Update: CNBC's Darren Rovell has tweeted that the jerseys are a fake. While this is certainly a relief, there has been no official statement from Nike or the NFL. It could be possible that Nike is trying to cover up the negative fan reaction to these jersey sketches. It's also interesting that the Patriots jersey has been singled out as a "fake."
As you may or may not know, in 2012, Nike will be replacing Reebok as the NFL's new jersey supplier. With the take over, Nike is promising some innovative changes to the NFL jerseys. Today, Nike leaked photos of some early "sketches" of new jerseys for all 32 teams. The Patriots' design is arguably the most outlandish and downright ridiculous:
My thoughts on the new designs after the jump!
When I first saw the photos, I did what any sane Patriots fan would do. I called Nike headquarters to get in touch with their CEO, Mark Parker, but I couldn't get through as he was on the line with Captain America, who was allegedly threatening a law suit.
In all seriousness, these uniforms are a complete and utter joke. What NFL player would even consider putting on the Patriots jersey pictured above? I can't believe that Nike would even consider putting something out there like this. I really hope that this is some kind of joke leaked by someone who had fun with photoshop, but apparently, these photos were actually released by Nike.
For the love of all things football, I may actually have to reconsider my fandom should the Patriots wear a jersey like this. Attention NFL: Reebok was doing an excellent job as your equipment supplier. Personally, I love the Patriots uniforms. I understand that changes do occur, and I'm fine with that. However, it would be completely unacceptable for the NFL to even consider allowing the Patriots to be dressed like the above picture. Just wow.
One final note: I understand that Nike likes to bring innovation to its products and jerseys, but NFL fans also value tradition strongly. Changing a uniform like the Green Bay Packers' to a "Pro Combat" jersey just doesn't make sense. I really hope, after seeing the backlash from these released photos, Nike can change its course of direction, even if slightly.
Here's a link to the pictures from some other teams. I will add that some of these do look good, such as the Ravens, Bills, Jets, and Lions. But is it possible to change the uniforms of some teams without changing the integrity of the jerseys of teams such as the Packers? I guess we'll have to wait and see.