I am looking into Patriots jerseys and helmets of the future. This article dives into what may or may not be possible or probable for future alternate Patriots uniforms.
As basically everyone anywhere already knows, the New England Patriots have decided to bring back their beloved red throwback uniforms as an alternate uniform for the 2022 season. However, they allegedly delayed action on doing such until now, based on the NFL’s rule about alternate helmets, which would have made it impossible to bring the uniform back in its complete and proper glory.
Now that the rule has changed, some teams (including the Patriots) quickly dropped news about sick alternate uniforms, even though we are looking forward to classic red jerseys. So instead, we wanted to look even further ahead at possible future designs, should the Patriots consider other alternate uniform options in the coming years.
Over the last couple of weeks and months, we’ve seen some notable uniforms drop via social media. While most have been throwbacks to eras of teams’ pasts, some teams, such as the Carolina Panthers, drop some brand new team swag into the mix. Their all-black helmets announced this week put them into contention for the coolest alternate, as does the Cincinnati Bengals’ decision to add an all-white helmet to match their white-out color rush jerseys. Even the Washington Commanders made a splash with a new black-out alternate uniform that looks pretty sleek for a team that didn’t even have a name last season.
These brand-new jersey/helmet combos and alternate uniforms around the NFL could lead to some interesting experimentation and results over the coming years as NFL teams look to sell more jerseys and do their best to keep fans happy. Look at all the crazy uniforms in the present-day MLB and NBA… Unfortunately, there is a likely chance we’ll see the same trends continue in the NFL.
Most people don’t know this (I sure as hell didn’t), but there is a pre-existing alternate logo for the Patriots:
What do you think? I don’t think it’s very flattering, and from what I can tell, most people feel the same. This has been an official alternate since 2000, and it’s hard to imagine the Patriots dusting off this relic of graphic design for a future season, or ever really.
All the other official Patriots logos are variations of Pat the Patriot or the Flying Elvis. Except for one other symbol from the Patriots’ inaugural 1960 season, the mostly forgotten Tricorn Hat logo above that was worn along with the classic Patriots red.
I think if we’re going to see the Patriots explore either of these logos as an option, we’re more likely to see this helmet appear at some point alongside the traditional reds than to see the Patriots design a completely new uniform to fit the other logo in question. I still don’t think it’s a considerable possibility, though, leading me to believe we’ll probably be seeing something besides these two the next time the Patriots decide to drop a new alternate. We’re likely to see an updated variation of the Flying Elvis or Pat Patriot logo instead of anything new. It is unfortunate, but luckily, it still leaves plenty of exciting options outside of the logo itself.
One of my favorite helmet unveilings of the 11 teams who have dropped them is the Atlanta Falcons all red throwback helmet from 1966. If the Patriots decide to switch things up in future seasons, a red helmet would have to be a consideration to go along with the red throwbacks. An all-red uniform with red pants and a red helmet, with the right blue and white highlights, could undoubtedly be a sleek and practical alternate uniform of the Patriots’ future.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s imagined what it might be like if the Patriots somehow tried to force a black or some black-out uniform in the future. That’s certainly an intriguing thought, and if appropriately designed could certainly be possible. Still, I only see this happening in an instance where every team adopts an alternate black-out uniform (which would be sick, they really should). The Patriots likely won’t be dropping any sleek black helmets or uniforms anytime soon, but the optimist in me will never stop hoping they do.
Other Patriots Throwbacks
The forgotten and discarded uniforms people consider low-tier in Patriots history are still worth re-visiting in this discussion. My personal favorites are generally ranked very low on best Patriots uniforms lists. Those are the home blues that the Patriots wore only once during the 1993 season and the short-lived Flying Elvis Shoulder uniforms (1995-1999). I think either of these jerseys would be worth the alternate spot for a future Patriots season and would be regarded higher than they were initially based on the nostalgia factor alone. So we may see one or both of these jerseys appear as alternates somewhere in the future of New England Patriots football.
The red throwbacks announced this year are perfect and almost factually a top-5 throwback uniform. I’d even rank them second-best throwbacks behind only the famous Orange Creamsicle unis from Tampa Bay. They’ll be awesome to see again this season and hopefully in other upcoming seasons. One of my favorite parts of this offseason has been visiting the new alternates dropping from around the NFL, and I think most people have generally been enjoying the process.
With 21 teams left to announce possible alternates, plenty of new and innovative changes are coming to jerseys and uniforms throughout the NFL. It will be interesting to see if other teams make revolutionary changes regarding alternate uniforms. If anything unique catches on, most or all NFL teams will be vying for a piece of that action, and we’ll likely see more alternate uniforms popping up in the NFL for years to come.
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