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Football uniform theory


The Danimal

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Here's my theory - college football teams should stick to traditional uniforms as much as possible. Sometimes this is difficult due to the changes in uniform materials and safety gear, but the basic design should be as unchanged as possible. For example, Penn State should never put a logo on their white helmets nor should OSU lose the "buckeye" stickers.

On the other hand, NFL teams should continue to push the envelope when it comes to uniform design. NFL teams should be progressive and cutting-edge when it comes to how players should look on the field. Get rid of boring unforms like Green Bay's and Dallas' (or at least constantly give them updates).

The idea is that college football is based so much on tradition - you want to look at the uniforms and think that they're the exact same teams you watched as a kid with your grandpa. But the NFL should represent the new and bold. I'm not saying they should throw tradition to the wasteside but they should never be scared to change it.

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Here's my theory - college football teams should stick to traditional uniforms as much as possible. Sometimes this is difficult due to the changes in uniform materials and safety gear, but the basic design should be as unchanged as possible. For example, Penn State should never put a logo on their white helmets nor should OSU lose the "buckeye" stickers.

On the other hand, NFL teams should continue to push the envelope when it comes to uniform design. NFL teams should be progressive and cutting-edge when it comes to how players should look on the field. Get rid of boring unforms like Green Bay's and Dallas' (or at least constantly give them updates).

The idea is that college football is based so much on tradition - you want to look at the uniforms and think that they're the exact same teams you watched as a kid with your grandpa. But the NFL should represent the new and bold. I'm not saying they should throw tradition to the wasteside but they should never be scared to change it.

i'm just disappointed that the Bears don't look like Oregon state with ghost flames, diamond plates, mismatching uniforms, monochrome orange. I just wish teams like the packers and bears would chuck their designs and get crazy ass piping, slug logos, neon color schemes, and glow in the dark alternates. I want the deadskins to adopt the wildcats name and resemble the Northwestern Wildcats, i want the Cleveland browns to chuck their design and have Orange County Choppers redesign the helmet so it looks like a gas tank for a chopper then stick the Dawg Pound logo on the helmet and rename the team to the Cleveland Dawg Pound. As for the Lions, I want them to be renamed to Ford Detroit AFC(American Football Club) and use a hybrid lions/Ford logo, ditch the honolulu blue and replace it with Royal, Silver and black.

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If any pro team ever looked like West Virginia did last night, I would stop watching football.

Seriously, how is the NFL not steeped in tradition? If anything College is the more "cutting edge" what with the two-point conversion (well, they had it first anyway) and the crazy overtime thing they do. I think it's set up fine the way it is. If Green Bay wants to be classic they can be, and if West Virginia wants to look like a bunch of bananas running around, they can do that.

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i'm just disappointed that the Bears don't look like Oregon state with ghost flames, diamond plates, mismatching uniforms, monochrome orange. I just wish teams like the packers and bears would chuck their designs and get crazy ass piping, slug logos, neon color schemes, and glow in the dark alternates. I want the deadskins to adopt the wildcats name and resemble the Northwestern Wildcats, i want the Cleveland browns to chuck their design and have Orange County Choppers redesign the helmet so it looks like a gas tank for a chopper then stick the Dawg Pound logo on the helmet and rename the team to the Cleveland Dawg Pound. As for the Lions, I want them to be renamed to Ford Detroit AFC(American Football Club) and use a hybrid lions/Ford logo, ditch the honolulu blue and replace it with Royal, Silver and black.

Well, sure, if you automatically associate modern football uniform design with ugliness then you're not going to be a fan of my theory.

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Seriously, how is the NFL not steeped in tradition?

There's plenty of tradition in the NFL, but this is the league where teams will leave one city for another and some teams are less than 15 years old. Tradition is fine until it holds back progress, or at least that seems to be the NFL's view.

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i'm just disappointed that the Bears don't look like Oregon state with ghost flames, diamond plates, mismatching uniforms, monochrome orange. I just wish teams like the packers and bears would chuck their designs and get crazy ass piping, slug logos, neon color schemes, and glow in the dark alternates. I want the deadskins to adopt the wildcats name and resemble the Northwestern Wildcats, i want the Cleveland browns to chuck their design and have Orange County Choppers redesign the helmet so it looks like a gas tank for a chopper then stick the Dawg Pound logo on the helmet and rename the team to the Cleveland Dawg Pound. As for the Lions, I want them to be renamed to Ford Detroit AFC(American Football Club) and use a hybrid lions/Ford logo, ditch the honolulu blue and replace it with Royal, Silver and black.

Well, sure, if you automatically associate modern football uniform design with ugliness then you're not going to be a fan of my theory.

What you offered was less a theory than it was some sort of bizarro personal preference.

College football may have been around longer than pro football, but longevity shouldn't be the true gauge of "tradition." In truth, college football and pro football should be considered in a vacuum. You can't compare the tradition of, say, Notre Dame, with that of the Chicago Bears -- it's like comparing the Toledo Mud Hens to the Cleveland Indians. But you can put the Bears up against the Carolina Panthers and have yourself an honest argument over tradition, with the Bears winning handily.

Considering that, you won't find two teams more steeped in tradition within their own league than the Cowboys and Packers. And we're talking half a century of tradition. That's the kind you don't mess with.

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College is a much better place to experiment with things, because of all the teams, theres 119 D-IA teams? Whereas theres only 32 pro football teams, so in college theres a lot more teams to mess with while still not having to mess with the majority of teams that are traditional.

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Seriously, how is the NFL not steeped in tradition?

There's plenty of tradition in the NFL, but this is the league where teams will leave one city for another and some teams are less than 15 years old. Tradition is fine until it holds back progress, or at least that seems to be the NFL's view.

And how about all those rich traditional schools like South Florida and UConn? What should their uniforms look like.

Sorry, your theory doesn't hold much water.

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That's where I went with it.

Also what about schools like Boise State? Should they give up the eye catching look that most people associate with them now for the plain blue jerseys and plain orange pants they probably wore back in 1970 for the sake of "tradition?" Besides, no one outside of Idaho even knew where Bosie was until they gave a HUGE middle finger to tradition and broke out the smurf turf. I don't think anyone would argue with the results now...

Then there's the flip side. Go to one of the bars at Lambeau Field, start talking about how the Packers need to look more modern and see what kind of reaction you get.

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penn state should definately put the lion logo on their helmet

Not EVEN over JoePa's dead body would anyone in that athletic department attempt to do that...maybe. ^_^

(On the other side, I am one of a few who believes Penn State would really benefit from something a little bit fresher and more "modernistic" without going overload or overly insane...just a couple "touchups" here and there...but again, that's just ME. And I bet JoePa is looking at me right now through them thick-ass lenses and wagging his geriatric finger at me...)

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Traditional College teams keep their uniforms traditional, like Notre Dame and Penn State. However, the guys who play College football is a much younger group of guys, so therefore, it's not as bad when teams who may not have such traditional sets, go with the more modern uniforms.

NFL players are obviously much older, so it makes sense for them to keep the basic traditional sets for the most part. I wouldn't mind seeing some modernization, or at least BETTER modernization (ahem, Bengals, Cardinals) in the NFL, however, for teams who may not have such traditional uniform sets.

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You know, I guess the Packers are an exception to the theory since they are very similar to a college team - they play in a small town and in a old stadium not named for a corporate entity and seem to worship their past more than most NFL squads. So leave the Packers traditional.

The other exception is Oregon - their futuristic uniforms have become their tradition, so to speak, so they should keep pushing the envelope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that this kind of topic needed to be started. Here's my take: In college, there are some schools that need to stay traditional, i.e Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, etc., etc. Then theres some than can get away with it, like West virginia, Oregon (though what they wear sucks), etc. Then there are some that are so bad that they should have stayed 7 years ago, like Oregon State (man, the state of Oregon is batting 1.000 with bad unis, eh?). Then you got others that just make you wanna hurl like Miami (FL), Colorado, I could go on. There is so much a variety or unis in college that it really depends on the team as to which direction you should go. As for the NFL, I wouldnt mind seeing more envelopes pushed, but again that is with certain teams. Green Bay, Oakland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Chicago should not and probably will not ever change thier unis, for good reasons. Then there a few others that could get away with it, like Tennessee. But what im really saying is, no matter what level it all depends on the team and the tradition of the team. If they are a classic, storied team, dont change. but if you are young or are not as storied, go ahead. Thats my take.

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I think it's pretty similar in both college and the pros-you have your tradition-steeped/successful teams that you don't ever mess with (Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Texas/Alabama to name a few in college; Bears/Packers/Raiders/Colts/Steelers/Browns in the NFL), then you have your newer/less successful/smaller market teams that nobody minds if you experiment with more (Oregon/Boise State/Illinois/West Virginia college; Falcons/Eagles/Ravens/Bills/Chargers/Seahawks NFL).

And let's be realistic, just because a few teams have relocated in the long history of the league, doesn't mean every team's identity is mercurial. The NFL has established itself some teams who's traditions I would argue rival that of any of the oldest college programs, and to me, you can't touch the Bears or Packers' helmet any more than you can the Wolverines.

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One thing about football uniforms in general is that they are the most tied in with technology since so much of the uniform incorporates safety features such as helmets that are constantly improving and also because football is a sport where your opponent is often allowed to grab your uniform they're constantly coming up with more ways to streamline them (the disappearing sleeve, for example).

So what I'm getting at is that football uniforms in 20 years are going to look very different than they do today no matter what your logos and design look like. So it might make sense to modernize the designs of even the traditional teams so they work well with the uniforms. However, I'm not saying that traditional elements shouldn't be kept in place.

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Get rid of boring unforms like Green Bay's and Dallas'

I disagree with this opinion, but I think that the 3rd/alt jersey is a good idea. Dallas does well using their "throwbacks".

IMO - that's OK, staying with Tradition is good.

You may not be too far off, when Dallas get their new stadium, I can see Jerry Jones making some changes. Time will tell.

I love the classic looks of the college football, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Alabama, Penn State, USC, and Georgia. I hope they don't change. Teams like Oregon, Miami, Maryland push the envelope/trend - that maybe driven by fans and/or athletic departments.

That usually comes down to money for those programs. Their unis are friggin' ugly - but hey, they got to pay the water & electric bills.

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I think it's pretty similar in both college and the pros-you have your tradition-steeped/successful teams that you don't ever mess with (Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State/Texas/Alabama to name a few in college; Bears/Packers/Raiders/Colts/Steelers/Browns in the NFL), then you have your newer/less successful/smaller market teams that nobody minds if you experiment with more (Oregon/Boise State/Illinois/West Virginia college; Falcons/Eagles/Ravens/Bills/Chargers/Seahawks NFL).

And let's be realistic, just because a few teams have relocated in the long history of the league, doesn't mean every team's identity is mercurial. The NFL has established itself some teams who's traditions I would argue rival that of any of the oldest college programs, and to me, you can't touch the Bears or Packers' helmet any more than you can the Wolverines.

hmmm... even though I think Michigan, the Bears and Packers helmets are all untouchable, I would actually put Michigan (and Notre Dame) on a slightly higher lever of "untouchability" based on the relative lack of evolutionary changes to the college teams' shells compared to the pros.

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