Friday, October 30, 2015

The Color Rush is Coming


Last night, on Thursday Night Football, the NFL unveiled the first glimpse of its "Color Rush" program. This is an attempt to make TNF an event of sorts by creating special uniforms to be worn for that one game only.



Details are still sketchy, but Jim Wyatt, Six-time Tennessee Sportswriter of the Year and senior writer and editor of the Tennessee Titans official website, revealed some new information about the program.


Wait, did you catch that? Look at the second paragraph:


Two things jump out:
  • "Players' uniforms will be flooded with color as they are draped from jersey to cleats in one of the team's current or historic colors."
  • "every club will have the opportunity to showcase its spirited fans and cities through color in primetime in 2016."
Monochrome. Ugh. And "opportunity"? Corporate marketing-speak or an actual option? We'd better hope it's the latter, because if not then we'll have to see our Packers in monochrome next season.

And now that we know this will eventually affect our Packers, let's take a closer look at the video. These are the four matchups in 2015:


More than just a clever graphic, those background colors tell us what the "current or historic color" will be for each club. And the quick uniform teases confirm.

BUFFALO BILLS


We can see the shoulder and back collar. It looks like a straightforward color swap from their regular jerseys, with the blue and red reversed. Even down to the charging buffalo logo above the name on the back.

The jersey probably won't look that bad, but it's going to be brutal with red pants and socks. "(F)rom jersey to cleats" in a single team color, don't forget.

NEW YORK JETS


Again, two views of the jersey. That appears to be the left shoulder, seen from the back and then front. This time we not only have a color swap, their original kelly green in place of the contemporary forest, but the Jets' white sleeves have apparently been replaced by green. So this one is likely both a color swap and a click-and-fill on their current template.

We don't yet know if that's supposed to be two shades of green or if Nike is still having issues producing the color.

The Jets are also making minor changes to the helmet, the only team yet known to be doing so. They teased this photo today:


Are those metallic helmet stripes? Or is it just a Photoshop filter for effect? Maybe the tweak will be lightening the green to match their jersey.

Serious question: my uncle is red/green color blind. Is he going to be able to watch this game? Two teams in white helmets, one clad in red shoulder to toe and the other in all green. Surely the NFL has considered this, right?

TENNESSEE TITANS


Hard to see what if anything is different about these jerseys. The Titans wore Columbia blue jerseys and pants a couple years ago, and these photos seem to match what they already have in their closets. Note the navy yoke on the jersey and the Braisher stripes on the pants.

Still, there has to be a difference somewhere, right? How are they going to sell additional jerseys if they don't have a special Thursday-only design?

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS


The Jags' color swap has been getting the most press today, with their gold jerseys. Nike's proprietary matte fabric doesn't handle metallic colors under the best of circumstances. Their bright and vibrant gold is reduced to a dirty mustard color.

I'm also not sure how those oh-so-angular number font will look in white against gold. Even with two outlines, there may not be enough contrast for the numbers to be clearly read.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Here's where things start to get a little interesting.

The jersey looks straitforward enough; it could even be their regular light blue third. And man, that silkscreened Panther logo looks as awful as the Packers' silkscreened sleeve stripes, which is saying something. Perhaps they'll tweak the jersey with black numbers or something to boost its merchandisability.

For the first time, we're seeing a glimpse of alternate pants. The Panthers have never worn blue pants before, and this is what the side stripes will look like when they do, matching the striping pattern on the shoulders.

DALLAS COWBOYS


Hmm. Only one look at the Cowboys' special "Color Rush" uniforms, unlike the other seven teams.

This could well be a return to the shoulder-star jersey worn by the Cowboys in 1994. Blue sleeves, large stars with double-outline on the shoulders. In order to conform to what we know of the promotion, they would have to pair it with white pants, perhaps the pants they wear withe their throwbacks, which have navy/white/navy Braisher stripes.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS


We do get two shots of the Buccaneers' jersey, but they're cheating a little bit; both are of the player's right shoulder. The gray yoke has been colored red to match the body, and the orange sliver between them is now black.

This will almost certainly be an improvement over their current mess, as the Bucs are among the teams most in need of a total overhaul. Let's hope they take the opportunity to do something about that awful number font, even if only for the one game.

ST. LOUIS RAMS


The Rams seem to be striving for a two-for-one, combining a color swap with their throwback jerseys. The lack of number outline would seem to give that away. If so, it's actually an inverted version of the jerseys they wore from 1973-1999 with gold bodies and blue numbers/horns.

It's tempting to read something into this, as the Rams are rumored to be adopting a throwback look if and when they return to Los Angeles. But perhaps we ought not.

So that's the eight teams for 2015. The indications are that all teams will be required to participate in 2016, provided the program isn't scrapped almost immediately. If that's true, then what would the Packers wear?

It seems unlikely they'd go navy-over-navy, so the options are green pants, yellow pants and jerseys or - what? White-over-white doesn't seem likely to jibe with the "one of the team's current or historic colors" dictate. The Packers did have an all-white uniform in 1957, but that seems outside of the spirit of the promotion.

I think another throwback is far more likely. The Packers did have a "jersey to cleats" single color uniform, remaining in the basic shades of their identifiable and classic palette. It looked pretty hideous, but then again do many of these uniforms. Perhaps the Packers are going to party like it's 1953.


It checks all the boxes, so far as we know, and re-introduces a throwback look.

This may be the best we can hope for, barring a change of heart from the NFL's head office.

1 comment:

Rusty Rayner said...

If the Packers are forced to participate in the blatant attempt to sell more stuff then I hope it is not something new. A classic Packers throwback is the only way to go here for sure. I love your idea of the 1953 throwback as it meets the requirements and honors the Packers teams of old!

As a side note; I hate when the jersey and pants are the same color so this program is not going to be something I am thrilled with. A respectable/proper football uniform is: Home should always be dark on top and lighter on the bottom. Away should always be white on top and darker on the bottom. Otherwise it looks like grown men running around in their PJs.