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Detroit Lions Wearing Grey Alternates on Sunday (Hopefully for Final Time)

The Lions will close out the regular season by wearing their godawful grey alternate uniforms and blue alternate helmets for Sunday’s home game against the Vikings.

This will be the second time this season that the Lions have worn this combo. The first time was on Oct. 30, when they defeated the Raiders, 26-14 (additional photos here):

The Lions introduced the grey uniform as part of their most recent uniform overhaul in 2017. The grey design was originally worn with the team’s primary silver helmet, but the lifting of the one-shell rule allowed the Lions to add a blue alternate helmet to the combo this season:

There have been lots of hints that the Lions will have new uniforms for 2024. If so, Sunday’s game could be the swan song for the grey alternate — and not a moment too soon. Scrapping the grey would be a textbook case of addition by subtraction, plus it would free up the blue helmet to be paired with a more appropriate alternate uni.

Sunday’s Lions/Vikes game is scheduled to kick off at 1pm Eastern.

Comments (48)

    Please explain to me how these uniforms are worse than the Rams dishwater uniforms or the Seattle neon eyesores.

    I agree that the Lions’ grays are not worse than the Rams’ dishwaters, but that margin is thin. I personally don’t think Seattle’s neon green is as bad as the original one they had in the Reebok era, but the entire steel-blue phase was godawful.

    As far as blue helmet + grau-fits go…

    SEA ’12-’22 > DET ’23 > LAR ’20-’21, ’23

    While I don’t fancy the all-Action, this 2016 game was ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ (YMMV):


    Sorry Cheis, that was just so bad. Nothing redeeming about that matchup in the least.

    If you want a so-bad-it’s-good that’s relevant, I’d nominate the Falcons/Lions (as mentioned earlier): link

    “Nothing redeeming about that matchup in the least.”
    Not even the Rams throwback helmet, complete with gray mask? Thought you’d like that.

    In a vacuum, yes I liked the helmet. But it was the jersey below the helmet I didn’t like. Ya gotta take the whole thing into account. I also liked the helmets worn by the 2014 Buccaneers (link) and the 2015 Browns (link), but everything below the neck? Yeah, no.

    If the Rams had done something like the uniform on the right (link), I’d have loved it. But they didn’t want to screw up their new uniforms (in their new home) by having the 5 year rule block changes after they settled into their permanent home (had they changed unis when they moved back to LA in 2016, they wouldn’t have had new unis until 2022 at the earliest); so they tried to split the baby and wore for several seasons one of the worst uniform sets in football. (link)

    But that’s just me. I know *some* readers liked it.

    Or the Falcons (non-throwback division). Or the Vikings’ insistence on nested numbers. Or what the Titans wear (non-Oiler throwback division).

    IMHO Seattle’s snot green are substantially better because at least it’s a real color. The Lions gray and the Rams dishwater jerseys look like soiled white jerseys.

    To me, the Lions grays are the worst, but mainly because they are ALWAYS paired with all-gray elements. I don’t think the jersey itself is all that bad in a vacuum, but when you add in the gray pants, gray socks, and the fact that they’re always worn in a dome, just makes the whole thing the most drab uniform maybe in history. The only one that comes close to me is those few times the Rams went all-dishwater; jersey, pants, and socks; but I think they’re partially saved by the fact that they were mostly worn on the road outdoors, and partially that most of their double-dishwater looks since switching uniforms have generally been with blue socks. Seeing them in all dishwater on the road IN Detroit (or Atlanta, or New Orleans…) would probably force a tie for the most drab uniform of all time in my mind.

    On another note regarding the Lions-Vikings game, it would be nice if Minnesota brought their purple jerseys to Detroit. It would look so much better than another gray-vs.-white matchup, and I would think the contrast would actually be better for the gray against the purple than the white.

    But that’s just what I think.

    Interestingly, the mono-grays have been paired against both white and color jerseys since they were first introduced.

    2019 Bears (white) link

    2020 (worn twice, one color one white) link and link

    2021 (worn twice, both vs. white) link and link

    2022 (again worn twice against jerseys) link and link

    So out of all their wearings, the Lions have only gone gray vs. color once. And since the Vikings have played Detroit when the Lions wore their grays (wearing white tops), I’d venture they will do so again.

    There would be no problem, IMO, with contrast if the Vikings went purple tops, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Agree. If they are going to wear this, it really should be only against a team wearing the their colored jerseys.

    Lions have 3 pretty awesome combinations – white/blue, white/grey and blue/grey. The monolulu blue and monogrey are atrocious. And as much as I like the logo, their alt helmet falls on the “be careful what you wish for” side of lifting the 1-shell rule. It looks like an Arena League helmet.

    Put that helmet with that jersey and the plain white pants, and I’m sold.
    Put that helmet with the white jersey and those gray pants, and I’m sold.
    Grey happens to be my favorite color.

    Or that helmet with that jersey and blue pants. It’s really the mono gray that’s the problem.

    I don’t think the prowling lion with background stripes works as a helmet logo.
    Of course, they could just go back to the Barry Sanders-era uniforms and be done with it. Of course that would be too much to ask.

    It’s just YOUR opinion… most Lions fans like the Color Rush grey uniforms (myself included). It was such a success, college teams adopted it and the blueberries (i.e; Memphis Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats, Buffalo Bulls, to name the ones I know)…

    Yes, of course it’s just my opinion. I never claimed otherwise. If you feel differently, that’s fine. But I’ll still expressing my point of view and advocating for what I consider to be good design (and you can do the same, of course).

    I really like this blue helmet. This might sound strange, but I like the look of this blue helmet offset with the gray jersey better than it coupled with a blue jersey. But I hate this gray uniform. I think the best look of this blue helmet would be with a white jersey and blue pants.

    Are these jerseys the same shade of gray as their striped gray pants? If so, that might make them a little better. But the solid gray pants with the gray jersey is just “blah”. Just makes me think of a dark, dreary day.

    The striped pants are silver. They match the helmet silver. I don’t like that these mono gray uniforms aren’t even part of the team’s color scheme.

    Hey, Paul. Just curious: why do you opt for “grey” over the traditionally American spelling “gray”? I have noticed a major shift in many Americans using “grey,” so I expect in a few years it will become standard.

    I have always used “grey” here on Uni Watch. to me it just feels, well, greyer. Can’t explain it any better than that — that spelling feels more like the color to me.

    On the weekends in the future, it will be spelled “gray,” because I think gray is a Grade A color.
    I prefer it to blinding white, as long as proper contrast is observed.

    It’s been spelled “gray” on the weekends (and Augusts) for the past 15 years…

    Peak aesthetic obsession right here. Obsessive attention to a minute detail during the course of discussing other niche interests!

    I also noticed that, and yes, I won’t be surprised if this becomes the new norm. Hopefully “colour” doesn’t catch on here in America.

    This helmet is a beautiful color. The logo is great, but maybe not on a helmet. Just wearing blue pants would be a dramatic improvement.
    Ideal situation IMHO; the blue helmet, white jersey, blue pants.

    There are so many godawful uniforms in the NFL I don’t know where to start. If I bought a team wearing some Nike atrocity, I’d tell the stylists, “Put us in something evocative of the USFL, circa 1983.”

    Of the dozen ‘83 USFLers to choose from, there’s but 1 team that has both the logos and uniform chassis that are superior to its’ current NFL counterpart- the Washington Federals…but keeping Commie burgundy/gold would be a must.
    Curious what teams you’re thinking of and what you’d swap.

    Bandits over Bucs. NO. CONTEST.
    As much as I like teal, I’d take the Jacksonville Bulls over the Jaguars.
    Stars over Eagles any day in any version.
    Stars over Ravens, for that matter…
    Invaders over Raiders.
    Generals over any NJ team, because they actually embraced their New Jersey-ness.

    I’d say Blitz over Bears (especially the ’84 Blitz) but I know better than to suggest ditching Halas’ legacy.

    Some-to-many would consider Stars over any iteration of the Eagles uni-heresy…not me, mainly because Eagles aren’t green/white/silver (TFPIC). Of course I am alone in my admiration of the yellow/blue throwback.
    And I’d lobby for the Texans to pick up the Gambler branding immediately and run/shoot with it-accurate franchise history be da- – ed.

    Edit: eagles (lower case E) are not green, etc…Philly Eagles are – and look a-OK in midnight.

    Mono grey no way. I guess they will come up with a monolulu set with just a hint of silver and mono white with a hint of blue. Paired with the silver helmet. Bland minimalism, as promoted by lots of college teams in mono white or mono any color with barely an accent color.

    For the record, I do not like the mono grey Lions uniform or any other mono combination for that matter.

    Can we agree that all of those uniforms are horrible? Like trying to decide which of the Kardashian sisters is least annoying.
    Paul, what drives these ugly uniforms…BFBS, mono unitards, etc? Is it the players?

    Was checking on GUD for this week’s combos. Happened to look and see how many times this year New Orleans has worn its “usual” gold pants. They have only worn them one time all year. Sad too. That’s a great uniform when the right combination is paired. Once again, I don’t understand the trend of all these mono-colored uniforms now? I’m cool with them every now and then. But not all the damn time.

    Here’s the rub.. It’s not hard to make a great looking uniform – Using ANY NFL team’s color combo. Nike, in all their wisdom and piles of money insist on half the league looking bad. Actually these days – more than half the league. I am in the wrong business.

    Nike – “You know what would make for a great uniform? Let’s put every team in a mono-colored uniform at home. And a solid white uniform on the road.”

    Yes, the Lions getting rid of – even burning – the gray leotards (or are they Leo-tards?) should be a MASSIVE leap forward in how they look on the field. That said, this is Nike; I can count on…. well, ZERO… fingers as to how many uniforms Swooshie has improved over the years. NONE.

    I’m a Bears fan. And, I will say that moving the TV numbers to the shoulders to make the sleeve stripes more prominent was a plus. With the ever shrinking sleeves, the Bears stripes were almost non-existent.

    Maybe next year, they can make their honolulu-blue monos their “alternate” uniform and wear those shells. That would also limit the amount of times they can wear the monos in one season.

    That doesn’t seem likely, as that would mean they’d need to designate their classic Honolulu jerseys as their “alternate” jersey. *UNLESS* they’re able to play fast and loose with the alt rule, a la the Panthers, who are somehow able to wear their alternate Process Blue jerseys three times AND still wear their alternate black helmet with their all-black uniforms (their black jersey is STILL their primary dark). I’m not entirely sure how this was possible under the current alt “rules” but somehow they pulled it off.

    If the team gets new uniforms (which is expected) I suppose anything is possible, but they currently have their “modern” blue as their primary home (and white as their primary road), with their throwback as one alt (“classic”) and their mono-gray as their CR (and which they have been pairing with the new blue helmet). I can’t see a scenario under which they “undesignate” the gray tops (which currently they only pair with the gray pants and socks) as their alternate/CR uniform to designate the blue jersey (regardless of pants) as the alt. Now, if they decide to ditch the gray tops altogether, then it would be possible to designate the monolulu blues as CR uniform, even if the blue jersey (with gray or white pants) is the primary dark. I just don’t see that happening.

    Paul L. nailed it. Gray is Michigan’s terminally grim skies. Gray is Detroit’s concrete parking decks, the lowest form of Brutalism. The Pistons ditched their 1980s dirty laundry grays then won two NBA titles. Cause and effect, obviously. Lions should do the same. Honolulu blue and silver!

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