New Uniforms of 2020

In addition to all teams (other than the Bears) reverting to the NFL Shield at the bottoms of their V-collars, seven teams have made 'significant' changes to their uniform for the coming 2020 season.

As the graphics artist for the GUD, I usually have to look at uniform reveals through a different eye. "You mean I gotta draw THAT?!?"

Additionally, where a team has shown what combinations of jersey, pants, and socks they plan on wearing during the season, I like to be prepared.  I assemble every possible combination eliminating the need to miss Sunday football because someone decided to put together a strange new pairing that no one expected and I need to assemble it.

Atlanta Falcons
White Jersey combos
This is a great place to start because this needs to be said and it's best to do it right off the bat. Teams need to stop matching socks and cleats. In their uni-release, only a single red-pants combination was proffered - white jersey, red pants/socks/cleats - found above in the lower right corner. I don't like any of these red pants combinations. The foremost reasons are the fact that the pants stripe and jersey side panel stripe conflict with each other and the red pants completely conflict with the black helmet when having only white in between. I'm not a fan of all-white uniforms either but the black socks and red socks combos with the white jerseys and pants in the top row would work for me as long as the Falcons wore white shoes. I'm not really a fan of any of the black pants combos in the middle row.
Bottom line: Don't match pants, socks, and cleats. Contrast is needed.

Black Jersey combos
As for the black jersey combos, let's start by eliminating all three of the white socks combos down the left side as well as the bottom right corner again with red pants, socks, and cleats. All four of these are simply bad looks.
My favorites are the two black jersey and white pants combos with the colored socks - again assuming the Falcons go with white cleats. The all-black in the center is passable but my favorite is in the middle of the bottom row - black jersey, red pants, black socks and cleats.

We knew that the Falcons were likely keeping their 'throwback' uniform although they were forced to use it with the new matte-black helmet. Not really a big deal.
However, as 'the art talent' here at GUD, let me tell you...there are two things I can't stand - sublimation patterns and gradients. Here is the first "You gotta be kidding me" of the new season. The really bad news is that I kinda like the gradient combo. I just hope that it doesn't create a trend of more teams going with this kind of look.

Overall, I don't mind what Atlanta did. With the exception of the gradient uniform, they really went minimalist and that's OK. The matte black helmet doesn't bother me although I do think the over-sized helmet logo is comically big and after all, isn't just a tip of the cap from the Falcons to their divisional-rival Buccaneers saying "We like what you did with that big flag on your helmet. Take a look at our big bird!" The one thing I really wish they'd correct is the big ATL on the chest. The over-sized numbers would look better if they didn't have to be squeezed into view along with the big, honkin' "ATL."

Cleveland Browns
White Jersey combos
Cleveland ownership listened to their long-suffering fans and got rid of one of the great uniform monstrosities ever perpetuated in the League ranking right their with the 2014-19 Bucs, 2013-17 Jaguars, and the 2002-10 Bills. A little known fact about Browns uniforms is that the Browns tend to match socks with jerseys. However, every once in a while, the Browns would throw a curve ball at us and wear brown socks while wearing white jerseys. It could happen so I planned on being ready. The two combos to the left are likely what we will see for most Cleveland road games this season. One thing I don't care for is that the Brown pants need a white stripe between the two orange stripes. I know these are essentially their Color Rush pants from past seasons. but to be worn as part of a normal rotation with these new uniforms, they need the white stripe.

Brown Jersey combos
I just mentioned the brown pants being last year's Color Rush pants and missing the white middle stripe. To top that off, it appears the Browns kept the all-brown Color Rush combo but removed all stripes. Basically, the Browns said we need two sets of brown pants. The Browns love their brown pants apparently, but does everyone out there remember what Deadpool said about the brown pants? My apologies for the brief, graphic violence but I couldn't resist. Children get your parent's permission first...

After they released their new uniforms, the Browns announced that they got some negative feedback from fans because they did not include options with orange pants. Congrats to the Browns. They gave their fans what they wanted to see with these retro new uniforms. The lack of orange pants was an oversight. The team admitted the error, and stated that they'd find a way to get the orange pants. Kudos. These looks are the Cardiac Kids that I remember from when I was a youngster. There's something just so right about these two looks. I hope we get them frequently this year.

Indianapolis Colts

The most notable change that the Colts are making is the re-shaping of their horseshoe as seen above. Other less notable changes include changing the Nike 'swooshes' on their white jerseys (and likely their white pants, too) from blue to black. Why? The Colts added a logo to the inside of their collars that may or may not have been plagiarized from an Indiana high school team (but I'll let the courts decide that). The Colts also returned to a number font used in their early days. However, because of our use of the number 11, the change won't be noticeable since the ones will be the same for both the new and old number fonts.

Los Angeles Chargers
White Jersey combos
Go ahead, I dare you to find something wrong with these uniforms. Nit-pickers could say something like "There are no TV numbers." Or "the bolts on the pants don't have enough zig-zags." These people need to get a life. I admit that I am getting tired of the italicized number fonts and would have preferred a nice, old-fashioned block font, but I digress. Hmm. I guess I was able to find a 'negative.'

Powder Blue Jersey combos
Personally, I think the Chargers should do something like only wearing the yellow pants either for all of their day games or for all of their night games, some kind of gimmick like that.

Alternate Blues combos

I like the all-royal but it seems superfluous with the all-navy. I really hope the Chargers actually wear white shoes with the all-navy combo. White helmets and white shoes would book-end the uniform nicely. I wonder of the Chargers field-tested the navy uniform with the numbers hollowed-out, as well. Probably made the numbers too difficult to read though.

One other thing...if the NFL ever does do away with the 'One-helmet Rule,' in the words of my daughter, I think this would look 'sick' for night games...

Los Angeles Rams
Bone & Blue jersey combos
The Rams became the last team to unveil their new uniforms. I believe that these blue and bone jersey combos must be evaluated together as one group.

First, let me say that I have no problem with the helmet. Over the years, many fans have been bothered by the fact that the Rams' helmets always had a navy shell that clashed with the royal of the their usual uniforms. That has been corrected with a brilliant, metallic, royal blue shell. The logo is new and different. It's not great. It's just different and I'm sure we'll get used to it. At least they didn't use the gradient coloring on the helmet logo!

Honestly, the jerseys are my biggest problem with these uniforms. The glossy piping of the numbers would have looked better as just regular fabric. This was too big of an attempt to be 'glitzy.' The fold-over-the-back-of-the-collar logo tags are gimmicky. The jerseys would have looked better if they just slapped the logos right on the collar - inside and out. The contrasting look of the tag on the bone jersey is superior to the blue-on-blue tag on the royal jersey. That one would have looked better had it been a yellow tag. The collarbone 'patch' and the peculiar zig-zag stitching limited to just a small portion in the upper right corner is just stupid.

But my biggest peeve for these jerseys is actually the 'sleeves.' The blue jerseys have the Ram horns. The bone jerseys have some kind of wave or shark fin. Why would you not simply put the Ram horns on the bone jerseys also? That makes no sense.

And you already know my feelings about gradients. My question is why not have two blue jerseys. One would have the gradient numbers to be worn with the gradient-striped pants as a Color Rush combo. Another blue jersey without gradient numbers could be worn with the yellow pants. The gradient numbers look unusually out of place when worn with the yellow pants.

New England Patriots
OK. I'm taking bets. I'm willing to bet that this is the last time that an NFL team has a new uniform reveal and only reveals two combinations.

I like what they did. I like the red-blue-red stripes on the white jersey. But at the same time I still agree with those that say its too much red in a blue-oriented jersey. A blue-red-blue stripe pattern probably would have been better.

Like the Browns, the Patriots left the door open to possibly add white or silver pants in the future. I got one for you. What about red pants? Those could be a worthwhile option with the white jerseys.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs pulled a 'Browns' and simply went back to something that works. They never should have moved away from this design in the first place. While keeping a large helmet logo, the Bucs still reduced the logo considerably. Now, instead of being 'freakishly large,' now they have a logo that's just 'big.' The Bucs also ditched the bling-bling chrome grill. Good. Grills are for cars and patios, not football helmets. I would like to see the new Color Rush uniform worn with some red socks and white cleats. 

So who will be getting changes for next season, in 2021? Cardinals? Bengals? Broncos? Eagles? I guess we'll have to wait. Hopefully there will only be two more months before we start thinking about preseason games.

Bill Schaefer

It's a 'Burgh-Thing...I Hope You'll Understand

Fresh off the tails of my blog last week about pearly-white helmets, we now have a fast turn-around into our next entry...and it wasn't planned at all.

I received an email from Leo Strawn alerting me to something we've overlooked up until this point. After reading Leo's information and doing a quick bit of research, I've been able to lay down some parameters and make the required alterations.

Any football fan will recognize the shapes seen here, but very few will know the geometric name for the 3 figures located on the right side of Steelers' helmets. They are called hypocycloids. The design comes from the Pittsburgh steel industry, most notably U.S. Steel, based in the Pittsburgh area.

You will notice that the three hypocycloids are yellow, red, and blue. But how many of you knew that wasn't always the case?

The year was 1962. The Steelers had been wearing plain yellow helmets since making the move from leather to plastic in 1950. A black center stripe was added in 1953. They even added side numbers to the helmet off-and-on beginning in 1957.

On November 18, 1962, in the middle of their season for a home game against the Washington Redskins, the Steelers added a large round logo to the right side of their helmets and it looked like this...
An additional little nugget of information was dropped by our friend Leo. The yellow, orange, and blue colors you see here each have a significance with the steel industry. Yellow represents the burning coal, orange signifies the color of iron ore, and blue is the color for the scrap steel. 

Now, we know that this photo can only be from 1962. Why? Because for the annual Bert Bell Playoff Bowl (a.k.a. the "Second Place Bowl" or the "Loser's Bowl") which pitted the season's divisional runners-up against each other in Miami, the Steelers switched things up a bit and wore black-shelled helmets with the same logo on it. Thus was birthed the iconic look the the Steelers still use to this day. The Steelers never wore yellow helmets again (until they were worn with the 2007-11 Steeler throwback uniforms).
1/6/63 - PITT v DET @ Miami, FL
So what happened to the orange? Why are the Steelers' helmets yellow, red, and blue? I set out to uncover what happened.

The original logo was rather large, said "Steel" and had yellow, orange, and blue hypocycloids as we've already established. The following year, 1963, the logo was altered to include the team name "Steelers" instead of "Steel" in a very thin font. The size of the logo became a little smaller, but the three colors remained the same. The logo remained unchanged from 1963-67.
10/3/65 - NYG @ PITT
12/18/66 - PITT @ ATL
In 1968, the logo shrunk a little more. The orange hypocycloid was colored a bit closer towards red. The "Steelers" word mark continued to be in thin lettering. This style continued through 1977.
9/15/68 - NYG @ PITT
1970 - Terry Bradshaw & Terry Hanratty
1977 - Terry Bradshaw
In 1978, the middle hypocycloid moved even further toward red on the color spectrum. The logo size shrunk just a bit more and the "Steelers" wordmark remained in the same thin font. This version of the helmet logo remained unchanged through 1990.
1978 - Jack Lambert
1989 - Mike Mularky
1990 - Rod Woodson
One last, small change occurred in 1991. No, it wasn't anything to do with the hypocycloids. The Steelers made the wordmark's font bolder.
1991 - Donald Evans
1994 - Neil O'Donnell

I'm sorry to say that I have to admit I'd seen before the 1962 photo above with the yellow helmet and its logo. I saw it. I just never noticed it. Huge thank you again to Leo Strawn for pointing out this little bit of GUD-clean-up that needed tending.

Bill Schaefer


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