As the arbiter of all things uniform-related, I must give our readers some updates.
If you're hip with the uniform biz you may know that Nike now has the rights to all the uniforms in the NFL and that they unveiled some new looks last month for the league.
You may wonder why a Notre Dame and college football blog would cover such an event, but the Nike designs will certainly have an affect on the college game, plus there is some college-related news to talk about on this front as well.
Pictures and reaction coming after the jump.
There was a lot of worry that Nike would take its new contract with the NFL and completely go buck wild in year one, but you have to remember the Shield is feverishly conservative with its uniform rules. Any major change will take years to implement---and I'm sure Nike is probably eyeing doing so for a dozen teams.
For now, only the Seattle Seahawks had a full-scale makeover from Nike:
Raise your hand if you liked Seattle's uniforms before this.
Yeah me either. And although this uniform isn't amazing it's at least not a step back for the Seahawks. I don't like the script on the front left of the jersey---it looks so unprofessional---but I can't say there's a lot more to hate. I initially liked the way they set up the Nike logo on the shoulder, but it does make it seem more of a Nike jersey than a Seahawks one, right?
You can also see they added "feather trim" down the pants and added that textured logo into the helmet stripe and jersey numbers. In addition, they have a "wolf gray" alternate jersey/pant combo, and joined the helmet logo in the back where it was previously separated.
I've always thought the Seahawks wore ugly uniforms---especially in recent times---and this doesn't really change that fact. I'm pretty ambivalent about them other than worrying that this is one of the templates Nike wants to force on other teams in the coming years because it will not work with most franchises.
The rest of the league stayed pretty much the same, except for a few smaller details.
The biggest change is that some teams are going to be wearing the two-toned collars.
Minnesota, Buffalo, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, San Diego, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and St. Louis are the teams wearing these funky collars that make them look like they're wearing the neck pad made famous by Eric Dickerson.
I bet this gets changed for the 2013 season.
Nike put the Texans' collar on steroids...
Good Lord that thing is huge!
The Packers went all traditional on Nike and told them to stuff it. They are apparently not wearing the new fabric for their jerseys. It looks like Nike just slapped their swoosh on their old jerseys and called it a day.
In other NFL news, the Steelers unveiled some intense throwback uniforms a while back.
Stripes are making a strong comeback---which I definitely like---but this is what you like to call going overboard. Still, it's a true throwback so you can't knock it too much. It's weird that they did all that work on the uniform and kept the same modern helmet.
Perhaps Pittsburgh should have taken a cue from the Washington Redskins who unveiled their own throwbacks---specially made with a leather helmet and all.
You might not like every design that's made nowadays, but you have to admire the ingenuity and imagination that some teams are bringing to their helmets.
In the college ranks a few teams have released full makeovers. Let's start with Missouri who had their whole athletic department go through a redesign.
I've always liked Missouri's color scheme so it's hard for me to hate these. The all-white with black shoulders is really sharp, but you can see that Nike two-tone collar ruining the yellow jersey---which they've brought back once again.
The big change was replacing the block "M" on the helmets for their Tiger logo, and also creating a second matte black helmet with a different Tiger logo. I can't help but see the Colorado College tiger when I see that helmet.
Rutgers made my Most Underrated Uniform list prior to an offseason makeover and they are swiftly removed from such consideration now.
There's a lot of silly stuff with these uniforms that I'm not going to even get in to right now. They made the helmets look like a knights' helmet with that finish which is cool enough. But were three different helmets each with three different facemasks and stripes really necessary?
The all-white uniform looks sharp (don't they always?) and the black I can at least tolerate, but that all-red is so ugly. These will turn a lot of heads, which I suppose is what it's all about, and some of the color combinations will look good but I preferred their old uniforms.
Elsewhere, it looks like Arkansas might be getting new uniforms:
An all-white and all-black uniform plus an all-white helmet---how very creative of you Arkansas!
Some interesting news down at Mississippi State where the Bulldogs want to wear all-white throwbacks when they play Texas A&M this year to honor the 2000 Independence Bowl when these teams last played.
The only problem is that Miss State was a Nike school back then and apparently the Swoosh owns that particular MSU logo on the above helmet. So it looks like as an Adidas school now the Bulldogs will have to go another direction with their throwback helmet.
Lastly, Nebraska will be wearing a new uniform for one game this season.
Here are some comments from AD and former coach Tom Osborne:
"It will be more futuristic, but it won't be outlandish. It won't be so dramatic that fans won't know what team they're watching."
"It does seem to appeal to the student-athletes. Most older fans don't get overly excited about it. We're walking a fine line because we are traditional, but we also recognize the fact that we don't have to stay the same all the time."
Words of wisdom from Tommy O.