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Ranking the Detroit Lions Color Rush options

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Rumors for the Detroit Lions Color Rush uniforms are swirling, but what would look the best?

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

When the NFL introduced Color Rush uniforms in 2015 it was met with...mixed reactions. On the one hand, it was new and some of the uniforms looked pretty sharp. On the other hand, some of them looked downright terrible, and watching the Red Bills against the Green Jets just made it look like Christmas in a bad Arena League. The Detroit Lions will be sporting a new Color Rush uniform in 2016, but they haven’t yet revealed what color they will be. There has been plenty of speculation and (obviously false) leaks for what those colors will be, so we’re going to look at all the options the team has and rank them from most godawful to probably the coolest.

7. Dark Gray

Wait a minute, gray isn’t a Detroit Lions color? Why are we even mentioning this as a thing? Oh yeah, because Kid Rock doesn’t know what the Lions colors are. This would look pretty terrible. Moving on.

6. All Black

Let’s get this one out of the way first, and I’m sure to catch some flack for having this one as the worst option. Hear me out, though. I’ve often said that "Black is not a Lions color", which isn’t entirely true. It is true the team has four colors associated with them and one of them is black, however it was never meant to be a primary uniform color. Black is an accent, as is the color white, except for the obvious away uniform. The team experimented with black uniforms a few years ago and while there are some that found them kinda cool, they are associated with the darkest point in Lions history. They were retired some time after the 0-16 2008 season and have mercifully been kept in moth balls since. I’m against this color for Color Rush for more than just bad memories, however, as there are already several teams that have done the all black thing and frankly every single one of them did it better. It would be an unoriginal take on uniform design with no basis in team history, at least any part we want to remember.

5. Indiana Red

This one has been making the rounds recently for the same reason the black ones were a couple months ago. A fake account on Twitter claiming to have leaks posted nearly identical lists of team Color Rush colors (The first was deleted some time ago, and had different colors than the most recent one). The explanation for using red for the Lions was that they wore it "in the 30s and 40s", which may cause some of you to cock your heads in confusion. The Detroit Lions didn’t wear the color red in the 30s, nor did they really in the 40s, if you're implying they wore it for more than one season. The team donned a maroon uniform in 1948, when former Indiana coach Bo McMillen ran the show. This color gets a slight nod over black since the team actually won a couple games that season. Unfortunately, it was only a couple games, as the team finished last in their division with only two wins. Teams like the Giants, Texans, Falcons, and Chiefs have all donned full red uniforms and all of them have done it better and in less confusing fashion since their team colors actually contain red.

4. Portsmouth Purple

The history savvy of you probably already know the Detroit Lions started their existence as the Portsmouth Spartans. These uniforms were...oh man, guys, these things did not look good at all. I mean, we’re talking about the 20s, so it isn’t like style was really that kicking for any teams, but purple and gold with stripes would be pretty bad. What kind of loser team wears all purple, anyway? And gold as an accent? Man, there is no way that could look good, and I’d challenge you to find an example that proves otherwise. Still, it would be a pretty unique look and something other teams can’t pull off. The Mustachioed Ladies in Braids in the west wear those colors, with a darker purple and subdued gold, and they almost pull off making it look presentable. The Ravens pair the color purple with black and make it look pretty awesome. Purple by itself, though? Not good. Not great. It’s original, though, and I could probably be swayed if Nike made it look not awful.

3. Stainless

I mentioned earlier that the color white is technically part of the Lions color scheme. If you take a gander around the league you’ll find that it’s included in every single team’s scheme. That is, of course, due to away uniforms. The only team that uses white as a primary uniform color are the Dallas Cowboys, and they use it for their home unis, which makes it a pain in the neck when they travel (Thanks, Jerrah). Pictured above is kinda how it would look, based on the Cowboys. I have this higher on the list despite being included in all 32 teams uniforms, however, because I happen to like how the Detroit Lions other colors pair with white. The silver and blue, as well as the black accents I’m not a fan of in other uniforms, look very clean and sharp. I doubt the team goes this route, since part of the whole point for the NFL is selling more jerseys and this would look just like their away uniforms, but I’d be willing to give it a go.

2. Honolulu Blue

The team’s primary color and one of the most noticeable single uniform colors in the league. The Panthers, Giants, Patriots, Bills, and many other teams use the color blue in their scheme, but Honolulu Blue is a staple that makes the Detroit Lions stand out among the crowd. There was a time when this color was synonymous with a winning franchise, worn by such champions as Joe Schmidt and Bobby Layne. Its historical significance cannot be overstated, and I think I speak for all Lions fans when I point out that this color is pretty boss on a uniform. Why, then, isn’t it No. 1? Well, as good as it looks and as much of a standout color it is, it really ends up being just another shade of blue when compared league wide. The Giants probably have the most appreciated blue uniforms, while the Lions are sandwiched between that color and the lighter shade the Panthers use. They each look nice in their own ways, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do with the blue uniforms to make them different and unique as an alternate. Sure, the pants will be a different color, but that’s not very marketable. While I think this Color Rush uniform would look neat, it’s only really going to pop on the field and won’t do so enough that it will be special or memorable.

1. Pure Sterling

One thing I didn’t mention above is the helmet color. Players are only allowed one helmet for a season, so no matter what color their Color Rush uniforms turn out to be, the helmet will always be silver. That would look a bit odd on a red uniform, and out of place on the black (part of why I never liked those) and purples. It matches well with the blue uniforms, but what would really make the Detroit Lions stand out among NFL teams for their Color Rush uniforms is 100 percent silver. The only other team with silver as a primary color is the Oakland Raiders, and the darker shade looks pretty great with their other primary color, black. The lighter tone of the Detroit Lions silver has a great contrast with the blue and white stripes on their present uniform pants, and really pops on the main jersey where it’s used as an accent and outline. A completely silver uniform would allow the team and NFL to post an entirely new line of jerseys for sale, so more money for them, but we’ll be buying them because the color itself as well as how the Honolulu Blue numbers pop will look pretty amazing. There is no historical significance with an all silver outfit, but frankly when your team has such a long period without sustained success, there isn’t really much to look back upon with pride. There’s plenty to look forward to, however, and sporting an all silver uniform would be a symbolic start to a new regime in Detroit.