Sunday, August 24, 2014

NFL Helmet Rankings Part 2


17 and 18. Rams and Eagles

What's Sort of to Like:
- The Rams and Eagles are essentially going for the same thing here, which is the "3D effect on a 2D plane" design. It's a tricky thing to pull off, and each team does reasonably well with the idea
- I'm a fan of the ram horns and the cool spiral that it makes in 2D. The eagle wings have a decent visual effect as well, if we're willing to look past the fact that real eagles don't have wings coming out of their heads.
- Both teams got caught up in the uniform futurization movement near the start of the 2000s and ended up darkening the shade of the team colors in the process. The older, brighter versions were better in both cases. Philly would do well to consider going back to the silver face masks.

19. Seahawks

What's Nice and Mediocre, and Probably a Sign of Things to Come:
- This isn't the Seahawks' fault, but out of my mini helmet collection, this is the least accurate rendering. The seahawk is so disproportionately large that I had to double check to make sure the real thing doesn't actually look like that.
- In 2012, the Seahawks kicked off what I believe will be a new wave of uniform futurization (the last one was started by the Broncos right before they won their first Super Bowl. It's fitting that the Seahawks also won their first Super Bowl shortly after making the switch ).
- It takes the full uniform to really appreciate it, but Seattle seems to be looking to create an "Oregon of the NFL" vibe with their flashier new uniforms. The helmet is actually the least flamboyant of the updated uniform.
- I suspect that the mini-checkerboard stripe down the center of the helmet is something that will be often copied when other NFL teams have undergo the next round of makeovers in the next 5 years or so.

20. Packers

What's Only Ranked This High Because of a Long and Proud Tradition:
-It's hard to be all that objective when ranking a team that I've heavily disliked for the past 20 years. With that said, this 'classic' helmet is doesn't do it for me. However, they've kept the same design for over 50 years now, and I know that the locals absolutely love the look.
-Points taken away for the 'cheese and basil' color scheme, points added because these things were straight up yellow until 1960. A small improvement is still an improvement.
-Points added for the Georgia Bulldogs stealing the G logo, points taken away since Georgia's red and black helmets look way better.

21. Patriots

What's Disappointing:
- I'll be the first to admit that the helmets the Patriots had up until the early 90s just don't hold up to 21st century sensibilities. Even so, it's tough to transition from this to the current model. You have a Revolutionary War era caricature that was oozing with character, and you throw it all away for something that looks like it was designed by a high school kid having a little fun in Intro to Graphic Design class.
- The colonist on the logo looks like a mix between Elvis Presley and  Power Line from "A Goofy Movie".
- Helmets with no stripe going down the center creep me out a little bit.

22. Broncos

What's Not Even Cutting Edge Anymore:
- In 1997, the Broncos came out with brand new helmets and uniforms, with a type of design that the NFL had never seen before. They didn't look all that good, but they were a trendsetter that numerous other teams around the league followed; the colors got darker, the colors and stripes on uniforms changed, and the logos became all corporate.
- The aging John Elway looked terrible with the new look, but the Broncos went on to win Super Bowls in each of their first two seasons in the new helmets. The first wave of futuristic designs took off, and the Bucs, Eagles, Rams, Bills and Falcons (along with the newly created Titans and Ravens) followed suit.
- By 2014, nothing about this helmet looks cutting edge or futuristic.
- Remember these?

23. Chargers 

What's the Best Way to Ruin an Awesome Lightning Bolt Logo:
- The Chargers have a lot going for them in the uniform department: standard blue and gold colors, a logo that remains cool in any decade, and not one but two shades of blue that they look really good in. But the white helmets...
- A lightning bolt looks good with a navy blue backdrop. It looks good with a powder blue backdrop. It looks fantastic with a black backdrop. But WHITE? When do you ever see lightning on a bright day?
- They've done this so well with blue colored helmets, yet pick the one team color combination that isn't going to look good for their helmets. At the very least they could have the face masks be powder blue.

24. Texans

What's Actually Kind of Decent, Given a Lack of Material to Work With:

- I'm not going to sit here and say that the Texans helmet is 'good' by any stretch of the definition, but seeing as they are a very recent addition to the league and have a highly ambiguous team name, they're doing the best with what they have.
- My main complaint is that they have a mostly blue logo that's placed on top of an otherwise entirely blue helmet. This is probably the only helmet in the league that I think would look better if they changed the color to white.
- The cow head that also is kind of shaped like the state of Texas isn't horrible.
- With a small flip of the colors, they could have the logo also reflect the state's recent voting trends in national elections. 75 percent of the fans would love it, and it would give a nice local connection to the design.

25. Bills

What's Yet Another White Helmet That Should Be a Different Color:
- Anything that's to be said about the Chargers awesome logo and underachieving helmet can also be said about the Bills.
- That face mask has no business being gray.
- I look at the old red version of this exact same helmet and think of four straight Super Bowl appearances. I see these, and think 'Ryan Fitzpatrick'. Lots of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

26. Cardinals

What's White and Gray, and Red All Over:
- Here we have a plain white helmet with a a side view of an ill-tempered bird's head. This is basically just the inverse of the Baltimore Ravens helmet (that's not a compliment).
- Their home city is named after a different red bird than the one on the helmet. "A new city will spring phoenix-like upon the ruins of a former civilization". Yeah, but let's be the Cardinals instead.
- Wasted opportunity to have a red helmet with a golden fire/phoenix silhouette as the logo. The oldest professional football club in the United States deserves better.

27. Vikings

What's Not to Like:
- If the Vikings' helmet logo were part of a Rorschach test, you're either going to see some type of drinking gourd or an oversized sperm. You're not seeing Viking horns.
- This is what a failed "3D effect on a 2D plane" looks like.
- Purple helmet with a different shade of purple face mask?

28. Ravens- In its current state, the Ravens helmet is bland, unoriginal, and depressing. If anything, it's too much of a connection to their home city for me.

What Could Quickly Turn This Into a Much Better Helmet:
- Option #1: Take the bird off and go with a plain black helmet. That should piss off the Cleveland Browns.
- Option #2: Only have the bird on one side of the helmet. That should piss off the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- After all, isn't the entire point of the Ravens' existence just to piss off the Browns and the Steelers?

29. Titans

What's Not to Like:
-The team name makes no sense and has no connection to the city. It's hard to have a good helmet when that's the case. If they don't mind having a nickname with no connection to the city, they could have held on to the name Oilers and at least kept the greatest white helmet in NFL history.
- Why is the logo a comet? Titans don't have anything to do with comets, unless we're talking about Titan, the moon on Saturn that also isn't a comet.

30. Falcons

What's Not to Like:
- The designers are trying way too hard with that F/Falcon in flight. The old version of this logo was pretty weak as well, requiring a stretch in the imagination to look like either an F or a falcon.
- This updated version of the logo is much more obviously an F, but it still doesn't look any better.
- How to fix: what about a football version of the Atlanta Hawks Pacman logo? They could keep the same traditional black logo and white outline, but instead of the F, have a falcon's head within a football shaped oval.

31 Jaguars

What's Not to Like:
- I have a feeling that the Jaguars are well aware of the derivative and uninspired nature of these helmets. The problem is, they don't have the slightest idea how to fix it, and neither do I.
- Spilling gold paint over the back side of the helmet did nothing to help. Denard Robinson shouldn't have to be subjected to this.
- Teal instead of black (or gradient gold and black) is the best I can come up with.

32. Buccaneers

What's Not to Like:
- It's baffling that the Bucs were able to take the ugliest uniforms in the NFL and make them even worse, not once, but two times!
- They couldn't improve upon having Robin Hood's evil twin as the helmet logo??
- The current adjusted skull & crossbones is lifted directly from the Raiders.
- I'm sorry, but the XFL died 13 years ago.

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