After hearing all the hype about how cool the NFL Color Rush games look on Thursday Night Football, I gave in to the madness. I was sorry I did. After wiping my glasses about four times, to make sure the glare wasn’t grease from the chicken wings I was eating, the reality sank in. This wasn’t manly at all. It was really kind of meh. The Color Rush experiment is over. Graciously, the pixels on my flat screen didn’t mutiny while the testing was still in effect. Thankfully, it’s over.
I tried my best to stay focused on the action. It just didn’t work. The Color Rush glare was always there to distract me from what I was supposed to be paying attention to. If the colors were supposed to make me hone in on a certain team, that wasn’t the case. For the most part, I had an overwhelming craving for a hot dog with ketchup and mustard.
While I was trying to make sense of why the NFL was doing this to me, I didn’t realize my wife had been standing behind me.
“Um, what are you watching?” She was just as confused as me.
“It’s an NFL Color Rush game,” I huffed back. How could she not know?
She let out a muffled chuckle. “They look like overweight ballet dancers in neon long johns.”
With one swift phrase, she dropped the microphone and went back to what she was doing. That image was now stuck in my head, with another craving for onion rings. Was this Color Rush scheme some type of devious mind control experiment to make us buy more food?
Did the NFL and Nike do their research to understand that men suffer disproportionately from color blindness? Nope. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy admits that they didn’t. The most common involves trouble distinguishing between red and green — which must have been fun for viewers of the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets game in Week 10. The pictures from that game remind me of red and green Christmas ornaments.
When asked about the Color Rush experiment, McCarthy informed Pro Football Talk that the uniforms tested well under controlled circumstances. His surprised reaction after the Week 10 fiasco gave hope for the color-impaired for later games.
“The Color Rush jerseys are a test for four games this season, the first of which was last night,” McCarthy explained. “We did test the jerseys this summer on field and on television. The standard television test did not account for color blindness for fans at home that became apparent last night. We will enhance our testing to include a color blindness analysis to better address this issue in the future.”
If the NFL was trying to enhance their product for future fans, it didn’t really work. As I sat there watching the Color Rush game, I realized I could change the channel from the Condiment Bowl. Neither of the teams that played were my favorite. I didn’t have to watch the Apples take on the Bananas in the Del Monte Fruit Bowl. Okay, I’ll stop. But you get my point?
The Color Rush experiment was probably cool for little kids. I now have serious questions for any “adult” that said the games were awesome. I’m thinking they wanted to have me waste a portion of my life, like they did, by tuning in for the amount of time it took to wolf down five chicken wing drumettes.
Most fans don’t need to see space-age versions of their favorite football team. But Nike undoubtedly made a killing off jersey sales. Thankfully, the Color Rush scheme is over. But there’s always the threat of next year.
[Feature Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]