New Era gets passing grade with Ottawa’s new look

Photo Credit: Ottawa Redblacks

New Era has finally given R-Nation their first take on the Ottawa Redblacks uniforms, and it’s definitely an upgrade.

Despite becoming the league’s official supplier in 2019, the sports apparel company is only now putting their own spin on things thanks to COVID-19 delays.

We’ve known this was coming for some time; the new red third jersey leaked earlier this week and OSEG president and CEO Mark Goudie mentioned an entirely new set was coming back in June.

Now they’ve officially dropped.

Courtesy: Ottawa Redblacks

Overall, it’s a simple but clean look that still features the Redblacks’ unique notched numbers. The buzzsaw cuts in the upper right corner of each digit have become the Redblacks’ calling card and should be a staple of every jersey given how distinctive it is.

The black home look seems unchanged and that’s a good thing. It was solid to begin with and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Historically Ottawa’s teams have always had black as their main/primary colour and it’s good that still remains the case.

The biggest change — and sharpest look — are the new road whites. The promised plaid has been delivered. The jersey’s collar is plaid and there is more plaid running down each side. The red trim shoulders combine nicely with the red numbers and their black outlines.

The white pants will have some plaid too, as they continue the stripe running down the side of the jersey. In another change from previous road uniforms, instead of black, player names will now be in red. One of the reasons the plaid is such a nice touch is that without it, this jersey would have a very Calgary Stampeders feel.

Photo Credit: Ottawa Redblacks

In terms of the alternative look, this is the first time since the Signature Look in 2015 that Ottawa will have a third jersey. It certainly puts the “red” in “Redblacks.”

The all-black shoulders and black trim along the side panels make for a crisp look, especially when paired with the white numbers. In the past, certain Redblacks’ jerseys had featured some messy striping around the shoulders. This time around, that is not the case. “Less is more” seems to have been the mantra and it works.

Photo Credit: Ottawa Redblacks

All three uniforms will use red socks and black helmets. The home and alternatives have the word REDBLACKS across the chest but the road whites say OTTAWA. It’s not a big deal but personally I would’ve liked to see them pick and use a single word across all three.

At the end of the day, New Era has provided the Redblacks with an uncomplicated but striking look. R-Nation will be hoping that looking good translates to playing good in 2021.

Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).