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Let’s All Go Bonkers Speculating About the Broncos’ New Uniforms

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As we all know, the Denver Broncos are slated to get a new uniform set in 2024. We don’t yet know how those uniforms will look, but a fair amount of intriguing, highly unverified info is currently circulating. Although my default mode is to remain skeptical about unverified info like this, at least some of the info is coming from a verifiable human being, so I’ve decided to go ahead and write about this topic, even though we don’t yet have any hard info.

Let’s start with this: On Dec. 23 — that’s two and a half weeks ago — a Twitter-er who goes by “Mile High Mario” posted a thread about the Broncos’ new uniforms. Mile High Mario’s Twitter handle is @VetanzeTherapy, and his real name is Mario Vetanze. According to his website, he’s a board-certified posture exercise professional and and a licensed massage therapist who’s worked with over 50 Broncos players. That claim appears to be confirmed by this 2021 Denver Gazette article and this 2021 TV news report. In other words, Vetanze is a real person with a real connection to the Broncos.

So what did Vetanze tweet on Dec. 23? The full thread is here, but I’m going to copy/paste the text so it’s easier to read without slogging through the various tweets (plus I’ve cleaned up a few typos and added some links):

Here’s what I know about the Broncos uniforms for next season:

  • They will be updated, with the biggest change being the removal of the parentheses stripes on the sides of the uniforms.
  • The tops will likely be solid so they can mix and match different tops and bottoms without worrying about a weird mismatched-stripe situation like they did with the white tops and blue pants in 2022.
  • There will also be an emphasis on “5280” and the mountains to some extent.
  • I believe they are also altering the font of the jerseys and the stripe on the helmet.
  • They will also be bringing back the throwbacks that the team wore from 1968-1996. The committee actually got to decide which throwbacks to bring back, and believe it or not, the brown and yellows were on the table. Thankfully, nobody wanted them, LOL.

Naturally, some of Vetanze’s Twitter followers posted follow-up questions, some of which he responded to. Here are those exchanges:


I have a lot of questions about all of this, so I reached out to Vetanze via the email address and phone number listed on his website. No response, at least so far.

So for now, we just have Vetanze’s tweets. Judging by the way he phrased things, it sounds to me like he’s had the new uniforms described to him but hasn’t actually seen them. (That’s one of the things I wanted to ask him.)

Okay, so that’s all intriguing, right? And since we know Vetanze is a real person with real ties to the team, he presumably isn’t just blowing smoke. That doesn’t automatically mean his info is accurate (he seemed to hedge a bit on some of the claims himself), but I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he’s not a hoaxer or a bullshit artist.


We can’t necessarily say the same thing about the other person who’s recently been generating chatter about Denver’s new uniforms. That person is a pseudonymous participant on a message board hosted by the Broncos’ website. On Jan. 4, this participant, who goes by Brady2024, posted the following (again, I’ve cleaned up a few typos):

For those who care about these things, the Broncos are getting new uniforms this year that will be unveiled around draft time. Whether you love them or hate them, the parentheses stripes are gone. Here’s what I know.

The colors are not changing — we remain orange, white, and navy. There is a new color being introduced but it is used sparingly as a trim element. It’s a light grayish blue, it makes things look frozen. A big theme of these new uniforms is mountain peaks and ice.

The Broncos will be moving to white helmets permanently. The helmet logo remains the horse head but it has a shiny finish to stand out from the white shell. The helmet stripe is a classic tri-stripe of navy-orange-navy. The facemask will be interchangeable based on uniform combos.

There are three new tops and one throwback. The new tops are orange, navy, and white. All tops have white shoulders. On the orange top there are blue mountains with the white acting as a snow cap, and have white numbers with topography lines of the Rocky Mountains on the inside of them. The navy uniforms are just navy and white with very little orange. The white uniforms are white and orange with very little navy and the only new top that doesn’t have blue mountains on the sleeve but instead has white ones with the new color marking their outline.

The throwbacks are of the ’80s variety with the classic “D” and the off-blue helmets to match.

The Broncos have three pants options with the white, navy, and orange tops, and they are white, navy, and orange. They feature no stripes but have “5280” stacked down the leg in the same color as the pants, so it’s subtle.

Just wanted to pass that along for the people who care about such things.

Two days later, in that same discussion forum thread, Brady2024 said:

Royal blue was on the table [as the primary helmet color] and tested very poorly. People saw it as too collegiate, evoking Florida or Boise State, and a fair amount even saying it looked too much like the Giants.

Still later in the thread, on Jan. 8 (that’s two days ago), Brady2024 said: “Someone reached out to me and made a pretty close mock-up. It’s not 1:1, but it gives you an idea.” He then linked to this concept image:

Naturally, that led to more fleshed-out versions:

So: Brady2024’s info is much more detailed than Vetanze’s, but we don’t know who Brady2024 is, so there’s no accountability. And while it’s true that a lot of Brady2024’s info seems to confirm what Vetanze tweeted, it’s also true that Brady2024 could simply be yanking everyone’s chain by creating a fictitious post based on the info in Vetanze’s tweets.

Anyway: If this is what the Broncos really have in store — and that’s still a big if — it sounds very much like the NFL’s first City Connect uniform. Which I guess isn’t so surprising, but it’s certainly not a good sign of where NFL uniform design may be heading.

Update: A few hours after this post was published, I heard from Mario Vetanze, who agreed to talk with me. You can check out my exclusive interview with him here.



Triangle Defense

Interesting NBA uni matchup last night, as the Lakers and Raptors both wore peak-formatted lettering on their jerseys. Has that ever happened before?

(My thanks to Ilan Shields and @nomuskles for this one.)



Membership Update

Membership card orders are continuing their New Year’s renaissance. One of the new enrollees is Jack Hibbert, who requested an early-’80s Padres treatment for his card. Good choice, Jack!

As I mentioned earlier this week, the membership card program will cease when I leave Uni Watch at the end of May. So if you want your own custom-designed card, most fast (or at least fast-ish).

As always, you can order a card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 3,300 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.



Mascot Watch

Handsome boy.



Can of the Day

Kinda weird to see “Go” as the top signal in a traffic light, instead of the bottom, but whatever — I still love those diagonal lines beaming across the can.

Comments (52)

    “Royal blue was on the table [as the primary helmet color] and tested very poorly.”
    With who? I’d love to know who all these tests are with that bring us nonsense like the current Rams, Falcons, Titans, and Jets uniforms.
    All of this sounds like the uniform will be a major downgrade. White helmet and orange jersey is the domain of the Bucs, the Broncos are a blue helmet team.
    About the only positive in all of this is that unlike the Texans, it sounds like this will be the same template for all color uniforms (minus the throwback).
    When you consistently hear people say teams’ throwbacks should be their regular uniforms, why aren’t the NFL teams listening to that? My only guess is to sell more merch by keeping the popular past uniforms in circulation, but also rolling out new garbage every 5 to 10 years that nobody really likes but feel compelled to buy as part of the fans-need-merch concept.

    Seems you’re right. I prefer the traditional Browns/Packers/Bears etc way of doing it. Classic and consistent uniforms and trod out one new Color Rush BS jersey every so often for the merch aspect.

    I’d also say nothing looks more collegiate than completely switching up your longstanding helmet color to something new, specifically white for white sake. Then there is the no-tv numbers, also a college thing. Or perhaps the mix and match jersey / pants combo in all team colors.
    If true, everything about this new design screams college uniforms.

    Caitlin was a legend, but these new mascots are so CUTE. Glad the next chapter is looking so bright, Paul.

    Also mountains (if true) > parentheses but not by much.

    Did I read right? No stripes/trim on the pants?!? I hope that leotards/leggings/yoga pant trend dies a horrible death.

    Big yikes if those are really the new Broncos uniforms. There wasn’t a ton wrong with them once you removed the parentheses stripe. so now they’ve invented all kinds of new things wrong with them. (The helmet mockup looks garish and overly busy and the shoulder mountain peaks thing is just gonna look weird in real life.)

    Dang, I hope they don’t try the gimicky stuff with the numbers down the leg (didn’t Nike learn their lesson with the Browns?) or those mountains on the shoulders. When I looked at the mock-ups all I could think of was “those look like something they would wear in the XFL”. Definitely don’t see this overhaul (if it is true) to be considered to a “classic” design and probably will only live the 5 year minimum.

    The white helmet is a deal-breaker for me. The white helmet was an interesting novelty as an alternate this past season, but it does not look right as part of the Broncos’ primary look. It looks even worse with the “flaming lizard” logo in place of the old “D” logo because of how much white space there is in that current logo. It was never designed to be worn on a white helmet and it will barely be visible from the stands or on TV. Fingers crossed this is not real…

    The Bronco’s logo is one of my least favorites in the league. Was hoping it would get replaced.

    Supposedly there is one traffic light in the U.S. with the green light on the top and the red on the bottom. It’s in a historically Irish neighborhood (naturally) in Syracuse, N.Y.


    Used to be common in Wisconsin to mount traffic lights sideways. Which is a fine idea, as long as nobody is red/green colorblind and it never snows.

    You can still find them quite a bit in WI. The order stays the same for colorblind people (however I can’t remember which is left or right off the top of my head)

    In Germany, the lights turn yellow from red before they go green, something to get used to, for sure

    5280 stacked on the legs rather than stripes sounds very Browns rebrand that failed miserably. Why Nike feels they need to find some sort of link to a unique aspect of a city is beyond me. If you want to do that sort of thing for merch, go ahead. But for a uniform, just make it look good. Utilize the colors of the team in an appealing fashion.

    Gimmicks don’t last, they just make things worse.

    Let’s see…Nike gimmicks of late that have failed. Cleveland Browns, ATL gradient jersey, Tampa Bay and that horrible alarm clock font, Jaguars 2-tone helmet. Soon we can add the Commanders mess of a uniform. The Rams Bone uniform.

    Give me pre 1995 NFL uniforms please and call it a day.

    Gimmick is the perfect word to describe Nike’s approach to uniform changes. What’s the point of creating an identity to stray so far away from it by going to white helmets and adding another color? The Broncos should have blue helmets and orange jerseys. I even think they should keep the round numbers they currently have, it’s a font they own now like the Steelers and their numeral font. I’ll give those sleeve stripes a shot, but they need to stop trying to reinvent teams.

    I wonder…does the NFL office review design choices and sign off/send back?
    Nike has done a lot of damage to the ‘trust your tailor’ model, and has been/should be shamed for many things as a company, including the logo placement/prominence on the jerseys, their ‘inablilty’ to make shiny pants, the old bulky Flywire collars (full disclosure: I liked the faux-neck roll look of some teams). But even with Nike thumb-on-the-scale influence, teams have their own ideas/agendas and sometimes simply listen to the wrong folks (i.e.: players, coaches, “fans”)when it comes to their look.
    I’m not instilled with confidence that the Broncos will get this right based on today’s disclosure…especially if the orange pants rumor pans out and their immediate dismissal of the brown/yellow throwback.

    I hope the second one is wrong. A white logo on a white helmet is completely asinine.And Royal blue not being on the table is ridiculous because it looks better. It looks right. Navy is too dark.

    This is so disappointing if true. I was hoping for simply the color rush, with navy and white versions of the like. Basically just a modernized version of the 80s/90s unis with navy for royal and that darker more burnt orange shading.

    This looks like a mess. Like a small college football or even high school uni. Nike’s attempt to fix the late 90s/early00s cartoonish uniforms are turning out also awful. Blown opportunities with Atlanta, Arizona and now looking like Denver too

    I prefer the navy over lighter blue by far but hoped they went with last years Color Rush setup as the template, not the white helmet. The snow caps and pants sound horrible

    I actually think it would be an upgrade, if that uni is close to being reality. Cleaner. I was hoping they would change the hue of the orange, similar to what the Philadelphia Flyers did, but that maybe wishful thinking

    Bye parentheses. Never liked that trend. Will not miss it. Do not bring it back. Teams that use funky swooshes, swishes and dashes might reconsider as will. What is that thing on The Titans pants? Get rid of it.

    If we are allowed to go all “bonkers”, why not have the Broncos go purple & green to match the Rockies city connect jerseys.

    A purple helmet, green jerseys, 5280 piping down the side pannels of the pants…let’a go crazy!! Do it! The flood gates are open and every week a NEW combo! You never know what’s next!

    *With the “If there’s any validity to these” caveat*

    I actually wouldn’t hate the white helmet. The mountains on the shoulders thing though? Comically bad.

    Should those mountains be white and the sky blue? Moreover, should those mountains even exist on the uniform?

    After reading about the Broncos uniforms and seeing those mockups (however wrong they may end up), I’m much more pleased with the Cardinals new uniform set. The white set looks amazing on TV, I’d even be happy with the red set (even the giant “Arizona”), if they’d only use white socks. The number font and name plate is perfect IMO.

    I agree about the white set, as that is what they kind of wore many years ago (pants wise).
    And, the fact they didn’t go solid white. Was hoping they would pair the white pants with the red jersey just once to see what it would look like. I hope this mono-crap runs its course. But, looks like that look just keeps increasing every year.

    Conceptually, I like the idea of deliberate mix-and-match shirts and pants. But it seems a misstep to me to implement that approach by eliminating stripes from the pants. Match the helmet stripes to stripes on the pants. I also don’t hate either a fourth accent color or a mountain-top-y motif in principle, but again execution will be everything.

    The effectively ghosted helmet, though? Ugh. There are too many white helmets in the NFL to begin with, and the predominately white horsey logo just disappears. Doesn’t matter how matte or shiny either surface is, for most viewers at most distances in most lighting, it will be nigh-invisible white on white. I don’t like ghosted cap logos in baseball; I don’t want to see them in the NFL either. Broncos, don’t copy the Brewers or Angels on this one.

    Pants: “They feature no stripes but have “5280” stacked down the leg in the same color as the pants, so it’s subtle.” And stupid, and done before (and demonstrated as awful), and all the other things folks have mentioned. Hope this particular aspect is not accurate.

    I’m a traditionalist, but honestly, the mountains thing on the shoulders doesn’t strike me as so bad. Can’t believe I’m typing this. Overall, sounds like they are taking a page from the Cardinals, which is not a good thing.

    When I saw the thing about the stripe-less pants with numbers down the side, my immediate thought was “start the 5 year clock now”.

    I hope I live to see the day when Nike and all the others stop trying so hard to pigeonhole some idiotic story into the uniforms and just focus on good design. The snow-capped mountains on the sleeves are awful. Take those away – and, of course, take away the WFWS helmet – and the rest of the mocked-up uniform isn’t so bad. I like the orange jersey with white pants, and I like the regular stripes much better than those silly parentheses things. Just please don’t wear white pants with white socks!

    Well, if that “5280” pants thing is real, it mustà been thought of in Denver…
    Cause somebody was a mile high when they designed that…

    Will the press release say something like: “white helmets symbolizing snow-capped mountains”, after all most football players are generally speaking mountain sized. The Mountains on the side, if reflected as above, could be interpreted as “shark teeth” cartoon like

    Not digging the white helmets. I’d prefer they just stayed with navy. I know my opinion is the antithesis of most, but I just don’t care for the orange. The affinity for this color eludes me as they’ve never won a Super Bowl in that color. I’d be happy if they stuck with mostly navy with just an orange accent to acknowledge their history. I like their current logo and don’t care for the snot rocket horse. If they wanted to wear the early Elway era uniforms as throwbacks I can bare that. Not having stripes on the pants is a big mistake.

    I was hoping for an American Indian influence, given Denver’s location and the western theme of the Broncos’ name.

    I hope they keep the current number font. That is one of the few highlights of the current design. I think a lot of the purported changes have the potential to be acceptable. My main concern is that they end up doing a lot of mono, which will be extra bad with no pant stripes.

    Lastly, I agree that the trend towards “city connect” uniforms in the NFL is concerning, but I mean… at least it’s . Many of the new uniforms Nike has been putting out for NFL teams feature contrived bullshit like massive city/state names on the front, ugly jagged side panels, or all the kitchy nonsense that teams like the Rams introduced (name patch, gradients, dishwater). Alternatively, they just make ones that are insanely safe and plain, like the Jaguars. Is the snow theme a bit dorky and unrelated to anything in the broncos’ history? Yes. But does it have the potential to be better than these other outlandish and stupid elements that outright ruin all of the uniforms they are featured on? We will have to wait to see the final result, but I think the answer could be yes.

    Hey there Paul loved the kitty photo…
    noticed the can in the can was one my Granny had…a pipe tobacco container, if I’m not mistaken, she kept buttons in it…great memories in that woman’s house, wish I could see it and her again….she made the greatest biscuits…

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