A Detroit Lions alternate uniform has been a hot topic going back to the release of the black jersey under the watchful eye of Matt Millen.
Some love it, some hate it but the topic never seems to go away. It came up again over the Summer when Tom Lewand indicated some interest in an alternate other than the traditional throwback.
Calvin Johnson has gone on record as saying he’s a fan of the black look – even going a step further to suggest an all-black uniform and helmet.
But the the NFL stands for “No Fun League” and thanks to a new uniform regulation, an all-black helmet wouldn’t be allowed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are running into this problem, having to cancel their plans to wear their “creamsicle” threads featuring “Bucco Bruce” just because they require a different helmet. The Buccaneers posted the following to their official team website:
The league-wide guideline, which requires players to use the same helmet for all games during the season, was recently implemented based on the strong recommendation by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee as well as the Player Safety Advisory Panel. … Due to the new regulations, Buccaneer players will wear their standard pewter, red and white uniforms in place of the classic Florida orange, red and white throwback attire that had previously been scheduled.
In other words, the league is now so concerned about player safety that they don’t want players wearing the same exact helmet for each game. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy was quoted as follows on NFL.com:
“This offseason, we communicated a recommendation from the Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel to those teams planning to wear throwback uniforms for at least one game this season. They recommended that players no longer wear different helmets as part of a ‘throwback’ or ‘third’ uniform. … Teams may continue to wear throwback uniforms under league guidelines, but players must wear their regular helmets. The outside of the helmet can be modified by removing or replacing decals, as long as it does not affect the integrity of the helmet.”
So if the Lions are to introduce any new look to the helmet, it will have to be as a result of adding or removing decals rather than anything that requires a separate helmet than what is worn with their normal uniform.