it’s because that’s when televised football really took off and people who were alive then associate this era with how a football uniform “should” look?

    Sorry to break this to everyone, but we can’t go back to the 60’s.

    Not until Nike invents The Time Machineâ„¢.

    I always thought wordmarks were just unnecessary logo creep. Are they there to remind opposing linemen who they’re playing?

    No. They’re there because a fan overpaying for a jersey doesn’t just want a green shirt with white numbers; he wants a green shirt with white numbers and the word “Eagles,” so everyone will know why he’s wearing the shirt.

    The rise of NFL chest wordmarks is a direct outgrowth of the rise in jersey retailing.

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED that the NFL (or NHL or MLB) would do anything driven by marketing junk to fans! Now if you’ll excuse me it’s time to feed my unicorn. ;)

    It would make me very happy if the following words and terms never appeared again the comments:

    – shocked, SHOCKED
    – abominations
    – monstrosities
    – flywire
    – politically correct
    – threw up in my mouth (that one’s actually banned)

    Etc.

    Is “Great Googly Moogly” still banned? I’m stunned, STUNNED that you didn’t include that.

    That’s one thing I love about being a Colts fan, the jersey has no horseshoe, no wordmark, and yet people know right away who the team is. I love Teams with that kind of established identity.

    I hate wordmarks on jerseys. I even hate logos on jerseys. All they do is add clutter. Marketing be damned.

    When I–Grandpa here–was an adolescent in the early ’70’s, I owned a Bengals, Cowboys and Colts jerseys courtesy of the Sears catalogue. There wasn’t a wordmark, logo or maker’s mark visible on any of them. There were the distinctive stripes that I and maybe a handful of others who care about such things recognized. If you liked football, liked the NFL, you might consider one of my jerseys for a second and move on. Otherwise, no one cares who you root for, what team you’re adorning. Only you care.

    And if that’s the case, why do you need a wordmark or logo on your jersey?

    Paul, I’d suggest weaning yourself off the Diet Coke, rather than going cold turkey. Reward yourself for going without any Diet Coke all day by allowing yourself to have some at dinner or something. And if you can manage to do that for a while, then you’ll have a better chance at stopping altogether.

    safe to say that he doesn’t get it:

    Green Bay’s Jermichael Finley likes the Seahawks’ look so much he hopes the Packers will be one of the teams changing things up in the future. “The Seahawks have crazy uniforms,” he said. “Hopefully Green Bay decides to switch it up and go with the look of 2012. If you look good, you play good. If you play good, you get paid good. The Seahawks have the best uniform out there right now.”

    More evidence to support the notion of not letting spoiled boys have their say.

    Lee

    Someone needs to make sure that Jermichael Finley’s helmet has the proper amount of padding in it. Because that boy is talking like he has some serious brain damage or something.

    I think I’m just going to call the new collars a NikRoll (pronounced like neckroll, but with a hard I). Nikelace gives the impression that they are good looking, or wanted for aesthetic value.

    By the way, if you haven’t read the Spinal Tap/Browns logo comments above, I highly suggest you check them out for a good laugh.

    I’m pronouncing Nikelace neyek-lis (rhymes with bike-less, not neye-kee-lis) every time I read it. It rolls off the tongue much better this way.

    Then again, if you pronounce it ‘neye-kee-lis,’ it almost sounds like you’re saying Nike-less.

    my impressions:

    i like how nike has different color’d swoosh ‘s for each jerseys

    a bit disappointed the bengals didnt get new digs.

    i like the color scheme of the seahawks….i even like the pac-man symbols.
    *but i cant stand the wordmark on the shoulder blade

    But it’s not executed as well as it could be, which ruins the brilliant idea for me.

    Those first pair is solid evidence that the answer isn’t always throwing something out and starting over.

    Sometimes all that’s needed is a good editor or rewrite man.

    Nice adaptation, TimE. Really, really nice.

    Good work Tim,

    Those look a 1000x better than what they trotted-out yesterday.

    Man, I hate those uniforms.

    Agreed. Tim did a nice job with the 1st pair. I hate the new uni’s just as much as the mono blue set, but I’m sort of OK with the new helmet. With Tim’s carbon/gray helmet, it practically makes yesterday’s new uni palatable. I’m hate neon on sports uniforms. And the stripe or pattern on the pants, jersey, and helmet scream of logo thief. link

    Flywire is a fairly legitimate technology, at least in shoes. Lukas, if you were an athlete, you would be able to appreciate the lightness and flexibility in modern shoes without calling it gimmicky. Now in collars…

    I have nothing against the technology, and I have never once said that Flywire per se is a gimmick. But the name is a gimmick, and making it a VISIBLE branding element (which is completely unnecessary) is a gimmick. That’s all.

    That’s the trouble with Nike. They’re legitimately serious about making better equipment, but then they pile on the marketing-speak to the point that the fundamental utility of whatever innovation they’re megaphoning about is obscured by hyperbole. No question the two-tone collar is strictly there to frame the shinyshiny Nikelace. Same deal with the exterior pants padding. Why all the sharp angles and faceting that overlaps the pants stripes? Simply to make their mark. That padding can certainly be *inside* the pants, and subservient to the team’s visual identity, not obscuring it. The Swoosh hype machine is so needlessly relentless that it’s easy to forget that once upon a time they just made good gear.

    “That’s the trouble with Nike. They’re legitimately serious about making better equipment, but then they pile on the marketing-speak to the point that the fundamental utility of whatever innovation they’re megaphoning about is obscured by hyperbole.”

    It’s not a problem if they’re in the business of selling things, which they are.

    Ah, yes — “It’s just business.” The self-justifying response that supposedly answers any possible critique of corporate practices.

    Fuck that.

    Problem is, this is not in shoes. Collars seemed to perform outstanding without flywire for hundreds of years.

    Some detail stuff…

    Numbers. Is Nike using some new thinner, lighter-weight tackle twill? All the uni numbers seem to look flatter, softer, more flexible. The fabric seams on the sweatbox show through much more than I would expect. It has the effect of making the numbers look kind of painted on. Frankly a lot of what we’re seeing here looks closer to sublimation than tailoring.

    Fabric finishes. Nike’s clearly pushing teams away from metallics and into mattes. We see it mostly in all the pants – how many teams are now a flat color instead of a metallic? (Patriots, I’m looking at you.) The only teams retaining shiny pants are using old fabrics & tailoring, not Nike’s new stuff (Cowboys, etc.). Can Nike simply not produce any of their new fabrics in metallics? All of the jerseys seem to lack any kind of sheen. I guess it’s closer to the old-time wools in that respect, but really artificial.

    Plastic NFL Shield. I was intrigued when it became apparent that they’d gone to a plastic shield (and dropped “Equipment), and was thinking it’d be like Skiba’s NY helmet bumpers. But Paul’s closeup shows them to be pretty cheap-looking. Too bad. I think I’ll keep my old embroidered version.

    Flywire. Let’s remember that “Flywire” is a (yes, silly) term Nike came up with to promote a novel new construction method for their basketball shoes back around the time of the Beijing Olympics. Evidently they’ve taken that process and applied it to these jersey collars. Whether it’s a process for jerseys, and whether the name is uncomfortable for a neckline, I won’t comment on, but that’s where the name comes from.

    Overall, Nike’s event seems pretty dopey, and so do most of their “amazing new innovations,” but Paul has done yeoman’s work reporting on the drudgery. Good luck with the Diet Coke-kicking! I kicked a bad soda habit for Lent several years ago and it was a great move.

    A few things:

    1. It seems like the pants stripes on some teams are thinner, especially the Chiefs and possibly the Cowboys, Redskins, 49ers and others. Inconsistency on thickness from jersey to pants to socks on KC looks bad. Maybe these stripes shrunk before, but I think the change is new.

    2. Paul’s photo shows the Steelers jersey with part of the striping missing (the black-white-black in the bottom of the yellow section), a potential huge eff-up. However, the pics on the Steelers website have the full striping, as did the jersey Big Ben was wearing.

    On a related note, I disagree strongly with Paul and love the tiny, almost capped jersey sleeves. I remember thinking a long time ago, that long jersey sleeves look silly. This obviously shouldn’t come at the expense of having matching striping on every jersey. On another related note, I hate the Steelers.

    3. The similar issue with the 49ers sleeve striping is obviously much worse, to the point of embarrassment. I wonder if they’re trying to get rid of the three stripes. Looked for the retail version on the NFL and 49ers stores and couldn’t find one.

    4. This is obviously a huge missed opportunity for Titans and, to a lesser extent, the Broncos. It would have been easy for Tennessee to change to something that looks decent right now, but maybe a little harder for the Broncos, who need an overhaul of their whole visual identity. Then again, maybe the start of the Peyton era would have been a good time for that. At least the navy unitards are gone.

    5. The Seahawks uniforms are an unbelievable downgrade. I, in all seriousness, expected so much more out of Nike. The design lacks any creativity or character.

    6. I’m encouraged by the Bengals mannequin wearing white pants. I’m very discouraged by the Bengals website and Nike PR materials featuring the black pants (which somehow look better, perhaps more matted, but are still stupid).

    Also, to have such a huge event for such insignificant changes is completely silly, but it’s hard to blame Nike or the NFL, because media outlets and players on Twitter are eating it up.

    AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
    link (of 2) of my survey of the best local and most unique food items at Major League concession stands. Part 2 will be published tomorrow. Thanks to everybody who gave me leads.
    -MBE

    Thanks! Good stuff, Mike.

    Back in the day, I could have finished off a Champion Dog by myself (minus the onions). From time to time, my brother and I used to eat our height in footlongs at the ballpark, which is roughly the same amount of food. These days it costs too much and my metabolism’s changed, so someone else can try eating a whole one. Good luck.

    I presume someone’s already clued you in to the Rocky Mountain Oysters available at Coors Field.

    I never noticed it until now, but the bottom of the “F” in the NFL logo not lining up with bottom of the shield really bothers me.

    Yeah, it’s a really odd choice that they made when redesigning the logo. The old version had the serif tucking into the shield point quite nicely. I’ve never understood why they changed that aspect of the design.

    The old L mimicked the shield outline quite nicely, too.

    I really liked the alterations to the stars and football, but I thought the type was too distinct and instantly-NFL to change.

    anyone know if the NFL teams will have multi-color helmets like the ncaa teams are doing (ie va tech, oregon)?

    i could totally see nike having the colts wear a blue helmet with a white horseshoe, or titans with navy helmet, or bengals with a inverse color stripped helmet

    Nope. NFL uniform rules dictate that because helmets are valuable licensing logos, teams are only allowed one “standard” helmet design. (Special designs are allowed for throwbacks only, in order to complete the throwback look.)

    I’ve always been an advocate of this. And just because the “rules” say it can’t be done—-remember, the NFL is a marketing driven entity.

    If I can make 200 selling a gold Niners helmet, but 400 doing a red one AND a gold one–doubling the revenue–which do I do?

    Love Nike or hate them- they’re in a rare class when it comes to, as Paul says, moving the needle. Right there with Apple. Next time, look at the attention the next iPad gets. Same deal.

    Anyone else notice the beautiful display of socks on the mannaquins, how they are uniform, and nice? One can only hope that some of the players noticed this.

    Paul,
    I don’t think you understand the New Technology of the pants. The teams that didn’t take the new Tech did it because of the metallic color in their pants. Because of the Moisture Wicking and this new Wet/Dry and Cold/Hot technology they don’t have a Metallic solution for the colors. Thus, anyone with New Tech pants will NOT have the metallic. If they are still Metallic, they still have the Old Tech.

    Yeah, except the Cowboys appear to have metallic pants but are still using the “new tech” mesh striping.

    The Packers don’t have any metallic anything, but they’re using “old tech” pants, including the striping.

    It’s not as straightforward as you’re making it sound.

    This will make for an interesting study. According to Nike then every time a new tech team plays an old tech team, the new tech team should win.

    Unless there’s the very low odd outside chance it’s all bullshit.

    I don’t buy this explanation. Nike outfits how many collegiate programs? And of those hundreds of programs, there are plenty that have metallic pants.

    As I mentioned yesterday, Colorado just went to a more metallic gold to match their helmets, and it’s Nike technology (moisture wicking).

    It’s true that it’s not cut and dry, but basically, metallic pants are being presented in a standard pant template, not the one we’ve seen as part of the Pro Combat uniforms. Some teams did incorporate the mesh insert, though. Some teams elected to use the standard pant regardless of the metallic issue, and some even eschewed all traces of new tehnology and even rejected the mesh panel. Long story short, there’s not a cut and dry guide to these uniforms. The teams told Nike what they were open to, and Nike’s manufacturer did what they were told. Each one is pretty custom.

    Paul, I applaud your efforts with the Diet Coke. I tried to join you, I really did. But a day was as long as I could go. I gave in to a 20oz bottle yesterday afternoon.

    I’ve been a Diet Coke-a-day drinker for many years, and being that it’s my only real vice, I guess I’m powerless to it. But, I’ll keep pulling for you!

    So, if the Panthers aren’t taking the new technology, what exactly are their jerseys made of? Is it not the same material used in the breathable portions of the other teams’ jerseys?

    What is flywire technology? I can’t seem to find out what it is, other than lines in the collar area? What is it and what does it do?