So the nine CFL teams launched their adidas-made uniforms and apparel collections on Thursday and the redesigns ranged from the complete overhaul to minor tweaking. With that in mind, let’s rank how each team did with their new look.
Group 1: Big changes, big winners
1. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Changing their primary colour back to royal blue was a huge hit with fans in a market that appreciates tradition. This franchise feels like it needs a little reboot after a couple of tough years on the field and the trendy new jerseys had #Bombers trending in Winnipeg on Thursday. They should be flying off the shelves: too bad you can’t get them until June.
Group 2: Small changes, big money
2. The Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Riders made a few minor tweaks – moving to a solid green home jersey, a larger logo on the helmets – but generally kept the status quo. In other words, they made enough changes that everyone in the province will buy a new jersey (as required by Saskatchewan law) but managed to avoid pissing off the Pilsener Crazies by rolling out a completely new look. Looking forward to the all-black Chris Jones signature version coming soon.
Group 3: Didn’t do much, didn’t need to.
3. The Edmonton Eskimos
4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
5. Calgary Stampeders
The Esks and Ticats have iconic colour schemes and uniforms their fans seem to appreciate so sticking with the status quo made a ton of sense. The Stamps have a more modern look but didn’t see the need to make more than a few inconsequential alterations. Sometimes resisting the urge to get crazy just because you can is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Group 4: Taking the whole social media thing a step too far
6. Ottawa Redblacks
The rabid Redblacks fan base seems to like the team’s look just fine but the decision to the hashtag #RNation on the pants of the home jersey seems like one of those things that may feel weird and outdated before too long. And let’s hope the hashtag doesn’t get co-opted by Janet Jackson revivalists looking to resurrect Rhythm Nation or some other nefarious group.
Group 5: Should have done more and didn’t
7. Toronto Argonauts
8. Montreal Alouettes
The Argos have new ownership, a new stadium and are trying to woo a new fan base: what better time to roll out some revamped duds? The Blue Jays have done well going retro and the Double Blue missed a golden opportunity to re-introduce the “boat logo” and a little more baby blue to honour their return to the Exhibition area. As for Alouettes… meh before and meh now.
Group 6: Put down the crayons and just walk away
9 (or 1). The B.C. Lions
This re-design evoked two reactions, either people loved it or hated it. Vancouver is the land of hipster beards and pot dispensaries so it’s hardly surprising that the new Lions get up looks like the work of a fashion designer whose had one hash brownie too many. When adidas was announced as the new apparel sponsor, the fear was that every CFL uniform would like something like this.
So yeah, it could have been worse.