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The Vikes are the latest victim...


whitedawg22

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In training camp this year, the Minnesota Vikings are wearing gray facemasks, as opposed to the purple they've been wearing since 1985.

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According to this Scout.com item, the gray facemasks are a permanent change and not just one of those practice-Buccaneer-number type dalliances. It also appears that the Viking horn on the helmets has reverted back to the 2005 look - the extra detailing where the horn "attaches" to the helmet is gone. For comparison, here's a pic from last year:

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It was already brought up here. They are just breaking those helmets in for a throwback game in which they will wear the old helmets. It is NOT a permenant change, they have been rotating between the throwback helmet and current helmet in training camp to break both helmets in.

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It was already brought up here. They are just breaking those helmets in for a throwback game in which they will wear the old helmets. It is NOT a permenant change, they have been rotating between the throwback helmet and current helmet in training camp to break both helmets in.

Thanks... I've been on vacation for about a week and a half and missed a lot of news. I searched for threads containing "Vikings" before I posted that, but for some reason I must have missed that thread.

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I my day :boogie: , virtually all face masks were gray.

Yeah, me too. That's why I don't get all the hate for gray facemasks. To my eye, color-coordinated facemasks make the helmets look like some sort of sci-fi first-person-shooter prop. Overdesigned and rococo. The gray facemask makes the helmet look like a helmet. It's a piece of equipment decorated to match the uniform, not the uniform itself.

When I try to look beyond my "that's what it looked like when I was a kid, so nyaaah" biases, I do think there is a kernel of aesthetic value in making the facemask look like a piece of equipment rather than an integral part of the uniform design. Helmets are roughly spheroid, and the best-designed helmet logos/stripes work because they consider the helmet as a unit and achieve balance in the context of a spherical "canvass". Throw a color-matching facemask onto the helmet, and it's no longer a sphere with a facemask added. It's a strange, vaguely skull-shaped object. Now, there's no reason a team couldn't design its helmet to work well on a skull shape instead of a sphere. But no team does that right now. So changing the apparent shape of the helmet negatively affects the logos and stripes teams currently have.

I mean, imagine if hockey switched from jersey and pants to a unitard. No reason teams couldn't design terrific unitards. But if all you did was take the current uniform's colors and logos and throw them on the unitard, the one-piece uniforms won't look right. Same basic principle at work here: The context of a design, the apparent shape of the "canvass" matters greatly. If a team wants to redesign its helmet to work as a single unit, a unitard for the head, great. But that's not what's going on with color-matching facemasks. Better to stick with the neutral color facemasks that preserve the apparent shape of the helmet's designed area if a team isn't going to do the work of really integrating a designed facemask into its uniform.

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Yeah, me too. That's why I don't get all the hate for gray facemasks. To my eye, color-coordinated facemasks make the helmets look like some sort of sci-fi first-person-shooter prop. Overdesigned and rococo. The gray facemask makes the helmet look like a helmet. It's a piece of equipment decorated to match the uniform, not the uniform itself.

Once again, BallWonk's post says it all. Bravo, sir.

I could do quite well on these boards merely posting "Yeah, what he said!" after you.

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I my day :boogie: , virtually all face masks were gray.

Yeah, me too. That's why I don't get all the hate for gray facemasks. To my eye, color-coordinated facemasks make the helmets look like some sort of sci-fi first-person-shooter prop. Overdesigned and rococo. The gray facemask makes the helmet look like a helmet. It's a piece of equipment decorated to match the uniform, not the uniform itself.

I also grew up with grey facemasks in my Pop Warner days, but we viewed the grey facemasks as "Coaches were too cheap to buy facemasks with color" We would have even loved WHITE facemasks but that was a stretch.

I have to disagree with you on the "color-coordinated" facemask comment. I think it looks just fine actually and makes the facemask blend more so that the logo or decal pops off the helmet (refer to Bears, Texans, Vikings, Jags helmets) But I do like the grey facemasks for the more classic helmets (i.e. Browns and Colts)

I also don't get your comment "It's a piece of equipment decorated to match the uniform, not the uniform itself"

What does that mean? Are you putting the facemask in the same category as a chin strap? Because thats a piece of equipment that seems to always look better as white and not color coordinated. If you are, then I disagree again, because the facemask is much more visually involved in the whole helmet look than the chin strap.

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Helmets are roughly spheroid, and the best-designed helmet logos/stripes work because they consider the helmet as a unit and achieve balance in the context of a spherical "canvass". Throw a color-matching facemask onto the helmet, and it's no longer a sphere with a facemask added. It's a strange, vaguely skull-shaped object. Now, there's no reason a team couldn't design its helmet to work well on a skull shape instead of a sphere. But no team does that right now. So changing the apparent shape of the helmet negatively affects the logos and stripes teams currently have.

Every uniform in the last 50 years has been designed by someone who knew the facemask was part of the helmet. It's not like designers are given the shell, design it, and then are shocked to learn after the fact that a facemask is going to be put on it. That's why some teams have gray, some have white, some have a team color--the designers chose what color to make the facemask.

How would you design a helmet differently to work on a "skull shape"?

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I think I said this in the last gray facemask thread, but the teams back then didn't wear it because they wanted to. They had no choice. New technology comes, and everybody does it, and for the most part, it's for the better. Honestly, would a gray facemask look in place with such a modern design as the Vikings uniforms? No. Same problem with the Cardinals. Their helmet looks like it came from the late 60s-early 70s, but the uniform looks in place for the moment (as ugly as their uniforms are.) Leave the gray facemasks to the past and the throwbacks, and move on to the much better looking future.

For the record, the only teams that would fit the gray facemask now would be the teams that have it now (though the Browns and Colts might've been a downgrade.), and maybe the Packers.

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New technology comes, and everybody does it, and for the most part, it's for the better.

I think the state of recent NFL uniforms - Cardinals, Vikings, Bengals - would tend to disprove that statement. :P

...and the Falcons (who started this whole mess)

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New technology comes, and everybody does it, and for the most part, it's for the better.

I think the state of recent NFL uniforms - Cardinals, Vikings, Bengals - would tend to disprove that statement. :P

lol, I'm agreeing with you there: They do look like booboo, especially the Bengals with the random white stripe out of nowhere on their uniforms. That being said, the Vikes and the Bengals did get the helmet right. Since the Cardinals fluffed up the helmet, they just look like a big clusterfluff to me. :P

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Helmets are roughly spheroid, and the best-designed helmet logos/stripes work because they consider the helmet as a unit and achieve balance in the context of a spherical "canvass". Throw a color-matching facemask onto the helmet, and it's no longer a sphere with a facemask added. It's a strange, vaguely skull-shaped object. Now, there's no reason a team couldn't design its helmet to work well on a skull shape instead of a sphere. But no team does that right now. So changing the apparent shape of the helmet negatively affects the logos and stripes teams currently have.

Every uniform in the last 50 years has been designed by someone who knew the facemask was part of the helmet. It's not like designers are given the shell, design it, and then are shocked to learn after the fact that a facemask is going to be put on it. That's why some teams have gray, some have white, some have a team color--the designers chose what color to make the facemask.

How would you design a helmet differently to work on a "skull shape"?

What he said. :D

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The Vikings recently started a new ad campaign to sell tickets, and shocker of shockers, the new uniforms we were blitzkrieged with all of last summer are NOWHERE TO BE SEEN!!! All of the fans and former players seen in the ads are wearing the old design, save maybe one person in a group shot. Of course, this could be part of the Chuck Foreman celebration, but considering how hard they plugged the uni change last year...this couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the new uniforms are almost universally hated in Minnesota, could it? Nah...

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The Vikings recently started a new ad campaign to sell tickets, and shocker of shockers, the new uniforms we were blitzkrieged with all of last summer are NOWHERE TO BE SEEN!!! All of the fans and former players seen in the ads are wearing the old design, save maybe one person in a group shot.

Really? That's surprising.

I'd love to see a scan or photo of those ads, if you have any....

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I don't think the grey mask and simple horn mesh well with a modern jersey style, so I'm hoping the change is just for the throwback situation, which is ridiculous because they've basically had the same jerseys for years until recently.

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