Ranking the CFL’s Signature Looks

By: Santino Filoso

Sig·na·ture (ˈsignəCHər,-ˌCHo͝or/)

noun

  1. a person’s name written in a distinctive way as a form of identification

The CFL in conjunction with Reebok recently released a brand new line of 3rd jerseys. This new “Signature Look” line has been mainly met with scorn and criticism even though they’re not all bad. In fact, we here at Defend the R took it upon ourselves to conduct a thorough analysis of each team’s new getups and rank them for you! Factors that went into our decision included visual appeal, style, fan interaction, use of team colours, how the uniforms looked in person vs being photoshopped/enhanced and ties to team history. Without further ado, here are the rankings:

9) The Saskatchewan GREENWHITES

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Though we are a fan run, independent blog, we here at Defend the R were privileged to sit in on Saskatchewan’s meeting with Reebok’s creative team. Here’s the *actual* transcript of how it went down.

Reebok: Thanks for coming today everyone, before we begin I’d just like to-

Saskatchewan: Green

Reebok: Uh, yes, okay, as I was saying-

Saskatchewan: Green

Reebok: Okay, maybe I’ll just give you the floor

Saskatchewan: Green, green, green

Reebok: Hmmm, alright, we can work with that, how about 50 shades of green?

Saskatchewan: GREEN!

Reebok: Why don’t we break for lunch?

Saskatchewan: Did you say watermelon!?

Reebok: I’m sensing a theme here….

All kidding aside, these uniforms are a complete mess. If every shade of green was meant to be sewn together on a piece of fabric, Martha Stewart would’ve done it already. The helmets a look like watermelons which is an ode to the fans who wear them in the stands and the “Rider Nation” tag inside the collar is a nice touch. The GREENWHITES also deserve praise for breaking new ground as the first and only team in pro sports history to feature a tramp stamp on their jersey.

Montreal Alouettes v Saskatchewan Roughriders
You can get your own GREENWHITE tramp stamp tattooed for free after every home win!

8) Winnipeg Blue Bombers

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Traditional team colours, who needs’em? Not the Bombers faithful, at least to management’s thinking. Ditching their beloved golden threads, the Bombers instead embraced their inner warrior by sporting the US Military’s Arctic camouflage. There’s not a lot to like if you’re a Bomber fan, as even the helmet looks like the after splatter of a flock of seagulls. It’s as if Reebok mixed up their Toronto and Winnipeg files with this look being the bastard love child. Last time I checked the team without gold and wearing double blue was based in Toronto. Maybe these uniforms will prove to be a stroke of genius late in the season as the team will blend in and disappear into the snowy weather. When even your players struggle to appear enthusiastic, you know you’ve missed the mark.

Jason Vega isn't impressed
Jason Vega isn’t impressed

7) The Toronto Argonauts

chipmunk   should never go with this  titanswhite

What do you get when you cross Alvin the Chipmunk’s trademarked A with the Tennessee Titan’s road uniforms?  The Argos’ new signature look of course! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some powdered blue but the layout is simply all wrong. The best part of this look is the helmet, which looks crisp and clean.

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6) The Hamilton Tiger Cats

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Raise your hand if you thought these garbage bag grey uniforms would be ready in time. The Ticat’s new look features charcoal grey to incorporate the smog from the factory smoke stacks surrounding Tim Horton’s field. The yellow reflector numbers are a nice touch as they will help fans keep track of their favourite players through the haze of still settling construction dust. Much like the Argos, the best part of these looks are the helmets with the faded tiger logo on one side and the player number on the other.

If your pet tiger is looking this grey, take him to the vet ASAP!
If your pet tiger is looking this grey, take him to the vet ASAP!

5) The Montreal Alouettes

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The Als stuck to their traditional colours by going with grey and silver on their futuristic looking new uniforms. Going back to their roots, the Alouettes chose to honour the first French Canadian Bombing unit in the Air Force, the 425 Squadron, who were nicknamed the ’’Alouettes”. Renown for their toughness and bravery, the 425 Squad was the inspiration when Montreal chose it’s team name in 1946. The only real knock on this look that for whatever reason the team and league have released very few pictures, so it’s really hard to judge just how good the complete product is or what the helmets really look like. One thing that does stand out is that the feather sleeve design looks like snowflakes. The Als decided to only use MTL on the front because it’s a) unilingual so they avoid any problems with Quebec’s strict language police and b) it saves space.

Dévoilement 3e Uniforme des Alouettes de Montréal
It’s 425, not 4225!

4) The Edmonton Eskimos

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The Eskimos stuck to the KISS (Keep It Stupid Simple) philosophy with their new look and I can appreciate that. The Eskimos kept to what they and their fans know, the green and gold colour scheme and in so doing created something that both traditionalists and younger fans can enjoy. While the enormous double Es might not be the prettiest thing to look at, keep in mind that these are supposed to be signature looks, so who can fault the Eskimos for putting their signature front and centre? Stitching the lyrics to part of their fight song inside the collar is a subtle touch that links these jerseys to the team’s storied history

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“The Green & Gold is bold”

3) The BC Lions

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Jumping the gun on the rest of the league, BC actually released their signature jerseys last year, only they called them their “Premier Look”. The bane of sports announcers league wide, these sharp uniforms boast a gun metal look that is perfectly offset by the safety pylon orange outlining their black numbers. Though some complain the numbers are hard to read who cares, unless you’re playing the Redblacks, Ticats or Stampeders, you’ll be the only team on the field in all black! The Leos didn’t mess with a good thing by leaving the paw decal on the side of the helmet untouched.

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Sorry Bighill, you’re #3 actually

2) The Ottawa Redblacks

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A wise man once said that once you go plaid you’re always glad and boy was he ever right. From Day One the Redblacks have embraced Ottawa’s lumber history and considering that our mascot is an axe wielding (though kid friendly) lumberjack, it was only a matter of time before plaid worked its way onto our uniforms. It’s called a Canadian tuxedo for a reason and we here in the Nation’s Capital choose to embrace stereotypes. The Redblacks signature look definitely puts the red in Redblacks. The checkered helmet is the crown jewel of this uniform (literally), though it’s a bit strange to see an Ottawa helmet without the white iconic R on it. But to be fair to Reebok, it probably didn’t mesh well with the plaid since everyone knows that the only thing that goes with plaid is more plaid. The one thing holding this look back from top spot is the big white looking (but actually silver) saw blade on the front, it just screams out of place. Not to mention the fact that it has an uncanny resemblance to a Dr. Seuss character.

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Long lost cousins?

 

1)  The Calgary Stampeders

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The Stamps must really love the Redblacks home uniforms, because their signature look is almost exactly the same. This NRA approved uniform sports a pair of revolvers on the shoulders and gloves; a tribute to the Wild West or a reflection of the city’s gang violence? What vaults this look ahead of all the rest is Calgary’s new helmet. The bitumen black front of the helmet fades away to red and is highlighted by speed lines and a chrome horse logo. Like the GREENWHITES , Ticats, and Esks, the Stamps also have an engraving stitched on their collar, but theirs is in Latin. It doesn’t matter that nobody on the team could tell you what “Quidquid Requiritur,” means (Whatever It Takes), having a dead language on your jersey simply makes you cool.

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Will you buy your team’s new jersey? How would you rank’em? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

@RedBlackGade

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#RThoughts on the Redblacks new 3rd jersey

On Monday, August 18th, the Ottawa Redblacks revealed their inaugural third jersey. After a decent amount of speculation and a few fun teasers, here’s what we got:

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Social media was abuzz with reaction and opinion, ranging from love to hate and most points in between. Frankly, reaction was far closer to 50/50 than expected.

With that in mind, here’s Defend the R’s chat/review of the Redblacks ‘Signature Look’ (most photos from ottawaredblacks.com):

HELMET

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@OTTRoughRiders: I love the plaid helmet. I probably would have kept the R logo on it, however. And probably the black version.

@RedblackGade: Yep exactly, it’s strange to see an Ottawa helmet without the iconic R on it. But otherwise it’s incredible.

JERSEY – SHOULDERS

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@OTTRoughRiders: Love the plaid on the shoulders. Perfect amount of plaid for the uniform, if they had ended it there.

@RedblackGade: Agreed once again with the plaid on the shoulders, they got that part just right.

JERSEY – FRONT

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@RedblackGade: I like having the main logo on the front – hockey-style – but it’s looks too cartoonish being white, they should’ve outlined it to make it pop.

@OTTRoughRiders: I pretty much like everything about the jersey but the logo on the front. Standard numbering & they would be awesome. Or maybe if they used the black logo instead of that white version?

@RedblackGade: I like using the logo on the front of the jersey, but it’s really shitty that it’s white. Don’t get that part.

@OTTRoughRiders: I wouldn’t have had the plaid running down the side of the jersey. Shoulders are enough.

(Here’s how it would look in black, by the way:

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Thanks to @BrodieBrady for putting this together.)

PANTS

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@RedblackGade: I love the ‘Ottawa’ stripe going down the side of the leg too, that’s a really nice touch.

@OTTRoughRiders: Like the black pants – glad it isn’t a fully red set, like the home & away. But don’t think they needed plaid down the side. Again, bit too much.

@OTTRoughRiders: I do like OTTAWA on the pants as well. Just wouldn’t have had the plaid background. Also like the red socks.

@RedblackGade: I like the plaid background there.

OTHER THOUGHTS

@RedblackGade: The gloves are fantastic, really love those.

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@OTTRoughRiders: Gloves are really cool, but what is that logo? They’ve never used it anywhere. I’m not a fan, at this point. May warm up to it.

@RedblackGade: I also find that the actual thing itself looks much better than the “enhanced” and edited images. The red looks better in video/live.

@OTTRoughRiders: For sure. I want to see it in person. Things look different without all the touch ups/filters.

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@OTTRoughRiders: Would have been cool if they used #RNation on the back of the helmet, like the Argos did with #ArgosLive

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There you have our thoughts from Monday. No doubt the uniform is fun and interesting, especially the plaid helmet. A number of American news outlets picked up the news, including Bleacher Report and ESPN’s Keith Olbermann. No such thing as bad press, right?

What are your thoughts on the Redblacks Signature Look? What would you do to improve them?

While you think about it, here’s what @Senturion would do:

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Huge improvement.

UPDATE: Here’s a concept I came up with (please excuse the less-than-stellar Photoshop work):

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If we have to have a logo on the front, I think this works quite a bit better. Appreciate any feedback.

Thanks for reading and Go Redblacks!

@OTTRoughRiders