NFL Uniform Analysis - Part 2 (The Bad)

[PART ONE HERE]

In part 2 of my uniform analysis series I will focus on teams with what I feel are "bad" uniforms. Most the teams on this list have a uniform that they updated awhile ago that hasn't aged well. While good design never goes out of style and becomes a classic look, design that focuses on trend ages quickly (example: every hipster logo ever).

It's completely fine for a team to have a "trendy" uniform, it's a great idea to sell more jerseys, but then that team needs to stay on top of trends by updating their uniform accordingly. This becomes more difficult with NFL uniform rules that only allow a change every 5 years, but every team on this list is eligible for an update.

Now let's take a look at some bad uniforms in no particular order.

TENNESSEE TITANS

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Member the Oilers? Member how awesome those uniforms were? I member. Well, when the Oilers became the Titans they did a pretty cool uniform overhaul. They designed an original uniform with nods to older NFL designs and their own past. The only thing that really sucked was their logo.

Over time different uniform cuts/templates and different manufacturers (Puma -> Reebok -> Nike) morphed the Titans uniform into what it is today. The shoulder stripe has slowly evolved into a narrow strip at the top that gives players slimmer looking shoulders. Not a good look for football players.

The helmet logo just has way too much going on and the overall message is muddled. I think a better idea would be to break up each element and have it subtly represented throughout the uniform. The three stars can be on the shoulder, the sword can be represented on the pants, and the flames can be a subtle pattern on the helmet. Something along those lines.

The all white is currently their best look with light blue tops with white pants coming in second.

I'm very excited to see what the Titans will come out with for their new uniforms. A logo change and a simple shoulder stripe fix would help these out immensely, but I have a feeling they'll do more than that.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

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The Cardinals have a great team name and logo to design a fantastic uniform around, but they fell in love with the mid 2000’s Reebok template and kept it for some reason. Swoops, patches, piping, and blocks of color for no reason. They look like a dad wearing one of those “fast” looking polos.

The Cardinals main focus should be dark red and white throwback. It has so much potential if they actually owned those colors and weren't so obsessed with black. So many college teams are red and white and they look amazing.

The biggest Cardinal sin. Old school facemask with a crazy “fast” looking jersey doesn't match. The jersey says 2005 and the helmet says 1985.

It's not the worst uniform in the league, but I'm ranking it so low because the design hasn't aged well. Their uniform history hasn't really been filled with hits either. At least they don't use the bird with arms logo anymore. That creeps me out.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

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This one hurts because I think the Bengals have one of the best helmet designs of all time. It even looks good with another team using it. It's a really fun and original design that the Bengals should never change.

The problem is the weird choices and inconsistencies of the rest of the uniform. The biggest problem is the hideous white block on the side of the uniform that for some reason continues into the top part of the pants. I really don't understand why it's there. It looks like they ran out of black material and just used filler.

The B logo looks too cluttered positioned right below the NFL logo and just like the Browns uniforms it pushes the numbers down from the chest to the stomach more.

The drop shadow numbers with a thick color matching outline looks cartoonish and out of place. The pant stripe has slowly worked its way to the front part of the pants for some reason. Overall the look is extremely sloppy and would benefit from a redesign.

If you're going to use a busy tiger pattern you need structure and simplicity in the rest of the uniform in order to pull it off. That is why their color rush jerseys look so much better. You're eliminating a lot of the mess and cleaning it up. That said, I don't think the Bengals will be changing their uniforms anytime soon and the fanbase seems to like them so they have no real reason to. I give them points for originality and trying an aggressive design.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) hands off to running back Jonathan Stewart (28) in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I know I'm going to get a lot of hate from Panther fans on this one, but hear me out. The Panthers have a great logo and fantastic colors, but uniforms that are filled with design issues that don't take advantage of those things.

The biggest issue to me is the amount of Panther head logos used throughout the design. They have an oversized logo on the helmet, the exact same logo on the sleeves, and then again on the pants. If you're a team like the Eagles or Rams you can have your full team logo on your sleeves because you're using a different design on your helmet. With the Panthers it's extremely redundant.

There are some teams that still use the old Reebok template, but have updated their fabrics to Nike. The Panthers are one of only a couple teams that still use the Reebok template and even older fabrics. So you're presented with this super shiny, 90's basketball shorts style fabric for the Carolina blue that doesn't hold its shape when it's on the players. This means the shoulder stripes and pant stripes wildly change in thickness. It's not a good look.

The block numbers don't match any other part of the rounded design. It's something that is cool on an old school team, but not a team that came into the league in 1995. The center stripes on their helmet might have also been cool back in the 90's, but now they look weird and completely unnecessary with such a big helmet logo.

I commend the Panthers for sticking with basically the same look for as long as they have, but they would benefit greatly from a template change to provide some structure and removing redundant logos.

WRAP UP

All of these teams have at least one aesthetic I enjoy about them, but have several weird design choices that confuse me to why they haven't been at least slightly updated. The Cardinals need a refresh, the Bengals need a clean up, the Panthers need an update, and I’m excited to see what Nike and the Titans come up with.

CONTINUE TO PART 3 - CLOSE TEAMS

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