By Phil Hecken
Last week, I introduced you to the full NFC version of how the NFL could adopt Nike’s
toy pro combat uniforms when they take over the uniform contract for the 2012 season. Using a mix of current and retro-inspired uniforms, today I will present the first half of the AFC. I had hoped to have the entire set finished, but each mock can take two to three hours, and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the week. When I finish, I’ll post full writeups to each uniform, but here’s the quick and dirty.
So without further ado, running in alpha-order, the first eight:
Baltimore Ravens: Home, Road 1 & Road 2. Right out of the box I put one team in monochrome, a look with which I am not fond, but it just fits the Ravens. I kept the basics of their current uni, but fixed the helmet striping (and added gold). Also put stripes on the pants, which improves the uniform immensely. Road can have black or white pants.
Buffalo Bills: Home & Road. Not surprisingly, I gave the team with the worst uniform in the NFL a makeover, mostly using the throwbacks they break out twice a season as my model. I kept the charging buffalo for the helmet, but made put it on a white lid, just to keep the one good looking element from the current uni.
Cincinnati Bengals: Home 1, Home 2 & Road. I struggled with this one, and in the end, opted for a bit of a hybrid from their 2nd and 3rd gen unis. Orange over white or black is their best home look (after all, tigers are more orange than black), and I ditched all the stupid side striping. The shoulder loops and pant stripes are reminiscent of the unis introduced in 1982, as are the fonts.
Cleveland Browns: Home & Road. The Browns have pretty much one of the most classic unis in the game, so pro combat, with the ability to put proper striping on the comp sleeves, makes it even better. ‘Nuff said.
Denver Broncos: Home, Road 1 & Road 2. Although I was tempted to completely scrap the current (and really dated now) uni, I kept its best parts: the helmet logo and the fonts (you can argue about those being “best,” but it’s relatively speaking here) and dumped the “swoosh” paneling. Gave them the orange home jersey they belong in and fixed the helmet striping, and added proper pants stripes too. Hey, they won two Super Bowls in the current unis, so I couldn’t dump all ties to that past. The “alt” orange pants are a tip of the cap to Mothersunbowlker.
Houston Texans: Home & Road. The Texans have problems deciding if they’re a red or a blue team, so I solved that problem by putting them in equal amounts of both. I didn’t think I’d like the blue top over red pants, but I actually love it, and it’s a look they could totally own.
Indianapolis Colts: Home & Road. Like the Browns, the Colts have one of the most iconic looks in football, so my changes (which I’m sure die hards will oppose) are slight. I’m not sure if Nike can make the shoulder loops I’m proposing, but damn they look good. I also ever-so-slightly lightened the color of the blue. See if you can spot the other change.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Home & Road. Their current unis are horrid, so pro combat offers the opportunity to correct this. At first, I was reticent to put them in black pants, but I think it actually works, since they have a black helmet (which I made flat instead of the current “two tone” thing they have going on — I like it in concept, but it’s impossible to convey on the Interwebs, so I changed it up). Also put some nice gold and teal stripes on the helmet and pants, and stuck the jaguar logo on the comp sleeves for a bit of extra color.
OK. That’s the first half of the AFC. I’ve actually completed full sets for the Chiefs, Dolphins and Patriots, but the rest will have to wait until next weekend. Thanks for indulging me. Now, fire away.
5 & 1, FCS Edition
Just when you thought we’d escape without a 5 & 1, along comes Mothersunbowlker to rank the Division II (or is it III) teams. As always, I’ve yet to see his list, but since I didn’t see any of the games, I have no idea whether or not whether he “got it.” But, if prior performance is any indication…he didn’t. Let’s see how he did:
5. Western Illinois/Coastal Carolina — Like a Vikings/Jaguars game, only better.
4. New Hampshire/Delaware — Great number font vs. winged helmets.
3. Wofford/Jacksonville State — Gotta throw a nice plain team in there to make Phil happy.
2. Georgia Southern/William & Mary — The best thing about a playoff list is…
1. South Carolina State/Georgia Southern — …I can use a team more than once.
And the bad one: SE Missouri State/Eastern Washington — I like the red turf and the red unis…but not together…and not with another red/black team.
OK then. There you go. Looking forward to part two of your Bowl 5 & 1 — I know that no matter how great Auburn and Oregon look, there’s no chance in hell they’ll be in the top 5. And that’s just wrong. But there have been a bunch of great matchups so far, so maybe it won’t be worthy and I won’t be as upset.
Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
Got a big set of tweaks today…so lets get right into it.
Now, on to today’s tweaks:
Starting off the show is Greg (that’s all he used to ID himself), who has a tweak for New England:
I made a mock up for the Patriots away jersey.
Next up is UW favorite Bowen Hobbs, who has several great baseball concepts:
Here are a few concepts from the MLB series I did a while back.
Now, a lot of people think the Yankees uniforms are iconic and untouchable, and for the most part the home uniforms are. But the roads have had a few different iterations over the years, most recently with 70s style trim on the sleeves. My concept adds ideas for a few alternates, including a throwback style that I don’t think Yankees fans would hate.
For the Red Sox, I set out to change the two things that most bother me about their set: the utter lack of red on the road uniforms and the backwards facing sleeve patch. It looks like two little feet running away. I also changed the white to cream and used a older version of their Tuscan font.
While the White Sox have finally found an identity, I still saw room for improvement. I brought back the Big S logo and the winged sock. The uniforms feature subtle pinstripes for a Capone feel. The Sunday Alternate is all-black with a white cap.
Last up, we have the Indians. My goal for the Tribe was to remove Wahoo and bring some dignity to the design. I developed a dreamcatcher logo and changed the color scheme to brown and red so they would actually look unique in the sea of navy and red that is MLB.
That’s I what have for today,
And closing down the show today is Rocky Canonica, who has a Ravens concept:
I was wondering if any nfl team could pull off an ALL black and white uniform (with no gray) and I absolutely despise the Ravens uniforms. Purple does not belong in a football uniform especially when black is the other primary color. I thought if any team could pull of the look it might be them. I have also included a logo, two new helmets and wordmark.
That’s all for today. Back next week with more.
Yesterday saw the upset-minded Seahawks in their suicide blue monochromes (and one of the greatest runs in the history of ever by Marshawn Lynch), with a little help from their 12th man, soundly defeat the Saints, who inexplicably chose to go with their black tights look. In a horrible looking (but great) game, I think I almost retroactively have to give the “better” looking moniker to the Seabirds, but I didn’t pick them, and I can’t switch it up now. Record 0-1.
In the nightcap, both teams looked great, but the New York Jets looked and played ever so slightly better than the Indianapolis Peytons. I’d have covered even if the Colts won, but the better uni didn’t need the points. Another awesome game and a great way to kick off the playoffs. (Record: 1-1)
And now, on to today’s games:
Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (over/under 40.5): The Ravens are another road favorite this weekend (the Saints being the other) having just missed out on claiming the AFC North title to the Stillers. They’re kind of schitzophrenic (as is their wont), so you never know which team is going to show up. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are relative newcomers to this playoffs thing, but they have had a solid season after a tremendous start, and hope to ride their AFC West title to a home victory.
In the uniform department, this one is no contest. The Chiefs uniform is one of the few staid, classics in the NFL, having remained almost untouched since the Chiefs moved from Dallas when Ricko was knee-high to a grasshopper. The Ravens have two possibilities — one good the other…not so good. Lately, they’ve been wearing their black pants, with black undersocks, which are stripeless. This gives them, like the Saints yesterday, that ballet dancer look. Their second option will be to wear white pants, which they haven’t worn since October. Those look much better.
There is no question as to what the Chiefs will wear. That would be red over white. So nice. There hasn’t been a playoff game in Arrowhead in quite some time, and I always love seeing the sea of red there. Should be loud, and quite a scene.
Gotta take the points and the home dog here, and that means the better dressed KC crew (and Trax) will get the nod. Chiefs 23 – Ravens 21.
Green Bay Packers (+4) at Philadelphia Eagles (o/u 46.5): The NFC East champion Eagles will play host to the Pack in what should be a pretty good looking game. The Pack needed a big win over the Bears to get into the playoffs, while the Eagles pretty much got their invitation to the dance after scoring 125 points in 2 minutes against the G-men a few weeks ago. So the “mo” may be on Green Bay’s side. But the Eagles are dangerous and playing at home.
There is no question what the Packers will wear. That is white over gold. I personally think the Packers have about the third or fourth best looking road uni in the bigs, but the only qualms I have with it are the propensity of a few players to wear the super stretchies, which has the effect of shrinking their TV numbers and generally looking like crap.
The Eagles will most likely be wearing midnight green over white (although how great would it be if they could have applied to the commish to wear their kelly green 1960 NFL champs throwbacks like they did in their week one matchup with the Pack?). Despite my detestation of the Eagles, they do have some pretty nice unis, but not quite as nice as the Pack’s roadies.
Aaron Rodgers is like the fourth or fifth best QB in the game, and if you didn’t know that, you’ll find out today. Take the 4 points and the Packers. Eagles 28 – Packers 27 in a thrilling matchup.
One and one yesterday, but I feel a pair of winning picks coming on today.
BCS Uni Update(s): If you weren’t already aware of it, both the Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks will be wearing special uniforms for their BCS matchup tomorrow night in Glendale. Now, Oregon wearing a “different” uniform isn’t news — in fact, it’s expected. But Auburn, so steeped in tradition they’d never let UA (Under Armour, their uniform supplier) mess with that classic, right? Wrong. Auburn will have special cleats and it’s expected they’ll also be wearing special pants, with an altered stripe.
Oregon, for their part, had a special news conference back in December called by Nike, to announce their flagship team would be wearing this special uniform, which features the highlighter yellow socks and cleats. But almost from the get go, it was speculated the Duckies would ditch the white pants for something else. Well, yesterday, this promotional ad was released, showing the Ducks with gray pants and their carbon lid. Will this be what they actually trot out on the field tomorrow evening? I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it, but I wouldn’t bet against it either.
All of this, of course, is wonderful fodder for a uniform board, but it’s fast becoming Paul’s (and many of our) nightmare — how so? Well, it’s becoming the ultimate corporate bowl — literally a showdown between Team Nike and Under Armour — and don’t think the stakes aren’t high. There’s lots of merch to move, and if you for one minute don’t think both corporations don’t realize this, then you’re sorely mistaken. While this may come as news to some, we here have been aware of this impending “showdown” for some time. But even The Oregonian is catching on.
Welcome to college football 2011. It’s not the Ducks against the Tigers…it’s Nike vs. UA. In the words of John Barlow and Bobby Weir, “The future’s here, we are it…we are on our own.”
That’s it for today — everyone enjoy the playoffs today and the corporate bowl tomorrow. Have a great Sunday.
I always like comments that include the words “get a life”… they’re usually the least ironic… — John J. Sobotka