The Five Things I Learned From The Nike Elite 51 NFL Uniform Launch

This week, I attended Nike's NFL Uniform Launch, showcasing the changes (or lack thereof, depending on your standpoint) that were made to the jerseys now that they're the new supplier. As with any experience I have had, I also learned a few things during this exciting event. Here are five important things I took home with during Tuesday's awesome event.

1. Nike is top-notch at everything.

This isn’t the first Nike event I’ve attended and God willing, it won’t be my last. But I have to give them the ultimate kudos every opportunity I can. I was able to see their Pro Combat unveiling in Dallas back in 2010, and I was sold on Nike being the best at what they do. In my opinion, there’s no competition with overall product, packaging and production. The way Nike takes their events seriously by being so precise and on point is telling. While they could’ve easily sent all media a video unveiling the new Elite 51 uniforms to post on their respected sites,  they instead sent many of us to New York to see the production live and in person. Having big wigs such a President/CEO Mark Parker and GM Kris Aman coming in to give us the background, as well as a tease of the of the new jerseys, was a great segue. Next, selected players from every team came out in their new digs making it the finishing touch on an excellent masterpiece production. Nike knows how to court a blogger, journalist and even consumer, schmoozing them into falling in love with everything they do. Well, you’ve got me, Nike. You had me at hello!

2. The jerseys had more changes than we’d see on the surface.

At first look, I couldn’t really see a major difference in the new jerseys from the old Reebok editions (minus Seattle’s, who had the biggest difference in look). But after a further review, there are minor details that I happened to notice. For instance, there were changes made around the neck line, that had more detail than the Reebok jerseys. There were more internal changes to the jerseys, with built-in technology that keeps the players warm, cool and protected (something the fan wouldn’t see). When talking to players like Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Bengals QB Andy Dalton, they agreed that there was a leaner, lighter feel to the jerseys than the ones from a year ago. There were minor changes, such as belt color and cleat color (BTW, the cleats were AWESOME! ), and the players seemed to like the new attire. (Note: As I woman I have to admit, they looked mighty damn good in them, too! Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program.)

3. Memo to the players - leave your entourages at home

*Nike Simp Alert* Once again, Nike showed how legit they are by having some of the biggest names modeling their new apparel. Players like Michael Vick, Ray Rice, Ben Roethlisberger and Larry Fitzgerald were among the many outstanding players that donned their new uniforms, from head-to-toe. As much as I appreciate the players being there to support the cause, their entourage that they brought along could have stayed home. Allow me to explain.

During the presentation, I kept hearing a random baby sound throughout the duration. It wasn’t unbearable, but noticeable nonetheless. After the presentation, I learned that there was, in fact, a baby there, being toted around by his mother who wore  six-inch Christian Louboutins, making sure we all noticed they were there for someone in the presentation. One player had a three-girl entourage with him, full of silicon and mean girl tactics. Another player had his accomplice mugging every female reporter who attempted to ask him a question. There’s a time and a place for everything, but that wasn't the place for fckery unnecessary distractions. At the end of the day, it's still a business, so treat it as such. Contain your entourage, gentlemen. If not, leave their asses home!

4. Media people are humans, too...

When I think of the media, I think of high school. You have the cool kids on one side, the nerds on another and the goths here and there, finding a place to fit. Everyone seems to stay in their lane and not venture out much to the other lanes, simply because they know where they fit in, as it pertains to the totem pole of high school life. Goths and nerds know the cool kids are exclusive, so they, in turn, go into thinking they're next in line when they're actually on similar playing fields. In my mind, the national media are the "cool kids," the local media are the "nerds," and the bloggers/podcasters are the "goths." Maybe my mind is doing too much, but you have to admit, it makes sense.

On Monday night, I had the opportunity to go to dinner with some Nike reps as well as other media who wanted to partake into some down time since the NCAA National Championship was on. There I was, sitting in the company of some great folks such as Marcus Troy, John Gotty (The Smoking Section), Doug Farrar from Shutdown Corner and NFL Network's Albert Breer. The highlight of my evening was seeing different levels of media, from national, to local and lower-level blogs, breaking bread together and having good times without bias. To add to that, the conversation was great. From Bounty Gate, to John Calipari, to our love/disdain for Nick Saban, we put it all on the table. It was refreshing to see that media people aren't as snobbish as they may appear.

5. New York goes hard on everything,  from the people to the rats to the pigeons.

New York is my favorite city to visit. Not because of the bright lights and the shopping (although shopping’s a top-three reason), but the grittiness of the Big Apple is right up my alley. A New York state of mind isn’t just a human train of thought, but an animalistic one as well. The NY rats don’t care if you’re near them, they’re gonna walk beside you anyway with zero fear.

Yesterday as I sat in JFK airport waiting for my flight to board, I caught some movement in my peripheral vision. A pigeon was making his way towards me, searching for food. I had just finished eating Wendy’s and had dropped a few crumbs close to my feet. He walked straight up on me and pecked away at my droppings, almost pecking at my cute shoes. I almost certain he looked me up and down, like I was short, before finishing his adventure for more food. That bird was gully. How can you not love New York???

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