A little piece of news kind of snuck under the radar this week. The Detroit Lions unveiled new uniforms. The Lions have gone under a subtle and understated re-design. They eliminated pretty much all the black trim on both the uniforms and the logo, they adjusted the stripe pattern on the shoulders, they made a chrome facemask, and they made a grey color rush uniform. It was a lot of small changes.

I’m pretty happy with what we have now. Nike didn’t get too crazy, they just took a pretty ugly uniform (The Lions uniforms were at best unremarkable before this) and cleaned it up. It reminds me of the Vikings uniform re-design, just a sleeker, cleaner version of a mediocre look. The black trim on the logo and uniform was pretty unnecessary and dropping it was addition by subtraction. It just didn’t add anything. The old numbers were pretty stupid, too: they had this weird internal serif thing going on that was hard to see but stupid. They reduced the colors on the uniforms to 3 (Blue, white, and grey) and every uniform looks best with that sort of balance of a main color, a secondary, and a tiny tertiary color. A 4th just muddles things up.

Nike still does that incredibly terrible “partial stripe” on the shoulders. That needs to go away. It looks bad and dumb.

The main issue I have with the new uniforms is the word LIONS and the WF thing on the shoulders. It’s not necessary, and it would have looked really clean and smooth without it. I just don’t think it adds anything, especially since it appears the goal of the new look was to clean up the extra fluff. It feels like they started from the ground up, got to the new look, and got edgy because someone at nike just won’t let simplicity take the wheel even when it’s clearly the right option. Admittedly I’m less bothered by the LIONS and more by the WF graphic thing. Asymmetry is balls on uniforms and the WF fits even less. For the record, I also hate the GSH on the Bears shoulders: it ruins what should be a good shoulder stripe. If you want to throw a patch on a uniform, do what the Jags did and throw it on the collarbone.

Oh dear god I just realized I quoted the Jags uniform as a good example. Kill me.