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CFL uniforms: an observation


BJ Sands

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Whenever it's on and I get a chance I like to watch the CFL. It's fast-paced, fun, and fills a void before September.

That said, I don't think I could watch it full-time because of the ghastly uniforms. It seems like every team has sets with mismatched elements, bad templates, and just random designs that don't work.

I know there are a few CFL fans on here, and I just want to know how you put up with it.

Toronto and Hamilton have uniforms worth of the NFL's upper tier.
Toronto, really? That would be pretty awkward since they already use an NFL team's stripes exactly.
What do you mean? The Argos use five big stripes.7615928772_bd31986262_z.jpg

The Steelers use five, three and sometimes two big stripes, all on the same jersey depending on the cut.Ike+Taylor+Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Baltimo

They both use the same striping, it's just that certain Steeler player wear very little on their sleeve so it gets cut off. The Argos straight up took the Steeler's striping, there's no doubt about that.
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Whenever it's on and I get a chance I like to watch the CFL. It's fast-paced, fun, and fills a void before September.

That said, I don't think I could watch it full-time because of the ghastly uniforms. It seems like every team has sets with mismatched elements, bad templates, and just random designs that don't work.

I know there are a few CFL fans on here, and I just want to know how you put up with it.

Toronto and Hamilton have uniforms worth of the NFL's upper tier.
Toronto, really? That would be pretty awkward since they already use an NFL team's stripes exactly.
What do you mean? The Argos use five big stripes.7615928772_bd31986262_z.jpg

The Steelers use five, three and sometimes two big stripes, all on the same jersey depending on the cut.Ike+Taylor+Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Baltimo

They both use the same striping, it's just that certain Steeler player wear very little on their sleeve so it gets cut off. The Argos straight up took the Steeler's striping, there's no doubt about that.

No they don't. The Steelers sleeve stripe pattern is small-large-small with spaces in between. The Argos stripes are all the same width with stripes in between. The better comparison would be the old packers stripes.

GB+1971.jpg

And since the Packers switched to three stripes in 1997, there wouldn't be two teams with the same stripe pattern if the Argos were an NFL team.

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They both use the same striping, it's just that certain Steeler player wear very little on their sleeve so it gets cut off. The Argos straight up took the Steeler's striping, there's no doubt about that.

Not sure how old you are, but what the Steelers and Argos use is a pretty generic design that used to be a lot more common. The Argos don't look any more like the Steelers than the Colts look like UCLA.

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They both use the same striping, it's just that certain Steeler player wear very little on their sleeve so it gets cut off. The Argos straight up took the Steeler's striping, there's no doubt about that.

Not sure how old you are, but what the Steelers and Argos use is a pretty generic design that used to be a lot more common. The Argos don't look any more like the Steelers than the Colts look like UCLA.

And this current Argos jersey is a throwback to jerseys from their past.

Symons-60s.jpg

Which I'm sure was a striping pattern used by a lot more teams back in those days.

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The Bombers have a dreadful uniform. I'd rather have their previous Rams-lookalike set than the current Falcons-lookalike they have right now.

Can't they just make a white version of the current alt?

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Some CFL team are still crawling out of the mess that they created when Reebok took over (many teams in the West). Some have improved slightly some are still just as awful. Sure many teams had some crappy looks before the Reebok era but not that many at once. Too much messing with panels, piping, patchword jerseys, and in at least one case a helmet in the wrong colour scheme (Calgary). While I for some reason don't mind the front jersey workmark of Montreal, in every other case I think it should go. You have colours, helmet logos, etc. to show which team you are on; you don't need your city or team name in small script. Adding a name as well as being stupid in general adds to the clutter above the front number (sponsors and the unneeded or at least misplaced CFL collar logo).

Most CFL teams had some great classic looks that some teams have strayed too far from. I don't think it is just nostalgia talking when I say that some of the best CFL looks were in the 1970's/80's.

As far as the ads go I don't care for them but I am used to them somewhat. With players making an average salary of around $90,000 and a team salary cap of $5 million, you can guess at some of the reasons for the ads - just think of it like a semi-pro hockey league if that will help. Can't count the numbers of times in my life time many thought the CFL would be dead and gone.

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The Argonauts' look isn't that great, they have the same big clunky sleeve stripes as the Steelers. This looks better:

500Level-Michael_Clemons_2.jpg

That wasn't awful (and I think the pants stripe is pretty neat), but you absolutely must change the colours to Oxford/Cambridge.

Another league-wide problem: why does nobody know what a helmet stripe is? Two-thirds of the league don't sport them, which looks really bland and amateurish.

I second that comment about the helmet stripes! I often wonder about it too...

These unis were decent... drop that warrior/shield/wave, and bring back the football with the sail (80's logo),,,and they would be golden IMHO..

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BC- decent but needs helmet stripes

Calgary- Ditch the black helmet, Go back to the red, white & silver team colors

Edmonton- Ditch the Dark Green Helmet

Winnipeg- St.Louis called.. they want you to stop imitating them...Who told them to wear those gold jerseys? Love how they went back to Gold helmet with white W

Saskatchewan- Bring back the wrap around stripes from the logos on the side of the helmet...actually would love them to go back the just green and white!

Hamilton- no change

Toronto- Bring back the helmet from the 80's, football with sails logo (does anyone have a pic they can post?), add helmet stripes

Ottawa- Not bad, ditch the red numbers on the black unis, go to white numbers

Montreal- No change

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Some CFL team are still crawling out of the mess that they created when Reebok took over (many teams in the West). Some have improved slightly some are still just as awful. Sure many teams had some crappy looks before the Reebok era but not that many at once. Too much messing with panels, piping, patchword jerseys, and in at least one case a helmet in the wrong colour scheme (Calgary). While I for some reason don't mind the front jersey workmark of Montreal, in every other case I think it should go. You have colours, helmet logos, etc. to show which team you are on; you don't need your city or team name in small script. Adding a name as well as being stupid in general adds to the clutter above the front number (sponsors and the unneeded or at least misplaced CFL collar logo).

Most CFL teams had some great classic looks that some teams have strayed too far from. I don't think it is just nostalgia talking when I say that some of the best CFL looks were in the 1970's/80's.

As far as the ads go I don't care for them but I am used to them somewhat. With players making an average salary of around $90,000 and a team salary cap of $5 million, you can guess at some of the reasons for the ads - just think of it like a semi-pro hockey league if that will help. Can't count the numbers of times in my life time many thought the CFL would be dead and gone.

Totally agree with the CFL having some of its best looking uniforms in the 70's and 80's. All the uniforms back then looked so distinguishable and very major league-like.

Like others who've posted, one of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of helmet striping on most of the team uniforms. The Lions, for example, could use a thick orange stripe on their helmets/home white pants with a black border and inverted on the away orange pants. Some striping on the sleeves wouldn't hurt either. Striping on helmets plays a difference between looking like a big league team and a high school team.

Speaking of helmets, absolutely dislike the road helmet concept. Black helmets on the Stampeders? What are they? A team from Ottawa? White helmets on Saskatchewan - again, with no stripe! A cheap version of the NY Jets.

Hamilton, while wearing one of the best CFL uniforms, should return to wearing their classic gold helmet with matching stripes from their current gold pants. The stripeless black helmets make them look like a cheap version of the Steelers.

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No offense intended to fans of the CFL, but it always just feels like a minor league compared to the NFL - and even to some big time NCAAF programs.

I don't mean in terms of talent - they clearly have great players - but it's like they signed a contract with Russell to design the whole league. The looks are either atrocious, or, if a team looks halfway decent it's pretty much a rip off of a classic look from a more established team elsewhere.

I wish the CFL could get a big time contract with Nike or Under Armour, etc., and have some really cool designs out there. Would do a lot to strengthen the overall brand.

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No offense intended to fans of the CFL, but it always just feels like a minor league compared to the NFL - and even to some big time NCAAF programs.

I don't mean in terms of talent - they clearly have great players - but it's like they signed a contract with Russell to design the whole league. The looks are either atrocious, or, if a team looks halfway decent it's pretty much a rip off of a classic look from a more established team elsewhere.

I wish the CFL could get a big time contract with Nike or Under Armour, etc., and have some really cool designs out there. Would do a lot to strengthen the overall brand.

Isn't it enough of a well-established league to afford UA or Nike?

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I can't believe people are giving props to the BC Lions. Their overall look isn't bad, but their helmet logo is a complete disaster. Viewed from even a small distance it's an orange blob. The font for the letters "B.C" is terrible. The lion in profile is poorly rendered. And the fact that the lion's head is emerging from the letters looks as awkward as the mixing of the "B" and the Raven's head on Baltimore's helmets.

I would love to see them do something based on the statue at the entrance to Vancouver's Lion's Gate Bridge.

cwA5zGjs.jpg

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I can't believe people are giving props to the BC Lions. Their overall look isn't bad, but their helmet logo is a complete disaster. Viewed from even a small distance it's an orange blob. The font for the letters "B.C" is terrible. The lion in profile is poorly rendered. And the fact that the lion's head is emerging from the letters looks as awkward as the mixing of the "B" and the Raven's head on Baltimore's helmets.

I would love to see them do something based on the statue at the entrance to Vancouver's Lion's Gate Bridge.

cwA5zGjs.jpg

Their current look is passable compared to most of the rest of the league. Maybe that's why it's getting props.

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BC- decent but needs helmet stripes

Calgary- Ditch the black helmet, Go back to the red, white & silver team colors

Edmonton- Ditch the Dark Green Helmet

Winnipeg- St.Louis called.. they want you to stop imitating them...Who told them to wear those gold jerseys? Love how they went back to Gold helmet with white W

Saskatchewan- Bring back the wrap around stripes from the logos on the side of the helmet...actually would love them to go back the just green and white!

Hamilton- no change

Toronto- Bring back the helmet from the 80's, football with sails logo (does anyone have a pic they can post?), add helmet stripes

Ottawa- Not bad, ditch the red numbers on the black unis, go to white numbers

Montreal- No change

83+tor+Greer.Terry-Col2.jpg

01144017A.JPG

83+Holloway.Condredge-Tor-side_small.jpg

While the Cfl.ca has some video clips from old Grey Cups http://www.cfl.ca/video/index?sub_channel=1639, I didn't see any pics after a quick search.

Got these pics from the CFL Hall of Fame site http://www.cfhof.ca/museum/collection-gallery/,

and Jim Mullin's Blog: The Edmonton Eskimos Ruined my Childhood blog [ may be called The Krown Countdown U Blog now] - section on CFL classic uniforms.

http://jimmullinnow.blogspot.ca/2012/05/cfls-classic-16-uniforms-all-16-of-em.html?q=best+cfl+uniforms

He also has articles on what he thought were the worst ones, and his opinion of the Reebok ones when they came out.

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No offense intended to fans of the CFL, but it always just feels like a minor league compared to the NFL - and even to some big time NCAAF programs.

I don't mean in terms of talent - they clearly have great players - but it's like they signed a contract with Russell to design the whole league. The looks are either atrocious, or, if a team looks halfway decent it's pretty much a rip off of a classic look from a more established team elsewhere.

I wish the CFL could get a big time contract with Nike or Under Armour, etc., and have some really cool designs out there. Would do a lot to strengthen the overall brand.

A lot of younger people in Toronto and Vancouver prefer the NFL. On a radio poll, the Seahawks were considered the 2nd favorite sports team in Vancouver at one point. It's weird, because the small markets actually carry the league

That being said, people still like the CFL for a bunch of reasons. It's a lot less commercialized than the NFL, since the players don't make too much, they are seen as regular members of the community, and well it's Canadian.

At one time in the 60's and 70's, since the NFL was not paying too much, some CFL teams had a better collection of talent. American players were coming to Canada to make more. But that time has long since passed.

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