It’s not new uniforms, but Broncos will wear a new uniform combination
Despite what Nathaniel Hackett said Monday, not everything for the Broncos is “status quo.”
With a four-game losing streak and their worst scoring offense in 30 years, the Broncos will wear a uniform combination that they have never donned: white jerseys with blue pants.
It’s a look that some players demonstrated in training-camp practices. With a slew of players following Russell Wilson and wearing uniform pants for non-full-pad days, fans got a glimpse of what it might look like this summer.
White top. Blue pants.
Debuting in London. 👀 pic.twitter.com/oJCqsdhbJf
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 26, 2022
Until now, the Broncos only wore blue pants with their blue jerseys. The blue pants made their debut in the 1997 preseason. They returned for the first time in the regular season in 2003.
It was the idea of some players, team president Damani Leech told a group of reporters Wednesday.
“We have flexibility in our tops and our bottoms, and that was one thing they pointed out they had not been able to do, and wanted the opportunity to do it,” Leech said.
Indeed, the NFL does not regulate pants choice as it does jerseys. This is in large part due to the fact that jersey sales are a massive part of NFL marketing. Pants, meanwhile, are not made available for wide sale, although used pants can often be found on eBay.
With that freedom, Leech said, “Why not?”
“And we said, ‘Well, look. We’re going to London. They drive on the opposite side of the road. We can flip our pants and see how it goes,'” Leech explained.
Some immediately roasted it.
Paul Lukas of uni-watch.com, a longtime chronicler of sports attire, headlined this as the “worst look ever.”
There's a good reason why the team has never worn white over navy, but that's not stopping them from debuting this historically bad uni combo. https://t.co/PYCMsJGrTa
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 26, 2022
He added: “It looks even worse than the team’s usual combos. The whole thing feels very, very high school.”
There’s a reason why the Broncos have never worn this combination before: the side panels on the jersey and pants. When the Broncos unveiled their current uniform template in 1997, the side panels were considered forward-thinking and innovative.
In the eyes of some — this reporter included — time has proven otherwise. Contrasting side panels did proliferate through all levels of football for a little over a decade after the Broncos unveiled them. But as the 2010s progressed, sleeker designs became more fashionable. The contrasting side panels — which look like swooshes — became passe.
That said, a general concept of the uniform was for the side panels to match between jersey and pants. This was supposed to tie the uniform together.
By wearing pants with a different-color side panel than the jersey, that concept vanishes.
But, hey, when you have the league’s worst record over the last 11 regular-season weeks and the NFL’s most punchless scoring offense, you might as well try anything.