Monday, October 6, 2008

Week 5: Anything to avoid talking about the game

Okay, I could post on yet another really painful loss (and at Lambeau, no less), but I'd rather talk about my pet peeve. That stupid "NFL EQUIPMENT" tag.

The NFL unveiled a new logo this past off-season:

A big upgrade, to my eye. It took a lot of random elements and gave them meaning - the football now echoes the Lombardi Trophy, one star for each division (unlike the random 25 stars). I've never been a big fan of the flourish on the "L" so the simplified text works for me, although I do wish the designer could have lined them up better with the bottom of the shield.

I was really hoping that the NFL would use this new logo as an excuse to get rid of the awful "NFL EQUIPMENT" tag on the throats of jerseys.Once upon a time (that is to say, from 1991 through 2001) all teams wore an NFL logo at the throat. Unlike the batter logo on the backs of MLB clubs' jerseys and caps, this was never in team colors but always in the League's standard blue and red.

Authentic merchandised jerseys had this patch, replicas (lower price point, usually with screened numbers instead of tackle twill) didn't.

Then, one year after Reebok took over the uniform contract for the League, the shield was replaced with a large white patch, featuring a smaller shield under the word "EQUIPMENT".

This logo, which I can only presume was designed to imbue lots of merchandise with the sheen of authenticity, was then slapped on all jerseys for sale, not to mention plenty of other (non-field) items, such as this womens' jacket:

I hate it.

First of all, the overall effect of reducing the size of the NFL shield, surrounding it with a white field and subordinating it to big block letters is to diminish its impact. It's illegible at any distance.

Secondly, it has the smell of the old "PROPERTY OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS" t-shirts, which I always found silly at best. I see somebody walking down the street with one of those things, and want to shake him and yell "No, it isn't. The closest that shirt ever got to the Packers is the NFL online shop's warehouse." But maybe that's just me.

Long story short, this season it's a new tiny logo on the same ugly patch.

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