NFL 2020: Draft

So the Titans' team president is retir... SWEET JESUS, WHAT'S WITH HIS FACIAL HAIR?! It looks like he had a facial mask on when he was shaving the rest of his face.

Disappointed that Tessitore is out too though. Would have been nice to see him get a shot without trying to carry a couple of boat anchors through every broadcast.

Good riddance. Still can't admit he's wrong about Lamar.

A lot of teams did videos for their schedule release, but the Jaguars arguably did the best one. Cat videos may be old and played out, but that's pretty on brand for Jacksonville:

San Francisco got a lot of love for doing theirs as Westworld, with by far the highest production value out of any of them:

Crappy ones were like the Colts, which is just players looking down at their phone's video camera to read off each game:

*Legion* wrote:

San Francisco got a lot of love for doing theirs as Westworld, with by far the highest production value out of any of them:

I can't tell who looks worse in the Week 2 allegory: Lockheed Martin for being compared to the New York Jets or the New York Jets being compared to the F-35.

I may have been mainlining DCS for the last two months...

Rat Boy wrote:

I may have been mainlining DCS for the last two months...

I have a HOTAS and pedals and still I don't think I'll ever be a big enough nerd to figure out how to play that.

Jay Cutler and his wife Kristin Calamari or whatever her name is are getting divorced.

Apparently Katamari was tired of Cutler being "lazy and unmotivated", while our boy Jay was like, "b*tch I earned $122 million in the NFL I don't have to do a god damned thing".

She's mad that he didn't follow through with a TV broadcaster career.

I hope now he takes the kids to get vaccinated.

I bet the whole "government order to not do a god damned thing" was the final straw.

The colts one was pretty bad. Awful, really. I've seen kindergarten vocal concert videos with higher production quality.

I know I'm way late on this but a quick story on Don Shula.

Larry Czsonka was on a local sports podcast talking about his old coach, how hard he was ("my way or the highway") but also about how ethical he was.

Following the '72 season, the team was getting ready for a game on the road and came across the other team's playbook lying around. Czsonka witnessed Shula telling the assistant coach who found it, "Get rid of it. If we can't beat 'em straight up, we don't deserve to win."

Pure class that guy.

Spoiler:

The Dolphins lost that game, the first following their undefeated season

Rams join the new uniform fray:

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Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh. It's like they took two classic Rams unis and then made them worse.

The whites are just terrible. Completely inferior to the white-out uniform they already had, which were *almost* good uniforms except they too added unnecessary yellow to the classic 60s Rams white-over-whites.

The number gradient on the home blues is just unnecessary.

I thought the blues looked OK because I hadn't noticed the gradient on the numbers. They are no longer OK.

The whites are awful. The blue numbers are deep enough color in that picture to where if you didn't see the helmet you'd think they were just bad Vikings uniforms.

Man, Nike designers loving tossing in gradients when there is nothing else left to “design”.

Yeah the blues would have been a decent tweak on the '80s Rams unis if not for the gradient.

Honestly it's worse than the Falcons gradient. That transitions from red to black, which are the two colors of their palette. This transitions to white, which just makes it look like they ran out of yellow to finish coloring in the numbers.

Not really a fan of the "Rams" off-centered by the shoulder.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/69Nueaz.jpg)

Hang on...

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According to Twitter the white on white is codenamed "Bone x Bone" in honour of Todd Gurley's service.

Were the two LA teams just trying to save on production costs and go with similar jersey's?

Another really interesting thing I heard on a podcast this week was a rumour that the 2021 salary cap could decrease by as much as 40%. I tried to do some digging and surprisingly there's not much information on the web other than this article here:

2021 salary cap impact

In all my years both managing an NFL salary cap and analyzing the business of the NFL, I never imagined discussing the possibility of a cap decrease from one year to the next, but that is now a very real possibility.

The NFL is obviously hopeful to play a full 16-game season, whether sequentially as laid out or altered in some way. Despite this optimism, however, there remains the distinct possibility of canceled games. Looking to the CBA for guidance on what would happen in that event, it addresses this regarding the cap formula of All Revenue (AR):

“If one or more weeks of any NFL season are cancelled or AR for any League Year substantially decreases, in either case due to a terrorist or military action, natural disaster, or similar event, the parties shall engage in good faith negotiations to adjust the provisions of this Agreement with respect to the projection of AR and the Salary Cap for the following League Year so that AR for the following League Year is projected in a fair manner consistent with the changed revenue projection caused by such action.”

Translation: If and when the NFL loses revenue due to an event beyond its control—and the pandemic certainly qualifies—the players feel the pain along with them.

Obviously canceled games will negatively impact the 2021 cap. Even without canceled games, however, realistic projections about the pandemic do not forecast packed stadiums in September. And although the NFL is better insulated against lack of fans than other leagues—with massive national media contracts and shared revenue—it is not immune to significant revenue losses that the lack of fans would bring. Losses would stem not only from vanishing gate receipts but also from ancillary revenue streams such as gameday sponsor activations, premium seating sales, parking, concessions, merchandise, etc. And these losses will be reflected in AR and manifested in a difficult and painful collective “pay cut” for players in 2021.

As to how much lower the cap sink from 2020 to 2021, that is unclear. My sense, though, is that players and owners would work to “smooth” the decrease over multiple years ahead. Usually, any smoothing or “flattening” discussion is about future increases in cap, but we’re well beyond the word “usually” right now.

While it seems unlikely that the NFL would just drop the payroll by 20-40%, it'll be interesting to see if that happens how the players "smooth" their salaries lower. A simple linear flattening of salaries would certainly punish the lower end players who make up the majority of rosters. But would Russell Wilson be willing to forgo 50% of his salary in some kind of sigmoid smoothing? I don't know...

Also adds an interesting wrinkle into current contract negotiations. Maybe we finally see the first "% of team cap" contract from Dak or Mahomes? Betting on the future of the league while potentially insulating them in the present?

There's a couple things that that blurb is missing, though.

First, negotiations for new TV deals start after this year. The Monday Night Football package expires in 2021, and everything else in 2022.

Also, the NFL can begin the 17 game season starting in 2021.

Given both the additional game and the fact that the NFL Draft broke ratings records last month, showing an extreme appetite for TV football amid this pandemic, there's a feeling out there that the new media contracts will still be a big bump upward from the previous ones, and that the increase will fill in some of the lost revenues from this year in the event of empty stadium or reduced capacity games.

How the math works out in the end... we'll see. But back in February, projections were expecting a huge spike in the 2021 salary cap. The losses this year may mean the cap just flattens out rather than tanks in 2021.

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I thought the Rams were going to go old school and ditch the yellow.

I think Blue and White is a lot better looking.

The Navy blue and what they called new century gold was pretty great, though.

Calling it. Best uniform redesign is... My Cleveland Browns!

Off season champs three years running!

UpToIsomorphism wrote:

Calling it. Best uniform redesign is... My Cleveland Browns!

Off season champs three years running!

It's the Browns or the Bucs, who both went "Hey, weird fonts, funky colors, and stupid patterns are ugly, let's go back to the classics."

I'd probably give the top spot to the Chargers redesign, but really I would break it out as:

Tier 1
Chargers
Browns
Bucs

Tier 2
Colts (they actually changed their number font to match their classic Baltimore era style. Not sure it's an actual improvement but zero argument with going classic)

Tier 3
Patriots

Tier 4
Rams

Tier 11
ATL ATL ATL

I also think it's absolutely amazing that the best Rams color uniform in Los Angeles belongs to the Chargers. Initially I considered it a knock on the redesign, but now that the Rams has flubbed theirs so badly, it's just awesome:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/bK7Ocuz.png)

Honestly if the Rams blue wasn't such a strong color on its own, their redesign might be in ATL territory, and I reserve the right to lower them later. WTF is with the yellow squiggly holding the patch on? Why do they have the road jersey be "bone" white but then the patch is "white" white and stands out like a bad Photoshop job?

Friday's The Draw Play is going to be another crack about the Rams discovering the gradient filter in Photoshop, right?

I mean, he has to, right?

"You can do gradients on numbers in Photoshop?!?"

I guess I'm the weirdo who likes the LAR outfits?

Top_Shelf wrote:

I guess I'm the weirdo who likes the LAR outfits?

I guess so.

Having now seen the Rams uniforms in motion, I think the, ahem, bone x bone is worse than previously recognized. It looks like a sweat-stained undershirt. This is particularly highlighted by the white stripe down the pants leg as well as the chest patch both being white instead of bone, making the bone color just look more like dirty white laundry.

On the flip side, the blues look alright in motion, but they're still inferior to both the team's own classic blue-over-yellow as well as the Chargers' blue-over-blue. Not bad, just a "your jersey but worse" situation.

Literally all they needed to do was take their new helmet that corrected the blue shade, and wear it with their blue-and-yellows at home, and the white-over-whites on the road, swapping the horn decal between yellow and white to match.

I get that we all like classic/throwback looks. But unless you've got the pedigree of the Packers or Bears or something, I'm fine trying new stuff.

The OG LA blue/yellow is great...if I want to be reminded of "Chris Elliott" and Dickerson and Sunday afternoons with Summerall/Madden.

I like the Seahawks old AFC West look but that era didn't exactly scream "winning" so the new school stuff with highlighter green is very on-brand for out there Pete Carroll.

I guess I just wish more teams took chances and kept the throwbacks as an alt.

And LOVE the Chargers new look. Spicy!

Not every classic look ages well, in fact many are trash. It's only the ones that DO age well that everyone wants to go back to.

I like clean, sharp jerseys. They're timeless. They age well. I hate seeing uniforms that you can tell from day 1 aren't going to age well.

Like the Jaguars with armpit stripes:

IMAGE(https://assets.sbnation.com/assets/104857/garrardnewuni_medium.JPG)

Or the Jaguars with two-tone helmets, and random teal on the sleeves:

IMAGE(https://content.sportslogos.net/news/2013/04/Screen-shot-2013-04-23-at-14.47.16-.png)

Finally they gave up with trying to get cute with "unique" design elements and made something clean, and they work. They're not the league's best, but they look fine now and they'll look fine 20 years from now.

The problem is, designers trying to come up with "new" designs seem hell-bent on trying to be novel at the expense of the design's longevity.

I don't love Seattle's modern uniforms and do prefer the AFC West unis, but there's nothing in Seattle's standard home and away uniforms that's going to age poorly. The feather pattern on the numbers and on the helmets is unusual, but they use it consistently to make it a design identity. It coincides with other "feather" elements in the uniform, all of which tie directly to the team's name. There's nothing about a yellow-to-white gradient that says "Rams", it says, "this is a thing in Photoshop so I'm going to use it".

Also I give bonus points to Seattle for having their lines consistent across all of their uniforms:

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Seattle_seahawks_uniforms.png)

Even though the little feather shoulder-to-chest stripe isn't my favorite design element in isolation, it's both part of their larger bird identity and it's kept consistent. That's well executed design.

What these uniforms don't have is a gigantic "PNW" in block letters above the numbers, they don't have S E A H A W K S printed down the side of the pant, they don't have a squiggly line above the team name patch on the chest, they don't have anything coming out of the armpits, and everywhere that they do break from standard uniform design, they do with an element that looks purposefully designed (eg. the feather patterns) rather than something that looks like they were browsing Photoshop plugins.

I will always long for the classic Seahawks blue and silver, but if these designs were brand new and I was ranking them with the other redesigns of this year, they'd be no worse than Tier 2. Better than the Patriots uniform with the aborted stripe.

Uniforms that have a history of team success will also have a large nostalgia hit for a certain group of people.