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My Thoughts on the Cardinals’ New Uniform Set

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Good morning! Well, that certainly was a letdown.

It’s not a newfangled mess like the previous set, but it’s not much of an upgrade either. Let’s go one element at a time, beginning with…

The Primary Helmet

They changed the grey facemask to silver (most fans won’t even notice the difference) and added a bit of shading to the logo while also slightly enlarging it (ditto). In short, they made some largely inconsequential changes just so they can say it’s a “new” helmet, but it’s basically the same design — which isn’t a bad thing.

The Home Uniform

On the plus side, I have no issues with the number font. On the down side, well, how much time do you have? Among the problems:

  • As lots of people have already said, the use of silver makes the whole enterprise feel very Ohio State-esque.
  • I hate-hate-hate that big, honking wordmark on the chest, plus it’s riding way too low because of Nike’s new template.
  • As of now, the plan is apparently to go blood-clot for all home games, which will look like shite. (I’m hoping that at some point they’ll pair the red jersey with the white pants.)
  • It’s possible in the NFL to get away without sleeve stripes. But when you have no sleeve stripes and no pants stripes, you basically look like you’re wearing a practice uniform:

  • I hate that they’ve kept the logo above the nameplate, and I hate even more that they’ve used a white version of it for this jersey:

Additional home uni pics here:

The Road Uniform

Not as bad as the home uni, because (a) there’s no big, honking chest wordmark and (b) they added some stripes to the sleeves and pant legs. But putting the team name in the sleeve striping feels sooooo Division II. Here’s a closer look at that:

No TV numbers on this one. I guess you can have stripes or TV numbers, but not both. Grrrrrr.

Again, the plan is apparently to go mono-white, although I’m hoping they’ll occasionally pair the white jersey with the red pants.

Additional road uni pics here:

The BFBS Alternate

Take a look at that photo above, and then look at this Ohio State photo:

I mean, come on.

Additional BFBS uni pics here:


I wanted to believe they’d do a better job than this, but they really don’t have a clue. I suppose it’s better than the outgoing set, which was a total train wreck, but not by much. Still a lower-echelon team, uni-wise.

A few other notes:

  • It is very strange that none of the new uni photos shows a player wearing a helmet.
  • Also not shown: socks. Instead, the players are shown wearing leggings (except for Kyler Murray, who went bare-legged!). I don’t blame the team for that — socks have basically become irrelevant in pro football — but I think this may be the first time we’ve seen a sock-free unveiling. Kind of a sad commentary on the state of NFL hosiery.
  • Did you notice that many of the players had their undershirts untucked and sticking out? Much like the leggings, this is an accurate representation of how the players dress on the field, but it’s interesting that they did it for the photo shoot. Teams usually make the players clean that shit up for promo pics.
  • The Cardinals are the latest NFL team to move away from TV numbers. Other recent examples have included the Bengals, Chargers, Commanders, Rams, and Patriots. There have been exceptions (the Falcons, e.g.), but the trend away from TV numbers now seems pretty clear.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another 18 years before their next redesign.



Substack Reminder

In case you missed it on Thursday, my Premium article this week is an in-depth look at an early-1990s MLB Style Guide that I recently acquired. Pure uni gold!

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (this will also give you access to my full Substack/Bulletin archives), which I hope you’ll consider doing. Thanks!



Not Uni-Related but Very, Very Cool

Longtime reader John Kimmerlein found something really interesting while going through his father’s old stuff: If you purchased a globe during World War II, it came with a coupon that could be exchanged for revised graphics showing the world’s new boundaries at the war’s conclusion. How cool is that? Faaascinating!



Can of the Day

This is a nice one, no? I also like the idea of a motor oil being “tenacious”!

Comments (155)

    Metallic silver elements on white always always always look bad to me. It’s basically invisible from afar and always looks silly and gimicky up close.

    Disappointed but not surprised. For Nike, the pendulum has swung back towards simplicity in many of their redesigns, both in the NFL and NBA. (Jazz, Cavaliers, Cardinals, Commanders), especially in the lack of striping.

    Simple is good, but simple isn’t supposed to include the lack of stripes. Look at teams like the Steelers, Packers, Giants, Bears, etc. They have simple, classic uniforms, right? They all have stripes. Simple is not supposed to mean the exclusion of stripes or TV numbers or to give license to go mono color.

    Couldn’t agree more. This wasn’t a tough assignment. I lived in Arizona for almost 40 years. It was pretty clear what folks wanted. All they needed to do was essentially revert to the 70s-80s St Louis look with that striping pattern on the pants and add the Arizona State flag back to the jersey. Boom. Done. Would hearken back to a time when they had a classic look like the franchises you mentioned. With that, the small and frustrated fan base would’ve been ecstatic along with the rest of the uni-verse. Instead they’re getting dragged on every social media platform for being clueless and tone deaf. But, that is part and parcel with the Bidwill owned franchise from the get go.

    Given the reaction to this uniform, and as you said, what the fans have been asking for (which is easy to see with social media and fan designed concepts out there) it is just astounding that this is what is released.
    It really makes me wonder how the process works, like yes the teams have the final say, but does Nike roll out these designs and then hammer the teams with the idea that THIS is what is really going to look good and be liked? How much are the teams really in control? Because you’d think the teams are full of football people, and even if they aren’t uniform people, as football people they know what uniforms are supposed to look like (Packers, Browns, Colts, Chiefs, Bears, Niners, etc). So how do the football people working for the teams see these designs from Nike and think “yes, that is a good football uniform”?
    Part of me really thinks that when Nike took over the contract they gained a certain leverage of control of the uniforms when teams ask them to make a new one. I know that is contrary to how we all understand it to work, but how else do you explain this? The only other option is that the teams know the uniform is bad, know they’ll cycle it out as soon as they can, and want that to happen because new uniforms = higher sales, even when they are ugly, fan loyalty being what it is, you “need” the new star player’s jersey, and then when they get swapped out, you need the new jersey of said player.

    The trend of mono color along with no pant or sock striping is such a blight on the game. The NFL is all about “protecting the shield,” but why is there no management on the presentation of the players? Tuck in the shirt, wear socks properly, etc.

    I agree with Paul, this set feels like a college football team. It also feels so incomplete without stripes or TV numbers.

    The red uniforms will be improved if they get rid of the huge Arizona wordmark and pair it with white pants (that have stripes on them).

    I don’t even give them credit for “college football” level. It looks more like a poorly funded high school team.

    I am always shocked that a professional (and paid) designer designed these pieces of trash. How much talent do you need to design 3 mono-colored uniforms? You could have told me that a 4th grade art class designed them and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.

    Agree on the socks. I don’t mind the mono-look for jerseys/pants, but the socks/tights (and often the shoes) all the same color (particularly sans socks) are way to much. Give me a contrasting sock color and this (and similar unis) improve drastically.

    Exception: Texas’s storm trooper road whites – white from head to toe with no striping except for the sleeve – love it!

    Between the Cardinals and the Jazz and Cavs in the NBA, the less is more thinking has gone a little to far. Everything doesn’t need to be so minimalist that you lose basic elements of a good looking uniform.
    They tend to over correct from the previous uniforms.

    Missed an opportunity to go with a yellow facemask.

    I think the BFBS uni looks good if it was for a black and red team like the Redblacks or something.

    So they feel they need to tell the fans in Arizona they’re from Arizona, but they’re gonna wear blanks on the road?

    They feel the red jersey will be their best seller, and fans want those identifiers.

    Makes total sense, but why not the team name? Unless the fans would rather rep “ARIZONA” than “CARDINALS”?

    If the uniform had any details, it wouldn’t need the identifier. But since it’s plain red, gotta slap the name on it.

    The silver sparkles on the white helmet and red sparkles on the black helmet seem noteworthy. Not sure how noticeable it will be however since we didn’t see player wearing a helmet.

    Yeah I’m particularly intrigued about the silver paint flakes on the white helmet. I really liked the red flake in the black helmet last year, and even back when the Jags had teal flakes on their back helmet, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this done for a light colored helmet.

    From F- academic probation to a solid C-. Their “upgrade” is so much better than the Atlanta Falcons’ and this whole but could have been so much worse.
    I never would have thought of these as an Ohio State ripoff because there are no gray helmets or pants here, but I forgot the BFBS exists, and holy cow that’s the same look.
    For the red and the white, oh for the love of god please break up the monotones! If they never do, that’s a classic example of a most frustrating underachiever. Could do so much better with no additional effort, but nope

    Mike expresses my feelings exactly. Heck, I’d even be mildly OK with the blood clot mono red if they’d applied the stripe patterns of the road uni to the home uni set. The absence of the stripes on red makes me think they’ll likely not pair red and white shirts, which is a shame. Add home striping, and pair red and white tops and bottoms, and I’d even call this a decent uniform set. Like C-plus to B-minus. Still more high school than NFL, but serviceable and a clean expression of team identity.

    Mono-tonous and boring.
    Hope they mix and match. The old set was god awful, removing all the striping and piping of the old sets to a blood clot red uni is just the other end of awfulness.

    Checking out the twitterverse’s response to the new uni design. It has blown up.
    And not in a good way, more like a space-ship blowing up 3 mins into launch. Bad Elmo, Bad Uni.


    What did we all expect for the worst run team in football? Yes, worse that the Commies. This just confirms Arizona’s commitment to mediocrity.

    I’m one who really liked their previous red-over-white look, and I fear that’s gone forever.

    Probably no one will mention it, but I hate when helmet logos are enlarged. I loved it when Tampa went the other direction.

    Got to say I agree that the word marks are the worst. They really make a team look like they are D2 or D3. Honestly much as I dislike the BFBS on the Jets unis(my team) its the wordmark that I hate most by far. Simply removing that would improve that jersey massively

    As for the Cardinals it’s an improvement. The white and BFBS are okay nothing too offense. The red with the stupid wordmark is a disaster. Could be worse I suppose

    Every new uni release in the NFL keeps getting worse, with the exception of maybe the Chargers.

    My first thought about the Cards when it was posted last night was “They look like bad college uniforms”.

    That hasn’t changed.

    They look like the Ball State Cardinals.
    They have the obligatory icy whites and blackout unis for MACtion Tuesdays, along with the minimalistic red uni.
    On the plus side, at least they didn’t end up looking like the Louisville Cardinals…

    When I opened this up, I could hear the music from The Price is Right when a contestant loses a game. Way better than the previous. But, this was the best they could do? And, why does every damn team have to do the “mono” color thing? That is so freaking college football. Speaking of college football, the red uniforms look like the Arizona Wildcats could borrow them for some games. Just freaking boring. Don’t know why? But, I was really hoping for a yellow facemask on the white helmet and a red chrome on the black helmet. And, I honestly don’t understand the white/black uniforms having a common scheme while the red doesn’t? Makes no sense to me. But, we have to see them for five years now. Maybe they will look better on the field.

    When I opened this up, I could hear the music from The Price is Right when a contestant loses a game.

    Fairly certain that’s a Uni Watch first!

    U of A recently went back to a more retro look and knocked it out of the park. I found myself getting sucked into a bunch of Arizona games last year just because of those beautiful uniforms.

    U of A went through a bad patch there with their uniforms. I’m a fan of college football. So, I tend to watch just about any game that is on. But, there for a while I thought “what is Arizona doing”? I do enjoy their latest combos. That white helmet is probably one of the best in college football. But, I think my Gators have THE best helmet/uni combo! LOL

    Question: Are those Northwestern stripes on the road and alternate uniforms? Or is that another design very similar to Northwestern stripes?

    Everything Nike touches turns to crap. Going from an F to a D- is hardly an upgrade. The NFL’s mono trend is as bad as BFBS. These uniforms are horrible and I’m sure we can expect similar garbage in Detroit.

    “Going from an F to a D-….” That is being otherworldly generous. These are utter crap, and hard to say that it’s an improvement at all.

    Why is uniform redesign seemingly so hard? Time and time again we get our hopes up that a woebegone franchise will finally ‘get it right’. And then this. This isn’t right.

    Honestly the new unis are at best marginally better than the old ones. Too much inconsistency among the 3 versions. Plus a pet peeve of mine-I hate a white helmet topping a mononchrome uniform unless that uni is all white.

    Agree, white helmet over matching color jersey and pants (or even mismatching color jersey and pants like the Chargers) feels incredibly unbalanced. Like they forgot to color in the helmet, and the uniform is bottom heavy. The nature of football uniforms and aesthetics is a lot of focus on the helmet. When the helmet is white and the rest of the uniform darker, it draws the eye away from the helmet, sort of counter to the whole point of it.

    I get the opposite….it draws my attention to the helmet, which looks huge on top of a slim, leotarded player. They all look like Atom Ant.

    It’s a very high school look.

    Paul, any insight into Nike’s sudden aversion to tv numbers? All these tv number-less uniforms feel amateurish.
    You’d think the negative reactions to the giant wordmarks in Cleveland, Atlanta, and New York would have steered them away from it here, but nope, this seems to be the latest bad design component they want to ram down our throats. Ditto on the wordmarks on the sleeves.
    At this point new uniform reveals aren’t even exciting, that Nike fails to really understand how to make good looking uniforms within the respective sports’ design conventions is infuriating.

    Nike did an amazing job of making a uniform that’s not bad, but it’s also not good.

    The Cardinals are an original team and never had silver in their color template before, what makes anyone with a say in the matter think, “Yes, that’s what we’ve always needed! Another color!” I don’t know if anyone else thinks this way, but the Cardinals were the red and white team in the NFL, they didn’t need silver. And it really doesn’t improve their look.

    At least they left their helmet alone as we probably won’t notice the color change on TV.

    To me the feathers on the helmet logo look better. Yay. Agree with Paul that mix/match will improve things. I even thing the BFBS with the white pants will look better than the red mess.

    Q: could they remove “Arizona” from the red jersey or add stripes to the red pants within the rules? Or do they still have to wait 5 years for even seemingly minor changes?

    The helmet sticker itself looks more “vibrant” to me, which I like. The rest not so much.

    Same; I actually like the helmet logo.

    But the rest — low-riding numbers, a silly balance-ruining logo above the nameplate again, a pointless wordmark above the front number — wasn’t fixed at all.

    As a Washington fan, I can only laugh at how similar these are to the Commander’s miserable new set.

    Actually I think it’s a huge upgrade, but only because the outgoing design was so … well, you know.

    Ohio-State-y-ness aside, the white/black template is fine, which is to say it would look much, much, much better in non-monochrome jersey-pants-sock combinations. But I can’t begin to fathom what they were thinking with the red. Forget that it’s a different template and the lack of striping, each of which is bad enough; why on earth would you put a giant honking wordmark on the front of the “HOME” jersey only, to … let fans in Glendale know what state they’re in? Or make sure they know that they’re in Glendale, Arizona and not Glendale, California or Glendale, Queens?

    I really don’t get the whole front-wordmark trend in the NFL, which went almost 100 years without them (I’m not talking about little marks like this (link), which I’m not a fan of either; I’m talking about big honking “SOONERS”-like (link) marks) until the Browns got one in 2015, which everyone hated, and they got rid of the first chance they got, then the Jets, Falcons and now the Cardinals all adopted them. This “ARIZONA” is not quite as bad as “ATL” but at least the Jets kept the “NEW YORK” down to size, so to speak.

    I don’t know why I keep wishing the Cardinals would adopt a true southwestern color scheme based on the Arizona state flag, like the red, blue and copper of the old Arizona Wranglers of the USFL (1984) (a href=””>link), and this to me is yet another missed opportunity to do that.

    100% agree! Switch out black for Navy and silver for copper and they’d have something

    “I really don’t get the whole front-wordmark trend in the NFL, which went almost 100 years without them” Those Sears Wish Book fan jerseys looked great with them, but that was 1970’s kidstuff:
    Even after decades in the dustbin, those ’84 Wranglers remain the high-water mark for AZ pro football.

    Happens to the best of us ; )
    …and I’ll add that’s how the Stars oughta look week in/out, not in those yellow domes and barber pole pants they dress in these days.

    Except for the fact that they’re named the CARDINALS, precisely because of the color, and not the bird. Red is – or should be a given.

    There’s more than one team that could have adopted the USFL uniforms for an instant upgrade – looking at you, Detroit Lions/Michigan Panthers – not sure I would say this with the Cardinals.

    Gamblers > Texans (though not by much – comes down to that G logo).
    Bulls > Jaguars (unique colors, terrific helmet…just lose the garnet pants)
    Federals (’83) > Commanders (anything would be better than their uniforms, but another green team so close to NJ/PHL makes the mid-Atlantic a crowded place).

    The ’84 Wranglers were a red team (link, but they never wore the red jerseys. By one account, the jerseys were never made; by another, the league made them wear the white jerseys in every game in ’84 because they had worn blue jerseys in ’83 (link) (before swapping rosters with the Chicago franchise) and weren’t allowed to change their primary jersey color for two years.

    It makes me crazy when the home and away uniforms are completely different templates, Nike continues to do this. So much potential and just a major disappointment. I guess the Cardinals just love bad PR in all avenues!

    I’d say at least there is historical precedence for the mismatched home and away, but they should have paired white pants with the red jersey then and it would truly harken back to their sets from 1965-2004. I would have preferred the home to have stripes (and the red pants to have stripes) and to greatly reduce the size of “Arizona”, but I think I can see what they attempted to do, and it’s only okay.

    That is a good point, the home and away were not truly the same in the last set with the shoulder stripes on the away! NFL uniforms should have a defining characteristic as all the great ones do. The state flag is a quirky one for the cardinals that they should have leaned towards.

    Yeah, it feels like they’ve got too many ideas, but are afraid of overcrowding the uniform, so they just spread everything out over the home and away unis, which obviously creates a very disjointed visual program.

    I agree trying to do much at once! It really limits overall options, when teams should be shooting for as many cohesive uni combinations as they can.

    I have to agree with Paul – my first thought last night was that the red set looks like a practice uniform.

    Now I’m wondering if the Cardinals are planning to return to wearing white at home, mixing in the BFBS alternate for at least 2 of the 3 times they can wear it, and using that “red primary” when they have to wear color on the road?

    Simple explanation for the “CARDINALS” word mark on the sleeve striping –
    The BFBS uniform is so crazy-similar to OSU’s BFBS that they had to find a way to differentiate them.

    I don’t want to complain too much because these could have been way worse but these things suck. They’re really so close to being really good but they just went the wrong way with almost every aspect.

    One thing I don’t understand is the addition of silver to the palette. It’s not that it doesn’t work with the existing scheme but more that it’s Nevada which is the Silver State whereas Arizona is known for copper. If they were going to add a metallic color to the palette, there was an obvious and appropriate choice right there. I’m not exactly sure how well copper accents would work with cardinal red (it’d probably depend on the implementation), but it’d certainly add a little more character to what are ultimately inoffensive and forgettable uniforms.

    Exactly what I was thinking. Copper was right there, this new uni set is still so middling, that except for the Arizona wordmark, it could work for any red clad team. I think we expected too much from this franchise and Nike.

    It is absolutely wild to me that the same company that makes Oregon’s uniforms and the Seattle Seahawks’ uniforms would come out with that utterly boring home set. Was slapping “ARIZONA” across the chest really the most (and only) unique, identifying element they could add? Nike always comes out with some overwrought descriptions of how the uniforms represent the city and the team and their history blah blah blah…
    I guess the story this time around is “We believe the Arizona Arizo–whoops, Arizona *Cardinals*!–are the most unremarkable team in the entire league, so we decided to create a uniform to match!” I just can’t believe they would punt so hard on this.

    I’m in the minority here, but I like the Cards’ new uniforms. It is durative of better looks from college programs? Yes. Is it better than what they had before? Yes. My only main gripe is the name on the home jersey and not having the AZ flag on the sleeve of the away jersey like the older sets.

    I think this will make a great bridge uniform for the next five to seven years, if that.

    The Cardinals: A case of going from worse to bad.

    BTW, that globe coupon is terrific! They ask you to stick a dime or ten cents worth of stamps in an envelope and mail it to them as payment. How magnificently magnificent is that?!

    As a Lions fan, this has me relieved that Detroit delayed their new uniforms until 2024. I’ve lost faith in the redesign process. But it raises a question that may keep me up at night for the next 365 days until that re-design gets unveiled anyway. How much of the design is controlled by the team and how much by Nike? In other words, who’s fault is it that Arizona got the Ohio State practice jersey treatment? Team leadership or Nike?

    Yes be afraid. The lions were on the better end of Nike redesigns. Only downhil from there!

    I love the new spin on the helmet!
    The facemask finally matches other parts of uniform so it ‘makes sense’.
    And the larger logo will wrap around the helmet better so the head feathers can be seen from behind, as was the case on the originals:
    Now…is there any chance the Cards can play exclusively on the road? The white-over-white looks great (as it does on most teams), save the wordmark on the stripe. These are an A.
    The ‘silver’ lining for the disappointing home and alt…sometimes the worst uniforms make for the best UW membership cards!

    Replace the silver junk with the yellow in the logo’s beak and then everyone won’t be saying they ripped off OSU. Add stripes to the red pants, mix and match tops/pants, and you go from a solid C to a solid B. Disappointing.

    I never thought I would say this but… the BFBS uniform is the best of the bunch. Not that it is stiff competition

    Now, is it a good Cardinals uniform? No.

    Such a disappointing yet predictable rebrand. It seems like manufacturing ease has trumped uniform design of late.

    “We here at Nike have discovered that if you DON’T put holes in the jersey numbers, the players overheat and become petulant…really, they do!”
    Save for the holes, and that I really don’t like the twos, the number font is not as bad as it could be, I suppose.
    Just wait until Nike turns their full attention to ruining MLB. Should be the opposite of fun.

    Wordmarks on football jerseys are essentially all about merchandise sales. There’s really no reason for them to exist outside of that context.

    No doubt the proliferation of front-of-the-jersey wordmarks in the NFL has come about since the rise of replica jersey sales. And Nike has kicked that trend into high gear if not originated it. (I think they might have originated it with the Broncos’ redesign back in 1997, but I’m too lazy to research that right now.)

    That said, college teams have been wearing wordmarks across the fronts of their jerseys since at least the early 1980s, before replica jersey sales were common (particularly at the college level). The list of wordmark-adorned teams includes Oklahoma link, Oklahoma State link, Colorado link, and Texas link. among others. So, while the wordmarks may not have been introduced by college teams primarily for jersey sales, the effect it did have is to make that look something that was squarely within the propriety of college football teams. So now, whenever an NFL team adds a wordmark to the front of their jerseys (which they clearly do so that retail purchasers can make it abundantly clear which team they’re rooting for), it makes me think, “Wow! What an amateur look for a professional team.”

    I rarely read Twitter comments, but I did see one that caught my eye and encapsulates a bit of what you said above.

    The comment (paraphrasing) stated, “I will only buy the red jersey. The white and black don’t have the name on them and they look like a lot of different teams.”

    They don’t take into consideration what the college uni will look like compared to a traditional one in an NFL game. It’s an ascetic nightmare. This jersey playing up against the packers, bears, cowboys etc is just so disappointing.

    …and that’s where good uniform design should step in and say, “we will make these unique to this franchise and this fan base, providing an instantly recognizable, timeless look that everyone will know as and associate with the Arizona Cardinals.”
    Instead, Nike said, “Make it say ARIZONA… no, bigger… no, BIGGER!” and decided to make it look like a practice jersey. Just a total failure.

    If you think about it, who was actually the last team to actually improve their uniform?
    I don’t count the Browns, because that was actually a correction of a horrible mistake. Really though, who was the last team to actually improve their look?

    It almost feels like “Color Rush” was Nike’s way of softening up our resistance to their planned proliferation of mono-color uniforms. Now that we’ve been desensitized to it, they just roll out the new unitards and don’t need to use fancy terminology to get us to accept it.

    Cardinals: Jesus folks. OK, the helmet change is nice and the removal of all the stupid piping and non-traditional stripes is great. BUT… the wordmark on the red jersey? Really looks bad (and unnecessary). As in, “thank God they put that there, or I wouldn’t know who the team is”. Never mind the CARDINAL on the helmet. Also, didn’t notice the stupid “Cardinals” wordmark on the sleeves at first. Redonk. More stupidity, the mono look for home, away and alt. Oh, how I hate that look, but I know lots of folks like it. I really don’t understand the silver accents. Like, why?

    Now, the white helmet and red jersey with white pants? That will look nice. Please wear that at home. The all white on the road? Fine. I think I would even like the look of the black lids with black jersey and red pants. A little college perhaps, but really different for the NFL. No doubt, that combo won’t be worn though. Much like the Jets, who absolutely should pair the green or black helmet with the black jersey and GREEN pants, but won’t fing do it.

    Mono. Blows.

    As awful as the Jets’ current template is, green-over-black-over-green (with black socks), or green-over-black-over-white (with green socks) might not look half-bad.

    That chest script feels even more unnecessary on only the home uniform, for instance, wouldn’t it make more sense to put the chest script of your city to be on the road uniform, to signify the city the team calls home?

    It’s almost like designers are too afraid to “overcomplicate” the design, so they spread out different design elements across home and road uniforms… and the end result is just, confusing.

    It seems like Nike has gone on a trend of simplifying its designs, almost to the point of oversimplification. I noticed that with their recent redesign for the Minnesota Twins link. One theory I have for why Nike is doing this is that it cuts down on production costs for replica jerseys and increases profit margins. Am I being too cynical?

    The most embarrassing element of the Cardinals’ new uniforms, in my opinion, are the eyeroll-inducing catchphrases on the interior collars of the jerseys:


    I know that they won’t be seen when worn, but holy cow those are awful!

    I always liked the Cards’ ’60s-2005 red jersey/white pants combo, even though it had no stripes on the jersey. It was a sharp look with the white helmet. And liked the addition of the AZ flag on the white unis in the ’80s. This redo came oh-so-close to returning to both but with modern tweaks. But they took the modern tweaks too far — the wordmark, the red pants with no stripes, the mono-look presentation — and now it looks like crap. Why not just go back to what worked?

    I like it, I’m glad they kept the logo on the back, I wish more teams did that.

    Really the only thing I’d change would be to move the tv numbers to the sleeve caps rather than the shoulder. I’m not a fan of blank sleeves.

    Also, can shirts even really be tucked in or is everything too tight to allow that?

    I was prepared to hate these uniforms, but I like ’em fine; especially the stripes on the white pants.
    Our collective uni-sweet spot appears to have been the mid-’70s but since then there’s been a paradigm shift. The times now embrace low (or no) socks, pulled-out undershirts, monochrome color schemes, a lack of striping, front wordmarks, mottos inside the collar. I won’t say who pushed for this sea change, but evolution is inevitable. WE may not like it but SOMEONE does.

    “WE may not like it but SOMEONE does.”

    Perhaps, but is Nike catering to tastes, or deliberately working to form them? I don’t know the answer. But one thing I have observed among younger (and likely more impressionable) fans is a penchant to respond to new uniform releases with a phrase like “Those are SICK!” And this reaction happens whether teams are rolling out the latest BFBS schlock or some very faithful throwback that pays homage to the 1950s. New and shiny will always appeal to SOMEONE, right?

    Perhaps, but is Nike catering to tastes, or deliberately working to form them?

    Well, that’s the chicken/egg question, right? The young ‘uns have a right to embrace an aesthetic without my denouncing them as benighted. It just so happens they don’t frequent this website.

    Best thing I can say is that at least the untucked undershirts match the rest of the uniform color. That’s a whole lot better than a white undershirt flapping around looking like a mini-skirt.

    Well I was hopeful things were heading in the right direction in the uni-verse but now Im scared of what the Texans are gonna do.

    Houston really shouldn’t change a thing…which means they’ll change everything?
    My fears (hopefully unfounded!) that they will glom onto powder blue and red remain high; fortunately, I will find refuge in the Titans’ decision to once again dress in their right-and-proper Oilers uniforms., even if its’ for just 1 contest.

    It took two years, 560 working days to come up with the blandest of the bland. I cannot understand that teams proudly announce the amount of time invested in the creation of these uniforms and then they come up with this rubbish. However the Cards aren’t the only team guilty of selecting bland from the breakfast menu, the Jags are just as uninspiring with their stripeless pants and plain jerseys.
    When I saw these the first thing that came to mind other than the utter failure, was that organisations are only too happy to take money from the fans but they never listen to the voice of said fans. What was wrong honouring the Tillman and Plummer era? They speak of mixing tradition with the modern if that’s true where the tradition? the perforations on the numbers ‘ pay homage ‘ to the stadium well what about paying homage to the great players of the past? Both the designers at Nike and the Arizona Cardinals should be ashamed of themselves for unleashing this rubbish on the fans.

    Is the Cardinal logo on the helmets “raised” like some MLB batting helmets? I do like the metallic sheen the helmet logo has, too, giving it a richer look. But “Cardinals” inside the stripes is horrible. With the emphasis on yellow in the online branding I was expecting yellow to be more prominent on the new uniforms. Overall I concur with everyone that these are disappointing.

    It’s like Bidwell and Nike thought, “Yeah, we know what the fans want, but we’re not going to give them that – just because.”

    I mean, it’s an improvement over their Reebok-era duds, but that’s a pretty low bar.

    WGN here in Chicago just did a story on the Replogle Globe company. It’s interesting how they still hand make these globes. Here is a link to the story link

    So………The silver makes even less sense when you consider that Arizona, as a state, in addition to being known as the “Grand Canyon State” is also lesser known as the “Copper State.” In fact the University of Arizona Football Program has toyed with copper helmets over the years – Full disclosure, I am an UA Alumnus (BArch, 2002).

    You know which state is known as the “Silver State” – Nevada, of course.

    Woof – Swing and a miss, Cardinals. What a missed opportunity to incorporate copper and/or the Arizona state flag which is a thing of beauty and symmetry. Bleah.

    The new uniform program finally puts an end to one of the most outdated uniform sets that have existed anywhere. Sadly, Nike’s new approach to NFL uniforms for most teams seems to be the most generic templates that truly do let them reuse as much work as they’ve done for their college clients as they can. I’m not unseeing how much those red and black jerseys look just like Ohio State uniforms. This feels a lot like the Falcons redesign from a couple of years ago which was also pretty generic in nature. Just overall disappointing.

    The red uniform is by far their worst of the 3. Practice uniform is a good description, except for the low & huge “ARIZONA” billboard. White pants would be an improvement with this red jersey, but I have no confidence that they will do this. I don’t hate their white uniform, except for no TV numbers, and looking way too much like the Buckeyes. I like an all white uniform with teams with white helmets, but I agree that mixing it up with red pants occasionally would also be good. I hope with the white pants they wear red socks, but I have no confidence that would happen. All 3 of these will most likely have the leotard look. Honestly I was all prepared for yellow to be a color these new uniforms would have, and I now wonder how they’d look if they had used yellow instead of silver? I’m thinking I’d like it more, but probably look too much like Kansas City.

    I’m in Phoenix and watched the First Look livestream with hope that we’d get this right. We didn’t.

    – All the silver elements should be replaced by copper. This is Arizona, where copper is one of our 5 Cs. Silver is a Nevada thing, especially now with the Raiders.
    – Remove the Arizona wordmark from the home jersey.
    – Add the striping used on the away and alternate uniforms to the home uniform.
    – Will there be socks? There needs to be socks, preferably with the same striping treatment as the shoulders.
    – Confirm whether the team will be able to mix/match. On the livestream, the announcers specified that the home uniform is the red jersey and red pants, and the away uniform is the white jersey and white pants. And they specified that the team went this route for a “clean look”. So, I would infer from that the intent is to keep the monotone look, and that mixing/matching will not be allowed. But it should be because the monotone look is awful, particularly for the home uniform.

    I would disagree with them on it being a “clean” look. I’d call it color overkill.

    Hey Paul. You wrote “I guess you can have stripes or TV numbers, but not both.”

    My guess is it’s more of a “must have” than a “can’t have”. Every NFL jersey has _something_ on the shoulder/sleeve area. Perhaps the Cards wanted nothing on the red jersey’s shoulder/sleeve area (to match the plain pants) and the NFL told them they had to have something. Someone has to know if that’s an NFL uni rule.

    Not much more to add that hasn’t been said but what makes it all even worse….the amount of buildup the Cardinals had going in to this. Apparently they put more time and effort in to the teaser videos tan they did in designing the new uniforms.

    Funny how much us uni-folks think alike.

    -Not one player wearing a helmet to show what a full uniform would look like.
    -Sloppy to have untucked shirts during your official rollout and promo photo shoots.
    -None of the templates match, why do they even call them uniforms anymore?
    -Leggings, not socks. UGH.
    -All red looks like garbage.

    Funny how I LOVED Nike as a kid…now I can’t think of a worse brand out there.

    “Funny how I LOVED Nike as a kid…now I can’t think of a worse brand out there.”

    Oh, I’d love for Paul to do a feature on this. Take some time to study changes in what Nike is doing, but also talk to folks in the comm-uni-ty to see how they articulate it.
    Like did Nike change or did we? Is it that we like Nike as a clothing/sneaker brand but not as a uniform supplier? Is Nike’s core mission different or have they always been about being a change engine, only now are pushing beyond acceptable boundaries? Have they gone from sporting gear to lifestyle brand? As we get older do we simply not have an interest in pushing the envelope on style? Does the increased awareness of their overseas manufacturing policies, which are in stark contrast to the corporate citizen they claim to be, sour their brand?
    This seems like a really good deep dive.

    Intersting point, I used to be a Nike head as well and I still have a fondness for Pre-2010 team uniforms and apparel by the Swoosh. But lately they are pushing this practice fodder minimalistic taste upon us that is totally devoid of colorful, unique and locally inspired details. I suspect that their uniform designers have no affection for team sports at all, they are fashion designers who did not make it to the big leagues in Paris or Milan and this uninspired bland stuff they keep churning out is their revenge.

    Best thing I can say about the Cardinals is that they’ve opened the debate for the title of worst uniforms in the NFL.

    Other contenders are Falcons (I kind of like some of their combos that don’t involve the gradient jersey), Broncos (they’ve been around so long we forget how bad they are), and Commanders (yeah, I think my vote is for the Commies).

    Congrats to the Cardinals for opening this to a debate. If they do the white over red a lot, that could give them bonus points. Need to wait to see how it looks on the field.

    What a boring set. Was really hoping they’d go back to their 90s-early 2000s set or at least take cues from it (i.e. the use of the state flag).

    The more I see of the red uni, the more I hate it. The outgoing red uni was not good, but this is actually worse.

    The white uni is an upgrade, but not by a lot. The silver trim just doesn’t belong, and the wordmark on the silver sleeve stripe is just dumb, though not as bad as the Arizona mark on the red one. Copper instead of silver could work here, but the copper stripes would need to be bounded to distinguish them from the red – thin black piping, or better yet, bringing back the blue (referencing the pre-2005 unis, the use of the Arizona flag, and particularly the thin blue stripes on the sleeves of the 1996-2004 white jersey).

    The black uniform… I don’t even want to bother with that crap.

    My two cents:

    -Anything is better than those abominations with the stupid piping and underarm panels. Yuck.
    -Should have kept the yellow accent.
    -I get a Commanders vibe with the sleeve striping and patterned numbers. No need for the name on the sleeves – maybe a cardinal or other alt logo would look better there – OR NOTHING AT ALL!
    -Stripe up those red pants! They better mix and match.

    I absolutely HATE the uni-tard trend in the NFL now. Way too many teams do it and all of them look better in their non uni-tard look.

    It used to be ok as a 1 or 2 game thing but now more and more teams have it as their default home uniform. it’s gotten way out of hand.

    Wordmarks everywhere. No stripes. A full monotone leotard look. Nike’s high schoolification of NFL uniforms continues unabated.

    I rewatched Jerry Maguire a while back. The unis sported by Rod Tidwell in the movie just pop like nothing else. How difficult is it to replicate that near perfect set?

    Nike disappoints. Again.

    I knew as soon as I saw the facemask (now silver) not gray.. REALLY?? *eye roll* what to expect.
    Why this team is so stubbornly stuck on that I’ll never know. (a red facemask would of really looked good)
    Otherwise I’m pretty much in agreement with the other post. yes, they are an improvement from the eye bleach set they had for 18yrs. but, they missed the mark on the home red uniform with ARIZONA yelling at you, and no stripes on the shoulders and pants like they did on the road & alternate uniforms.

    Definitely an upgrade over the previous set but still disappointing and underwhelming.

    Why the silver? I feel like a lot of Atlanta and Detroit incorporated with that silver and the unnecessary “Cardinals” mark on the sleeve and the giant “Arizona” on the home jersey.

    I can see them already getting backlash and coming out with a much more traditional and bold design in 5 years just like we saw with the Bucs and Browns in recent years.

    Who in the world makes these decisions for these teams? Do they not survey the fans or allow the fans to have more input?

    Their mono-red unis with the white helmet have always looked to me like 11 zits running around on a field, and this new one now makes that the default. Maybe they should get a sponsorship deal with the makers of Oxy-10 (“What would you rather have? A few more cents?… Or a few less zits?”)

    As a bird guy, I was hoping they’d make the bird’s beak red like real cardinals. That aspect of their logo bothers me as much as the uni itself.

    When I was a kid in the early ’70’s you could get a replica NFL jersey from the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue. I got the Bengals and Cowboys.
    A year or two later, the same NFL jerseys were offered but now they all had wordmarks on the chest. I was perplexed. Why? Who would want a NFL jersey marred by inaccuracy? Why did they dumb down the jersey?

    A R I Z O N A!

    While I’m sure that the Eagles unis will be redesigned soon, I’m very afraid of the proposals. :( In fact, I’m starting to fear the alternate kelly green for this season. I don’t want to cheer for a team as bland looking as this poor Cardinals.

    Kelly green, block numbers, full bird on the sleeve caps… done. Silver pants for the win, white pants if not. Done.

    AZ Cardinals… on the video posted on ESPN, there are TV numbers on the red jerseys in a few of the shots. Guess they got scrapped.

    Paul- I agree that they really need to mix and match the jerseys and pants. I was hoping that if they wanted to pay homage to Arizona, they could have incorporated the state flag into the sleeves

    How much say does the team have with these Nike designs? They are not well though out design wise at all.

    I think what everyone missed about the Cards uniforms is that Kyler Murray is still in them. That’s the worst design element of all.

    I think after another disappointment I am 99% sure about some things regarding uniform development in the NFL:

    1. Who are these designers? – I don’t feel that the people who design the current NFL uniforms are sports people, maybe that’s good to some degree but now I am convinced that these designers have no idea. I also understand that they are paid to do a job, which poses a much larger question! If the designers are just doing their job who ultimately is making the decision obviously are not sports people!
    2. This is produced for the herd – You only produce a product this bad when you know you will be producing another pile of shite in 5 years…. jersey sales, jersey sales, jersey sales…. must people are herd consumers and I am positive are not as insulted by this atrocity as anybody who is a Uni-Watch Watcher. Nike will dangle that carrot long enough out there that after 15 years and 3 sets of uniforms you are watering at the mouth for the return to retro set and Nike has accomplished its goal of selling every single fan of that a team a jersey.
    3. Uniforms, like the players who are drafted by the NFL are determined by analytics – Nike is just cranking out the doo doo like it does when you look for your favorite Scottie Pippens Flight basketball shoes and Nike has gotten rid of em and replaced them with Air Penny’s. Apparently there is no honor in love nor uniform development.

    Hear, hear! Nike team uniform designers only get an assignment if they state that they hate team sports.

    ….. And another thing, why is NIke promoting that foolhardy biggie t shirt hanging out of the bottom of the jersey thing that completely defies logic? You’ve committed your self to making uniforms that are tucked in and tight everywhere to avoid being grabbed and then you’re like… you know what would look good with this streamlined tight uniform? If you wore it over a 1930’s male sleeping gown right right out of a Laurel and Hardy short from 1935.

    wow….THIS is what they came up with?! i vote for any future uniform changes to surveyed by this website. WHO gave the final approval on this? it’s not horrible, it’s just incredibly plain. an incorporation of the old uni designs (just updated) would have sufficed.

    I will say I think it’s a big improvement, mainly because the old unis were such a mess. I like mono uniforms, but generally for college and not the NFL. I am glad the NFL uses mono look now, but it just doesn’t feel as authentic as college mono.

    The biggest thing that bothers me is the inconsistent looks between the red and white the white uniforms. I like when uniforms are the same design with only colors swapped around. (I don’t mind the occasional special design for college unis.) I also agree that the lack of stripes is very practicish (and Penn State) and the white with the team name on the sleeves is, I would day, just cheesy. And that black, which I don’t mind as a look, does look a lot like tOSU…. The only college team I hate more than tOSU is UGAg.

    The new Cardinals uniform look like they belong to a high school team near Columbus Ohio. It just feels underdone, uninspired, and amateurish.

    It amazes me how they were able to pull this off! First, the new set is way better than the old set. However the new set still sucks. Well at least the arena league side panels are gone. I like how Paul compared it to upgrading from an arena league set to a D2 college set. Maybe in 5 years they’ll actually put out something good? History says they’ll stick with this design for a while unfortunately…

    The large Arizona wordmark in the front of the red home jersey is completely unnecessary. The white and black uniforms look good though.

    To me as a helmet guy, the most interesting thing about the Cardinals uniform change is that it breaks the last connection to the helmets of the 60s and 70s. With the Cardinals going to the silver facemasks, this is the last team that has broken the streak of classic gray face masks on non-silver helmets going all the way back to the old days. There are some teams like my 49ers that currently have gray face masks are non-silver helmets, but that doesn’t go all the way back to the old days, and the 49ers famously had an abomination of glitzy uniform change in 1996, and changed their classic gray facemasks to red, along with changing the red color shade of the uniform. Thankfully they have since gone back to classic, huge improvement.

    There were other teams like the Colts, the Giants, or the Browns for a time, etc. that went back to gray facemasks, but only after changing from the grave facemasks in the late 70s the early 80s to white face masks. This interestingly became a trend originally with the Pittsburgh Steelers I believe being the first team to switch from the classic gray facemask to a black facemask to match their helmet color in 1977 (although I believe that the Buccaneers were the first team to have non-grey face masks, their debut helmet in 1976 had an orange face mask) and other teams, the Rams, the Packers, etc etc changed changed from the classic gray facemask to their uniform or helmet color.

    It’s interesting that even when of the Cardinals changed from their classic uniforms to the terrible ones that they had prior to these new ones, they kept the old classic gray facemask with the helmet, making them the last team to continuously have one day back all the way to the old days. Now over, and this is probably one of the most interesting and relevant things about this uniform change. For a classic uniform, and classic NFL guy like me, it’s a sad day indeed.

    This is an insult to Cardinals fans, football fans and sports uniform enthousiasts everywhere. You call it uninspired? We do not care. You call it a lazy design? We shrug our shoulders. You say it is promoting the preference for depressing practice gear minimalism? We call it fahionable. You will not buy it? We do not care, millions of herdfollowing people who want to belong to the average masses will buy it anyway.

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