As one of the few people who actually really liked the color rush experimental uniforms Nike put out for games a few years back, they, unfortunately, were still very much hamstrung by a particular problem. They couldn’t change the helmets. Many of the designs worked around this with quality color scheming but several more felt held back by the inability to fully commit.

The reason given by the NFL was always vaguely related to “player safety”. Helmets are custom fitted to players so they couldn’t give them alternate versions because it would make the helmets not as form-fitting, I guess. Basically arguing that the ass groove on your couch from years of sitting in the same spot makes you safer there than if they gave you a new couch without the ass groove for this week’s nighttime binge of The Boys. There might be some truth to that science, but it always sounded kinda like bullshit.

But they finally lifted that ban. The NFL can now get funky with alternate helmets, and I am ALL FOR IT. Wearing a cool alternate helmet once or twice per year is rad as hell. I love the people who complain about this the same way they complained about alternate uniforms taking away the aesthetic and classic look of so many teams on Sunday or whatever. It’s a game, maybe 2. Have you ever posted a picture on Instagram and fuck around with the filters just to see what other kinds of style you could use? It’s just that. I obviously wouldn’t want an overload of alternates though. That’s happened to Oregon and also to the NBA, causing a complete lack of consistency over the course of a season when you can tune in to a Lakers/Nuggets game and for some reason the Lakers are in Blue and Nuggets in yellow because they got weird alternates on. I don’t want new uniforms every week. But once, maybe twice a year for novelty? I’m all for it. Using them for Thursday nights was a perfect gimmick.

Of course, it also helps the new alternate helmets introduced this year are almost all BANGERS. The White Bengal helmet has been clamored for by many of us for years now, since they introduced the white color rush style. The Panthers introduced their first new helmet look in their history: the Black helmet. Frankly, this was long overdue, the silver helmet looked stupid and outdated and I hope the black alt becomes the new permanent helmet. The Texans went hard red for an alternate, which I think has a limited usage with their typical color schemes but still looks cool. The Saints also went for a playful black alternate, which is honestly a downgrade from the gold helmets but the gold helmets are one of the very best-looking helmets in the entire league, so it’s still not so bad. The Falcons are giving us the red throwbacks again, which go so fucking hard. The Patriots are also giving us their Pat Patriot white helmet, which also owns. Also appearing on the docket within the next two years without any picture releases yet are Eagles Kelly Greens (Yay!), Creamsicle Bucco Bruces (Yay!) and the Seahawks SadHawk silver helmet (Yay!). I am thrilled about all of this.

I should rank the helmets and uniforms someday soon as an offseason post.

EDIT: The Giants just revealed they will be doing the 80’s throwback look this year. I’m gonna be honest, it’s not a bad look, but I hate that the helmet and jersey are different shades of blue. I’d prefer they both be the darker navy blue so the uniform doesn’t just look like the current Bills.