Welcome back to the “2+3+2 (+2)” project.
Click to see: AFC East
Today we’ll tackle the NFC North.
If you want to see the genesis of how this project came about, please refer to the AFC East post.
To sum up, the project parameters are the following:
• All teams will have 2 helmets, 3 jerseys, 2 pants and 3 socks
• All uniform elements will be “interchangeable” (any combinations can be worn)
• Some teams will be given two options: current uniform and throwback (or fauxback/alternate)
• Opposing teams will wear different color elements (helmet/jersey/pant/socks)
• Home team will select its color combo, and away team will then select its combos. No elements can match opposing team
• To the extent possible, uniforms will be based on a team’s current available options. Where no such options exist, they will be created such that every team has 2/3/2/3 options.
• Where present home and road (and/or alternate) uniform template designs differ, they will be “streamlined” to have one single format/style in the 2/3/2/3 parameters
• Color vs. color will be permitted. The only exception is only one team can wear its “dark” jersey (the opponent can pair their color “medium” jersey vs. opponent’s “dark” jersey)
Da Bears have one of the more classic uniform sets in the NFL, yet actually meet the 2/3/2/3 criteria with their current helmet/uni wardrobe.
There aren’t many changes here — as noted the Bears already have the full compliment of gear to meet the project guidelines, with a midnight blue and (introduced last season) orange bucket. That helmet currently is restricted to use with their alternate orange jersey, (although the jersey can also be paired with their blue helmet). While there is nothing wrong with the orange helmet and jersey, per se, some feel the shade is too bright (and too reddish), and the wishbone “C” logo also gets lost. For the 2/3/2/3, I have slightly lightened the shade of orange on the helmet/jersey/socks, and on both the blue and orange helmets, the wishbone C has been changed to solid white (which is a harkback to the 1962-1972 era).
The Lions already meet the 2/3/2/3 parameters, after adding a new blue shell this season. There’s serious talk that the team will be redesigning their uniforms for 2024, but for this we’ll stick with their current sets. The team also has a throwback uniform, a very plain Honolulu blue and silver outfit with a logo-less helmet that goes back to the 1950s.
For this set, I eliminated the white pants the team currently wears, sticking with blue and silver/gray. The 2/3/2/3 therefore is silver/gray and blue helmets, blue, white and silver/gray jerseys and socks, and silver/gray and blue pants. The most annoying thing about this set are the “LIONS” and “WCF” (for William Clay Ford) wordmarks on the sleeve caps, which interrupt the striping pattern. In this concept, I’ve eliminated those, as well as the “90” seasons patch on the chest.
No, this is not their current throwback, but it should be. I created this to throwback to the Barry Sanders era. During Sanders’ time with the Lions, the team did have a blue pants option, so we’ll keep that here. To satisfy the 2/3/2/3 protocol, I added a blue shell (complete with a silver/gray logo) and a silver/gray jersey. When the Lions do introduce a new uniform set, this is how it should look.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
It almost feels wrong to shoehorn the Packers into the 2/3/2/3 parameters, as their classic home and road uniforms have, except for a few minor tweaks, remained basically unchanged for decades. Yes, they do have a throwback uniform, and at one time sported white pants (to fulfill their CR ‘obligation’). But for the most part, the Packers are gold/green/gold at home, and gold/white/gold on the road.
For this project, I need to add a second shell and a third jersey (as well as, technically, non-throwback pants). Amazingly, through their entire history, the Packers have never worn a green helmet. But we’re going to add one here, which will be basically the inverse of their current gold helmet. From 1947 through 1955, the team did have a gold jersey as an option — so that will be the “medium” color jersey in this set. Finally, a set of green pants, and a gold jersey to match the style of the white and green shirts. To spice things up just a tad, I’m giving the gold helmet a white cage option, and the green helmet will have a gold facemask.
In addition to their current set, the Vikings introduced a throwback uniform this season, to which they added a “Bud” (Grant) patch after his passing prior to the season. The team has only had a purple helmet (so a new one will be needed) as well as either purple or white jerseys, also necessitating a new third color.
Unlike many, I think the Vikings current uniform is pretty good looking, with one glaring exception: the absolutely terrible font which is used for the first number of a two digit uni number. Single digit players and those with second digits get a more traditional rounded font (as seen on the top line). So, for this, I’m ditching that “sail” font. I also need to add a second color shell and third jersey. Besides white and purple, the only other color in the Vikings’ palette is gold, so we’ll use that for helmet/jersey/socks. For some reason, the current helmet uses a black mask, so I’m changing that to gold. For the alternate hat, the facemask will be purple.
The throwback uniform is gorgeous, but it too has only a single helmet color and two (purple and white) jersey colors. I’ll add the slightly darker athletic gold from the throwback for the new helmet and jersey (as well as gold socks), and give them a set of purple pants (the team did have a set of purple pants from 1962 through 1965, before adding them to their 2006 redesign). I’m not sure the world is ready for a gold Vikings helmet or jersey…but for the 2/3/2/3 project, they get one.
Thanks for indulging me, and I hope you at least enjoy the concept of 2/3/2/3. I’ll tackle the remaining five divisions in separate posts. Please leave any comments/suggestions/critiques in the comments below!