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Browns Could Have New Unis, White Helmets, by 2020

Well, that didn’t take long. It’s been less than two years since I attended the much-ballyhooed unveiling of the Browns’ new uniform set in Cleveland, and now it turns out that team ownership is already planning on giving the team another makeover — and might even switch to a white helmet.

That was the word yesterday afternoon out of Cleveland, where longtime Browns beat reporter Tony Grossi tweeted the news that owner Dee Haslam had told him that the team could have new uniforms as soon as 2020, which is the earliest they’d be able to do so under the NFL’s five-year rule.

That’s not quite as immediate an about-face as the 49ers’ one-day six-day helmet debacle from 1991, but it’s still a stunningly fast acknowledgment that the current set is a stinker.

Grossi had more to say in this piece, which was posted last night. Here are the key bits:

Browns co-owner Dee Haslam confirmed the club is not satisfied with its uniform makeover, which was introduced for 2015, and will go through another extensive process to produce a better uniform look. The problem is they are stuck with the present colors and combinations through the 2019 season. … Haslam said in the meantime, the Browns will seek an alternative look whenever the NFL allows, such as the “color rush” program for Thursday night games. … Besides the general busy-ness in some of the nine uniform combinations presently used, Haslam admitted there is a problem with the fabric and the tightness of the jerseys that make them uncomfortable for the players. She said the Browns internally have talked about a new uniform look. “We’ve talked about it, but we haven’t conceptualized what that might be, and we have to work with the NFL on it,” Haslam said. “We’re the Cleveland Browns. We stand for a certain thing. I can’t imagine doing anything too crazy, can you? I can’t.” A source has said that the Browns are seriously looking at replacing the plain orange helmet with a plain white one. The Browns wore white helmets from their inception in 1946 through the 1950 season.

Hmmmm. That raises as many questions as it answers. Like, are the Browns’ jerseys any tighter than those worn by other NFL teams? Is the fabric any different? If they didn’t want to do “anything too crazy,” why did they put that big, honking wordmark on the pants to begin with?

As for the idea of a white helmet, I don’t see that happening, nor do I think it would be a good idea. Yes, the Browns did wear white early in their history, but there are relatively few living fans who remember that, probably even fewer who remember it fondly, and it would make the team’s plain-looking headwear look even plainer.

I suppose we could do a Browns-redesign contest, but we already did that in 2013. A lot of the submissions were miles better than what the team ended up with.

Unfortunately, the five-year rule means we still have to look at the current set for at least three more seasons. Perhaps it’s time to start lobbying the league to grant the Browns a waiver. Granting them a one-time exemption wouldn’t just be good for the team — it’d be a flat-out public service.

Meanwhile, as you’ve probably heard, the Raiders won approval yesterday for their proposed move to Las Vegas, so we’re going to do a Raiders-redesign contest over on ESPN. Sure, you could argue that the Raiders’ look will never change, but you can just as easily argue that they’re overdue for a makeover and that a team in Las Vegas deserves to have a flashier look. In any case, I’m eager to see what people come up with. The full ground rules are available here.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Let’s start off this week’s edition of Collector’s Corner with this placemat featuring your 1964 Los Angeles Rams. This piece seems like it would be for a restaurant, but no name is shown. In addition, the runner is depicted wearing the 1963 uniform, which had gold, (or yellow, take your pick), not the ’64 uni, which is when they went to blue and white. Still a handsome collectible, though.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

•  This Cleveland Browns helmet plaque features the phantom “CB” logo on the helmet — which, as we know, never appeared on the field.

•  Speaking of Cleveland, here’s a set of 1970s-era Browns press guides. The cover art didn’t exactly vary much from year to year, eh?

•  Paul might like one of these New York Football Giants helmet tape dispensers for Uni Watch HQ. (Credit where credit is due: I saw these on the @HelmetAddict Twitter account.)

•  Brooks shoes are limited to running these days, but they once dominated MLB footwear. It was the late 1970s or so, and up to that point Adidas and Puma had a foothold, so to speak, in the game. Brooks exploded out of nowhere and all of a sudden it seemed most players were wearing them. They disappeared just as quickly. The Pirates must have had a team-wide deal, from the looks of this framed ad.

•  Niners fans can keep time with this vintage 1970s watch from Lafayette. Cowboys fans, we’ve got one for you, too.

•  Great-looking set of vintage 1970s MLB cardboard wall posters here — 18 of them in this set.

•  Frito-Lay sponsored this 1970s Buffalo Sabres foam sabre giveaway.

•  This is an NFL-approved stadium blanket from the 1960s. Interestingly, there isn’t any league branding or team logos on the blanket itself — just the shield on the zipper bag.

•  This Seattle Seahawks scarf says “76” on it, indicating their inaugural season.

•  This 1970s Baltimore Colts winter knit ski cap also comes with their 1976 season yearbook/media guide. Bert Jones on the cover!

See you next week. Send any eBay finds here, and follow me on Twitter.

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T-Shirt launch: As I mentioned last week, our latest limited-edition T-shirt in the Uni Watch Artist’s Series is by the great Larry Torrez (aka Eltee of DC). In the spirit of his Meatscots caricature series, he’s imagined a fictitious Japanese baseball team called the Kyoto Yakitori, whose mascot is a baseball-playing samurai with a sword that serves as a baseball bat and as a yakitori kebab skewer (click to enlarge):

It’s available in three different black short-sleeve options (two of which come in sizes up to 5XL) and one long-sleeve option (up to 5XL). Plus I’ve also made the design available as a sticker. Haven’t done that before with any of out T-shirt designs — let’s see how that goes.

Based on feedback from you folks last week, we made two adjustments to the design. First, some of you thought the samurai was supposed to be me — which, in fact, was indeed Larry’s intent (although I didn’t even realize that because I didn’t think the face looked like me at all). I agree that there’s no reason to imply that this character is me, so we’ve removed the glasses. Now he looks even less like me.

Second, we changed the meat on the sword, which had been red, to look more like chicken. It turns out that cubed chicken is a surprisingly difficult thing to capture visually (much more so than, say, a steak or a ham), but I think Larry did a very good job of it.

Some of you have also asked why I’m okay with this design if I have issues with Native American-based sports designs. That’s a perfectly valid question, and I’ve created a separate page to address it. Look here.

The shirt is available here through next Thursday, April 6.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: A video game leak has given us a peek at what may be this year’s All-Star Game BP caps and jerseys. … The Cubs will use these World Series-stamped baseballs for the home opener and the ring ceremony games on April 10 and 12 (from Kyle Yackley). … The Akron RubberDucks will wear baby blue jerseys in June for the 60th anniversary of the West Akron Baseball League (from Eric Furniss). … This Phillies 1993 World Champions T-shirt was found for sale on a street corner in Taiwan (from Dennis Abrams). … David Murphy attended an open house at the Braves’ new ballpark and snapped a bunch of photos. The park has a Braves uniform history display, an “A” logo made of bottle caps, and some cool game action paintings. … Does Rawlings make MLB jerseys, or is this some sort of mistake? Nope, the apparel maker outfits the AZL Indians of the Gulf Coast League (from Joesph Giordano). … Erik Bogh recently dug up an old Homer Hanky from the 1987 Twins season. … Just what the world needed: MLB-branded diapers. Presumably, you’d want to buy diapers with your rival’s logo, right? … Kansas softball will wear digi camo jerseys on Sunday (from Bill Stevens). … The A’s revealed a big new mural in downtown Oakland. … Here’s your chance to help name the Binghamton Rumble Ponies’ mascot.

NFL News: Here’s some video of the Brooklyn Dodgers, in red, playing the Detroit Lions, in blue, in a color-vs.-color game back in 1939. Note that the officials wore all-white outfits. “The color and quality of the video are truly outstanding,” says Bill Moss. … In the early 1990s, Marvel produced a football-themed comic book series called NFL SuperPro. Not surprisingly, it was pretty awful. Ray Hund found an issue at a local antique store.

Hockey News: Blues goalie Jake Allen has a new blue angels mask he’ll wear on Boeing Night (from Erik Spoonmore). … A few notes from Seth Horowitz, who attended the NCAA East Hockey Regional in Providence over the weekend: The Providence Civic Center has a few displays for the Providence Reds, a minor league team from 1926 to 1977. Reds goalie Gil Mayer was the first AHL goalie to wear a mask. As for the game, Harvard’s Lewis Zerter-Gossage has a 13-letter NOB with a hyphen, so his nameplate was stretched out to the shoulders. Harvard goalie Sihak Lee is Korean and has elements of both the ROK and USA flags on the backplate of his mask.

Grab Bag: The pictograms for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games have been released (from JohnMark Fisher). … Fire stations in Madison, Wis., have individualized logos that reflect their communities. The station nearest to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus has Bucky Badger in it (from @thold15). … New unis for USA field hockey (from Mark Palczewski).

78 comments to Browns Could Have New Unis, White Helmets, by 2020

  • Jon | March 28, 2017 at 7:39 am |

    “If they didn’t want to do “anything too crazy,” why did they put that big, honking wordmark on the pants to begin with?”

    The popular feeling around the team is that the uniforms were the doing of former Browns president Alec Scheiner. He “stepped down” from the role and Dee Haslam took on a larger role in the team, for the betterment of all.

    • Oakville Endive | March 28, 2017 at 8:18 am |

      Five and Done – rather predictable.

  • Mangler | March 28, 2017 at 8:13 am |

    Great mural for the Oakland Athletics, but shouldn’t the elephant be white?

    From Wikipedia: “After New York Giants manager John McGraw told reporters that Philadelphia manufacturer Benjamin Shibe, who owned the controlling interest in the new team, had a “white elephant on his hands”, team manager Connie Mack defiantly adopted the white elephant as the team mascot, and presented McGraw with a stuffed toy elephant at the start of the 1905 World Series.”

    • Rob S | March 28, 2017 at 9:17 am |

      THey’ve had a grey elephant mascot since at least the 1990s, so they were likely playing off the team’s current imagery.

  • Joe Rodgers | March 28, 2017 at 8:28 am |

    The Browns news was predictable the night they unveiled these monstrosities. I usual bend more modern than most here but the redesign produced a bunch of turds.

    Keep the brown facemask and more vibrant orange but otherwise revert to the old set. White pants for most games, orange for big games (ha ha), brown socks with stripes for the brown jersey, white socks with stripes for the white jersey. Done.

    Also, you could tell they were dissatisfied with the new set by how their Color Rush turned out. The jersey and pants look like a Color Rush for the old uniforms, not the new.

  • Rich | March 28, 2017 at 8:31 am |

    “Sure, you could argue that the Raiders’ look will never change, but you can just as easily argue that they’re overdue for a makeover and that a team in Las Vegas deserves to have a flashier look.”

    It would be change for the sake of change. The Raiders’ uniforms are near perfect.

    • Paul Lukas | March 28, 2017 at 8:32 am |

      Just to be clear: I’m not arguing that they should change their uniforms. I’m just acknowledging that such an argument could be made.

      And now I’m off to the dentist. Back in a few hours.

      • Dan T. | March 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm |

        Personally, I would like to see a rule in all sports that says that when a team moves to a new city, it needs to adopt a new nickname and color scheme. I think this would help the fans in the new city feel like the team is truly “theirs”, and would allow for the possibility that in the future the old city would have a chance to reclaim the team identity in the future.

        • Keith D. | March 30, 2017 at 9:30 am |

          I totally agree. The Colts name, colors, and logo should have been left with the city of Baltimore and the Oilers should have been left with the city of Houston. Although Art Modell should have been strung up for moving the Browns out of Cleveland, I do take off my hat to him for leaving the Browns name and colors with the city. That was classy.

    • ThePonchat | March 28, 2017 at 8:43 am |

      The Raiders better have cheerleaders that use the Vegas Showgirls’ theme at least once per season.

      • Joe Rodgers | March 28, 2017 at 9:37 am |

        Who cares about what the cheerleaders wear?

        • The Jeff | March 28, 2017 at 9:53 am |

          Fans at the game who want something to look at while the game is in another TV timeout?

        • Neeko | March 28, 2017 at 11:06 am |

          Mostly guys

        • Joe Rodgers | March 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm |

          Mostly guys who’ve never heard of the Internet, which is widely available. :)

  • tony | March 28, 2017 at 8:36 am |

    during the Browns redesign, Jimmy Haslam came out and said they wouldn’t completely overhaul the helmet. what i can see is them doing is if the rule about multiple helmets passes a white helmet could be an alternate to go along with a throwback jersey since they did wear white helmets during their inaugural season in 1946

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xHjP1chJYqM/TGqRagd-r0I/AAAAAAAAAT4/CbRX0lBgzjw/s1600/Cleveland+Browns+1200.jpg

  • Dumb Guy | March 28, 2017 at 8:44 am |
  • Andrew Harrington | March 28, 2017 at 8:59 am |

    I love the Browns’ classic (previous) set, but I’ve always thought a white helmet with the signature stripe (brown trimmed with orange) from the pants would make a great, distinctive helmet. The problem is there are just too many other teams with white helmets. The orange helmet is, at the very least, unique due to its color and lack of logo. I’d be surprised if they abandon a tradition that will by then be a full 70 years old.

    Side note, I feel the punchline of the logo-free helmet is coming full circle; the Browns will have the last laugh by being the only team (mostly) unaffected by all the newfangled helmet styles that are popping up and wreaking havoc on logo decals.

    • Wade Heidt | March 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm |

      You’re right about too many teams in white helmets. In the AFC, 6 of the 16 teams wear white helmets. Would be silly for the Browns, with such a longstanding tradition in the orange helmet, to switch to a white helmet in the one-shell NFL era. We would end up with close to half of the AFC teams wearing white helmets.

      I could not see them switching from the orange helmet in the one-shell era. The white helmet would work as a throwback alternate if NFL allowed this. I wonder if this is a hint that we are progressing to a time in 2020 when the NFL may allow alternate helmets with this mention of a possible white helmet?

      • tony | March 28, 2017 at 4:25 pm |

        of the 6 in the AFC, 3 of them are in one division

        • Special K | March 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm |

          And the fourth team in that division used to wear white helmets, if I’m not mistaken.

        • Oakville Endive | March 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm |

          Yep and at one time I’m thinking all 5 teams wore white helmets in that division, the 5th being the Baltimore Colts. I think say 72-73 – they’re all wearing white.

    • Wade Heidt | March 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm |

      To give you an idea of what a white helmet with striping from the pants (though it is orange trimmed in brown) would look like, the BC Lions of the CFL used to wear such design from ’78 to ’89. Attached is a front on view showing the striping:

      http://cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/Fernandez.Mervyn.php

      • Andrew Harrington | March 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm |

        Yeah, I think just flipping the colors so the orange is one the outside and getting the right mask color would make it work.

  • Big Matt | March 28, 2017 at 8:59 am |

    Couldn’t the Browns at least change their pants before the 5 year waiting period? Such as the Rams? That would be a good start.

  • Rob S | March 28, 2017 at 9:04 am |

    Regarding the Browns, one thing I’m not clear on regarding the 5-year rule is with pants. If that part of the uniform is exempt from the rule, and they can change the pants at will, then they could just replace the wordmark with proper stripes. The uniform would still not be great, but it’d still be vastly improved.

    • Boots Day | March 28, 2017 at 10:08 am |

      And surely they could make alterations to the construction of the jersey to improve “the fabric and the tightness,” right? One would think the manufacturer could change that without anyone noticing any change in the look of them.

  • Yancey | March 28, 2017 at 9:09 am |

    For the sake of Dale Mabry, please let the Bucs see what the Browns are doing a follow suit.

    • tony | March 28, 2017 at 9:16 am |

      the templet on the Bucs uni isn’t bad. the one thing that holds it back is the number font.

    • Dumb Guy | March 28, 2017 at 9:27 am |

      I can live with everything but the number font. why? why? why?

  • Rob S | March 28, 2017 at 9:33 am |

    That Dodgers-Lions footage is freaking beautiful. That particular game was played at Titan Stadium on the University of Detroit campus. It was the Lions’ original home in Detroit, and in 1939 they still played their September home games there while the Tigers were still using Briggs Stadium. The Lions ended up back at U of D for the full 1940 season before moving to Briggs full-time in 1941.

    U of D dropped football after 1964, and after the short-lived Michigan Arrows of the Continental Football League played their 1968 season there, the stadium was razed. These days, it’s the site of a multipurpose athletic field, sitting just north of Calihan Hall.

    • BurghFan | March 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm |

      Thanks for that, Rob. I was wondering.

  • Steven | March 28, 2017 at 9:41 am |

    Although the company patches are pretty cool that is incredibly common for fire companies across a dept. To have patches and slogans common to their district I’ve often wondered why you haven’t explored it more as a fireman

  • Mance | March 28, 2017 at 10:04 am |

    The Browns should definitely redo their pants this year with a full stripe. I am assuming they can since other teams have added pants or changed pants without changing their jersey. They could also go with the Nike vapor template if the other one is too “uncomfortable” (which is weird since their older Nike uniforms were rendered in the same Elite template).

    What are the rules on a team making an alternate uniform that is in their set their primary uniform for that year? Like could the Browns pair their color rush jersey with white pants and wear that this year if they designate it their primary jersey?

    Even though this will never happen I wish the Cowboys would wear their double star color rush jersey with their silver pants and navy socks for a season as their primary uni set like they did in 1994.

  • RSB | March 28, 2017 at 10:06 am |

    Unless there’s something about how the wordmark is adhered onto pants and it inhibits the stretch of pant material, I’m not sure how the fit of these unis could be an issue.

    Besides, If the material sucks, surely you can use other materials – it’s the design that has to stay intact for five.

    Sounds to me like the players are making stuff up to further condemn an outfit arena football would reject as too bush league. Not that that’s a bad thing…

    SB

  • Jack | March 28, 2017 at 11:06 am |

    This year’s All Star MLB BP jerseys are hideous. I can understand the teal- original team primary color and the accent color from the logo- doesn’t mean it is good as the primary color of the jersey. That burnt red is confusing- where the heck did that come from? I could see them incorporating the hideously florescent green that adorns their stadium wall or the royal blue from the seats- but burnt red? Thankfully they aren’t game uniforms.

    I am wondering if this is the design or not. With the new BP trainers and the elimination of BP jerseys during the regular season- why wouldn’t they mimic the new trainers? They have a history crossing the model/cut/attributes of the All Star BP tops and the regular season BP tops. Why the departure?

    For the life of me- can’t figure why MLB and Majestic don’t consistently use the host team’s basic uniform design as the basis for the BP jerseys. Too often they use a crest on the chest instead of just lettering or colors that are pulled out of their asses (like this year). By far the best representation of a team and it’s colors were the 2006 BP jerseys in Pittsburgh. Simple team colors- yellow or black; National and American in the team font. How cool would it have been in 2013 if they had National in Mets script and American in Tiffany lettering?

  • Neeko | March 28, 2017 at 11:11 am |

    A Warren Spahn statue at SunTrust, he never even played in Atlanta. Have other teams done this?

    • Jack | March 28, 2017 at 11:22 am |

      Along those lines- the BIG 42 in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field- considering Robinson never played for the Mets. He’s also getting a statue at Dodger Stadium.

      • Neeko | March 28, 2017 at 11:27 am |

        I was thinking more along the lines of never playing in that city. Hank Aaron has a statue at Miller Park which makes sense because of his years with the Braves (certainly not bc of his 2 years with the Brewers)

      • diggerjohn | March 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm |

        Speaking of the Braves-Mets connection; Did anyone else look at the photos of SunTrust Stadium and think, “Did they photocopy Citifield in the south?”. Enough with the “Let’s make our new stadium look quirky and old” stuff.

    • Rob S | March 28, 2017 at 11:28 am |

      Don’t know about other teams, but this statue isn’t new; it was originally erected at Turner Field in 2003.

    • Le Cracquere | March 28, 2017 at 11:54 am |

      To my mind, a great baseball player is at LEAST as much part of his club’s history as of the city where he played. Spahn ineluctably belongs to the Braves’ history, and the Braves’ honoring him–even in Atlanta–seems perfectly appropriate.

      As to whether other teams have done it … I don’t know. But if the Athletics should raise a statue of Jimmie Foxx, or the Orioles of George Sisler, I’d be all right with that as well. I certainly don’t know who else’s ballpark would have more standing to erect such a statue, and ruling out any such statue because the player’s team moved seems a bit hard on the player.

      • Jack | March 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm |

        Should the Mets have dedicated an entire wing of their building for Robinson who never played for the Mets?

        • Lou | March 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm |

          No, they shouldn’t have; but Fred Wilson loves the Dodgers and apparently wishes he owned them instead of the Mets. That should be the Tom Seaver Rotunda. If it had to be a Dodger it could have been named for Gil Hodges who has legitimate ties to both teams. I love Jackie and all but he has nothing to do with the Mets or with Queens.

      • Gusto4044 | March 29, 2017 at 8:21 am |

        Warren Spahn is completely irrelevant to the history of the Atlanta Braves.

        • Le Cracquere | March 30, 2017 at 10:45 am |

          So, do you object to the existence of a Warren Spahn statue? Or, if you think it all right for one to exist, where would you prefer it be? Miller Park? To my way of thinking, Spahn’s connection to the Brewers organization is at least as debatable as his connection to the city of Atlanta, and maybe a good deal more so.

    • arrScott | March 28, 2017 at 3:21 pm |

      At Nationals Park, they have (had? have they moved them?) statues of Josh Gibson, Frank Howard, and Walter Johnson, none of whom played for the Nationals, and Gibson never played in the then-segregated big leagues at all. But each was the outstanding player in one of the three most important previous pro franchises to play in Washington. I’m OK with that, because historical memory is not a zero-sum, scarce resource. I’m happy to see team pay tribute to their own franchise history in other cities, as well as to the history of other teams in the same city. Heck, I’d be happy to see the Phillies raise a statue of A’s great Jimmie Foxx.

      • Le Cracquere | March 30, 2017 at 10:47 am |

        I agree; the city of Philadelphia and the A’s organization EACH has its own historical connection to Foxx, and it doesn’t seem illegitimate for either to claim its share.

  • Paul Lukas | March 28, 2017 at 11:27 am |

    Raiders-redesign contest announcement is up:
    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/19021690/raiders-redesign-contest

  • Brent | March 28, 2017 at 11:33 am |

    Teams should have a one time opt out rule for the 5 year rule. Invoking the rule would mean fan input on the change. Also once the change is made it will not change again for 50 years so make it count.

  • JTH | March 28, 2017 at 11:56 am |

    Perhaps it’s time to start lobbying the league to grant the Browns a waiver. Granting them a one-time exemption wouldn’t just be good for the team – it’d be a flat-out public service.

    Be careful what you wish for?

  • RedWing In Colorago | March 28, 2017 at 11:57 am |

    I have a couple of thoughts this morning:

    1. I love the ability to get these designs as a sticker. Hell, I haven’t purchased any of the shirts as a shirt, despite enjoying the designs, simply because I have too many T-shirts already. But the sticker! Be still my beating heart.

    2. One of the reasons I really love this site is that Paul is totally willing to share his thoughts and processes. Today’s addition of the “why I think this shirt is ok” page is a great example. Well thought out, calm, and reasoned, and with examples to boot! This is the kind of calm, reasonable discourse that is missing from so much of life today. Well done, sir.

  • mild bill | March 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm |

    Thanks for the photos of the Braves’ new ballpark. Would have loved to see a “Channel” 17 jersey amongst the display of home jerseys.

  • Lee | March 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm |

    “Perhaps it’s time to start lobbying the league to grant the Browns a waiver. Granting them a one-time exemption wouldn’t just be good for the team – it’d be a flat-out public service.”

    They are football uniforms. A 5-year “rule” is dumb to begin with. If uniforms suck, they should be able to change them.

    Lee

    • Dan T. | March 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm |

      I’m guessing that a lot of the “five-year rule” is done to appease licensed makers and sellers of merchandise, especially replica jerseys. I’m guessing it takes manufacturers a fair amount of time to adjust to new designs, and retailers certainly don’t want to be saddled with a ton of suddenly out-of-date merchandise.

  • KW | March 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm |

    In looking at the old picture of the Browns’ white helmet, is the guy with the football wearing regular old sneakers without cleats? If so, was this typical?

    • Andrew Harrington | March 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm |

      In cold weather when the frozen dirt made cleats all but useless, the rubber-soled basketball sneakers actually provided much better traction.

  • Mance | March 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm |

    Also I wonder if the Browns uniform is uniquely uncomfortable due to the stitching being visible using a different color thread? They are the only team I know that does that. Maybe this entails all of the jerseys being a little more rigid and uniform compared to other teams.

    • Paul Lukas | March 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm |

      My understanding is that the only unusual thing about the Browns’ jersey stitching is that it’s contrast-colored. Other teams have the same stitching, but it isn’t as visible because it’s the same color as the jersey.

  • Matt M | March 28, 2017 at 1:54 pm |

    I have a good redesign for the Browns. Go back to their old uniforms. They were simple but beautiful. If not the best they were among the NFL’s elite uniforms.
    Currently they are perhaps the worst.

  • Dan T. | March 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm |

    Great series of photos of the Braves’ new ballpark, but am I the only one who feels that the “cookie-cutter” round parks of the seventies have just been replaced with “cookie-cutter” replicas of Camden Yards?

    There appears to be absolutely nothing architecturally or aesthetically that distinguishes SunTrust Park from most of the other parks that opened in the last two decades. Heck, it doesn’t appear to differ much at all from Turner Field.

    • Mangler | March 28, 2017 at 2:42 pm |

      It must be a nod to Turner Field, compensation for tearing it down so soon after it was opened (in 1996 as Olympic Stadium), that SunTrust Stadium resembles its predecessor. And yes, I do notice a cookie-cutter trend of new ballparks resembling old models, like those featured in the ballpark museum from yesterday.

  • Jim Vilk | March 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm |

    Just what the world needed: MLB-branded diapers. Presumably, you’d want to buy diapers with your rival’s logo, right?

    On the inside of the diaper, yes. On the outside you have your team.

  • Ryan M | March 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm |

    Question: is there a single reason (or a few reasons) for the 5-year rule for NFL unis? I mean, I could see the League not wanting to water down each team’s “brand” by potentially unveiling new unis every season or two the way it’s done in soccer (and college football, too, right?). But if a team looks like a bunch of turds out there–using that quite literally in this instance–wouldn’t the NFL want to fix that as quickly as possible? A feel like 3 years is a sufficient amount of time to where, if the team’s feeling they made a mistake, they should be able to fix it. And with the conservative clientele in the NFL (the owners), Nike probably isn’t going to be going as crazy as they do with college athletics.

    • Paul Lukas | March 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm |

      Combination of (a) wanting to maintain stability instead of changing things willy-nilly, and (b) retailing/merchandising supply chain issues.

  • Another Josh | March 28, 2017 at 3:36 pm |

    Wow, partly down this interview talking about raising the endorsement profile of MLB players, Rob Manfred states that the first decision in the Under Armor deal was to feature more prominent branding on the front of the uniforms.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2699060-the-br-qa-rob-manfred-wants-mlb-to-own-the-next-generation-of-sports-fans?iid=ob_homepage_deskrecommended_pool

    • Lou | March 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm |

      I fail to see how having a big UA splotch on the front of every jersey will make the game of baseball or the players more appealing. Manfred seems to be a generally likeable fellow, but every decision he makes leaves me wondering about his general competence. Such as, how does eliminating the pitches of an intentional walk, something that takes on average 28 seconds and occurs once every 3 games improve the overall pace of play? It was doing something for the sake of doing something and nothing more. Stop batters from stepping out after every pitch; that will improve the pace of play. Ruining the look of baseball jerseys helps no one.

  • Zaru | March 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm |

    I don’t see any evidence of how, when, and why Japanese culture, artwork, and racial caricatures have become OK.

    One could say depictions of Indians have become a “pop-cultural thing” (see, of course, sports mascots) that old Indian-style art has crossed over into “crossed over into the realm of vernacular pop culture”.

    The only difference is that you claim there is one. As always in this country, depictions of Indians and blacks has to be treated with great care, while those of Asians is wide open to any form of appropriation. “Wink-wink” as you obnoxiously state. You admit the guy who drew the picture portrayed you in yellow-face and you still work with him!

    As an Asian I’m NOT ok with this. You’re just another Dan Snyder: a straight white male who feels they can lecture to others about what they can and cannot be offended by. You’re a hypocritical racist.

    • Paul Lukas | March 28, 2017 at 4:12 pm |

      Hi, Zaru. I’m on my way out the door and will be gone for the rest of the afternoon and evening, but I’ll write to you privately tomorrow — promise. Thanks for your feedback!

      • Chris | March 29, 2017 at 9:45 am |

        Paul, while not Asian myself I have to say I can’t disagree with what Zaru said and would also be interested in your response. I often feel like some groups have been deemed OK to ‘appropriate’ and others it is not OK but it is completely unclear how this is determined. This is an important topic in our country right now and I’m interested in the conversation here.

  • 1vox | March 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm |

    “Great-looking set of vintage 1970s MLB cardboard wall posters here – 18 of them in this set.”

    Anyone else look at these and notice that one of the posters features a graphic representation of Charlie Hustle is his patented airborne, headfirst slide?

    And that poster is for…the PADRES?!?

    Sacrilege!!!

  • Dynamic Threads | March 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm |

    The Browns ruined one of the most classic uniforms in sports when they created the current abominations. The stripes were great, the colors were theirs and they made brown work without looking like a giant turd. Love the blank helmets, too.

    Now they look like not a giant turd, but a giant mass of shit.

  • JB | March 28, 2017 at 5:39 pm |

    does the five-year rule apply to pants, or only to retail-available elements? The least the NFL could do is grant a waiver to change the pants striping. Yikes.

  • RJ Nordlund | March 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm |

    Why don’t the Browns follow what the Rams are doing and just change their pant designs to omit the awful wordmark until 2020?

  • Eric Furniss | March 28, 2017 at 7:29 pm |

    I’m wondering if the change in Browns uniforms is a sign that the Haslam’s are finally listening to their customers. The rallying cry when Modell stole our team from us was “our team, our colors.” For Browns fans the classic uniform they abandoned in favor of the current monstrosity is as iconic as the Yankees pinstripes. Give me Kardiac Kids era uniforms and I will be happy.

  • Bob McIntyre | March 28, 2017 at 11:04 pm |

    How about those Converse high tops on the players in that 1950 Browns photo? Never knew they wore them.

  • Thom Abraham | March 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm |

    When did the 5 year rule come in? Didn’t the browns have a 1 year change back in the Paul McDonald ’80’s, with white numbers and orange trim, with a different arm stripe? That was the year they debuted Orange numbers on Brown jerseys in the pre season, and had it changed before the regular season because the numbers were hard to read!

    • Paul Lukas | March 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm |

      Yeah, things were much more fluid back then, in large part because the merch/retailing industrial complex didn’t exist yet.

      Not sure when the five-year rule was instituted, but it’s definitely a more recent thing.

  • JenInChicago | March 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm |

    I mentioned this over on the fb page, but “The Middle” had Mike owning a diaper company called “Lil’ Rivals” – you could order diapers with a rival’s logo on it. I do hope that the writers/producers secured themselves legally – unless it wasn’t their idea in the first place, of course.