By Spencer Bowen
To be clear, I’m a Niners fan. My no. 2 team is the Pittsburgh Steelers (my mom’s side is from Pittsburgh), although I really hate rooting for Ben Roethlisberger. And for no discernible reason, I deeply loved Eddie George, Steve McNair, and the Tennessee Titans when I was growing up. And my no. 3 favorite team just redesigned their uniforms. Let’s dive in using the venerable “good,” “push,” or “stupid” system popularized in various UniWatch (which is, once again, my most-visited website) posts and analyses.
The satin blue finish is pretty nice. Unfortunately, the switch away from a white shell necessitates a new silver outline around the flaming T logo, which makes an already busy logo even busier. I would’ve preferred a matching navy blue face mask, but at least it isn’t a jarring bright red (paging the Patriots). The new helmet stripe is a definite upgrade over the previous two skinny triangles to nowhere, but no helmet stripe at all would’ve been better. Overall, a push.
Let’s begin with the positives: the red swoosh is nice. I dig a little more love for red – it echoes the Tennessee state flag and the Titans’ history in Houston as the Oilers. The positives come to an abrupt end there. The primary home uniform remains navy blue, a color used by roughly a million other teams. Carolina blue, on the other hand, is relegated to some kind of amorphous armpit polygon while a silver “sword” motif takes over the shoulders (we’ll get back to those troublesome swords). The Titans should have taken this opportunity to go all in on the light blue as a primary color (it’s still the alternate uniform top). It’s a unique color and looks awesome on sports uniforms. If they insist on navy, why must the main hat tip to light blue look like the players are sweating light blue Gatorade (which, in fairness, is the most delicious flavor of Gatorade)? Stupid.
Aiming for “stone-carved Greek lettering,” the Titans settled for really thin, strangely angled, and mostly bad. Granted, I’ve yet to see these on the field, but my gut feeling is that “stone-carved Greek lettering” will not look very good on the belly of a 320 pound offensive lineman. The angles are haphazard and follow no rhyme or reason – look at the horizontal stroke of the 2 compared to the 5. They’re super skinny and probably looked better on some Nike designer’s computer screen than they will on an actual person. Finally, the little prong at the upper right of each digit (meant to evoke the shape of the state of Tennessee) is fun on paper but looks like the opposite of fun. Stupid.
The Sword Stuff
The helmet stripe, shoulder color-blocking, and pant design are all inspired by swords. Grey is a super boring uniform color, and to go all in on this sword theme the Titans added not one but two shades of it to their palette. Great. But wait, there’s more. The pant stripe is not really a stripe at all – it’s more of a parallelogram to nowhere – and feels like a random #TeamNike design element, not a trim piece “angled much like a sheath would hang” (ugh). The first time anyone said “giant swords on the shoulders” in a brainstorming meeting should have tipped the Titans brain trust off that they were headed down a dark path. But most perplexingly: Why did we land on swords as the main visual representation of the Titans? The actual, Greek mythology Titans? The Titans didn’t need swords, you idiots! They’re damn Titans! Prometheus (a second generation Titan) literally stole fire from the gods and delivered it to humanity! You think he needed a freaking sword to do that? The original generation of Titans were literally THE PARENTS OF THE OLYMPUS GODS. Like, Titans came before Zeus. But yeah, let’s go with a pointy piece of metal. That really represents them. And saying that a sword motif represents Ancient Greece is as lazy as saying that your spiky number font is inspired by stone-carved… never mind. Stupid.
It’s a busy time for NFL uniforms! The Jaguars and Dolphins both unveiled new uniform sets today. Look for more compelling Antland content soon.