The Cleveland Browns unveiled new duds on Tuesday that look like they came from a junior varsity consignment shop. Unfortunately for the Browns, they face opponents from the AFC North, and not the Lake Erie League, this coming season.
The orange appears less burnt and more bright. The numbers look three dimensional with one numeral staggered over the same character in a different color. Nike inscribed the words “Dawg Pound” behind the neck of the jerseys to show the players that the fans always have their backs. Most distinctively, the Browns, unlike every other NFL franchise, announce their city’s name on the front of their jerseys. Opposing offensive linemen will grab a handful of “Cleveland” on every snap.
“There’s that connection here that’s unique in the NFL,” Pro Bowler Joe Thomas explained. “I think the name of the city on the front is pretty awesome. And I think it kind of helps convey to the players that this city is really a part of the team, more than any other city in the country.”
Jim Brown, the star player on the last Cleveland franchise to win a championship, judges the new uniforms as “fantastic.”
The franchise says it spent two years working with Nike to come up with the design. Like Johnny Manziel, the team that employs him might want to reassess priorities.
The new uniforms briefly made Browns fans forget that their supposed franchise quarterback just graduated from rehab, their all-world receiver sits through his prime in part because he likes to burn joints more than defensive backs, and the team hasn’t won a playoff game since before Art Modell ever uttered the words “Baltimore Ravens.” Oh, yeah, and the Browns fired Bill Belichick and spent first-round picks on Brady Quinn, Brandon Weedon, and Tim Coach. But at least their nine different uniform combinations beats every other team in the league.