The Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers have something in common: both are missing logo designs on parts of their helmets. The Steelers do, however, sport a decal on the rightside of their helmets whereas the Browns adorn absolutely nothing on either side of their hats.
The history of the Browns helmet designs are depicted here in an early 2019 article:
The absence of any adornment of the solid-sided helmet is traditional with Cleveland fans. Most fans not only like this aspect, but love and expect nothing to change.
The biggest change in the last 20 years was going from a white facemask to gray to brown. Although there was a big brew-ha-ha about new changes to the helmet back in 2015, the essence of that was from one tint of orange to a deeper shade.
The NFL allows clubs to alter uniforms and helmets, but must keep their decisions and designs the same for five years. After that, they can alter or do modifications with league approval. Well, the Browns went to the brown color rush uniform in 2015, and this year they can make changes if they wish and have announced new threads are on the horizon.
Back in April of 2019, QB Baker Mayfield was shown what the team has in store for the proposed changes for 2020.
It would seem logical the Browns will change their uniform style this year on the five-year mark. The current set-up with “Cleveland” across the upper chest and “Browns” down the pants striping area and the first-ever brown facemask, have gone 17-62-1 for a paltry .258 win percentage. This included a 1-15-0 season followed by an 0-16-0 disaster. None of these past five years has produced a winning campaign that featured four different head coaches, one of which was an interim head coach.
The radical “Misery” uniform design.
The Misery uniforms were unveiled to a big celebration live at the Cleveland Convention Center at a reveal party. Instantly, the media and fans hated them. “Cartoonish”, “college-style”, and “awful” were the most used descriptions. The reason for the change was to venture in the “Johnny Manziel era” with something that wasn’t like the same old uniforms with the Brown-on-white road unies and the white-on-white home combination; although the white-on-brown alternate combo, or “Tootise Roll uniform” was a different look. Another uniform they was only wore twice was the brown-on-brown version including against the Bengals in Manziel’s first NFL start.
And folks are wondering what these new uniforms will look like. NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” had a discussion about what possible look Cleveland will be sporting - whether traditional, the same, or something a bit more revolutionary.
What if the Browns changed their helmet design to coincide the new uniform look? What if they added a logo, finally, to the sides of their helmets? And if so, what design? Brownie the elf? A junk yard dawg? The letter “B” or “C” or perhaps “CB” of some sort? What would that look like?
And the color? Early on with leather helmets, Cleveland wore white helmets. Later, orange was the choice to go with a brown jersey and have been orange ever since. For a short time, the player’s jersey number was attached to the sides of helmets once plastic shells were invented. In 1965, a “CB” design helmet was ordered and merchandise was produced, but officially the team never played a preseason nor regular season game in them. In fact, players from that era stated they had never even seen them.
Here is a link to the story of the 1965 “CB” helmet:
In recent years, a trend is to add black or some shade of gray as a accent color. The San Francisco 49ers originally were silver, red and white but changed the silver to gold in 1957. In 1996, they added black as a drop-shade to their main uniform numbers. The Philadelphia Eagles began using the old uniforms of their heritage Frankfort Yellow Jackets and originally donned the Jackets’ blue and yellow unies. They changed to just green and white in 1935, added gray as an accent in 1942 which eventually became silver. Black was added for the 1997 season and now they feature a black color rush combination that is pretty sharp.
Of course, the Browns live in a world where their three other division mates all use black as one of their primary colors. So unless Cleveland just wants to fit in, the color black should not be utilized.
Browns’ owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam went on record in July of 2019 and stated at the training camp address at team headquarters that under their leadership, the Browns would never change their helmet design. Which is odd because Nike, is doing the uniform re-launch and is famous for coming up with some wild yet stunning designs. When asked about changing the helmet, Dee stated, “Oh, no. No way. Absolutely never.”
Tradition is a funny thing. At one time, there weren’t left and right shoes - just two shoes made for either foot and referred to as “straights.” Then in Philadelphia around 1818 shoes were being produced by mass production which featured right and left versions. Sometimes things change for the better, and sometimes things just remain as they always were.
Let’s take a gander at what has been published and designed by artistic individuals in regards to the Browns coming out with a new helmet design. It should be noted that none of these designs came from the Cleveland Browns themselves, nor has any official with the team stated that any of these new designs are in the works or could become an actual possibility.
Design: Charles Sollars concepts
Design: Bengals knockoff
Design: Chris Creamer. Notice the “b” cradled into the “C”
Design: Motorcycle helmet
Design: Brownie the Elf
Design: FF Helmets
Design: John Shafer
Design: 1965 “CB” helmet (never used)
Design: 1975-1995, 1999-2005
Design: 1957-1959 Jim Brown era
If you were Cleveland’s owner, which helmet would you choose to represent your Browns?
This poll is closed
Lettering: Charles Sollars football "B"
Lettering: Bengals knockoff "BROWNS"
Lettering: Chris Creamer "Cb"
Lettering: Motorcycle helmet "BROWNS"
Logos: Brownie the Elf
Logos: FF Helmets "Dawgs"
Futuristic: Marvel "The Thing"
Futuristic: John Shafer "numerals"
Historical: 1965 "CB" helmet
Historical: 1975 "white facemask"
Historical: 1957 "Jim Brown era numerals"