LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Rams have the team, guided by the coach, while playing in the city -- but they still don't have the uniforms.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans have all unveiled new uniforms this offseason, but the Rams' look has remained status quo -- a clunky concoction of what remains from St. Louis and what might lie ahead in Los Angeles.
Jerseys are a big deal, here and everywhere. And in L.A., Rams fans are really only satisfied with the laundry during those rare times when their team wears throwback, blue-and-yellow uniforms, a nod to the prior stint in L.A. that has proven to be far easier on the eyes. On other weeks, the Rams simply don't match. Their jerseys have gold, but their pants and helmets do not. It looks off, and it's even worse when they're forced to switch from white to blue jerseys on the road.
The Rams know this, and, well, they're working on it. But it takes time, and there isn't a whole lot they can do about it now. Fans will have to stomach the current incarnation of uniforms for at least one more season. The Rams might announce more details about this process at some point this summer. In the meantime, here are answers to some questions about a topic that continues to seem pressing in this market.
When are the new uniforms coming out?
Either in 2019 or 2020. That has not been firmed up. The original plan was to roll them out in 2019, because that's when the new stadium was set to open. But then that stadium got delayed a year, and now the Rams are staring at two options with their new uniforms. They can unveil them as soon as possible, to quickly rid themselves of a uniform combination that clashes. Or they can wait to roll everything out in concert with the opening of an opulent new facility that they will share with the Los Angeles Chargers. A complete rebranding, if you will. The Rams see benefits with both options.
Where are the Rams in their process?
They are working with the NFL and with Nike, specifically going through branding exercises. That's how this typically works. Teams first define what they will stand for, basically, and sometimes rally behind a catch phrase ("Rise Up" by the Atlanta Falcons, for example). From that, the logo and the colors will sprout, uniforms and other apparel serving as the visual extension of it all. Everything remains on the table for the Rams, whether it's a tweak in the logo or a change in the color scheme. In L.A., fans are clamoring for an incorporation of blue and yellow. But blue and white might also be in the mix. It's hard to see the Rams venturing outside of that.
Why didn't they just change them already?
The Rams didn't begin the process of overhauling their uniforms until they arrived in L.A. in 2016. They were basically starting from scratch, with 2019 being their earliest target. In the meantime, the Rams have done their best to get rid of the gold that was a staple of their days in St. Louis. Last season they went to retro blue-and-white helmets and blue-and-white pants, with fans voting on the color of the facemask and the number of stripes along the side.
But the NFL doesn't allow them to change their jerseys because that would constitute the uniform rebranding that they are undergoing for 2019 or 2020 (teams can only change their uniforms once every five years).
Another question is why the Rams didn't simply have new uniforms in place by the time they moved out to L.A., rather than wait until a new stadium opens. That's fair. But keep in mind that a uniform overhaul tends to be a multi-year process. The Rams would've probably had to begin that process before knowing when -- if ever -- they were relocating from St. Louis. They weren't given a three-year wait like the one the Oakland Raiders have with Las Vegas.
What's new for this year?
As of now, the Rams will stick with the same uniform combination. At home, it isn't much of a problem. They go with white jerseys, on which the gold is understated. It's a pretty clean look when matched with the blue-and-white pants and the blue-and-white helmet. On the road, it's only really a problem when they are forced to wear their blue jerseys, which feature a lot of gold and look bad with the new helmets and pants.
Home teams choose their uniforms, but the Rams only had to wear their blue jerseys -- a function of the home team wearing white jerseys -- on two occasions in 2017. In Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys, they wore all blue and looked ridiculous. For Week 6 against the Jaguars, they instead paired white pants with their blue jersey. It looked better, but only slightly. Fans are just going to have to deal with it a little longer.