Giving a second thought to a full Nike Browns uniform redesign

pant stripe

The dust has settled somewhat from yesterday’s uniform circus. In the end, the Browns uniforms look very much the same, especially to someone sitting in the upper decks, or at home on the couch. We weren’t really anticipating a big change, and certainly weren’t disappointed.

I kind of like the mesh pant stripe. I know it is more a performance change than an aesthetic one, but it reminds me of the old style mesh jerseys. The only question about the Browns new uniform set seems to center around if the team will actually wear the Brown jerseys.

‘Tradition’ is the reason given for why the Browns made the white jersey the standard for the team to wear at home this past season. Of course by choosing to wear the white uniforms at home, the Browns ended up wearing the same look for all 16 games. The funny thing about ‘tradition’ is that the Browns have a pretty long history of wearing Brown uniforms as well.

Regardless, I’m sure most were pleased that the Browns didn’t get the ‘Full-Nike’ treatment on the uniforms. The only team that did get significant changes to their design was the Seattle Seahawks.

At least for now.

Now, before we start wondering when the uni-bomb will drop on the Browns, let me bring back something from our While We’re Waiting piece this morning-

Contrary to what many fans think, a uniform outfitter like Nike can’t just walk in and make design changes without a team’s permission. Nike is just a vendor supplying a service to a client, and in this case the client is the NFL, whose team owners are some of America’s most conservative businessmen. They’re not the sort of people who want their teams to look, for lack of a better term, wacky.

The NFL has rules that keep a team from changing its uniform design more than once every five years. So many teams that have made recent uni changes aren’t yet eligible for a redesign. A full-scale makeover, including getting all the product into the retail pipeline, takes time, and Nike’s new relationship with the NFL is still very young. So we might see more redesigns next year, or the year after. There’s one big caveat, however: No alternate jerseys were shown Tuesday. Word through the grapevine is that several of them are in the works, including one for the Redskins. No word yet on when we’ll see these (maybe at the draft?), but it might be that Nike and the NFL have decided to stick with conventional primary uniforms and push the envelope with the alternates.

That was from Uni-Watch’s Paul Lukas. So no matter what Nike wants to do with the Browns or anyone else’s uniforms for that matter, the team must sign off on it.

I’ve been accused of being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms. I certainly do have my opinions, and I’m generally not afraid to call out an ugly look on a team when I see it. With that in mind, I took a look at what Nike did with the Seahawks uniforms.

I have to say, I don’t really hate ’em. In fact, I actually kind of like ’em. Take a look at the photo set here.

If you could imagine the Browns going with something similar (but tailored to the traditional colors), would it be that huge of a disaster?

I can see the Brown jerseys with white numbers and orange piping. Perhaps some orange striping to the sleeves. Obviously, the Browns wouldn’t use the same ‘wing’ shape that is prevalent in Seattle’s new digs. I’m not a big alternate uniform fan, but for the Seahawks the alternate grey works. I don’t know about an alternate orange for the Browns.

The helmet design could be a potential hiccup.

Seattle’s new helmet has a unique stripe that because of the subtlety of the colors I think I like. I’m not sure how this would play out in Cleveland. I don’t imagine the Browns would add a helmet logo at this point.

Which leaves the stripes as the only real place that could get a redesign. Not sure I’m excited about that possibility, but I’d kind of like to see what options might exist.

Any amateur uniform designers out there wanna take what Nike did with Seattle’s uniforms and give the Browns an update? I’d love to see what you come up with.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I dont like the up-close pics of Seattle.  It looks like a soccer jersey design thrown onto a football jersey.  

    I think we can all agree we dont want a lot of changes to the jersey and the helmet, but where the Browns should focus their efforts is on changing up the logo on t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.  I hate everything but the Brownie (elf), and honestly that isnt the greatest logo either.  Every one of those MBNA era logos were god awful.

    Its time to pick a key secondary logo (the primary is the helmet) and get everyone behind it instead of this hodge-podge support of the Brownie, the dog, the “B”, and the B in front of the bone.  Plain Dealer sponsored contest time?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    According to MKC on MS&LL yesterday it sounds like Holmgren wants the all white at home again, ugh.  White on the road white at home, oh well.

    As far as the new uniforms go not a big fan of Seattle’s at all.  They look like an arena league uniform.  I guess Carolina didn’t change their helmet like the leaked photo that I saw.  I’m glad I like the old/new one.

  • Henry Brown

    Brownie for sure. Not only is it cool, historic and weird but Art Modell hated it.

  • Surgio Armani

    I’ve been a long time fan of changing the uniform. Nothing crazy but a mild update would be nice. It’s a little hard to see on a small screen but both of these have some subtle orange tubing on the numbers.

  • TSR3000

     Awful, just awful.

  • TheRobot57

    This is what makes the Browns unique. Some god-awful creation from a marketing team or a fan-created logo isn’t going to make them popular. Having several different logos gives us something special.

  • Humboldt

    The Brownie logo is the only logical choice. It is quite attractive, and connects into both Anglo-Saxon and local/franchise mythology. 

    What would be really interesting is seeing if the Brownie could be contemporized in some way and more fully and intentionally integrated into the team’s aesthetic.  I think this would gain huge support from the fan base and give us some clear symbols to rally around.

  • EnabledVet

    I don’t know about you folks, but I was a huge fan of the brown pants they wore a couple seasons back.  It gave the team the look of not being in hospital gowns while on the road.

  • mgbode

    Brown Jerseys with Orange/White striping on the sleeves (numbers white with outline orange)
    Orange pants with Brown/White piping on the sides.

    not complicated to make a nice clean and aesthetically pleasing look. 

  • AJ

    Oh those brown pants were hideous!!  No way!  If you’re going to change anything, go back to the Kardiac Kids era orange pants.  I personally would love to see a uniform overhaul.  Leave the helmet alone except get rid of the gray facemask and go back to white, but completely overhaul the uniforms.  Time to get out of the 50’s and into the 21st Century!!  When I look at us all I see is Penn State unis and they are awful too!! 

  • BuckeyeDawg

     The Brownie is the only secondary logo I would support, and the only change to the helmet I would support would be putting player numbers on the side of the helmets.

  • CBI

    Little surprised by this.  Don’t the brown uniforms make it harder to determine if a ball has been handed off or not?  Might help play action a little bit. Then again without a running game or an offensive line, defensive players can simply tackle both Colt and whoever lines up behind him.

  • oribiasi

    I rather like these.  The orange is a little much but the white version isn’t so bad.

  • oribiasi

    UGH.  Please tell me he’s kidding.  I am so sick of the mono-white unis.  They make me ill.

  • Ritz

    Add in orange stripes on the brown pants and they look WAY better.

  • Ritz

    Yuck… He has got to know the fans hate that.

  • Humboldt

    Makes a huge difference to break up the homogenous brown. I’d be supportive of this

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I’d be okay with the number.  Maybe on one side only.  I think Alabama does that.

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    Hey, it’s Surge! 

    I like the first one, with the white panels on the sides. A good update w/out being too flashy. 

  • Nobody

    Agree, I’d love to see these uniforms for the Browns…

  • stin4u

    Ever since they wore the numbers on the helmets for the throwbacks in 2007 I believe, I’ve wanted them to make that permanent. Also, get rid of the ‘new school’ helmet logo and go with a one bar facemask or something more classic. Every time I see that helmet I cringe.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    A contemporized elf would be interesting.  Definitely agree.  Your point about finding something to rally behind was what I was trying to say too.  You go to a Browns game and its bad enough we have 300 different players jerseys in the stands, let alone another 5 different logos/mascots on anything that isnt a jersey.  You should be able to walk down the street in New York City and people realize you are a Browns fan, not have them guess you are a Bears fan (the B), root for some high school team (the dog) or like tinkerbelle (the elf).  *sidenote, I like the elf.

  • stin4u

    No thanks. I can’t do without the stripes on the sleeves.

  • oribiasi

    Right.  I especially like the orange tubing around the numbers.  It’s subtle but perfect. Look closely.

  • oribiasi

    Part of me really thinks he enjoys antagonizing some fans.

  • MrCleaveland

    Here’s a vote for all-white all the time. Looks classy.

    The Cowboys also wear (or used to wear) white jerseys at home too.

  • John Keefe
  • Joe Rubino

    Lets see… tradition=white uniforms.  Hmmm. My son is 11… to him, the only tradition associated with our team is losing. Shake things up and do something different…. like win.  If we could put winning together with a new design (numbers, Brownie, whatever) then a new tradition in look would be looked upon as a great thing.  By the way, it also bugs me when people don’t want a dome in Cleveland because of the “tradition”.  Its 2012.  Have a nice day:)

  • cmm13

    also, take the facemasks back to white instead of the gray.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Dont get me started on domes.  Absolutely the WORST thing we could do.  It just feels wrong.  Imagine a Browns game in the Q and how dreary that sounds.  Thats the atmosphere in a dome.  Only an absolute beast of a team on the field can overcome how miserable that experience is.

  • Garry_Owen

    Reminds me of an old joke. 

    One day a pirate ship was being chased by a warship.  The captain said to his steward, “bring me my red vest!”  The captain put on his vest, fought like a demon, and proceeded to sink the warship.

    The next day, the pirate ship was being chased by 2 warships.  The captain said to his steward, “bring me my red vest!”  The captain put on his vest, his crew fought like demons, and they proceeded to sink both warships.

    The next day, the inspired crew asked the captain about the significance of the red vest.  He explained, “With a red vest, you won’t be able to tell if I’m wounded, as the vest will cover up the sight of the blood.  This gives both me and my crew the impression of my invincibility.” 

    Just then, the lookout announced that they were being chased by a whole fleet of 10 to 12 warships.

    The captain turned to his steward and said, “bring me my brown pants.” 

    Very sorry, but that joke is what I think of when I see those brown pants.   

  • mgbode

    Brown hat, orange helmet. 

    we have no logo, so don’t force the issue.  everyone knows that an orange helmet = Browns

  • mgbode

    Brown hat, orange helmet. 

    we have no logo, so don’t force the issue.  everyone knows that an orange helmet = Browns

  • Garry_Owen

    I, too, loved the helmet numbers.  It’s the only helmet logo I would ever want to see.

    I remember that one of the Browns logos when I was a kid was just the word “Browns,” in a lightly stylized font.  It was simple, elegant, and I loved it then.  I love it still. 

  • Humboldt

    In the ’50s and ’60s the orange helmet was the established logo as well, but the Brownie was integrated in a complementary fashion (see my avatar, note the crown…champions baby!).

    If we could pick one corollary symbol and excise the MBNA bulldog and the nebulous “B” it would add some character and distinctness to the franchise. The Lerner-era Browns have been a total incoherent mess, and it’s been reflected in the failure to find the right aesthetic. I worry this is continuing with a commitment to all-white jerseys yet again (if this is actually the case).

  • Peter Simko

    Reminds me so much of 1984… yuck.

  • Tron

    Don’t know about anyone else, but I’d love to just see a solid orange helmet. No stripes, nothing distracting. We have no logo as it is, might as well go all out.

  • Surgio Armani

    All white and no home jerseys make the Browns a dull boy.

  • Surgio Armani

    I agreed. The stripe is much better than the solid Brown. 

  • Surgio Armani

    Apparently my agreement was in the past. Stupid fingers.

  • mgbode

    no way.  stripes on the helmet, sleeves and pants is the staple of the Cleveland Brown’s uniform.

  • LMK

    maybe this would work if we had a winning team, but losing tradition along with games?  I think that’s a pretty bad idea.

  • LMK

    I liked UniWatch’s description of our uniform –  ”
    Essentially unchanged. … Somewhere in the Nike offices, there’s probably an exec whose sole job is to convince the Browns to adopt a helmet logo.”  I just hope no one in the Browns organization would let Nike do that – I love the plain helmet!

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    the cursive Browns is awesome.  An older scripted logo than the one above.  I like that one a lot.  THe pic you have though throws me back.  Wasnt that the type on the Starter jackets?!?

  • long time browns fan

    Why not add orange pants to the new brown jersey? Orange numerals or white numerals trimmed in orange might work as well. What is wrong with brown or white jersey with orange or white pants? This would give us brown jersey with orange pants, brown jersey with white pants, white jersey with orange pants, or white with white. I like brown jerseys for home games.

  • RB1903

    The tradition of the all-white uniforms dates back to the legendary Paul Brown, who pointed out that white uniforms show more dirt. The dirtier the uniform gets, the tougher the player looks.

    My own opinion is that they just look good. Brown in not an attractive uni color, and I hate the matching solid brown socks. With the white, they wear their (once again) more traditional white socks with orange & brown stripes.

    I hope management keeps the tradition and stays with white uniforms at home!

  • Douglas McHenry

    Let me design the Browns’ uniform. 

  • Ritz

    But at least they have the blue/silver pants with the white tops, not as boring as all white.

  • Lesquick820

    I agree all white its a cool look

  • Joe Gordon

    Aww what a cute ittle racist bigot you are. 

    *pats on head then spends half an hour washing the greasy oily racist bigoted stink off hand*

    And before you start playing the lame tired cliched old “BWAHUH I ain’t no RAYCISSS!!!!! How dares you be call me a RAYCISS!!!!,” shut your goddamn piehole.

    “Anglo-Saxon (aka Nordic, aka white aka Nazi) mythology.”

    The prosecution rests.