Give the NFL and Nike credit. No one has mastered marketing and hype quite like the protectors of "The Shield" and "The Swoosh." And so it came to pass Tuesday, that at a grand unveiling ceremony in New York City, the NFL and Nike lifted the curtain on their new 2012 uniforms.

So much excitement. So much anticipation.

I even received an invitation to the event late last month, with Nike trying to get as much media to attend the event as possible. The shoe company even offered to provide travel and accommodations if needed.

You could almost feel the hype sucking us toward the Big Apple. The NFL universe had another grand story. And yet on Tuesday when the Vikings’ new wardrobe was unveiled, a head-on view shown in this Tweet, it was hard to see much difference at all in the unis. (And no, the Star Tribune was not present for the big show.)

For those into the minute details of fashion, here (via the Nike website) is a full Vikings uni photo gallery which will show you all the little style particulars that you’ll never notice when watching games on Sunday this fall.

Purple cleats? You don’t say. A stripe change on the pants? Whoa!

Here now is Nike’s descriptions of the key features of these new Elite 51 uniforms.

  • LIGHTER - The Nike jersey and pant, wet or dry are lighter than previous versions
  • FLYWIRE TECHNOLOGY - Eliminates layers, reduces weight, and provides lockdown fit
  • ZONED MESH VENTILATION – Provides cooling zones for optimal thermoregulation
  • ZONED STRENGTH - High tenacity, stretch material, for lightweight lockdown strength.
  • CUT FOR MOBILITY – Four-way stretch, hydrophobic materials enable range of motion wet or dry.
  • STRETCH TWILL NUMBERS – Four-way stretch even on numbering system
  • CUSTOMIZABLE BASELAYER PADDING – Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong baselayer with integrated lightweight, Deflex padding offering customizable flexible protection.
  • DEFLEX PADDING - Lightweight, flexible impact protection integrated into top “hit zone” areas
  • ALUMINUM D-RING BELT - Aircraft-grade aluminum D-ring belt reduces weight.

Yep, the NFL knows how to stay in the center of the sports conversation all right. And Nike is bound to make a killing in sales on team merchandise going forward. It's just hard to say whether the grand show put on Tuesday had much substance.

If you'd like to see the "new" looks of all 32 teams, provides a glimpse here.

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