For Better ... or For Worse?

By Phil Hecken

With the New York Jets dropping unveiling their new uniforms Thursday evening (I’ll have my own thoughts on these following this section, plus Paul had his own takes on Sports Illustrated as well as some more opinion/updates on yesterday’s UW lede, if you hadn’t already seen those), I thought now might be a good time to look at the nine teams (and 10 total redesigns) who have now redesigned their uniforms under the Nike contract. That’s almost 1/3rd of the league.

Many people feared the worst when swooshie won the league’s uniform contract (beginning with the 2012 season), thinking Nike’s design influence (and designers) would turn the entire NFL into a clown show. But other than the 2012 Seahawks, and the awful “nikelaces”, Nike basically made the same uniforms the teams had worn under the contract of the previous uniform supplier. Since then, nine teams (with the Jaguars redesigning twice) have changed their uniforms under Nike, with a hit or two, and many misses. Sure, many of us (myself included) would love to see teams wearing their “classic” looks (whether that be from the 60s, 70s or 80s, with a few “throwbacks” that have also followed), the ten redesigns have certainly been … interesting.

But we (or at least I) can’t blame Nike for these redesigns, and in a few cases, I think the new designs produced by Nike were actually better than what came immediately before them. While I’m sure Nike’s designers have had influence over the new designs of the past eight (counting 2019) years, they are still vetted and approved by the respective teams. Some of the changes have been for the better, but most have been for the worst. Let’s look at those now…

• • • • • •

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Redesign Year: 2012

I didn’t like these when they first debuted, but they’ve grown on me. In fact, I kinda like them now. I don’t like the mono-blue they wear for all home games, and I wish we could see them more in their blue over gray (which looks pretty sharp), but the mono-blue at home is kinda their thing. No, they’ll probably never go back to their silver/royal/silver classics, but you have to remember the awful mono-“suicide blue” the current uniforms replaced. In this instance, the redesign was an improvement.

VERDICT: For better

• • • • • •

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Redesign Year: 2013

Yeah, these were terrible. But let’s face it, the uniforms these replaced were nothing to write home about either. But the new designs were worse in almost every way — perhaps the best thing about the immediate predecessor was the helmet, which “color shifted” from teal to black depending upon the light. The 2013-2017 helmet was probably the worst in NFL history, which made the new uni-set even worse. Combine that with the crappy fonts and truncated striping and you had one of the worst redesigns ever. No wonder they ditched these as soon as they could (the “five year rule”).

VERDICT: For Worse

• • • • • •

MIAMI DOLPHINS
Redesign Year: 2013

I might have been one of the few who didn’t hate the 2013 redesign. Yes, they took a classic helmet logo and turned it into a *ahem* shell of its former self, but overall I didn’t think the new unis were that bad. And what those unis replaced wasn’t the “classic” Dolphins uni, but one that had terrible block shadow numbers an aqua color that wasn’t quite aqua. Still, the new uni wasn’t an improvement — but it wasn’t a huge downgrade (helmet logo excluded) over the previous set. No, it’s no where near as good as the current throwbacks, but with the tweaks the team made in 2018, the new design has held up fairly well.

VERDICT: Push

• • • • • •

MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Redesign Year: 2013

If you want to argue that this uniform was a downgrade based solely on the ridiculously stupid “sail” font numbers the team got, I can’t really argue with you. The fact that the first digit in a two-digit number is purposefully different is my major complaint about this uniform. But remember, what those replaced, with the full contrasting side panels and truncated pants “stripe” were pretty wretched too. Take away the “sail” font (I know you can), and I’d argue these were an improvement, however incrementally small that may be. And bonus points for the satin helmet, which I think goes a bit better with the new unis (and it’s certainly better than the mismatched purples of years past).

VERDICT: For better

• • • • • •

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Redesign Year: 2014

I’m not sure there is a worse uniform in the NFL currently than the Tampa Bay Bucs, but if this isn’t the worst, it’s close (we’ll get to the Browns in a minute). Now, I was never much of a fan of the pewter/red/pewter the Bucs wore previously (although the all white was OK). But there was not a single element of the 2014 redesign — from the contrasting yokes (and that “BUCS” on the “sleeve”) to the truncated pants striping (and giant helmet logo) to the glow-in-the-dark “alarm clock” fonts — that was an improvement on the previous uni. With the current “one-helmet” rule we may never see the Bucco Bruce creamsicles again, but the team can’t ditch the current unis fast enough. In fact, they’re “due” for a new uni (since the five year rule ends) this season. Nothing they introduce can be worse than what they currently sport. Nothing.

VERDICT: For worse

• • • • • •

CLEVELAND BROWNS
Redesign Year: 2015

There may not be a better poster child for “DON’T DO THIS” uniform redesign than the 2015 Cleveland Browns — not just because the current uniforms are really bad, from the well, pretty much everything, but upshadow and Team Name Down Leg are up there — but also because the set they replaced, while not classically great, where certainly classic enough. It’s no wonder the Browns will redesign next year, once their five year window closes. It says something when your color rash uniform is better than your “standard” set.

VERDICT: For worse

• • • • • •

DETROIT LIONS
Redesign Year: 2017

After absolutely wrecking the previous two uniform redesigns, Nike and the Lions redeemed themselves with the 2017 set. Lest you forget, by 2016 the Lions uniforms had drifted far from their modern classic look — yes, the previous set was heavy on the BFBS, but their penultimate set still had some black elements. So with the 2017 set, the team didn’t demonstrably worse. Yes, the mono-blue was visually jarring, and the all gray color rash was awful (I don’t really count the CR in this), my biggest complaint would really be the TNOS (team name on sleeve). These weren’t an upgrade to be sure, but definitely a lateral one. YMMV.

VERDICT: Push

• • • • • •

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Redesign Year: 2018

Is there a surer sign a franchise has lost its uni way when it goes through THREE uniform redesigns in the minimum amount of time? Well, if you look back at the “first” redesign under Nike (above), you’ll note the Jags replaced pretty crappy uniforms with even crappier ones. What you may not recall is that the design their 2009-12 redesign replaced also only lasted five seasons. Given the chance to get it right (they wore that as recently as 2008), the team pretty much redeemed themselves with their 2018 redesign. No, it wasn’t perfect, not by any means, but it was SOOOO much better than what it replaced. There’s hope for the Browns after all.

VERDICT: For better

• • • • • •

TENNESSEE TITANS
Redesign Year: 2018

Annnnnnnd, then there are the Titans. OK, some of the previous combos were questionable. And while I always loved the ‘classic’ pants stripes, I never thought they jibed with the shoulder yokes and helmet stripes that diverged and truncated in the back, but the team had a consistent (and pretty unique) look over the years. That all changed (and for the worse) in 2018. Whether it was the too thin fonts or the truncated underarm stripes or the two-tone “sword” shoulder yoke or the repeating two-tone “element” that is on the pants, nothing is an improvement. Even the change to a blue helmet is at best a lateral move. They’re not the worst unis in the game, but they’re definitely a step down from their previous set.

VERDICT: For worse

• • • • • •

NEW YORK JETS
Redesign Year: 2019

I’ll have more to say on the Jets new uniforms below, and it’s difficult to render too many verdicts until we see these on the field of play, but the Jets had an almost impossible task (similar to the Browns) with their redesign: replacing an almost classic uniform with a redesign. No, the Jets weren’t wearing the Broadway Joe beauties (they’d become a lot more hunter/olive in color, but they were pretty close). It’s pretty safe to say the new unis, especially with the introduction of the mono-black uniform will likely be viewed as a huge downgrade. I don’t quite see it that way (as you’ll see below), but they didn’t improve upon their previous set (except in color).

VERDICT: For worse

• • • • • •

And there you have it. More on the Jets below, but as you can see, it’s important to view the redesigns under Nike in perspective: it’s not whether the current uniform holds up to a team’s all time best uniform (an almost impossible standard to achieve, for any team), but did the redesign improve the team’s look from the previous set. And in that regard, while I’d say the majority of the redesigns in the “Nike era” have been downgrades, not every one was. I (among others) like to give swooshie grief (and much of it may be deserved), but remember — the teams have to approve any designs (even if done entirely by Nike), and in the end, they have only themselves to blame if the final product doesn’t work on the field. For better or for worse, the redesigns of the past eight or so years attempt to reflect changing sensibilities of both fans and players (and owners), and the results aren’t always as bad as they seem.

What say you?

My Take On The New J-E-T-S Uniforms

You’re probably had enough of the New York Jets uniform news by now (but if not, and if you haven’t already, be sure to read Paul’s take on Sports Illustrated as well as some more opinion/updates on yesterday’s UW lede). I watched the unveiling on the Interwebs (and I’m not altogether unhappy I wasn’t there, but it would have been fun to catch up with Paul, Todd & Chris) so my perspective might be a bit different than Paul’s — although as usual I find myself in agreement with a lot of what he has already opined. I also had a bit of a say above in today’s lede where I remarked how it will be tough for the Jets to create a “better” uniform to replace the ones that are (1) in and of themselves basically throwbacks to their Super Bowl duds; and (2) basically 20 years old as it is. So, anything above minor tweaks will make their new uniform sets a “major” redesign.

First, while these uniforms may seem like fauxbacks to the pre-1998 set, especially with the green helmets and black number outlines, I’d argue they’re harkbacks, at best. Yes, some elements from that previous design reappear with the 2019 set, but for all intents and purposes, they’re basically new.

Before I give you my thoughts, one of the things Paul pointed out that happened (or didn’t happen) at the unveiling was the “cringeworthy and embarrassing” storytelling that frequently accompanies these events — he may not have had to endure such Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean Nike couldn’t resist. To wit:

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit Ugh. I know it’s not sexy to say “we have some new uniforms, and here’s what they look like,” but c’mon. On the other hand, as I’m still not gainfully employed, perhaps Nike is looking for a new copy writer. I’m available.

Barring any unforeseen (and what would be, very likely not good) changes, the team will have four different “basic” combinations (green/white, white/white, green/green, and white/green) plus the mono-black uniform. Let’s look at those quickly.

Green/White

One assumes this will be the default home uniform.

White/White

Hopefully this is the standard road (or perhaps early season home) uniform.

Green/Green

That’s a LOT of green.

White/Green

Pairs nicely with the green helmet.

Mono Black

Sigh.

OK — this set really has a lot of potential, but it falls just short of the mark. First there’s the good: Despite my preference for a white hat for the Jets, I really REALLY like the new helmet. And I’m not normally a fan of shiny lids at all, but this helmet, in this shade of green, REALLY looks good. Granted, we’ve yet to see it on the field of play (always a caution, as with the uniforms as well), but from the few shots I’ve seen, it’s sharp.

The color is great, but I’m definitely not as much of a fan of the wordmark — I get where they’re going (do they really need the football?) but it seems a bit blocky. I know there’s no way they could go with a gray facemask (my personal preference for almost all helmets), but I’m glad it’s not white. Green would probably be overload, so the black, while not my first choice, probably works best here. This may end up being one of the better helmets in the NFL. Give it a few years.

I’m also a big fan of the green. It’s not quite kelly, but it’s close. I won’t give the absolutely ridiculous (cringe-inducing, almost) “shades” for green, white and black the team/Nike have created, but you can glean them from these tweets:

Yeah, they’re green, white and black. If you need an adjective to describe the shade of green, you know — that actually tells you something about the shade of green — then don’t give it the nickname of New York City as a descriptor. But, I do like it.

Three of the five combos should look really great of the field — the green/white, white/white and white/green. Unfortunately, with only the green socks shown (at last for the white and green pants), the dreaded leotard look with the green pants happens. Let’s hope the players don’t adopt the biker short look with those either.

The mono-black (with black socks) will just not look good (ever) with the green helmet. There’s not nearly enough green on the uniform to bring the hat into play. With the exception of the Raiders, I don’t think any black shirted team looks good with a non-black helmet, and this will probably prove no exception.

I will not beat the BFBS dead horse (if you read Paul’s piece[s], he gives a good explainer why the BFBS is both bad and dated), but I get that uniforms these days are as much made for a much younger demographic and the players (who probably all fall into that same demographic), and of course, we all know they “sell” better, so I’m sure Nike was really bummed to go this route. TPFIC of course.

One feature I was sure I would hate (but which is already growing on me) is the striping pattern on the jersey:

And I really don’t like truncated and/or pointy stripes on pants, but it actually kinda works with the new Jets look (just pretend they don’t sorta resemble the swoosh):

I don’t even hate the way the stripes are “pointy” in the front, but square off on the back of the jersey:

Why do I dislike this type of feature on other uniforms but not on the Jets? I think it’s because these are the only doo-dads: they Jets were remarkably restrained (I think) with this uniform. They kept the bells and whistles to a minimum, and that’s I think why it works here.

One of the “newer” gimmicks of the next-gen (Nike) uniforms is the tendency to put the team name on the jersey (whether it be on the sleeve, like the Bucs and Lions, or on the chest, like with the Browns), and the giant honking “NEW YORK” (in that fat font) is probably the least attractive feature on the new jerseys. We know you’re the New York Jets. A small wordmark (or none at all) would have been much better. This is one place where “less is more” doesn’t apply.

Yeah, we get it.

Another of Nike’s “signature” design efforts seems to be the creation of a new number font for each team it has assisted in redesigning. That may be the case here, but the fairly standard block numbers are a pleasant surprise. When these uniforms were first described by those who’d seen mockups, the words “Oregon-like” were often used. Restraint here was definitely the better part of valor!

I have no problem with the black outlines on the numbers of the white and green jerseys. Since these are harkbacks to the prior set, these work. I don’t however think the green outline on the black jerseys adds anything to the look. It’s close enough to black that it just seems to get lost on the jersey. Maybe they won’t look so bad on the field and in the sunshine, but from the studio shots, I could do without (yes, for consistency sake, the outlines make sense — but from a design standpoint, they don’t work):

NOB is totally fine on all three jerseys — again, a nice, basic (readable) font without any doo-dads. Thankfully they did NOT use the wordmark font for the NOB font.

That’s pretty much it — I can’t say they “nailed it” — and just a “few” minor tweaks could have REALLY made this jersey shine…

…but I’m not unhappy with what they came up with.

I know the reaction on social media was to really trash these unis (some moreso than others), but I think these are aight. Not great — the team is ditching a classic — but not Bucs/Browns-bad either. Is that damning with faint praise? Perhaps, but I realize I’m no longer the target audience for new unis these days. And rather than screaming at clouds, I think we should all just be happy with what the Jets have redesigned. Next year we’ll have at least two (Browns, Rams) redesigns, and possibly more. I don’t expect either team to adopt throwbacks, so let’s use the Jets as the new standard for a “modern” update. It could have been a lot worse. And honestly, that’s saying something. If the Jets do indeed keep these 20 years (I believe that was stated at the unveiling last night), I bet these do actually stand the test of time.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

Got a Cubs alternate jersey concept from Randall Sanders:

Phil,

Cubs alternate home jersey concept

The Cubs are unique in wearing the National League patch on their blue alternate jerseys, but have worn their alternates exclusively on the road for years now. I miss the blue jerseys with the pinstriped home pants, so this is my concept for an alternate blue home jersey.”

Randall Sanders
Twitter: @RandallJSanders

Thanks Randall. OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

The Ticker
By Anthony Matthew Emerson

Baseball News: The Rockies’ new plain white home pants do retain a single purple stripe down each leg (from @so_it_gohs). … Speaking of the Rockies and also posted in the hockey section: a fan wore a weird Rockies-Avs split jersey during last night’s Rockies/Dodgers game (from @matoooooe and Ryan Osborn). … The Braves debuted their beautiful new red jerseys last night against the Marlins (from many, many readers). … Speaking of the Braves/Marlins game, Miami P Pablo López is an early frontrunner for “best stirrups in baseball” (from E.I. Pérez). … Mariners OF Mallex Smith seems to have a custom belt with a message (from Zack Seward). … Appears that Bryce Harper still had No. 34 on his compression sleeve during last night’s game (from Kevin McGuire). … Blue Jays OF Sócrates Brito still has his Padres bat-knob decal, which is understandable considering he was a member of the Padres four days ago (from @cantplaypiano). … Speaking of the Blue Jays: P Marcus Stroman designed the uniforms of the junior baseball team he’s sponsoring (from James E. Siddall). …Astros P Lance McCullers wore a 90s Astros cap in an Instagram post honoring former teammate Dallas Keuchel (from Ignacio Salazar). … The clock above the scoreboard at Oracle Park has been removed as part of the installation of a new scoreboard (from Collin Spencer). … The Busch Stadium left field scoreboard briefly displayed the 2016 Padres logo instead of the current one (from Brandon Wright-Rowan). … The Red Sox actually had an unveiling for their atrocious new Green Monster ad, and put it on their official Twitter page. Yuck (from @ohhhsourry). … Oh my god, check out these amazing Star Wars Night jerseys the Durham Bulls will be wearing on May 4. Absolutely ingenious idea (from Andy Specht and Josh Knapp). … The Fresno Grizzlies’ new red pants made their debut on Opening Day (from Kristopher Sharpe). … A couple uni tweaks for my hometown Portland Sea Dogs, Double-A affiliates of the Red Sox: the team added a new sleeve patch depicting the state of Maine, and changed their number font from McAuliffe to their own proprietary font . … The Daytona Tortugas, Class-A Advanced affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds, wore The Hangover-inspired unis for Opening Day last evening (from Barry Spears). …  Cut4 ranked the MiLB’s Copa de Diversión logos (from Ben DeLost). … North Hardin (Ky.) High and Meade (Ky.) High each went with black unis for their recent softball game (from Josh Claywell). … Andy Kanzer‘s son is playing for the Anaheim Angels in Little League — a name that had stopped existing three years before the younger Kanzer was born! … Some nice unis worn in this 2004 clip of Conan O’Brien visiting an Olde Time Base Ball game in Old Bethpage, N.Y. It’s also among the funniest things I’ve ever seen (from James Gilbert).

NFL News: The incomparable Barry Petchesky at Deadspin has some very strong opinions on the new Jets unis. … Russell Goutierez posted a bunch of screenshots from this YouTube video, highlighting various uni and logo anomalies including this odd midfield logo for the Cowboys and odd endzone logo for the Jets combined with green-and-white candy-striped goalposts. … The Greater Cleveland Food Bank constructed Baker Mayfield out of cans in the South Park Mall (from @cdud1970).

Hockey News: The Hurricanes will wear their black hurricane flag sweaters at home in the playoffs (from William I. Wells). … The Rangers wore jerseys with “Thank You” on the front instead of “Rangers” during warm-ups last night (from Al N. Kreit and @GameplanCHI). … The Blackhawks wore warmup jerseys with photographs of each season ticket-holder incorporated into the uni numbers before last night’s game (from Griffin T. Smith and Noah Jennings), though Ethan Freund found some people who are certainly not Blackhawks season ticket holders hiding in the collage. … Cross-posted from the baseball section: a fan wore a weird Rockies-Avs split jersey during last night’s Rockies/Dodgers game (from @matoooooe and Ryan Osborn).

College Hoops News: The Wall Street Journal published an article (paywalled) about why Virginia and Auburn have such similar colors (from Ashby Jones and Jeremy Glenn). … Texas briefly declared themselves “National Champions” after winning the NIT, then thought better of it (from Kary Klismet).

Soccer News: US Soccer gave FW Alex Morgan a jersey with No. 100 in honor of her 1ooth goal for the USWNT (from Brendan Orr and John Flory). … Here are the kits for the remaining matches of matchweek 33 in the Premier League (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: Naomi Osaka has moved from Adidas to Nike (thanks, Brinke). … Absolutely gorgeous throwback helmets coming for Syracuse men’s lacrosse (from @PhillyPartTwo). … New leotards for Alabama gymnastics (from Griffin T. Smith).

39 comments to For Better … or For Worse?

  • Andrew Oliver | April 6, 2019 at 7:58 am |

    Agree on all the for better/worse except Titans and Jets who for me are clearly much better. Never liked any combination for Titans before and now they look interesting. The Jets have had a boring uniform with a dark green that never looked good on tv or madden. As a 30 year old, I can remember liking them 90s looks somewhat but even seeing those next to the new set…I was like wow the new unis are great. They are really going to pop on tv.

    As with most who write articles on uniforms, you sometimes have those old man opinions…hates black alternates (which again look good, especially with that splash of green, plus all black atls provides nice matchups against other teams’ whites or lights) yearns for basic boring uniforms of decades ago.. zzzz

    I can enjoy simple like the new Jags and classic like the Raiders, Packers etc.. but some beloved classics I cant stand like the Colts.

    • Q | April 6, 2019 at 8:51 am |

      Im 33 and I think we’re in that sweet spot for a lot of stuff these days..not too old to hate everything but young enough to no love everything lol..I think some people are stuck on “classic” looks FOREVER but classic is often boring too

    • Cole | April 6, 2019 at 11:11 am |

      Personally, I just don’t like green and black. Green goes better with white.
      I also don’t like forest green (or midnight green or whatever other shade of drab dark green).
      Forest green looks like your went to LL Bean trying to find you something presentable, and bought you a drab green sweater since it’s close enough to navy that you might actually wear it.
      Bright green looks better.
      I have the same complaints about The Eagles uniforms.
      If the Packers add black, I will cry.

    • Wade Heidt | April 6, 2019 at 11:58 am |

      What’s wrong with the Colts uniform?

      • Phil Hecken | April 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm |

        Not a damn thing.

      • Jim Vilk | April 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm |

        Just need to bring back either the blue pants or the grey with the hip numbers. Other than that, nothing.

        • ChrisH | April 6, 2019 at 6:35 pm |

          Dump the olde tyme gray facemasks – white is good, blue is better.

    • Winter | April 7, 2019 at 12:48 am |

      “Old man opinions”….

      Doesn’t mean they’re wrong

  • GuidoRRMC | April 6, 2019 at 8:52 am |

    It saddens me that you even make a quick suggestion that an NFL team where white at home. Obviously I fall into the “old man” category as the comment above says, but I might be more tolerant of some of the redesigns if the league would become uniform about color home/white away.

    • Phil Hecken | April 6, 2019 at 9:57 am |

      I assume your comment is directed at my thoughts the Jets might where (sic) white at home during an early season game, as MANY teams are now wont to do during hot weather. The Jets themselves have quite a history of wearing white at home (scroll down) and in fact, from 85-89, did so for every home game. Other teams have done this, and of course, the Cowboys have basically done so since the Tex Schramm era.

      I have no problem with the home team wearing color at home, but it’s not like wearing white at home is some new, novel concept. Teams (like the Rams & Browns of old) used to do it all the time.

  • Willliam | April 6, 2019 at 9:17 am |

    Another aspect of the Jets jerseys that looks bad is the decision to put the Swoosh above the shoulder stripes, rather than within it like on the Seahawks jersey. Everything looks shoved together, and the TV numbers don’t read well. I also don’t understand the need to include a football in the helmet logo.

  • Graf Zeppelin | April 6, 2019 at 9:20 am |

    Concur for the most part on the Jets, although I think having more green on the BFBS is better than less; without the green numeral outlines it’s just the Jaguars’ BFBS. I also disagree about the black numeral outlines; the green is dark enough to contrast with the numbers, and the fact that the stripes and chest wordmark are not so outlined makes for an odd incongruity. I think they’d look fine without it.

    I also really like the helmet, more for the color than the overall design (viz., the decal), although it’s growing on me really fast.

    Here’s the thing about the shoulder/chest stripes: For one thing, the Jets inexplicably made *two* of the same mistakes the Browns made, and that no one likes: the chest wordmark, and the shoulder/sleeve stripes that extend too far onto the chest toward the collar. Both would look better if the stripes stayed on the sleeve, or at least didn’t extend as far inward. But notwithstanding, those of us who like and appreciate classic NFL uniforms have to deal with the fact that football jerseys don’t have sleeves anymore. Classic designs were made for shirts with sleeves, be they 3/4-length or short sleeves; modern football jerseys are basically stretch vests with armholes. Try though the teams with classic designs (like the Bears, Packers and Cowboys) might, designers simply can’t decorate sleeves the way they did in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. So they have to decorate other parts of the uniform, i.e., the front, back and sides. Which is what they’ve been doing with most of these new designs, and which we can expect will continue.

    I, too, appreciate the miminalist approach to the Jets’ new unis; no busy striping or random, shapeless, arbitrary color fields like some teams I could mention, and the numerals (while not ideal) are a huge relief. No fisherman-level catastrophe here. That said, the shoulders look a bit cluttered with the Nike swoosh (maker’s mark) between the TV numeral and the shoulder stripe, rather than below the latter.

    Two things get lost in the shuffle, I think: One is that the Jets have abandoned their classic, championship-winning look for the second time in team history (has any other franchise done that?), and the other is that the Jets are now the only New York team* taking the field/court/ice without its traditional, iconic look (which, I think, is a shame).

    All that said, I concur with both Phil’s and Paul’s ultimate assessment: The new unis are OK, but unnecessary.

    [* – The phrase “New York team” herein means professional sports franchises of the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball with the words “New York” (or the word “Brooklyn”) in their official names, irrespective of precisely where their corporate headquarters, training facilities and/or home arenas are physically, geographically and/or politically located; i.e., the Jets, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders, Yankees and Mets.]

    • Wade Heidt | April 6, 2019 at 12:20 pm |

      Do you consider the Nets currently wearing their traditional, iconic look due to the fact the have been reinvented as the Brooklyn Nets? When I think traditional, iconic look for the Nets, it is the blue and red with the stars. Dating back to the New York Nets days.

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm |

        The Nets are a tough call because they’ve existed in so many different iterations. I think there are two ways to look at it, in the context of the point being made: either (a.) the Brooklyn Nets are a unique entity, with its own iconic look; or (b.) the look they have now is a traditional look, even if it’s not necessarily that franchise’s traditional look.

        Another way to formulate it is that until Thursday, every New York team was wearing essentially the same look it wore in 1965, the problem with that being that the Nets and Islanders didn’t exist then.

        The larger point, of course, is that New York teams tend to stick with, or revert to, classic, traditional, iconic uniforms, a trend with which the Jets have (for now, at least) broken.

    • Jim Vilk | April 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm |

      the Jets have abandoned their classic, championship-winning look for the second time in team history (has any other franchise done that?

      The Nets did it too.
      https://lindseylank.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/nets-jersey-history.jpg?w=600
      Granted, the second time wasn’t an exact copy but extremely close.

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 6, 2019 at 5:04 pm |

        Wow; interesting. Looks like the Nets abandoned two classic looks twice.

  • Lou | April 6, 2019 at 9:44 am |

    You nailed the assessment of the new Jets set, Phil. I am the same age as you and I agree with your take completely. I was fearing a Bucs, Falcons, Cardinals look, and not only is it not that, it is not even as bad as the Browns, Titans, or Jaguars. In this age of Nike re-designs. I view it as a big win. I was hoping for more of a refresh of the 90’s look, like in the Jamal Adams tweet from last year, but this isn’t too bad.

  • Mike K | April 6, 2019 at 9:59 am |

    I think it was really past time for the Jets to get new jerseys and anything that gets uniforms out of the 60s and 70s mode is a bright spot for me (really the Seahawks had classic jerseys? They were just old jerseys, they never accomplished anything of note wearing them or even had really high performing players wearing them). The Jets jerseys are 1963 era and I agree with Graf, that football uniforms, particularly jerseys just aren’t made like they were in the 60s. So stripes like the ones proposed in the markup make look “classic” but they don’t fit way a modern jersey fits. And if there aren’t stripes on the jersey sleeves, it makes more sense for the socks to go without stripes as well. I think the shoulder/chest stripe makes the Jets uniforms unique, which really should get a major part of the goal for uniforms, to make them unique.
    But I think the first assessment of the Seahawks thing really clarified something about this uniform analysis: that our first impressions aren’t necessarily right! The new Seahawks jerseys weren’t lauded when they first launched and they were unique, but after a combination of 5+ years wearing them and a couple Super Bowl appearances, we got used to them and now some are referring to them as classics! Maybe our idea of classic is really subjective and just a matter of what we’re used to!
    Every jersey doesn’t have to harken back to history or some classic jersey, we need some uniforms that push design forward (like the Tequila Sunrise Astros). Are the Jets uniforms great? I don’t think so initially, but we’ll have to see what our impression of them is going forward

  • MJ | April 6, 2019 at 10:09 am |

    In every instance of Nike-drive. Uniform changes, you basically say that Nike made it better because it was better than what preceded it immediately. But that’s only because in every case, the uniform they replaced was WORSE than what preceded it! The Seahawks original blue/green/silver is light years better than the “suicide blue” mono set, the Lions were better before going overboard with BFBS, the Vikings made a mess of their uniforms with gratuitous piping before the current set, the Jags went from their original look to the gold-free nonsense which begat the awful look that came before what they have now, the Bucs and Browns are still a mess, and the Titans are minimally better. Basically, “we took something good, messed it up, then gave you something less crappy – success!”
    Weird bespoke fonts, contrived nesting numbers, city/state name across the chest/thigh, poor striping designs are all staples of Nike’s design ethic. That said, they showed more restraint than I expected with the Jets. The NOB font is blessedly plain, and the numbers are a slight variation from a legible standard and call fighter plane numbering to mind. Love the glossy green lids, and other than the BFBS mono set (guess they didn’t learn from seeing how bad the Eagles look in BFBS with green shells) and oversized city name, I can live with these.

  • St Augustine | April 6, 2019 at 10:19 am |

    Just saw the # 11 Jets jersey. Looks like a giant PAUSE button.

  • Ron | April 6, 2019 at 10:30 am |

    Re: that weird Rockies’Avalanche jersey, the Back has the number 33 split down the middle, with ROYKER as the name as in “Roy/Walker” for PAtrick Roy and Larry Walker. So yeah, it gets a lot worse. https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/colorado-avalanche-rockies-royker-33-982973635

    • DenverGregg | April 6, 2019 at 11:14 am |

      those were very common ca 2002

      • ron | April 6, 2019 at 6:29 pm |

        I thought they were not good then, and the concept hasn’t aged well. BTW, we should meet for a Rox game sometime. I live in Boulder but work in Denver most of the week.

  • Cole | April 6, 2019 at 10:57 am |

    I liked the two-tone Jags helmet. There. I said it.

    • agm | April 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm |

      I think it looked terrible, but I liked the idea. If they had done it with black and teal instead of black and gold, I think it could have worked.

  • RICKAZ | April 6, 2019 at 11:17 am |

    Sorry but this was a missed opportunity. Of course I would have been happy if they pretty much kept what they had but with the new green, but this new uniform could have been really good if they just would have been a little come conservative. I’m a big fan of white helmets, but I also really like this green helmet. Especially since there are no good green helmets in the league. The Eagles dark green is horrible. The “JETS” on the helmet is OK, but I agree the football is unnecessary. I actually think a jet similar to the 1990s, but located below where the football is would have been an improvement. And not a fan of the black face mask, but since they are sadly including a BFBS this is probably necessary. I don’t hate the “NEW YORK” like others, but I agree a smaller font or not at all would have been better. Or just a “NY”, but I really don’t think of the Jets as having a classic “NY” like the Giants or the two baseball teams from New York. Yah I hate the shoulder stripes, and they could have gone with a USC type shoulder stripe or pretty much any other classic striping. And I’m surprised that I don’t hate the pointy pant stripes, but I’d much rather have a standard stripe. Lastly with the socks giving the leotard look with the green and black pants, this could have easily been corrected with contrasting socks. Also I wonder if the green socks would work with the BFBS to balance out the green helmet and the other green elements on this uniform.

  • Skycat | April 6, 2019 at 11:28 am |

    Of all the flaws in the Jets’ uniforms, the one that stands out to me is the atrocious shoulders stripes which extend way too far. When I saw them, I immediately thought of those worn by the Chargers. These kind of stripes should be eliminated. Also, the arced pants stripes were a fad five years ago so that’s not an improvement. The helmet logo is way too busy. Much prefer the logo from the 1978-1979 era.

    As I can see, the only redeeming feature of the new unis is the improvement in the color. It’s a brighter, more attractive shade of green.

    • Steve D | April 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm |

      The use of BFBS came and went years ago also. This set overall is hideous.

  • Skycat | April 6, 2019 at 11:31 am |

    *Correction: make that the 1978-1989 Sack Exchange Era.

  • Tim | April 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm |

    “Jets edge for speed”.

    ROTFLMAO.

  • Jim Vilk | April 6, 2019 at 2:25 pm |

    On the other hand, as I’m still not gainfully employed, perhaps Nike is looking for a new copy writer. I’m available.

    Hold out for something better, man.

  • Gene Sanny | April 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm |

    Here’s something I just thought of, that I haven’t seen mentioned, and I kinda think it’s true. The Jets were forever a green and white team… Then they added black to their 80’s version (which originally was beautiful) because of the misguided thought that black makes things look tough. Then they came to their senses and went back to just green and white, but the green of course had to be darker because “tough”. Then we get this redesign… And there’s black all over the damn thing… Now here’s the thought I had. Even if the way it went down was the Jets said “give me a beautiful Kelly green and white uniform”, i think Nike piped up and said “that’s only 2 colors… How do we give you an alternate jersey to sell to the masses? How about we pop a little black in there, and then we have an excuse to make you a full black jersey?”

    I get that the black is all about $ and kids who have never had the pleasure of seeing good design, so they just love a mish mash of black and colors it has no business being paired with, but going forward, are we going to see the last team with just 2 colors, the colts, have to add a touch of black to their unis, just as an excuse to have an alternate jersey to sell? Look back… It already happened.. lions added black – black alternate, eagles added black – black alternate, 49ers added black (besides the thin logo outline) – black alternate, and now the Jets.

    I don’t see it as “being old” to have these opinions.. I’m an artist… I see great design and care taken by franchises to make gorgeous uniforms in the past… Look at the advertising work and signage of the past… Beautiful… light years ahead of today in terms of beauty.

    I deal with high school level uniforms for local teams.. I have for almost 25 years now. The catalogs they choose their uniforms from, with set pattern striping etc, are pretty terrible. Then you have a coach, who really doesn’t care that much, pick this jersey and these pants and whatever helmet and throw them together. So for at least 25 years now, these kids grew up thinking that’s what a uniform looks like… And that’s what we are getting in our pro unveilings. The NFL used to have the highest standards, and we’d just laugh at the colleges unveilings, who it felt like they got hold of those same terrible catalogs… But now just plain bad design (dark pants & dark socks together etc) is creeping into the NFL.

    I guess I gotta go do some vintage inspired NFL art to get out of this funk :)

    • Graf Zeppelin | April 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm |

      I think the black is something the Johnsons wanted. From what I’ve seen and read, team ownership wanted a third (trim) color, and they tried several before settling on black.

      Silver would have been better. But the Jets didn’t need a third color.

    • Q | April 6, 2019 at 8:11 pm |

      Eagles didnt add black to the current look, they had black in the Cunningham era as well. I dont see everyones problem with black (not with every color but executed right it looks very slick). Im not a fan of adding it for the sake of adding it but if its in the teams colors why not? Maybe Im just crazy but I’d love to see more color on color games, “color rush” type games without going monotone on monotone. Teams with light colors using that as away uniforms, Throwback games, etc. I couldnt imagine being a Cowgirls fan and having to see the same uniform combo 12 out of the 16 games for the sake of nostalgia.

  • Mark LaFountain | April 6, 2019 at 4:02 pm |

    Portland Sea Dogs shoulder patch? Thumbs up. Number font change? Gross. The McAuliffe font is a Red Sox standard. Change for change’s (and merchandising’s) sake.

  • Cort McMurray | April 6, 2019 at 4:33 pm |

    The new Jets outfits remind me of the uniforms teams wear in movies that are obviously about the NFL, but lacked the budget (or were too controversial) to get permission to use NFL licensed products. There’s something “The Replacements” or “Any Given Sunday” about them.

    On the plus side, I’m intrigued to see how Keanu Reeves does against NFL defenses.

  • Ted Mark | April 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm |

    RE: The Jets’ new uniforms. Can we move on, now? Please?

  • Rob S | April 6, 2019 at 7:04 pm |

    I’m pretty much with Phil on the Jets’ unis. Okay, not spectacular, but not horrible. My main thing is that since Nike took over, the shoulder stripes looked horrible, so if they’re not capable of replicating the 1963-1977 loops, then moving away from them is a plus for me.

    My biggest gripe about the Lions’ redesign isn’t actually the team name on one sleeve, but the permamemorial to William Clay Ford, Sr. on the other sleeve. Clearly this is Martha’s doing, because Lions fans in general would rather forget the old man.

  • Mark in Shiga | April 7, 2019 at 10:16 pm |

    One thing most of the redesigns have in common: pointlessly-innovative number fonts.

    I can’t help but feel like those fonts are designed jus tto push up the costs for fans buying the jerseys, and make it harder for counterfeiters.

    I’m a Bears fan — the only team to have a non-block font for a while — so I’m not against a little variety, but these days it’s getting nuts. I predict a return to plainer numbers in the next decade.