So you're watching football yesterday, and something doesn't feel quite right. Sure, there is all of the pink accessories for breast cancer awareness, but that's easy enough to spot, and they've been doing it every October for years now.
No, there's something else that feels just a little bit different, something subtle and nuanced, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Are you imagining it?
No, you're not. The officiating crews -- you know, the real ones, not the replacements -- had a new typeface on their jerseys. The new font, called Orbit, is used by the NFL in various aspects of its branding program, but this is the first time it's appeared on the field.
This means that the NFL season, which is only 5 weeks old, already has seen three different officiating uniforms:
• The replacements wore the traditional block number font with no position designations.
• When the real zebras came back for Week 4, their jerseys carried the same block font, but with position designations.
• And then yesterday they wore jerseys with the new font.
So what do you think of the new typeface? The feeling here is that it isn't bad per se, but it doesn't feel very football-ish. Also, it looks sleek and modern, while a lot of the officials are middle-aged and stodgy, so it's not a good fit.
And hey, officials are supposed to look middle-aged and stodgy -- that's part of how they project an air of authority. Trying to make them look hip and cool, even if only with a typeface, is like trying to make your dad or grandfather look cool. Better to just let them look stodgy and leave it at that.