Well, there's good news and bad news on the uniform front. The good news is that the team plans on holding a number of focus groups this summer to determine if the 49ers' current duds should be changed and, if so, what the new ones should look like. The tentative plan is to ask fans their opinions during public practices at training camp. The team typically opens 10 sessions every training camp.
The bad news is that if the team decides on new unis, they won't hit the field until 2010. I got this reply from the league when I inquired about the procedure for changing uniforms:
"A club must give written notice and details thereof to the League by March 1 of the year prior to the year in which it wishes to change and must submit the final design and physical samples of the uniforms to the League office for approval by November 1 of that same year."
The 49ers certainly could have a final design and physical samples by Nov. 1. but they haven't given the written notice. Instead the team has been preoccupied with other matters (something about an $800-plus million stadium). And while a lot of fans (and me) are in favor of returning to the Ronnie Lott-, Joe Montana-era cherry red duds, there's no guarantee that will happen. When I've spoken with Jed York on the matter in the past, he's said that previous focus groups have been split 50-50 between the old duds and the current ones. This seems like one of those red state-blue state, tastes great-less filling, Alex Smith-Shaun Hill type matters. Let the debate begin ...
-- Matt Barrows