NFL Nation: NFL Uniforms 2012

I passed along a link Tuesday to view the individual team pages for Nike's rollout of 2012 NFL uniforms. If you scrolled over to the Green Bay Packers' page, you saw this note: "The Green Bay Packers have chosen to stay with their traditional design aesthetic as well as their former uniform fabrication for the coming season."

[+] EnlargeGreen Bay Packers
Joe Faroni/ESPNThe Packers kept things the same with their new Nike uniforms.
What exactly does that mean? I sought some clarity from the Packers, and here's what I can tell you:

Most team uniform styles were changed in subtle ways. For example, the Detroit Lions have a duller version of gray on their pants. Some teams have new-look collars. The Chicago Bears moved their television numbers from the sleeves of the jerseys to the shoulders.

The Packers allowed absolutely no changes to their classic look, not even the most simple alteration in color or shade. The only difference is the Nike logo, according to spokesman Aaron Popkey.

The Packers also decided against using the new technology Nike introduced as part of this transition, including a different fabric that is purported to be lighter, especially when wet. But that issue could be revisited after the 2012 season. "We are open-minded on that aspect," Popkey said.

The Packers were among a handful of NFL teams to reject the new trappings of the uniform change. Your responses were mostly supportive, from what I could see. Via Twitter, @matsonscotty wrote: "packers unis didn't change at all. Just as it should be." Many of you agreed.

But a handful were hoping for a fresh look. @Whiledayes wrote: "It's upsetting no NFCN teams took the leap [Seattle] did. Thought this was a game about fwd progress."

None of us should have been expecting the Packers would make significant changes to their uniforms, and frankly we shouldn't be surprised to hear they rejected every single possibility. The Packers have gotten a bit more corporate in recent years, but let's not get crazy here. For now, people who wanted to change will have to be happy with newly colored shoes and cooler gloves.

Related: Paul Lukas has a detailed breakdown of each team's changes on his Uni Watch blog.

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'Neil, said the new uniforms are especially snug-fitting, which could make it tougher 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.

Video: Breaking down the new uniforms

April, 3, 2012

Trent Dilfer and Marcellus Wiley discuss the new NFL uniforms designed by Nike.

New unis: Not much new in AFC South

April, 3, 2012
Houston TexansJoe Faroni/ESPNThe Houston Texans' new uniforms, modeled by receiver Andre Johnson, aren't much different than before.
Nike did its best to make a splash (or should we say swoosh?) with Tuesday’s uniform announcement. But as far as the AFC South is concerned, what you saw in 2011 will pretty much be what you’ll see in 2012.

All four teams are keeping their traditional looks. The only real noteworthy change, which is more performance than cosmetic, is Nike’s new “flywire” technology in the neckline, designed to provide a lockdown fit over the shoulder pads.

So, despite the many bells and whistles that accompanied Tuesday’s proceedings, it appears Nike was more concerned with improving quality across the board than shocking the football world with drastic new designs.

Here’s a look at each AFC South team:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans
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.

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 about like the ones we've seen the 49ers wear previously. While this shot of Alex Smith makes him look like a bad dude, the Seahawks are the ones calling their threads "the new look of intimidation" on their website.

A read through 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 through seemed positive.
Well, I seem to have misplaced Tim Gunn's cell number, so you're stuck with me and my untrained assessment of the new Nike NFL uniforms.

Before I get to it, though, I have one bit of commentary on the day itself. To borrow a line from David Spade in "Tommy Boy," the NFL could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. This uniform unveiling has replaced the schedule announcement (you know, where everybody gets all breathlessly fired up even though they've known for months who their team's opponents would be) as the most overhyped offseason non-event. On the day between the NCAA basketball championship and Major League Baseball's Opening Day, the NFL has once again found a way to dominate a news cycle. Got to give it credit.

All right. That out of the way, you want to know about the new uniforms. There isn't much to tell, but here it is, team-by-team, with the help of Nike's web site. Click on the links to check out the pictures.

Dallas Cowboys: The key thing to remember is that the big changes aren't necessarily in form, but in function. So the Cowboys' new look is basically the same as their old look, but the jersey works differently. As Nike says, "the new Nike Elite 51 jersey is designed and engineered from the inside out, focusing on creating a system where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert. 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." So in other words, if I plan to wear one, I'd better get going on my ab crunches.

New York Giants: As you would expect, the Giants are making no major changes in the appearance of their uniforms. The teams in our division are traditionalists, by and large, and none moreso than the current Super Bowl champs. I do like the gloves, though, that produce the team logos when you interlock them.

Philadelphia Eagles: No changes at all for the Eagles, not even in the fabric. "The Philadelphia Eagles have chosen to stay with their traditional design aesthetic as well as their former uniform fabrication this year." Man, when they were talking about sticking with last year's plan and giving it another chance, they weren't kidding!

Washington Redskins: Like the Cowboys and Eagles, the Redskins are embracing the new Nike technology while maintaining their old look. So Robert Griffin III will wear the Redskins uniform with which he's already familiar, just with something called "Flywire technology," which is designed "to reduce weight and provide a lockdown fit over the pads." Which should help the young man when he gets hit harder than he's ever been hit before in his life.

That's all I've got on new uniforms, folks. Enjoy it.
With Nike taking over as the uniform supplier for the NFL, there is an unveiling taking place in New York on Tuesday.

The Carolina Panthers previously announced their logo will change. Here’s the new one and the old one. Also, check out the collars on the Panthers' uniforms. They feature the "Keep Pounding'' message that was started when former Carolina linebacker and assistant coach Sam Mills and linebacker Mark Fields were battling cancer.

All four NFC South teams have elected to stick with their traditional uniforms (with the Panthers making some slight tweaks), but Nike has made significant changes to how the uniforms are made.

You can check out the Atlanta Falcons here and the Panthers here. You can see the New Orleans Saints’ page here and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here. Just a quick note that I've heard from some readers that there appear to be some problems with the server on Nike's website, so you might want to try several times if you run into trouble.

You also can follow our Uni Watch coverage on Twitter.

Feel free to share your thoughts below.
On Tuesday, Nike unveiled its new NFL uniforms for 2012. There were no major changes for the AFC East that we noticed.

Here is Nike's detailed look at the division:
Nothing really special stood out with any AFC East jerseys. Overall, it seems Nike was more concerned with the fit and performance than changing the colors schemes. For example, the collars are updated to "eliminate layers, reduces weight and provides a lockdown fit."

The Seattle Seahawks are getting the most publicity for their new-look jersey. But all is pretty quiet here in the AFC East.
I waited an hour to see the unveiling of the new Nike NFL uniforms and -- swoosh! -- no major changes for the AFC North teams.

The Steelers and Browns still have their iconic looks. The Bengals still have those six black stripes that have been on their helmet since 1981. And the Ravens still have the same purple and black color combination that's been with the team since its first game 16 years ago.

No Oregon-like uniform makeover. No new-look bird head for the Ravens or reappearance of brownie elf for Cleveland.

From my viewpoint, the new uniforms sure look a lot like the old ones. Click on the team names to see the uniforms from every imaginable angle for the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers. (Note: Due to Nike server issues, these links are temporarily unavailable.)

That's why I reached out to the Twitter followers of the AFC North blog, and here are some of the subtle differences noticed:

  • "The stripe on the Bengals' pant now curves more onto the front of the knee. Amateurish look." (@timfo)
  • "the collar on the black Bengals jersey was solid orange with Reebok. Now it's Orange and Black." (@CoachKirk40)
  • "Only thing I noticed about the Browns is the white stripe on the helmet seems to be wider." (@msmouse14)
  • "Kind of looks like Browns' front jersey number is larger." (@JimRudloff)
  • "Looks like the Ravens are flat purple instead of shiny. I like that" (@Ralph_Bighead)
  • "Ravens jersey no longer has an all-black neck collar." (@bonckwitit)
  • "Arm stripes look thinner with black ends" (@stevembk)
  • Nope we all knew the Steelers wouldn't change. We're just great like that ..." (@bpmorrin21)

So, are we missing anything here?
There really is not much to see here, folks.

Nike has taken over as the NFL’s uniform supplier, but there doesn't appear to be any major changes in the uniforms for each AFC West team. There was a big dog-and-pony show in New York on Tuesday in which players from each team modeled the new uniforms.

There were some fabric changes for most teams, but visually pretty much everything remains the same sans some subtle changes. For example, the stripes on the Chiefs’ jerseys are a bit thicker and their numbers have moved from the sleeves to the shoulders.

Denver will be wearing orange as its primary home jersey. That move was announced long ago, and it is independent of the league switching to Nike. Don’t expect any other significant uniform changes for Denver. Orange used to be Denver’s alternate home uniform. Now, an all-navy look will be the alternate home uniform.

Also, the Chargers are using trimmed black in some merchandise logos.

New unis: NFC North version

April, 3, 2012
2012 Nike NFL team uniformsCourtesy of NikeThe new Nike NFL uniforms were unveiled in New York City on Tuesday morning.
If you were plugged into social media Tuesday morning, chances are you were overwhelmed with discussion on the NFL/Nike uniform announcement. I would say that a few key marketers are getting hefty, hefty bonuses.

I can report to you that, as expected, none of the NFC North teams changed the essence of their uniforms.

The photo in this post shows Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin in their 2012 attire.

You'll notice that the Bears' jersey has the television numbers on the shoulder, rather than the sleeve, and Nike reported that the "GSH" patch honoring George S. Halas will remain a part of the uniform. The Lions' pants don't have quite as much shine, and in some cases there is a new "flywire collar." It's also worth noting that each player in the photograph has shoes that match his team's primary color. Previously, players wore white or black shoes.

For now, at least, the change to Nike has impacted material and technology more than anything. If you want details on that, be sure to check out Nike's website. At the moment the site is quite slow, but eventually this link will take you to the Vikings' page. There is a scrolling mechanism at the bottom to take you to any of the 32 team pages.


Players react to new NFL uniforms

April, 3, 2012
Current and former NFL players took to Twitter amidst the release of the new NFL uniforms. Here's what some of them had to say.

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.