Kevin Casey/Associated Press
The Seahawks are the only team making a sartorial sea change for 2012. That's a wise move, because it'd be hard to look much worse than they have over the past decade. Who knew there were so many unattractive shades of blue? Rest in peace, "Seahawks Blue": You may be gone from this world, but we'll see you for eternity in NFL Films highlights of Emmitt Smith breaking the rushing record, Matt Hasselbeck erroneously guaranteeing an OT win in Lambeau, and your coach accusing the refs at Super Bowl XL of being Steelers fans.
Reckless conjecture: After getting a sneak peek at the Seahawks' revised uniforms, Peyton Manning canceled his visit to Seattle. But what does the Uniform Monitor think of the new look? First, the good news: I like the darker, true blue of the new getups much better than the hard-to-describe, harder-to-love bluish-grayish color the team's worn since 2002. I'm also a fan of them abandoning the satin, shiny finish in favor of a flat look (as have most of the other NFL teams). Problem is, Seattle's uniforms themselves are flat. As in blah. And putting the name of the team on the left shoulder is a football no-no. Sure, baseball and basketball teams do it -- but it just ain't right for an NFL or NHL team to do it. Right, St. Louis Blues?
Associated Press/National Football League
As with the fourth Indiana Jones movie, I wish I could pretend these neon green jerseys never happened. Alas, when I close my eyes, I sometimes still see them like a fevered nightmare or that "Green Lantern" movie (speaking of things I wish I could un-see). I know they weren't throwbacks, but it upsets me that the one time the Seahawks didn't wear their ugly all-blue uniforms, they opted to dress like a glow stick rather than honor Jim Zorn, Steve Largent, Dan Doornink and the rest of the original 'Hawks by sporting the best getups the franchise has ever had.
Gary Wiepert/Associated Press
As if Don Draper's thin lapels and skinny ties hadn't already made the point, the 2011 Bills reminded us that, sometimes, there's nothing cooler than the old-school look. But they didn't just lazily pull the '64 AFL championship uniforms out of the trophy case. No, the Bills successfully blended two eras by replacing the static, standing red bison with the more dashing Joe Cribbs-era version. Now if only someone could explain to me why a city named after the majestic American bison has a football team named after the man responsible for nearly rendering said beast extinct.
Mike Groll/Associated Press
If the Bills' timeless royal blue, red and white getups are a home run, then their malodorous sartorial ode to the Montreal Alouettes were a beanball to the eye. Whoever's responsible for them should be forced to watch every Bills game played since 2001.
Nike/National Football League
Broncos fans are rightly excited about the biggest news of the offseason: Their team will resume wearing the orange jersey in 2012. (They're also apparently excited about a new QB ... but I digress.) Don't be mistaken, Denver fans: It won't be the Elway-era uniform, which it seems most Broncos fans would like to see. I agree the royal blue hats are superior to the current navy version, but the best uniform the Broncos have ever worn is the '60s AFL, orange hat/orange jersey variety. We last saw them back in '94 for the NFL's 75th anniversary. I'd like to see those again, and soon.
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
I know I'm in the minority on this, but I really like the brown-and-gold getups, vertically striped socks notwithstanding. If the color scheme was good enough for Dave Winfield, it's good enough for Matt Prater.
New England Patriots
When it comes to 21st century fashion, the Patriots are best known for the thrift-store quality hoodie sweatshirts worn by their head coach. Don't be too bothered by Bill Belichick, though, until you consider he perhaps wears such tattered apparel to distract everyone from the true disgrace of New England: The Flying Elvis (aka the silly logo on the sides of the Pats' hats). Sure, the darker jersey worn by Tom Brady is probably better than the royal blue one worn by Drew Bledsoe ... but maybe I'm just getting lost in Tommy Boy's dreamy eyes. Either way, the Patriots committed the sin of making change for change's sake back in '93. Anyone with the power of sight and a hint of taste knows the Pat Patriot getup -- with the white hats and red jerseys -- kicks the fashion crap out of Flying Elvis (and most any other NFL uniform, to boot).
Scott A. Miller/Associated Press
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers getups are an interesting case, proving the old adage introduced by '80s hair band/social archaeologists, Cinderella: "Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone". Over the years, testosterone-fueled analysts and frat dudes alike have had their laughs at the expense of the orange-and-white uniforms. No, the color scheme wouldn't fly in, say, Detroit or Chicago, but let's remember Tampa is in the Sunshine State. And while I won't attempt to defend Buccaneer Bruce, the helmet logo/dandy man with his carefully groomed mustache and chapeau tilted fashionably askew (all of which makes him look like Adrien Brody in those razor ads), I think we can all agree that seeing Josh Freeman & Co twice the last couple seasons in the franchise's original colors has been more refreshing than a CreamSicle.
Tom DiPace/Associated Press
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Tampa Bay switched from its CreamSicle getups to the current look in 1997, it made perfect sense: Jokes about Buccaneer Bruce jokes were more ubiquitous and only slightly less annoying than Bush songs on the FM dial. More importantly, the Bucs needed to turn the page from their mostly shameful history (you're excused, Doug Williams, Lee Roy Selmon and James Wilder). The blood-red jerseys and pewter hats not only distanced the team from its pushover forefathers, but also reflected the rugged personality of an emerging defense. Fifteen years later, though, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't like the idea of Buccaneer Bruce coming out of the closet for a visit at least a couple times a season.
More Photo Essays:
- Ranking the biggest collapses in NFL history
- 2017 NFL Draft prospects who could run for president one day
- Notable current NFL players who weren't invited to the combine
- 2017 Combine participants: Michigan
- 2017 Combine participants: Ohio State
- 2017 Combine participants: Clemson
- 2017 Combine participants: USC
- 2017 Combine participants: LSU
- 2017 Combine participants: Alabama