One of the few good moments for the all-black uniforms: Greg Olsen scored a Panther TD in one during Carolina's 36-14 loss to Denver last season. (AP photo by Bob Leverone)
OK, this seems crazy. It certainly isn't scientific. But it has actually happened, so given that Carolina's training camp hasn't started yet and the news is slow around Panther land, I will comment on it.
On NFL.com, the NFL's official website, all through July they've been running a bracket to decide the greatest uniform in league history. It started with 64 different uniforms (teams could be represented more than once). The Panthers were a No.15 seed with their all-black alternate uniform -- black jerseys and black pants -- that they debuted last year and wore just once, in a home game against Denver, which Carolina lost.
The Panthers last defeated the San Diego Chargers' uniforms from the early 1960s in the Final Four, and by a pretty substantial margin (873,000 to 643,000).
What does all this mean? Well, not that much. Internet voting can certainly be stacked, and some Panther fans are trying hard to do so by voting over and over. But no matter what this contest says, a color combination the Panthers wore just once is not the best uniform in NFL history, and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. (And this whole thing seems to be run pretty loosely -- originally nfl.com had the Baltimore Ravens as the Panthers' final-round opponent, but then switched it on the website to the 49ers. A miscount? Who knows?)
But this does mean one thing -- the Panthers have got to use the black-on-black ensemble (paired with blue socks) more often. It's just an alternate look, but it has caught a lot of eyeballs in this contest, and there's no real downside to wearing it. The players generally like it, too. Carolina mostly wears white in warm weather, but in November and December this one would be worth seeing several times.