“New” Threads for a New Era

For the first time in 20 years, the Patriots will have a quarterback not named Tom Brady under center. However, that’s not the only big change for the team in 2020, as they recently debuted their “new” uniforms for the upcoming season. Other than the addition of alternate/throwback uniforms in the mid-2000’s and 2010’s, this is the first major tweak for the team since the turn of the millennium.

What’s different?

These uniforms are based on the Pats’ popular Color Rush alternates, which were introduced in 2016, as part of a league-wide initiative for Thursday Night Football. The Color Rush program was ultimately mothballed prior to the 2018 season, but teams such as the Patriots have continued to wear them as an additional alternative uniform. New England essentially took the monochromatic blue uniform, with thick red and white stripes on the shoulders (a nod to their popular Pat Patriot uniforms) and pants, and only changed the numeric font. In order to match their new home uniform, the team created a white counterpart (similar to their AFL away uniform), which features an inverted stripe pattern (with red and blue) and paired it with the same blue pants. Both jerseys feature slight silver accents on the numbers, and are paired with the team’s traditional silver helmet with a red facemask. The Pats also introduced new socks, which feature a color-blocked scheme of red, white, and blue.

new-patriots-uniforms
(Photo via the New England Patriots)

Although there are people who think that the team came up with the idea of new uniforms as soon as Tom Brady announced his decision to leave, this change has been in the works since 2018, in cooperation with the NFL’s rules on uniform changes (which requires at least 2 years advance notice from teams to the league office). This means that Tom Brady would have worn these uniforms if he had chosen to stay in New England.

How have Patriots fans reacted?

As most NFL teams (other than the Chargers) have realized this year, it is impossible to please your fans when it comes to changing your uniforms. Even though ESPN’s Mike Reiss mentioned in March that these changes would be “subtle”, most Pats fans imagined unrealistic possibilities ranging from re-adopting the Pat Patriot uniforms to making a modernized version of the polarizing 1990’s uniforms. Hence, fan reaction to this change has been mixed at best, as evidenced by several heated reactions on the team’s Twitter feed.

The negative reactions on social media can also be attributed to several blunders on the team’s part. For instance, the uniforms looked clunky on the models they chose, and they even advertised the wrong pants. The studio models were wearing last season’s Color Rush pants, with thick white stripes, while the uniforms sent to player such as Stephon Gilmore and James White featured pants with thick red stripes, which matches up with the stripes on the blue jersey.

What do I think?

Personally, I love the changes the team instituted, as I have been a big fan of the Color Rush alternates from the day they were introduced. Compared to the “Brady era” uniforms, these uniforms are much less cluttered, without unnecessary piping and side panels. There’s no doubt that the team’s previous uniforms are iconic and synonymous with success, due to the team’s unprecedented six Super Bowl victories while wearing that set, but it’s hard to ignore how dated the uniform got as time went on. This became evident when the league switched from Reebok to Nike for their uniforms, as Nike’s materials made the home silver pants look drab and boring, as compared to Reebok’s materials, which had made them look shiny and appealing.

slate old unis
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In addition, as Nike’s uniform templates got more advanced, the Pats’ early 2000’s design looked more out of place, as form-fitting uniforms made the team’s piping and side panels look increasingly unappealing.

Patriots Rams Super Bowl Football
(Patrick Semansky/AP)

Going back to the new uniforms, I love the red and white stripes on the home jersey, as they really give a pop of color against the blue base. The white jersey looks sleek, although I do agree with the people on Twitter who feel as though the team would be better off switching the red and blue in the striping pattern, as it is more pleasant to look at. My main gripe with the uniform set is that the team opted not to include white pants (for now), which would have perfectly complemented the current rotation. The all-blue home uniform is attractive, but pairing it with white pants could take it to another level.

cr promo
(PeterBretter/Reddit)

At the same time, having white pants would enable the team to also wear all-white on the road, which would be a heavily appealing option. The Pats wore all-white in 2017 against the Buccaneers in their old uniforms, which showed how sleek the combination could be. Hopefully the team chooses to bring them back!

Patriots Buccaneers Football, Tampa, USA - 05 Oct 2017
(Photo via Shutterstock)

 

A sign for the future?

Many fans wanted the Pats to bring back white helmets, which would have simplified the team’s color scheme, and enabled them to bring back the popular Pat Patriot throwbacks, which they have not worn since 2012 (due to the NFL’s controversial one-shell rule, which prevents teams from using more than one helmet). Fortunately, comments from the Patriots indicate that there may be changes in the works for the 2021 season, as the press release for these uniforms specifically mentioned the possibility of bringing back the red throwbacks if the league’s rule on helmets is nixed.

dev throwbacks
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

 

Ranking the other new NFL uniforms

The Patriots were one of seven teams to announce uniform changes, with the Rams being the only team to not introduce their new uniforms as of yet.

Here’s a ranking of the uniforms introduced so far (excluding the Patriots)

1. Chargers

chargers new unis
(Photo via the Los Angeles Chargers)

2. Browns

browns new uniforms
(Photo via the Cleveland Browns)

3. Buccaneers

buccaneers new unis
(Photo via the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Colts

colts new unis
(Photo via the Indianapolis Colts)

5. Falcons

falcons new unis
(Photo via the Atlanta Falcons)

 

News Roundup: Kyrie’s style, Hayward’s bounce-back and more!

Here are some of the recent headlines in the world of the Celtics.

1. The effect of getting a haircut

Kyrie Irving made headlines over the off-season due to the afro and headband he debuted during 2018’s Media Day. Irving did not have the greatest start to this season, as he was heavily inconsistent and struggled to make shots, with Jayson Tatum being the C’s main weapon. This came to a head when he scored only 3 points during the Celtics’ win in Detroit.

Prior to the Celtics welcoming the Pistons on October 30th, Kyrie got a haircut and ditched the headband, and proceeded to score a team-high 31 points to lead the C’s to another win over Detroit. He followed this performance with a 28 point outing during a victory over the previously undefeated Milwaukee Bucks.

Let’s hope that Kyrie’s new haircut continues to fuel great performances.

kyrie haircut.jpg
(Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

2. Nike and Kyrie debut the Kyrie 5’s

Earlier this week, Nike debuted Kyrie Irving’s latest signature model, the Kyrie 5. This shoe takes inspiration from earlier Kyrie models, and also continues to innovate forward. Interestingly enough, the quarter of the shoe features the Illuminati symbol, as a reference to Kyrie’s strong belief in conspiracy theories.

kyrie 5.jpg
(Photo via Nike)

Check out this article from SLAM, which details the inspiration behind this shoe.

3. Hayward continues to propel forward

Celtics’ fans have been maintaining a keen interest in Gordon Hayward’s performance, due to his return from the horrifying ankle injury he suffered last year. Similarly to Kyrie, Hayward has been inconsistent since the season started, which has caused several pundits to question whether he was worth the investment Boston paid for him. Hence, it was encouraging to see his outing against the Bucks on November 1st, when he scored 18 points, and had a good defensive performance. Also, there was a sequence in the game when Hayward came down hard on the left ankle he fractured last season, but he was able to shake it off and continue playing. When asked about that incident, Hayward mentioned that his left foot was sore, but that he would be fine.

Hayward has a big game coming up on November 9th, when the Celtics visit his former team, the Utah Jazz.

hayward v bucks.jpg
(Winslow Townson/ USA TODAY Sports)

4. City Edition

Last season, the Celtics wore a mediocre grey uniform, which was dubbed the ‘City Edition’ by Nike.

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(Photo via Nike)

Recently, the 2018-19 iteration of the City Edition uniform was leaked on Twitter, and it appears that Nike took inspiration from the old St. Patrick’s Day alternate, as this uniform is white with green and gold trim, and I have to say that this is a marked improvement.

Expect the Celtics to officially unveil this uniform sometime in the next week.

5. Looking ahead

The Celtics have a tough slate coming up, as they travel west to take on teams such as the Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets.