The Syracuse Orange football uniforms aren’t great, for a variety of reasons.
There’s the over-use of #PLATINUM, the under-use of orange, and of course, that damn novelty font that puts the number lines at (wait for it) a “44-degree angle” (says Nike, anyway).
As fans, our hope is that the next uniforms Syracuse wears are more orange and lean a little bit more on the color orange. But if we’re not getting anything new this year (and there’s yet to be any indication we are), there’s one thing we could maybe repair in the short-term without completely reinventing the wheel: the novelty number font.
I bring this up because another football team with Nike uniforms unveiled a new look this week. And while the Tennessee Titans’ latest jerseys are probably better than the old ones, the one place they went awry is the novelty font.
The Titans’ new numbers make Syracuse’s downright legible. The jagged, “Greek-inspired” look is decidedly ‘90s and will be incredibly dated within a year or two, if it isn’t already. Goofy, cartoonish numbers and fonts take away from what could otherwise be pretty clean uniforms, too. Such is the case with Syracuse as well. If you just made the numbers a plain font all the way around, the Orange’s aesthetic goes from something that’s trying too hard to something that looks more like what Illinois wears.
There’s nothing special about the Illini’s uniforms, but there’s nothing garish about them either. They’re just fine. And that’s a major upgrade from what we have right now.
But who’s to blame here? Nike? SU? Obviously given the novelty font for the Titans, Nike’s not above doing this. These two teams aren’t even the only Nike uniforms that feature a novelty number font, either. The Seahawks’ numbers aren’t great and the Chargers’ and Lions’ could also be improved upon. Subtle works best for numbers. Teams like the Texans and Vikings have small elements that make the numbers different. Plenty of NFL teams have plain numbers and clean looks (Packers, Steelers, Giants, Cowboys, etc.) too.
In college, team #BRANDS are a bit more adventurous and as a result, Nike tries a few more things in the numbers department. Oregon’s predictably garish, and TCU and Michigan State have made some weird number font choices as well. West Virginia and Florida State may have the least legible number fonts of the Nike teams — but there’s also plenty of plain-numbers squads as well (Michigan, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama). So we know Nike can do it — they just don’t do it for everyone.
(also, anyone want to explain where Syracuse is among the list of Nike schools here???)
I’m well aware that Syracuse isn’t getting a small change like a font fix, but we can dream, right? The Titans’ uniforms are just the latest inspiration to call for something a little better from the Orange’s next jerseys.