Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is Brown Beautiful? Cleveland Browns to Wear Brown Pants

Cleveland Browns fans haven’t had a lot to be happy about since their reincarnation in 1999 but one thing that always causes uproar is proposed changes to the Browns uniform. It all starts with the classic logo-less, orange helmet with brown and orange strips. They remain the only NFL franchise with a logo-less helmet.

The facemask was originally grey but was changed to white in the 1960s until last season when they reverted back to the classic grey facemask. They also went back to wearing black shoes for the first time since the 1950s after wearing white shoes since 1960.

It is those team colors, brown and orange, that have defined the Browns from their inception in 1946 as they are the only franchise to utilize brown as their primary color and only one of four; along with Chicago, Cincinnati and Miami; using orange as a secondary color.

They wore “alternate” orange jerseys for a one game a year in 2002-2005 but the reception was lukewarm at best. They replaced that look with a throwback to the late 1950’s uniforms with their brown jersey remaining intact but with numerals and a single white stripe on the helmet.

Both the Browns’ home brown and away white jerseys have always sported the brown, orange and white stripe combo on the sleeves that have been there since 1960. This stripe combo was also features on the team’s socks until 1995. When they returned in 1999, they switched to a solid brown sock that they current wear at home and on the road.

For the first time in their existence, the Browns will test out a “major” uniform change in an exhibition game on Monday Night Football.

The Browns have exclusively worn white pants with orange and brown stripes. They wore orange pants from 1975 until 1983, after which they reverted back to white. They have continued to wear white pants since then except for special occasions when they wear orange.

On Monday, with their away white jerseys, the Browns will sport solid, brown pants without stripes for the first time in their existence. It may seem mundane to the casual fan but to a lifelong Browns fan it is borderline unfathomable. How this look with pan out in New York will be interesting.

Their name may be the Browns, but the orange pants harken back to the days of the Brian Sipe led Kardiac Kids and were incredibly popular. The classic white pants are a part of their heritage that often gets forgotten as many NFL fans forget the pre-1970 merger days of which the Browns were a dominant player.

To me the classic home uniform with the orange helmet, brown jersey and white pants is one of the classics in the game. Personally, I love the orange pants with the away white jerseys, even though it runs contrary to the name Browns, but the classic “all whites” are simple yet effective as well. On first thought, brown pants don’t really sound like a good look to me, but it is just one die-hard’s opinion.

If anything it is another interesting item in this 2008 season of intrigue for the Cleveland Browns… or just something for Browns purists to bitch about.

So what so you think? Are brown pants beautiful? Only time will tell!

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