Updates and Weeklies News - "Dinner Is Served"

A little while ago, Bill posted a blog entitled, "What's Cooking?"  Well, the answer in this blog is, "dinner is served."

Chiefs before
Chiefs after
Bill alluded to the update to the Chiefs uni history, with the colors, helmet logo and the KC in the logo not quite right.  If we have to uphold our unofficial motto, "just get it right," then do it we shall.  We made the red more to actual tint and and gave the helmet logos a much needed face lift.  We made color adjustments to the Chiefs' predecessors, the Dallas Texans as well.

Eagles after
Eagles before
After this, Tim wasn't really thrilled with how the Eagles helmet wings looked, either.  Bill chimed in with his concern on how the Eagles color looked.  Bill opined that the green looked more of a pea green as opposed to the kelly green shade.  Ever the skeptic, Tim needed a bit more of visual proof, and eventually, Bill was able to sway Tim in the proper direction.  The color modification goes all the way back from 1935 through 1973 (excluding the 1941 season when the Eagles experimented with a black, midnight blue and silver color scheme), including the 1943 Steagles season, when the Birds merged with the Steelers.  The wing adjustment goes from 1954 through 1973.

Chargers before
Chargers after
To top it off, we also made an adjustment to the Chargers' helmets.  Namely, the lightning bolts.  To us, the bolts looked a little fat.  Bill streamlined the bolts a bit to what they actually look like on the helmets.  Again, much needed and long overdue tweaking:

These are just a few examples of the many adjustments and discoveries that have been added to the GUD. in recent days. You can find all of the others here: http://gud-updates.blogspot.com/

And now, dut-da-da!  The GUD is proud to announce the completion of a project that we have been working on in earnest since the end of last year's Super Bowl (Ravens-49ers).

As you know, it has been the goal of the GUD to be able to show you each week's uniform matchups since 1950. We had been working on it bit by bit, piece by piece, year by year.  Finally, this past Sunday, April 13, 2014, the task has been completed.  The Gridiron Uniform Database is now able to show you the uniform matchup for every single regular season game and post season game since 1949!  This includes every National Football League game for the past 65 seasons, every American Football League game ever played and the 1949 season of the All-America Football Conference.  Using Bill's graphics, Tim's research and Rob's entering the fruits of his cohorts' labor to the GUD, this monumental task has achieved fruition.

Want to know what the Patriots at Jets encounter from Week 12, 1985 looked like? Here it is:

Or perhaps, the Niners at Rams game from the first week of the season in 1955?  Looky here:

To navigate to the week of the season you wish to see, please follow these simple rules:
1) On the GUD's homepage, click on the season along the left hand column
2) Below the season banner, example "2002 NFL Teams" is a row of numbers that corresponds to the weeks in that season, plus initials that indicate the post season weeks (in this case, WC=Wild Card, DP=Divisional Playoffs, CC=Conference Championships, SB=Super Bowl, PB=Pro Bowl). Click on the week you desire to see (example: Week 7).
3) All of the week's games will be displayed, with the visiting team on the left side and the home team on the right side, with the uniform the teams wore for that game.  Here is a link to this example's games played that week:  http://www.gridiron-uniforms.com/weekly/2002/2002wk7.html

You can also follow a season's progress of uniform matchups by clicking the << area to see previous week's games or clicking >> to see the following week's games.  With Week 1's games, you can click the << area to go to the previous season, moving backward.  With the Pro Bowl game, you can click the >> to go the following season, moving forward.

Once we get to seasons prior to 1962, you'll note that fewer teams will have helmet logos and thus it may be tough to identify teams the farther back in time you go.  Till then, it may be a good way to hone your detective skills by trying to correctly identify the teams depicted based on color and trim patterns!  Seriously, we hope to eventually have all teams labeled for seasons prior to 1962 for easier identification.  Can we go back even further in time?  We'll do our best, but photographic evidence will be much more difficult.  

As always, if you notice any errors or missing information, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking on the "Contact" tab found just below the GUD's banner at the top of the home page.

Now that you've had a healthy meal of uni goodness, what's for dessert? Watch this space to find out!

What's Cooking?

The offseason is in full swing but we, at the GUD, are never offseason.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you and everyone else in the uni-verse are aware that, not only did Tampa Bay unveil a new helmet a few weeks ago, but, when promising some other uniform updates - while not being anything 'major' - the Bucs pulled a fast one and really let us have it with a complete overhaul.

Many have said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I tend to agree. However in working to put together the Bucs' GUD graphics for this season, I have to admit that they are growing on me a bit. Like others, the number font sponsored by Timex, Rolex, Seiko, TAGHeuer, or whomever is still an issue. Given time, I think we'll get used to it. It's not corny like the Vikings' numbers which sometimes have wings/sails/ship parts and sometimes they don't. My question revolves, though, around the 'shininess' factor itself.

Billy Sims, 1980, courtesy Getty Images.
From 1979-81, the Lions wore blue home jerseys that had numbers and stripes that had a metallic, sparkly appearance. After 1981, the NFL made them ditch it. It escapes me as to whether the change was necessitated by the shininess factor itself or whether the numbers (and stripes) added an extra grippy-ness when the ball was held against any of these areas in a fashion similar to the aptly named grip-strips that were attached to many jerseys back in the 1920s and 1930s.

If the shininess was the reason the Lions had to change their jerseys, why would Tampa be allowed to use a similar luminescence 35 years later?

But I digress.

In case you haven't looked recently (past month and a half), Rob has been working diligently to use the offseason's downtime to install dozens of updates to the site since late January and more are yet to come.

On the horizon is a major update that involves a team's entire history.

We will be updating the entire 1960-current history for the Kansas City Chiefs. You may have noticed that the red for the Chiefs (especially in the last 20 years or so) just isn't right. We think so, too. Along with updating the color for all of the Chiefs' images, I am also making modifications to their helmet history. I was never happy with how the early variations were being depicted. I've got it covered now. Their are also some sleeve modifications and revised placements for manufacturer's logos thrown in as well.

This is the second franchise that's gotten a facelift on our site in the last few months. In Rob's updates you'll find where we've updated San Diego's shade of navy from 1989-2006. They now possess the same shade of navy as division rival Denver.

There's another large project that we've got under wraps. We're taking baby-steps on it and every time we get a chance to jump in with both feet, someone (Tampa Bay) grabs us and says "Not so fast, guys. Deal with this first!"

There's never a dull moment here at the GUD so stay tuned!!!
Bill Schaefer

Buccaneers Reveal New Helmet

Well, here it is.  The new Buccaneers helmet:

The Bucs also revealed a new wordmark.

A couple of things stand out.

1) The chrome facemask
2) The helmet remains the color of pewter (though a darker shade).
3) The immense size of the logo.

In the past, we have seen teams increase the size of the helmet logo (Bills, Patriots).  In some cases, we have seen teams DEcrease logo size (Chiefs).  But we have never seen a helmet logo take on the size of the Bucs new logo.

The Bucs announcement of the new helmet logo on the website says, among other things, that the team was looking to "(take) the existing logo and update it with a new, refreshed, modernized approach, taking the toughness in the existing mark and making it much louder.  Every detail of the skull was looked at...to determine how far it could be taken to make it tougher but still be true to the Buccaneers' original approach."

So it looks like the Bucs wanted to have a helmet that stands out, and they've certainly achieved that goal, with the chrome mask and the ginormous logo.

There was talk on some of the uni forums out there that the helmet color would change to white, just so the team could break out the "Bucco Bruce" throwbacks for one or two times a season.  This redesign would appear to squash those rumors.

The team release also stated that the "full uniform ensemble" will be revealed at a press conference scheduled for March 5th at 2:00 PM.

Uni histories for the Seahawks and Broncos

This is the uniform matchup for Super Bowl XLVIII, between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.

And, the GUD has assisted uni-watch.com with a historical timelines for both teams, which lists every single uniform change since both franchises first took the field.

Here are the links to both editions.

The Seahawks
The Broncos

The GUD would like to thank Phil Hecken for putting the pieces together, the text and graphics that we at the GUD shared with him.  As always, we thank Phil and Paul Lukas for their enduring support of the GUD.

Obviously, we at the GUD do not have a dog in the fight for who wins this years's Big Game, but we just want to see a really good game.


Divisional Round Uniform Matchup Rankings

And here's Round 2 of the NFL Playoffs:

#4) Colts-Patriots:  IND in white/white, NE in navy/silver.  One part of me says this is great.  The total vanilla look of the Colts, all that white with blue stripes, numbers and socks the only thing keeping this from white out conditions.  Mouth watering...no.  The Patriots look stands on its own because we see this uni so often at this time of year.  We come to expect it, this silver, navy blue and a dash of red.  So, pair this up with the Colts generic template, and one side says yes, while the other side says no.  And I am leaning heavily on the other side.  So, I have to rank this game as the fourth of the four (four on the floor??).

#3) Saints-Seahawks:  NO in white/gold, SEA in navy/navy.  Last week, the Saints took the field in Philadelphia in white over black and it was good.  This weekend, the Saints took the field in Seattle in white over gold and it was good.  Why?  Well, the Eagles had white pants in the first game, and I found the jet black pants of the Saints as a soothing contrast to white bottoms.  This time, I found the gold pants to be an equally nice contrast to the Seahawks in the all navy get up.  If the Saints had worn the black trousers in this matchup, it would have been top - er - bottom heavy in darkness.  But not the case.  The Saints blended well with the light and white touch against the Seahawks in the navy with neon green and hunter gray trim.  Looks good.

#2) 49ers-Panthers:  SF in white/gold, CAR in black/black.  Ironic, isn't it, that those voices who bellow about how disgusting, high schoolish, yucky the monochrome look is, and yet, when the Panthers wear this gorgeous set is, the same folks crow about the awesomeness that is the Panthers in all black.  I must chuckle at the folly of this.  Anyway, yesh, the Panthers in all black is sharp as a tack. Coupled with unusual color elements like a silver helmet and vivid carolina blue socks, this is probably the best of the monochromes out there.  Now, it's up to the other team to make this pairing amazing.  The Niners do it justice, with the gold helmet and pants, bright red socks and red trim on the white jerseys.  I can't quite call it amazing, but I can call this matchup pretty frickin' cool.

 #1) Chargers-Broncos:  SD in white/navy, DEN in orange/white.  The regulars know that my favorite uni for 2013-14 is the Packers in green and yellow.  My runner-up is the Broncos in orange over white.  Making this the primary uniform of the Broncos was such an obvious move, but such a necessary move.  The orange is so vibrant, so crisp, that it make this uni almost as good as it gets, color-wise.  Paired with the Chargers in white over navy, which is my favorite look for the Chargers...except when they dig out the lovely POWder blues.  Combined, this is a powerful look, with the only real flaw being a bit heavy on the navy.  But on the Broncos, it is kept to the helmet and socks, so navy is not too much, and there's just enough orange to crush it. OMAHA!!

Next week, the Championship Game rankings. Be there. Aloha.

Forty-Plus Years of Bliss

A small bit of shameless self-promotion can’t hurt too much.

Back when Tim Brulia and I began putting the pieces together for what would become the GUD with Rob Holecko's help, one of the aspects that I always wanted to include was a portion of the site that would be dedicated to showing what the weekly uniform match-ups were for every week of the regular and postseason for as far back as we could manage.

After accumulating the required information using many far flung resources as Google News, newspaperarchives.com, the Library of Congress, youtube videos, and private collections of NFL photos from GUD members like Larry Schmitt, I wish to inform the GUD viewership that, with the exception of approximately a dozen games (NFL and AAFC) from the 1940s, we know what every other NFL, AAFC, and AFL game looked like from 1940 through the current action leading up to this season’s conclusion in New York City.

At this time, GUD viewership can seek out the weekly uniform match-ups from the 1970 NFL-AFL Merger forward. Several additional seasons have also been completed from the Pre-Merger Era. Currently, Tim and Rob are working together to get the latter half of the 1960s installed and soon after follow up with the rest of the 1960s for both the NFL and the AFL.

Once they reach as far back as the 1950s, in theory, things should progress at a fairly good rate as we will only be dealing with the limited number of NFL teams each week. In other words, less work for each season will be needed.

After that will come the rest of the 1940s, which will likely be the ‘swan-song’ for this aspect of the GUD. Due to pro football’s status as a ‘second rate’ sport behind baseball and college football, less attention was placed towards the League and newspaper exposure, the backbone of our research for the weekly match-ups, was spotty at best.  It is extremely unlikely that we will ever get to the point where we can add contests from the 1930s to this project.

But never say ‘never.’

Wild Card Uniforn Matchup Rankings

Here we go into the 2013 Postseason.

4) Chiefs-Colts:  KC in white/white, IND in blue/white.  This was shaping up as a rather nice, not great, but nice matchup.  Chiefs in red pants and helmets, with the Colts in their blue jerseys with white helmets and pants.  Then, stunningly and quite disappointingly, the Chiefs, for the first time this season, go out in the dreaded all white look.  Why oh why??  I con normally handle a team in all white, but for some reason, the Chiefs in all white just really looks off to me.  Perhaps it's because the Chiefs are totally white from the neck down and have nothing to break the stark look.  The white socks should be red or the cleats need to be black or red.  When coupled with the Colts rather plain look, this uni matchup becomes a dud.

3) Saints-Eagles:  NO in white/black, PHI in green/white.  With the Saints using the black pants, they open up four colors to the elements, the faded gold helmets, their white jerseys and the Eagles white pants, the Eagles green jerseys, and the Saints in their black pants and socks with the Eagles countering with their black socks.  While I can't crow about this matchup, it is certainly rungs higher than the KC-IND from earlier in the day.  It does work better with the Saints in black pants than had they worn washed out gold britches.  As for the Eagles, this is their primary home look, and it is fine, but could use some work.  Not a thrilling matchup, but certainly nothing what I would call bad.

2) Chargers-Bengals:  SD in white/navy, CIN in black/black.  Too much darkness here? Probably.  Four elements of darkness here, well five.  Chargers with navy pants and socks, and the Bengals with black jerseys, pants and socks.  That's a lot.  But, the saving grace for me in this get together are the colors.  Nice trim colors save this one from the cellar dweller status.  Bright yellow and a taste of powder blue trim for the Chargers and some decent dollops of orange on the Bengals.  What could have made this matchup a lot better would have been sock colors that were not an extension of the pant colors.  For the Bolts, maybe white socks with some navy and/or yellow stripes, not just the 1/2" thick yellow separating navy from white.  And for the Bengals, their already on hand orange footwear would have added much needed vibrancy to the heavy dosage of black.

1) 49ers-Packers:  SF in white/gold, GB in green/yellow.  It's January, it's Green Bay, it's COLD.  Aside from that factor, the game features two teams in more traditional garb.  As you likely know, the Packers in green over yellow is a look that I absorb like a sponge.  The key to making it a superior matchup it what the opposition wears.  The Niners oblige with their gold laden helmets and pants, bright red socks and - as mandated by the National Football League - white jerseys.  Three of the four elements are great.  The one that is just "good" is the jerseys.  Nothing wrong with the bright red numbers and trim, but those truncated stripes on the armholes are just wrong.  Still, I can't knock them for that in a matchup, but SF really needs to do something about that.

So with that, we will move on to the Divisional Round, where we really get down to business.  See you then!

Week 17 Uniform Matchup Rankings

As we put a wrap on the 2013 regular season, don't forget, we'll be doing this right through the Super Bowl.

16) Jets-Dolphins:  NYJ in green/white, MIA in white/white.  No surprises, I guess.  Lots of white due to South Florida's warmth.  So no green pants on the Jets, no aqua pants on the Dolphins.  And thus, no real props from me.

15) Bills-Patriots:  BUF in white/white, NE in navy/silver.  To those who don't like dark pants...if the Bills had worn blue pants in this matchup, it would have electrified the Bills look.  The vibrancy of those pants just make the Bills uni pop, nay, explode.  In all white, the Bills look like any other vanilla clad team.  The Patriots in their normals, have to carry the load in this one, which they do well.

14) Texans-Titans:  HOU in white/navy, TEN in columbia blue/navy.  While it's the only time this season the Titans wear the two-toned blue look, it may be the worst time to wear them, against the Texans with their navy pants.  I definitely would have preferred either the white pants or the columbia blue brtiches.  Just a little navy overload on the pants.  Ah well.

13) Broncos-Raiders:  DEN in white/white, OAK in black/silver.  Nothing remarkable here.  Raiders in the renowned silver and black, and the Broncos in the rather glum whites with navy dominant trim.  Just a thought...maybe the Broncos could go with orange numbers on the whites next season??

12) Buccaneers-Saints:  TB in white/pewter, NO in black/black.  Again, best move by the Saints to do all black rather than create a little overload on the metal colors.  I agree with some of the critics of the black pants, in that the Saints could certainly use some stripes on them.  Maybe next year,  But for now, this does me good.

11) Ravens-Bengals:  BAL in white/black, CIN in black/black.  Whole lotta blackness goin' on.  Thinking the Bengals could have gone with white trou.  Hmm...maybe the Ravens could think about a set of purple pants next season?  Glad for the Bengals orange helmets to relieve all of the black (and Ravens white jerseys).

10) 49ers-Cardinals:  SF in white/gold, ARZ in red/red.  Wouldn't have mattered if the Cardinals would have worn white pants, this matchup would still be heavy on the red.  But Big Red decided to roll with all red and this becomes a red fest.  Only a little gold from the Niners and itty bitty black trim from the Cardinals stem the flow.  I care for this one, but not as much as I should.

9) Rams-Seahawks:  STL in white/white, SEA in navy/navy.  What could have been another case of navy overload stops short as the Rams go with all white, with the Seahawks not about to budge from all navy.  With gold and neon green as trim colors, I feel this one is better than usual.  Side note, with this being the Seahawks final home game of the regular season, it's 38 years and counting and the Seahawks remain the only team in the NFL to have never worn white jerseys in a home game.

8) Eagles-Cowboys:  PHI in green/white, DAL in white/mint.  The season finale, and it ends on a high note.  The Eagles in the deep green jerseys, the Cowboys in white, with the shades of silvery blue and silvery green, with bright blue jersey numbers.  Nothing crazy, but good looks.

7) Panthers-Falcons:  CAR in white/white, ATL in red/white.  This one has a good sense of color and what to do with it.  Red, black, carolina blue and silver help to make the spirits bright on this one.  Keeps black at bay, despite both teams using it.

6) Packers-Bears:  GB in white/yellow, CHI in navy/white.  As you may know, the CHI at GB matchup is normally my absolute favorite.  When it's reversed, not so much.  Why?  Perhaps when the Pack wear white jerseys, then it seems to be an overload of yellow.  And the Bears in navy jerseys just don't seem to grab me where I belong as much as they do in white over navy.  Still, this one beats most other matchups, just not all of them!

5) Redskins-Giants:  WSH in white/yellow, NYG in blue/gray.  This is a pretty good matchup.  Like the colors; burgundy, blue, red, yellow.  Nice combos. Traditional rivals who look good without trying to shout the goodness at you.  One of the better ones to close out the regular season.

4) Browns-Steelers:  CLE in white/white, PIT in black/yellow.  Earlier this season, the Browns faced the Steelers in the tootsie roll look.  This encounter, the Browns play it close to the vest and go with the traditional all whites.  It's a good move as I'm in the mood for the traditional in this one. Make them more like Browns and more like Steelers.

3) Chiefs-Chargers:  KC in white/red, SD in navy/white.  One of my favorites.  Not so much the colors, but they seem to be in just the right places, and the yellow trim that both teams employ also seem to fit snugly in place.  A visual treat.

2) Lions-Vikings:  DET in white/silver, MIN in purple/white.  We've seen this uni matchup countless times, but more often than not, it's in these colors, with some modern trim.  Silver and purple.  Some honolulu blue, yellow and a touch of black to mix in.  I think it looks good.

1) Jaguars-Colts:  JAX in white/white, IND in blue/white.  2013, meet 1957.  Well, it's kinda like that in this matchup.  Surprisingly, it works. The contrast is remarkable.  The Jags with all the honking tricked up unis, with brash accessories, including the helmet, the sublimination laden white jersey, not to mention the zappy black pants, with a breath of gold and teal.  The Colts, with simplistic white helmet, routine blue jerseys with basic block numbers, bland white pants with a pair of blue stripes.  Put 'em together and we are the winners.

Hope you all had a grand Holiday season.  Back next week with the Wild Card Round uni matchups.  Stay with us!

Week 16 Uniform Matchup Rankings

Here's hoping your Christmas was grand.  We at the GUD hope you like the present we gave to you, namely, the WFL Uniform Database, which you can find here: http://wfl.uniformdatabases.com/.If you haven't yet seen it, please do.  You can also read Bill's excellent blog on the WFL history here: http://nfluniforms.blogspot.com/2013/12/joy-to-world-world-football-league.html

16) Titans-Jaguars:  TEN in white/navy, JAX in black/black.  On the same day that the Bucs and Rams replayed their 1999 NFC title game, the Titans and Jags also got together, just like 1999, AFC edition.  But while that NFC matchup looked similar to 1999, and while the Titans wore a similar look to 1999, the Jags apparently wanted no parts of that 1999 teal/white combo.  JAX stays in their 2013 mode, all black.  And this matchup has just too much darkness for my taste, believe it or not.

15) Broncos-Texans:  DEN in white/white and HOU in navy/white.  Jiminy, for some reason, this matchup almost looks like a scrimmage.  The looks of both together give me the impression of mirror images.  A ton of navy, similar styles and trim, these two seem so much alike. Of course, if the roles were reversed, the Broncos orange would change things dramatically. But alas, not to be.

14) Colts-Chiefs:  IND in white/white, KC in red/white.  Stark contrasts here, with the Colts in nearly total white and the Chiefs in red over white.  Bits of blue and yellow trim, but if you like it old school, this matchup is your king.  I like a little more, so I have to drop this one down a bit.

13) Saints-Panthers:  NO in white/black, CAR in black/silver.  This is the dilemma: Go with a lot of metal (gold pants, silver pants) or do a lot of black (Panthers jerseys, Saints pants)?  Not sure which works better, but the Saints went with the black pants.  And I happen to think this works a little better.  All I can say is this: the Saints need to gold-up the gold to the days of the 1967-1974.  That brass gold would boost the Saints look so much. 

12) Falcons-49ers:  ATL in white/white, SF in red/gold.  The last regular season at historic Candlestick Park and a mild surprise in that the Niners did not sport a Farewell to Candlestick patch, but no matter.  The Niners in bright red over gold is gold.  The Falcons rather bland away set of white over white compliment the festivities. 

11) Steelers-Packers:  PIT in white/yellow, GB in green/yellow.  As classic and awesome as these two teams' unis are, when they get together, it doesn't quite work.  One simple reason...yellow.  There's just too much of it. The Packer helmet, the Steeler nameplate, the pants, the sleeve stripes, it's everywhere.  And while the green and black avert disaster, it can't divert my focus on the "athletic gold." 

10) Raiders-Chargers:  OAK in white/silver, SD in navy/white.  Classic AFL rivalry, with a slight nod to this day and age in the Chargers' duds.  While the Raiders unis are really dull for my taste, they look sharp when paired with the Chargers in navy and white, with a good dose of yellow to accessorize.

9) Cardinals-Seahawks:  ARZ in white/white, SEA in navy/navy.  It would have been nice to see the Cardinals in red pants to break the mono-a-mono matchup, but no.  Still, this one is better than most other similar white vs. dark matchups.  I guess it's because the Cards' white jerseys has plenty of red trim and the Seahawks with the light blue and neon green trim are sightly pluses without being dull.

8) Giants-Lions:  NYG in white/gray, DET in honolulu blue/silver.  In what would normally be decried by this reporter as too much gray-silver, I rather enjoy this pairing.  I think because of the blue on the G-men's helmets contrasts very well against the honolulu shade on the Lions, and with a lot of blues and grays, the red trim on the Giants really works.

7) Patriots-Ravens:  NE in white/navy, BAL in purple/black.  Why do I like this one?  Why am I not ticked because of all the darkness?  Why? I guess the only explanation may be the fact that all three dark items are different colors. You have purple, navy and black.  You have this plus a touch of gold and a touch of red.  The Pats' white jerseys are a perfect contrast to all of the varying shades of dark, not to mention their silver helmets.  This is good.

6) Bears-Eagles:  CHI in white/navy, PHI in green/white.  No surprises here. Good uniforms, nice colors, a team in white over dark, the other in dark over white. Navy, green, a little silver, some black and bit of orange.  So be it.

5) Buccaneers-Rams:  TB in white/pewter, STL in throwback blue/yellow.  Rams reprise a look that reprises the 1999 NFC Championship Game.  Always nice to see the Rams in this classic uni.  Paired up with the Bucs in the pewter and white with the red and orange trim, it works nicely.

4) Browns-Jets:  CLE in white/brown, NYJ in green/white.  Clamoring as I did for much of the season for the Jets to crank out the green pants, and they did.  This week, with the Browns wearing the brown pants, it would be wise for the Jets to wear white pants, and they did.  As a result, this is a very fine matchup, with a rather unusual batch of colors on display here.

3) Cowboys-Redskins:  DAL in white/mint, WSH in burgundy/yellow.  Hearkening back to Landry's Cowboys and Allen's Redskins, this shows some good colors, the Cowboys in varying shades of blue and silver and the Skins in classic burgundy and yellow, and it is a sharp pairing.

2) Dolphins-Bills:  MIA in white/aqua, BUF in blue/white.  Not a big white helmet guy, but with the Fins rocking aqua pants again and the Bills at home in that luscious blue, this one scores points with me.  Add the red and a pinch of orange, along with a darkish blue on the Dolphins, this twosome is a goody.

1) Vikings-Bengals:  MIN in white/purple, CIN in black/white.  I like this one.  A lot.  There's just a lot of good color present,  the obvious Viking purple, the Bengal black, with a dollop of orange and a dash of yellow.  Add that all up and it is very pleasing to the eyes.

Till next time, enjoy the last week of the regular season and on behalf of Rob and Bill, we wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy and Safe 2014!!


For openers, let me be the first here at the GUD to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year. And now, after throwing caution to the winds and having total disregard for who's been naughty and who's been nice amongst our viewership, the Gridiron Uniform Database serves up a retro piece of holiday fruitcake...The World Football League!

After completing the USFL images a few months ago, the GUD was flooded with comments both thanking us and asking for more. Foremost on the request list was whether or not we'd ever add additional leagues to our site. The original USFL introductory blog article was updated to provide our response.

It was agreed that the NFL Europe and the World League of American Football were never created to be on par or compete with the NFL but were instead founded more as developmental leagues for the NFL and, thereby, a step below professional leagues such as the NFL, AFL, AAFC, and USFL.  Arena leagues were also discounted due to being a completely different sport.  The early incarnations of the AFL from the first half of the 20th century remain a possibility for the future, however exhaustive research would need to be conducted to provide enough useful information to make such an endeavor worthwhile.

Therefore, the only other league remaining currently under consideration for inclusion on the GUD was the World Football League that operated in 1974 and 1975. Shortly after completing the work on the USFL and the ensuing update summarized above, I caught the bug.

My first concern was that, aside from the famous photo of the former Dolphins' backfield wearing WFL uniforms, I'd never seen any of their uniforms. I didn't even know which team's uniform Csonka and friends (above) were wearing!
My other concern was whether or not the teams' logos were already available in graphic form for use to create helmets. No logos were actually used on the jerseys, which made things much easier from my standpoint. Like the USFL, while the logos existed in the public domain, most were in extremely rough forms with every single logo needing improvement in some combination of color, quality, and sharpness in order to meet the level of expectations we have for the GUD. Above is one such example.

The next step in the process was to accumulate photos of each of the teams in game action.  In doing so, a pattern began to become obvious and, truth be told, it brought a gigantic smile to this graphic engineer's face. Ten of the twelve teams in 1974 and another six of the eleven teams in 1975 basically all wore the exact same jersey, pants, and helmet stripe combinations with the only differences being the color combinations. I am assuming that these teams got a 'swinging deal' from a single manufacturer to supply uniforms. I believe the mass-supplier was Russell Athletic; however, I am not entirely sure.

My next issue was identifying some franchise lineages and these were just as convoluted as the USFL's.
- Birmingham's Americans became the Vulcans for 1975.
- The Boston Bulls never played a game before moving to New York before the first WFL season had even started. That team, the New York Stars, played for 14 games before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. The Charlotte Stars played one game before further revising their identity as the Charlotte Hornets for the remainder of 1974 and into 1975.
- The Chicago Winds played only 5 games in 1975 before folding. For their final game, they replaced the plain, capital 'W' on their helmet with the logo that was reportedly supposed to have been used from the start of the season but is believed to be the victim of a late arrival after the first four games of the season were played - literally a 'one-game' logo.
- The two franchises in Chicago (1974's Fire and 1975's Winds) are unrelated.
- The Houston Texans moved in midseason during 1974 to Shreveport and became the Steamer.
- 1974's World Bowl runner-up, the Florida Blazers, moved to San Antonio for 1975 and became the Wings.
- 1974's Jacksonville Sharks were renamed the Express for 1975.
- The Portland Storm was renamed the Thunder for 1975.
- Only 4 franchises – the Memphis Southmen, the Hawaiians, the Philadelphia Bell, and the Southern California Sun – played all of their games in two seasons under the same name.

Despite completing the project to the best of my abilities, there are some lingering issues. 

Memphis altered its logo by adding orange for 1975. I have seen photos showing different fonts on the orange jerseys in 1975 – identified by the orange-inclusive helmet logo. In 1974 and 1975 it appears that some players wore plain white sanitary socks below their regular orange socks while others wore striped 'sanies' below the orange regulars. Above are the 2 different logos as well as two different sets of sanies and nameplates - both from 1975.

The Houston Texans/Shreveport Steamer franchise shows some irregularities with their nameplate fonts - a seriffed font evolving into an outlined, seriffed font.

Some claims exist that a few teams, namely Philadelphia and Detroit, wore both grey facemasks and colored facemasks. Indications vary as some believe this was allowed to happen with no thought towards uniformity while others claim that the grey facemasks were simply the result of the yellow paint chipping off of originally grey facemasks as the season progressed. We may never know the truth, but the photo above tends to make me lean towards a peaceful co-existence of originally grey and yellow facemasks.

The Birmingham Vulcans appear to have worn two different versions of the white jerseys in 1975. One version had blue numbers outlined in red with a typical blue nameplate font. The other version had blue numbers without an outline and a much smaller nameplate font. My guess is that the latter were similar to the mesh jerseys also worn by NFL teams in the 1970s based on the weather conditions at game time as opposed to the durene jerseys generally worn during colder weather. This may also have been the cause for the different fonts on Memphis' 1975 jerseys noted above, as well, however those Memphis jerseys showed no other disparity other than the nameplates.

The Hawaiians began the 1974 season with a helmet logo depicting a white-faced Hawaiian native but changed it at some point to a pinkish skin tone. There is a possibility that at some point the skin tone was further darkened to a brownish shade but I have been unable to find photographic proof of this as yet. Their jerseys also had enormous nameplate fonts!

There also exists the rumor that the Jacksonville Express played part of their 1975 season with a helmet logo with a white background. However, all photos I have uncovered show the logo's background color to be the same yellow as the helmet.

While similar to the USFL project in that I hope the addition of the WFL will add to the casual fans' knowledge of a very small, unique slice of pro football history, it differs in that, due to my age, unlike the USFL, I have absolutely no recollection of the league that played up until I was 3 years old. In some cases, it's been easier to find NFL photos from the 1930s and 1940s than it has been to find photos of the WFL less than forty years after it ceased operation.

As with the rest of the site, if you have any photographic proof that contradicts what we've added, by all means post your evidence in our Forum as our mission to "Just get it right" continues to live on.

Bill Schaefer

Week 15 Uniform Matchup Rankings

My apologies for the lengthy delay.  Had some Christmas commitments to tend to.  But, better late than never!

16) Bills-Jaguars:  BUF in white/white, JAX in black/black.  All that white, all that black. Not enough blue, not enough teal, makes for a real blah bash.

15) Saints-Rams:  NO in white/gold, STL in navy/navy.  The wrong team wore the dark pants in this battle.  The Saints in washed out gold pants going against the all navy Rams just doesn't cut it in these eyes.  Saints in black trou and the Rams in white slacks? Now that's better (sorry, Wendy).  But not the case. Count this one out.

14) Texans-Colts:  HOU in white/navy, IND in blue/white.  Nothing out of sorts, just the blues, with a little battle red on the numbers (Texans).  I can't really say this one blows, but it is a lot of blue and not quite enough red.

13) 49ers-Buccaneers:  SF in white/gold, TB in red/pewter.  Normally I give good marks for the use of metals, but there's also a load of red here.  That doesn't help the cause, so maybe a bust out of the Bucs dormant white pants would have spruced up this matchup.  But as it is, a little heavy on the alloys and the scarlets.

12) Patriots-Dolphins:  NE in navy/silver, MIA in white/white.  After a lip smacking debut of the newaqua pants from the Dolphins for 2013, we see the return to the meh all white from the Fins.  That means the Pats have to carry the load with their navy and silver with hints of red.  It helps, but this one stays in the lower eight.

11) Cardinals-Titans:  ARZ in white/white, TEN in columbia blue/white.  After ignoring this combo before this season, the Titans rock these colors for the second time in 2013.  OK, I can buy that. But then the Cardinals blow it by going back to the white pants instead of going with the red pants, which would have been a really sweet and colorful matchup.  Disappointing.

10) Ravens-Lions:  BAL in white/black, DET in honolulu blue/silver.  Last week, the Lion in winter. This week, the Lion in doors.  And while the Ravens did right by rocking black pants, and the Lions always a plus in the honolulu shade of azure, I can't get worked up about this one.  The colors are great, blue, black, silver, and purple. But well, maybe it's me.

9) Eagles-Vikings:  PHI in white/white, MIN in purple/white.  One of these teams should have worn dark pants, and no, it should not have been the Vikings, but the Eagles.  And the Eagles decide to shun the green pants yet again.  Must be a Chip Kelly thing, certainly not a Timmy B thing!!

8) Seahawks-Giants:  SEA in white/navy, NYG in blue/gray.  The Seahawks have such an array of uni color at their disposal, and in this encounter, they went with the right choice, navy pants.  Works very well and actually compliments the Giants in traditional blue and gray.  Modern Nike versus traditional Nike, and it's a soothing blend.

7) Bengals-Steelers:  CIN in white/white, PIT in black/yellow.  Bengals are doing something this season they should have done years ago.  Wearing orange socks with the all whites! Makes so much sense and looks so good, especially against such a rival like the Steelers, who always look smart in black over yellow.  Good stuff, this.

6) Bears-Browns:  CHI in white/navy, CLE in brown/white.  Browns do well to avoid the tootsie roll look, paired against the Bears in classic white over navy, it's a really good looking game.  I like it.

5) Chiefs-Raiders:  KC in white/red, OAK in black/silver.  So very traditional and so welcome to see.  When these two are paired in this particular matchup, it does seem to bring out the best in each uniform, with large doses of black, red, a good helping of silver and some essence of yellow.  Classic.

4) Chargers-Broncos:  SD in white/navy, DEN in orange/white.  The last Thursday nighter for 2013,and this is a beauty.  If this had been a late 90's-early 00's matchup, it would have been navy overload.  No more, a little more white and a lot more orange makes this a great way to see off TNF.

3) Redskins-Falcons:  WSH in white/yellow, ATL in red/white.  Two teams in tri-colors, and it works very nicely.  A bunch of red, but a good helping of yellow and black trim between the two squads.  One of the better matchups for Week 15.

2) Packers-Cowboys:  GB in green/yellow, DAL in white/mint.  Back in 2007, the Packers wore white in Dallas while the Cowboys wore their dark blue and white throwbacks.  Not real appealing.  But this matchup is glorious.  The Pack always look like kings in the green over yellow, and the Cowboys WAH may wear thin because we see it all of the time, but this is the only combo they can wear when they suit up against the Packers.

1) Jets-Panthers:  NYJ in white/green, CAR in black/black.  Well now, see what a difference pants makes?? If these guys had gone with the "normal" look, it would have been a sleeper.  But add some dark colors below the waist, and for good measure, add electric blue socks to the Panthers, and this gives me eye pleasure!!  Note to the Jets: Please do not wait until Week 14 in 2014 to crack open your green pants!!

See you next time and Happy Holidays!!

Once Again, Hockey Leads the Way

Before I begin, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you to check out Tim Brulia's Week 14 Uniform Matchup Rankings posted to this blog a short time before this article, itself, was posted. Tim and I have been stepping on each other's toes with our blogs for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, quality material sometimes just can't wait.

Honestly, I was a hockey fan before I began following football. Growing up in northwest Pennsylvania, I can remember from a very early age my Dad hooking up the 'rabbit-ear' antennas to our television so that we could dial in on CHCH, CKCO, or CFPL out of Hamilton, Kitchener, and London, Ontario, respectively from across the shores of Lake Erie and watch "Hockey Night in Canada." I learned the words to the Canadian National Anthem before I knew that it wasn't the American Anthem. If I close my eyes (or tune in to youtube) I can still hear Roger "Rogie" Doucet singing in the Forum in Montreal.

In the early 1980s, when I was in middle school, I'd turn on my boom-box at 830PM and dial in to WBBM AM out of Chicago so that I could listen to Pat Foley yell out "BAAANNNNERMAAAAN!" as I was lying in bed. This was how it was in a time before the Internet, youngsters. I've been a Blackhawks fan for even longer than I've been a Bears fan. Needless to say that for the last few years, "It's good to be a 'Hawks fan." The Bears, not so much. But I digress.

The point is, that while a large portion of the sports universe looks down its nose at hockey, every once in a while, hockey does something really wise. A few years ago, the NHL created the Department of Player Safety.  Run by its well-respected, Hockey Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan, it scrutinizes on-ice incidents both of the variety that game officials catch and don't catch.  Each infraction brought to Director Shanahan's attention follows a clear-cut series of guidelines. Infractions are analyzed, suspensions or fines are determined and levied by a former player who toiled in the NHL for 22 years. Video explanations are attached to the NHL's website for all fans to watch and receive an articulate explanation of what happened, why the action necessitated further discipline, and what the terms of any additional penalties would be.

During his career, Shanahan scored 656 regular season goals along with another 60 in playoff action.  He was an 8-time All-Star and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion. Goal scoring was not his only forte. Seventeen times Shanahan accumulated more than 100 penalty minutes in a season. He was never afraid to get his gloves dirty. It is my belief that this unique combination of toughness and goal-scoring prowess made the choice of Shanahan for this position an easy one.

With all of the current angst being aimed by fans at the current NFL Overlord Commissioner for a variety of reasons (some justified and others not..er...well, let's face it. Most of it is deserved) the NFL could take one of those bullseyes off of Roger Goodell. I would like to see the NFL implement its own version of a Department of Player Safety, but with a few alterations.

Due to the fact that each team plays only 20 games in the preseason and regular season combined, suspensions of any length can affect the likelihood of a team making the playoffs. In an 82-game season, and with the ability to 'call up' skilled replacements from teams' minor league affiliates, it is easier for an NHL team to get by in a player's absence.  NFL suspensions, whatever their length, have a greater impact on a team's overall success than in any other league with the possible rare exception of a season-long suspension.

In hockey, players are responsible for both their team's offense and defense. If the NFL organized a DPS with a single director, there would likely be instances where that player's background as either a defensive or offensive player might create a perceived slant in their opinion of an on-field incident. For this reason, a minimum of 2 individuals would be needed - both a retired offensive and defensive player - for each circumstance.

Another aspect to be considered would be the team (or teams) for which the retired players played. NFL players are famous for continuing to represent their former team in an ambassadorial capacity or simply as a fan well beyond the end of their playing career. Others are known to carry a grudge of animosity towards a particular team, including one they may have played for. Would a Baltimore Raven want their fine or suspension overseen by a retired Steeler like Hines Ward? I think not.

That is why my idea would call for a "Council of Elders" of sorts. Thirty-two retired players, one from each team, equally split between offense and defense, and then the tie-breaking vote (if needed) would fall upon the shoulders of the previous NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, (or the current Head of Officiating) keeping Roger Goodell's hands clean of these matters.

An incident involving two NFC teams would require the judgement of the sixteen AFC representatives (8 offense and 8 defense) and vice versa for an incident involving AFC teams. In the event that the incident involves an interconference game, the two teams in question receive no say and the remaining thirty representatives decide the matter, again with someone like "Tags" settling any split decisions should they occur.

These former players would be much better equipped to discern the intent of an incident, much like Shanahan's analysis of the Shawn Thornton incident, and their judgement would be much more respected than that which currently occurs from the office of the Commissioner who, himself, never enjoyed a career in the sport he oversees.

I'm sure that the process could continue to be fine-tuned beyond what I've already laid out above, however, the groundwork is there. Otherwise, the NFL will likely continue down a slippery slope towards something none of us want to see.  A wise man once commented...

You tell him that the quarterback was in the grasp or that he should have pulled up on a defenseless player!
Bill Schaefer

Week 14 Uniform Matchup Rankings

Week 14 featured a load of dark-dark combos, a few surprises and lots of snow.  And so far, I think the best week of matchups this season.

16) Panthers-Saints:  CAR in white/white, NO in black/black.  All white and all black on a late season Sunday night.  Meh.  Saints would have done well to have gone with gold pants.  Panthers might have the one to try the rarely worn black pants, but both teams stay in their boxes for this scrum.  Not sure I agree.

15) Colts-Bengals:  IND in white/white, CIN in black/white.  I'm a little torn here.  Should the Bengals have worn all black for this one to cancel out the all white Colts?  Or was it better to go with the Bengals did and wear white pants?  I tend to go with the latter, simply because there were a load of all dark combos being worn this week.  Nice pairing.

14) Seahawks-49ers:  SEA in white/white, SF in red/gold.  No complaints with the Niner red and gold, but a bit of anguish with the Seahawks in all white.  Of the three color pant choices for the Seahawks, white works the worst here.  Hard to pick between gray or navy, but either would have been preferred.  So, sorry Niners, this falls in the lower echelon.

13) Falcons-Packers:  ATL in white/white, GB in green/yellow.  The Packers, who sport one of the best looks in the NFL when in dark, go against the Falcons, who rock a rather blah white combo.  And while the Packers greens lift this matchup, as it does any matchup, it doesn't do enough to push this game to the heights.

12) Giants-Chargers:  NYG in white/gray, SD in navy/white.  Expected looks by these two.  Blue is the main color, but it is adequately complimented by gray, red, yellow and a touch of powder blue.  Actually, the red trim on the NY white jersey does square off smoothly with the deep blue Chargers jersey.

11) Chiefs-Redskins:  KC in white/red, WSH in burgundy/yellow.  A lot of red, a lot of yellow and a dash of snow.  While the fiery colors dominate, I think all of the right color combos were worn.  Both teams said nay to white pants, which might not have made a huge load of difference to the Skins, but would have been a major loss in the standings had the Chiefs gone mono white.  They didn't and that made this one a success, uni-wise.

10) Texans-Jaguars:  HOU in white/navy, JAX in black/black.  A lot of darkness in this one.  And I happen to like it.  It's still a bit jarring to see the Jags in all black as this uni can't seem to figure out the primary trim. Is it teal? Is it white? Maybe the gold on the helmets?? Regardless, it does seem to pair well with the Texans' white jerseys and navy accessories, with nice red numbers.

9) Raiders-Jets:  OAK in white/silver, NYJ in green/green.  Was ready to put this matchup in the basement until...bingo...the Jets get the green pants out of mothballs just in time for 2013.  And just like that, the Jets finally wear a combo that I can sink my teeth into.  It also helps the Raiders cause as well, cuz their white combo does little for me.  But when paired with the green Jets, they look a bit better.

8) Browns-Patriots:  CLE in white/brown, NE in navy/silver.  The more I see this, the more I like.  Since we'll likely never see the Pats go all navy in the near or distant future, the Browns pick up the slack on a routine outing by going with brown pants. And it does add a little visual variety, even if it is a rather unpopular color like brown.

7) Vikings-Ravens:  MIN in white/purple, BAL in purple/black.  Purple grape jam in effect here, with a helping of snow flakes.  This is almost as much purple as one will see in the NFL.  And the Ravens chose to go with the two toned dark look in the NFL.  I like this one.  Maybe more black than I would prefer, but it is certainly still more on the + side than the - side.

6) Cowboys-Bears:  DAL in white/mint, CHI in navy/white.  After the Cowboys rocked the uni world by wearing normal blue jerseys at home in North Texas for the first time in 50 years, things revert to normal in frigid Chicago. Cowboys in the familiar whites and the Bears in standard navy and white.  And it is goodness.  Nice helping of silvery blue and mint, blues in royal and navy, as well as orange for a good mixture of color.

5) Titans-Broncos:  TEN in white/navy, DEN in orange/white.  Broncos in the very beautiful orange jerseys and like the Packers green and Steelers black, a rather can't miss combo.  So, even though the Titans would have been much better served in columbia blue pants than in the navys, this matchup is still better than most.

4) Lions-Eagles:  DET in white/silver.  PHI in green/white.  Normally, a rather routine uni matchup.  BUT add in a healthy dose of snow and presto! it looks soooo much better.  The Lions silver lids seem to glow against the snow and the Eagles green look like a small forest of evergreens.  Thanks, Mother Nature.

3) Rams-Cardinals:  STL in white/navy, ARZ in red/red.  Glory be!  Had this matchup occurred in say Week 5, I think this would have been a really dull matchup, dominated by white everywhere.  But in Week 14, the Cardinals slap out the red pants and the Rams counter with the navy trou.  White is kept to the Rams jerseys and the Cardinals helmets.  Some gold and black round out the color schematic, and this is boffo.

2) Dolphins-Steelers:  MIA in white/aqua, PIT in black/yellow.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Dolphins for rocking the aqua pants.  Really, does anyone think that the Fins in all white really look better than in white and aqua??  No.  Whether the swirling snow in Heinz Field had any bearing on the choice doesn't matter. With the white and aqua going against the always reliable black and yellow look of the Steelers, the matchup zips up the food chain.

1) Bills-Buccaneers:  BUF in white/blue, TB in red/pewter.  Now this one is way better than the two teams' W-L records.  Just a gorgeous matchup.  The white of the Bills, with perfect mixes of red and blue.  The Bucs' red with dollups of pewter, black and essence of orange.  This just gives me goosebumps of glory.

Heading for the homestretch, fans. Keep it right here!!


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