Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Ugly, Chapter 3: Uglier Still

If you missed the preliminary posts on the new high-tech next-generation jerseys the Packers have been testing in practice, including video, see my previous posts here and here.

Long story short, the new jerseys are skin-tight, made from a super-stretchy elastic material (including the numbers and elastic thread used to sew the numbers to the jersey). They have been designed so all players can wear the same template, unlike the three various cuts in use now, and so each jersey is made from a single type of fabric, as opposed to the several types in current jersey construction.

The Packers have been using them in practice, but the New York Giants have actually been testing something which sounds just like them in games.

Man, not a lot of room for sleeve stripes on the Saran Wrap jerseys. Hint, hint....

And as before, it's the New Yorkers who give us a rare window into the process. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch and recently took a tour of the Giants new training facilities with equipment director Joe Skiba, and while he was sworn to secrecy he did offer these tidbits:

Remember how some Giants players had a different jersey cut last season (no nameplate, lower placement of the NFL Equipment logo, etc.)? All Giants jerseys this season will feature that cut. One problem last year was that some players’ sleeve stripes looked sort of curvy instead of straight, but that has been addressed and should no longer be an issue.

These new jerseys will be made of a new high-tech fabric. I usually roll my eyes at this kind of thing, but the new fabric really does look and feel different than the standard NFL material (or at least it does in person — I doubt you’ll be able to tell the difference on TV). Interestingly, the fabric is being made is Israel, which means the team’s game jerseys will carry “Made in Israel” tags — probably a first for an American pro sports team. And that’s all I can say about it for now.

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