In the final part of our six pack of uniform discussions, Rick and I discussed a variety of topics, including some of our favorite uniform sets around pro sports. Click on the appropriate link for our thoughts on the Cavaliers, Browns, Indians, Ohio State, and the first part of our general topics discussion.
Rick: Let’s go ahead and talk about some of the other trends in uniforms. One of the trends that bugs me is the use of uniforms that aren’t even close to a program’s actual colors.
Kirk: Can you give an example?
Rick: The most common one is black. Kentucky and Nebraska are the two that jump out in memory as teams that wore black uniforms when that isn’t even one of their primary colors. Or secondary really.
Grey is another color that schools are wearing now. Miami is going with a ‘smoke’ uniform. Tennessee wore one.
Kirk: True. Nebraska does have the whole “Blackshirts” thing in their tradition, but it is a new idea for their actual uniforms. It goes back to the BFBS (black for black’s sake) discussion. Teams get away with black and gray uniforms even if they’re not in their scheme because they’re fairly neutral. I can understand the reasoning because black uniforms (like the New Orleans Saints) can look really slick.
But, not every team needs a black uni.
Rick: There’s also the red, white, and blue uniforms, and the camouflage and the pink… it just gets to be a lot when every week you are wearing something else for something else.
Kirk: I was specifically annoyed by the Northwestern wounded warrior uniforms that surfaced last week. I think their heart is in the right place, but just because you *don’t* do something like that, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care. I also don’t think the NFL pink month is really necessary. I’m as in favor of breast cancer awareness as the next fella, but overexploiting it for profit isn’t the right idea. Maybe a week, but there’s no need for a month.
Rick: The Northwestern situation was not handled well by the school or Under Armour.
Let’s get away from college football for a minute.
The alternate craze isn’t just hitting football. The NBA has seen it’s share lately. What do you think of the sleeved jerseys?
Kirk: At first, I thought they were silly. I’m still not sold they’ll stick, but I do understand from a marketing perspective how going away from the tank tops could lead to more jersey sales for adults. And, this is coming from someone who has (counts to himself) 6 tank top basketball jerseys.
Rick: I can’t say that I feel very strongly either way on these. It could be because they haven’t invaded the Cavaliers’ court yet.
Kirk: Yea, I think that’s when I’ll have a stronger opinion as well. I think the Warriors’ model does look pretty slick, though I’m not as high on the Christmas day lineup with the giant logos. It reminds me of the bad “future” jerseys in the MLB from around 2000.
Rick: One NBA uniform item that got shelved because of strong push back from fans is the ads on the jerseys concept. What do you think about ad patches? Are they unavoidable?
Kirk: While I don’t feel as strongly as someone like Lukas about this, I’m certainly not in favor of them. It’s bad enough this has permeated through all of the stadium names, but the uniform shouldn’t be a billboard. Companies change names, merge, go out of business, and just don’t renew sponsorships. If the only reason my jersey is out of date is it has the wrong sponsor, that would tick me off.
Rick: Right, there are enough reasons that uniforms go out of date in Cleveland as it is…
Speaking of which, do you ever wear a jersey of a player that is no longer with the team?
Kirk: I wore/still wear my Zydrunas Ilgauskas gold early 70’s model (with the feather cursive) frequently. Z is probably my all-time favorite Cavalier, and his number will soon hang in the rafters, so that’s probably a little bit of a unique case. I bought a white Cribbs jersey on heavy discount last season when he was still on the team. I would still wear that one probably, though I would wear it at home or to a buddy’s house rather than to the game itself. I also still have two LeBron James jerseys stored away somewhere in my parents’ house.
I know that one thing I do when I buy a player jersey is try to project how long they’ll be here to get bang for my buck. I’d never buy a Bynum jersey. I did buy Kyrie and Tristan jerseys. I bought a Haden jersey two years ago. And I *know* that’s why so many people were pissed when they bought Richardson jerseys.
Rick: My daughter loved Shin-Soo Choo. I knew he wasn’t long in Cleveland. I converted her into a Kipnis fan. That’s the jersey she has. Glad I didn’t rush out and grab the Choo.
Kirk: It’s sort of fashionable, if you want to call it that, to wear an out of date Browns jersey. It’s a hobby, a sadistic hobby, but a hobby) for some of us to do the scavenger hunt for a Dwayne Rudd, Jamir Miller, or Wali Ranier uniform. Still, I’m a guy that likes to be current, so unless they’re a “forever Cleveland” guy, I have a hard time wearing an out of date name.
Rick: Nike recently took over the NFL uniforms. So far Seattle is the only team that has had a radical redesign, but I would guess more are coming. Which NFL teams are most in need of uniform upgrades?
Kirk: Ahh, those crazy folks up in the Pacific Northwest! I actually like the Seahawks slate blue/gray/neon green scheme a lot. Those neon green alternates they had in the past are one of the best I’ve ever seen. I also like their current gray alternate. If you made me picks a couple of teams, I would start with the Bengals. Their helmet is hideous. Ours may be boring, but theirs is just ugly. I guess it’s kind of their thing, and they’ll never change it, but the rest of their scheme doesn’t do anything for me either. Looking real quick, I’d quick hit say that the Texans could stand to do something too. The Jaguars need to go back to the drawing board on their new styles of unis in addition to their roster. That new helmet is nauseating!
I’m guessing you’ll pick the Chiefs… for the ketchup and mustard comments regarding the Cavs’ set.
Rick: I’ve never been a big fan of the Titans uniforms. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Chiefs get an update either, but I don’t typically throw them in the condiment category. They really don’t feature yellow much.
The Bengal stripe helmets may be past their prime. I’ll give you that one.
Kirk: Funny, I know the Titans have had that look for a while, but I like that shade of blue on them. If I had to give props to a couple of other teams, I’d highlight the Packers, Eagles, and Panthers. And the Bucs. That pewter is unique.
Rick: Give me one uniform you love for each of the big three leagues.
Kirk: NFL – The Seattle Seahawks alternate, NBA – Dallas Mavericks blues, MLB – Oakland Athletics (green and gold both). The Worst: NFL – Jaguars, NBA – anything Milwaukee Bucks outside of the logo itself, and MLB – Miami Marlins anything.
Rick: Those Marlins uniforms are horrific.
I’ve published my favorites on the site before, but I’ll repeat them. The Chargers with that white helmet. Love them. The SF Giants have a great uniform. I like Portland’s NBA uniforms and Golden State’s bridge uniform.
Kirk: I’ll second the Giants having a great black/orange look with that lettering. I’ve got one more final thing for you. You have been granted the power to make one uniform happen for one of your teams. What is it?
Rick: Well, it would either be a return of the new expression wine and gold uniforms that we discussed at length for the Cavs or the blue alternates for the Indians that we talked about. I would probably lean towards the Cavs.
Kirk: There are so many options that we discussed. I’d love to make the Ohio State basketball team’s primary home jersey the gray version with Buckeyes in cursive and red lettering. I’d also really like to see that 1908 Indians block C throwback just as it is except maybe a different cap. But, I’ll go with making the Cavaliers current gold alternate their primary home jersey. I’d change the lettering to the logo lettering that we’ve talked about too. As Goldmember would say, “I love GOLLLLLLLD!”
Rick: So, there is talk of a WFNY uniform podcast coming soon. Want to tease the readers?
Kirk: I think the podcast will give us a chance to elaborate on some of the themes and ideas that we have that just didn’t fit into one of our articles. Adding Craig to the equation as a third opinion always makes it interesting. It should be fun.
Rick: And if any readers want to submit questions or topics, we’d love to hear them.
(Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)