The swoosh did it again. Or, perhaps more fittingly, the team at Nike “just [did] it” again.
Nike has unveiled the special uniforms that will be worn in the upcoming Army-Navy game, which takes place this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and will be televised on CBS, and they look slick. Very, very slick.
Nike’s been on a roll with its college football uniforms this year. Once criticized for going way over the top with its uniform designs (exhibits A, B and C: Oregon’s uniforms last decade), the Oregon-based sports apparel company has really found a sweet spot between ultra-modern and respectful-of-tradition with some of its recent designs (like these awesome Ohio State uniforms).
You can’t dress two storied teams like Army and Navy (this will be the 113th matchup between the two) in clown costumes and send them onto the field in front of a national audience — and Nike is clearly aware of that. This year’s special uniforms for the Army-Navy game have a classic look to them, but no one would accuse them of being boring or traditional. As is often the case with Nike, it’s the details that really matter.
Take a look for yourself. First up is Army:
Damn. If the real U.S. army showed up to military battles looking as dope as that, our enemies would surrender within seconds.
As you can see, Nike is sticking with Army’s black and gold look — that’s never going to change. There are all kinds of nifty details in there, though. The sleeves and numbers have map detailing on them, which is a really cool touch.
This is what Nike has to say about the maps:
Army’s striking black and gold uniforms pay tribute to a year when the Black Knights were unstoppable on all fields of battle: 1944, the year the Army troops won a key strategic victory in WWII’s Battle of the Bulge. The football team at home was on its way to a perfect season and the first of three consecutive national championships. In tribute to Army’s historic victory on the battlefield, a historical re-interpreted West Point battle atlas map of the region where the offensive took place can be seen throughout multiple elements of the uniform, from the jersey to base layer to gloves, all the way down to the inside the cleats.
The helmet also takes on the same 1944 look with the deep gold hue and black stripe along with a small black spade on the side in honor of the 101st Airborne division.
Navy also looks pretty great. Not being black and gold puts the team at a bit of a disadvantage out of the gate (what’s more badass than black and gold?), but Nike still did an awesome job marrying the tradition of Navy’s uniforms — it’s always going to say NAVY in big, block letters on the chest — with ultra-slick, ultra-modern design elements:
In Nike’s words:
Navy’s uniform pays tribute to the traditional dress white uniform – a powerful symbol of professionalism, achievement and authority throughout the organization’s history. The uniform’s clean, white look with black details and gold trim, as well as a new number / letter font, draws inspiration directly from the angular precision and speed of U.S. Navy aircraft. The First Navy Jack, featuring the iconic rattlesnake and “Don’t tread on me” phrase, is designed into the base layer.
The helmet design is inspired by a Naval Officer’s cover with a thick gold stripe representing the gold braid, and angled with a downward slope in much the same way the cover is worn.