What was expected has now happened.
One of the things I enjoyed about Justin Smith, other than his consistency (played 221 of 224 games) and his lethal attack on the opposing quarterback, was that he didn’t seem like the kind of guy to let fame to get to his head.
He was in discussion for defensive player of the year once. He was praised as the anchor of the 49ers defense. The fame from his success and the team’s success was there. Yet he just seemed like the kind of guy who would go out to the lake and go fishing after practice instead of hanging out at bars or at parties. He was truly a cowboy in every sense of that nickname.
In the locker room, he kept to himself. He didn’t cause any scenes during media time yet he got along well with all teammates. He was all business. The perfect man for the job of being the lead anchor.
Enjoy retirement, Justin. Ride off into the sunset, cowboy.
On Thursday, I took some time to digest the new 49ers black alternate uniform. After about 24 hours since it first surfaced, I have determined that this was the perfect time for these uniforms to exist.
Here are my personal thoughts.
Let me preface that the 49ers didn’t need an alternate uniform. In fact, if they wanted to introduce a new set for the upcoming season, they should have brought back a throwback. Those 1994 throwbacks are very popular and would have been a much better choice.
But due to the limitations of creativity for alternate uniforms in the NFL, the 49ers had little to no choice but to go with black. (Take a look at the alternate uniforms in MLB, NBA and NHL. All of them break away from the same template of the team’s standard design. In the NFL, all templates remain the same.)
But the question simply remains: Why?
Update made to post added towards end of entry.
On Wednesday, the 49ers announced that they would unveil a new alternate uniform during the draft. Ladies and gentleman, here it is via their new Snapchat. After some speculation on Wednesday, a black uniform was suspected and this is what we have.
This new jersey appears to be a simply recolored version of the team’s standard uniform. Essentially, the 49ers have taken the base of their white jersey and made that black. The red numbers, names and stripes remain. Considering that the team’s logo features black and nowhere else on the standard uniform uses black, this seems to be an odd choice. But given the trend of what alternate uniforms look like in the NFL (and the popularity of black jerseys), this was the only logical direction. A gold alt would have been too difficult to mass produce and it would not look great with the team’s current gold (more like khaki) pants. But they added a gold Nike swoosh on the sleeves. So there’s that for color diversifying.
Adding a black jersey will diversify and grow the potential merchandising opportunities. The team did not go with adding a different red jersey. They went with a new color, which will be a hot sell no doubt among fans. The 49ers have never worn an alternate in their entire team history. They have worn throwbacks, but alternates are made specifically with the intent to have a different option during the seasons (along with the merchandise sales). Per NFL rules, alternates can be worn a maximum of two times during the regular season.
First of all, the above news. Here is a part of the release:
The 49ers will be introducing the team’s first alternate uniform in franchise history. The 49ers last made changes to their uniforms prior to the 2009 season, when San Francisco reintroduced the classic color of the 49ers, alongside the return of the grey facemask to the helmet. The new alternate uniform was the result of a coordinated effort between the 49ers, their players, Nike and the NFL.
“I think the fans are going to be excited when they see our new look,” said 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was among a group of players involved in the design of the new uniform. “I think the fans are going to understand we mean business. All I can say is we won’t have to worry about how we look, because we’ll know we look good.”
This is not a surprise. In fact, this was in the works in 2013.
In a big event for their fans, the Cleveland Browns have officially unveiled new uniforms for the upcoming season. We already knew about the logo and helmet design changes, but now we have the rest of the package.
The first thing that stands out to me is that the numbers have a very unique drop shadow. To enhance the 3D look, the drop shadow comes from an angle that isn’t common around sports. Normally the “light” comes from the northwest, but it comes from the opposite direction. It’s a very interesting look and one that I am actually not too big on. I always viewed the Browns as a team with a simple look and I think this one is a little too fancy for my taste.
And another new element is the city name on the front. We have seen teams put the team wordmark on the front above the numbers, but I think a city name is a first. And I know for a fact that this is the largest I have ever seen in the pros. It reminds me a college football uniform approach but I feel it’s pretty amateur for a professional team. It might not even be that bad once I get used to it. But for now, I don’t like it.
These photos, courtesy of BottleGate, were taken at a Columbus store before being removed from the racks.
All the previous leaks of the jersey match this jersey. If these are the new Browns jerseys, there are a few questions I have to ask.
1- Is this the primary jersey, meaning Brown is an alt or not even a jersey?
2- Why is the city name so big on the jersey?
3- Why is the “drop shadow” actually being lifted as if the light was coming from the bottom right?
At least it’s not so brightly colored. The Pro Bowl uniforms next year are a lot simpler in design with a color scheme of black and gold. Since the NFL is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the modern Super Bowl era, these Pro Bowl duds reflect that of the golden anniversary. I think it’s a nice simple look. I still miss the days of the red for the AFC and the blue for the NFC, but with the new draft format, those days are gone.
I like the unique design of the shoulders for both uniforms. The white jersey appears to be just lines but the black jerseys appear to have this unique layering of shorter lines placed in the opposite direction.
(Is that a Saints helmet in the background? Is that facemask gray?)