With the upcoming change in helmet rules should Kansas City go for a new look?
Last Thursday it was announced that the NFL will be changing its helmet rules for the 2022 season. Previously, players were only allowed a single helmet to use for practice and games for increased protection against concussions. The thinking was that players would be incentivized in picking newer and safer helmets if they would be able to keep and maintain them all year. For most of us the more exciting part of this announcement is the opportunity for alternative uniforms!
Of course, the league has several teams that utilize alternative uniforms throughout the season. Hell, the Chargers had to make a schedule for all their uniform combinations. But the uniforms have always been limited to the exact same helmet to the frustration of many fans. Bringing back alternative helmets really opens up some cool alternatives and several fun throw backs as well.
What Should the Chiefs do?
The Chiefs haven’t worn an alternative helmet or uniform since 2009 back in the Matt Cassel era when they did the Dallas Texans throwback. Other than that and a few different patches the Chiefs uniform has remained the same over the last decade. Occasionally for primetime games we are treated to all red or all white but does the Chiefs uniform game need an upgrade?
For me personally, alternative jerseys come down to two factors, the first being tradition. Some of the best looking jerseys in the NFL are the most simple and have went unchanged for decades. The Raiders silver and black, the green and gold of the Packers or the navy and orange of the Bears all come to mind when thinking of the best looks in the NFL. So why change it? This brings us to the second factor, popularity and appeal.
Look, Clark Hunt isn’t sweating paying the electric bill this month. We know him and all NFL owners are doing just fine but if you are a football fan you should always want the sport to grow. Look at what the NBA has done with their jerseys, every game they seem to have a new jersey combination. Sure, it takes 30 seconds to figure out that the Heat are wearing pink and blue and the Lakers are wearing blue but after that it’s great. Not every uniform is great but there’s a wide variety to please everyone.
Ultimately, if you are a hardcore traditionalist you probably hate the idea of alternative uniforms and helmets. However, it’s not like the Chiefs would be destroying their typical uniforms- they’d still be wearing those throughout the season as well. So if you really love the traditional look you can look forward to those games, or if you’re a more modern fan you can look forward to the alternative games too. In my mind I would like to see the Chiefs add maybe one or two alternative uniforms and also use the red on red and white on white for a game each. I’d like to see them incorporate camouflage or stealth bomber factors into a uniform for the NFL’s salute to service celebration. I’d also like to see a “City” edition similar to what the NBA did where they modeled jerseys to match the home city’s stories.
An ideal jersey schedule for the Chiefs would feature just 4 non-traditional jersey games (not including the playoffs). The Chiefs would have a home game with red on red and a road game with white on white jerseys. Then they could incorporate the salute to service uniform on the road or at home and the “city uniform” at home as well. The best part of all of this is that it keeps everyone happy. Traditionalist still get 13 games of regular uniforms and non-traditionalist have the option to run out and buy alternative swag.