Growing up I loved sports. Any sport. But my favorite day of being on any team (any sport) was not game day (though of course I loved that too), it was jersey day - the day we got our jerseys; especially new ones. My favorite jersey day of all time had to be that of my first travel hockey team.
We had the old Cincinnati Stingers jerseys (which I still rock in men's league!). Aside from the simple fact that the jerseys were badass, it was the first time I got my name on the back AND got to pick my number - any number (00-99), not just pick between the 30 numbers in the box.
One of my favorite past times has always been admiring good jersey's and picking apart those that suck. My favorite jerseys to break down are those of the NFL. Today we start a 4 part series (8 per day) of ranking the NFL team helmets starting with 32 and ending with 1.
We will evaluate the helmet's strengths, weaknesses, and ways to improve it. Follow all week to see where your favorite (or least favorite) team falls. We welcome all debates, complaints, and claims of bias!
So, without further ado, I give you #'s 25-32.....
Strengths: It is NFL safety compliant...presumably.
Weaknesses: Sometimes being the first can be a good thing. Being the NFL's first two-toned helmet is not one of those times (two toned never works well - see Surf Style wind breakers...you are welcome). The Jaguars paid a lot of money to have new uniforms designed for 2013.
The helmet is worse, the uniforms are worse, and the logo is worse...other than that, it was money well spent. These uniforms beg the question: What is a bigger insult to the NFL/Jacksonville fans? The fact that the Jags have tried to pass off their franchise as an NFL franchise over the past 10 years?
Or the fact that the Jags pollute the NFL's $20 Billion TV contract by making CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN show these uniforms 16 times per year?
Ideas for Improvement: Start over....oh, and hire a designer that is not blind.
31. Cleveland Browns
Strengths: They are their original helmets.
Weaknesses: Everything else. No logo? Even peewee football teams have helmet logos! It takes a real dedication to boring in order to sport a helmet with no logo and factory grey facemasks...I suppose that is fitting for a team who was named after their former owner and is too lazy to change the team name despite firing said owner (Paul Brown).
Also, ever notice how their name is the Browns yet their helmet is orange and their logo is...an elf? WTF! Imagine if the Reds had yellow hats, or if the Red Sox had blue socks? Imagine telling this story to someone who knows nothing about football.....the Browns wear helmets that are orange, play in Cleveland, and are named after the owner of the team in Cincinnati - makes sense right? Right.
Ideas for Improvement: Brown helmets perhaps? Either way, bring back the white facemask; Helmet Rule #1: Unless the helmet is grey, no grey facemasks. Grey facemasks should only be permitted on NFL Films being voiced over by Steve Sabol or peewee teams...that is it.
Strengths: They have a logo (hint hint Browns) and the bird looks angrier than it once did.
Weaknesses: White helmet, grey facemask, and no stripe? It looks like the owners walked into the local sporting goods store, bought up all the generic peewee helmets, and slapped a sticker of a very angry bird on them.
Ideas for Improvement: They could have a really cool helmet. Add a maroon stripe that is wider in the front and pointed in the back and switch to a white facemask. This simple improvement would take this from one of the worst helmets, to one of the best.
29. Buffalo Bills
Strengths: They aren't two toned (see Jacksonville)...but don't give the Bills any ideas.
Weaknesses: Boy these are bad! I think Ralph Wilson went to the All About Sports clearance sale in the 90's and stocked up on the pee wee helmets. Plain red, white, and blue colors screams trailer park Merica and Mustangs! Lastly, the logo? The nickname is the Bills - named after a man (Buffalo Bill Cody - who has zero connection with the city) - yet the logo is a buffalo...the animal Bill was famous for killing. Makes sense.
Ideas for Improvement: Start by going back to the red helmet and maybe a red facemask. Next, the Buffalo has to be more fierce looking - the Lions and Cardinals ‘fierced up' their logos in recent years, your turn buffalos.
28. Miami Dolphins
Strengths: They are better than the teams below them; barely.
Weaknesses: Dear lord! How much money did the Dolphins spend on these things to redesign them? These look like they should be worn in arena football...or the lingerie league, but not by NFL players. The logo is actually worse and less fierce looking (if that is possible). Who the hell is designing things for this city? The Marlins new logo and stadium, and now this? If any city would embrace such a douchebaggish looking helmet, it would be Miami.
Ideas for Improvement: It is tough to do much when your colors are tangerine and turquoise and you are trying to look tough. Go back to the old helmet. Helmet Rule #2: When your colors suck, stick with a classic helmet at least.
27. Tennessee Titans
Strengths: The colors don't suck. They have a logo (technically) and a stripe. If you can't tell, we are really stretching for things here.
Weaknesses: My original list had this helmet about 5 spots higher, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized how much this helmet really sucks! What the hell is the logo? It looks like it was selected from a fifth grade art contest. Maybe if they left it colored in with crayon (like the original designer intended), it would look cool.
Ideas for Improvement: Quick and easy fix - go with a metallic looking light blue. Doing so would actually look pretty cool. I would also recommend a new logo, but the helmet color alone could jump this helmet 7 spots.
26. Baltimore Ravens
Strengths: None really.
Weaknesses: They are so plain! Plain can be ok if they are classic or if they have a great logo - the Ravens fit neither category. The logo looks like a cartoon rat bird that is half smiling...probably because it has a silly "B" stamped on its' head. One would think with a great front office and 2 Super Bowls in the past 13 years they could have a respectable helmet.
Ideas for Improvement: Change the logo for gods' sake. Take a note from the Cardinals and Lions (and technically the Dolphins) and ‘fierce up' the rat bird a little. A more fierce logo with a red beady eye would be a start. I may also be willing to give a dark pearlized purple a chance here as well. With a fierce rat bird, I think the pearlized purple could work.
Strengths: They don't suck. Really, that is it.
Weaknesses: When the only strength is that "they don't suck," that is not good. The logo is weak at best (flying Elvis?) and they are rolling without stripe. Aren't Patriots supposed to be American? What is more American than a stripe on a football helmet? Fail. Like the Ravens, these are just so plain, and like the Ravens, they lack the classicness and/or fierce logo to properly pull it off. Again, another great front office that seems to have overlooked their helmet.
Ideas for improvement: Personally, I would go with the throwback helmet and uniforms. If they want to stick with these helmets, I would suggest an upgrade to the logo, darken the silver, and add a damn stripe.