Fans and fashion designers alike are panning the new Winnipeg Blue Bombers signature jerseys after their release earlier this week.
“We bleed blue and gold. That's kind of our thing, and there's no gold. Where's our team’s colours? Where's our pride?” said Winnipeg fashion-designer Lennard Taylor. “It kind of looks like they went paint-balling. Sorry to say it, Bombers.”
The new jerseys are mainly blue with aquaflage (aqua-coloured camouflage) portions on the shoulders. They’re paired with aquaflage helmets.
Fan Stephen Drennar isn’t impressed either.
“I think they missed a bit on this one. I think some gold could have been incorporated on the digital camo,” he said.
But Winnipeg may not have gotten the worst of the CFL’s new “signature” jerseys.
Winners vs. losers
Taylor said Winnipeg is lucky compared to Ottawa and Saskatchewan.
“The Saskatchewan jersey reminds me of a watermelon – all those little dots,” said Taylor. “The watermelon warrior.”
The Ottawa RedBlacks caught a lot of heat for their plaid helmet choice, and according to Taylor, there’s good reason.
“I guess they’re going for a right-on trend now, a lot of hipsters and other people are wearing the red flannels,” he said. “This jersey to me just goes for a young five-year-old kid that likes superheroes and wants to play football.”
As for the CFL’s winners – the B.C. Lions got reasonably good reviews from Taylor.
“Like the Argos, [the Lions] stayed true to their team colours, and they didn't go too far out the box,” he said. “[But] I think the paw print there could be a little more fierce. It looks kind of tame and childish.”
The big winner, according to Taylor – was the Argos.
“From a brand image, I think the Argos got their branding the best,” he said.
Younger fans wanted, CFL says
CFL officials say they aren’t taking all the tweets and bad reviews to heart.
“I just hope fans keep embracing them and provide feedback to us – good and bad and passionate and everything in between,” said CFL’s vice-president of marketing, Sara Moore.
But love ‘em or hate ‘em, CFL teams will be wearing the jerseys for at least two games this season, in a bid to lure a younger audience to the game.
“These jerseys very specifically are bold and forward looking,” said Moore. “I think [they] appeal to a whole new generation of fans where they might not have that tie to retro or may not have wanted to buy a retro jersey.”