Has that retina-burning, eye-hurting display of rebranding disaster finally exited the TV screen, if not the playing field at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio?
Wow. As fashion debuts go, that was hard to watch. Maybe Johnny Manziel and Co. did a few good things Thursday night in an NFL preseason opener against Washington, but nothing was going to look with what the Cleveland Browns were wearing to those whose views stretch beyond the boxscore and the bottom line.
Granted, wins and losses always will be the ultimate measuring stick of success, but it never hurts to have a little style, some flair, just any semblance of half-decent swag in pursuit of that success. The Browns’ foreseeable future will have none of that.
In tinkering with one of the most traditional brands and uniforms in all of sports, the franchise was taking a chance, and that on its own deserves an array of verbiage that ranges anywhere from “takes some balls” to “what in the effin hell were they thinking?”
Indeed, who knows what mindset fueled this ...
Sorry, but you don’t need a degree from some fancy schmancy design institute to recognize bad, or “swing and a miss.” Just being new or edgy, for me, certainly doesn’t qualify as quality – despite what a nation of Nike University proponents believe every time their beloved Oregon Ducks unveil their latest and greatest getup ever … before the following week.
Hey, Nike gets it good sometimes. It’s rebranding of Florida State following the Seminoles’ national title-winning season was brilliant. It took a very good look, streamlined it, tweaked it and produced arguably the sharpest uniform in all of college football.
That same year, 2014, Nike did OK by Illinois and Miami, but completely bombed with Syracuse. The Orange, in fact, weren’t equipped with orange jerseys until this year. Frankly, Illinois wasn’t given its primary blue jersey, either, until this year. Miami? The ’Canes cut ties with Nike this year and joined forces with Adidas. The NFL certainly is comfy with Nike, though, saying goodbye to Reebok in order to make The Swoosh its lone on-field outfitter.
For me, Under Armour trumps them all. With Maryland serving as its poster-child test-tube outfit much like Oregon does for Nike, UA comes up with some crazy stuff, too. But, somehow, it usually works, or works better, in my eyes. Its most recent showpiece, a Shamrock Series uniform for Notre Dame to wear when it faces Boston College in Fenway Park this fall, has been panned by few and raved about by many. I tend to agree with the latter, although I’m not sure about BC’s UA-authored attire for the same event.
I also think UA has the FBS level’s best-dressed … with, of all teams, the one fielded by my alma mater, Temple University. The Owls have great colors to work with in cherry and white, with black also factoring despite not being “official” to the school. They have multiple combos to wear, and multiple helmets as well – just not to the extreme of, say, fellow UA member Maryland or Oregon, or even Rutgers, another Nike school.
Now, if Temple’s performance actually caught up to its look, especially if the Owls would drop the diamond-T helmet, both the school and its outfitter could be sitting very pretty.
- Jack Kerwin