Finally, a new, modern uniform that absolutely works. You could always count on the Chargers to get it right.

Now that the 2020 redesigns seem to have finally ended I think I’ll soon be pooling together some thoughts and ranking them at some point in the offseason for #CoronaContent but rest assured this one will probably be up there. There’s only one thing about this uniform I don’t like: the numbers on the helmets. I think it looks a little goofy. But instead of going in at length about these, I wanted to take a short moment to kind of make a call for a change.

I think the NFL and Nike need to rethink how to change how they do the helmets. I don’t think just slapping the logo on the side really works anymore, and I’ll tell you why. Modern football helmets are busy. They are complicated. Take a closer look at the helmets in the concept art. New helmets have lots of angles. They have ventilation holes. They have creases and slits. They are complicated beasts. Each of those little nooks and crannies make the look just a bit more busy. The logo decals start warping and looking funny to adjust to the new shapes. The more complicated facemasks also take up more visual room.

These adjustments make the helmet safer and more comfortable, but they complicate the cleanliness of the designs. Look at that modern helmet, with all the nooks and crannies and holes, and compare it to how clean and sleek the ultra smooth surface of a more classic helmet looks. It just looks so much cleaner from a style perspective. So we have this issue where the safer a helmet gets, the worse it looks, and the less the usual method of slapping the logo on the side doesn’t look as good because there are a bunch of angles and holes taking away from the style. Sticking the logo on the side of the helmet just doesn’t work that well anymore, especially on white or lighter helmets. I’ve always disliked white helmets compared to colored ones and I think I’ve finally put my finger on one of the reasons why. Darker colors can hide the holes better, but it still isn’t perfect.

I am calling for the NFL to get more creative on how they design their helmets. The best helmets are the ones that already go above the standard of just slapping a logo on the side and use the helmet in a more interesting way: The Eagles, The Vikings, Rams, and Bengals are prime examples of using the helmet as a template for something more interesting. The Browns are also a great case for a more minimalist look, as their helmets look fantastic with nothing slapped on them but a center stripe. Both of these approaches work better with modern helmets. The Steelers also look great, because the black paint hides the creases. But as helmets become more modern, why not try out some alternative ideas?

The Jaguars helmets sucked, but it wasn’t due to the concept. They just had exceptionally poor execution. I think a two-tone helmet can work. I think playing around with what is actually on the helmet can work. Look at the Seattle Dragons from the XFL. That works. The Guardians had a slightly more unique style too. What about a Panthers helmet with claw marks making the helmet look stripped instead of the Panther? Flames on the side for the Titans? A cityscape for the Giants? How about more helmets with a texture pattern? Stripes in locations other than down the middle? There’s a wide playground here, and I want to see what we could get.

This isn’t an important issue, but I’m always up for seeing what new stuff can be done.