Not all uniforms are created equal
In this age of sports-less, social distancing, there isn't a whole lot out there in the wide world of sports to get us excited. Two NFL franchises, however, provided the masses with a little eye candy this week, via the release of some new uniforms for the 2020 season.
The Tampa Bay Buccanneers and Atlanta Falcons unleashed their new digs on social media this week, albeit to some very different collective responses. The fact of the matter is, one of these teams seemed to have got it right, while the other team left their fans and anyone with any sense of fashion fairly disappointed.
Let's start with the club that hit their uniform re-design out of the park.
Tampa Bay Buccanneers
The Bucs have sported some of the uglier uniforms in the league over the last few seasons. Their recent unis, complete with a digital clock-like font for the numbers, were just plain loud and messy. It was as though they were trying too hard to be modern, and ended up with a very amateur looking design straight out of a video game.
All of that was fixed this week — just in time for the arrival of Tom Brady. The Bucs unveiled a redesigned look that is very similar to what the team wore in the early 2000s when Jon Gruden was running the show. They also managed to work in the creamsicle orange accent — an homage to the '80s Tampa Bay unis that so many people see to love. It's a little subtle (part of the trim around the numbers) on the all-white look, but fans will have to wait at least another year to see Brady rocking the creamsicle throwback.
The all-white look seems to be a crowd favorite on social media, but I personally love the home uniforms with the red jersey and pewter pants. When combined with the Bucs helmet design — one of the best in the league — this uniform shoots to the top of the list of best-looking outfits in the game.
The all pewter look is fine. It's pretty safe overall and will look good in "Color Rush" games.
One low-key change that was made was to the facemask, going with an all-black look that adds a little "meanness" to the overall look.
Top to bottom, the Tampa Bay Buccanneers hit a home run with their uniform design.
And now for a different story...
I honestly don't know what the Falcons were thinking here. Fans have been clamoring for a return to the all-black look, and they got one in the form of what looks like something you'd see Texas Tech wearing on Saturdays. The modern-looking font is apparently exactly what the team was going for, in an attempt to "match the modern progression of Atlanta." The end result, however, is yet another amateur-looking uniform by an organization that tried too hard.
Atlanta, this is for you. pic.twitter.com/VVwVrKznOp— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 8, 2020
The "ATL" in the center of the chest of the home, away and alternate jerseys is too big, but again, the team wanted a look that represented the city.
The alternate uniform features an airbrushed, black-to-red look that screams "XFL," and some fans on Twitter agreed.
For our team.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 8, 2020
â°Our city. pic.twitter.com/15e5ZX6EtE
The best thing they did was bring back the 1990s "Too Legit to Quit" era look for throwbacks. It's too bad they won't wear those every week.
Atlanta's uniform is another case of a team changing for change's sake. The uniforms they have were fine, and if anything, they should have changed to a more traditional, timeless look like the Buccanneers did. As it stands, the Falcons will be running onto the field in the 2020 season wearing uniforms that probably won't exist in five years, largely due to public backlash by the very same people the organization was trying to please.
In this NFC South battle of uniform redesigns, there's no question in my mind that the Buccaneers were the winners. Will that carry over to the field in 2020? Stay tuned.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.