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The Day After: Nike/NFL FAQ

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As you’ve no doubt become aware by now, yesterday the NFL and Nike unveiled a slew of new monochromatic uniforms, which will be worn for this season’s Thursday-night games. The basics of the program are in that article I just linked to, and my assessment of the uniforms can be found in this ESPN piece, which was posted yesterday afternoon. If you haven’t yet read either of those articles, I suggest that you start there.

There are lots of questions and unresolved issues regarding these uniforms, so today I want to follow up with an FAQ-style entry that addresses some of those questions. Before I get to that, though, I should say this: I spent most of yesterday working on that ESPN piece, and then most of last night working on this blog entry. In both instances, I was working pretty furiously and somewhat sealed in a bubble — I wasn’t looking at Twitter, wasn’t reading many of the other articles about the new uniforms (although I did read a few that had some inaccurate information). If you were bouncing all over the web, absorbing info from a ton of different sources, it’s possible that you may know more about these uniforms than I do, or that you may have seen the answer to some of the unresolved questions I’m about to bring up. If so, please feel free to share what you know (or what you’ve read) in the comments.

Okay, then — here we go:

Did you know what the uniforms would look like prior to yesterday?

No. I got a slight sneak peek about an hour before everything went live, but aside from that I was in the dark, just like you.

I’ve seen lots of photos of the Jets wearing green, the Texans wearing navy, the Browns wearing brown, and so on. But your ESPN piece says all of those teams will actually be wearing white. What gives?”¨

My hunch is that some of those colored uniforms were designed — and that the photos may have been taken — before this year’s NFL schedule was finalized. They couldn’t keep the Texans in navy, because they ended up being scheduled to play a Thursday-night game against the Pats, who were slated to wear blue. And they couldn’t keep the Jets in green, because they were scheduled to play tomorrow night against the Bills, and it would have created another red/green colorblindness fiasco. So some teams had to wear white instead.

Then why did they release the photos of the colored versions?

For starters, the colored versions are available for sale, even though they’re not being worn this season. Also, they may end up being worn next season.

With so many teams wearing white, doesn’t that take the color out of the equation, which kinda defeats the point of this program?

Arguably, yeah. I’m fairly certain Nike didn’t want or expect it to play out this way. But they didn’t realize there’d be colorblindness issues, they didn’t realize that the NFL schedule would present unworkable color-vs.-color matchups, and so on. In short: It all turned out to be a bit trickier than they’d envisioned, and one result is that there are more teams wearing white.

As an aside, this is also a good reality check for those of us who like color-vs.-color games played in “normal” uniforms (like the recent UGA/UNC game, for example). It’s great when it works, but it doesn’t always work. Which means teams will always need to keep white uniforms in their wardrobe, just in case.

Will the Browns’ white design include the big, honking wordmark on the pants, or will they get new pants?”¨”¨

Good question. The solid-brown design they had created (the one that won’t be worn because it turns out that they’re wearing white, not brown) had a new pant design, but I haven’t seen any full-body photos of the white uniform — just this torso shot. The same goes for some (but not all) of the other teams that will be wearing white — no full-body pics yet.

Update, 9:25am: The Browns have said that they’ll be wearing their normal whites, not a new white design.

Does that mean that they haven’t finalized those uniforms yet?

That seems possible. If you look again at that Browns torso photo (and also at the torso shots for the Falcons, Texans, and a few others), it looks like the player is just wearing his regular white jersey — not a newly designed white jersey. (By contrast, the white jerseys being worn by the Saints, Bengals, and a few others are clearly new.) So that, combined with the lack of full-body photos, makes me wonder if the torso photos are essentially just placeholders. Like, “Okay, the new white uni isn’t ready yet, so just put a regular white jersey on him and don’t show anything below the waist.” I don’t know for sure that that’s the case, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Why aren’t the Colts, Lions, and ’Skins wearing the new uniforms?

Because they’re playing on Thanksgiving, and the league has decided to go with standard uniforms on that day.

But teams wore the new monochromatic uniforms on Thanksgiving last year, didn’t they?
Ӭ
Yes.

So why did they change that this year?
Ӭ
I don’t know.

If the Colts, Lions, and ’Skins aren’t wearing the new uniforms, why have I seen photos of their new jerseys?

”¨For starters, they’re selling them at retail. Also, those designs may be worn next season.

How did the Giants and Broncos get away with having new helmet designs? I thought the NFL had a one-helmet rule.

The NFL’s anti-concussion program limits teams to having one helmet shell, which basically means you can’t change helmet colors. But you’re free to change your striping or side logos or facemask color — several teams do that for their throwback helmets, and that’s what the Giants and Broncos have done for these new uniforms.

That rule is so stupid! College teams have, like, 17 helmet designs apiece, so why can’t the NFL join the modern world?

The rule is what it is, and we all have to live with it, at least for now. For what it’s worth, I’m sure there’s nobody who’d love to have the one-shell rule changed more than Nike, because then they’d be free to experiment with all sorts of alternate helmet designs. So while you may not like the rule, at least it shows that the NFL hasn’t completely given Nike the keys to the uniform car, so to speak.

What’s the deal with these jerseys being rendered in Nike’s Vapor Untouchable template?

According to this press release, “Participating teams will take the field wearing a special Color Rush edition of Nike’s Vapor Untouchable uniform exclusively on Thursday Night Football in 2016.”

I initially took this to mean, “All teams participating in Thursday-night games will wear the VU template.” But I’m now starting to realize that it actually means “All teams who wear VU will be wearing VU” — which is kind of lame.

If you look at the promo photos, many of them are clearly in the standard Elite 51 template, complete with the annoying collar, and the Packers photos appear to show the old Reebok tailoring, while others appear to have the VU-style collar.

But then look at the Bengals — some of the promo photos show a white collar with what appears to be the VU template, while others show a black collar:

That’s pretty messed up right there. I get the feeling that there was a lot of last-minute scrambling on this project.

One detail worth mentioning: The NFL logo on the VU uniforms is apparently an updated Chromaflex chip, while the logo on the Elite 51 uniforms is the same chip they’ve been using since 2012.

In any case, just having to type corporate nonsense like “Vapor Untouchable” and “Elite 51” makes my head hurt. Let’s move on.

What’s this about the NFL donating their merch proceeds?

According to that same press release:

One hundred percent of the NFL’s proceeds from the sale of Color Rush jerseys will go directly to the NFL Foundation to fund health, safety, and wellness programs for youth around the country. The NFL Foundation is the league’s non-profit organization, representing all 32 clubs, and funds grants to support athletes, youth football, and the communities that support the game. The first $500,000 raised from this initiative will be earmarked to replace youth and high school football equipment and fields lost in last month’s devastating floods in Louisiana.

Is Nike also donating its proceeds?

Not that I’m aware of. It’s worth noting, of course, that Majestic and New Era don’t donate anything (or at least they haven’t said they do) from the sale of Memorial Day or Independence Day merch, even though MLB does. In general, it seems like the leagues tend to undertake these charitable initiatives, not the manufacturers or retailers.

What about all those leaks from the guy on Reddit, and from the @NFL_Leaks guy. Did they turn out to be accurate?ӬӬ

No idea, and I don’t have the energy to go back and see how good their info turned out to be. If you’d like to do that, be my guest.

Some of the opinions in your ESPN piece were surprising. Do you really like the Ravens’ purple uniform?

”¨”¨Surprisingly enough, I do! Or at least I think I do — as always, it’s tough to tell until we see everything on the field. But I really like the gold numerals with the white outlining. (On the other hand, I really dislike the Vikings’ design, even though it’s fairly similar. Yes, I realize that may seem contradictory.)

And do you really like the Seahawks’ green design?

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I like it, but it seems like the purest expression of what this uniform program is supposed to be, and I’m curious to see how it’ll look on the field.

Anything else to add?

Yeah, here are a few late-breaking thoughts and some additional details I picked up from Phil’s Twitter feed: The Giants’ helmet has a new back number font. … Seems odd that the Giants would go with “ny” on the chest and while using the old “Giants” wordmark on the helmet. Maybe the jersey was already in production when they decided to swap out the helmet logo. … The Jets’ helmet will have a white facemask, instead of their usual green. … The NFL consulted with colorblindness experts to avoid any repetition of last year’s problems. … A Seattle Mariners blog, of all places, has come with the most entertaining response to yesterday’s unveiling. … Spotter’s nightmare: Hadn’t initially noticed that the Pats’ new uni doesn’t have TV numbers. That runs counter to current NFL jersey regulations, so they must have received some sort of waiver.

Why haven’t you used the official name of this uniform program ”” or even the bastardized version of the name that you often use ”” anywhere in this blog entry?

Because I’m sick to death of both of those terms and decided I didn’t want them appearing in today’s entry. Simple as that.

———

And there we are. If you want still more, I’ll be discussing these uniforms today at 12:15pm Eastern, when I’ll be appearing on this Albany radio station. Feel free to tune in and see if I can keep avoiding saying you-know-what.

•  •  •  •  •

Bacon reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, I’ve written a new article for Businessweek about the standard package design format for bacon. It was really fun to work on, and I think you’ll have fun reading it. Check it out here.

Incidentally, in yesterday’s blog post I said I’d be discussing the bacon article on yesterday evening’s installment of the radio show Marketplace. If you tuned in and didn’t hear me, sorry about that — we taped the interview, but it got bumped by something “more important” (as if there could something more important than bacon packaging!). They tell me it’ll be running today.

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Paul

Before we get to the Ticker, a quick caveat: A lot of Ticker contributions these days come from people who tweet things at me. But I didn’t look at my Twitter mentions yesterday, because I got literally over 1,000 tweets about you-know-what, and it was just too much to keep up with, so I decided to not even look at my mentions (although I did look at Phil’s feed — always a good source of info). If you tweeted a good Ticker item at me yesterday and don’t see it listed below, that’s why. Apologies in advance. ”” PL

Baseball News: Really interesting collar here. That’s a player from an old Studebaker factory team. The photo is in the archives of the Studebaker National Museum in Indiana, and originally appeared in the Studebaker-themed magazine Turning Wheels (big thanks to Andrew Beckman). … Still more new caps for Youngstown State (from Robert Hayes). … The Majestic logo on Nats 1B Ryan Zimmerman’s jersey was yellow-ish last night. It’s usually red (from @NikeMetsPlus, via Phil).

NFL News: Good article on how the growing NFL protests regarding the national anthem are part of a larger trend of today’s brand-conscious athletes weighing in on divisive social issues. … New form of DIY-ing: A Broncos fan wanted to burn a Brandon Marshall jersey — a response to Marshall kneeling during the national anthem last Thursday — but apparently didn’t want to spend the money on the real thing, so he bought an orange T-shirt, inscribed Marshall’s number on it, and buned that instead — which Marshall himself found quite amusing (thanks, Mike). … Bills coach Rex Ryan gained 30 pounds after having his lap band removed. He had the band removed as a show of support for his brother Rob, whose band almost killed him (thanks, Phil). … My Friday Flashback last week was about the various uses of the NFL logo on team uniforms. But Earl Blow points out an instance that I overlooked: From 1965 through 1969, the league logo was prominently featured on helmets in the Pro Bowl. … The NFL has announced a new $100 million anti-concussion initiative.

College Football News: It appears that Miami will be unveiling new uniforms next Monday (from Jackson Copeland). … Very nice uni combo this week for Arizona State (thanks, Mike). … Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says he won’t discipline his players if they want to protest during the national anthem, although he thinks it’s a divisive gesture. … Here are this weekend uni combos for Vanderbilt, Texas State, and Tulane. … New tunnel graphics for UNC (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: New chrome helmet for Louisville.

Hockey News: NHL goalies will have to wear narrower pants this season (thanks, Mike). … Blackhawks G Scott Darling has a Wayne’s World-themed mask (from Ken Traisman). … KHL refs wore black armbands for a fallen colleague last night (thanks, Phil). … New pads for Devils goalie Keith Kincaid (from @HawksPacMan). … New uniforms for the Springfield Thunderbirds (from Joe Condon).

Basketball News: With the 2017 NBA All-Star Game having been relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans due to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, the Pelicans have added an All-Star Game patch. … This is pretty awesome: A bunch of old high school basketball uniforms, some dating back to the 1940s, were found in an old North Carolina school that was slated for demolition (big thanks to Gerry Dincher).

Grab Bag: New away soccer kit for Adelaide United (from @BluesBrother95). … Pro golfer Jason Day is switching from Adidas to Nike (thanks, Brinke). … I have to admit that for sheer weirdness value, I kinda like these caps that feature logo mashups across different sports and cities (from Andy Pohlman).

71 comments to The Day After: Nike/NFL FAQ

  • Alex Dewitt | September 14, 2016 at 8:13 am |

    Being in Michigan, I heard a lot about the Lions “color rash” jerseys. Here are the message board highlights:

    1-Why not just put an 0-16 memorial patch on them with the WCF patch?
    2-Do we really need to be reminded of Matt Millen.
    3-When did we become the Carolina Panthers?
    4-Why is the WCF permanent?

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 8:54 am |

      They’re not wearing it (at least not this season), so whatever. At the moment it’s essentially a fashion jersey, which is not our concern here at Uni Watch.

    • Rob S | September 14, 2016 at 1:12 pm |

      As for the patch, it’s basically because of owner Martha Ford. I would hope that if the team got sold, the new owner would retire that damn patch.

  • BurghFan | September 14, 2016 at 8:17 am |

    Proofreading:

    -“Clemson coach Dabo Sinney” Not sure why I know this, but it’s Dabo Swinney.

    -Looks like there are minor tagging issues with the last two hockey items.

    Those mashup logos in the last Grab Bag item are truly bizarre.

    And thanks, Paul, for all your work on these (unnecessary) NFL uniforms, especially since it looks like there’s more to come.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 8:55 am |

      Fixed.

  • The Jeff | September 14, 2016 at 8:30 am |

    The NFL & Nike really dropped the ball with all the white uniforms.

    So, I’m just going to go through the matchups and list what they SHOULD be, since the NFL doesn’t know what it’s doing.

    Jets/Bills – GREEN vs BLUE
    Texans/Pats – RED vs NAVY
    Dolphins/Bengals – AQUA vs BLACK or NAVY vs ORANGE or AQUA vs ORANGE or ORANGE vs BLACK
    Cards/49ers – RED vs GOLD
    Broncos/Chargers – ORANGE vs BLUE (Holy crap, they got one right)
    Bears/Packers – NAVY vs YELLOW or ORANGE vs GREEN
    Jags/Titans – GOLD vs BLUE (Wow, another one they didn’t screw up.)
    Falcons/Bucs – BLACK vs RED
    Browns/Ravens – ORANGE vs PURPLE
    Saints/Panthers – GOLD vs BLACK or BLACK vs BLUE or GOLD vs BLUE
    Cowboys/Vikings – WHITE vs PURPLE (I’ll let the Cowboys pass since they always wear white anyway)
    Raiders/Chiefs BLACK vs RED or SILVER vs RED
    Rams/Seahawks – NAVY vs GREEN or YELLOW-GOLD vs NAVY
    Giants/Eagles – BLUE vs GREEN or GRAY vs GREEN
    Ravens/Steelers – PURPLE vs YELLOW

    There. Done. One white uniform. Two if the Steelers absolutely insist on wearing black against the Ravens.

    • Tape | September 14, 2016 at 10:07 am |

      Red-green is the most commonly occurring form of colorblindness, but there’s also blue-green/blue-yellow (my stepdad has blue/green), red/yellow (might make a red v. gold matchup difficult), and various other problematic combos.

      That’s why the league consulted with colorblindness experts.

      • KT | September 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm |

        But why didn’t they consult with a stoner?

    • Gerry Dincher | September 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm |

      I hope and pray the Steelers never wear yellow jerseys.

      • BurghFan | September 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm |

        They did a lot through 1942.

  • Tony Crespo | September 14, 2016 at 8:37 am |

    the reddit guy was off more than he was right.. for instance he was saying that the Browns were going to be in orange

    • Tony Crespo | September 14, 2016 at 9:04 am |

      https://www.reddit.com/user/notnike/submitted/

      looking at his history

      Seahawks – right, guessed green
      Rams- Wrong, guessed white throwback
      49ers – wrong, guessed red
      Cardinals – right, guessed black.. though he said retro
      Saints- right, guessed white
      Bucs- wrong, guessed pewter
      Falcons- right, guessed red .. though he said retro
      Vikings- half credit guessed white and purple for their two games
      Packers- wrong, guessed yellow
      Lions – wrong, guessed silver
      Bears – right, guessed navy
      Skins – wrong, guessed burgundy
      Eagles – wrong, guessed black
      Giants – wrong, guessed red
      Cowboys – half credit said they would use the last year ones and a navy one for their other TNF game
      Jets – wrong, guessed white
      dolphins – wrong, guessed white
      steelers – right, guessed black
      browns – wrong, guessed orange
      Bengals – wrong x2 guessed, black and orange
      Ravens – half credit, guessed purple, but claimed flag design for second TNF game
      Colts – wrong, claimed white
      Texans – right, claimed navy
      chargers – wrong, claimed baby blue
      Raiders – wrong, claimed black
      chiefs – wrong, claimed yellow
      Broncos – right, claimed orange

      • Special K | September 14, 2016 at 9:15 am |

        So, sounds like he can be ignored in the future. Just guessing, picking one of the team’s colors at random for each team.

      • HawksPacMan | September 14, 2016 at 9:27 am |

        Yeah, and even if he does have inside info, it seems that Nike/NFL change course so frequently that all the updates just amount to a lot of noise.

  • Casey Hart | September 14, 2016 at 8:47 am |

    Reminder: Dark jerseys over dark pants = high-school football

    • Brent | September 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm |

      Agree. Especially with a light colored helmet.

      • Casey Hart | September 14, 2016 at 7:42 pm |

        Definitely. But the Chargers’ look isn’t as bad, because the white background for threw bolts on the jersey and pants matches the helmet.

        The other intolerable thing is the mismatched striping, which is bad enough with contrasting base colors but is an absolute embarrassment with HS-style monochrome. The Chiefs are a repeat offender here, and the Texans ate notorious for it in regular games.

  • Bud | September 14, 2016 at 9:04 am |

    The Bengals picture with the white color I don’t think is the 51 style, it’s whatever style is in between the 51 and this new VU template. I can’t find what it’s called, but Alabama/Ohio State and a few other college teams use it.

    Examples:

    51: Most NFL teams/any college team with Nikelace
    Next template: Ohio State/Alabama/Bengals CR with white collar
    VU: Oregon’s bowl game last year, Oregon vs UC Davis a couple weeks ago

    • Bud | September 14, 2016 at 9:06 am |

      Also, there are literally 2 color v color matchups for this Color Rush promotion this season. Wasn’t the whole point of this last year to do color v color?

      • a.g. | September 14, 2016 at 11:08 am |

        Originally, I thought that was the point, too. But it seems like the actual point (other than boosting jersey sales) is for every team to wear jerseys, pants, socks, and shoes that are all the same color, which is stupid looking more often than not. I actually like some of what they did this year, but the whole program seems poorly organized and sloppily executed.

  • StLMarty | September 14, 2016 at 9:04 am |

    Velvet Underground has a template?

    • Clarybird | September 14, 2016 at 11:29 am |

      Yeah, designed by Andy Warhol.

  • Special K | September 14, 2016 at 9:09 am |

    The article by Rovell was helpful in explaining that there were really three different reasons why a particular team is in white. I’m a little surprised by how many teams chose white for their uniforms, but based on what I’ve been seeing lately in college football, apparently all white is pretty popular right now. A big part of all the matchup conflicts (either same color or colorblindness issues) is the fact that the uniforms are designed before the matchups are determined. The Jeff’s suggestions are obviously the way to go to have color vs. color pairings, but that requires someone to know the big picture at the beginning and to dictate to the teams what their color will be. The NFL (for better or worse) allows each team to decide what they want their uniforms to look like, so you have 32 individual design projects with different clients, rather than one master planned program.

  • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 9:24 am |

    Update: Turns out the Browns have said they’ll be wearing their normal whites, not a new white design.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsUR3bEWcAAg22M.jpg:large

    I’ve added that info to today’s text.

  • walter | September 14, 2016 at 9:36 am |

    Although I approve of a teal uniform for the Mariners, they have to put more thought into it than what they showed on their tweet.

  • Aaron | September 14, 2016 at 9:59 am |

    Re: the helmet numeral font on the Giants Color Rash uni: I’m pretty sure that they used that same font during the late 80s/early 90s. Anyone else recall?

    • CWac19 | September 14, 2016 at 10:41 pm |

      If it wasn’t the same, it was similar. The Giants’ color rush unis are essentially fauxbacks with some neat attention to detail (e.g., NOB font).

  • SoCalDrew | September 14, 2016 at 10:10 am |

    I’ve ALWAYS preferred the Saints to have gold numbers with their white jerseys, wish they’d keep them.

    • Gerry Dincher | September 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm |

      Agreed that’s a pretty sharp look for the Saints.

  • RickAZ | September 14, 2016 at 10:27 am |

    Seems to me that some of the games where a team is wearing white could have had both teams in colors. The Cardinals, white, and 49ers, black, could have the Cardinals in red and 49ers in gold.

    • RickAZ | September 14, 2016 at 10:44 am |

      Also the Dolphins should wear aqua with the Bengals in orange.

      • KT | September 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm |

        The Dolphins have done aqua before. That’s why they aren’t this time.

        Pretty much all of these remind me of Any Given Sunday b

        • RickAZ | September 15, 2016 at 3:18 am |

          There are a number of teams wearing the same uniform as before. My point is that wearing white defeats the whole point of “Color Rush”. Might as well just call it “Alternate Uniform Games”, but teams already have that for two games.

    • RickAZ | September 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm |

      And the Saints should wear the Color Rush white uniform as their permanent uniform, just not for COLOR Rush.

  • Chris | September 14, 2016 at 10:38 am |

    You mentioned the Jets facemask change, but I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere that the Chargers also changed, from blue to yellow. Strangely, with a blue mono uniform.

    • Winter | September 14, 2016 at 10:51 am |

      I think that’s because it’s supposed to be a callback to the Air Coryell era, which featured yellow facemasks.

      • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 10:54 am |

        Yeah, they’ve been touting that Coryell connection a lot.

        Because, you know, the Chargers wore mono-blue (and a white helmet) all the time during the Coryell era. Yup.

        • Winter | September 14, 2016 at 11:18 am |

          Yup.

        • The Jeff | September 14, 2016 at 11:21 am |

          It makes just as much sense as what Denver and the Giants are doing.

        • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 11:33 am |

          I didn’t say it didn’t “make sense”; I was reacting to the many articles/tweets/emails I’ve seen that specially tout the Coryell connection to these new uniforms.

          Maybe a similar history-based fuss has been raised regarding the Giants’ and Broncos’ uniforms. Obviously, they *do* have elements that draw upon those respective teams’ pasts. But I haven’t seen such a fuss being made over the Broncos’ and Giants’ retro/history elements like I have with the Chargers. That’s all.

  • Kurt | September 14, 2016 at 10:47 am |

    Find it sacrilege for Packers to wear white at home, and allow Bears to wear home blue at Lambeau, although I have wanted to see how white pants would work.

    Only time in modern history Pack went white at home would be first two home games of 1989 season (Lindy Infante era). First forced Tampa into their clockwork orange, second was against Saints, I actually liked their look that day in black.

    • KT | September 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm |

      Tampa Bay.

      • timmy b | September 14, 2016 at 8:41 pm |

        You’d be VERY surprised at how many people call them Tampa and not Tampa Bay.

  • Kurt | September 14, 2016 at 11:17 am |

    Video from 1989 Saints/Packers game, where Pack wore white at home, and Majkowski and Sterling Sharpe went nuts.

    http://www.packers.com/media-center/videos/Films-Classics-Packers-Saints-89/c61212df-d1ee-4462-b26b-ba2ac8421cba

  • DaveS | September 14, 2016 at 11:35 am |

    Thanks for the color rush summary. Interesting article re: bacon packaging. It was almost hypnotizing watching the steady stream of bacon in the IBS 4600 video. :)

  • jd | September 14, 2016 at 11:46 am |

    I don’t see any reason they can’t use different colored helmets and be in the regulations. There is nothing that says they can’t be painted. Plus as the paint chips it would look cool.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 11:56 am |

      I don’t see any reason they can’t use different colored helmets and be in the regulations. There is nothing that says they can’t be painted. There is nothing that says they can’t be painted.

      Would you believe that you are the first person to suggest that in the three years since the one-shell rule was adopted?

      Would you believe 37,298th?

      That option was discussed at length when the one-shell rule was adopted in 2013 (as were lots of other options, like vinyl wrap, etc.). The reality is that equipment managers don’t want to deal with repainting helmets every week. Not gonna happen.

      • jd | September 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm |

        I get that they are lazy, and it wouldn’t be every week it would be once. Normal helmet until the stupid uniform game. Paint shells for week. strip shells for rest of season.

        • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm |

          Sigh. No, they are not lazy.

          We go thru this every football season, and it is beyond tedious. It is settled ground. I beg you, let’s please move on. Thanks.

        • KT | September 14, 2016 at 2:41 pm |

          That is based on your extensive experience as a football equipment manager, isn’t it?

        • Tim | September 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm |

          I have a relative who worked in a major college uniform room that had two different helmet colors (and thus two different helmets) with about two different designs for each. It’s tough enough changing the logo on the helmet, repairing/spot painting the helmet. You suggest a complete repaint (3 coats at least with paint/clear) and adding decals?

          Have the No Fun League change it’s stupid rule if you want different colors.

        • jd | September 15, 2016 at 10:52 am |

          I dont care if they change helmet colors or not. I prefer they don’t. I”d rather they just have a home and road uniform since its the uniform. But if they want to go marketing a bunch of extra, generally crappy, uniforms do it all the way. Don’t be lazy for the 1 game you are using the odd set for.
          Tim, I’m not suggesting any touch ups at all. Normal game colored shell, for the stupid uniform week paint them, after that strip them back to the normal shell color.

          Better yet, stop doing these horrific alternates.

  • Brian | September 14, 2016 at 11:47 am |

    I’ve been thinking yesterday that something was odd about the Patriots jerseys, but didn’t think of the sleeve #’s until reading it here. I wonder if they’re a test-run to see mid that rule will be amended/waved more in the future.

    • walter | September 14, 2016 at 1:52 pm |

      Lest we forget, Super Bowl XXIX was won by the 49ers, whose throwback jerseys had no TV numbers.

      • timmy b | September 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm |

        The NFL Rulebook addresses this on TV numbers:
        (direct quote)
        “Item 3. Numerals. Numerals on the back and front of jerseys as specified under NFL rules for the player’s specific position.
        Such numerals must be a minimum of 8 inches high and 4 inches wide, and their color must be in sharp contrast with the color
        of the jersey. Smaller numerals should be worn on the tops of the shoulders or upper arms of the jersey. Small numerals on the back of the helmet or on the uniform pants are optional.”

        Note where it says MUST as opposed to SHOULD. SHOULD does not TV numbers mandatory. So, the Patriots likely need no waiver. Likewise on several throwback jerseys (Bears, Packers, Steelers), there are NO TV numbers. But front/back numbers nd their size are listed as MUST.

        Semantics perhaps, but TV numbers are not mandatory on an NFL game jersey.

  • Dan T. | September 14, 2016 at 11:53 am |

    Here’s a theory on why the NFL requires a single helmet shell:

    The League has long used the helmets themselves as logos for each team, and recognizes the value of keeping them consistent. For example, even before the “one shell” rule, the league denied Seattle’s request to have a blue and a silver helmet when they redesigned a few years back.

    Simply put, the NFL wants each team to be recognized instantly in marketing when they use the helmets as logos.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2016 at 11:59 am |

      That theory is not correct.

      Yes, the league’s aesthetic sensibilities are conservative and brand-driven, but not to the extent you’re suggesting. The league allowed teams to have throwback helmets for many years (and still allows teams to have throwback helmets as long as the shell is the same), and there was never any problem.

      The reason for the one-shell rule has never been a mystery and has never required any “theory” to explain it. It’s the same as it’s always been: The league’s concussion advisory board recommended that it would be safer to try to minimize the number of helmets that players wear during the season. Some people agree with this recommendation and others disagree. But the recommendation, whatever you think of it, is the reason for the rule.

      We’ve been thru this literally dozens of times since the rule was enacted. This is settled ground. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

  • Concerned Party | September 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm |

    Can someone elaborate on the NFL’s one helmet rule? How does having only one helmet shell prevent concussions?

    Wouldn’t the wear and tear from a full season cause more damage if you’re using the same helmet week after week?

    How is this rule applied if you want to switch helmet styles/models midseason?

  • Robert A. McIntyre | September 14, 2016 at 1:05 pm |

    I’m a traditionalist. One team wears white, other wears a colored uniform. I don’t mind the color rush uniforms but I don’t like color-on-color games in any sport.

    • Tornaitbird | September 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm |

      Even in basketball? So white vs monochromatic shades of gray for every sport?

      I’m just being stupid and trying to make a joke. If there is any sport where color vs color would make the most sense, then it would be basketball or soccer. With contrasting hosiery, of course!

  • duker | September 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm |

    I too really like the Ravens with gold numbers. They just need to pair that CR top with the gold pants from last season.

  • Dave Mac | September 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm |

    I haven’t read comments today or yesterday. But it is very rare that the Packers are wearing white at home. That should be news itself.

  • Charles | September 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm |

    A couple things about Color Rush:
    – There are several disparities between those promo “photos” and the real uniforms we’re seeing, which leads me to believe there’s been a ton of Photoshopping done (the Broncos’ uni in particular looks doctored). In addition to the Bengals collar you pointed out, the Giants collar is different on the real-life version.
    – You didn’t write anything about it, but I think it’s awesome that the Chargers’ jersey is an Air Coryell-era throwback (royal blue, yellow numbers outlined in blue and white, yellow facemask). I’d love to see them switch to this jersey full-time.

  • KW | September 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm |

    Apologies if I am duplicating a comment here but doesn’t it appear that NFL uniforms will be anything but uniform for most of the season? I mean we get Pinktober, GI Jovember, and now the color rash stuff so often that a few games in September and December are just about the only ones with teams in “regular” uniforms.

  • Tim | September 14, 2016 at 5:26 pm |

    I noticed in the Miami article that there would be Green decals for academic excellence (going to class? Taking a test? Opening a book) versus orange for performance on the field.

    I think I’ll set the over/under for total green decals issued at about 6.

  • Wade Heidt | September 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm |

    The Springfield Thunderbirds uniform unveiling is disappointing. All us us have seen many teams unveil uniforms. We understand how it should be done. This one is up there with how it should not be done.

    Not the most professional move to have a public event and unveil what the uniform will look like by showing a couple a cardboard placards. Seems kind of lazy.

    I suggest maybe wait until you manufacture at least a couple of jerseys for the unveiling.

  • Sean The Trucker | September 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm |

    Really loved those Truly Teal Mariner uniforms and the Seahawk greens. Then again I did grow up in Seattle….

    So yeah.