Dee and Jimmy Haslam don’t have much patience with head coaches and general managers.
But they gave the horrendous Cleveland Browns uniforms introduced in 2015 every opportunity to win fans over.
It never happened.
Dee Haslam announced the team will sport a new look in 2020, expected to be unveiled before the April draft.
The Browns played with minor variations of the “new look” in the last few seasons.
The only uniform fans seemed to appreciate was the brown-on-brown color rush variety.
It’s hard to say if it was the orange and white trim on the dark uniform fans liked.
More likely, it was that the Browns were home victors three times in 2018, all while using the color rush option.
Browns make Color Rush uniforms their primary uniforms https://t.co/UmvwBcqrgn
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 4, 2019
Cleveland wisely petitioned the league for permission to use the less-offensive get-up more often in 2019.
But if there was any magic in the color rush uniforms in 2018, it ran out quickly.
Cleveland’s 43-13 opening weekend loss at the hands of the Titans was the first of four against two wins in the color rush combo.
It Was More Than the Wins
Fans still disliked the other options.
Cleveland was the only team to include the city’s name on their jersey.
It is emblazoned across the chest, just over the number.
They also included the name “Browns” down their pants leg where stripes would normally go.
— Eric (@illstr8r) December 29, 2019
In an era when simpler uniforms were coming into fashion, the Browns cluttered their look.
If there was any doubt the words were the cause of the fans’ dislike, the Jets provided some clarity.
New York became the second team to write their city’s name across the numbers.
Their uniform is an otherwise simple and sleek design.
The majority of Jets fans bashed the uniform immediately after the announcement.
Comparisons to Arena Football and movie versions of football teams filled social media.
Orange is the new Brown
One thing Cleveland followers liked about the recent uniform was the increased use of orange.
The team wore orange jerseys and orange pants several times.
They have yet to play in solid orange.
While the orange and brown combination is appreciated by fans, it is not loved by coaches and announcers.
The colors do not provide enough contrast to read numbers clearly.
White numbers on brown make identifying players easier.
That will affect the potential combinations coming up in the new uniforms.
But according to Tony Grossi of Fox Sports Ohio, the Browns aren’t looking for new color combinations.
Prior to draft. They will look like traditional Browns uni’s, been told. https://t.co/gJxiaF9Exe
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) January 4, 2020
Bringing Back Tradition
According to Grossi, the team will bring back the traditional Browns uniforms from the last century.
Cleveland used those uniforms as a link to their history when they returned from their hiatus in 1999.
— Tim Continenza (@TimContinenza) July 29, 2019
The most traditional uniform is the white or brown jersey with five stripes on each sleeve.
The stripes alternated orange and white and provided some flash.
Numbers were written in simple block format, front and back and on each sleeve.
The orange helmet with the white stripe shadowed in brown is the front runner for 2020.
Facemasks were grey in the Browns’ heyday.
The team could add an orange jersey or pants as an option, as well as use a variation of the color rush uniform as alternates.
A Quiet Return
Cleveland does not plan a big unveiling event for the 2020 uniforms.
Perhaps that supports the notion that the new style isn’t actually as new as it is traditional.
The Haslams could be keen to avoid any negative reviews like 2015, too.
Cleveland has gone 17-62-1 since the 2015 change.
Some see new uniforms as a minor, but important detail to turn the page on the memories those uniforms invoke.
Those memories start with the Johnny Manziel and end with ten losses wrecking a season of hope.