tombierbaum (tombierbaum) wrote,

Washington Redskins Re-Design: Washington Americans

For a contest on the great sports-uniform blog, they're re-designing football's Washington Redskins and baseball's Cleveland Indians with concepts that avoid any reference to native Americans, and for the Redskins, I went with the new monicker Washington Americans...

As a 7-year-old in Dover, Delaware back in 1963, I actually came up with my own fictitious team set in the nearest big city, Wilmington, Del., and dubbed them the Wilmington Americans. In retrospect, I feel like it was a surprisingly original and plausible team name for a 7-year-old, at least compared with the other teams I was making up at that age (incuding the Newport Nuclears and the Dugland Damagers). My original uniform for the Wilmington team was a silly combination of white helmet, blue-green jersey and yellow-orange pants, then a few years later I came up with a pretty nice red helmet-red jersey-blue pants idea before coming up with essentially this uniform design in the fall of 1967 at the age of 11. It's probably more of a Philadelphia Eagles alternate than anything I'd have ever imagined being worn in the nation's capital, but Washington Americans is so close to Wilmington Americans, I couldn't resist trying out my old design for the Uniwatch contest.

You'll note my designs never ever feature different pants colors with the different jerseys, since in the mid 1960s not a single NFL or AFL team changed pants colors (for at least a year or two between when the Vikings stopped wearing purple pants on the road and the Chiefs started wearing their red pants on the road) and I internalized that as the way football uniforms are "supposed to be."  To me, limiting yourself to one pants color with both jerseys forces the designer to use a little more creativity to keep the designs colorful and distinctive. For example, I really like the white-blue-red helmet-jersey-pants design of this design for the Washington Americans, but if this were actually a current NFL team, they'd probably reflexively use white pants for the home uniform and blue pants for the road and the team would end up looking pretty much like the Dolphins, Chargers and Bills. To me, limiting myself to one pants color helps make this particular design more interesting and distinctive.

The opposing team in the home picture is another take on the Tampa Buccaneers.  You'll note I always keep them in orange, which tome will always be the definitive Buccaneers color. This time I've switched them from the lighter "Tennessee Orange" to a bright Florida Orange and combined it with a lighter metallic orange for the helmets (and unseen pants).  I just couldn't see this particular combination trimmed in anything but blue, but I may try to develop this concept further at some point and possibly give it a shot with dark red trim or black trim.

The opposing team in the road picture is a pretty radical take on the Dallas Cowboys. Many years ago, it occurred tome that the Cowboys could theoretically address their dark-jersey issues by adapting a version of their metallic-blue-silver color for the home jersey, an odd idea that I've kept rattling around in my head for the years since then. In this case I couldn't resist trying something pretty bold (it's fun to "push the envelope" when I'm filling in the backgrounds of my primary uniform design), so I added gold to the color scheme. Obviously, there's zero chance the Cowboys would ever go in this direction, but to me it would be cool if alternate uniforms started going in directions like this (in addition to throwback uniforms, which I'm always in favor of).

A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR HOME JERSEYS: One note on the odd idea of a metallic blue / silver home jersey for the Cowboys -- I've always felt uneasy about how certain NFL teams almost never show up in their dark jerseys and how certain rivalries are almost always seen in the same jerseys, and long ago realized it all traces to the fact that the home team can choose white or dark jerseys and the few that consistently go with white at home can end up playing something like 95% of their games in their whites.  An obvious solution would be to require the home team to wear its dark jersey, but I can understand how teams from Dallas, Miami, San Diego, Phoenix and other warm-weather locales don't want to be suiting up in navy blue in September.  That got me to thinking that those teams could go for lighter colors, such as the yellow jerseys the Rams wore until the late 1950s or the light blue the Oilers always wore, which is what led me to think of the light blue / silver jersey for the Cowboys. 

And while I personally don't much like the idea of alternate jerseys, it might also be an idea to have every team come up with an alternate that's something like yellow, gold, light blue, light aqua, medium gray, tan etc., that they can wear when required to be the dark-jerseyed team on a hot, sunny day.

Tags: dallas cowboys, tampa bay buccaneers, uniwatch, washington americans, washington redskins
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