Never a dull moment in the NFL, where two more teams — the Bears and Cardinals — unveiled new alternate helmets yesterday, thereby becoming the latest clubs to take advantage of the one-shell rule’s demise. Let’s go one team at a time, shall we?
The Bears got things started yesterday announcing a new orange helmet, which will be worn with the same orange alternate jersey that they’ve been wearing since 2018. Here’s a before/after comparison of how that uni combo will now look:
On the plus side, the helmet now matches the jersey; on the down side, the navy socks now look out of place. Wouldn’t orange socks make more sense? Then again, the Bears did wear orange helmets, orange jerseys, and navy socks in 1933, so I suppose you could say that the new look has some historical precedent.
This uniform will be worn for two October games this season: at home against the Commies on Oct. 13 (a Thursday-night game) and on the road against the Cowboys on Oct. 30 (the day before Halloween — perfect for an orange helmet). You can see lots of additional pics of the helmet here and here.
A few hours after the Bears’ unveiling, the Cardinals made their own announcement, revealing a new BFBS helmet. If you view it up close, you can see that the black shell is impregnated with red metallic flake, which helps a bit (and is similar to the color-shifting black/turquoise helmet that the Jags wore from 2009 through 2012):
Remember, the Cards inexplicably have two different awful BFBS uniforms — the standard BFBS alternate jersey (which has white numbers and is worn with white pants) and the BFBS Color Rush design (red numbers, black pants). The new helmet will be worn with both of those uniforms and will modestly improve both of them, at least in terms of chromatic consistency, but this team is still an aesthetic train wreck and badly needs to blow everything up and go back to the drawing board. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a black cardinal? (Yes, I know, I know — hahahaha, glad we got that joke out of the way.)
The team didn’t bother to post any full-uni photos, but you can see more pics of the helmet by itself here.
The new helmet will be worn three times in 2022: on Aug. 21 against the Ravens (preseason, standard BFBS alt), on Oct. 9 against the Eagles (standard BFBS alt), and on Oct. 20 against the Saints (Thursday night, CR).
We’re now up to 13 NFL teams that have unveiled alternate helmets for 2022 (six of which are black alternates). In addition to the Bears and Cards, the other 11 are the Falcons (red throwback), Patriots (white throwback), Saints (black alternate), Commanders (black alternate), Texans (red alternate), Panthers (black alternate), Giants (navy throwback), Cowboys (white throwback), Jets (black alternate), Bengals (white alternate), and Eagles (black alternate).