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.
The signing of Greg Jennings by the Minnesota Vikings represents decent value, even if you think five years and $48 million is fairly pricey. Face it, that's the market for wide receivers of his ilk. It's a more palatable contract than the five-year, $60 million deal that Mike Wallace signed for in Miami. It's also easier to swallow than the five-year, $56 million deal that Dwayne Bowe signed for in Kansas City this offseason or the five-year, $55.6 million Vincent Jackson was given by Tampa Bay last offseason.
The signing of Greg Jennings by the Minnesota Vikings represents decent value, even if you think five years and $48 million is fairly pricy. Face it, that's the market for wide receivers of his ilk. It's a more palatable contract than the five-year, $60 million deal that Mike Wallace signed for in Miami. It's also easier to swallow than the five-year, $56 million deal that Dwayne Bowe signed for in Kansas City this offseason or the five-year, $55.6 million Vincent Jackson was given by Tampa Bay last offseason.
I was plugging away at our palatial SportsData offices late this morning when NFL insider Adam Schefter appeared on SportsCenter telling ESPN's audience that the Vikings were in serious talks with the Seahawks about a trade involving Percy Harvin for draft picks. Not 10 minutes later my Tweetdeck feed blew up with reports that the deal was done, pending a physical.
Well done, Rick Spielman.
We'll likely never have all of the insider details around the Vikings' choice to trade Percy Harvin, but if it absolutely had to happen, the Purple did well in netting a sizable return for the dynamic, multi-faceted All-Pro.
Harvin brings a different skill set to the table than a typical NFL wide receiver, but prior to a deal being done, we still had to gauge his trade value against recent history. A few weeks ago, I told fellow VikesCentric bloggers Bo Mitchell and Patrick Donnelly that people were crazy to think we'd even get a first-round pick for Percy.
>>In March 2012, the Bears acquired Brandon Marshall from the Dolphins in exchange for two third-round picks.
>>In October 2011, the Rams acquired Brandon Lloyd from the Broncos for a conditional sixth-round pick (turned into a fifth). Lloyd led the NFL in receiving yards in 2010.
>>In April 2011, the Jets acquired Santonio Holmes from the Steelers for a fifth-round pick. Holmes had 79 catches and 1,248 yards in 2010.
>>In March 2010, the Dolphins acquired Marshall from the Broncos in exchange for two second-round picks.
>>In March 2010, the Ravens acquired Anquan Boldin from the Cardinals in exchange for a third-round and a fourth-round pick.
Again, I understand that Harvin possesses a unique package of talents beyond just being a pass-catcher and is still headed into his prime years. But he also carries off-field baggage and a reported desire to sign a $16.5 million/year contract (or something close to that) in the very near future.
Given all that came with Harvin (good and bad) and given recent NFL history with notable wide receiver trades, Vikings fans should at least be pleased that the squad received a first-rounder (2013), a seventh-rounder (2013), and a mid-round pick (2014).
With free agency set to get underway on Tuesday at 3 p.m. the speculation and rumors have started percolating. More than anything, Vikings fans would love to see the team address their most glaring need: a wide receiver that could, you know, get open and catch the ball and stuff. Whether Percy Harvin is on the team next year or gets sent packing via trade, the Vikes need a wide receiver or two. Or three. It is highly likely they'll draft at least one wideout, but free agency would offer more immediate help.
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