Change is in the air at NRG. A new era of management, coaching, and players breeds necessary evolution. Cal McNair doubled down today on his interest to work with fans to redesign the Houston Texans uniforms.
The Texans are considering making changes to their uniforms, per owner Cal McNair, and are seeking feedback from fans for possible ideas: https://t.co/cnU21HcLg7— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 29, 2022
Following Cal McNair’s Ask Me Anything before the 2022 season, the owner and team are taking real steps to adjust the franchise’s current uniforms.
After several strong responses from the fanbase from the Battle Red helmet and new logos, the new leadership have seen an opportunity:
All the H-town gear that we’ve dropped this year has been the No. 1 selling collection of the Texans as far back as we can look with data, so the fans have really, really loved it. - Texans Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Doug Vosik
At a holistic level, a team named after its state with the colors red, white, and blue doesn’t offer much creativity. Given the context in which the team was founded; early 2000s in the wake of 9/11, a patriotic concept felt stable and universal. Not saying those traits aren’t prevalent anymore, but it doesn’t allow the team to stand out among the myriad of other franchises with similar color patters.
I don’t imagine the team to step far away from its roots, but hearing that the ownership isn’t ambivalent to fans’ wants and desires is refreshing to say the least.
Now, the question isn’t if they will make a change, but if they will they do it correctly.
They do have recent and local precedents to make their decisions off of. The Astros and Rockets have made equivalent changes to their uniforms to pay homage to past colors. The Astros’s space city uniforms were met with muddled responses, but it was their shift back to their 1970s colors (aka the Tequila Sunrise) that fans have enjoyed and reveled in. It doesn’t hurt that the team has seen unrivaled success since the new uniforms were unveiled, but it’s also a unique and identifiable pattern that makes the fans proud.
If we’re talking unique and identifiable, look no further than the Rockets use of pinstripes; throwbacks that harkened to the 1990s and 2000s era. What were considered horrifically ugly uniforms are now fondly admired. Such is the way old becomes new.
Yet, the NBA has over-indulged on this trend. The Rocket’s current Hardwood Classics uniforms that pay tribute to the original San Diego franchise’s colors in the late 60’s completely devolve from the team’s color pallet and scheme. Even as a Gen-Z/Millennial, it’s too far of a stretch from the team’s roots for me to enjoy.
For the Texans to grow, they need to expand, reinvigorate, and redefine who they are. The current Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, and Liberty White are a competent but unoriginal scheme.
We’ve seen in recent years the Battle Red take a more prominent place in the team’s colors. After the Coke Bottle uniforms, utilizing the red color was frowned upon.
However, with the advent of the Color Rush uniforms and new helmets, the color has been remarkably well-received. Not only is it bold, but it’s transcendent among other similar teams’ uniforms.
As it relates to the old Oilers colors, it’s a hopeless aspiration. It’s more likely the Titans wear the colors they own before the Houston team does.
“Oilers history is Titans history,” Adams Strunk said at the owners meetings in March. The Tennessee Titans own the color pallet and don’t intend on giving up the rights any time soon. As much as we all would love to see a Houston team don the Oilers logo once again, it won’t happen in the near future - or until the current Titans owner has a change of heart.
To take a personal ad in own column, I suggest four simple revisions to the current scheme:
- Liberty White Helmets, including an all-white uniform (props to Graphic God’s concept below)
- Adjust the logo to be either more bull-oriented or have the logo be a more contemporary design
- Redesign the numbers and shoulder pads to be more modern
- Implement chrome; it’s a slightly used color across the stadium and within the design that can be expanded upon and built into the uniforms to make the other colors stand out. Similar to Tampa Bay’s previous use of pewter.
Across Twitter, if anyone still uses that app these days, calls for a lighter blue are prevalent. Something definitely brighter than the current color yet different than the Oilers’ color. There is also a significant push for the logo to be a larger portion of the helmet. Something along the lines of the Rams or Vikings that envelopes the helmet rather than simply a logo slapped onto the sides.
Overall, anything feels something. Houstonians are like a dog chewing on a dull bone. They are eager to revel in newness, creativity, and hope. It’s time for change.