AFC South Nike Thoughts: Lateral Moves, Belt Loops, and One Large Collar
Nike didn’t get its talons too deep into the AFC South. While all four teams moved to the new Nike template, the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans kept their same looks from the previous season. The template, while supposedly lighter, provided some inherent issues along the belt and at the collar. Three teams took on Nike’s flywire technology in the collar, but the one that eschewed it took on something much worse. Let’s dive into it:
COLTS - While Indy is ringing in a new era with Peyton Manning out and Andrew Luck surely on the way in, the traditional Colt look stays. It’s all there: double shoulder loop, two blue stripes down the pants, white helmet, blue horseshoe, block numbers. With the Nike template, the Colts take on the flywire, but it doesn’t mess with the design as it stays the same color. At the belt, we encounter a problem each AFC South team but the Jaguars has. Nike’s extra padding and sectioning covers up the top of the forward pant stripe. Not a huge thing, but it does essentially cover up a design element. While Colts fans will be disappointed that the shoulder loops couldn’t be enlarged like they had hoped and seen with Nike client LSU, they can take solace in that they didn’t get any smaller either. The final change is a positive in the addition of sock stripes. A traditional and classic element that has been seen before on the Colts evens out any downside to the flywire or interrupted pant stripe.
JAGUARS - Jacksonville’s Nike transition is the most completely lateral of the AFC South. Take the uniform set the Jags have worn since 2009, add some flywire to the collar, and voila. The biggest things for the Jaguars are currently rumors. A black alternate is supposedly returning based on talk and a leak, but the alternates for the NFL will be released at each team’s discretion. The second rumor is that Jacksonville will be looking to change the uniform as soon as possible. The NFL has a five-year change rule in place, so the earliest that could be done would be 2014. Until then, enjoy Los Angel- err, last pla- err, teal. Enjoy the teal, Jags fans!
TEXANS - Oh, Houston. Nike’s template was not nice to you. The Texans couldn’t avoid the pant stripe interruption at the belt, and despite saying no to the flywire, their collar seems to have taken on water and swelled to a large proportion. While the general look for the Texans is intact, the simple fill in of the collar panels like they did with Reebok did not translate to Nike. The collar section on Nike’s was wider to accommodate the flywire that Houston did not receive. It’s unfortunate, because the Texans really do have a great look. However, if Andre Johnson happens to fall overboard in a full football uniform, he will seem to have a life preserver around his neck.
TITANS - Tennessee gets filed into the lateral move department as well. The Titans fell victim to the Nike template with the belt/stripe issue and added the flywire to the collar. The collar has also been slightly changed with the navy blue not extending around the front. The navy now stops at the shoulder panels, while the neck area remains columbia blue. I actually think this improves the look ever so slightly. There has been talk that this look will be seen more than it has in previous years with a scale back of its navy blue counterpart.
If the Texans can find a way to cure that poncho around their neck, the AFC South is in good standing aesthetically.
- Zach Cavanagh