The helmet with the iconic M will be gone. The plump Dolphin with the cartoonish scowl is also out. The orange sunburst will be bigger and have more spikes. And the face mask on helmets will go all white for the first time in team history.
Bottom line? The Dolphins are changing their logo and uniforms. The club originally planned to unveil the new gear April 18 but has changed that and will now do it April 25, which is also the first day of the NFL Draft.
And yes, last week’s Internet leak of the new logo was indeed the new logo, multiple club sources have confirmed.
Let the celebration begin. Let the controversy begin.
The Dolphins expect both.
They know some fans will initially dislike the new logo because, well, people are different and no one quite sees things through the same prism. So a number of people are bound to dissent. But the team also expects many fans to embrace the change and flock to stores to buy the Nike gear and jerseys that will bear the new logo and new look.
The Dolphins know there will be no consensus.
But buzz? Oh yes, there will more of that than there was a couple of weeks ago for things that actually have an effect on winning and losing such as the addition of new free agent receiver Mike Wallace.
Fans have been discussing possible logo changes on social media for months. This newspaper held a contest to have readers submit possible changes. Other websites have done the same.
But the Dolphins’ new logo comes straight from the top of the organization.
There will be so much buzz about this change that the team is uncertain how media covering the draft and the official logo and uniform reveal on the same day — with one event at Sun Life Stadium and the other at the team’s training facility — will divide resources and determine priorities.
Is the arrival of a new logo going to get more attention, more play, than that of the team’s first-round draft pick or the other way around? No one knows.
Either way, when Miami’s first-round pick is announced and he’s handed a cap and jersey by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he’ll be getting the new gear, and it will be the first time the gear will be on national TV.
The Dolphins originally planned to unveil the new gear one week earlier. But those plans suddenly changed after the NFL owners’ meetings last week. Some believe the NFL asked for the move and owner Stephen Ross, vying to land a Super Bowl in May, compromised in order to gain favor.
It’s also possible the club is using the draft to shield the new logo and uniforms from a chorus of criticism.
The Dolphins, by the way, are not publicly commenting on the new logo or the authenticity of the leak. But it is real. There is no doubt.
It has been in the pipeline for a while, as new gear doesn’t just magically appear at the team’s stores and other outlets on the day of the unveiling. Many people have seen it.
Back to the roots
I haven’t seen the uniform. But I’m told the color scheme going forward will be a throwback to the team’s roots. The aqua and orange somehow morphed over the years sometimes getting darker, sometimes lighter, sometimes even looking a bit turquoise or teal or even somewhere in the green family when none of that was the original intent.
Aqua and orange, folks.
Yes, with some white and some blue in the mix.
The new color scheme is supposed to return the Dolphins to their founding.
The new logo is supposed to have a more active approach for the Dolphin. (Did I really write that last sentence?)
The mascot will be parallel to the ground and seem to be flying through the orange sunburst, which is bigger now. The mascot on the old logos seemed to be leaping through the sunburst almost perpendicular to the ground.
The Dolphins recently took a liking to wearing their white on white uniforms almost exclusively. It used to be a strictly practical matter because playing in South Florida in the heat made wearing white on white cooler for the players and that was an advantage.
The theme will carry on and now the Dolphins will add white face masks to the look for the first time. The white face masks will make Miami only the second NFL franchise with that look, as Kansas City also uses white.
Uniform and logo changes might seem trivial to the disinterested but are actually a visceral topic for fans.
The Marlins did it last year, and it was hideous.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did it in 1997 to applause from fans and players alike because the skull and crossed swords on the pirate flag is endlessly more intimidating than Buccaneer Bruce ever was despite the dagger in his mouth.
The purists will complain the Dolphins should never change their logo. They point to the New York Yankees or New York Giants as teams with tradition that have kept the same uniform and logos for decades and done quite well.
The Dolphins have actually changed their original logo a handful of times, and the current one is actually only 16 years old.
And as to the Giants never changing?
They changed their logo years ago and then changed back. And on Tuesday they announced they would unveil an alternative uniform in 2013, replacing the familiar grey pants with white ones.
So much for tradition.