READER’S TAKE: Why I don’t like the new Redblacks jerseys

While the large majority are giving the Ottawa Redblacks two enthusiastic thumbs up for their new uniforms, even some of the most loyal Ottawa CFL fans have their gripes. The following comes from Nevill Carney, he of some great Redblacks jerseys concepts and one of the dudes behind the Redblacks Theme Song. Nevill left the following in the comment section of this post and allowed us to re-post here, for your consideration.

Our comments are captured in bold.

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I was looking forward to this unveiling since the name and logo were unveiled a year ago. I cannot describe how bland these look! My heart literally sank as the first pics of the road jersey were released. My first thought: “where is the RED?!” Then, when the home jerseys came out, I was at least happy about them being black.

No doubt the lack of red was surprising. More on that later.

NEGATIVES

– Take away the numbers and logos from the jersey and you have a very dull looking shirt. Very much like the BC Lions home/away set. Fans will have to get numbers put on them to complete the look. (I can say now that Toronto and Edmonton have the best look in the CFL as their arm striping is sharp and creates a sense of movement when on the field)

Pretty common for a football jersey, since the number is such a prominent part of the design.

– Lack of arm striping. For OSEG, who wanted to link to the past Rough Rider teams, I really thought they would have some striping on the arms. The concepts that I had designed a while back were my hopes of what to see.

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Above is Nevill’s last concept. Really sharp, I thought. Great vintage look.

I was also surprised at the lack of striping, although the white jersey does have the more modern take on striping with the black trim on the shoulders & extending all the way down the sides.

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– Away uniform is depressing. It looks like a recoloring of Saskatchewan’s current road whites. Weren’t we trying to get as far away from what the GreenRiders were doing? I despise the white helmet. Stick with ONE black helmet for both uniforms. Establishing your brand in year one is VITAL. Look at the NFL teams; how many have multiple helmets?

In fairness, there are only so many jersey templates a team can use and those are likely determined by Reebok.

As for multiple helmets, I personally love it as a concept and love how the Redblacks white helmet looks.

I have heard the ‘stick with one helmet’ argument a couple times over the last few days, but don’t really get it. If a team can have 3 jerseys, no reason you can’t have multiple helmets. Baseball teams have different home/away/alternate hats, hockey teams often have different home/away helmets. Why not football?

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Odd side note: last year, every West team in the CFL had an alternate helmet (SSK actually had 2). None of the East teams did.

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Weird, eh?

– REDBLACKS plastered under the collar and above the front numbers. For OSEG, a business that has claimed to be supportive of both official languages since Day 1, this was a huge mistake. It now makes the English name of the team dominant over the French. I realize that they have “Rouge et Noir” on the front bumper of the helmet, but fans will not be buying the helmet. In order to offset this, they should have replaced it with “Ottawa.” The Renegades did this and it looked great.

Good point. Could have gone with OTTAWA on the front of both jerseys, or otherwise have REDBLACKS on one and ROUGE ET NOIR on the other. The bumper is a neat feature but also seems like a bit of an afterthought.

POSITIVES

– Sawblade logo on both arms. Nailed it. I was hoping for this and bam. Likely the main reason why I will be buying a home jersey rather than settling on a t-shirt to wear to games.

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– Black home jersey/black helmet. Traditional; enough said.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

– I would have really liked it if the Redblacks took a page from Fury FC and presented options of uniforms for the fans to vote on. This would have made the fans feel included (unlike the choosing of the team name fiasco from last year) and important enough to have a say with where the franchise is headed.

In fairness to OSEG, the ‘Name Our Teams’ campaign wasn’t actually a contest.

I am on the fence with getting one of these but I will for the sake of supporting the team (the home not the terrible away jersey).

C’mon now!

We have a so-so name, a terrific logo and now a “meh” set of uniforms. 1.5/3 for overall branding at this stage from this season ticket holder’s opinion. I can only hope that we have a retro design come to pass and become our regular set.

Not sure if it will be retro, but it sounds like we will definitely have a red third jersey later this summer. In this Ottawa Sun piece writer Aedan Helmer and OSEG president Jeff Hunt tell us:

A red third jersey will be unveiled later in the summer, and while Hunt said they went for the classic look for the home and away duds, “that (third jersey) is going to be different.”

So, that answers the lack of red in the home & away set. But how ‘different’, exactly? We shall see…

Regardless, I’m stoked for kickoff and to have Ottawa return to the CFL regardless of what they are wearing. Go Ottawa!

Thanks Nevill!

@OTTRoughRiders

Redblacks jerseys coming May 6th + a few more concepts

5/5 UPDATE: The Redblacks posted the following teasers on Sunday and Monday prior to the unveiling. Didn’t give up much, but here’s what we got:

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Appears to be the R in the Redblacks wordmark, which most teams place below the CFL crest on the front of the jersey. Also, seems likely that this is the road jersey, as the background is white.

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Appears to be another shot of the road (white) jersey. This time, showing the CFL crest stitched into the base of a black collar.

Based on the limited amount we see here, it doesn’t look like OSEG have overdone it, opting for a simpler, more traditional look that fans seem to be clamouring for. I guess we will know for sure on Tuesday evening.

That reminds me: if you are attending tomorrow night’s unveiling, please tweet us lots of photos.

Thanks in advance!

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Redblacks fans and jersey geeks: the wait is almost over. After months of anticipation, the Ottawa Redblacks have scheduled their jersey (entire uniform, actually) unveiling for May 6th at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The event, open only to season ticket holders that reserve a (free) ticket, will begin at 7:00PM ET. According to an email sent to STHs on April 29th, Henry Burris and several other Redblacks players and coaches will be on hand “for the Ottawa football fashion event of the decade.” (Their quote, not mine, I assure you). No word yet on whether the event will be televised or streamed online. (UPDATE: no stream)

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So we have a date and a time. #RNation is pumped. So is WR Kierrie Johnson. Now all that’s left is to wait… and check out a few more concepts!

Here’s a solid concept update from @mediumguts incorporating the new numbering:

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And here are a couple of great updates from @NevillCarney:

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Really like the striping on that black Gabriel jersey. Here’s Nevill’s take:

I wanted to create a look that I would want to wear and be proud to wear.

I based them off of what he have seen on various Redblacks merchandise, like the hat that Henry Burris is wearing for the home opener ticket pack, was the inspiration for the arm stripes on the black home jersey.

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The numbers were based off the ones that were worn by the players for the mini-camp in Virginia. I included two versions with the numbers on the jerseys: one color number and one with an outline. Depending on which era of Ottawa football history you are looking at, the numbers varied in design after the 80s with a red outline included and that continued through to the end of the Renegades.

Finally, this great hand-drawn take by @Sports_Drawings of soon-to-be fan-favourite Jordan Roberts:

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Be sure to check out the other concepts we’ve come across here and here. And here‘s a reminder of what the mini-camp jerseys looked like.

So, will they go with red or black for the home jersey? A traditional look or something original? And what about the helmet – classic black or break with tradition and go with red? We’ll know in just a few days, but what are you hoping for?

@OTTRoughRiders

Redblacks unveil jersey… numbers ;)

As if the excitement of their first official team activity wasn’t enough, the Ottawa Redblacks also gave fans a peek at what to expect from the team’s uniforms at their inaugural mini-camp this past week in Richmond, VA.

Here are a couple of photos that provide a good look (courtesy of the Ottawa Redblacks and the Ottawa Sun):

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For lots more photos, check out the Redblacks Facebook page.

As expected, the jersey numbers have the same saw blade slice style as the Redblacks ‘R’ logo.

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So, it’s not a traditional number style, but it definitely works on the practise jerseys. As long as there isn’t too much more going on with the jerseys, other than a little bit of shoulder striping, it should make for a great looking uniform. Hope they opt for a simple font for the player names as well.

As for the colour options, pretty standard stuff – black, white & red. Found this tweet particularly inciteful:

@OttRedandBlacks: @Redblacks dark practice jerseys are black so very likely the real jerseys are too. Every #CFL team follows suit with their practice jerseys.

Makes sense, although I still have a sneaking suspicion the team could go with a red home jersey, as opposed to black. At any rate, with a third jersey likely coming this fall, and with jersey combination mixing & matching becoming so commonplace in pro football, good chance we’ll see both black and red jerseys worn at home regularly.

With the jersey launch date rumoured to be May 10th, we’re now just under a month away from the big reveal. While we wait, whose name/number are you thinking about for your first Redblacks jersey? We put together a quick poll:

Mini-Camp Coverage

Couldn’t end this mini-camp post without a shoutout to the Redblacks social media team and The Ottawa Sun’s Tim Baines for the excellent coverage from Richmond. Both provided piles of great photos, videos, interviews and incite. Was fun to follow the action, giving fans a sense of the atmosphere and some of the personalities we have to look forward to this season.

Kudos to the Ottawa Sun for sending Baines to Richmond. Shame the Ottawa Citizen didn’t send Gord Holder or anyone else. The Sun’s domination on Redblacks coverage in the city continues.

Hunt hints at possible Redblacks 3rd jersey in year one

A small piece of Redblacks news that may have slipped past most of us, what with the excitement around the sale of home opener ticket packs to the public and the “controversy” around the naming of the Redblacks mascot Big Joe Mufferaw, was OSEG President Jeff Hunt dropping a hint (or pretty much confirming?) a third jersey for the Redblacks in year one. In an interview with TSN 1200 (6-minute mark), Hunt indicates that home and away jerseys will be released in mid-May, likely followed by a third jersey release in the fall!

For a jersey/logo enthusiast (geek?) like myself, this was nearly as welcome as hearing the Redblacks, still over three months away from kick-off, are already pushing 13,000 season ticket holders. A third jersey in the inaugural season is a bit of a surprise, and a welcome one at that.

And now the big question: what might this jersey look like? A couple of things come to mind immediately. First off, a fall release of a third jersey in the CFL would most likely be centred around the team’s Labour Day Classic game. And what better occasion for a vintage jersey than a LDC game.

I’m thinking there might be some giddy former Rough Rider fans in Ottawa in September!

This move makes a lot of sense for the Redblacks. Releasing three jerseys at one time seems like overkill. And if the third jersey is indeed a vintage Rough Riders look, Hunt and OSEG will have once again proven that they get it. They understand this fan base and how important it is to link the new team with teams of the past.

DOES NEW GEAR HINT AT POSSIBLE JERSEY STYLE/STRIPING?

As part of the home opener ticket pack promotion, the Redblacks released an ad featuring QB Henry Burris sporting some gear we haven’t seen before. For those that haven’t seen it, here’s the ad:

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Specifically, the striping on the hat seems very reminiscent of Rough Riders uniforms gone by. Here’s a closer look at the hat:

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Notice the striping similarities with this jersey from the early 1970s (image courtesy Wikipedia):

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Kinda similar, anyway.

Probably reading too much into one hat, but it is fun to speculate.

Want more on Redblacks jersey concepts? Check out these past blog entries.

@OTTRoughRiders