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!!

Week 13 Uniform Matchup Rankings

Football's longest week has come and gone.  Here are the rankings:

16) Dolphins-Jets:  MIA in white/white, NYJ in green/white.  Blah.  A ton of white.  A load of boredom.  Almost nothing excites me about this one.  Had either/both side(s) slapped on a pair of dark pants, I think I could have worked up a little excitement for this matchup.  At least the Jets wore green socks.

15) Cardinals-Eagles:  ARZ in white/white, PHI in black/white.  After the red pants reappeared last week to much joy from this reporter, I was a wee disappointed that the Cardinals didn't pair the reds with the white jersey for this game.  And with the Eagles deciding to go with black jerseys, it was a meh matchup.  While I don't find the Eagles black tops as gratuitous as much as the...Cardinals in black, I still think it's unnecessary. So, this matchup goes down several pegs.

14) Buccaneers-Panthers:  TB in white/pewter, CAR in black/silver.  Mixture of metals (silver/pewter), and a good dose of black, but it is off-set by sharp trim colors of light blue, red, and a sniff of orange.  Panthers may be running out of time to cue the all blacks, and it might have played well here, but not necessarily needed.

13) Steelers-Ravens:  PIT in white/yellow, BAL in black/black.  Capping off Thanksgiving were these bitter rivals.  Ravens decide to go jet black for the occasion, and I'm not too thrilled.  I much prefer the Ravens in the purple/black combo, or even the black/white combo.  The all black is just too much, even for the Steelers in the neat white/yellow.

12) Giants-Redskins:  NYG in white/gray, WSH in burgundy/yellow.  Just a bit much on the red tones here.  The Giants blue brain holders and the Redskins yellow slacks do just enough to keep this from a ho-hummer. I did a visual in my mind of the Giants in white pants and the Skins in white pants also, and that would not have helped..  So, this is not that bad after all.

11) Saints-Seahawks:  NO in white/black, SEA in navy/navy.  Well, I'm a bit disappointed.  The one time I'd have like to seen the Saints in gold trou, they go black.  The Seahawks in all navy is a look that has grown on me and keeps doing so.  But not enough to overcome the Saints in black pants. 

10) Rams-49ers:  STL in white/white, SF in red/white.  Maybe I'm getting fogeyish as I am well in middle age, but this week, the Rams all whites going up against the Niners beautiful red and gold blend is a really boffo one from these eyes.  It lets the home team hog the goodness without getting completely lost.  Nothing at all against the navy pants of the Rams, but I think this week, the white pants were a good selection.

9) Jaguars-Browns:  JAX in white/black, CLE in brown/white.  For once, I think the Jags look works.  Paired up with the Browns in a more traditional uni (brown tops and white bottoms), and wearing their black pants, even the Jags' goofy helmet works in this one.  I find this one palatable.

8) Patriots-Texans:  NE in white/navy, HOU in navy/white.  A good, though not great, pairing.  These are good looks by both teams, nearly classic, unchanged for over a decade.  And they work well when paired up.  Any complaints might be the navy heavyness, but sleek uni designs and color placements belp the cause.

7) Falcons-Bills:  ATL in white/white, BUF in blue/white.  Coming atcha from Toronto, and while I normally slam on the Falcons mundane all white combo, it actually seems to work when paired with the Bills rather nifty blue and white look.  Still a lot more white than I'd like, but the black domes of the Falcons match with the white Bills helmets and not to mention the great blue jerseys, this is actually appealing to me.

6) Broncos-Chiefs:  DEN in white/white, KC in red/white.  Not a stunner, but a good show nonetheless.  Navy and red dominate, but enough orange and yellow to accessorize with much appeal.  A uni matchup seen many times since 1997, and it really never gets old. 

5) Packers-Lions:  GB in white/yellow, DET in honolulu blue/silver.  Typical Turkey Day fare, with no throwbacks, as in recent memory when these two hook up for this occasion.  Still, it is a classic matchup, with the silvers, yellow, unique blues and greens.  Pack with the white and Lions with the blues,  looks quite good.

4) Raiders-Cowboys:  OAK in white/silver, DAL in blue/silver.  Well, when the Cowboys announced that they would wear their normal blue jerseys for a genuine home game, it generated immense buzz in the uni geek world.  As it should, for the Cowboys hadn't worn regular blue jerseys at home since December, 1963.  And it look good.  The blues are underrated and underused.  A lot of silver on both squads to be sure, but the smart look by the Cowboys will hopefully bring out the darks at home a little more in coming seasons.

3) Bears-Vikings:  CHI in white/navy, MIN in purple/white.  Boy, something about those NFC North teams and their unis that are just smashing.  This is a great example.  Navy, purple, orange, yellow, in the right fashion.  Not too much of anything here. Well worn, well trimmed and well played.  Nice on the eyes, guys.

2) Titans-Colts:  TEN in white/navy, IND in blue/white.  A few weeks ago when last these teams met, the Titans wore the last possible combo in their closet, and I sorta panned it.  This week against the same Colts, the Titans wear a more common combo, the white jersey and navy pants, and I really think this is their best combo when the Colts wear traditional blue.  Blue dominates, but with tones that range from light to medium to dark, it's winning.

1) Bengals-Chargers:  CIN in white/white, SD in alternate powder blue/white.  Yay-yuh!  Powder power!  When the Chargers rock the powder blues, a uni seemingly loved by everyone...BUT the owners, the GUD rankings looks favorably on the game automatically moves up the ladder.  No exception here as the Bengals offer their whites plus orange socks to compliment.  For sure, a plus for me.

Till next time, take care and remember, you can never watch too much football!

More on the 1961 Time-Life Magazine Photo of NFL Starting Quarterbacks

Recently in Uni Watch, they have been discussing the picture that TIME-LIFE Magazine managed to get of all fourteen of the NFL's starting quarterbacks in 1961.   Here's a little more detail on the quarterbacks in that photo.

Week 12 Uniform Matchup Rankings

Before I get going, Bill just posted a GREAT blog on what the Cowboys have in store this year's Thanksgiving game, please check it out!

14) Panthers-Dolphins:  CAR in black/silver, MIA in white/white.  You don't want to see the Panthers suffer in all black, so this usual combo at Miami is proper.  And the Dolphins surprise absolutely no one in all white.  It is a rather so-so encounter.

13) Broncos-Patriots:  DEN in white/white, NE in navy/silver.  Though these two are perennial contenders, this matchup is not really giving me the excitement.  Lot of navy, slivers of orange and red, and a dose of silver.  Patriots had the chance to pull a coup and go all navy, but that - alas - was a pipe dream. So is this matchup.

12) Bears-Rams:  CHI in white/navy, STL in navy/navy.  A little much on the navy.  A case of nice unis separately, but together, too much darkness.  Rams in white pants would have bumped this matchup some.  It is still pretty good as I see it, though.

11) Jaguars-Texans:  JAX in white/black, HOU in navy/navy.  Another freakishly dark matchup. At least the Jags goofy helmet breaks the dark monotony.  I like the Texans rare all navy look, but it could have been helped if the Jaguars had gone all white for this one.

10) Steelers-Browns:  PIT in white/yellow, CLE in brown/brown.  A new wrinkle in this 60+ year old rivalry. Browns go all chocolate for the second time this season and do it against their nemesis, who wear their usual whites and yellows.  Not nearly as excited as when the Browns wore the all brown look earlier, but it does drop a log on the fire against their close neighbors.

9) Buccaneers-Lions:  TB in white/pewter, DET in honolulu blue/silver.  A lot of metal, but the pewter mixes well with the silver.  And the red and black trim blends well with that magnificent Lions blue and a touch of black.

8) Jets-Ravens:  NYJ in white/white, BAL in purple/black.  The Ravens carry the load in this pairing.  I am pleased to see the Ravens break out the purple and black, which is definitely the best look for them against the Jets head to toe whiteness.  Had the Jets at least considered either green pants and or even green socks, could have been better.

7) Saints-Falcons:  NO in white/black, ATL in red/white.  Long time rivals usually look good when playing each other, and this game is no exception.  While there's plenty of black to go around, there's a lot of red and gold to trim.  Sharp matchup.

6) Cowboys-Giants:  DAL in white/mint, NYG in blue/white.  The Giants know when to wear their new white pants.  This was and is a good opportunity.  The white pants save the game from gray/minty overkill, and it does seem to make the blue jerseys pop a little and really works well off the Cowboy normals.  A-OK matchup.

5) Chargers-Chiefs:  SD in white/navy, KC in red/white.  Nothing out of the ordinary in this traditional matchup, but it is a good one.  Chargers look good with the white jerseys and navy pants, trimmed neatly in yellow when matched up with the Chiefs red and yellows.  I'm fond of this one.

4) 49ers-Redskins:  SF in white/gold, WSH in burgundy/yellow.  Reds and golds.  In various tones.  Niners wear the rather generic whites, but the bright red numbers and trim go well.  The Redskins in burgundy, with helpings of yellow.  I like how this one works.  Not too much of the reds, golds, and even whites, but a perfect blend of the shades.  Good one.

3) Titans-Raiders:  TEN in white/navy, OAK in black/silver.  For whatever reason, I think this is winner.  Not too much of any good thing here.  Raider sleek in silver and black, Titans looking good in the white and navy combo with columbia blue on the sleeves.  I enjoy this one.

2) Vikings-Packers:  MIN in white/purple, GB in green/yellow. Classic look in my eyes when I see the Vikes in delicious purple (pants wise) while the Pack go in the sweet green and yellow combo.  Very colorful, not too much darkness or white.  Rather sweet, I think.

1) Colts-Cardinals:  IND in white/white, ARZ in red/red.  After a year's absence, the Cardinals red slacks return, and they picked the perfect opponent to do so, the white-white Colts.  The Cardinals go all red and it contrasts sharply and perfectly against the stark white, and the Colts slight blue trim.  Good move.

We at the Gridiron Uniform Database would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

What's Longer Than 'Once in a Blue Moon?' - UPDATE

Our friend at Uni Watch, Phil Hecken, posted some breaking news earlier.

On Thanksgiving Day the Dallas Cowboys will not wear white jerseys at home.

On Thanksgiving Day the Dallas Cowboys will not wear their fauxback navy jerseys at home.

Instead, they will wear their beautiful, navy jerseys that...wait for it....wait for it...MATCH!

For the first time, they will wear their regular road navy (the road jerseys didn't actually become navy until 1981 and were basically royal blue before that) jerseys at home. The regular blue/navy jersey has not been worn at home since 1963 when they last wore their standard royal blue home jersey - their original uniform.

10/13/1963 -  Detroit at Dallas - courtesy of Getty Images
11/21/1993 - NFL's first throwback uniform - courtesy of Getty Images

During the NFL's 75th Anniversary Season in 1994, teams began the trend of wearing what would become known as throwback jerseys/uniforms. The New York Jets actually wore a throwback uniform the previous year in honor of their Super Bowl III triumph, however, they wore their regular green helmets instead of a white throwback design. In 1994, the Cowboys assembled a fairly accurate throwback to their early 1960s design, except they chose to wear the normal silver helmet instead of using a white one. They only wore the combination once for a Monday Night game against Detroit.

9/19/1994 - Detroit at Dallas
In 1994 the Cowboys also designed a white, alternate 'fauxback' jersey.  A navy, alternate 'fauxback' jersey followed in 1995 (worn again in 2001).

Left - 1994 NFL 75th Anniversary white 'fauxback' - courtesy of Getty Images
Center - 1995 navy 'fauxback' styled alternate jersey - courtesy of Getty Images
Right - 2004-2012 navy 'fauxback' styled alternate jersey - courtesy NFL.com

From 2004-2012 the Cowboys utilized a different 'fauxback' uniform. This one was basically a navy version of the Cowboys' first uniforms worn from 1960-63 replacing the royal blue that was used back then.

Anyways, I got to thinking about how infrequently the Cowboys actually use their gorgeous navy jerseys - rarely more than once or twice per year in recent years. Then I began to wonder...how many teams are there in the League that have never faced the Cowboys in their navy jerseys?

Since the end of the 1963 season, the Cowboys have essentially had the same home and road white and blue combos, with the aforementioned change from royal to navy in 1981. We are talking about 50 years of Dallas Cowboys football!

Here's what I found for teams making the Cowboys wear the regular, non-throwback, non-fauxback, blue jerseys...

Washington (29) - 1964, 1981-94, 1996-2000, 2002-09
                           * - twice in 1982 including NFC Championship Game
St.Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals (26) - 1964-66, 1970-83, 1989-94, 1997, 2000, 2002
Philadelphia (16) - 1971, 1973, 1980, 1983, 1985-89, 1992-93, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006-07
                            * - 1980 was the NFC Championship Game
Cleveland (10) - 1964-70, 1979, 1988, 2008
New York Giants (7) - 1980-81, 1983-87
Carolina (5) - 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2012
                   * - both 1996 and 2003 were playoff games
Los Angeles/St.Louis Rams (4) - 1969, 1978, 2008
                                                 * - twice in 1978 including NFC Championship Game
Miami (3) - 1978, 1996, 2007
New Orleans (3) - 1967-68, 1971
Pittsburgh (3) - 1966-67, 1969
San Diego (3) - 1983, 1986, 2013
Tampa Bay (3) - 1990, 2003, 2009
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (2) - 1970, 1981
                                                     * - 1970 was Super Bowl V
New England (2) - 2003, 2011
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (2) - 1974, 1982
Atlanta (1) - 1989
Buffalo (1) - 1984
Denver (1) - 1980
Houston (1) - 2002
Jacksonville (1) - 2006
New York Jets (1) - 1987
San Francisco (1) - 1979

That's 123 times in about 50 years, averaging a little more than twice per year. This also means that there are nine teams that have never faced the vaunted, navy jerseys. That list will drop to eight should the Cowboys follow through and wear the navy jerseys this Thursday against the Raiders.  Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Seattle would remain.

This list could remain intact for a while as most of these teams are not known for wearing white jerseys at home too often. The most likely to do so would probably be Baltimore or maybe Cincinnati. The others, not so likely.

The most the navy/blue jerseys have been worn in a single season is five times in 1983. They have been worn on four occassions in a season ten times (1966, 1978, 1980-82, 1986-87, 1989, 1996, & 2003).

It's odd. Watching Cowboy games in Dallas, when the cameras pan the audience, I usually see a lot more navy jerseys than white. (I actually see the same thing viewing Dolphin home games, too, with their fans opting for the aqua jerseys. Look for it!)

One thing is certain, if it happens, the uniform match-up Thursday afternoon will be a pairing never before seen in the history of regular or post-season NFL games.  Who knows. Maybe wearing these navy jerseys at home will bring the team luck and may start a trend of Dallas wearing them more often at home next year. One can only dream.

Bill Schaefer

It seems I beat our Timmy B. to the punch as he was in the middle of organizing the same type of article. He passed on to me the following photo of the last time the Cowboys wore their regular blue jerseys for a home game...December 8, 1963, at the Cotton Bowl, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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