NFC West: NFL Uniforms 2012

Jamison Hensley's piece on AFC North uniform changes alerted me to Paul Lukas' detailed look at subtle team-by-team changes.

And you thought the NFL uniform launch was a one-day story. Hey, so did I, but plans change.

Lukas mocks the drama associated with what were mostly minor changes, but he also acknowledges intense interest in the Nike launch -- interest that has pumped up his count of Twitter followers from 12,500 past 40,000 in a few days.

And some of his comments regarding NFC West uniforms carry strong language.

Lukas' quick takes on NFC West changes:
  • Cardinals: "Black outlining that used to completely encircle collar now just wraps around part of collar, which is addition by subtraction. ... Has to annoy Nike that they're manufacturing this Reebok-template design."
  • 49ers: "Press notes say, 'Sleeve stripes are now horizontal to the field of play.' Maybe so, but they're still a disaster. ... Gold pants are now more of a matte mustard."
  • Rams: "New two-tone collar ruins an otherwise fine jersey. … According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, no more gold pants. If so, that's a tragedy -- the Rams' white jersey with gold pants was one of the best looks in the league."
  • Seahawks: "Complete overhaul. Too much to deal with here. I'll provide a full assessment of it in a few days."

The 49ers' sleeve stripes have never struck me as disastrous or even noteworthy, but I'm not a uniform expert, either. I'll have to follow up with Paul at some point in the future.

New unis: Wrapping up the NFC West

April, 3, 2012

Tying up loose ends on a Tuesday that began with the NFL and Nike unveiling new uniforms for the 2012 season:
  • Paul Lukas' column affirms that Seattle was the only team to completely redesign its uniforms. But he notes that pants for the San Francisco 49ers and some other teams might appear less metallic than in the past.
  • Rules prevent teams from redesigning their uniforms more frequently than every five seasons. The 49ers last redesigned their uniforms in April 2009. The Arizona Cardinals redesigned theirs in 2005. The Rams overhauled their uniforms in 2000.
  • The Rams have ditched their gold pants, according to Jim Thomas.
  • The Detroit Lions' equipment manager, Tim O’Neill, said the new uniforms are especially snug-fitting, which could make it tougher for opponents to grab onto jerseys. ESPN's Trent Dilfer and Marcellus Wiley touched on that aspect in the video above. O’Neill : "If we hung a jersey on a hanger, it would look like a medium T-shirt."

All for now. Enjoy your Tuesday night.
The Nike literature regarding the new "Elite 51" uniforms made available to NFL teams Tuesday includes the following terms: technology, Thermoregulation, hydrophobic, aircraft-grade, zonal, articulated and Hyperfuse.

Nike chairman Phil Knight's writers could have been describing spacesuits instead of football uniforms, except there's a lot more money to be made from the latter.

Nike saved some of its most descriptive writing for the Seattle Seahawks' total uniform redesign, which has so far trumped subtler styling tweaks for the other 31 teams.

"The new uniform colors are rooted in Seattle's own environmental hues -- the deep blue of the ocean water that tucks into the harbor near downtown and the Seahawks' stadium," Nike proclaims. "The new color addition called Action Green represents the green of the ubiquitous trees, ferns and moss literally covering the Pacific Northwest landscape."

While the Seahawks underwent the most dramatic uniform overhaul, including 12 markings on the pants and collar to honor the 12th Man, all teams' uniforms are functionally identical (check them out via Nike for Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis).

"The uniform is completely engineered from the inside out, focusing on creating a system where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert," Nike said. "A few of the new innovations include increasing sleeve articulation for better range of motion and integrating new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit."

The numbers on the jersey also stretch, according to Nike.

The 49ers made available a shot of their white away jersey. It looks similar to the ones we've seen the 49ers wear previously. While this shot of QB Alex Smith makes him look like a bad dude, the Seahawks are the ones calling their threads "the new look of intimidation," according to their website.

The comments section on our previous item shows a range of opinions on the Seattle redesign. I asked those leaving comments to disclose their ages, figuring younger fans might be more apt to welcome what Nike obviously considers to be a cutting-edge concept.

A sampling, with listed ages:
  • dizzog22 (age 24): "LOVE them. Gives the hawks a tougher look... Much better than the shiny blue... That was ridiculous."
  • luckier_12thman (no age listed): "I love these jerseys! The Hawks and Nike are just setting the tone, everyone outside the NW will hate the hawks look as always, but all the more reason to love them."
  • J3ffro19 (31): "I think they all look pretty good, the blue on blue or white on white especially."
  • Willy2535 (22): "LOVE THEM!!!!!!!"
  • nwdave (28): "At first I was like 'ugh,' then I was like 'meh,' and now they're growing on me. I like the gray alternates, and I like the helmet design. The overall look is pretty busy, though."
  • shorne25 (29): "Why do I think Arena Football League?"
  • SirDro (26): "I'm in the minority, but these look like MLS uniforms circa 1996. To each their own, I guess. Just glad my Niners aren't wearing anything like that."
  • NickMinnott (24): "Horrible, just awful. I'm embarrassed."
  • linemanmax64 (22): "I'm really digging the away and alternate jerseys. The home might take a bit more getting used to; I feel like it'll look good in the sunlight."
  • usceahawk (29): "Initially a little shocked, I think I like them."
  • bkbailey76 (36): "I had bigger hopes for the unis. I'm glad the Seahawks are doing something different, but not sure if this was the way to go."
  • Stormballa1986 (25): "We are in an ever changing world. NASCAR couldn't use 1934 Ford Coupes forever. Point is, the new uniforms are going to be something that when they change them again in 10 years, I am going to be the one saying, 'They were fine the way they were' about these new ones. They have to change, we can't wear the same uniforms we wore in 1992. Whether you like it or not, it is going to happen. Might as well be optimistic about how much of a beast Money Lynch looks in them."
  • crus9041 (no age): "Awesome of them to remember the 12th Man!"
  • Flynnsane in the Membrane (23): "I would have liked the home one more, if it wasn't for the neon green patch on the shoulder. I did like the grey ones the best. Might be getting a kam or lynch grey jersey."
  • ser4ph1m (26): "I completely agree, the neon green patch is distracting."
  • daveb_dc (32): "I think it'll take a while to get used to the new 'Nike' look, rather than the classic NFL look. I like the gray as the alternate, and I like the all whites. I hate the name across the back."
  • BaneDaBakBreakah (30): "These are the ugliest uniforms in the history of the NFL. The Nike logo is on the uniform more times that our own. If the jersey didn't have the actual word 'Seahawks' on it, then I wouldn't be able to discern it from a generic high school jersey. I think I'll save my money and skip buying a Matt Flynn jersey and stick with my retro Jim Zorn one."
  • Charbonneau85 (18): "Seahawks are so close to having perfect uniforms. The helmet is absolutely beautiful. The green should be darker, but otherwise the design is fantastic."
  • Battles 4 Seattle (26): "The helmet exceeded my expectations. Think it looks so sleek and yet very cool. The uniforms did not meet my expectations. I dislike the green and some of the other detail pieces."
  • SFC_12thMan (32): "At first I was bothered, but then I remembered that they were showing three uniforms, and not just one. The new dark jerseys look AWFUL when worn with the new dark pants, but are actually kinda cool with the gray or white pants. I LOVE the all-gray look. The helmets were the best change by far!!"
  • cubicalhabitation (no age): "So if the Seahawks are joining the XFL, who is going to replace them in the NFC West?"

Thanks for sharing. We haven't heard the last on this subject, I'm sure. Most of the reviews I read seemed positive.

New unis: First look at Seahawks

April, 3, 2012
The new Seattle Seahawks uniforms from Nike are ... different.

If Nike gets this right, younger players will love the changes right away, with others realizing at some point that Nike was simply ahead of the game.

2012 Seattle Seahawks Nike uniform
NikeThe new Seahawks uniforms were unveiled on Tuesday.
And let's face it: Reebok didn't exactly set the bar high with some of its offerings. Take this jacket, for instance. Take it into a time machine and give it back to 1991.

"How many Reebok uniform reveals did you follow?" @robertlong asked.

Point taken.

Those wanting to check out Seattle's full redesign can do so on the team's website.

The fit is definitely trimmer, the look cleaner. They're showing blue-on-blue, white-on-white and other combinations.

"New unis are nice!" Richard Sherman, 24-year-old Seahawks cornerback, tweeted. "Glad I'm on the team that is spearheading the movement.

One unrelated observation: Marshawn Lynch appears to be in fighting shape. His weight climbed late during the 2010 season, but he reported in top condition last season and apparently took this modeling opportunity seriously.

Your thoughts? And please give your age range when opining. Bet we'll see a split by age demographic.