Lions uniforms aren’t perfect, but they’re much improved

Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A view of the Detroit Lions logo on a helmet on the sidelines during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Lions won 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A view of the Detroit Lions logo on a helmet on the sidelines during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Lions won 39-35. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

I could easily take out the word ‘uniforms’ and still have an equally true statement, but I’m going to focus only on the new threads for this post.

I’m glad I took a full week to sort out exactly I how I feel about the jersey upgrade, because in that week my opinion has gone from mildly underwhelmed to being really fired up about these things. They’re not perfect, but looking at each change, every single adjustment is at the very least a slight upgrade over the previous edition. Add up enough of those tiny upgrades, and the end result is a really sweet new look.

Related Story: Lions Release New Color Rush Uniforms

Silver is the new black

Okay, the silver Color Rush uniforms are an abomination, but then again, isn’t that the whole point of the Color Rush series? We dodged a bullet last year when they decided not to wear the all-black combo for any games, and as long as everyone is required to have a Color Rush, I suppose silver is the best option. Besides, truth be told, they aren’t that much of an abomination. I can live with it.

I’m also so glad that they finally removed the black trim from the color scheme and the Lions logo. Getting back to just blue/silver makes everything look simpler, cleaner, more efficient. For bonus points, they got rid of the black face masks too! I will always associate the black face masks with Joey Harrington, in a similar way as I will always associate ‘hand-offs that happen so slowly that they essentially turn into draw plays’ with Scott Mitchell.


The question, “how do you feel about the Lions throwback uniforms?” has only two answers, each answer being partially correct.

(a) Man, nobody looked better in those throwbacks than Barry!

I can’t think of any other throwback jersey in any sport that so quickly calls to mind a player who didn’t even play in the era that the jersey was originally worn. I’ve had five different Barry jerseys over my lifetime, with the 1994 throwback one being the best of the bunch (other than a knockoff Korean one that I once had, that somehow looked better than the real thing). However, Stafford has never had the chance to wear them yet, so we’ll see how he looks in it. I’d love to get my hands on a generic blue/silver #9 football jersey from Korea.

(b) They should just wear the throwbacks for every game!

From 2003 until last Thursday, I definitely would have agreed with that statement. In their simplicity, the old throwbacks were better than any of the previous overthought modernization attempts. I was a little surprised to learn that they actually haven’t worn them since Thanksgiving 2010 (coincidentally, my first game at Ford Field), so it’s great to have them back. On the other hand, the new home jerseys are also finally good enough to help calm my false nostalgia for 1934.


As I mentioned, the new outfits aren’t perfect. The helmet stripe is way thicker than it has any business being. The WCF on the sleeve seems a little heavy-handed, especially considering how good the ‘LIONS’ on the opposite sleeve looks (if your name is already on the stadium, does it really need to be on every shirt too?). They still can’t seem to find a good font for the numbers either. I didn’t like how thinly circular the old ones were. Now they’ve gone the opposite direction, making them all slanty, which I don’t love but will admit is moderately better.

That’s honestly all I can complain about though. Slanty numbers, a thick stripe, and a dead guy’s initials. The great part is, the longer I look at them, the more I like them.

Road Unis

At first, you may think that the road uniforms are the LiAngelo Ball of the new jersey combos (LaVar being the color rush, Lonzo the throwback, and LaMelo the modernized home blues), but I have to give them some credit.

They’re a little plain at a quick glance, but have some key subtleties that I want to shed light on. First off, the blue pants are a welcome change. It’s something they haven’t done for a while, they look great, and the same old silver pants for the road were growing stale.

What I really want to talk about are the name plates, though. Laugh at me if you want, but the new road name plates are really good. Jersey nameplates are usually like the holder on the special teams unit. You generally only notice them when something that should be easy goes horribly wrong (Sacramento Kings late 80s, Miami Hurricanes 2015, that fake field goal that the Lions tried against Pittsburgh a few years ago). It would be nice to give a little appreciation for a job done exceptionally well, and I’ll give that to the new road jersey name plates. Sam Martin usually does a pretty good job with holds too, while I’m at it.

“I don’t give a crap what they’re wearing, as long as they win.”

I know there are some people out there who hold some variation of the above quote. All I’ll say is that my answer to that sentiment is the same as Eminem’s when Will Smith didn’t “have to cuss in his rap to sell records.”

Maybe no matter how sweet the uniforms are, Detroit still isn’t anywhere close to being a Super Bowl caliber team. However, it’s yet another of many tiny steps in the right direction that the franchise has made recently.  Let’s wait and see what else the Ford family has hiding on the outside of their sleeves in the near future.

-Like the SideLion Report Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @SideLionReport.

Next: Ranking the 5 Worst Lions Draft Classes of Past 30 Years