Sports

Cowboys, NFL duck radicalism with new Nike uniforms

Chrome helmets with oversized blue stars on one side only? Black uniforms with silver, rope-motif stripes? Six-shooter decals on the shoulder yokes?

Fret not, Cowboys fans.

The NFL unveiled its new Nike uniforms on Tuesday in New York, but with one exception, the sports apparel behemoth stayed away from the wildly experimental designs it uses with the University of Oregon, get-ups that sometimes make it hard to identify the Ducks, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys, whose uniform combinations are manifold.

The changes mostly involved a sleeker fit and new fabrics, leaving the on-field aesthetic of the tradition-bound NFL intact.

The Seattle Seahawks were the only team that asked for a redesign, according a Nike spokeswoman. The team will wear deep blue and have silver numbers and wide silver shoulder stripes, both with neon-green piping. The pants also will have a stripe of stylized wings down the side of the leg.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the goal of the redesign was to combine "tradition with innovation."

"Some teams will lean more toward the traditions," Goodell said. "But you can see here you can put innovation into the uniform without changing the look, necessarily, about it."

In college football, flashy uniforms with nontraditional colors and patterns are all the rage these days. Oregon, the alma mater of Nike founder Phil Knight, has made the cutting-edge -- some would say over-the-edge -- look its calling card. Nike outfits dozens of major college football teams, and while few have gone all-in the way Oregon does, it seems dozens of schools are at least dabbling in funky gear.

Those gloves that create a school's logo when a player hold his hands together, palms out, and which have popped up on campuses from Alabama to Notre Dame, will now be on display at every NFL game.

The Denver Broncos will switch to an orange jersey from navy. Nike expects more teams to revamp their uniforms in the coming years, said Charlie Denson, president of the Nike brand.

The world's largest sporting-goods provider is beginning a five-year licensing deal that may add $500 million in annual revenue, according to Chris Svezia, an analyst for Susquehanna Financial Group in New York.

Nike took over the NFL clothing license on April 1 after Adidas AG's Reebok unit had it for more than a decade.

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