Jaguars Release New Uniform Combinations; Will Wear First Ever Two-Tone Colored Helmet
The Jaguars yesterday unveiled four new uniform combinations that feature a "two-tone colored helmet, a first in the league," along with a "shield patch on the front of the jersey to honor the military," according to Ryan O'Halloran of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The uniforms were "more than a year in the making," and were created "in conjunction with Nike." Fans can "begin buying the new jerseys" tomorrow, either "online at the team's website or at the Draft Night Party inside the stadium." Player comfort was the "main goal for Nike." The different combinations are "black jersey-black pants, white-white, black-white and teal-white." There is a "greater emphasis on black although teal will remain a complimentary presence." The biggest add-ons are the "shield and the radically-different helmet." The shield logo, which "includes 'JAGS,' was first introduced in February and has become very popular among fans that use it as their Twitter avatars." Jaguars Senior VP/Fan Experience Hussain Naqi said, “It was an element that we wanted to figure out how to get on the uniform. We consulted with the military, and it was very, very well-received.” Nike VP & Football Design Dir Todd Van Horne said that the jaguar head on the shield "looks inward to the chest, 'as a nod to the fan base and those who served.'" The helmet is "striking -- the matte black on the front blends into gold." The helmet’s design was "finalized eight months ago" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/24). In a special to SI.com, Tim Newcomb noted the new design comes with a "slightly revised Jaguar logo -- the fangs got sharper," and the tongue has "more teal." A custom-made Jacksonville font "adds angularity -- at a level far beyond what other teams have used in an effort to further distance themselves from the NFL's other 31 teams -- for the numerals and back nameplate." Van Horne said that team Owner Shahid Khan "really wanted to provide a 'new direction' with the uniforms that included offering modern colors" (SI.com, 4/23).
CRITICS WEIGH IN: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted Nike is offering Jaguars players an "integrated system of dress that also includes a new sock design and shoes, for those players that have Nike deals" (ESPN.com, 4/23). ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky writes, "I’m still struggling to get a handle on the helmet." Pictures make it "look as if it sort of shifts from the black matte to the gold as it reflects light." But it is "indeed two different colors." There are some "cool elements" to the new designs. Kuharsky: "I think the teal top-black pants combination is the best and looks quite sharp." There is "only so much you can revolutionize a uniform without taking it to an AFL or XFL level" (ESPN.com, 4/23). ESPN.com's Paul Lukas wrote of the new helmet, "Woof!" Nike and the Jaguars are "trying to sell the notion" that the helmet's two-tone effect "is 'innovative,' but it's really just a failed gimmick." Van Horne "repeatedly mentioned the theme of how a jaguar 'hunts from the shadows.'" If they had "reversed the color alignment -- gold in the front, black in the back -- at least it would make sense." Lukas: "But it would still be ugly. Stupid" (ESPN.com, 4/23). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote, "Clearly, this is all about selling jerseys and the Jaguars trying to re-brand themselves." New uniforms and a logo "certainly get people talking about the Jaguars." But without a "better won-loss record on the field, the truth is all this is just window dressing" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/23).
SPRINGING A LEAK: In Miami, Armando Salguero notes pictures of the Dolphins' new-look uniforms, set to officially be unveiled tomorrow, were "leaked" yesterday. The reaction was "mixed." The new look is "clean," and "something of a return to the past." It is "not cartoonish," and "most importantly, it's not over-the-top embarrassing." There will be "no alternative uniforms used this year" by the team. It will be "all white at home and the aqua jersey and white pants combination on the road or whenever else it is warranted." The aqua numbers on the white jersey are "outlined with blue stripes seem easy to read." The aqua jersey will "go with white numbers outlined mostly in orange." The orange now has "definitely taken a back seat to aqua and white" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/24). In Minneapolis, Michael Rand notes the Vikings were "set to reveal their new uniforms" at their NFL Draft party tomorrow at the Metrodome's Mall of America Field, but an inadvertent photo leak on ActionNewsJax.com yesterday "beat them to it." The website posted photos of the Jaguars' new uniforms but "accidentally revealed the Vikings' new look as well." Most of the changes are "subtle, but among the more noticeable differences: purple pants instead of white pants with the white uniform tops and a different numbering style on the front of jerseys." Vikings Corporate Communications Dir Jeff Anderson on Twitter wrote, "Team has full reveal campaign planned for fans at Draft Party. That doesn't change" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/24).