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Commentary: NFL’s new Nike uniforms impress players and fans

Courtesy of MCT

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When you look good, you feel good. For players in the NFL, perhaps this can also translate to: when you look good, you play good.

All 32 NFL teams got a new Nike-designed look for the 2012-2013 season. Nike representatives said the change, for most teams, was more about what’s on the inside than the outside.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave his opinion to the crowd before introducing the new uniforms modeled by NFL players in a New York fashion show April 3 in Brooklyn.

“I love them, first because it starts with the performance side … talking to the players, they don’t wanna take them off,” Goodell said.

The Nike Elite 51 Uniform centers on providing internal modifications, such as lighter fabrics and a body-contoured fit that will cut out any unnecessary extra weight to allow for increased mobility, speed and comfort, according to NikeInc.com.

Nike’s website also lists other notable new features, which include built-in padding on certain areas, such as the thighs and rear of the pants, four-way stretch, hydrophobic (water-resistant) material and an aluminum D-ring belt for further reduction in weight.

Nike made changes head to toe, literally, including the new Nike Vapor Game Socks designed specifically for football, which Nike said provide arch support and a combination of compression and cushioning.

Don’t think they left out the hands either, which are fitted with the Nike Vapor Jet 2.0 Gloves, with a team logo displayed on the palms when players interlock their hands.

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, said during the unveiling of the uniforms he thought the gloves would improve his play.

“I think these gloves are also gonna help me, my hands are my bread and butter,” Fitzgerald said. “All the teams are able to use the logos on the gloves and I think it’s gonna be fun.”

Some players took to Twitter to share their excitement about the uniforms.

Sean Weatherspoon, linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, tweeted about the jerseys from his account @SeanWSpoon56 on April 3.

“I like the jerseys! The material is the key, the reebok jerseys held too much sweat…. New jerseys look sleek,” he tweeted.

Even with all these alterations, Nike remained mindful of tradition, and kept the changes a little less like a complete facelift and little more like a Botox injection of modernization.

The least noticeable change goes to the Cleveland Browns uniforms, which remained relatively unchanged design wise; I suppose not even Nike’s designers could do much with brown and orange.

The most noticeable makeover was to the Seattle Seahawks, whose new outfits of navy blue with an accent of lime green just work, and are somewhat comparable to the always eye-catching Oregon uniforms (I’m still mesmerized over their helmets from the Rose Bowl this year.)

The NFL and Nike inked a five-year deal, replacing the previous partnership with Reebok. The new designs will be available for purchase to fans beginning April 26, the first day of the NFL Draft weekend.

In fashion and football, it’s the man inside the outfit that truly completes the look. It will be exciting to see the new uniforms in action, and hopefully the new designs will do what they’re intended to: enhance the way the players look and feel.

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