Ask Mase: New Broncos owners should mean new Broncos uniforms

Jul 3, 2022, 10:42 PM | Updated: 11:02 pm

Ask Mase...

Ask Mase

This weekend is red, white and blue. But the time for the orange and blue is fewer than four weeks away. Let’s dive into the holiday mailbag:

From Brock in Van Nuys, Calif.:

OK, big shot. You love to tweet about Broncos uniforms. You always say they’re dated. So, what should new ownership do to give the Broncos a uniform that won’t go out of style within a decade?

It’s easy to say, “Just adapt the Color Rush template.” And there would be nothing wrong with that. But I suspect the Broncos’ new owners will not do something that simple. So, with that in mind, here are some ways to prevent the current sartorial conundrum of wearing a 1990s uniform in the 2020s.

A few things:

  1. No huge unusual elements. For example, no side-panel swooshes. The problem with items like this is that they become passé and out-of-style within a decade. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many teams at myriad levels — college, high-school and second-tier pro league such as Arena Football — used versions of the side-panel swooshes. In the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals still do — and many of their fans have called for new uniforms in recent years. The swooshes were stylish and modern then; now they are passé.
  2. Consistency. One of the failures of the current primary uniform template is how the helmet stripes do not match any other element on the uniform. But a strength of the Color Rush uniform is the consistent stripe pattern across the helmet and jerseys. A new uniform should aim for pattern alignment among the helmet, jersey and pants.
  3. The uniforms need something that has at least a nod to distinct elements of Broncos history. Take the uniforms of the Carolina Panthers, for instance. The words “Keep Pounding” are on the inside of the collars. Those words honor the late Sam Mills, who used that as his mantra when he battled the stomach cancer that claimed his life in 2005. No Panthers uniform should ever not have a nod to Mills, given the prominence of his story in that team’s history.

So, from the Broncos’ perspective, I would like to see their original vertical stripes somewhere in a new uniform. Like the University of North Carolina’s argyle or the University of Wisconsin’s subtle “Forward” arrows, these are a distinctive visual signature. The question is, where?

First of all, the stripes should be orange and blue, not the original brown-and-mustard. Second, they should be understated — so, for the regular uniform, no vertically-striped socks!

Either have a vertical-stripe pattern inside the collar, or two vertical stripes extending from the jersey collar down to the edge of the sleeves, with similar, matching stripes down the pants and helmet. Vertical stripes are part of the Broncos’ history. There should be a subtle nod to this unique aspect of the club’s 62-season story.

Beyond this, I have a few general ideas:

  1. Sleek is good. Don’t go for any goofy patterns. If there are any stripes, they should be minimized: three small stripes on the sleeve or pants, just like on the Color Rush uniforms.
  2. Ditch the swooshes. Not only are they dated, but it is too easy fore them to look awful. One of the issues with the side-panel swooshes is how they overwhelm the uniform and make the numbers on the front of the jersey feel boxed in. Another issue with the side panels is how the jersey and pants must be aligned perfectly; otherwise, the swoosh doesn’t align. So get rid of the jersey side panels, and this problem evaporates.
  3. The numbers don’t have to be a block font. There actually isn’t anything wrong with the custom font on the current primary uniform template; it works. Keeping this would allow for some connection with the uniforms worn since 1997.
  4. Build flexibility into the design. Right now, the Broncos have two sets of white pants, and they can’t wear orange jerseys with blue pants. Why? Those blasted side swooshes! The blue swoosh on the orange jerseys would clash with the orange swoosh on the blue pants. So, there’s one alternate look rendered kaput. Have a consistent stripe template and design with blue, orange and white pants. Mix and match to your heart’s content. (Try to stay away from all-blue and all-orange, though.) I’d love to see blue jerseys with orange pants as a part of a rotation under a new uniform template.

And one more thing, beyond the uniforms: I hope new ownership sees fit to revisit the old end-zone paint schemes from Broncos history. I loved seeing the old diamond patterns revived in 2009 and 2010. But there are plenty of designs from which to choose that span the decades.

From Bruce in Imperial, Neb.:

Paton has repeatedly said that he will get more draft capital before the 2023 draft. At this early date, what assets (players or future picks) do you see being used to make that happen and do you think it’s possible to obtain first- and/or second-round picks?

In the next two months, don’t expect moves to get more than late-round picks. And if and when those moves happen, they will probably take place around the cut to 53 players — or in the weeks before that. Getting first- or second-round selections would require trading players of high value. But right now, the Broncos don’t have tradeable assets to get into the first or second round — unless they want to trade core players such Russell Wilson or Justin Simmons, which is not happening.

Bradley Chubb’s name occasionally arises. But given his expiring contract and his injury history, his value is currently low. And if he plays to his pedigree and expectation, it seems unlikely the Broncos would trade him next offseason — although there is a scenario in which a tag-and-trade would make sense. That scenario involves at least two of the other edge rushers proving worthy of a primary role — so, likely Randy Gregory living up to his potential, along with at least one of Baron Browning, Malik Reed, Jonathon Cooper and Nik Bonitto exploding.

So, there are many moving parts. Wide receiver could be in play as a tradeable position given the assets the Broncos have there, but quality pass catchers are not hard to find in today’s NFL.

Denver is not expected to get any compensatory picks next year, according to the projections made by Nick Korte of So, another source of potential picks is out of the picture. George Paton has plenty of work ahead of him to acquire the darts he needs for next spring.

From Steve Nebraska in the Middle East:

This is not my real name, but that’s OK. After reading your piece on the inside linebackers, I was wondering why they would sign Alex Singleton if they really believed Jonas Griffith could be a starter?

First, thank you for reminding me of the 1994 film “The Scout.”

Sure, it’s an uneven movie. While Steve’s name is underrated, the movie’s middling regard is about right. But it has its moments. Anything with the great Albert Brooks can’t be all bad. (Although it pales in comparison with his exquisite film from three years earlier, “Defending Your Life.”)

Proper roster-building involves viable contingency plans wherever possible. Obviously, there would be no replacing Russell Wilson at quarterback. But at every other position, the ideal depth-chart situation involves having an experienced, trustworthy reserve who can step into action. On the offensive line, it’s Tom Compton and Graham Glasgow. At wide receiver, it could be Travis Fulgham. On the defensive line, it’s DeShawn Williams. You get the picture.

So, Singleton is here in case Griffith doesn’t blossom — or the Broncos have an injury at inside linebacker. Last year, ILB happened to be the spot where the Broncos got hammered with injuries. (There is usually one position group a year that bears a particular injury brunt.) Having Singleton, who started 8 games last year for the Eagles, doesn’t convey a lack of faith in Griffith. It just means the Broncos are covered at that position group. Singleton’s special-teams presence doesn’t hurt, either.

From A Referee in Greeley:

Would like to know if you believe Paton and the Broncos waiting another year before extending the contract for Russell Wilson will have a negative impact on Wilson’s attitude or the locker room in general. To me, it seems prudent to measure his impact on the team in 2022-23 to properly measure future value.

I doubt it would affect his attitude, and I don’t believe it will affect the locker room. As a nine-time Pro Bowler at the most vital position in North American major team sports, Wilson knows his value. He also understands the overall situation in which the franchise sits: completing a transition to new ownership. Wilson is also a professional; even though he had his quibbles with the situation in Seattle, he still put in the work and did his job well. There can be a prudence to waiting, but at the same time, if Wilson exceeds expectations, his price tag could increase further. And the Broncos of the last decade have been burned often by dawdling on contracts. Good players in the prime years relative to their position generally don’t drop in price.

Now, into the tweets:

It all depends on the ACC’s grant of rights and whether schools can find a way to extract themselves from it. In all likelihood, ending that will require a cluster of schools leaving the ACC at once. That would likely trigger an ESPN renegotiation of its ACC contract, and revised terms that would soften the current blow that leaving the conference would create. But for that to happen, you would likely need the Big Ten and SEC to try to poach schools from the ACC at the same time, and to do so quietly. This would potentially some involve some combination of Clemson, Florida Sate, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. It other words, it would reach a point where too many people are involved to keep things silent.

But if this happens, I would expect that within five to seven years, North Carolina’s athletic home is in the Big Ten. The SEC would also have interest in UNC — the idea of Kentucky-Carolina being a conference game in basketball is mouth-watering. But it’s not like the Big Ten is chopped liver; Carolina-Michigan State and Carolina-UCLA conference games are eye-catching.

And in the end, I expect Duke to be where UNC ends up. There are precious few commodities in college athletics beyond football that move the needle on a nationwide basis. But as this past season reminded us, Carolina-Duke is one of those things. If a conference sought UNC, it would be foolish to not want Duke, too. And the schools’ academic and athletic profiles are far better fits for the Big Ten than the ACC.

The biggest drawback is if the pitch tracking fails. And as with anything computer-related, there will be glitches from time to time. And the debate that fuels social-media will cease. But that debate is often a result of maddening calls, the type of which we see too often from certain umpires in particular (cough, Angel Hernandez, cough). It’ll take the art of pitch framing out of the catcher’s tool box, but that isn’t a bad thing. Pitch framing, at its core, is simply an attempt to deceive. With a computer-judged strike zone, that is gone. Just make sure that whatever form robo-umps take doesn’t become self-aware and morph into SkyNet, and we’ll be good.

Got a question? Submit it here to be a part of the next edition of the “Ask Mase” mailbag, dropping weekly at!



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Ask Mase: New Broncos owners should mean new Broncos uniforms