The Jaguars have just unveiled their new uniforms (additional photos here and here). It usually takes a while before we can fully assess a new uni set, but here are some instant reactions, using Uni Watch's standard "Is it good or is it stupid?" rating scale:
The new logo: This was originally unveiled in February, but this is the first time we've seen it as part of the uniform. My initial response two months ago was that it was an upgrade, and I still think that today. Good.
The helmet: Woof! Nike and the Jags are trying to sell the notion that the helmet's two-tone effect -- black in the front, gold in the back -- is "innovative," but it's really just a failed gimmick. Also: During the unveiling, Nike executive Todd Van Horne repeatedly mentioned the theme of how a jaguar "hunts from the shadows" (you know, all predatory and such), but the helmet shows the Jags logo hunting from daylight and moving into the shadows. If they had reversed the color alignment -- gold in the front, black in the back -- at least it would make sense. But it would still be ugly. Stupid.
The black home jersey: The gold collar trim and the teal sleeves provide some welcome relief from all that black. The tone-on-tone panels around the shoulder area are unnecessary, and the chest patch (positioned over the heart, as a tribute to Jacksonville's military culture) makes things feel a bit cluttered, but this is still an upgrade over the previous look. Good enough.
The white road jersey: The black/gold trim on the uni numbers looks really, really good. Wish the sleeves and collar trim were teal instead of black, though. Good enough.
The teal alternate jersey: Would probably look great with gold numbers. But it has black numbers. Too bad. Stupid.
The font: Nike has created a custom font for the Jags. It's way too angular, but some of the numeral combinations form a cool interlocking effect. Need to see more number combinations before reaching a verdict, though. Incomplete.
The pants: Fairly straightforward. And getting rid of those whiskers (or whatever they were) on the sides is serious addition by subtraction. (Also worth noting: At the unveiling, they mentioned that the Jags would wear solid black at home -- in other words, black jerseys with black pants -- but one of the uniform models was wearing the black jersey with white pants. That's a much better look -- hope they go with it.) Good.
Overall: Not the worst uniform set in the world -- until the player straps on his helmet.
Paul Lukas thinks the Jags' uniforms from the Mark Brunell era are seriously, seriously underrated. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his daily Uni Watch web site, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.