Since 1981, the Cincinnati Bengals' helmet hasn't changed. You know the look. The iconic horizontal tiger stripes running up and down the lid.
I don't know if we can really call a look "iconic" if a team has done more losing than winning in it, but it's been oft-imitated at the amateur level and is instantly identifiable as a Bengals helmet, so in that regard it's been a success.
It's been everywhere else that the Bengals' look has struggled. With the helmet set, Cincinnati has never quite decided how to use those stripes on the jersey and the pant. The team's most recent uniform, I think we can agree, was way too over-striped. The helmet is the helmet, but the rest of the uniform too often has been a look any other team wouldn't be caught dead in.
But I think the Bengals have finally found their, uh, stripes with this latest look, debuted Monday.
From the front, all you see is a shoulder stripe -- common to many uniforms -- with a couple of tiger stripes on the outside part of the shoulder.
From the side, the stripes do a better job of blending in to the rest of the pant. Which, when you consider the entire reason tigers have stripes is to blend into their environment, makes total sense.
Here's the best look we've got at the full uni, modeled by someone you may know.
The team can mix and match the orange, black and white jerseys with white and black pants, and overall I think it's an improvement. But who cares what I think? Here's a review from the target demographic: "We've got some great uniform combinations. They're fresh. Look good, feel good, play good. That's facts," Bengals running back Joe Mixon said.
What do you think?