Comparing The Rams And Chargers Uniforms
As of today, both LA-based NFL teams have new threads. The Chargers dropped in late April and the Rams on May 13th. It is no coincidence that both teams made an effort to redefine their look. Both are set to move into SoFi Stadium this season and both are ready to sink roots into the foundation of Los Angeles, even if those roots are from astroturf.
I’m sure some very expensive PR people convinced both teams they absolutely had to tweak this or that to lock into their new LA fan base. And maybe they are right. Whoever heard of a Skol Chant before the Vikings moved into US Bank Stadium? But now it is inseparable from the team and the fans.
Interestingly, the two teams most synonymous with LA are transplants. The Lakers from Minneapolis and the Dodgers from Brooklyn. Minnesota is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” and the Dodgers were originally called the Trolley Dodgers because Brooklyn was lousy with Trolleys. LA is more known for pumping water into the city than any particular body of water and there hasn’t been a trolley in LA since 1963. Get it? Those teams didn’t even bother to ingratiate themselves to LA with a new name. All they did was win. But we live in a new age, so the Rams and Chargers have spiffy new uniforms.
Firstly, it must be pointed out how poorly this Rams’ rollout was handled. The Rams’ new logo was leaked prematurely, which resulted in the fan base throwing up in their mouths, or at least the Twitter version of that. Second, they decided to keep the logo and announced they would be coming out with new uniforms in the near future. Which is like sucker-punching your little brother then telling him you were going to really give him a beat down soon. But the Rams released the uniforms and to quote Tony Kornheiser of PTI, “It doesn’t make me sick, as I feared it would.”
Despite my and Tony’s fears, the Rams uniforms aren’t bad. All in all, they released four versions, all of which look fine. Did they make any marked improvements? Not really. They are all just fine. Except one. The all-white or as they are calling it “bone.” They really nailed it. It’s great and should be worn at every home game and they should parlay that into a “white-out” home crowd scenario as the Winnipeg Jets did in the 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The royal blue jersey features gradient numbers, which feels unnecessarily gimmicky.
The big miss is changing the most iconic helmet in NFL history. So many cliches to use here; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, don’t mess with success, don’t switch horses in midstream, etc. Even a move to St. Louis didn’t affect the horns. The new horn belongs in one of the defunct semi-pro start-up leagues, not the NFL. I also think there was room to add a white horned helmet.
It’s very apparent that the Rams tried hard to keep the traditional Rams look, but also giving it a fresh new spin. Which is a hard balance to strike. Some teams, even when moving, don’t adjust anything. Look at the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. And there are well-established teams that go in a whole new direction, like the Titans or Ravens. In terms of forging a new identity, picking one lane or the other would be more effective than trying to split the difference.
The Chargers, on the other hand, nailed every aspect of this. They were able to strike a good balance between classic and modern. They reached into the past for elements, such as adding numbers to their helmets, but the lightning bolt added to the pants brings the right amount of modern.
They release two home sets, and two away sets that are essentially what the Chargers wore in the ’70s, different combinations of powder blue, gold and white. They also released two color rush sets. One, an all navy, feels like an homage to the ’90s, but not similar enough to force fans to relive Super Bowl XXIX. The navy is also the only set that looks tough and mean, perfect for night games with a big rival. The other color rush uniform is royal and gold. Almost like they are taunting the Rams. They did the Rams better than the Rams did the Rams.
The Chargers used the tagline “The best just got better” and while I agree with them that they have had the best look in the league by far the team is facing major changes and this aesthetic one is the least of their worries. They might not know who exactly will replace Philip Rivers, but they do know he will look snappy doing it.