Week 2, 2014 Weekly Uniform rankings

By Tim Brulia

Back atcha.

16) Rams-Buccaneers: STL in navy/navy, TB in white/white. The all navys versus the all whites. Drat. I for one, think this would have a week winner if say the Rams go white over navy and the Bucs do a red/pewter look. But because it's early in the season, Bucs do the WAH and we are all the poorer.

15) Dolphins-Bills: MIA in aqua/white, BUF in white/white (throwback). Any excuse for the Fins to wear aqua is a good excuse. In my childhood days, I really didn't like the aqua. Decades later, I have grown quite fond of the color. Bills would normally score some points with me in the throwbacks, but alas, it's the all whites at home no less. Too much white for my eyes.

14) Eagles-Colts: PHI in white/white, IND in blue/white. The Eagles, perhaps influenced by their green issues with their jerseys, are keeping green out of the picture for the time being. And that's unfortunate, because green pants would have certainly helped this matchup loads. The Colts certainly in their better combo of blue over white.

13) Jets-Packers: NYJ in white/white, GB in green/yellow. The beauty and brilliance of the Packers home uniforms. The utter banality of the Jets white/white/white/white dress up. Either the green pants and/or the green socks from the Jets would have given this matchup hope. Nope.

12) Saints-Browns: NO in black/gold, CLE in white/white. While there's a nice set of unusual colors coming together (gold, brown, black and orange), and they are all presented in the best possible way, I am just not feeling it, Mr. Crabs.

11) Texans-Raiders: HOU in white/navy, OAK in black/silver. Until 2008, the Texans routinely wore red socks with their white over navy combo. A detail not lost me whatsoever. That little detail used to spark that uni aplenty. Now, it just dulls me. Sorry, the silver and black does not salvage this matchup.

10) Steelers-Ravens: PIT in white/yellow, BAL in purple/white. I guess it's a little early in the season for the Ravens to go all dark, but the prime time game at least gets them to don purple. There's a fair amount of black, but the purples and yellow with a breath of gold give this matchup a moderate color palette.

9) Lions-Panthers: DET in honolulu blue/silver, CAR in white/white. Rather odd to see a bluer shade of pale dominate, but that's not really so bad. Silver and black to accentuate.

8) Cardinals-Giants: ARZ in white/white, NYG in blue/gray. A little early for red pants, I suppose, but I'm liking this gathering of blues, reds and grays. Plenty of Cardinal white, but the red trim and Giants blue and gray cancel out the white fatigues.

7) Falcons-Bengals: ATL in red/white, CIN in white/white. As a carryover from previous seasons, as much as I find the all white Falcons meh, I do indeed like their red jerseys. Bengals in early season WAH mode, find the right mix of black and orange trim. Rarely seen matchup, but nicely played.

6) Cowboys-Titans: DAL in navy/silver, TEN in white/navy. How 'bout them Cowboys in their too rare dark topped combo?! And the Titans in their white jerseys with those navy bottoms? This is a goody from where I sit!

5) Jaguars-Redskins: JAX in white/white, WSH in burgundy/yellow. A 180° turn for the Jags from last week's all black look, But it's working here. The mish-mash of teal, gold, black, yellow and burgundy sinks in well with this reporter.

4) Chiefs-Broncos: KC in white/red, DEN in orange/white. The only other normal matchup that I can think of off-hand that I like more than this one is CHI at GB. There is just something about this baby that makes me so glad I'm a uni-nerd. Colors and uniforms that are done 100% right.

3) Patriots-Vikings: NE in white/navy, MIN in purple/white. The Vikings are spending a full home season outdoors for first time since 1981. And, if anything, it will make those purple jerseys seem brighter in natural daylight. Nice load of colors for me, purple, navy, silver, red and yellow. Likey.

2) Seahawks-Chargers: SEA in navy/gray, SD in white/white. OK, I admit to being a sucker for what may be normally dull, but when the rarity of the situation breaks out, even it IS dull, I get excited. Such is the case with this game. Seahawks in a truly rockin' combo going against the Chargers in all white. Meh + Meh = Whoa? Yeah. In this case, Yeah.

1) Bears-49ers: CHI in white/navy, SF in red/gold. This all comes together in nearly perfect harmony. Navy as the heavens intended, orange a perfect compliment, brilliant scarlet with perhaps a slight overtaste of gold. Brought together against a brand new stadium on lush green grass and my football brain is sated to a T.

Well, 2 down, 15 to go (add 4 more weeks for Playoffs).

Yours in unis,
Timmy B

When Bill met Tim...a GUD story

By Tim Brulia and Bill Schaefer

On Monday, September 7, 2009, 8:46 PM, Tim Brulia sent this email (edited) to Bill Schaefer:


Ken Crippen (then-president of the Professional Football Researchers Association) sent me your info on what you have done.

Please contact me IMMEDIATELY when you read this either by email or by cell phone...Would like to discuss and see some of your work. I do like what I've seen of your Bears in the 1930's!!

Looking forward to connecting with you!

Tim aka Timmy B"

The next day (September 8, 2009, 3:35 PM), Bill replied (edited) as follows:

"Hi Tim.
Just got your email after I got home from school - back in session for a third week already. As you can tell, I kept busy this summer. Like I told Ken, I have done everything that was written up (NFL) from '33-'58 including the defuncts. I am currently in the middle of the AAFC with about 4 teams to go.  I have no problem getting my work included... I have borrowed some images from a few sights in order to complete the '33-'58.  I also redid many of the images from  "Past and Present" to include records, patches, and playoff performances as I was using them for screensavers.
Let me know what you need from me.
Bill Schaefer"

And thus were sown the seeds of the origin of what would become the Gridiron Uniform Database. Perhaps it is a bit pretentious to toast the anniversary of this connection that led to what we believe is the go-to site for the full history of Professional Football uniforms since 1920, but we'd like to share with you our take and the pre-GUD origins of research and correspondence between us.

From Tim's end:
I had been hoping that after Uni Watch printed my research on uniforms from 1933 through 1958 in February of 2009, I would be able to find someone who could render the descriptions into graphics, and then someone who could create a website to share our findings with the world. Several came forward, but the one who was willing to take on the challenge and...me...for the long run was Bill. 

We started by going through each season from 1933 to 1958 to dissect each and every uniform; striping, color, hue, trim, sleeve length, everything but the fabric of the uniform (wait, yes, even that!). Then, in part II of the research, we went team by team to bring our research current from 1959 to 2009, which melded into 2010. Part III was a complete re-check for everything. This was done before we even thought of the search for someone (eventually, Rob Holecko) who could cram all of this into a website that eventually became the GUD. 

Today, as we have just begun the 2014 season, Bill and I continue to perfect as much of the site as possible. No matter how major or how minor, we research every claim that either one of us may find, our talented webmaster Rob may find, our ace assistant Larry Schmitt may find, or any of our faithful followers may find. Before it makes its way to the GUD, Bill and I must be in agreement that changes or additions are to be made. We feel that after viewing countless photographs of football uniforms, we can make pretty good assessments of what makes it to the GUD. 

Speaking for myself, Bill is absolutely the right man to be our graphic engineer. I doubt that anyone else would have put up with me and my finickiness for the nearly two years of pre-GUD research. His graphic skills have increased a thousand fold since 2009, likewise his knowledge of football uniforms and yes, I believe he has become every bit the stickler for detail as I am, and perhaps more. Bill, thanks so much for answering the call. Without you, and eventually Rob, we'd all still be at ground zero in the realm of pro football uniform research.  

You're a good man, Bill Schaefer (and Rob, of course, but that's for another story)!

From Bill's end:
I don't know if I have much more to add to what Tim has already summarized or that we have already included in our "About" section. I guess the thing that gets me is the irony of everything that led to the creation of the GUD.

If my Dad hadn't had season tickets to the Steelers since 1977.
If he hadn't gotten me a team helmet magnet each game we went to that started my interest in football and the uniforms.
If the school I began working at in 2002 hadn't put a computer (my first) in my classroom.
If I hadn't have discovered Craig Wheeler's FUPP website.
If I hadn't started using those images as screensavers.
If Craig hadn't stopped updating the site in 2003 forcing me to make my own updates to his images.
If I hadn't stumbled upon the original artwork of an unknown artist who had created the basics of what would be our 2D template.
If I hadn't discovered my latent artistic abilities I never knew I had. (Maybe I'm really a Jedi knight, too, and just don't know it!)
If I hadn't first reached out to Ken Crippen who put me in touch with Tim.
If we'd never found Rob to do the rest of the dirty work for us.
If my wife had said at some point "For crying out loud, uniforms again?"
...(wait, that DOES happen at least once a week. Bless her heart.)

Finally, I guess the thing to marvel at the most is that all of this has been accomplished without Tim or I ever standing in the same room.

Here's to Tim and Rob. Five years of 'just getting it right.' 

Week 1, 2014 Weekly Uniform Rankings

By Tim Brulia

OK, time for your favorite thing, Timmy B's weekly NFL rankings. As always, my opinions are strictly my own and do not necessarily represent those of my fellow GUDdiees, Bill or Rob. These opinions are basically done on the fly and I may think differently a day or two later. As in the past, the traditions don't matter near as much to me as the colors, the more colors, the more likely I bump the rank of the matchup. Please don't look for consistency, because you won't find it here. The rankings are meant fully for fun and really, if you take offense, seek shelter immediately!!

Here we go:

16) Raiders-Jets: OAK in black/silver, NYJ in white/white. Sorry, me no like. Raiders do salvage this from the heap with the silver and black, but the Jets head to ankle in white is a look I am not fond of at all. No green pants, no green socks, just a white overload. Bah, humbug.

15) Patriots-Dolphins: NE in navy/silver. MIA in white/white. Ummm, not a fan, The Dolphins in all white is not all right. Pats outfit is fine, with the navy, silver and a hint of red. Miami in loads of white, some aqua and a breath of orange, nah.

14) Jaguars-Eagles: JAX in black/black, PHI in white/white. By now you may have heard that the Eagles won't have their green jerseys ready util well into the season due to the difficulty in getting the shade of green right by the Eagles and the NFL. So, the Eagles go all white. The Jaguars, surprisingly, by-pass the white pants for an all ebony look. I can't get my arms around the starkness of the unis.

13) Bills-Bears: BUF in white/white, CHI in navy/white. Several years ago, the Bears started off their home games with white, a pleasant change from the norm. The Bills have a gorgeous set of blue pants that can and should be worn with the white jerseys. Alas, no such luck here. Too much white here and thus the lower level for this matchup.

12) Chargers-Cardinals: SD in white/navy, ARZ in red/white. Open question: Most of us yearn for the powder blue jerseys for the Bolts. What about powder pants?? Anyway, this all-white helmet affair offers red, navy, yellow and bits of powder blue and black. Rather average to me.

11) Colts-Broncos: IND in white/white, DEN in orange/white. While many dig the Colts minimal look, I am not aligned in the dig category. I'd love a blue pair of pants to add pizzazz to this stark, bur quite traditional look. The Broncos, still look wonderful in the orange jerseys, trimmed in blue and white. They, the Broncos, save this matchup.

10) Vikings-Rams: MIN in white/purple, STL in navy/navy. Always take a shine to the Vikes purple trousers. Not quite so much for the all navy Rams look, Desperately need a return of the gold bottoms for the Rams. An overload of dark stuff here.

9) 49ers-Cowboys: SF in red/gold, DAL in white/mint. ....annnnnnd yet another season of the JonesBoys in their 50 shades of blue. The Niners in the dependable red and gold look featuring the hacked up sleeve stripes. It adds up to a nice matchup but not much more than that.

8) Bengals-Ravens: CIN in black/white, BAL in white/white. It's early, so the Ravens take a turn in white at home (WAH). And another game where if one or the other team (but not both) whipped out their black pants, it would have scored a few brownie (blackie?) points with me. No dice. And a below the bar matchup.

7) Titans-Chiefs: TEN in white/navy, KC in red/white. One year ago, for their home opener, the Chiefs stunned the uni world with a red-red stunner that dropped my jaw in delight. This week, the Chiefs stay rock rigid with the traditional red over white. Couple with the efficient white over navy of the Titans, that's not a bad thing. I'm fond of this matchup.

6) Packers-Seahawks: GB in white/yellow, SEA in navy/navy. The season's lid lifter features two strong identities. 20th century against 21st century. The yellows and greens bounce off well against the navy and wolf gray, but not so much against the lime greens.

5) Browns-Steelers: CLE in white/brown, PIT in black/yellow. Traditional rivals, for the most part, in traditional garb. But the Browns did grace our presence with the straight brown pants. The brown pants do offend most, but not me. Just wish the pants had some stripes gracing the sides. A nice batch of colors.

4) Giants-Lions: NYG in white/gray, DET in honolulu blue/silver. Nothing major, but I do find this matchup rather appealing for some reason. Both teams busted out patches; Giants for their 90th season and Lions with a William Clay Ford memorial. Maybe the red, the blue and the glorious honolulu makes this a pleasant matchup.

3) Saints-Falcons: NO in white/gold, ATL in red/white. Kissing cousins from the south, black is a common denominator for these two, but apart from from the Falcons helmet, the darkness is kept to a minimum. No black jerseys, no black pants, just a lot of red and gold, with black just there to compliment. As a result, this works nicely.

2) Panthers-Buccaneers: CAR in light blue/silver (alternate), TB in white/pewter. This one rocks. The Bucs, the lone changer of uniforms for 2014, with the grossly oversized helmet logos and the alarm clock number font, meet the Panthers in their classy carolina blue alternates with the silver bottoms. While the Bucs have a very busy look, it is distinctive and I admit to enjoying it. The Panthers in a jersey that I dearly wish would be the first choice and I heartily thumbs up this one.

1) Redskins-Texans: WSH in burgundy/yellow, HOU in white/white. Texans usually start their home schedule in all white and such was the case in 2014. The Redskins respond with the cracking but terribly inconsistent striped burgundy-yellow combo. From a color perspective, with navy, red, yellow and burgundy, this is a sweet looker.

That's a wrap for Kickoff Week, 2014. Be here next week!

The GUD Makes Our 2014 Season Predictions

by Rob Holecko, Bill Schaefer and Tim Brulia

Rob starts off:

Hello everybody out there in football land.  Our long national nightmare known as the off-season is just about over, and I have decided to start a new tradition here at the Gridiron Uniform Database and that is to make predictions for the following season and throw down the gauntlet to my fellow GUD bloggers to do the same.  I will pick the eight division winners and two wild card teams as well as the playoff results and the Super Bowl matchup and  eventual champion of Super Bowl "ex-licks"

Last year, I can say that I did, in fact, pick Seattle to defeat Denver in the Super Bowl before the season started.  I say this without bragging, however - they were the odds-on favorites and I wasn't exactly going out on a limb, seemingly everyone had the same pick.  This time things seems to be a little more wide open.

Eveybody seems to like the Bucs and the Browns to be better..  People seem to like Green Bay and Philadelphia to also be strong, and of course, Seattle and Denver are still among the best in the league.

Here's my picks:

AFC East Champion:  New England Patriots. (12-4) Not exactly a surprise here, the best team in a weak division is back for another run.

AFC North Champion:  Cincinnati Bengals. (10-6) This is a tough pick, Cleveland will be better, I think Pittsburgh and Baltimore aren't as good as they once were, so the Bengals should take this division.  But the real question for the Bengals, can they win a playoff game.

AFC South Champion:  Indianapolis Colts. (11-5)  Not an upset pick her, Luck & Co. are only getting better with another year of experience.  Tennessee and Houston are still rebuilding, but Jacksonville will be much better once Bortles takes over at QB.

AFC West Champion: Denver Broncos.  (14-2) Peyton Manning and crew have a definite chip on their shoulders after getting routed in the Super Bowl - they want to come back and get it done this time.

AFC First Wild Card: San Diego Chargers (10-6) Philip Rivers has another soid year with not much to show for it.

AFC Second Wild Card:  Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7)  Bortles becomes a true star when he gets his chance leading the Jags to a surprising playoff appearance.

NFC East Champion:  Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)  Any easy pick in a weak division, but the Eagles I'll pick to have the best record in the NFC.

NFC North Champion:  Green Bay Packers. (12-4)  A home playoff game at Lambeau Field should be an automatic ticket to at least the NFC Championship game.

NFC South Champion:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (11-5)  How can I go against the trendy pick of the year, when it's my Bucs?  Lovie Smith and company party like it's 1979 and 1997 as the Bucs' third era of greatness begins.

NFC West Champion:  Seattle Seahawks. (10-6)  It's not all rainbows and skittles for the defending champs, as they hit a few road blocks and have to go on the road in the playoffs where the 12th Man can't help them.

NFC First Wild Card: New Orleans Saints. (10-6)  Drew Brees and company also are back for another run.

NFC Second Wild Card: Arizona Cardinals. (10-6)  This time they don't fall a game short of the playoffs in a NFC West that has seen everybody takes a step or two back.

Teams I have just missing out:

Cleveland...it's was either them or Jacksonville with the surprise 2nd Wild Card in the AFC and I went Bortles over Manziel, but could have gone the other way as well.

Chicago... I think they will be good, too, but another 10-6 and just miss the playoffs in Trestman's second year.

Carolina... I really don't think they will fall back much in the NFC South, but with the Saints & Bucs having good years, just not enough wins there for the Panthers to get in.

...and San Francisco will have a tough year with a lot of off the field problems, Kansas City, Baltimore and Dallas will disappoint, I think the NY Jets might surprise a few people and Atlanta and the NY Giants will be just bad.

Playoff predicitions:  (Hmmm.. AFC results look very familiar)

Wild Card Games:

(6) Jacksonville at (3) Indianapolis.... Indianapolis 38, Jacksonville 20
(5) San Diego at (4) Cincinnati... San Diego 21, Cincinnati 18

(6) Arizona at (3) Tampa Bay... Tampa Bay 24, Arizona 14
(5) New Orleans at (4) Seattle... Seattle 38, New Orleans 35

Divisional Playoffs:

(5) San Diego at (1) Denver... Denver 38, San Diego 24
(3) Indianapolis at (2) New England.. New England 45, Indianapolis 23

(4) Seattle at (1) Philadelphia... Philadelphia 31, Seattle 24
(3) Tampa Bay at (2) Green Bay.... Green Bay 20, Tampa Bay 8

Championship Games:

Denver 35, New England 31
Philadelphia 38, Green Bay 28

Super Bowl XLIX:

Denver 33, Philadelphia 25

Peyton Manning gets his redemption after the Super Bowl XLVIII blowout at the hands of the Seahawks.

We'll stick these in the time machine and re-visit them in February and see how we did.

Now here's Bill with his picks....

AFC Division winners: New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Denver.

AFC Wildcards: San Diego, Pittsburgh

AFC Championship Game: Cincinnati defeats Denver

NFC Division winners: Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle

NFC Wildcards: Green Bay, Carolina

NFC Championship Game: Chicago defeats New Orleans

Super Bowl: Chicago defeats Cincinnati in OT, 34-31

...and here's Tim's picks:

4 Eagles

1 Saints
6 Buccaneers

2 Packers

3 Seahawks
5 Cardinals

3 Patriots
6 Bills

2 Colts

1 Bengals

4 Broncos
5 Chiefs

Wild Card:

Seahawks over Buccaneers
Eagles over Cardinals

Patriots over Bills
Chiefs over Broncos

Eagles over Saints 
Packers over Seahawks

Chiefs over Bengals
Colts over Patriots

Packers over Eagles
Colts over Chiefs

Super Bowl XLIX:
Packers over Colts (nail biter)

Butt, (speaking of) stripes...

by Tim Brulia

Back in the days of old in the National Football League, the template of a football uniform was rather simple. A plain leather helmet that resembled more a World War I flight cap (without the goggles) than a football helmet, woollen football jerseys, droll canvas pants and wool socks.

As we focus on the pants, and pant materials became a little lighter and more form fitting, one unique aspect came to the fore.  Namely the contrasting appearance of elastic, running down the rear from the waist, down either, um, butt cheek, down the rear thigh, down to the calf to the edge of the pant leg.

For lack of a more sophisticated term, we at the GUD call them "butt stripes."  As far as we can tell, these stripes first appear as black, and in some cases, seem to contour to players' posteriors accordingly. Meaning that some of the heftier players may have had wider butt stripes than the more thinly built players.  We surmise that the butt stripes actually may have had a function; a more custom and comfortable fit for players. The previous canvas pants were definitely bulky and most were fitted with exposed hip pads.  Likely, these pants would add weight with sweat, and likely mud and other elements of nature found on the hard-scrabbled fields.  When the butt striped pants rose in popularity, with newer materials, the stripes were made of elastic materials that moved with the player and was less likely to be troubled with the aforementioned issues that plagued the canvas pants.  Not every team adopted the butt-stripe approach, but the Giants, Bears, Pirates, Dodgers, Cardinals were among those that did.
1934 Pittsburgh Pirates
Soon after their appearance, several teams began to take advantage of the stripes and utilized them as a design element.  In 1935, the Dodgers came out with white butt stripes on their green pants, and the Bears sported orange butt stripes on navy pants.  The following season,
1936 New York Giants
1936, the Giants added stripes within the butt stripes with a white/red/white combo, creating one of the flashiest looks for the butt stripes in NFL history.  The Pirates/Steelers in 1939 adopted a butt stripe look that incorporated an elastic waistband with the butt stripes, a somewhat unique look.  By 1943, the Dodgers were the NFL team holding on to the look as further advancements in materials made the butt stripes rather obsolete in form as well as fashion.  In 1944, the new Boston Yanks were the last team in the NFL adorned with butt stripes.

 Two years later, butt stripes made an encore performance in the All-America Football Conference with the Buffalo Bisons sporting blue stripes on silver pants and silver butt stripes on blue pants.
1946 Buffalo Bisons vs. Cleveland Browns
After 1946, the rear elastic stripes were gone for good, never to return.  Not even on throwbacks.

Recently, the GUD made adjustments to the teams that wore the rear stripes to better portray the look of these beauties.  In most cases the stripes started in an off-set position just below the belt line. Previously, we had erroneously depicted the start of the stripes at the pant edge.

We hope you enjoyed this look back in time as the GUD looks ahead to the 2014 season.

New For 2014

by Bill Schaefer

It's getting to be that time of year again. At this point we have only one team that is reporting that they will be sporting a new look for the 2014 season - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Now, obviously, all of these combinations are not likely to get worn this seasons, however, with 2 jerseys, 2 colors of pants, and 3 different colors of socks, each is possible. There has been a rumor that there will be a yet-to-be-revealed orange alternate jersey modeled after these but the rumor has not been confirmed. We'll have to wait and see.

*UPDATE* - Just announced, the Buccaneers will wear a patch honoring former owner Malcolm Glazer who passed away this past May. The patch should first appear Friday August 8 for the Bucs' first preseason game against Jacksonville.

Three teams will be sporting anniversary patches - Carolina, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants. Carolina's 20th anniversary patch resembles the one worn for their 10th anniversary back in 2004.

Jacksonville is reportedly utilizing two separate 20th anniversary logos. One will be used for all banners, media, etc. while the second, without the Jaguar logo, will appear on the team's jerseys. The reasoning appears to be that since the Jaguar logo already appears on the permanent jersey patch on the left collarbone area, putting a second on the right collarbone might be overdoing it. A simple solution might be to replace the permanent patch with the anniversary patch for this season but that might have been too logical.

The New York Football Giants will be celebrating their 90th anniversary with this 'understated' patch.
(UPDATE - It appears that the NY Giants have decided to wait until the beginning of the regular season to add their patch as they were noticeably absent for the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night. - BS)

During this offseason, the NFL has mourned the loss of two owners and a Hall of Fame coach. Detroit Lions' owner William Clay Ford passed away in early March. The Lions will wear this patch beginning in Week 1 of the regular season.

Later that same month, the Buffalo Bills' owner and original member of "The Foolish Club," Ralph Wilson passed away, as well. The Bills will wear a jersey patch in his memory.

In June, former Browns guard/linebacker and Pittsburgh Steelers' Hall of Fame Head Coach, Chuck Noll also passed away. A helmet decal has been revealed for this year as the Steelers' way of honoring the memory of, as legendary announcer Myron Cope referred to him, "Emperor Chaz."
Prior to Noll's passing, the Steelers had revealed that they would be honoring the 40th anniversary of their 1st Super Bowl Championship by wearing a patch for the November 30 contest when they would host the New Orleans Saints - appropriate since that game was played in New Orleans at the now-demolished Tulane Stadium.

The season is upon us and our wait is almost over!

Blast from the Past! 1945 in COLOR!

Now and then, we at the GUD stumble upon some pure visual gold that makes all of this research a visual feast to the eyes.

We discovered this gem on youtube.com and were thrilled to find it.

It's a regular season game from 1945. The teams are the Cleveland Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. The game is played in Philly's Shibe Park. The Rams are in blue and the Eagles in green. The final score was Eagles 28, Rams 14. This was the Rams lone loss in the season. The Rams, led by rookie quarterback Bob Waterfield, would defeat the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship 15-14 at frozen Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

This clip falls into the "too good not to share" category.


USFL: Week-by-Week

We felt this was too good not to mention.

As many of you know, the Gridiron Uniform Database pretty much owes its existence to Uni Watch, the website dedicated to all things sports logos and uniforms.

Occasionally, either Bill, Rob or Tim may toss a story in UW's direction, if we feel either we or our contributors have made a notable discovery, or if we have added something major to the GUD.

In this case, we think both have been achieved. To further explain, we direct your attention to this amazing piece by Rob and the generous help of contributor "smith03."

In the meantime, it's only six days until the Buffalo Bills start the 2014 season by reporting to camp in Pittsford, NY and 22 days till the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH!!

Hang in there!

Canada Day, NFL Jersey Color Submission Day, Fourth of July

By Tim Brulia

To our many friends in Canada, a very Happy Canada Day and later this week, we wish all of our fellow Americans a Happy Fourth of July.  To both sides of the border, please be careful with the fireworks!

July 1 also marks an important day in the National Football League.  For it is the deadline date in which all teams must submit the jersey colors they intend to wear for their 10 home games (two preseason and eight regular season games) for the coming season.

I would assume that most teams have submitted their choices to the NFL well ahead of the deadline.  And likely, while the color selections may be iron-clad, extenuating circumstances may allow for last second revisions after the jersey submissions.  One example from last season may well be the Dallas Cowboys switching from what was a certain wearing of their recent tradition of 1960-1963 inspired Thanksgiving
Cowboy throwbacks, 2012
Cowboy Darks, 2013
throwbacks to their normal dark blue jerseys.
This was due to the late mandate by the NFL banning the use of two different colored helmets due to worries about potential concussion issues.

Exactly when this edict began is unknown to me, but it has been in place - I would assume - since at least the 1990's, and perhaps well before that.

While the 2013 Official NFL Rule Book does not specifically address the deadline, the 2010 Rule Book did. In a 2010 article I did for Uni Watch, I was able to cite a direct quote from that season's Rule Book:

"...playing squads are permitted to wear only (official team) colors or a combination of those colors for helmets, jerseys, pants, and stockings; provided that white is also an available color for jerseys and mandatory color for the lower portion of stockings."
"Before July 1 of each season, the home team is required to inform the NFL their choice of their jersey color (white or color) for their home games of the upcoming season and the away team MUST wear the opposite.
For any game (Pre-regular-post season), the two teams MAY wear jerseys in their official colors (non-white). As long as the Commissioner OK’s that the colors sufficiently contrast."
So basically, this means that every uniform matchup we will see on the field for 2014, from the Hall of Fame Game in Canton on the night of August 3rd to the last game of the regular season, scheduled to be played on Sunday night, December 28th, will have been known by the NFL and the clubs in question for the games to be played.

Some teams - but by no means all - will make these jersey colors public, either by website, press release, or their social media accounts on Facebook and/or Twitter.

For the most part, we usually know how these will play out.  The Cowboys and Dolphins usually wear white for almost all of their home games, many others will usually wear white at home early in the season when the weather is more summer-like; warm and humid.  Once the autumn winds creep into their environs, the dark jerseys will become the norm.  The rest are normally much more steadfast, and will wear only dark at home. Of course, there will be surprises that will be sprung upon us, as well as alternates and throwbacks.  All of these, as stated above, must be submitted to the NFL's Park Avenue offices in New York City by today.

Pants colors, unlike the jerseys, are exempt from the rules.  So, teams like the New Orleans Saints for example, will make known to the NFL that they will wear white at home for both preseason games, and perhaps their first four home games, then switch over to black jerseys for the rest of the season.  BUT the pants?  Well, they don't have to make know their plans to wear either gold pants or black pants until just before kickoff!  The NFL is only concerned with jersey colors as worn by the home team, and then the visitors must wear the opposite, be it white or dark.

Now you might ask, what happens if say BOTH teams want to wear their dark jerseys?  In such a scenario, a special petition to the Commissioner of the NFL must be made.  If Mr. Goddell believes the request passes muster, in particular, the jersey colors contrast enough (such as green vs. black, or red vs. black), he will likely approve the request.  You might ask, with such high-tech devices like big screen HD TV's being mainstream these days, why don't we see more color on color matchups?  It's my belief that the NFL sees that white vs. color is far and away the preferred choice and most obvious way to tell the teams apart, both on TV and in the flesh at the stadium, it's not really given much of a second thought.  Such is the NFL mindset on this matter that even a request by the Seahawks to wear their "wolf grays" against their opponent in dark has to go through this litmus test request of Commissioner Goddell.

Since we have discussed at length the timing process to determine who wears what and when for the preseason and regular season, what exactly is the process for the post season?  Though not etched in stone, it is likely that the home teams must make known to the NFL their jersey color no later than four days (or 96 hours) prior to kickoff. For the Super Bowl, the deadline for the designated home team is likely 11 days before the Big Game.  Normally, there are few - if any - surprises.  One notable stunner in the past decade was the Super Bowl XL jersey decision by the Pittsburgh Steelers to wear white instead of their customary black jerseys.
Super Bowl XL uniform matchup
The choice was made by Head Coach Bill Cowher as the Steelers had won three straight playoff games, all on the road, all while wearing white. Cowher believed that wearing black would be messin' with the mojo.

One of the more popular features of the GUD is our "White at Home in the NFL" listings by both team and by season, going all the way back to 1957, when the NFL issued, for the first time, hard and fast rules on one team in white jerseys, one team in dark jerseys.  It's a rather handy guide to quickly see the "WWWW" ("Who Wore What When") breakdown for your team or for a season you fondly recall.

So, while this week might be a great celebration of North America's Independence, not to mention the ongoing World Cup, Wimbledon and baseball campaigns, those of us at GUD will mark the decisions made today by the NFL's 32 teams in the weeks and months to come.

Say It Ain't So, Joe...er, George!

by Bill Schaefer

Many of you, I'm sure, have seen at least parts of the collection of Merv Corning's artwork similar to the George Halas image, and others, above. Mr. Corning was commissioned by the NFL to create the images for the book "The First 50 Years" in 1969. Similar drawings of Ernie Nevers in his Duluth Eskimos uniform and Bronko Nagurski in a psychedelic 1936 Bears uniform have been carved into our collective football souls. But never, never, never, did I believe for a single second that, if by chance one of these famous drawings could be incorrect, it would happen to be the above drawing of "Papa Bear" George Stanley Halas. Recent evidence has turned up that this uniform, very likely, was not worn until the following year (1921), when the Bears Staleys moved to Chicago.

This marks the second time in the last few years that we at the GUD, along with the help of our loyal viewers and contributors, have discovered an erroneous, long-standing misconception of a very early League franchise. If you remember back to October, 2012, our own Tim Brulia penned an article posted on Uni Watch explaining how, despite the claims of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 'bumblebee' uniform that was made into a throwback jersey that the Steelers have worn the past two seasons and attributed to the 1934 season, had, in fact, only been worn in 1933 (along with the equally detestable 'City Seal' jersey).

As THE Bears fan residing in GUD, it pains me to say that it is extremely, 100% likely that the Chicago Bears organization has NOT always worn navy and orange. "Sacrilege," you say? I couldn't agree more. Up is down. Black is white. Cats and dogs getting along. We're talking the seventh sign of the apocalypse here!

How could this happen? All football fans with a shred of League historical knowledge know how George Halas, a University of Illinois alum, purchased the Decatur Staleys and remade them in the image of his alma mater donning the navy and orange that the Bears have worn for almost 100 years. What we have discovered, with the help of a contributor, identified as "LJP," that no fewer than 6 different articles from the 1920 Decatur Review refer to the Staleys as wearing red (or crimson) jerseys.

Two possibilities exist. The first option is that the reporter for the Decatur Review was color blind and his editor didn't notice any of these 'errors.' The second option, and dare I say the more likely of the two, is that the Staleys actually wore red. In hindsight, I guess we should have seen this coming. After all, since the story goes that he remade the team in the image of the University of Illinois, the Staleys HAD to have been in something else besides navy and orange to necessitate that subsequent change in the first place.

While we don't have enough to substantiate the reason for this discrepancy in the history of the Bears' organization, enough is known that we can assemble a viable postulate for the circumstances surrounding what likely happened over 90 years ago...

In 1920, George Halas moves to Decatur, Illinois, to take a position with the A.E. Staley Company, a starch manufacturer. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Staley Co. bore red in its logo and the team was supplied with red jerseys. The team takes a financial loss in 1920 despite superior play and Halas buys the team in order to move them to the big city, Chicago. There is a suspicion that a condition of the sale, likely an advertising ploy, is that Halas must retain the team nickname of "Staleys" for one year after moving to Chicago. This would explain the single year of operating as the "Chicago Staleys" in 1921. However, Chicago already boasts a professional football team, the Cardinals, who wear...you guessed it...red jerseys (technically maroon but definitely in the same 'ballpark'). That year Halas refurbishes the team in the navy and orange image of his beloved alma mater, the University of Illinois, in order to appeal to local fans and eliminate any chance for confusion with the Cardinals. With the conditions of his purchase satisfied, in 1922, Halas renames his team the "Bears" because football players are larger than the baseball-playing denizens his team will be sharing Wrigley Field with, the Cubs, thus creating a timeless link between the two franchises. 

There is even a distinct possibility, though unsubstantiated at this point, that the Staleys continued to wear red jerseys early on in the 1921 season before eventually changing colors at some time in midseason but that remains unconfirmed at this point.

Here are the snippets from the Decatur Review that have been brought to our attention...

September 29, 1920

October 3, 1920

October 10, 1920

October 11, 1920

October 25, 1920

December 11, 1920

Because of this preponderance of evidence, the GUD is changing the image for the 1920 Decatur Staleys to a crimson/red version of their jerseys, assuming that the general design was correct and the colors, only, were incorrect. We are, however, holding off on changing the 1921 image to include additional red combinations until such a time as evidence is produced proving that they were, indeed, worn after 1920.

Hopefully, my fellow Bears fans can come to grips with this as I have.

Bill Schaefer


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