By Phil Hecken
Just a little under a month ago, with the great help of graphic design artist Matthew Blinco, I penned a column that would attempt to maybe, possibly, somewhat fix the NFL’s ill-fated color rash uniform debacle (herein after simply referred to as “CR”). In that column, I asked Matthew to create several new uniform combos, combining either the jerseys or pants from the CR uni, coupled with regular uniform elements, to create something that was in most cases, a bit more appealing to the eyes than the monocrap that is CR. Since it was during the holiday season, some of you may not have seen it. In a subsequent column, Matthew created one additional combo that had been suggested. I asked readers if they had more suggestions for combos, adding that I’d try to get Matthew to whip up some more. You guys responded — and so has Matthew. He did up EIGHT more possible looks based on your suggestions, and I’d like to share them with you today. You can click to enlarge any image below.
Buffalo Bills (white jerseys with red CR pants):
Like the red jersey with white pants, I like this combo, but not as much. There’s something about a team with a white helmet having a white jersey and dark pants that just doesn’t look “right.” I actually think I like the blue jersey/red pants look better. But ANYTHING is better than the all red they’ve worn thrice now (even though that snow game against the Colts provided a perfect opportunity).
Dallas Cowboys (white CR jerseys with silver/gray pants):
This is basically the opposite of the uniform that started the CR mixing (regular blue jerseys over white CR pants). I liked that look and I like this one. I get why the Cowboys stick with their royal blue NOB, stripes & numbers on their regular white home uni, and the now-iconic-but-almost-comical green/blue/silver pants, but I think wearing the CR jersey (with navy blue) and their normal hat/’road’ pants looks neater. Maybe it’s my OCD acting up, but this one is much more pleasing on the eyes.
Green Bay Packers (green jerseys with white CR pants):
Here’s another look I like, (in this instance, the Packers CR uni was mono-white instead of mono-green or mono-gold, which probably would have looked awful). But the Pack are so iconic in their green and gold, it’s hard to picture them wearing white pants other than when forced to by the league. It might be interesting to have seen how an all green or all gold CR uni looked. Maybe then green pants with a white jersey could be an option. But it’s probably best to just leave the Pack alone here.
New England Patriots (blue CR jerseys with white CR pants):
Unlike many teams (thankfully), the Patriots actually have both a mono-blue CR uni and a mono-white CR uni (though the jersey is unchanged from their regular white jersey). This combines the tops and bottoms. I have never been a fan of the current iteration of the Pats’ unis, so I like this mashup — especially the UCLA shoulder loops. But, to borrow a phrase from 45, everyone agrees the Patriots in red jerseys and Pat Patriot on their hats is the best look.
New England Patriots (blue CR jerseys with red pants):
OK — the Pats don’t (yet) have an all red CR uni (and lets pray they never do), so this one was a reader request for a uni that doesn’t have any ability to exist (yet). But the Patriots do have a history history of red pants — so it’s not out of the realm of possiblities. It might be interesting to see that one with a white jersey and red pants. Unfortunately the Pats “white” CR jersey is just their regular white jersey. So maybe we wouldn’t want to see that after all.
Baltimore Ravens (white jerseys with purple CR pants):
I can’t say I’m in love with this one, at least with the black leggings/socks that almost make the look monochrome. Despite the Ravens wearing predominately purple jerseys, I prefer the white over white look; I actually don’t even hate the BFBS-ish look (because of the mostly black hats), and even the purple over black isn’t awful. The problem is the pants have no stripes. And I was certainly no fan of the one and done mustard pants. The one redeeming feature of the CR pants is the stripes — if they could just add those to the black pants, I’d be totally fine with the white over black look. (Of course, they’d need contrasting socks, but I digress…)
New Orleans Saints (black “CR” jersey with white CR pants):
OK, this one doesn’t quite exist — I had asked Matthew if he could make a black version of the drop dead gorgeous CR unis the Saints currently sport. There’s a lot of things wrong with the Saints unis, but when they go white over gold or black over gold, they are palatable. However, adding a black “CR” jersey would be a monstrous upgrade (really, they need to tweak the metallic or vegas gold they currently use and return to their original old gold). In fact, just bring these back full time. But until then, they need to at least consider a black “CR” jersey.
Pittsburgh Steelers (white jersey with black CR pants):
The Steelers all-black CR uni was actually pretty good, all things considered. Many (myself included) actually prefer the jersey with its all-gold numbers/striping and block font. (Here’s how that would look if they wore their regular jerseys — IMHO not as good). If only they could tweak (or wear) their current black and white jerseys to match the block font, we’d have a winner. The black pants look better than I thought, but that is no doubt due to them matching the helmet color. One reason the Saints (see above) look so shitty in black pants is their hat is gold. But the black pants work with the Stillers here.
Seattle Seahawks (gray jersey with neon CR pants):
For whatever reason, seeing how the Seahawks would look with different jerseys or pants remains a popular request. Sadly, I don’t really think there is ANY existing jersey or pants that could be combined with the neon/snot/lime CR elements. Is it better than full-on CR? That’s a judgment call. I just haven’t found anything that combines well with that element. And Matthew (I think) tried them all!
And there you have it — your requests fulfilled by one very talented Matthew Blinco. I’m not sure there is any ointment that will cure the rash (the best idea, of course, would be for a very few of the teams whose CR elements are actually better than their current unis to retain them, but for the NFL to scrap this whole stupid experiment). TNF is already a disaster (and it’s not just because of the unis), but if they really wanted to spice things up, they should make the uniforms “Throwback Thursday” Night Football. Yes, I realize the single helmet dictum wreak some havoc, but it’s not like the CR unis look good on any teams whose helmets don’t match their CR colors to begin with. I’m sure not too many would mind Bucco Bruce on a pewter helmet if it means we get to see these beauties once a year.
Big thanks again to Matthew for all his help with these!
Matthew Blinco is a graphic designer in Nashville, TN and co-founder of local apparel brand Project 615, you can find your new favorite tee at project615.org. He also buys and sell vintage clothing as a hobby an you can follow him at @relikvtg on Instagram. Matt has been a UW reader for 8-10 years and had 2 designs chosen to win in the Lewis & Clark league design contests a couple of years ago. You can see his portfolio at cannonballcreative.com and is open to freelance opportunities. You can follow him on twitter @mpblinco.
Well, now it’s official
ending the suspense to the surprise of no one), the Toronto Raptors made official that which we’d basically known for weeks (if not longer): they have released their City Edition new alternate uniform.
Like many of the 4th uniforms sets, you’ll probably either love them or hate them (I think I fall in the latter camp with these). The marketing-speak is heavy too: The uniforms feature “six points in a chevron design which represents the six boroughs of Toronto”, “NORTH” to “represent a territory all our own,” and the black and gold “colourway inspired by Ovo” which is a nod to rapper Drake’s sound label, and who has been involved with the Raptors for years.
Here’s a another at the unis:
The team will wear these unis for the first time on January 26th. Looks like there will also be a new warmup jacket (probably for retail sale, natch) to go along with the new unis.
And of course, as is de rigueur these days, the team will also have a new court (to match the unis):
I kinda like the court. I’m not crazy about the unis. Aside from being terribly unnecessary they aren’t terribly good.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Good shot of the new Spring Training sleeve patch as it appears on the Reds’ jerseys (from Robert Hayes). … The Mankato Moondogs of the North West League, a collegiate summer league, have unveiled a new wordmark and primary logo. Is anyone else seeing Google’s “G” in the Moondogs’ “G”? (from Ashle Norling). … Get a load of these new Richmond Flying Squirrels alternates (here’s a shot of the equally ugly back). Is it bad that the thing that annoys me most about these is the full wordmark on the cap? (Blame goes to Brian Kappus for bringing these to our attention). … Clever design in this 1999 ad for the Altoona Curve (from Steven James). … The University of Auburn unveiled its new jerseys today. More info (and a video) here (thanks, Phil and Clint Richardson).
NFL News: Tracy Lehrmann found an early example of the wishbone-c in football I’d never seen before, in a 1907 photograph of a Carlisle Indians team coached by Pop Warner himself. And check out those sleeve stripes! Excellent find. … The Eagles are going midnight green over white for today’s playoff game against the Falcons (thanks, Phil). … Great article and video here on the Vikings’ seamstress. Next year will be her 50th working for the Vikes (thanks, Phil). … At the CFL GM meetings in Banff, Ab., the Montreal Alouettes were represented with an old silver helmet, despite changing to white full-time last season. Could be an indication of a change back? It’s more likely the CFL just had an old helmet laying around and thought no one would notice (from Wade Heidt). … The Pro Football Hall of Fame posted some absolutely gorgeous Super Bowl III art on Twitter yesterday (from Kelly P. Fitzgerald). … Burt Reynolds’ character in 1976’s Gator wore a Falcons cap (from @RearAdBsBlog). … Mike Selock sends along this shot of a Lions player with a circa-1980 rally towel, The Dirty Duster. Guess it never took off like the Terrible Towel.
College/High School Football News: Arkansas confirming what we already suspected: recruiting plays a big role in team uniform selection (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a timelapse video showing the design process of Alabama’s National Championship logo (from Griffin Smith and David Clemons).
Hockey News: The Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL are breaking out the 1980s fauxbacks designed by John Elbertson as part of a Phil’s August Uni Watch design contest! Looking good, John! … AP sportswriter Joedy McCreary noticed NHL commish Gary Bettman was wearing Hoka sneakers, instead of sneakers from the NHL’s equipment partner Adidas (from Don Hammack). … Just under a month ago, the Hershey Bears released the design for the 2018 Outdoor Classic uniforms. Now, the sweaters have arrived at Giant Center, and now we have actual jerseys to look at.
NBA News: The Raptors are selling Sun Life ad patches for fans to apply to their replica jerseys (which are sold without the ad patch), taking the NBA’s uni-ad obsession to dizzying new lows (from Timothy Chiu). … The Bucks brought out the alternate court design for last night’s game against the Warriors (from C.M. Hawkins).
College/High School Hoops News: What do these nine doves on the shorts of the Goose Creek High School (SC) basketball team represent? The nine churchgoers at the Charleston Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church slaughtered by white supremacist Dylann Roof in 2015. A beautiful, poignant memorial to those nine people (excellent find by @willchitty4). … Louisville women went red-at-home against white-on-road Notre Dame on Thursday (from Josh Claywell). … Vanderbilt is wearing black at home tomorrow against Kentucky and are encouraging fans to do the same (from Josh Hinton). … The Big 12 Conference logo was backwards on K-State’s Peyton Williams’ Play 4 Kay pink jersey last night (from Mason Voth).
Soccer News: The crest of thew newest NPSL club FC Columbus was unveiled yesterday, and it looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint. We’re less than two weeks in, and we might have our worst logo of 2018. Blech. … Our very own Jamie Rathjen found this excellent photo of Nottingham Forest midfielder John Metgod in black tights and fur-lined gloves in a wintry 1987 FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace. … Footy Headlines put together a piece showing all the leaked kits from the major European leagues (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh Hinton: the United Soccer League has realigned. … One more from Josh: Borussia Dortmund fans are boycotting a Monday night home match in February against Augsburg due to discontent with the “absurd” kick-off time.
Grab Bag: Northwest Nazarene University’s new mascot was unveiled yesterday: the Nighthawk. Previously, NNU’s mascot was the “Crusader” (from Tyler Keefe). … Remember 2004 and 2008 Democratic Party presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich? He’s running for Governor of Ohio and released his campaign logo on Friday. The problem? Kucinich’s logo is blue and yellow – University of Michigan colors. Yesterday, he dropped the yellow and moved to an all-blue logo.
University of Auburn? *facepalm*
i wonder if Northwest Nazarene University should be “University of the Nazarene from the Northwest”
“University of Auburn”, indeed
So that someone will look at this and understand in case they don’t pick up on the sarcasm, “University of Auburn” should read “Auburn University.”
Or it could just be “Auburn”.
Project 615 is awesome! I have 5-6 of the T-shirt’s and they’re legit.
Six points in a chevron? I don’t get it.
The beginning and end points of the chevron (top and bottom) are presumably four of the six points.
The crest of thew newest NPSL club…
Baseball ticker correction:
The Moondogs play in the Northwoods League, not the North West.
Further to the discussion of alternate looks for the Packers, their similarly-dressed neighbours to the north have actually worn the yellow/green/green and yellow/green/white combos noted. These combos were worn only a few random times.
Unlike the Packers, the CFL Edmonton Eskimos have employed a number of combos in their forest green and yellow. This photo shows a number of combos from the early aughts to 2015. The top 2 right photos show the yellow/green/green and yellow/green/white for a real-life look from some years back.
Speaking of CFL, whether it is a white helmet or silver, the Montreal Alouettes would look better in neither. They wore a 1970s throwback a few years back which they really should have kept as their full-time uniform. Back to a blue helmet. People can’t honestly believe that their present look is better than this:
They should go back to that entire look. Fantastic.
Actually pairing the Cowboys CR jersey with silver pants is the original way.
That jersey was debuted in the mid 90’s (I call it the Little Giants uniform) and paired with the silver pants.
It’s actually called the Double Star uniform.
Right. I just call them that because th debuted in the movie a month before they appeared on the actual field.
Good find…I would personally prefer a more classic grey than the blue tint grey they normally wear.
The Saints combo would be good, and New Orleans actually wore black jerseys with white pants from 1976-85.
“Arkansas confirming what we already suspected: recruiting plays a big role in team uniform selection”
I’m not sure it’s as big as the shoe companies like to boast it is. The teams with the best players win the titles in college football so let’s look at that. Alabama has won five national championships in the last nine seasons wearing basically the same uniform (I think they had a special jersey/pants combo once in that time and the changes were barely noticeable on the jersey).
The other teams that won titles in that time span? Florida State won a championship wearing essentially two uniforms for most of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure. Auburn won a title and never changes uniforms. Clemson and Ohio State won championships and they do some different things.
But all in all, that’s seven national championships in nine years by teams that don’t change uniforms. They got the best players and didn’t need a thousand uniforms to pull that off.
“…the six boroughs of Toronto”? Come on, NBA…
Toronto isn’t New York; it doesn’t have boroughs. There were however five cities, ONE borough, and a regional government that combined to form the current city of Toronto.
Another interesting piece in that John Metgod picture: He’s wearing artificial turf boots (as is Steve Kettering, I suspect). It would appear that Selhurst park (home of Crystal Palace FC) did not have undersoil heating, and we’re suffering from a frozen pitch. Usually that would have been cause for postponing the match, but that was during a time when they shared the ground with Charlton Athletic, so potential cancellations would have been extra troublesome.
Is Selhurt Park heated today?
Interesting to see the backwards Big 12 logo on the K-State basketball uniform. Were they possibly having some sort of celebration of their history in the Big 8?
I know when the Big 12 first started they would have XII on one side of their courts for the new conference and IIX on the other side of the court to honor their past in the Big 8.
I remember that! I always thought it was really classy.
Love the fact in AHL Hockey news (GR fauxbacks) that the GR Griffins mashed-up the Cleveland Monsters and the old NHL Barons logos. Interesting touch! See the scoreboard.
Bills look good in anything with current template, as long as they never go back to Jim Kelly-era or 2000s Alouettes look.
Packers should NEVER be in white pants. I will take the blue/gold tops once a year, or maybe better once every two years.
Patriots home pants need to remain the silver so their backsides can continue to match color of the d*mn Lombardi Trophy itself!
re: the richmond flying squirrels, the work mark on the hat (and truly, the word mark in general) is horrific. the concept of a full workdmark on a hat is underrated, in my opinion, BUT these look like what a baseball exec who can’t draw would sketch up quickly at a meeting to give the designers an idea of what they want, at which point a professional design house, presumably employing highly skilled artists, would turn that quick doodle into something much more impressive.
they clearly did not.
i have to assume the involvement of brandiose here, although i could be wrong, it’s a pretty safe bet with minor league branding schemes these days. if i am correct, then i have to say that, while many of brandiose’s ideas have a solid foundation, the execution often seems amateur or incredibly rushed at best. eg: the gwinnett stripers utilize a navy/moss green/scarlet color combo in the branding package, but the jersey sets incorporate zero red outside of the hat logos, making that use of red seem terribly out of place, and the jerseys use a highlighter green rather than the darker more drab green of the broader design package creating a mismatch with the hat logos once again and making the whole combo look trashy. the minor league’s newfound love of novelty costumes also seems to have cheapened the quality of the jerseys as well, perhaps because it gets expensive to have 4-6 main jersey sets plus a different novelty jersey every week.
i have done lots of major league redesigns that i have not yet shared, but the “brandiose trend” has got me started on some minor league redesigns, and has me pondering how a minor league redesign (or re-redesign) contest might play out…
Dave — shoot me an e-mail (phil.hecken@gmail) on those concepts. Possible column or contest …
A lot of the Twitter reaction to the Raptors jerseys seemed to have issues with either using “North” instead of “Toronto” or with the Drake/OVO color scheme.
I don’t have any issue with the former, but the latter I just don’t like. Part of the function of uniforms (at least for me) is the idea that I can recognize which team is playing simply by glancing at the TV screen. I know there’s no other black/gold teams in the NBA, but I’m just now getting used to them in their current set, much less introducing new ones every year.
My problem with “north” is that Minneapolis and Portland are both north of Toronto
Do you consider the Raptors as Canada’s team?
If they represent Canada as a whole (and I would think that they would embrace that larger market), then your point is moot. If they represent solely Toronto, I think that’s more of an argument.
It is a difficult situation for me as a Canadian West Coaster to consider the Raptors as Canada’s team.
Last NBA game I went to (years ago) was a Vancouver Grizzlies home game. Vancouver Grizzlies were my team and the Raptors were our natural rival. Now they have asked us not to be a rival anymore.
The Raptors represent our consolation prize. However, I tip my hat to them as they have done a great job trying to win us over. We’ve had a few Raptors exhibition games here and they’ve held training camp here. We the North – Indeed!!
I went to a Reading Royals game last night and someone in attendance was already wearing a Hershey Bears outdoor sweater.
RIP Keith Jackson, Al Michaels and Bob Uecker about last of the greats from my childhood.
Probably should’ve grammar-checked that post. For a moment, I thought all three had died!
Devil’s Advocate – If I were to already own one of the new Raptors jerseys (just imagine that alternate universe), my anal-retentiveness would probably compel me to buy one of the patches, or else I would feel like the jersey was “incomplete”. I collect Chelsea FC shirts so maybe I’m more numb to advertisements than many, but if I were to see a Chelsea shirt without the big “Yokohama Tyres” logo on it, it would immediately scream Chinese bootleg to me.
Of course, I’m also a guy who spent money and hand-sewed a “Badger” Bob Johnson memorial patch on a Bob Errey sweater, so YMMV.
Love the Carlisle photo. 2nd row 2nd from left is Jim Thorpe himself. Greatest athlete ever.
Watching the MSU/UM basketball game and those Michigan unis with yellow names over gold numbers leave something to be desired .
Is a Crusader now somehow offensive?
From Wikipedia: “The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term “Crusades” is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage.”
There would be problems with religious institutions seen as celebrating these methods to build the church and grow the faith.
I actually don’t even hate the BFBS-ish look
Black is a Ravens team color. So there’s no BFBS. And they *look* like Ravens when they wear mono-black, so it’s very appropriate.
Clever use of the little Ohio for the bottom of his exclamation mark. Now to see if said punctuation will help him more than when Jeb! ran for president…
All 3 Ravens jerseys pair best with black pants and white second. The main beef in today’s article was the lack of stripe on the pants, however, their purple CR pants and one-time gold pants would in fact be better looking with no stripes. The stripes on the CR pants are bulky and generic as are most of the CR pants. The Gold has been purely disliked mainly because of its assimilation to the black helmet yellow pants look for the Steelers. I am in the minority but personally think the gold pants are a nice alternate. Ravens fans said a few years back they’d prefer to see silver pants but those have never come to fruition. I assume they’d look just like the Cowboys pants with purple stripes ala Kansas State.
RE Buffalo Bills (white jerseys with red CR pants)
Ok, this when had me thinking when I saw it. I know with the current one helmet rule it will never fly but what if you replace the helmet with the 1965 standing buffalo helmet? The buffalo is red and almost matches that color of the pants, with the white matching the jersey.
I think it would be a good look but that’s my opinion and knowing my aesthetics I could be way off base.
They wore the standing Buffalo a number of times the last few years. Not a helmet change, but a decal swap.
Eight teams left in playoffs and Brady only QB with double-digit number.
Rest In Peace, Keith Jackson. You made everything from college concussionball to the NBA to MLB to cliff diving in Acapulco sound fantastic. I will miss you.
Concussionball? Really? C’mon!
Why is it that some mono-colored nfl uniforms look good but all hockey ones look like pajamas? Many NFL teams have and all-white or all color look, but in hockey it looks horrendous. The previous Hurricanes unis looked like red pajamas, as did the ducks 2014 stadium series.
Can we see the Lions color rush tops with the regular grey home pants (the ones that actually have stripes) or with the blue pants? I fell like that would look good.
Also regarding the Saints uniforms I agree wholeheartedly that they should bring back the old gold. The only thing I like about the Vegas gold is that if the Saints ever have an all-gold uniform it would look much better in Vegas gold than the old gold.
Great follow up today on the rash ointment. I love calling these looks ointment and hope it creates cleaner looks for the future. That being said, I’d like to reiterate that the softening of the 1 shell rule could have an enormous overall effect on the color rash because it opens up far more combinations. Imagine taking throwback helmets alternate jerseys and color rush pants and rolling them all into one look!!! The idea of more combos is fun and worth following on a weekly basis but the hope would be no one jumped too far off the deep end. I would personally like to see NE wear their throwback helmets and pants with the color rush blue top and ATL with Red helmet, throwback white jerseys and red color rush pants
Thanks for the link to the Goose Creek shorts. I’m local (like, two buildings down from Emmanuel and a co-worker of one of the victims local) and hadn’t seen that in any area media.
That Toronto number font is awesome. We need more curvy-yet-geometric numbers like that.
New warmups are probably for retail sales? Are you suggesting the Raptors are in business to make money?! Those bastards!