Monday, February 25, 2013

Volume 8, Number 3: WhatIwouldadone: The 2002 Buffalo Bills

As I write this, Uni-Watch honcho Paul Lukas is unwinding from his Daytona 500 trip, so I figure he'll need a couple more days to evaluate the several dozen entries he's received for the Redesign the Dolphins contest.  In the meantime, I've been working on a series of concepts.  These concepts represent what I would have done if certain logo/uniform tweaks were left to me (hence the name, WhatIwouldadone).  (Technically, you've already seen one example in the form of the Astros concept I did last year; last November, the Astros went with uniforms that look like something a high school team could replicate from the Eastbay catalog.)

The year: 2002.
The place: Buffalo, New York.

Situation: After 18 seasons with the uniforms they had been using, the Buffalo Bills decided it was time for a change.  Never mind that they won four AFC championships in the middle of that 18-season run.

Problem: The unis they went with (and proceeded to use for nine long years) were utter disasters that looked like rejects from the Canadian Football League.  Adding navy blue to the color scheme was bad enough.  Cluttering the uniform with all sorts of bad design elements--royal blue piping on the jerseys, colored shoulders on the road jerseys, stripes on the sides of the jerseys that didn't match the stripes on the sides of the pants, and adding two stripes to an already stripe-laden helmet--made things far worse.  The Bills, to their credit, ditched these duds in 2011, although they went back to using white helmets (which means back to QBs throwing INTs against other teams wearing white helmets--two of which are AFC East division rivals, the Jets and Dolphins).

Solution: I would have made tweaks to the 1984-2001 unis to correct issues I saw with that set.  When the Bills switched to red helmets in 1984, they did little more than peel the helmet logo decals off the old white helmets and stick them on red helmets.  If they were going to switch the helmet shells from white to red, they should have swapped the red and white elements on the helmet decals as well.  That's what I did in my concept (below).  The red streak on the charging buffalo didn't stand out much against the red background, so I made it white; I also got rid of the white outline.  Another problem was that the Bills now had helmets that were a different color than the jerseys and the pants.  It smacks of "cobbled together from garage sale leftovers."  So I made the blue jerseys on the home unis red, and made the blue pants on the road unis red as well.  (Consequently, I changed all red outlining to blue.)  I figure that going from blue jerseys to red would have a possible added bonus: more appeal to Buffalo's Canadian fans (Canada's flag, after all, is red and white).  As it happens, the Bills play a game in Toronto every now and then.

The only misgiving anyone might have is that this concept looks more like what the Kansas City Chiefs have been using for nearly five decades, but hey, anytime the Bills and Chiefs play each other, they could always use 1960s "throwback" unis to skirt that issue.

And there you have it... a "WhatIwouldadone" concept.  Other concepts I have in mind that you might be interested in: the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Knicks, the Washington Wizards, the Houston Rockets, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Washington Nationals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Nashville Predators, and the Phoenix Coyotes.

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