I can't say I'm completely thrilled about the Seahawks' new Nike duds that were unveiled for the first time on Tuesday. In a word—well, I’d have to say "garish".
The new Seattle helmet and three sets of uniforms are posted in their entirety at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer web site. While some things remain similar to the major uniform overhaul that occurred 10 years ago when the Seahawks moved into their new stadium on the site of the departed Kingdome, other elements are entirely different. Out of 32 NFL clubs, the Seahawks easily underwent the most radical redesign.
For starters, the new Seahawks colors are college navy, action green and wolf grey—and there's more than a little action green in there, as seen in some of the new uniform photos that have been posted. I always thought some Seahawks overdid it with the last batch of uniforms, where the green was a trim color on the pants and in the eye of the hawk on the helmet, but more than a few players made sure to don green gloves and shoes. (Hey, it worked for Marshawn Lynch.)
Now the new shade of green has been incorporated with 12 feathers (for Seattle's 12th man) on the striping on the pants, which could be either blue, white or gray. I actually like the Seahawks' new away white (or gray) uniforms better than the new blue home versions—replace the green with gold on the dark blue unis, and I feel like I’m looking at the old San Diego Chargers before they went back to white helmets.
The Seahawks jersey numbers are also featured in a new style, and are outlined on the front and back in action green on all three versions. Just below the left shoulder is also the Seahawks word mark—perhaps put there so Seattle players can remember for whom they’re suiting up if they take an especially hard hit? (Joking, somewhat.)
The Seahawks helmet has also undergone some changes, although at first glance it appears similar to the blue version first introduced a decade ago. The hawk logo on the sides is bigger, which is better—but now it actually melds in the back, which hadn’t happened in previous incarnations dating back to Seattle’s original silver helmet from 1976.
There’s also a new, sublimated feather-like stripe pattern down the middle, mirroring the feathers on the pants, and tapering to a point in back above the hawk logo. It’s the first such striping (if you can call it that) that the Seahawks have ever had.
I actually liked the all-blue look that the Seahawks sported at home since moving outdoors in 2002 to what is now known as Century Link Field, but I guess Nike saw an opportunity to really tinker with that design. Hopefully the Seahawks won’t become the Oregon of the NFL, with 900-plus possible uniform combinations and five different helmets, although league rules wouldn’t allow the latter—not yet, anyway.
Personally, I’d like to see the Seahawks go back to their 1983 silver and blue get-ups, with blue face masks on the silver helmet and the original Seahawks totemic hawk head logo on the outer jersey sleeve. They could don those outfits once a year at home, much like Tampa Bay has done with the Bucs’ old Florida Orange get-ups in each of the past three seasons.
The jury’s still out on these new Seahawk uniforms, and probably will be for a while. They’re supposed to be lighter, tighter-fitting, better ventilated and more water repellent, as are the new Nike gloves that form the Seahawk logo when the palms are put together. The big thing is, if Seattle wins, no one’s going to complain too much about the uniforms, like them or not.
Winning has a way of doing that. The Denver Broncos heard all kinds of snickers when they changed from their classic uniform design back in 1997 to what they wear now—and a year later they were the proud owners of their first Lombardi Trophy.
Hopefully the NFL team in the Pacific Northwest can follow suit (or uniform).