Out of the 4 major updates, the Broncos update is my least favorite.

I didn’t think the Broncos needed an update in the first place but apparently a lot of fans did for whatever reason. The result? Modernity, but lame.

My first thought on seeing the new uniforms was “why did they give the Broncos a Chargers-esque shoulder stripe”. The little jagged cut in the middle of the shoulder pad looked like the Chargers bolt for a second. I should not be thinking about a division rival for your new uniform. Upon further inspection, the shoulder is a simple graphical representation of a mountain, which makes it more forgivable, but then it stops being a mistake and turns into a sub-par execution of a neat idea. The fact that it doesn’t immediately register as a mountain to a lot of people is a problem. It should be obvious. It might have worked better if it more resembled a range of mountain peaks or if the mountain color extended all the way to the bottom of the sleeve instead of effectively being a stripe. As it stands, it’s a boring execution of a nice idea and it leaves a lot wanting.

But in general this new design is full of strange ideas. The biggest one is the tiny little mountains all over it. Why? One: they won’t be very visible on TV, so what’s the point. Two: if they were, it would look even worse. Why do the numbers need texture? Three: the number texture isn’t even the biggest laugher: they put triangles in the armpits. What the hell? When they aren’t covered they will just make no sense. It’s like a designer looked at the uniform and was bothered by the negative space and just had to put something there. Here you go, 3 tiny triangles. Looks stupid as hell. If you are going to put tiny details on your uniform that wont be visible on TV, put them in places that make sense, like in the collars. The Broncos also have the number 5280 (the elevation of Denver) written in the stripes and on the helmet front. That works just fine as a hidden element. A bunch of triangles randomly in the armpit? Not so much.

They ruined the helmet. If you like matte finishes (I don’t, like like my helmets shiny) then the new look will satisfy you. But they removed the middle stripe and I am mad about it. The middle stripe was unique among the NFL and it was designed to resemble the beginning of a horse’s mane. I loved that. They replaced this cool and good element with what looks like faint racing stripes? Bleh. Give me my mane back.

The uniform also has the team name written over the numbers but it works better here. The word Broncos is still small and the Broncos already use a curvier, skinnier font than most teams so I’m not bothered by it as much as I usually am. They also made the alternate white helmet official, which is fine by me, I actually like the white Broncos helmet and I think it works.

All in all, not really an upgrade. I don’t despise it, but I don’t care for it. It still reaches higher highs than the Bucs alarm clock jersey (The worst thing Nike has ever done) and it’s still better than the worst current jersey (The Rams modern atrocities).  The orange/white/navy blue color scheme is still solid and hard to completely fuck up. I will say something in the Broncos favor: they didn’t make a fucking black alternate. We got a Navy jersey, a white jersey, and an Orange jersey, with mix-matchable pant flavors of the same colors. That’s fine by me.

The throwbacks are fire of course but the old sneezing horse D logo is leagues better than the angry animal head and the lighter shade of blue is also nicer than the navy. As much as I like it, I’m fine with them keeping as an alternate nod to the past. At least the Broncos tried something new here instead of just aping nostalgia points like the Jets.