One of the worst franchises in pro sports unveiled new uniforms last night, and since I am a legendary uniform designer, creating shirts for a floor hockey team in college that had a perfect season, and even more perfect shirts, I figure, who better to judge their new uniforms than me?
Let’s go uniform by uniform and judge these babies.
All screengrabs are taken from DetroitLionsUniforms.com
Hey not bad! You’ll immediately notice that the black is gone from the jerseys which is so much better. I know a lot of people liked the black, but it always felt forced and unnecessary. If you’re still on the fence about this, remember it was Matt Millen who wanted to add black to make them look tougher and more like the Raiders. Barf. The number font was bad before, and this new one isn’t much better, but the getting rid of the black alone was a win. GRADE: B+
Eh. Honestly, of all the new uniforms, this one elicits the least amount of response from me. The actual jersey and helmet are again fine, and getting rid of the black is good, but the pants/sock combo is just too much blue. I feel like the pants should have been silver. The lions tried blue pants during the Scott Mitchell era in the 90s, and they wore grey/silver socks with it that were so ugly John Madden made fun of them. Hopefully the pants can be swapped with other combinations, preferably the silver ones. Not bad, not great. GRADE: B-
Oh hell yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. The team should wear these every game, just add the logo to the helmet and call it a day to meet modern NFL rules. GRADE: A+
For some dumb reason the NFL thinks teams need to wear weird costumes for Thursday night games. These are bad. I know a lot of #youths think these are cool and #swag and whatever else idiots think these days, but allow me to explain. The Lions colors are Honolulu Blue and Silver. These are gray. Gray is not a team color. Why make an entire jersey that isn’t a team color? Why not go with an all blue set, arguably the best shade of blue in the NFL, that would really pop on the field instead of these bland things? Bad. GRADE: D-
The Lions also tweaked their helmet, again, getting rid of the black. The helmet stripes look like they might be a little wide for my liking, but changing the face mask from black to silver chrome is a major plus. I would have been curious to see what a Honolulu Blue chrome face mask looked like on these, but again, getting rid of the black was itself an upgrade.
OK that’s kind of weird. They’ll have the new wordmark on the right sleeve of all their jerseys. It’s not bad I guess, it’s just kind of weird and Browns-ish. It seems unnecessary, but it’s Nike, and if this is the most outrageous thing they do to the jerseys, that’s fine.
The team will also keep the William Clay Ford memorial decal on the jerseys, moving it from the left chest to the left shoulder. That’s fine. He owned the team forever, and that should be remembered, even if the team had zero success with him as owner.
Honestly, these are pretty good with the exception of the Color Rush jersey. With Nike in charge I thought they would be a modern monstrosity that would add a whole bunch of crap that would just look like a mess. These, at least the three main jerseys, do a good job of blending the past classic looks the Lions had before adding black, and make bring them into the 21st century without beating you over the head with it. Not bad at all.
Now, win a game that matters and I’ll be really happy.