The news rocketed through the Internets this week – the Vikings will introduce a redesigned uniform at their 2013 Draft Party at Mall of America Field on April 25. Ever since the team overhauled their look in 2006 (aka Year 1 of the Wilf Regime) traditionalists have been grumbling about their space-age clown suits that look like rejects from an Arena Football League catalog.
And let's face it – for the first 45 years in the Vikings' history, not much changed in their uniform set. Purple pants were briefly an option in the early 60s, the tint of the home jerseys seemed to lighten a bit over the years, and the stripes on the sleeve of the purple jerseys disappeared for a time. But that's about it. So a bit of resistance to the 2006 change was to be expected.
But rumors are swirling that the new look will bring the team closer to the throwback versions they've worn from time to time in the last seven years. You know, the uniforms that generally set Twitter ablaze with Vikings fans saying they should wear them every week.
Even though Nike is behind the redesign, the hope here is that the Vikings return to more of a classic look. If you can't wait until April 25, go to VikingsUniformInsider.com and sign up for an account that will allow you to leverage various forms of social media to earn sneak previews of the new uniforms.
Here's a quick list of changes one life-long Vikings fan would like to see:
1. Get rid of the swooshes. I know, it's Nike, but the contrasting panels on the sides of the jerseys and the horn-like stripes down the sides of the pants scream "branding opportunity." Solid purple, solid white, with traditional purple-and-gold stripes on the pants, please.
2. A darker shade of purple. The home jerseys look positively washed out compared to the glory days of the 1970s. Maybe they decided to lighten the tint when the team moved indoors, where the old lighting and dingy dome roof made every game feel like a night game, but come on – they're not the Lavender People Eaters. Besides, the current roof at the dome allows much more light to filter through, and they'll be outdoors for two seasons, so let's get back to the darker purple jerseys and helmets.
3. Gray facemasks. For 20 years, the team was fine with gray facemasks. They dabbled with white for five years, but they've been purple since the mid-80s. But the gray cages look so sweet with those throwback jerseys. Just bring them back full-time.
4. Black shoes. Did you know that the Vikings switched to white shoes in 1983? What else happened in 1983? Oh yeah … Les Steckel happened in 1983. The football gods clearly were not happy with the flashy footwear. The Wilfs brought back the black kicks in 2006, probably the only true improvement in that set of uniforms. Let's keep 'em.
5. No more purple pants, at least for home games. I realize this is more of a regulation on the usage of the uniform components, but if the choice is no purple pants or the possibility that the Vikings taking the field looking like a giant bruise, I'll go with the first option. If they promise to only wear purple pants with their white jerseys … OK, I'm down with it. But please, let's not repeat this ever again.
What changes do you want to see when the new uniforms are revealed on April 25? What do you like best and hate most about the different looks the Vikings have sported over the years? Leave your observations in the comments.
Patrick Donnelly is a Senior Editor at SportsData, a contributor to the 2012 Vikings Yearbook, and has covered the Vikings for FOXSportsNorth.com, Viking Update and the Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @donnelly612.
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