Should the Cleveland Browns Consider a Redesign of Their Uniforms?


One of the great things about sports is that there is always something to talk about. Whether it’s reacting to the team’s performance in a game, trade rumors, injuries, upcoming draft candidates or even which Hollywood starlet was recently seen dating an athlete, fans will talk about it. Recently, the Cleveland market added another radio station for fans to talk about all things sports and a topic earlier this week blew me away. And it blew me so far away I nearly caused a Twitter riot and then needed two days to get my head together so that I could write about it.

The topic was simply this: It wouldn’t be a bad idea to change the Browns uniforms and helmet. I heard Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps from 92.3 The Fan (@CLETalkingHeads) bring up this topic. They seemed to think that it was no big deal and that adding a “B” or Brownie the Elf to the helmets would be a great idea.

My question for them is simple:  Are you kidding me?  How could you even consider putting a logo on the Browns helmet? It’s blasphemy!  (Whew, glad I got that out of my system…) Plus, I’m pretty sure everyone who called in set them straight on the topic!

The Cleveland Browns have one of the most recognizable and iconic helmets in all of sports. They have the only helmet with no logo, just Cleveland orange with the white and brown stripes down the center. Classic. There can be no question that the helmet design sets them apart from other teams. This has been their helmet design since 1946. Why would you even consider changing it?  To sell more merchandise? Trust me – you will cause more fan uproar by changing the helmet than you could deal with!

The uniforms are another story. I’m not a fan of the “all white” home unis, so changing them up a bit isn’t a big deal. Throw on some brown pants, or orange pants, and mix it up. My favorite combo is the brown jersey with the orange pants, but again it’s not that important. We can even discuss putting Brownie the Elf on the jersey sleeve. Any way you look at it, mixing and matching team colors isn’t a problem. But there is really no reason for a big redesign. Who really cares what the players are wearing? How does this affect whether or not they win games?

I actually heard one person make the argument that if the Browns uniforms were more “fierce” we would intimidate their opponents. Really? I’d rather let our tackling, blocking, smash-mouth style of football intimidate opponents. Any team that goes onto the field, looks at the opponent’s uniforms, and gets scared, shouldn’t be playing football. Oy.

A lot has been made in recent years about the Oregon Ducks and their relationship with Nike. Some years, their uniforms have been really sweet. Maryland has worn some crazy stuff the past couple of weeks. These unis have kept them as a topic of conversation for sports fans and pundits, but really hasn’t helped their on-field play. Do the uniforms make the player? Or is this just crazy talk to sell more merchandise?

Now, I’m not a fashionista and I usually could care less about these things, but there is just something special, even magical about the brown and orange. I happen to have a tattoo of the Browns helmet on my lower back. I thought about getting a tattoo for years and struggled with what to get and where to get it. When I finally made my decision, it was because of the importance of that stark orange helmet. It is distinctive. It is renowned. It is classic.

At a hotel pool in Ireland last year, someone saw it and said “Oh, you’re from Cleveland?” I couldn’t believe it – even in Ireland where they don’t even have real football, they know. (Sigh, yes you can see it if you follow me on Twitter because it’s my avi.)

For the record, I’m also completely opposed to pink jerseys. Pink Jerseys? Really? Let me share a secret with the guys reading this: girls who wear pink jerseys don’t really like football, they just want to look cute. And I’m ok with girls trying to look their best, but let’s get real here: there’s nothing hotter than a girl wearing a brown #73 Joe Thomas jersey or an old school#32 Jim Brown jersey. It sends a message to guys that she knows a thing or two about football and is not just high maintenance arm candy. (Catty, but true. Meow.)

I’ve heard nothing about this coming from the Browns organization, as it’s all been talk amongst fans. But if the Browns would really consider making changes to sell more merchandise, then how about they just win games? Bring in some players that will become stars so the fans want to buy their jerseys. Put a winning product on the field so we can all buy “AFC North Champions” shirts. (I’ll take two of those, please.) But let’s not start talking craziness about changing the Browns helmet.

I am proud to say that most of the people I follow on Twitter or talk to every day agree with me. LEAVE THE HELMET ALONE. I’d like to think that the Browns themselves respect the history and tradition of the orange helmet. Hopefully we are on the right track to making that helmet the most fearsome thing an opponent will see on the field during the NFL season. Because that is all any Cleveland Browns fan wants – to be feared and respected by 31 other teams.

Tags: Brownie Elf Cleveland Browns Helmets Logo Uniforms

  • AndyCouch

    Great story- sometimes less means more.

  • Mary Jo Kopechne

    What commie radical terrorist would suggest such a thing? This must be either a joke or a simmulous project.

  • Mary Jo Kopechne

    All the other teams have shown how great the teams keeping their unis are cool. The Browns white-on-white is a visual icon. There is no substitute.

  • johann

    I’ve been a Browns fan since the day I was born. Been with them thru thick and especially the last decade thin. But I am sorry its time to change. I’m not talking radical change but shake something up…adding a B to the helmet…little tweeks….I think it would look really cool to have a textured background but keep the orange helmet with the same stripes. Or maybe add metallic flakes to the current helmet. Something man….yes they are classic but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep up with the times.

  • adamct85

    The only thing I would like to see is to bring back the white facemasks and the orange pants, but do not completely redesign the uniform

  • Artbomb112

    Leave the helmet. Leave the orange. Leave the classic look. Just change all the brown to a gunmetal gray. Gray and orange is a ton better than brown and orange. And it would still go with the DawgPound look.

  • Artbomb112

    Leave the helmet. Leave the orange. Leave the classic look. Just change all the brown to a gunmetal gray. Gray and orange is a ton better than brown and orange. And it would still go with the DawgPound look.I’ve worked as a marketing persons for a long time.. and I am a dedicated Browns fan. I think there is a way to maintain tradition, while making the team have some new energy.

  • BillLee

    Yes add the dawg on the helmet not the brownie. Change the uniform jerseys to navy blue with orange and white numbers. Pants could be orange or white with brown or orange stripes. Just because the team is named the Browns does not mean they have to wear those boring brown jerseys. Take a look at every team that changed the uniform design each one had success. And people who talk about tradition WHAT TRADITION? The Browns have never even been to a Superbowl. 1964 Championship it is time for a change.

  • Artbomb112

    No blue. Orange and Dark Gray. We don’t need to look like Boise State.

  • 3riversdawg

    AS IS, & forever shall be, AS IS.

  • Artbomb112

    Seriously. This is so much tougher than turd uniforms. [IMG]http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj20/artbomb112/uniformmock.jpg[/IMG]

  • dawgpounddaily

    @Artbomb112 That’s actually not too bad, though I’d put the Brownie elf where the dog is.

  • dawgybone74

    Keep the colors and some tradition. The Browns are the only NFL team with brown in the uniforms, so why not have the helmets brown (they started off with white helmets) with possibly the football B logo on it. If not, at least change the face mask back to white or even brown instead of that awful gray. I wouldn’t mind seeing them wear orange and brown pants with stripes and every once in a while their orange jerseys.

  • bulldogbarks55

    The Browns uniform as currently worn in a classic. LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don’t need any colored pants, helmet decals or a GD University of Oregon-type bastadization of the look that Paul (greatest coach-ever) Brown designed and Otto (greatest QB-ever) Graham and Jimmy (greatest running back-ever) proudly wore each game. Sure as hell, your new-fangled whacked-out design will become “old” in about three years and you people will be looking for another new style. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The team may be struggling right now but at least you know you’re watching the Cleveland Browns. When they finally turn into winners you’ll be so happy you’ll think the present look is fine.

  • MrNuts

    I say the Browns go to a solid brown uniform with images of corn and peanuts applied all over them. Then coat each uni with chocolate syrup and cake frosting so whenever a player is hit — brown stuff gets smeared all over the place. Of course, a cartoon image of a steaming pile of dung with a couple of flies buzzing around it would be awesome.

  • ggd333

    It’s time for a change…people say tradition..really..that tradition was for my great grand father. They can keep the uniforms they have now as throwbacks and still make a profit but it’s been overdue for a change. I would look to Oklahoma St. as inspiration. They have the same team colors as the browns and their uniforms look wayyyy better…it’s time for a change or they will continue to see their fan base shrink which it is…

  • JeffWolf1

    if there is superstition involved, then the team MUST get the brownie elf on the uniform! It was Modell”s doing – when after he obtained the team in the early 60′s, and before he fired Paul Brown, he removed the elf from prominence. That team BEFORE modell, was a championship caliber team… remember?

  • wpruitt3

    i want the orange pants back for a couple games. the last time we wore throwbacks was 2007 when they threw the numbers on the side of the helmets, which really wasn’t impressive. the only thing that really bothers me is the spot above the numbers and below the nfl seal where it says “BROWNS” in that ugly font that came up around 2003. take that off and maybe change the facemasks back to white. do al lerner’s inititials need to be there any longer? they seem like a curse now.

  • wsb

    Leave the stupid orange pants in storage