Friday, June 25, 2010

Dallas Cowboys Uniform Change Crisis!!!

The Chinese word for "crisis" equates to "danger + opportunity".

B/c of HDTV, the Dallas Cowboys are looking into tweaking the shade of their metallic green pants:

"When fans go to our home games in person the No. 1 grief we hear about is the green pants," says Cowboys vice president of merchandising Bill Priakos. "Now we're hearing it from fans watching on TV because of HD. It's too realistic."

On old-school TV, Cowboys' green came across silver. On HD TV, Cowboys' green comes across, well, green.

The solution might be a rare, subtle uniform tweak.

"Nothing's set in stone," Priakos says. "But we want the pants to look silver, to be consistent to every fan no matter if they're at the game or watching on TV, whether we're home or on the road. Of course, we'll never change the home white jerseys or the helmets, but we're experimenting with some different shades in the pants."

It is dangerous to tweak classic uniforms -- it would be iffy even if genius Hall of Fame GM Tex Schramm were doing the tweaking.

An aside:

<== Note the blue jersey, courtesy of the great Texas E. Schramm:

it is the greatest shade of blue ever worn by the Cowboys. It is dark, dark, dark, and yet, seemingly impossibly: also bright!

Note the super shiny silver pants, also courtesy of Tex Schramm.

This combo was uniform greatness. I mourn it's passing.

Southern Brother is a uniform professional. Read his insider details about how Tex Schramm assembled this uniform.

Having Jerry Jones do the uniforms tweak scares me to death. When Jerry Jones first bought the team, he wanted to change the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders costumes. A man like that lacks fashion sensibility. He builds a great stadium, but he needs to step away from the fabric.

Dallas Cowboys white uniforms are plain, with quirkiness. Much of the quirkiness has to do with mishmashed colors which are especially designed for television effect: the navy on the helmets does not match the true blue of the jersey numerals does not match the more royalish blue of the stockings; the metallic silver of the helmet does not match the metallic green of the pants.

The white uniforms are classics because we've more or less been looking at the same uniforms for 50 years. Both the plainness and the quirks have become part of American folklore. Are the Yankees uniforms fancy? No, they are plain, and they've become folklore. Dodgers uniforms? Plain, and they've become folklore. Green Bay Packers uniforms? Plain, and they've become folklore.

If you change the Dallas Cowboys uniforms more than the tiniest and most innocuous tweak: you risk losing folklore status and being left with plain uniforms which are nothing special and which do not set anyone's heart racing when they gaze upon them.

What of the quirks in the Dallas Cowboys uniform? Nowadays, b/c we are familiar with the quirks, the quirks enjoy "so ugly they are pretty" status. However, damage the folklore status and the quirks become merely "ugly." Yuck.

I will not stand against the idea of tweaking the color. The pants color has actually been tweaked several times over the decades. I do say this: the tweak must be handled with great sensitivity, taste, discretion, vision for the future. Less is more; exactly or closely matching uniform colors are overrated. You want a look to which the eye is attracted, i.e. an aesthetically pleasing look, and do not need exact matching colors to achieve this objective. Blending and contrasting several colors - pulling the colors together in a way which is pleasing to the eye, can easily be a superior option. The Cowboys whites would lose something if the blended colors were too closely or too exactly matched. The Cowboys whites would become undistinctive; bland. They would become - shudder! - common.

A crisis moment. Danger + Opportunity. I'm completely nervous.

Related End Zone:


Bro 64 said...

Cowboys uniform shade changes that must happen:

1. The pants must change colors. The green tint is ridiculous. They need to experiment with two dozen different shades that are a combo of metallic silver and khaki, and have knockout rounds of voting until they settle on exactly the right mix. Look at the Detroit Lions as a cautinary tale; somehow their subtle shade of silver does not work, and seems to wimpy. The Cowboys need to look at the khaki influenced colors of the 1960's era Cowboys teams, and play with those palettes.

2. The uniform numbers must change colors. The color of the star and stripe on the helmet is perfect, and must never change, but the color of the uniform number must be darker to approximate the same shade. It's so ridiculous that the color of the number does not even match the color of the stripe on the arm of the same jersey!

3. The color of the socks must be darkened to match the same blue used elsewhere.

4. I don't mind the alternate jersey that Jerry is so proud of, and it's more common near navy blue shade. But, the best Cowboys away uniforms ever were the Tony Hill picture unis, and they need to return to those unis and wear that electric midnight blue shade at least once or twice per year. They should even throw in a blue jersey game for one home game/year.

Bro 64

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think relying on referendum, as Bro64 proposed, is a good idea. Just from this dialog we already see 2 opposite opinions: Greg think the various shades of blue should stay, Bro64 - that they should be exchanged for one. There will be as many opinions as there are fans.

Somebody should listen to all proposals and then make one final, firm executive decision - or the problem will never be resolved. I've done hundreds of color scheme presentations, and that's the lesson I learned. Generally: don't give the client 5 or 10 variations, he'll never stop selecting. Give him 2 and highlight pros and cons of each in clear language.

In this case I actually like the silver-moss color of the pants. The green is very different from the grass-green of the field, so there is no danger of "dissolving" on the screen. Overall, it's a good, solid, classical 3-color cool scheme: white, dark blue and cool teal/bluish-silver-green. (like Eton Blue, or a shade darker from Tea Green in this simplified classification)

But it could be made more metallic, of course, w/o making the color completely unrecognizable.

gcotharn said...

Bro 64 and Tatyana,

If I could have hand picked two commenters for this post, it would have been you two: a uniform afficianodo, and an actual professional.

I have come to appreciate the different shades of dark blue in the uniform. It's subtle, quirky, and I like it - I like the aesthetic.

I have wished the Cowboys, re pants, would go more in a beige/tan/khaki direction which hearkens to classic football pants of 70 and 80 years ago, as can be seen at this link. However, b/c the Cowboys are never going to go that direction, and b/c the metallic green has grown on me, and b/c Tatyana makes a good professional case for it's appropriatenss, therefore I would be happy if the Cowboys kept the pants somewhere in the metallic green family. As Bro 64 mentions re Lions silver pants which match the helmet: when wearing silver pants which closely match a helmet, there is real danger of having the uniform be common; real danger of the uniform lacking zest, lacking notable elements. Kansas State is an example: I like their uniform and their silver pants pretty well, yet the uniform is not memorable - it is common. I don't want the Cowboys to take what are currently iconic uniforms and change them into something plain and common and not particularly memorable.

gcotharn said...

Links to classic football pants - these were khaki/beige in color:

George Clooney! The man must be 100 years old - Hollywood plastic surgery is amazing.

gcotharn said...


Your color chart is amazing. The Cowboys would never do it, but I think Medium Spring Bud - if it could be muddled a bit (or made metallic?) - is in range of what I wish they would do. Medium Spring Bud is sort of a melding of Tea Green and Sand. It would be distinctive, would hearken to both traditional football pants and the Cowboys metallic green (Tea Green) pants of the last decades.

Anonymous said...

Med. Spring Mud is an interesting choice; it's a complex color - not too obviously yellow nor brown, at the same time it has a distinct cool bluish undertone. But the white and the blues in existing uniform will need to be reconsidered to be in harmony with Med. Spring Mud...unless it'd made a bit more greenish, by adding a tad of cool blue.
Metallic should be present as a sheen, not as "mirror" finish - or it'll add "plastic", cheap effect, as Chinese $1 toys.

I'm sure, all these suggestions will be taken in consideration by the Owner! He's just dying to get everyone's input...

gcotharn said...

Yes: I am certain the owner will listen to our opinions!

I say: green up the Medium Spring Bud via adding a tad of cool blue!

I think I am a troglodyte nerd. Being a cave man male, I never realized colors were so complex and (lol) artistic! Being a nerd, I find the nuance to be interesting. I claim a new description of certain men: Troglo-nerds.