There are various reasons teams elect to change uniforms. If a team has had such bad play during an era and there is a new regime ushered in, ownership may opt for a uniform change as a way to spark an “out with the old and in with the new” type of movement. Fan pressure as well as historical precedent will ensure teams like the Packers, Chiefs and Cowboys almost never make any changes to their uniforms asides very subtle ones (The Cowboys with the color of their pants and blue alternate uniform).
So where does that leave the other teams that just change for the sake of making a change? If the old uniform is not tied with a history of futile play, then why change?
You guess it. Ching-Ching. Money can definitely be a factor, but the new trend in the NFL is to have more modern looking uniforms with overdone piping and misplaced stripes.
Being the NFL nostalgia fan that I am, I can’t help but wonder why certain teams disassociate themselves from classic jerseys that were nicer, for a new iteration of them that fans end up disliking. That leads me to my list of 5 teams that desperately need to go back to their jerseys of years past.
5. Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings had a rather simplistic jersey template from their inception into the league in the 60’s until the mid 2000’s when they went from this jersey to this. Not only do the current jerseys use a brighter shade of purple which is less visually pleasing than the older ones, it also does that dreaded piping action on the side of the jerseys that makes it way too “busy”. The old-school Vikings home and away jersey featured very subtle stripes on the end of the sleeves for the home garment and stripes on the shoulders for the away garment. Look at any uniform in the history of the NFL and even College Football and the ones with the subtle stripes always look the best. Just see Ohio State or the 49ers. The new look just has too many random stripes on the jersey. I really wish I were a fly in the wall during discussions as to why they needed to change. The Vikings have been one of the more respected franchises over the past 50 years and their jersey was timeless. Residents of the Twin Cities need to put pressure on the team to revert back to the jerseys from the Moss, Culpepper and John Randle days.
4. Atlanta Falcons: I may end up repeating myself throughout this entire list, but similarly to the Vikings, the new Falcons jersey is atrocious and features, again, way too much piping and over-done stripes. It is a shame because 2-3 times a year, they go with the solid black jersey, paired with the red helmet, which makes for a terrific look. If they are going to go with the current look of over-exaggerated piping, at least go with the black jersey as opposed to the red one. I understand the red aspect and I think it is because they want to bring back memories of their vaunted Grits-Blitz defense of the late 70’s, but these are just not appealing at all and have to go.
3. St Louis Rams: Unlike the last two jerseys that were profiled, the current version of the Rams jerseys is not terrible by any means. It’s just that the blue and gold was so classic and perfect. I get it that the Rams left Los Angeles where these jerseys originated and when they moved to St. Louis they wanted to create a new identity, but let’s also not forget that they won their first and only championship wearing the blue and gold threads. Ultimately, it was probably a clear money grab and perfect timing to change uniforms right after a Super Bowl win. Regardless, they need to go back to these.
2. Denver Broncos: When you think of the Orange Crush, you think of a dominant defense as well as this uniform. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Broncos current uniforms that have had relatively the same template (just with two colors, Blue and Orange) since 1997 are hot, but the Orange Crush threads are in another class. That helmet with the large “D” and Bronco coming out of it just echoes so much history. Like the Ohio State and 49ers jerseys, it features two-colored stripes at the end of the sleeve and Ivy-League type socks. Unfortunately, I don’t see those jerseys ever returning as they do not look modern enough for todays NFL, but thankfully, I can use them in the Madden games.
1. Philadelphia Eagles: If you saw Silver Linings Playbook, you would’ve seen Robert DeNiro sporting a sweet Philadelphia Eagles cardigan. It immediately brought back memories of Randall Cunningham, Reggie White and Jerome Brown. That logo, although it is not as prevalent on the old helmets, is still much slicker than the generic eagle that is used as the current logo on helmets. The Kelly green that was used on the old logo is much cleaner as opposed to the shiny generic dark-green look of the new jerseys. As is customary with the NFL, this jersey definitely does not fit the new school look of the current jerseys, but these are threads that I would love to see Shady McCoy and Mike Vick run wild with like they did a few years ago against the Packers.