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Reading the Tea Leaves on Tomorrow’s Lions Alternate Helmet Unveiling

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As you can see above, the Lions put out a tweet last night indicating that they’ll unveil an alternate helmet on June 21 — tomorrow.

Obviously, the new helmet will not be silver, since they could have done that all along under the one-shell rule. So what might a non-silver Lions alternate helmet look like, and what hints or clues can we glean from their teaser tweet? Here are some possibilities:

1. The helmet will be white with blue graphics.

The license plate on the car is white with blue lettering, so that could be a hint regarding the helmet’s design. The resulting design could look something like the retail mini-helmet shown above.

2. The helmet will be blue.

The car is blue, and so is the type on the license plate, so that could indicate that they’re going with a blue helmet, like the mini-helmet shown above.

3. The helmet will be chrome.

That retro car has lots of chrome, right? So maybe they’ll be going with something like the mini-helmet shown above (although if they really wanted to do that, they could just make that the primary helmet).

4. The helmet will be a throwback.

The car is obviously old, and the license plate is “Historical,” so that could mean that they’re going with a retro helmet. But which retro era would they choose from? According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the only non-silver helmets in Lions history are these:

Yes, it’s true — the Lions actually wore red in the 1940s and ’50s. But I think we can dismiss red as a possible color for the new alternate, and probably black as well, because not even the Lions are stupid enough to go that route. Blue seems like the most likely retro option, right?

But let me just point out, for the sake of argument, that the Lions won the 1953 NFL championship while wearing the gold helmets. This year will be the 70th anniversary of that title. Hmmmmm.

Lots of intriguing possibilities! In any case, we’ll find out tomorrow. Don’t screw this up, Lions!



Can of the Day

Not sure which I like more — the block-lettered “Prize” or the “They’re Flavorized” slogan. Either way, gorgeous can!

Comments (46)

    Despite your exhortation to the contrary, the Lions WILL screw this up. Like everything else they’ve done for the last 60 years.

    I was a little excited for the reveal until you reminded us of this truth, which is appreciated.

    Well, they did draft Barry Sanders. That was good. But everything else, I mean EVERYTHING else, they screwed up. Including their relationship with Sanders, who would rather retire early than play one more down for the Fords.

    Calvin Johnson too. And they had Matt Stafford.
    There are a couple easy options here. I’d prefer Honolulu blue. I could live with white. I don’t see the point of chrome.
    But they’re gonna screw it up. Matte black with chrome lions or something ridiculous.

    It’s a minor difference, but I wish the Lions would go back to the old silhouette logo, without the extra detailing. The current logo feels like it’s stuck between being a full on Lion in profile or a silhouette. Choose one.

    I like the extra details when it’s strictly a flat presentation, but I have definitely avoided buying a lions hat because they embroider the logo like it’s a fully muscled 3D lion and it’s absolutely repugnant. So if going back to a simple silhouette is what it takes to stop that, let’s go for it.

    My dream would be for the October 15th game in Tampa Bay be a matchup of the White/White/Orange creamsicles vs. Silver/Blue/Silver Barry Sanders era uniforms

    Based on the current NFL trends, and the Lions apparent desire to wear mono-everything, I’m going to say it’ll be a blue helmet.

    I want to say the Lions never wore a “gold” helmet — the silver shell simply changed color beneath the plastic shell as it aged… but this article from Helmet Hut seems to disagree link

    I highly doubt they’d go white, black or chrome.

    Nope, I will call it now … Honolulu blue

    I wouldn’t mind being wrong tho.

    Phil I think that Helmet Hut article was just “waxing poetic” about the 50th anniversary of the Lions championship. The gold was just how the silver showed through the clear shell as it aged. Plus the plastic Riddell used was slightly yellow from the day they left the factory – like how the clear shells from MacGregor/Kelley and Marietta/MaxPro were slightly blue/gray – and these early 50s Riddell clear shells got even more yellowed almost immediately.

    Re-reading that, I think you’re 100% correct. I didn’t think the Lions ever had a gold helmet (for all the reasons you mentioned plus that’s what I’d heard all along as well). Even the GUD’s depiction of the “gold” helmet attempts to show it as an “aged” silver paint under a plastic (yellowing) shell.

    Either way…ain’t no way the alt hat is “gold”

    The old helmet logo looked like a Rorschach blot. “Now look at this and tell me what you see.” “I see decades of futility.”

    I may be in the minority when I say that I actually quite like the GENERAL look of their all-greys. The big drawback for me is the number font, because it’s GD gross.

    That said, I also like that the helmet is a mismatched “grey” (sort of), and have long thought it would be even better if it were a little closer to chrome. However, it wouldn’t be much of an alternate helmet if it was just “a little bit shinier than the standard helmet” unless they were doing that as a way to gauge interest in that specific color for their redesign next year.

    But take my opinion with a grain of salt, I also think the 49ers alt helmet (if they ever have one) should be a gold chrome shell with the infamous “one day” logo.

    Helmet will be white so they can do the whole “stormtrooper” thing with those white pants.

    Native Michigander here. And yes, we call ourselves Michiganders. Not at all goose related.
    I’m guessing blue with white stripes and a gray or white face mask on this one. The striping on the car looks similar to the striping on the helmet. A blue helmet would pair well with the awful gray uni’s. The license plate is just our normal license plate. I wouldn’t consider that part of the teaser tweet related to the helmet colors.

    ” A blue helmet would pair well with the awful gray uni’s”

    NOTHING will pair well with the mono-gray. Nothing.

    I know Phil, I know. Truly, they pair really well with a trashcan, but Im TRYING to be optimistic about those stupid uni’s. It’s an uphill battle.

    But they’re gonna have to wear this helmet with the Gray jerseys.

    So they can’t create an all blue or a whiteout look.

    I’ll go blue, I don’t have examples, but I sense that color is becoming a bit of a trendy color. Yep, there’s certain events that are consistent for my entire life that over the last year has changed. The Queen was always the Queen, a Canadian golfer could never win the Canadian Open, but the one true constant, the Lions are never any good, sorry Detroit.

    ” Don’t screw this up, Lions!” GULP.

    I will say this. I think a Honolulu Blue helmet could meet my rule, “You still have to look like the Lions.” In fact, I am intrigued by the idea that the H.Blue lid might help those grey-all-day monstrosities come closer to passing the rule. Hmmm.

    Any significance to picking the Solstice?

    It’s the official start of summer. I say they’re going to have convertible helmets – tops down! :)

    I’m in the white or Honolulu blue camp on this one as those align with the standard home and away sets and creates opportunities for a bunch of combos. In reality, it’ll probably be chrome because no one else has done it yet.

    If that happens, cue the Cylon jokes!

    If they did go with white lids, they COULD do the thick blue/silver stripe that used to run behind the thin, prowling lion logo from before the Sanders years. It would be asymmetrical but it was sharp and vaguely recalled racing stripes down the hood of a Detroit-built car. Sometimes, asymmetrical stripes work (Seahawks, ***skins used it to good effect on sleeve striping in the past).

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, and will gladly take any beatings I have coming, but I don’t know that it would be all that stupid to revisit one of the red & black looks, especially if they trotted it out for the Thanksgiving game. I consider myself a fairly dedicated student of uniform design and history, and I was today years old when I learned that the Lions once wore black and red, so I’m sure there are plenty of other fans out there who have no idea. Why not share this long-forgotten piece of history with your fanbase, and also a national audience?

    And to top of it all off, they play the Thanksgiving Day game at Comerica Park, outdoors in the elements, it’s not Tiger Stadium, but the next best thing. It will never happen, but If someone had a bit of creativity spark in the NFL – and they did do it – I strongly expect the television ratings would be higher than they would be otherwise.

    Based on this teaser image. Blue helmet, white stripes, chrome face mask.
    Blue helmet-Blue car
    White stripes-White stripes on car that match current helmet stripping perfectly
    Chrome-Car detailing is chrome. (We’ve seen chrome masks in the league before)
    now for the logo, I sure hope they don’t make it a white lion.

    Michigander here. Grey unis are trash. Bring back the blue facemask. Wear blue pants over white any chance you can. Cheers!

    Am I the only one who’s seen enough City Connect uniforms this year to expect a black alternate helmet to wear with the all grey uniform?

    I fully expect the new helmet to be blue, with white and chrome accents. Where I differ slightly from the previous comments is that I also expect to see the 1960s Lion with the two vertical stripes on the side of the helmet. That logo is nearly identical to the Ford Mustang logo of the same era (the same Ford Mustang you see in the teaser post).

    It would give the Lions a really nice faux-back look, and could be a stepping stone towards turning the all-gray into a more vintage-inspired uniform with next year’s full redesign.

    I also expect to see the 1960s Lion with the two vertical stripes on the side of the helmet. That logo is nearly identical to the Ford Mustang logo of the same era (the same Ford Mustang you see in the teaser post).

    Great insight, Jordan! I totally whiffed on that. I like your analysis!

    I forkin’ hate that 2 stripe creeping lion logo. And it could have been avoided if they asked the designer one of two questions: do you know how to draw? Or: can you draw a convincing lion?

    “I think we can dismiss red…and probably black as well, because not even the Lions are stupid enough to go that route…”
    But Nike is…matte black shell, gloss blue-on-black logo, blue mask
    Can’t get any worse than that(I hope)

    The car is a 71-72 Mustang, so classic Shelby stripes would be perfect. And the Fords own the team, right?

    Is it possible, albeit unlikely, that the helmet could be silver? While I agree with Paul’s explanation that the Lions could have done an alternate silver helmet all along, maybe they are misusing the term “alternate” to mean a helmet with an “alternate” throwback logo and/or striping. Or have they already announced that they sought league approval for an alternate helmet? Personally, I hope it is close to the white mini helmet shown.

    I love the tea leaf reading. I’m convinced it’s going to be chrome. No NFL team has done it yet, as far as I can remember and confirm with a quick Google search. It had a big moment in CFB and then the trend kinda died out. But I think it fits with the Motor City team and they are be happy to play up the connection to classic chrome on cars, as they do in the teaser. They have two Thursday night road games early in the season to highlight these and I would expect them to make their debut then.

    Perhaps a blue helmet with red Mustang taillights on the back and Edsel headlights and grille on the front. A “Northwestern” racing stripe down the middle with a race-car style encircled player’s number over the stripe. That would be sufficiently “Detroit”, in both a good (and mostly) bad way!
    I don’t have time to PhotoShop it today…

    It’ll be blue with chrome as usual because that’s all the stupid Nike rage these days. Lol

    I think everyone is reading too much into the one shell rule being dropped.
    As mentioned in the article, the Lions have basically only worn silver helmets except for those ‘gold’ ones from the ’50s, and those odd ball unis from the late ’40s. So they could have thrown back to almost any era anyway.

    Since the plate on the teaser car does say Historical, I think they are going with a design based on an actual helmet. I think they’re going back to the Barry Sanders era unis and helmet. That would pair well with the TB Creamcicle unis they are wearing against the Lions.

    OHHH, yes, the Lions are stupid enough to do anything you can imagine. I’m amazed that I’ve never heard any media types jump on this, but look up the day the Ford family took control of the Lions. Then it all makes sense.

    Blue. White stripes. Chrome mask. Retro lion with the Mustang stripes. Same disappointing team, unfortunately, as I like the Lions.

    It’s the Lions…we are all over looking the black, honeycomb trim on the Mustang. That is what the pattern will be on the shell. Completed with a chrome Lion logo.

    I’m joking…but as another long-suffering Detroit fan I am convinced we are not allowed to have nice things.

    My guess is a blue helmet, silver stripes to match the car, and the throwback Lions logo that matches the logo in the “90 Seasons” patch on the uniform.

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