A few years ago, the NFL announced that it was exploring selling ad space on uniforms as an added source of revenue. And although the league has limited these ads to practice uniforms only, concerns still lingered that the NFL was headed the way of NASCAR or European pro sports, where jerseys act as on-field billboards for team sponsors.
And just last month, the NBA announced that they were moving toward selling a small patch of ad space on their game jerseys, generating an estimated $100 million in revenue, and making them the first of the big four U.S. pro sports leagues to do so.
Well yesterday, Roger Goodell alleviated any fears that the NFL was still pondering putting ads on their game jerseys. From the Detroit Free Press:
“It’s not something that’s actively being considered in the NFL,” Goodell said. “We like the look that we have on the field. We have a very limited number of partners on our field in general, much less on the uniform, and we think that’s right for the NFL.”
Phew! That’s a relief. But you just know that if the NBA starts raking in millions on these ads (and there isn’t a huge backlash), the NFL won’t be too far behind in entertaining the idea.
This bumblebee-esque monstrosity was apparently inspired by the original 1934 Pittsburgh Pirates, and was chosen “to show a unique part of Steelers’ history”:
“We wanted to use a jersey that we wore early in our history as we celebrate our 80th season,” Steelers’ President Art Rooney II said. “We have never used those jerseys since the 1934 season and I think our fans will be excited to see our players wear them in action this year.”
More uniform pics here, and after the jump. And while our initial reaction was horror, the more we look at it … yeah, they’re still pretty bad. There’s a reason these unis were left on the shelves for 80 years. And the socks aren’t helping.
Unfortunately for fashion aficionados everywhere, the Steelers will don the throwbacks for not one, but two home games this year.
After much hype and build-up, the NFL unveiled new uniforms from Nike for all 32 teams today … and aside from the Seattle Seahawks, your favorite team will pretty much look the same next year.
There had been some concern among fans that Nike was going to redesign every team’s uniform to look like the Oregon Ducks, but in general the changes are barely perceptible.
The biggest change across the board is to the collar, where Nike added their “Flywire” design which supposedly helps keep the collar flat against the pads, and some teams have included a two-tone color scheme to go along with it. There are some other updates to the construction, fit, fabric and color shadings that I’m sure are huge differences to the uni-geeks over at Nike, but nothing the average fan would really notice.
The fine folks at uni-watch.com have a detailed team-by-team breakdown of changes to the uniform, and you can VIEW UP-CLOSE PHOTOS OF ALL 32 NEW UNIFORMS HERE.
It turns out the Packers, Raiders, Eagles, Falcons and Panthers passed entirely on the opportunity to update their unis, essentially rejecting Nike’s proposed modifications. But the Seahawks decided to go for it, re-vamping their color scheme to include neon green and updating the helmet logo for a completely new look. You can check out more detailed photos of the Seahawks uniform at this gallery, but it’s not nearly as bad as some people are making it out to be (photo below).
Inspired by this recent New York Times piece, which examines the disappearance of neck rolls from the game of football, we decided to compile a list of the greatest neck rolls in NFL history.
The neck roll apparatus – which theoretically protects against injuries by helping to stabilize the neck – was a standard part of the uniform for anyone playing youth or high school football in the 80s or 90s. And although sports science seems to have proven neck rolls to be relatively useless as an injury prevention tool, they will always hold a warm place in our football memories.
From the Times piece:
It goes by names like cowboy collar and butterfly restrictor, can look like a cut-up life preserver, a miniature washboard or a tube of cookie dough and, depending on whom you ask, is incredibly effective or about as necessary as an appendix.
Much like Spandex did not, in fact, make everybody who wore it look thinner, neck rolls became another disappearing fad because they were probably more style than substance, said Stephen J. Straub, a professor of athletic training and sports medicine at Quinnipiac University.
Straub was involved in a 2003 study that examined three different types of neck rolls and ultimately concluded that “they’ve never been shown to be effective,” he said, adding: “In a lab, they seem to be able to control the head, at least a little bit. But no one has been able to show that on a football field.”
If nothing else, they at least helped make you look more intimidating on the field (well, except on Grogan, that is), and we’ll continue to hold out hope for a comeback as we pay tribute to the once-ubiquitous neck roll with the following glorious images.
TOP 10 NECK ROLLS IN NFL HISTORY
(If you think of any other players who donned a neck roll during their career and we may have omitted from our list, please let us know in the comments)
1. Steve Grogan – New England Patriots
UPDATE: The NFL has notified all 32 teams that players will not be fined for wearing 9/11 tribute gear this Sunday. Well what do you know? Common sense seems to have prevailed.
This Sunday, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, several NFL players will be sporting special red, white & blue tribute equipment, despite the threat of potential fines from the NFL. Bears LB Lance Briggs was the first to reveal his brand commemorative new cleats & gloves (banner pic), which were produced by Reebok specifically for the occasion. From Briggs’ Twitter account:
Reebok great job on these gloves and shoes..looks like I’m getting fined this week. Lol! By far the best fine I will ever have to pay. Thanks…Fines for gloves could be as much as 5k..the shoes 8-10k I think. not 100% on the shoe fine.
Other players, including Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck and Redskins TE Chris Cooley (via a Tweet from his wife) have indicated that they also plan to wear similar 9/11 gear, and it seems that all are fully prepared to pay any fines levied by the league. The NFL has yet to speak out on the subject, but based on their past history of zero-tolerance for unauthorized uniforms, it’s safe to assume they won’t turn the other cheek here, regardless of the emotion associated with the day.
It seems odd that the league hadn’t already planned to wear some sort of commemorative ribbon or patch for the day, considering the sheer volume of approved patches players will be wearing this season, commemorating such football luminaries as Joe “The Pet” Perry and Myra Kraft. And when an entire month is dedicated to wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness, why wouldn’t the NFL encourage, let alone allow players a similar tribute on the tenth anniversary of one the most tragic days in our nation’s history?
Quite simply, this is a potential PR nightmare for the league. C’mon Roger … do the right thing here.
just to clarify, the artist renderings of NFL uniforms floating around ARE NOT from the league or Nike. stand down
Apparently, folks on the forum equipped with the Pro Combat template made their own designs for fun … because that what Internet geeks do. Gotta’ hand it to them for doing such a good job, and regardless, we still find the designs interesting.
ORIGINALLY POSTED 11.18.10: Nike will serve as the designer of NFL uniforms beginning with the 2012 NFL season.
These unofficial and rumored concept sketches for some teams around the league.
What are your thoughts?
CONTINUE AFTER THE JUMP FOR THE REST OF THE FAKE UNIFORM DESIGNS