Every now and then in the uniform universe, we’re treated to something glorious, something that makes all the underwhelming headscratchers totally worth it. Today, that gift comes courtesy of our friends from the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
This morning, everyone’s favourite mid-1990s NFL expansion team named for a wild cat unveiled a new black alternate helmet to be paired with their black home jersey and alternate black pants. The all-black helmet will be worn on November 10, 2022, against the Atlanta Falcons.
Black over black over black… with light blue trim. It’s a thing of beauty.
“Sometimes guys tap into an alter ego depending on what they’re wearing,” Panthers defensive end Brian Burns told Panthers.com. “Whenever a team wears all black or black accessories, it just brings out that dog in them, the evil side. When I saw this, I was like, ‘This will be tough.’ Especially on defence, they call us the dark side anyway, so it brings it all together.”
The Panthers say their fans had been “clamouring for the alternate helmet for years,” even just a few days ago, we shared a design concept on our Twitter feed (hey, you should follow us on Twitter!) showing a black Panthers helmet which was met with universal praise.
Back in 2013, NFL.com held a poll to determine the “Greatest Uniform in NFL History,” and the all-black Carolina Panthers pairing (with a silver helmet) won the whole dang thing. So, can we just go ahead and call this an upgrade on the all-time greatest football uniform then?
Why am I asking? Yes. This is an upgrade, and this is a fact, not an opinion.
This will be the first time the Carolina Panthers have worn a helmet shell colour other than silver. The team has kept the same overall look (with a few minor tweaks and evolutions along the way) since joining the National Football League for the 1995 season.
Carolina joins several other teams to have announced alternate helmet colours so far for the 2022 NFL season; the Falcons (throwback), Texans (red), Patriots (throwback), Saints (black), Eagles (black), and Commanders (black) have all revealed new alternate helmet designs. The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to announce a white option soon.