The Detroit Lions today announced a series of initiatives connected to the team’s upcoming 90th season, including the unveiling of a new patch that will be worn on the team’s jerseys.
The patch design, shown above, is based on the team’s primary logo from the 1960s, featuring a prowling lion and two vertical bars:
This will be the fourth anniversary/ordinal patch in Lions history. The previous three were worn in 1983 (50th season), 1993 (60th season), and 2008 (75th season), as seen here:
A fuller view of the new patch shows that the Lions will also be using a new jersey template this season:
It remains to be seen how many other NFL teams will be using this new template — stay tuned.
The Lions were founded in 1930 as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans but moved to Detroit and became the Lions in 1934. So while this will be the Lions’ 90th season, it will be the franchise’s 94th season. You can see their uniform history here.
The one real downer to this announcement is that they showcased the new patch on the team’s grey jersey, which is one of the worst jerseys in the entire league — ugh.
Wasn’t the 1983 patch the first?
There was the NFL anniversary patch in 1969, too.
What a bizarre pattern indeed. 60 and 90. Might as well wait for 100, but ok sure the patch looks cool
Would’ve been kind of amusing if they’d worn 75th anniversary patches, considering what a season that turned out to be.
Whoops, they did, my bad!
And their bad for that 0-16 mess (though it did get rid of the disaster that was Matt Millen).
They wore one for 50, 60, 75 and now 90. My thought is that they didn’t do 70 or 80 because it was too close to 75.
Good clip of them wearing 50th:
Pic of 75:
Ugh, that template looks awful. And they just had to mess with the collars again… what even is that?
Oh man I didn’t even notice that! Gross. That stupid collar looks like the Flywire crap from 2012! Why can’t they just stop already? I miss when the jerseys were actually mesh and looked like it.
Yes, that collar gives a real bad case of “Bacon Neck”
Please tell me this is not what the final version will fit like, hoping it is only poor fit of a sample shirt they chose for the photo shoot.
Oregon has used this template for the past two seasons, but I think since they have busier uniforms, it does a good job of “hiding” them. One thing to note is that they have a similar, but not identical piece at the front of the collar, but theirs is either plastic or some sort of rubber, so it’s rigid and doesn’t get wrinkled or bunched up. It looks much cleaner than this cloth version.
Patch is nice, but these are some of the worst unis in the league.
The grey & template may be butt-ugly but they’re both infinitely better than a monstrous ad patch!
This is probably the best secondary logo in the league. Wish they did more with it.
That template is an eyesore but they will still sell a lot of them to those fans who just wear anything as long as the players wear it.
The logo is not bad but I find it fascinating that a lion is combined with obvious Mustang stripes.
Well, the Lions are owned by the Ford family.
And the lion is very similar to the Mercury Cougar badge when it was the sister car of the Mustang in the late 60s:
Interestingly, the Mercury Cougar (in the late 1980s) became the sister car to the T-bird.
The Cougar actually became the sister car to the T-Bird in 1974: link
You know…I was like 99% sure that was the case, but when I went to “double-check,” the first interwebs site that appeared said 1988-89. Stupid interwebs. link
But yeah, you’re 100% correct. Buddy of mine used to borrow his dad’s mid-70s T-bird in high school, so I should have gone with my gut. Shame how they ruined it in 1980…
Yeah, the Cougar and TBird were sister cars from ‘74-‘97 when both cars were temporarily retired. The Cougar returned in 1999 through 2002 as a four seat hatchback and the TBird returned in 2002 through 2005 as a two seat roadster. I actually owned both of these final versions (still own the TBird as my edition is one of 200 made). Both have been retired ever since, likely never to return since no one likes two door vehicles anymore (or any conventional cars for that matter).
Do they have a Uni Watch, only for vintage cars? I would be so in love with that!
Love the prowling lion logo. Looks like a hood ornament.
Where did you get that stat about them only wearing an anniversary patch once? They wore on for the 75th (their 0-16 year) and their 50th.
You’re right! My bad. Will fix.
I still think the grey jersey would look good with the blue pants.
Dang I was just going to make a similar comment!
It’s better than the white jerseys and white pants look they’ve been sporting recently.
The blue britches didn’t even look good with gray socks:
Adding gray over them is not better.
Of course the Lions should only have 1 pair of pants…silver.
The difference of blues in the patch vs the outline on the numbers is jarring.
Man, I don’t like that new template. It’s like a smaller, more wrinkled flywire collar. I really like the templates they’ve been using the past few years, they are a good combination of sleek/modern without too much over the top Nike-isms like the flywire collar. Don’t know why they have to change for the sake of change.
Regarding the template, I believe it’s been worn by several Nike schools during the previous college football season. It’s called “Nike Vapor Fusion.” According to SportsLogos, most NFL teams will shift to this template next year.
Yeah, the Ducks (who else?) debuted that template waaaaaay back in 2019 link
Surprised it hasn’t been used by all 31 (of course, the Packers stubbornly stick to their rbk era chassis) teams. Wouldn’t be surprised if the remainder have it this fall…except for the Packers.
I thought I recalled Ohio State wearing this template in their Playoff game last season, and that appears to be the case: link
Wild that these were unveiled way back in ’19, and are only being adopted by the NFL now. I’d wager pandemic-related supply chain issues are the culprit.
And for the record, I think this template is fine. Unless teams specifically color block their unis based on the template, it will be hardly noticeable on the field.
All I can see in that template is the Steelers’ “Batman” jerseys
The Barry Sanders era throwbacks with no logo is their best look imo
The patch design reminds me of the 1973 Topps NFL series.
Each team had its own 2-color vertical bar design, but none of the team color combos used the team’s actual colors. For the Steelers, Topps used pink & purple, the Steelers, green & yellow, the Cowboys, pink & yellow, the Bengals, red & green, etc.
Hopefully the Stillers got green & yellow (gold). The most pleasing color combo in blogs…
Nope. Stillers got pink and purple link
Raidahs got green and gold link
The Lions NEED to go back to the Barry Sanders era uniform.
What do the two bars represent in the Lion’s anniversary patch?
To my knowledge, they don’t represent anything. Once upon a time, design was based simply on aesthetics, not on “storytelling.”
Hope they would utilize it more in their identity. Like you mentioned, just incorporate because it is part of the design not for any other reason.
I’m part of the minority with utilizing grey on the Jersey. I feel the lions could pull it off if the hue matched the helmet a little more and paired with white pants. Take it with a grain of salt as I enjoy MLB away jerseys over Home Whites.
I know I’m in the minority here, but I actually like their gray uniforms. They definitely look terrible with the silver helmet, though.
So what is Nike’s “sales pitch” about the new template? You know there always has to be some “groundbreaking technology” about a new design. I know Oregon has been using it. But, was there ever any formal announcement about the new template?
I’m wondering if the number font is a one off, or a preview of the new set that’s coming in 2024.