By John Wawrow
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. _ The NFL isn’t turning a blind eye to fans who had difficulty distinguishing between the all-red Buffalo Bills and all-green New York Jets on Thursday night.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL intends to incorporate a colorblindness test when designing its “Color Rush” alternate jerseys for next season.
“The standard television test did not account for colorblindness for fans at home that became apparent last night,” McCarthy wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “We will enhance our testing to include a colorblindness analysis to better address this issue in the future.”
McCarthy was responding to concerns raised by colorblind fans who couldn’t tell which team was which during Buffalo’s 22-17 win over the Jets. The Bills were dressed in scarlet red jerseys, sleeves, pants, socks and shoes. The Jets were decked out in Kelly green.
One of the viewers affected was former NFL kicker Lawrence Tynes, who posted a note on his Twitter account that read: “If you are colorblind like me, this NFL game is going to be hard to follow.”
Various studies have found that red-green colour blindness is the most prevalent and affects 10 million to 13 million Americans, a vast majority of them males.
The game was the first of four on Thursday night this season in which teams will wear the alternate uniforms.
Next week, the Tennessee Titans will wear all blue in facing the bold-gold-colored Jacksonville Jaguars. The other games will feature Carolina (Panthers blue) at Dallas (white) on Nov. 26; and Tampa Bay (red) at St. Louis (yellow gold) on Dec. 17.
The promotion will expand next season, when every team will wear the alternate uniforms on Thursday nights.
Bills coach Rex Ryan became a fan or the all-red colours only after the Buffalo won.
“Yeah, you don’t care how bad you look,” Ryan said, with a laugh on Friday. “If you win, you’re going to see it again. But it was different.”
Ryan was surprised to learn about the concerns raised by colorblind fans, and said he wasn’t aware of any of his players or staff experiencing similar problems.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL