New Chargers Uniforms Announced

Shawne Merriman LB 56 with new Chargers away uniform

Nearly a week after screenshots of the new uniforms were leaked, the Chargers held a fashion show at the U.S. Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego to showcase the new duds. There are three new uniforms: a navy blue home, a white away, and a home alternate powder-blue uniform. Changes in the new outfits over the previous ones include:

  • Colors: Navy Blue, Yellow, and Powder-Blue
  • Two-point lightning bolts on helmets, shoulders, and pants
  • Shoulder strip goes around the shoulder
  • Numbers on top of shoulders
  • Chargers name on front of jersey
  • White or blue collar
  • White helmet

There are videos from the event on the Chargers website and at the Union-Tribune. Models today included RB21 LaDainian Tomlinson, LB56 Shawne Merriman, WR81 Kassim Osgood, C61 Nick Hardwick, and FB41 Lorenzo Neal.

It’s been 18 years since the Chargers last dramatically changed their uniforms. Though I knew that teams had to submit any changes to the NFL about a year in advance, I wasn’t aware that the league allowed uniform changes once every five years. I remember the Patriots changing out of their previous uniforms quickly, but a quick search revealed that the time difference between those ugly unis (1993-1999) and their current ones was 7 years.

As for the new Chargers’ uniforms, I’m still a bit disappointed. I’m not against updating the uniform, but I am let down with the execution. For instance, there’s simply not enough contrast in the bolt logo when you have navy blue next to powder-blue next to yellow. On the old uniforms, you had yellow over blue over white, three very different colors that made the bolt stand out. Though this is not so bad on the helmets, the lack of contrasting colors really hurts the overall look of the jerseys. On the white away jersey, for example, the two blues next to the yellow make the lightning bolt look really small. The bolt is further diminished by the blue shoulder stripe. If you watch the video, the bolt is barely visible on big players like Hardwick and Osgood. The photo of Philip Rivers wearing the new away jersey also makes this problem very apparent.

Possible solutions to this problem would be to (1) add a white outline for additional contrast, (2) make the lightning bolt bigger, (3) make the shoulder stripe larger and go over the shoulder instead of around it, or (4) do away with the stripe altogether. A number of people on the Chargers forums have also pointed out that the shoulder lightning bolt has a different orientation on the powder-blue jersey than on the blue or white home/away jerseys. Fix the shoulder problem, and you’ll solve a lot of problems with the uniform’s look.

Other random thoughts. I’ve always liked the player numbers to be on the sleeves instead of the tops of the shoulders, so I won’t add anything there. The chest and back numbers look a little heavy-metal-ish to me, but I don’t mind it all that much. The white helmet looks nice with a lighter colored uniform, so it looks a bit out of place with the navy blue jersey.

As I said before in my previous post on the subject, I won’t mind the look of the uniforms so as long as we’re holding the Lombardi Trophy next season. We came this close to going to the big game last year; we’ve got to take the next step in the 2007-2008 season.

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