Week 8 NFL review: Color coordination

All of Reliant Stadium got into the red act for the Texans victory over the Jaguars on Sunday. Photo by Getty Images

This week’s action in the NFL was a rare instance of more excitement with uniforms than their college counterparts.

It starts with the Houston Texans who used their alternate red in a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The best part of this was not the jersey itself, but the fact that the rest of the stadium went along with this red revolution.

Houston must have gotten the word out to its fanbase of the uniform change because just about every fan in Reliant Stadium was going right along with their Texans in their red jerseys. Even the end zones had a red shadow to the letters instead of the usual blue.

Other teams, like the Jets, go with their alternate uniforms without changing anything else about their surrounding area. The Texans got it right in this case with a total feeling of red throughout Reliant Stadium.

The look isn’t good or bad, but just average. I prefer the normal blue uniform to this red look, but was very happy to see the rest of Houston going along with their team in the alternative direction.

Usually this color coordination is seen in the NHL and NBA playoffs. It seemed like just about every team in the NBA decided to go with this cool television effect this past postseason. The Heat are known for their white outs including the white drapes over the empty courtside seats.

With that, time for the quick hits:

A.J. Feeley and the rest of the Rams looked good and played even better against the Saints on Sunday. Photo by Getty Images

  • The Rams went back to their glory days in the uniform department and on the field as they went to throwbacks for an upset of the Saints. These uniforms are the best the Rams have ever worn, it was great to see them used again.
  • Carolina continued to employ its powder blue home jerseys. It makes me wonder if these have become the primary uniforms for the Panthers.
  • The Broncos also went with their alternate orange uniforms. The orange harkens back to the Orange Crush and John Elway days. The look is a bit jarring at first, but I think it definitely works for Denver.
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Helmets like White Elephants

Here we have another entry from Alex. This one regarding the emergence of white helmets in football.

Auburn has employed the white helmet for a long time. Always looking good at home and on the road.

But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”

– From “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway

Indeed, there was a time, particularly in pro football, when white helmets were considered a white elephant, or rather, a fashion faux pas. When the Houston Texans were born in 2002 and they introduced white helmets, many alleged “experts” bristled at such a uniform statement.  Arguably, an expansion team should have made a better impression on the league with a better helmet idea, or could have actually made the playoffs once in their first nine seasons.  With neither feat accomplished, perhaps the Texans were on to something with their white helmets. Today, the trend toward the white helmet, in the NFL and even more so in college, is quite prevalent.

More and more teams have gone to the white helmet because it offers that classic look. With the constant uniform changes happening in college football, many teams have either opted to keep or have opted for the white helmet. This weekend, LSU, wearing their not-as-deplorable-as-it-could-be Nike Pro Combat looks, opted for a white helmet with purple “LSU” on each side, went up against Auburn in a rare white helmet vs. white helmet matchup.

Also this weekend, Oklahoma State, in their victory over Mizzou, looked good with an all-white getup that included white helmets.  A revisit to the Oklahoma State Combo Creator reveals that OSU, in addition to their gray and black helmets, actually have two white helmets, one that features an orange “OSU” and another that features that same logo in black.  Of course, OSU has always had white helmets, but it was nice that, when they did decide, for whatever reason, to redo their football unis, they kept those two white helmets, rather than discarding for something that looks like this.

Barry Sanders sported a white helmet with Oklahoma State in the late 80s. The letters on the helmets were bigger, but the helmet has largely remained the same.

Like the Cowboys, many schools have had white helmets as far back as anyone can remember, making the white helmet not a burden to an team’s look, but rather an enhancement. Penn State and Stanford have never deviated from their white lids (although Standard will feature a black helmet on November 27th, when they Pro Combat for a primetime game against Notre Dame). Many other schools have also gone to the white helmet in recent years, with even Oregon finding room in their cornucopia of unis for a classic, white topper.

But this trend is not only limited to the college game. In addition to the Texans, the Jets, Cardinals, Dolphins, Colts, and Titans (formerly the Oilers) all sport white helmets. Additionally, both the Bills and Chargers have made the move from their old helmets to white helmets.

Clearly, the white helmet is (and has) made a comeback.  And, rather than being like white elephants, are embraced by teams looking to return to a more classic, and overall better look.

Week 3 NFL Review: An Alternate Throwback

Brian Urlacher may seem happy here, but he couldn't have been thrilled with what he was wearing. Photo by Getty Images

As per usual, there was not too much noise made in the NFL this week in the world of uniforms, so I will keep this relatively short.

The Bears went with a look they have gone to in the recent past, but one I was hoping they had abandoned last season.

On two occasions, da Bears went with a throwback last season. I liked the way the orange numbering blended into the dark blue jersey. I also enjoyed the gray facemask which usually indicates a throwback uniform.

The blank helmet was the most distinguishing feature of the uniform that made it a throwback. The look worked considering the history of the Bears.

Now, Sunday’s uniform choice did not have those same nice features. The most 0ffensive aspect of this uniform is obviously the orange. It’s somewhat blinding and does not make you want to watch the game anymore. When it was matched against the yellow in the Packers jersey, it made what was a pretty good game not enjoyable.

I also think it takes away from a great rivalry game. If the Bears had gone with their usual home uniforms, the game would have a better feel to it. It was tough to take the game all that serious with the Bears in these stupid uniforms.

Now, apparently, these uniforms are a sort of throwback as the Bears used to wear orange home uniforms in the 30s. Those uniforms had navy numbers though, which makes me think these monstrosities (of the Midway) are simply alternates.

Anyway, that’s my rant on that. Here’s your weekly quick hits:

Pierre Thomas and the rest of the Saints looked great Sunday in these throwbacks. Photo by Getty Images

  • The Saints went with a throwback Sunday in their victory over the Texans. It’s a pretty good look, especially the stripes on the side of the sleeves. The Fluer de Lis is slightly bigger than the current helmet is and the pants are a different shade of gold but it’s nice. While it may remind fans of a time when the Saints were constant losers, it’s nice to see this look make a comeback.
  • The Vikings also went with throwbacks. That have similar characteristics withthe Saints. The stripes on the sleeves are very nice as well as the stripe on the white pants. The color of the helmet is also a bit of a darker purple which works well, and the Vikings logo is slightly different than the current one. The Vikings also had a different look during the 90s.
  • Bad job by the Chargers going with white uniforms at home. I mean, they have the best uniforms in all of sports, use them, please.
  • Lastly, a tip of the cap to the Rams, who must have read this blog last week because they went back to their gold pants for Sunday’s loss to the Ravens.
That’s all for this week, if there’s anything I missed or you want to add your comments, please feel free.