Although the Detroit Lions are now eligible to update their uniforms, team president Rod Wood noted at last week’s NFL owners meetings there won’t be any changes this season – but there might be some on the horizon.
“Nothing for this year,” Wood told a group of reporters gathered at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. “We’re actually starting a process to look at a possible change for next year. It’s really like a year-plus lead time, so we just convened a committee. I know we get a lot of things tweeted at us and suggestions about what fans want, so we catalog all those and we’ll take them under advisement.”
The Lions have worn their current uniforms since the 2017 season, leaning heavily into their Honolulu blue and silver color scheme and using a consistent striping pattern across the helmet, sleeves and pants. The set also included a dark gray Color Rush uniform and simplified throwback look, which have primarily been worn on Thanksgiving.
League rules allow for teams to modify their uniforms every five years, which is why the discussion was taking place. But if the Lions do ultimately switch it up for 2023 and beyond, don’t expect them to honor their humble beginnings as in Portsmouth, Ohio, where they played four seasons as the Spartans.
“I’ve never really thought about it,” Wood said. “I think the answer is probably we’re focused on Detroit and the Detroit Lions and not the history (in) Portsmouth.”
The Spartans wore purple and gold but switched to their familiar Honolulu blue and silver when they moved to Detroit and became the Lions in 1934. There was also a stint with red and black in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as well as the use of a gold helmet shortly thereafter, but it’s safe to say those are out of the question, too.
“I think I might get killed if we went back to different colors,” Wood said.
That said, the Lions could actually add one new element to their uniforms this season that wouldn’t count against the five-year rule, which would be the use of a second helmet, something that is now permitted after the league scrapped its one-helmet rule this offseason.
But given the throwback uniform is already made accurate by simply removing the decals from their standard silver helmet, there’s really no need for the Lions to have a second lid. That’s not to say a Honolulu Blue or white alternate helmet is out of the question in the future, though.
“(We’re) taking a look at what our options are,” Wood said. “There’s the option of adding another helmet, as you probably know. We’re not doing that this year because our throwbacks really just take the current logo off, but other teams are adding it because they can go back to a throwback with a different helmet. We may look at a different helmet as part of this, as well as the change to the uniforms, but just started the process. We haven’t really sat down with Nike yet and gone through a design.”
Perhaps the Lions go through the redesign process and decide to keep their current look. But if not, we’re looking forward to seeing what the committee – which includes Wood, senior vice president of football and business administration Mike Disner and other members of the organization – come up with.
Photo courtesy of @Lions on Twitter.