I suppose I have to write this article because of all my screeching about how I despised the uniforms the Vikings had been wearing since 2006. So, after much draft watching and snark about Chris Kluwe, I decided to sit down and tap out my opinion. As the title suggests, what Nike did to the new uniforms could have been worse… much worse.
That doesn’t get Nike off the hook, though. The whole hoo-ha they’re pitching about the numbers recalling the prow of a Viking longship… please. The numbers are so similar to what is being done with Washington State that it is a stretch to even call what they’ve done an original concept. This is just regurgitation of an already existing form being passed off as something it’s not. By the way, Nike needs to seriously do some research into what the prow of a Viking longship really looked like; what they have looks more like the bow of a john-boat.
Also look at the consistency of the effect over the different numbers: the distortion doesn’t work as well with a “7” as it does with an “8”. Also, the mixing of rounded-corner numbers with hard-angle numbers doesn’t make any design sense. This is why I like well-constructed block numbers: they are readable and the letter weight holds up. Plus Nike removed the gold trim on the numbers and that is a mistake.
The stripes on the pants, while going all the way to the waist, are still very reminiscent of the wide stripe-thin stripe thing that’s going on with UConn.
I like that there is a purple version of the pants, but having them and wearing them consistently are two different things. Even though I hate Van Brocklin eternally for calling the Vikings “a bunch of Easter eggs” during their infamous all-purple game against Detroit, the purple jerseys with the purple pants is just not a good look – unless you’re my North Alabama Lions winning NCAA D-II championships. Thank you, Ronald McKinnon and company!
Lastly, I generally don’t like this matte helmet fad that has been created, but I like it for the Vikings’ helmets… and it is a ZILLION times better than this horrible gradated look Jacksonville or the U. of Arkansas have on their helmets. There is not a worse look for headgear, but the giant stripes of Ohio State are a close second. Sadly, even though the horn looks bigger, it is the same misbegotten cartoony garbage that came with the 2006 redesign. The Vikings needed to keep that horn the same way Ragnar needed a remake (I’m being subtle and restrained here). And black facemasks? Really? Is there a designer out there who doesn’t feel the need to artificially inject the color black into every team’s color palette?
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, the new Vikings uniforms get a grade of “meh”, because I don’t do number grades. The cuts of the jerseys continue to be ridiculous. Despite the Nike verbiage, these uniforms are not reminiscent of the original uniforms nor do they resemble them in any way, save that they are purple and gold. These uniforms are really the confirmation of Nike’s view that you can’t go “old school” (a vomitous term if there ever was one) and look cool – and they just don’t know how wrong they are. Apparently they have a problem recognizing that a “modernizing” of a traditional look is actually a departure. I expected to not be impressed with the new uniforms and Nike did not let me down in that regard. The saving grace is that Adrian Peterson had input into the new look, so if what he’s wearing makes the MVP happy, that’s fine with me!