Jersey Day. My favorite day of being on any team. Growing up I loved sports. Any sport. But my favorite day of being on any team (any sport) was not game day (though of course I loved that too), it was jersey day – the day we got our jerseys; especially new ones. My favorite jersey day of all time had to be that of my first travel hockey team – we had the old Cincinnati Stingers jerseys (which I still rock in men’s league!). Aside from the simple fact that the jerseys were badass, it was the first time I got my name on the back AND got to pick my number – any number (00-99) – not just pick between the 30 numbers in the box.
I have always had an obsession with awesome jerseys and have long enjoyed picking apart jerseys that suck. My favorite jerseys to break down are those of the NFL. Today we start a 4 part series (8 per day) of ranking the NFL team helmets starting with 32 and ending with 1. We will evaluate the helmet’s strengths, weaknesses, and ways to improve the helmet (if any). Follow all week to see where your favorite (or least favorite) team falls. We welcome all debates, complaints, and claims of bias!
So, without further ado, I give you #’s 25-32…..
Strengths: It is NFL safety compliant…presumably.
Weaknesses: Sometimes being the first can be a good thing. Being the NFL’s first two-toned helmet is not one of those times (two toned never works well – see Surf Style wind breakers…you are welcome). The Jaguars paid a lot of money to have new uniforms designed for 2013. The helmet is worse, the uniforms are worse, and the logo is worse…other than that, it was money well spent. These uniforms beg the question: What is a bigger insult to the NFL/Jacksonville fans? The fact that the Jags try and pass Blaine Gabbert off as an NFL starting QB? Or the fact that the Jags pollute the NFL’s $20 Billion TV contract by making CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN show these uniforms 16 times per year?
Ideas for Improvement: Start over….oh, and hire a designer that is not blind.
31. Cleveland Browns
Strengths: They are their original helmets.
Weaknesses: Everything else. No logo? Even pewee football teams have helmet logos! It takes a real dedication to boring in order to sport a helmet with no logo and factory grey facemasks…I suppose that is fitting for a team who was named after their former owner and is too lazy to change the team name despite firing said owner (Paul Brown). Also, ever notice how their name is the Browns yet their helmet is orange? WTF! Imagine if the Reds had yellow hats, or if the Red Sox had blue socks? Imagine telling this story to someone who knows nothing about football…..the Browns wear helmets that are orange, play in Cleveland, and are named after the owner of the team in Cincinnati – makes sense right?
Ideas for Improvement: Brown helmets perhaps? Either way, bring back the white facemask; Helmet Rule #1: Unless the helmet is grey, no grey facemasks. Grey facemasks should only be permitted on NFL Films being voiced over by Steve Sabol or peewee teams…that is it.
Strengths: They have a logo (hint hint Browns) and the bird looks angrier than it once did.
Weaknesses: White helmet, grey facemask, and no stripe? It looks like the owners walked into the local sporting goods store, bought up all the generic peewee helmets, and slapped a sticker of a very angry bird on them.
Ideas for Improvement: They could have a really cool helmet. Add a maroon stripe that is wider in the front and pointed in the back and switch to a white facemask. This simple improvement would take this from one of the worst helmets, to one of the best.
29. Buffalo Bills
Strengths: They aren’t two toned (see Jacksonville)…but don’t give the Bills any ideas.
Weaknesses: Boy these are bad! White helmet, grey facemask = pewee football look. I think Ralph Wilson went to the All About Sports clearance sale in the 90’s and stocked up on the white helmets with grey facemasks. Plain red, white, and blue colors screams trailer park Amurica and Mustangs! Lastly, the logo? The nickname is the Bills – named after a man (Buffalo Bill Cody – who has zero connection with the city) – yet the logo is a buffalo…the animal Bill was famous for killing. Makes sense.
Ideas for Improvement: Start by going back to the red helmet with a white facemask. Next, the Buffalo has to be more fierce looking – the Lions and Cardinals ‘fierced up’ their logos in recent years, your turn buffalos.