By Phil Hecken, with “The Jeff” Provo
I don’t agree with a good number of Uni Watch readers, and that’s OK, because they don’t agree with me. One guy with whom it seems I’m perpetually at odds is The Jeff, but lately it seems we’ve been agreeing more often. So, when The Jeff mentioned his “vision” of NFL uniforms, I was both skeptical and intrigued. You see, his concept combines a bit of logic, a bit of old school mentality, a bit of Madden, and a whole lot of creativity.
I’ll let The Jeff explain more fully, but basically he pictures a universe in which alternate uniforms do not exist, where white jerseys are NOT a requirement, and where each team can wear more than one helmet. If you think about that, that’s actually a bit like the NFL was in the pre-TV days. Teams had “their” standard jersey, and a second jersey if he main one clashed with their opponents’. In a way, it’s like soccer — a team has a “look” and if that uniform is “too close” to the opposition, they simply wear a change kit.
There are a number of interesting ideas and concepts in The Jeff’s vision. I can’t say I agree with it 100%, and I don’t, but if you honestly think about what he is proposing — it’s really not as crazy as it first seems.
You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead. Your next stop: The Jeff Zone
By The Jeff
Before we get to the concepts, I’d like to take a quick moment to explain how/why I came up with the 2-2-2 idea.
A – I really don’t like white jerseys. I think that for most teams white is not really a team color. If your colors are blue & orange, you should wear blue or orange. There’s no reason that various lighter colors can’t be worn against darker colors. A team like the Raiders should never be forced to wear white, because silver is obviously light enough to work instead.
B – As a Madden player, I’ve always been a little annoyed that a team like the Titans has 9 different uniforms, while the Colts have 2. I think that every team should officially have the same number of possible combinations. They wouldn’t need to actually wear all of them of course, but the possibility should exist.
With that in mind, I decided on the idea of a league mandated 2 helmets, 2 jerseys, 2 pants, with the ability to mix-n-match uniforms, and an emphasis on eliminating white jerseys. Now I do realize that this is probably more combinations than anyone really needs – but I figure that the end result after 2-3 seasons of uni-chaos – is a situation similar to soccer where most teams will have a primary uniform for most of their games and an alternate or two for specific opponents or color schemes. I could easily see a season where the Chargers could wear powder blue for all 16 games.
So, I’ve created concepts for all 32 teams. I tried to incorporate the team’s history into most of these, but I had a few radical ideas as well. Please keep in mind that these are mostly meant to be mixed and not all of the “best” combinations have been depicted. Enjoy! (Or flame me… whichever you prefer I suppose)
Patriots — A mix of their current uniform with their 1993 uniform, Flying Elvis on one helmet, Pat the Patriot on the other.
Bills — Tried to fix their unis while staying on the modern side, used the white helmet as a nod to the past.
Dolphins — Very close to what they wear now, I swapped the stripe colors to match the aqua or orange jerseys.
Jets — A mix of old and new. Lighter green, black trim, white or green helmets.
Steelers — They already use yellow practice jerseys and a yellow throwback helmet, so I don’t think this is too drastic.
Ravens — Purple to black gradient, because they have the one color scheme that I think works with a gradient. One helmet standard black, the other a black-to-purple paint scheme similar to what the Jaguars currently use. (I didn’t really attempt to draw that)
Browns — Someone had posted the idea of an off-white uniform and I liked it, so I mixed that with a bit from the early 80’s.
Bengals — A slightly different take on the tiger stripes, not too far off from what they already have. I kinda broke my own rules and didn’t include an alt helmet. I suppose either the BENGALS throwback or the color inverted prototype would work.
Titans — A bit more emphasis on powder blue, though I did allow them to keep a white jersey option.
Colts — Just a color inversion of what they already have. I wouldn’t expect the blue helmet or pants to actually see the field.
Jaguars — This one’s a bit odd looking. I’ve always thought that they should have used much more gold than they did. I’m second-guessing myself now as I look at this again.
Texans — I added a red helmet and eliminated the white options.
Raiders –Just another color inversion. Much like the Colts I wouldn’t expect to see the black helmet or pants very often.
Chargers — Really nothing they haven’t worn before, navy or powder blue. Probably not very mixable though.
Broncos — I tried to combine the old with the new. It doesn’t mix. One helmet would have the D, the other the horse head.
Cowboys — Made the colors and jersey style more consistent, and updated their white helmet & pants to work better with the mixed set.
Eagles — One a modern, bad-ass green & black — the other a retro inspired version. Also doesn’t mix.
Giants — I think I should have made it a little thicker, but the numbers have trim on them. NY and GIANTS on the two blue helmets.
Redskins — Basically I just added the modern striping pattern to the 1970 throwback.
Bears — Added the white helmet to better match the pants, other than that it’s really nothing that hasn’t been worn before.
Lions — A 1980/1998 inspired mix. I dropped all the black trim and gave them a color inverted helmet.
Packers — More yellow, more green, less white.
Vikings — I tried to mess with their modern uniforms a bit. One helmet with horns, the other with their Viking mascot logo.
Falcons — Brought back the silver, simplified their current jerseys and used some throwback inspired pant & helmet striping. Red or black is all they need.
Buccaneers — Did a bit of modification to their throwbacks to allow for mixing with their regular uniforms. I’d also keep the skull/flag logo for both helmets.
Saints — Played with the stripes a bit. Not really sure why I used white numbers on the gold jerseys, actually. Feel free to substitute black in your mind.
Panthers — More blue, more black … really just trying to make them look less like the Raiders or Lions. Given what they currently wear, removing the white jersey and adding a blue or black helmet could also work.
49ers — inspired a bit by their 1994 throwbacks, but I wouldn’t expect the white helmet to see much use.
Seahawks — I added silver as a nod to the past, but they could probably get away with using the neon green as their only jersey if they wanted to.
Rams — A slightly different take on their current uniforms, and a retro inspired alternate. This one also doesn’t mix.
Cardinals — A bit of a cleaned up version of their current uniforms. Despite making a mock up a red helmet last week, I decided the only difference for their helmets would be a red or white facemask.
Yes, I know. I need help.
Help? I’m not so sure that’s the word we’re all looking for.
Actually, while there are a number of colors and combinations with which I do not agree, I really do like the concept. The idea of an “interchangeable” helmet/jersey/pants is intriguing (although admittedly, there are some in the above set that wouldn’t work). And, as I’ve said before, I am not opposed to a “color vs color” game, but there are clearly some colors, especially if they had to be paired using either of your two jersey combinations, which would NOT work. Finally, while I understand your desire to eliminate a “white” jersey for many teams, white uniforms are not inherently bad. Even if white is “not” technically an official color, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used.
Overall, though, I have to say I’m very impressed. Clearly this is not something that’s going to be happening any time soon (and really, likely never) in the NFL. It probably offers a solution to a non-existent problem — unless of course you don’t cling to the fundamentally archaic notion that one team MUST wear white. Personally, I think some color versus color games would work. And in the not too distant future, The Jeff and I will be exploring that possibility.
Anyway, what say you Uni Watchers? Is The Jeff in need of help or is he on to something? Or is the answer somewhere in between.
You guys will recall the “Design a Baseball Jersey” contest which was announced in July and which took up a week of August displaying all the amazing entries. And the resulting voting in which a single vote separated the winner and loser? Well, that contest was brought to us by Alain Nana-Sinkham of Classic Old School.
Alain had offered to create the winner’s jersey based off of his design. But he has truly gone above and beyond. You see, yesterday, I got the following E-mail from second place finisher Mike Hass:
Just wanted to let everyone at UniWatch know that Alain from Classic Old School was kind enough to create my jersey from the baseball contest in addition to Duncan’s (the actual winner), even though I lost by one vote. I have to say it turned out pretty damn sweet, and I wanted to share this with everyone. A big thanks to you Phil for putting on the contest, and especially to Alain for going out of his way (and pocketbook) to make this very generous gift. It’s much appreciated!
Awesome, Alain (and congrats for almost winning, Mike). How did the jersey turn out?
I’ve never met Alain, but I have to say, this dude rocks! What a really magnanimous gesture. He didn’t even let me know he was going to be creating a jersey for Mike, so this was totally under the radar.
So let me pay it forward a little — if there was ever a reason to support one of Paul’s sponsors, you just got one. Please consider using Classic Old School for that perfect gift as the holidays approach. Everyone who has ever had any work performed has had nothing but great things to say, so I’m sure you’ll be 100% satisfied.
*Slight update: I did get an E-mail from Alain later yesterday. Alain said:
“I wanted to answer two questions you might get.
“1. We offered to make Mike’s jersey for free too since the vote was so close.
“2. We are redoing the winning Mariners jersey right now to make the
sleeves. Little more accurate to spec, which is why we have no pics
Thanks Alain. That was an awesome thing to do (and a tremendous job as well).
Trackin’ the Ducks
UW #1 Seahawks Fan Michael Princip has been tracking the Oregon Ducks and all of their 2,456 possible uniform combinations this season. He’ll be updating it after each game.
It was actually a nailbiter for the Ducks last night against Cal, but the Ducks won ugly, improving to 10-0 and keeping their #1 ranking. Here’s Mike:
I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy game for the Ducks, seeing that Cal has won three straight at home, and I was right. The Cal D was fast and furious fo sho, however, however, a field goal shy of a victory in the end. The Ducks wore their white tops. The Ducks wore their white tops and matte green pants. A very nice look I thought, of course I am a big fan of those white helmets, so I was quite nervous that they might not be able to pull this one off, because that would make three big road losses in the white lids, in two seasons, and would not bode too well for the team wearing them in future big games. Alas, the Ducks will sleep well tonight, and so will I in my white helmet.
Some minor updates this week with a couple of Oregon Duck helmets that have 65 years difference between them. First, a totally badass 2010 Riddell Speed helmet that I’m featuring over in the Oregon ‘carbon’ helmet site.
Great stuff Mike.
Here is your 2010 Duck Tracker.
2010 Season Uni Tracking
Now that the 2010 Season has concluded it’s time for all of you who have tracked your team through the entire season to send me your final tweaks. When I have a few spare hours, I plan on compiling them and adding them to the Uni Watch Archives, to be a part of the permanent record.
So, if you’ve been doing your due diligence with your team, send me your end-of-season tracking reports, and I’ll post them as a “sub article” on the weekends. OK? OK! And I promise they’ll make it into the UW archives before the year is out. Please feel free to accompany your tracking with a write up, especially if your team had any interesting trends or patterns.
Today, we have Doug Keklak (everyone’s favorite Yinzer), who suffered through yet another Pirates season. But he’s a trooper, and he dutifully tracked the Pirates and all of their different uniform combinations. Here’s Douggie with the writeup:
Sorry this has taken me so long:
The Pirates finished the season 57-105. They were 31-24 in their home whites, 14-50 in their road grays, 5-4 in their Sunday home pins and 7-22 in the black alts (5-6 at home, 2-16 on the road). They lost in all five “special” unis they wore in ’10:
6/12 at Detroit in Crawfords throwbacks
6/26 at Oakland in ’79 throwbacks
7/10 at Milwaukee in “PIRATAS” jersey
8/12 at San Diego in ’79 throwbacks
8/21 home against Mets in Crawfords throwbacks
Also, they were 3-2 in games wearing the Stars and Stripes caps. They also wore the early 70s yellow cap one time, on 9/8, a 9-3 home loss to the Braves.
I’ve attached the file in case you want photos of it, etc.
Thanks Douggie. I think you’re the last of our uni trackers, but if there is anyone out there who I still haven’t heard from, please send in your reports. Thanks everyone!
Catching up with the tweaks, but they keep coming in (which is good), so lots to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
You guys have been pretty great keeping to the ~50 word limit per team tweak, and it’s greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Now, on to today’s tweaks:
Starting off the show is Matt Malinoski, with a new twist on the Bengals:
I tweaked the Bengals’ uniforms because I think they need to be simplified; they’re way too busy. I used white numerals on the home jerseys and black on the road (similar to 1968-80), and tapered black stripes on the shoulders and the sides of the pants. I put three tiger stripes on the socks, the top and bottom stripes wrapping around the shins, and the middle stripe wrapping around the calf. I changed the facemask to gray, because I like gray facemasks, but it would work with the black facemask as well. TV numbers are on the sleeves, but they could be on the shoulders as well.
Next up is Matt McCutchan with a new (old) look for the Fathers in 2011:
After spending some time in San Diego last week, I was struck by how badly the Padres need some classic styling and branding that the city can get behind. In my opinion, the Chargers have done this so well and I would love that for the Padres too. I spent some time looking through the best years of the Padres and have created the following.
A return to the original brown and gold, the jersey wordmark and two tone cap logo (now matching in brown and gold) from the late 90s, gold piping on the cap to serve as a nod to the throwback two tone caps, and off-white home unis with brown piping for classic styling and a nod to the sand uniforms in recent years. I think this could give the Padres a renewed, unique identity.
And closing down the show today is Terry Duroncelet, who has sent some of what you’re about to see in before, but I didn’t host them and through one of those computer glitches…they were lost. So, I’m hosting this batch now. Here’s Terry:
Hey, Phil. I recently refined my uni tweaks on both Facebook and Flickr, but I didn’t know that I would end up 404ing my old submissions on Uni Watch. Sorry =( So, I’m re-introducing my old tweaks (with some additional tweaks, of course) and some tweaks you may not have seen before. And I promise to get my tweaks right the first time from here on out, to make sure I don’t make the same mistake twice. All old tweaks will have one asterisk, tweaks that may have been seen before this submission will have two, and all fresh tweaks will have none.
Nike’s U.S.A. Soccer Badge (minus the swoosh)
Thank you for your time, and again, sorry for the inconvenience.
Thanks to all today’s tweakers. Back next weekend with more!
5 & 1
And now, the part of the post you’ve all been waiting for: The 5 & 1. Quite a few good looking games yesterday, so Jim took extra long to get the list to me. I hope that means he chose wisely. Of course, with the mothervilker, wisely is in the eye of the beholder.
Lets see how Jim did:
5. Syracuse/Rutgers: Too bad last year’s shoulder stripes won’t go bowling with the Orange.
4. Clemson/Florida State: I’m sensing a pattern here…
3. Ole Miss/Tennessee: Don’t worry, this is the last matchup with an orange team.
2. Georgia/Auburn: SEC comes roaring back on the list this week.
1. Iowa State/Colorado: Black jerseys look great on cloudy days (good ones do, at least).
And my bad one: Maryland/Virginia: Wow, THREE pairs of pants I wouldn’t wear unless someone made me.
Yeah, um…did you forget Penn State was playing THE Ohio State University in the shoe? Cuz, that one was, um — gorgeous.
That’s all folks. Bears and Steelers should be sporting the throwbacks today, so you got that going for you, which is nice. Have a fine Sunday everyone.
I’m surprised they didn’t say the combat uniforms would make the Crimson Tide players walk on water. — “concealed78”