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Monday Morning Uni Watch

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Good  morning! Hope everyone had a good weekend, as I did.

Now then: It was Spy vs. Spy yesterday in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers and Bengals went mono-black vs. mono-white. Made for a strange viewing experience, but at least there was plenty of contrast! Lots of additional photos here and here.

Here’s how it looked in action:

In other news from around the league yesterday:

  • The Commanders, whose training facility is in Virginia, added three rear-helmet memorial decals — “1,” “15,” and “41” — for the three UVa shooting victims:
  • In addition, Commanders coach Ron Rivera and tight end Logan Thomas wore UVa T-shirts prior to yesterday’s game:
  • Old school vs. new school in Denver, where the Broncos wore their Color Rash uniforms against the Raiders, whose uniforms are largely unchanged over the past half-century:
  • Very nice-looking game in New Orleans, as the Saints wore their gorgeous late-1960s throwbacks and the Rams wore white over yellow — their best-looking combo:
  • The Lions looked so bad, or at least weird, wearing white jerseys, plain white pants with no stripes, and white socks. It was like they were wearing white bodysuits. I realize that was probably the idea, but it didn’t make for a good look on the gridiron, at least for my sensibilities:
  • The Falcons wore their red-to-black gradient alternates:
  • Panthers players showed up at for their game against the Ravens in Baltimore wearing Baltimore Banners hockey jerseys. Why? Because tight end Ian Thomas grew up in Baltimore, played for the Banners — a youth rec team — and is now trying to raise money for them. Additional info here.
  • Speaking of players showing up in hockey jerseys, Cowboys running back Tony Pollard arrived for yesterday’s game in Minnesota wearing a Rangers sweater. Pollard has no NYC roots that I’m aware of (he grew up in Memphis), so I don’t know why he was repping the Rangers:
  • With the Browns/Bills relocated to Detroit due to the heavy snowfall in Buffalo, the end zones and midfield area still had Lions logos:

  • In that same game, Browns running back Nick Chubb ended up with an imprint of his shoulder pads on his jersey. Weird, considering this game was played on artificial turf.
  • KC, which usually pairs its white jersey with red pants, went white over white against the Chargers (interestingly, the last time they wore this combo was 11 months ago, also against the Chargers):
  • Speaking of KC, safety Juan Thornhill, who played college ball at Virginia, wore custom-painted cleats for the UVa shooting victims:
  • In that same game, the Chargers wore rear-helmet decals with the initials of fallen military veterans (although linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. didn’t have one, and running back Austin Ekeler had two of them):
  • Prior to that same game, KC tight end Travis Kelce wore a shirt celebrating the three Fs — football, family, and Fonzie — because actor Henry “Fonzie” Winkler, who’s a big Patrick Mahomes fan, was on the sidelines:
  • Not a single home team wore white.

(My thanks to Alan Kreit, L.J. Sparvero, John Turney, and our own Jamie Rathjen for their contributions to this section.)


 

ITEM! Broncos-Redesign Contest Announcement

With the Broncos apparently starting the process for a long-overdue new uniform set, I think it’s time for us to roll out a new design contest, so consider this the official announcement. Here are the ground rules:

  • Your submission should include a primary logo. If you wish, you can also provide a secondary or even a tertiary logo, but those are not required.
  • Your designs should include (a) one primary uniform with a colored jersey; (b) one primary uniform with a white jersey; (c) up to two throwback and/or alternate uniforms (which can include an alternate helmet color). All uniforms should include helmet, jersey, pants, and socks.
  • If you like, you can also include a field design, but that is not required.
  • You’re free to draw upon colors and design elements from the Broncos’ visual history. If you prefer, you’re also welcome to completely reimagine the Broncos with new colors, new iconography, new everything (except the team name — you have to stick with “Broncos”).
  • Your designs can be created in any digital or analog medium (Illustrator, Photoshop, crayon, whatever) and submitted in any standard digital format (JPG, PDF, TIFF, etc.). You can also create a video presentation, upload it to YouTube, and submit the YouTube link as your entry.
  • The files you submit should be named after yourself (JohnDoe.jpg, for example). If you’re submitting multiple files, please either number them (JohnDoe1.jpg, JohnDoe2.jpg) or use some other designation to make it clear that they’re multiple designs from the same person (JohnDoeThrowback.jpg, JohnDoePrimaryLogo.jpg). Entries that don’t follow this format will not be considered.
  • Email your entry to the design contest in-box (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch email address). If you have more than one design concept, feel free to enter as many times as you like.
  • Deadline: Submit all entries by Friday, Dec. 2. The best and most interesting entries will be showcased in my Substack column on a week or so after the deadline.

Okay, people — get crackin’!


 

Too Good for the Ticker

A bunch of guys who were in Atlanta over the weekend for a bachelor party attended yesterday’s Bears/Falcons game dressed like Da Coach. Love it!

(My thanks to Marcus Hall for bringing this one to my attention.)


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Comments (34)

    Yeah, it’s just leather of the ball rubbing off on the jersey from guys carrying it tight against their chests for security. Here’s Damien Harris (playing in LA, on turf) with the same thing: link

    From the upper deck, where the tiger stripes are hard to make out, those Bengals unis look incredibly generic.

    I found it annoying that the Bengals wore their Color Rush template (prior to 2021) jersey yesterday, but with the 2021-present pants. Considering they have an essentially all white/black striped uniform in their current rotation already, the “old” color rush isn’t really needed by them.

    I get they have other slight differences (block numbers versus current numbers with orange outline, etc), but it seems pretty pointless to have both.

    Kudos to the Rams and Saints for having a gorgeous game yesterday with plenty of color.

    The Bengals have to wear that uniform if they want to wear their white helmets.

    Alternate helmets can only be worn with alternate jerseys and their current white isn’t an alternate.

    “I found it annoying that the Bengals wore their Color Rush template (prior to 2021) jersey yesterday, but with the 2021-present pants. Considering they have an essentially all white/black striped uniform in their current rotation already, the “old” color rush isn’t really needed by them.”

    Great point — two (interesting) things in play here: 1) in order to wear the alternate helmet, the team, under the alt-shell rules in place for at least this season, is required to pair the alt helmet with either a throwback, alternate or color rush uniform; therefore, they can’t pair the new white shell with the new white jersey, at least for now; 2) BUT…the team did wear the new style pants, rather than the CR pants. The only other instance I can think of where a team has worn a CR jersey with non-CR pants is when the Seahawks paired their neon-green CR tops with their standard blue pants link

    While this (the Bengals mixing the CR jersey with standard pants) isn’t perhaps the best use of a mix/match (Seahawks is better), I for one would welcome teams mixing CR tops with non-CR bottoms. Think how good the Bills would look, for example, if they paired their red CR shirts with white pants, or white shirts with the red CR pants (link).

    Yesterday was a gorgeous matchup day. I for one loved the Steelers/bengals and broncos/raiders in particular. The broncos color rush is actually a fantastic uni. I wouldn’t mind it if it had the modern horse head logo on the helmet and just call it the standard set.

    Only one real hiccup is that the falcons uni is so modern looking and the bears is so classic. The the throwbacks would have made a better looking game even though I really like the falcons newer set.

    Man, those Saints throwbacks look great. For uniforms from an era when TV picture was nowhere near as crisp it is today, they sure do pop off the screen ,at least for me. The mismatching gold helmets don’t even bother me that much, though an old gold match would be spectacular.

    Here’s the full story regarding Ford Field hosting the Bills-Browns game: link
    Because of an event on Friday night, there was little time to get everything cleared out and set back up for football, so there really wasn’t enough time to redeco the field. It was great of Dan Campbell to give a shout out to the crews that did the work, though, in his post-game presser.

    As for the Lions… really unfortunate that they broke out their “practice pants” again. They wore those things three times, all on the road, last year. Really, the only time they should ever wear unstriped pants is with their throwbacks.

    Kind of intrigued by those Baltimore Banners jerseys.

    Also, are we just going to overlook the fact that the guy in the front of the Ditka picture has size 62 feet? There are clowns who wear smaller shoes.

    I’ve never liked that Steeler uni set. I would prefer they just went to back to the bumble bee alternates.

    Those Baltimore Banner jerseys are awesome! Gotta love that logo!

    Actually that’s my favorite Steelers home jersey. Ever. Pair that with the 1962 road jerseys and you’re good to go.
    The Bengals, on the other hand…no. You looked like eleven extra officials out there on the field.
    Together, the game looked like your typical weeknight MACtion or Sun Belt Conference game. Didn’t look like a professional game.

    The kids today say the Lions’ look is “clean.” Guess they don’t know how to spell “boring.” I’m all for a simple uniform, but I’m not into minimalism. Give me stripes, give me color or give me something else to watch.

    I’m guessing Chubb uses a lot of adhesive spray to keep the jersey stuck to the pads. That happens every time he wears the whites. Turf or grass doesn’t matter.

    Actually liked the Broncos set. As stated above, change the helmet logo to the current one and no need for a redesign. Those Ditka lookalikes are awesome!

    I’ve been a Broncos fan for 50 years+, and I’m not going to submit a graphic uniform redesign. But the Broncos have had lousy brand awareness since their 1997 redesign, and then the “likeability” of the uniforms was polluted with the fact that they won two Super Bowls the first two years of the “chest horns” design. Since the ‘70s, the fans hyped the “Orange Crush” defense and wearing predominantly orange fan gear. Changing the home jersey to blue was a horrible branding mistake—but they won the Super Bowl wearing it. John Elway realized this and made the alternate orange jerseys the primary home when Peyton Manning arrived. They should have introduced orange pants with a blue stripe for use with road white jerseys. The road set was always bad, white over white with hardly any orange—looks terrible. Then Super Bowl 48 happened and Denver realized they had been blown out in 4 SBs wearing orange jerseys. The opted for white on SB 50–and won. The uniform changes made since then have been a disaster. The “color rash” all orange are horrible. This isn’t a “throwback to anything but the “D horse” logo. A true throwback would be royal blue helmet and trim which they could do now with new helmet rules. The blue pants would look good with an orange stripe on the white jersey but obviously everyone hates what they look like with the present white jersey.

    Bottom line, The Bronco brand is orange primary, blue and white secondary. Very simple.

    I think they’re at a point where the Patriots were when they redesigned. A fresh look might be nice but bottom line Pats and Broncos fans would rather win championships in the old duds or ugly duds instead of stink it up in new unis. So a new direction is not obvious at all.

    Good overview of the Broncos uniform history and why they are where they are today. Seems like some sort of blending of the new with the old could work for them. Modernized “D” on the helmet, tone down some of the 1997 features (chest horns, round font), keep both blue and orange jerseys in the rotation – find a middle ground that hopefully doesn’t alienate fans of either look (I personally like certain aspects of both the ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ Broncos packages). I bet we’ll see some like that in the re-design contest.

    Personally, I think the broncos have been ok “graphically” all along, but really really missed the mark in terms of uni design with the “chest horns” era. They have one of the best retro logos (D horse), and modern logos (horse head). I’ve never hated their modern font, but as a number font it doesn’t have the visual impact they probably wanted.

    The navy never bothered me in principle but the royal is just as visually pleasing.

    I think that’s why I love their color rush unis. They are a mix of the old and new. Simplified uni template. Emphasis on a gorgeous shade of orange. More use of white to make the colors pop. Stripes (including white) on the helmet make it way less dark and dreary. This template in a white uni with orange or blue pants with a thin-broad-thin stripe down the leg would be excellent!

    Old school vs. new school in Denver? With white pants and white face masks- this uniform echoes the Elway era Broncos, with a darker blue.

    For the redesign, the Donkeys should keep the “D” horse logo, same jersey and wear white pants.

    I have never liked the new helmet logo, so disagree with ingmar and Dave. My tastes definitely trend towards the traditional.

    Maybe Pollard mistakenly tried to show support for the Texas Rangers. Which even that would be weird this time of year.

    Or maybe, this may be a weird concept for some people to grasp, that is simply what he decided to wear.

    Not every outfit has to have a meeting.

    Am I the only one here who thinks the Cheifs look much better with white pants when wearing white jerseys? I usually am cool with colored pants that match the helmet when white jerseys are worn, but for some reason I’ve long associated red pants with clowns and I can’t shake that. Anyone else at all see what I mean?

    I disagree, red is to the Chiefs as Orange (should be) to the Broncos. The red pants look marvelous to me, and just pops with Chiefs red. White on white looks like a low budget high school team. If you ask who owns bright red in the NFL, 90% of folks will say the Chiefs.

    You’re not – I agree…I think that most teams would benefit by reducing the number of pants options to 1, and that white-over-white is a great road look for both classic looking (i.e: Bears, Chiefs, Browns) and ‘modern take’ franchises (such as Panthers, Dolphins, Jets).

    Glad to hear it’s not just me. Now I just need to confirm that there is somebody else who is bothered by red pants more than any other color. Red jerseys and helmets? Fine. Blue or black or green pants with white jerseys? Cool. But I swear I can’t see a football team in red pants and not think “clowns”…was it due to growing up watching Ronald McDonald on every other TV commercial?

    Except Ronald McDonald didn’t wear red pants. link

    But yeah, I 100% prefer KC ONLY in white pants. And I’m normally a “helmets should match either pants or shirts” guy — but not in this case. I don’t know why, but I just hate red pants, especially KC’s red pants. Every once in a while, as a change up, sure, go ahead and wear them, but not every road game. I know it’s not rational, but I really REALLY prefer KC only in white pants.

    However many years in to the color rush experiment we are, I’m looking at it thinking it can work, if it’s not a TOTAL color rush. The broncos here in the orange over orange with blue helmets. The rams all yellow with the blue helmet. The pats now essentially wear color rush navy with the silver helmet, the saints all white with their new black helmet. I even see potential in the Seahawks neon green color rush IF they were to go to a different uni template and a different color helmet (silver, please). A buccs creamsicle orange top and bottom with with number and red outlines and white bucco Bruce helmet. The chargers navy alt is beautiful onfield. It’s not a look for every team, but teams with good templates or interesting colors can make something really great.

    Broncos need a new uniform design like yesterday (LOL)!
    The Nike Swoosh-like side deal needs to go – and I agree that they need to play up the orange more and I’m OK if they stay with navy blue – but a return to the royal blue wouldn’t be a deal killer for me. As a Denver native, I liked being the only orange-based team back in the day and a return to the Orange Crush days would be good for business!

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