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My Visit to the NFL Offices

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Good morning! As I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post, I had a late-afternoon appointment yesterday at the NFL offices in Manhattan. No, it wasn’t to be hired as their new uni czar, or to draft a new set of sock regulations, or to offer uni advice to Roger Goodell. I was being interviewed on camera for a uni-centric media project they’re working on.

I didn’t get to see the full offices — just the area where the interviews were happening. But I did manage to get a few photos that I can share with you. Let’s start with this: As is the case with most big office buildings, 345 Park Ave. has a security desk where visitors have to check in. But the NFL, unlike the building’s other tenants, has its own separate check-in desk:

Once I cleared security, I was taken down a hallway that included a display featuring all 32 NFL primary helmets:

The hallway also featured mannequins with jersey/pant combos for each team. The specific combos they chose were interesting — the Patriots mannequin, for example, showed a blue jersey with silver pants, a combo they’ve worn only once in the past few seasons. Similarly, the Seahawks mannequin wore navy over grey — not unheard of for Seattle, but certainly not their default look.

But the thing that really jumped out at me is that the Commanders mannequin showed a burgundy jersey with yellow pants, even though the team has not, to my knowledge, unveiled any yellow pants. It’s not clear if this is a hint of something for the future or an old idea that was discarded (sorry about the vertical orientation — it was the only way to include the top and bottom rows):

There were some other interesting anomalies, but I’ll let you look for them yourself.

And that’s all I have to share with you. Sorry I wasn’t able to get more pics! Hopefully I’ll have another opportunity at some point.

 

ITEM! Ranking All the Potential Super Bowl Uni Matchups

There are 14 teams in the NFL playoffs — seven from the AFC and seven from the NFC — which means there are 49 possible Super Bowl matchups. For this week’s Substack piece, I’ve ranked those 49 possible pairings based on their uniform matchups (including KC vs. Philly, shown above — those are the two teams with first-round byes).

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack, which I hope you’ll consider doing. Thanks!

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Comments (44)

    The yellow pants would be an instant improvement to a horrible set for Washington

    100% agree. But then they’d do something stupid like unveil Yello jerseys to wear with them, because Washington.

    The fact that the mannequins on display are wearing sleeves makes the players’ on-field alterations reek all the more. -C.

    what team was depicted with kelly green shirts and white pants? No one wore that combo this regular season.

    I know! And they forgot to include the Jets altogether in the display case! I mean, I didn’t see their black uniforms anywhere, did you?

    I see they displayed the helmets by division: North, South, East, West Should it be displayed as North, East/West, and South?

    There was a song whose title escapes my mind that had “North and South, East and West” in the lyrics.
    That’s one way I’d display them.
    I’d also go East, North, South and West, given the geography of the league.

    I find it interesting that the league has not yet rearranged the uniform display to place Las Vegas and the LA Chargers in their correct alphabetical order. It’s been a few years for Vegas and since 2017 for the Bolts. That seems sloppy.

    Since the team is the Los Angeles Chargers, not the LA Chargers, it makes sense that they’re after the Las Vegas Raiders.

    I don’t know what’s happening with the Rams, though.

    My general thought is that, at least relative to this display, the league does not Get It™. It is what it is.

    Did the Broncos pants have the “stripe”? (I think I see it now)

    UGH and the Ravens are purple over black. (And it’s hard to see the “B”

    That helmet display is infuriating!
    Why rows of 4 & 3 when all divisions have 4 teams? Why 9 total rows when there are 8 divisions?
    I know the answer is the spacing within that shadow box. I also, understand how they chose the order they did, but it was the wrong choice. Not having all division teams together in the same row & to get a snake like pattern to the divisions is brutal to look at.
    PLEASE correct it to 8 rows of 4 helmets.
    Eliminate 1 row & “tighten them up” or extend the case the extra few inches you have to work with on the right side if you need a little extra horizontal space. Somehow stagger & space the helmets differently into an 8 by 4 structure. Build a completely new wall if necessary. This is a multi-billion $ organization, figure it out & do whatever needs to be done.

    The thing I noticed about the helmets — although it’s hard to see in the photo — is that most of the nose bumpers have the Riddell logo, which is not currently allowed under league guidelines.

    While I agree there should have been eight rows of four (and there’s room to do that)…

    This is a multi-billion $ organization, figure it out & do whatever needs to be done

    The reason they’re a multi-billion $ organization is because they put their money into things that will make them money. A display in the front office isn’t going to make them money. And the people who walk by the display the most probably don’t have a problem with it. Even though I think it should have been done differently, I don’t have a problem with it.

    I believe that display has been there a few years. All of the helmets are grouped by division and in order alphabetically by city name.

    Except for the Chargers and Rams. They are still in the order as if they were still in San Diego and St. Louis, respectively.

    Fun stuff, Paul! Thanks for sharing!

    I’m sure the higher-ups in every major North American pro sports league have bristled from time to time at your candid but fair critiques of their uniform programs, but it’s interesting to see the difference between how the NFL and MLB have handled opportunities to do light collaborations with you. Glad to see that whoever drives the bus on this stuff at the NFL seems to prefer playing nice!

    The 49ers jersey is not the latest model, it looks like the Cowboys are shown with shiny pants (not the powdery blueish ones they have now), and it appears the Giants road jersey is paired with their gray pants…an outdated pairing.
    The Commies would look slightly better with yellow pants, and I like that the Bengals are shown in their best-looking (at least best matching) combo.

    I was told to wear “business casual” with:

    – No green (because of a green screen)
    – No stripes
    – No patterns
    – No white

    This eliminated the vast majority of my wardrobe. Eventually settled on a dark blazer over a light sweater.

    I’m disappointed that the NFL doesn’t use their helmet display as a standings board. Move the helmets before the start of business every Monday.

    Some interesting player choices for the jersey displays. Two of the jerseys are for players no longer with the teams displayed (T.J. Hockenson and Christian McCaffrey, both traded this season). Looks like they’ll also need to replace Derek Carr, probably Zach Wilson. Maybe Rodgers and Brady?

    I immediately thought this too — surprised they haven’t swapped those out given the amount of time that has now passed. Also there doesn’t appear to be much rhyme or reason for why the players were selected (other than being relatively big names). I wonder how they chose.

    Never realized how many teams have their city or some name on the front of the jersey. I really don’t like that seems like more classical teams don’t. Detracts in some way. Jersey should stand on its own.

    Yet another thing driven by merchandising. Fans don’t want to wear just a plain jersey with a number — they want to broadcast the name of the team they’re supporting. So when retail jerseys became a big thing, that’s when more and more teams started adding their name to the chest.

    Tail, dog, etc.

    That must have been a strange experience, visiting NFL HQ and finding out that their display of helmets and uniforms is not up to par. The presentation at most big colleges looks more professional. The NFL should let Paul do some reshuffling and adjusting.

    All NFL teams should revert to the uniforms they had in 1985 – aside from the Jets (who should go back to their 60s, 70s, 90s uniforms) and the Bills/Giants (who already wear “modernized throwbacks”), and of course the teams that didn’t exist then.

    Re: Anomalies is the Uni display video. The Bucs pants have a white stripe which they don’t in reality and the Colts pants only had one stripe instead of the usual 2, which may mean they are incorrectly using the throwback pants on the mannequin.

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