CLEVELAND – After two years of development in super-secret by Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, the Cleveland Browns unveiled the first major change to the iconic uniform in the franchise’s 69-year history.
With current players such as Joe Thomas, Donte Whitner, Alex Mack and Brian Hartline modeling the new look, the reaction of the Browns new uniforms was met with barking approval and excitement over the new look, which was inspired by the city’s blue-collar, working class mentality.
In a city and fan base that clings to tradition, Nike went in a bold new direction in updating the classic look, while adding some new tweaks of its own.
With the new uniforms confirming what the earlier leaks already showed of tops featuring “DAWG POUND” in the neck collar and “CLEVELAND” across the chest, the new uniforms, not only looked better on real players, but it may have been the pants that stole the show.
In another rare and bold move by Nike, The Browns unveiled pants with the words “BROWNS” down both sides in what is an NFL fashion first. That in addition to the “CLEVELAND” woodmark, adds a visually appealing look that moves the team in a bold new direction, while honoring the past.
Details such as adding Nike’s first-ever “chain-mail” texture to the numbers, contrast stitching, block drop-shadow numbers and thick bold stripes of yesteryear, help add to Cleveland’s sharp new look. Other touches such as a satin finish with carbon fiber pattern in the brown helmet stripe really help make the new uniforms pop.
With a combination of nine different outfits that have brown, white and orange tops and orange, white and brown pants modeled by the players in front of more than 1,500 fans at the Cleveland Convention Center were left both excited and impressed Whitner’s bold proclamation of Cleveland being the “Oregon of the NFL” isn’t that far off.
Now if only the team could actually play like the up-tempo Ducks, that’s another issue.
In regards to the uniforms themselves, here are my analysis of them;
Brown uniform (Home): Perhaps the sharpest of the three new uniforms thanks to Nike’s first-ever use of contrast stitching, the home brown unis offset by orange numbers with white drop shadows with bold and thick orange/white/orange shoulder stripes. Player nameplates are in orange, which round out the updated and snazzy new look.
White uniform (Road): The simplest top of the three, the road(?) whites are crisp and keep the classic old-school look, while adding orange numbers with brown drop shadows and brown/orange/brown stripes. Player nameplates are in brown, which round out the simple—yet nicely updated—top.
Orange uniform (Alternate): A soon-to-be new fan favorite, the new and brighter orange tops really jumped off the players and screen during the unveil. With white numbers, brown drop shadows and brown/white/brown stripes. Player nameplates are in white. Vibrant, loud and proud, like the city it wears across its chest, the orange uniform may be the best overall uniform of the trio.
Browns helmet: As stated above, a satin finish with carbon fiber pattern in the brown helmet stripe, that really adds a touch of the city’s tough blue-collar feel.
To conclude, while some may feel that this falls short of “cutting-edge” and a drastic overhaul, I feel that both the Browns and Nike did a commendable job of adding some nice new touches to Cleveland’s look while not going overboard with quirky Nike gimmicks.
As a Browns fan, I can relate to “DAWG POUND” and “CLEVELAND’ on the uniform, as it is something that anyone from the city can immediate identify and relate too.
While many naysayers and non-Browns fans will be quick to slam the look as “college-like” or disappointing, the Dawgfather approves of the new and updated look! What do you think?