An Update to the Orange Story (With Another Update)

An intriguing development (with some intriiiiiiiigue).

Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels made this comment at his Monday press conference:
"I love the orange jerseys. I know we're only allowed to wear them twice in the regular season and once in the preseason unless we make that our standard uniform. But I think our guys kind of like wearing the orange. I like the orange. But that decision to make that our permanent uniform is going to come from Pat (Bowlen). I love to wear the orange, I do. I wouldn't mind it at all. I think you're right, we kind of get excited. Everything, from when you walk in the locker room, it looks different when you've got all the orange jerseys and all that. It wouldn't bother me at all."
This jersey-changing idea actually has something behind it. McDaniels likes the idea, the players evidently like it, and as you can see in this petition, the fans want it, too. Then, Douglas A. Lee of It's All Over, Fat Man! chimes in with a theory of his own:
"There may be several explanations for the above peculiarities, but the one that sticks in my mind as the likeliest to be true is that McDaniels and Mr. B (and likely Krieger, too) already know that the Broncos are switching back to orange in 2012. What better timing than during a hand-wringing 3-6 season to drum up sentimentality for the old colors? The big win on Sunday certainly helped, and the good feelings abound despite Denver's last-place standing. In other words, this all sounds like a grand PR stunt - the fans can all sign the petition, emails will flood into the Broncos organization (and to Krieger, who will milk this story for all it's worth) and when the new 2012 orange jerseys are eventually unveiled, everyone will win!"
In this post, Doug links to several websites, one of which is a topic on a message board titled, "Nike Pro Combat Uniform Designs", that claims to be posting images of Nike's preliminary uniform designs. The idea that Nike would be changing the uniforms comes from this comment from Nike:
"We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we've done with the college programs, using new thinking and the greatest technology available. The NFL program hasn't had the same type of advancement in recent years."
The question, then, is whether those pictures are legit, and I really don't know. They may just be someone's idea of what the uniforms could look like, picked up by someone else that tells a little fib, posted by someone that believes it to be real. The only comment I can make is that there's a little curiosity in the designs. Look:

Denver Broncos
San Francisco 49ers
Cincinnati Bengals
The sides look exactly the same, albeit with different colours. Where uniforms have two colours, they will have the secondary colour in the same pattern along the side, or it will be a simple line going along that seam. Like this:

St. Louis Rams
Baltimore Ravens
The Eagles, Falcons, and Cardinals all have wings on the shoulder pads (and the Ravens' black shoulder pads here can be seen in the same way). Each uniform, then, is basically following the same pattern with its own colours, and this, in my opinion, is the same lazy and dull thinking that mires the current uniform designs. Regardless of the colour, they still all look fundamentally the same.

If these images are real, I hope Nike plans to be a little more creative when it starts its deal with the NFL in 2012.

UPDATE: Now even Eddie Royal is linking to the petition site. It's a sign!

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