Oakland Raiders NFL Uniforms: Grading New Home 2012 Jerseys

Fernando GalloContributor IIApril 3, 2012

Photo credit: Nike
Photo credit: Nike

In today’s media-driven world, there are often situations where the hype is much greater than the event that it’s hyping—the unveiling of Nike’s new NFL uniforms is one of those situations.

Considering the amount of secrecy Nike has employed in this whole process, I half expected the uniforms to each come with a hand-cuffed silver briefcase containing nuclear launch codes. Should we really allow ourselves to get so excited about the revealing of dyed patches of threads?

For Raiders fans, this event is more useless than watching the first night of the 2012 NFL draft—for the last 40 years, the Raiders’ uniform has looked almost exactly the same way it did the day it was created, when the heavens parted and the intimidating, glorious combination of silver and black was handed down to Al Davis himself.

OK, that might not be exactly how it happened, but you get the idea. There was virtually zero chance of the Raiders’ uniforms changing drastically, although that didn’t stop Oakland fans from publicly wringing their hands on Twitter.

And now that the day has arrived, guess what? The uniforms still look almost exactly the same. Black jersey, silver pants, smirking pirate on a silver helmet. You don’t mess with perfection.

The differences between this version of the greatest jersey in football and the last version are negligible. The numbers look a little bigger, and the Raiders get the same bells and whistles as all other teams in terms of design—new material, slightly different collar, fancy Nike Vapor Jet 2.0 Gloves that form the team logo across the palms when you join your hands.

But if you look at the Raiders on the field this year and find yourself thinking, “what the heck did they even change?” don’t feel bad—there’s really not much of a difference at all.

For my money, I’m a tad disappointed the uniform didn’t change a little more drastically. Do I think the logo or color scheme should have been altered? Of course not, that would be sacrilegious. But would adding a little silver on the jersey have been so bad? How about a black stripe on the pants?

Perhaps I’m just looking at this too selfishly, because I’m always so jealous of other teams who get sweet throwback unis to choose from on Madden 12.

In the end, Nike made the right decision to leave the uniform mostly unaltered. Davis kept the uniforms the same because he wanted it that way, and with his death still fresh in Raider Nation’s memory, it would have been inappropriate to alter his vision.

In a few years, maybe we can add a little more pizazz to the silver and black ensemble, but for now, the defenders of the Autumn Wind will keep looking exactly the way they should.

Photo credit: Image via Nike on Facebook

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