After all the buildup and all the drama, after gathering together copious amounts of media and dragging out the unveiling for an hour, we finally saw the new Nike uniforms for the NFL.
They pretty much look just like the ones from last year.
The only team which got a real makeover was Seattle, with some coloring changes, a patch look on the shoulders and what are allegedly feathers down the legs representing the 12th Man.
I don't know about them being feathers, but I do know that there was an awful lot of press for minimal impact.
Well, that's not entirely true though. In his introduction speech, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said that the material fit more snugly and would be harder to grab onto, making it easier to elude tackles.
As if defenses weren't taking it on the chin over the last few years although as it was pointed out to me on Twitter, defensive linemen will probably be happy to get held less.
So what about the NFC North? Any great changes?
No, not so much. Let's take a quick look at the awesome foursome of the NFC North.
The Bears keep their classic old-school look, with only a few minor changes. One change is the numbers, which are a little different than they looked in the past. The more important is the GSH on the left sleeve which seems—at least to me—to be more prominent than it's been in the past.
Of course, the initials (in memory of George Halas) should stand out and I think this does a nice job of it.
For the most part though, this is the same as it's been before. Even the socks are pretty much as they have been in previous years.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
You knew that there was no way this was going to change all that much.
One day perhaps the Packers will change some aspect of this outfit, but really there isn't much to mess with that will end well or with anything less than fan revolt.
Like the Bears, it's a classic, identifiable look you know the moment you see it.
If anything, the yellow looks more yellow on the pants and that could be due to the lighting. If it is a bit more dark, I think it looks very good, tying into the green of the jersey a bit more. Come to think of it, the green looks a tad darker to me as well.
I like it, but I'm a moody bastard.
The Lions uniform looks shinier to me. I'm not sure it's the color/material combination or what but I like it. With the sleek lines of the uniform, the whole outfit looks very good. Again, not much is different, but the little things work for the most part.
I really like the stripe on the sleeves, and the blue and silver seems to really pop out.
The numbers seem a little puffy. B/R writer Dan Levy said it looks like they're melting, which it does a little. Someone else compared them to those large key phones that elderly people with bad vision use.
It's not awful, just a bit odd.
Overall though, I feel like the Lions and Nike made a big impact with very minimal changes.
As was the case with all three of the other teams, the Vikings and Nike (say it with me) didn't change much.
The lines, again, look much more sleek and the classic Viking horn remains on the sides of the helmet (one of my all-time favorite helmets).
Of the four, I feel like the Vikings could have been a uniform that the design team might have taken a few chances with. While the uniform itself has always been fine, I think you could have monkeyed with the design a bit.
NFL owners are a very conservative lot though, and while a massive change might have been interesting, it could have hurt jersey sales if it went over badly.
Ultimately that's why the Seahawk fans were the only team with major tweaks. They already have the neon disaster we see once a year, so I guess the thought is fans are more willing to embrace out-of-the-box ideas.
Still, while I don't think wholesale changes were needed, I might have liked to see a few more new ideas in the look of these designs.
On the other hand, why mess with a classic?