Showing posts with label Chargers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chargers. Show all posts

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

Matching Rivals: Chargers & Rams

Royal blue and yellow, perfect colors to represent southern California, evoking images of the Pacific Ocean and abundant sunshine. It's not surprising that the professional football team residing in Los Angeles and San Diego chose to adorn their teams in these colors for significant portions of their respective histories. For 11 seasons spanning 1974 - 1984 the two teams looked remarkably alike.

The Rams were born in Cleveland, and moved west in 1946, bringing their royal blue and yellow uniforms with them. Yellow was the color of their primary jersey through most of the 1950's. However, they were difficult to distinguish from opponents wearing white on black-and-white TV's, so they made the switch to blue jerseys with yellow numbers and Northwestern stripes on the sleeves. Yellow was nearly absent on the white away uniforms, only being seen on the famous horns on the helmet and center pants stripe. That trend continued to the extreme in 1964 when yellow was abandoned altogether during the Fearsome foursome era of Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen.

In 1973, following an ownership change, the Rams completely redesigned their uniforms. Not only did yellow return to prominence, but the entire design was ingenious. The iconic Ram horn from the helmet was incorporated onto the shoulder of the jersey. The effect from the front view was similar to the over-the-shoulder UCLA stripe, but the horn continued around the back of the sleeve, encircling the TV number. On the white jersey the horn was blue and the sleeve was yellow. The Rams wore this jersey in their near upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV.

The Chargers are most well known for their white helmet and powder blue jersey from their AFL years. However, for fans of the Air Coryell era of the late 70's and early 80's, the images of Dan Fouts carving up secondaries are somewhat different. They got there in part by drawing inspiration from a longtime NFL franchise.

Sid Gillman (who played for the Rams while they were in Cleveland and coached them when they were in Los Angeles) was an admirer of Vince Lombardi and the success he achieved in Green Bay with the Packers. Given that yellow was already in the Chargers color scheme (seen in the Air Force Acadamy inspired arced lightning bolts on the helmet and inside the UCLA stripe-like jersey stripes over the shoulder), Gillman's changing the Chargers white pants to yellow in 1966 was easy. In 1973 the numbers on the blue jersey changed from white to yellow.

The first major change to the Chargers uniforms occurred in 1974, and it included an alteration to their familiar color scheme. Gone were the powder blue jerseys and white helmets, replaced by the royal blue worn by their neighbors to the north. Creating even more synergy with the Rams was the absence of the lightning bolt on the Chargers pants. They instead featured a basic blue-white-blue stripe pattern, which was identical to Los Angeles. The Chargers also sparked a revolution of sorts with their new uniforms - they were the first team to paint their facemasks in a team color instead of going with the manufacturer's stock grey. By the turn of the decade most teams followed suit, which included the Rams changing theirs to blue in 1981.

Though they played regularly during the pre-season, because the two teams played in different conferences, they only met on the field twice between 1974 and 1984 during the regular season.  They met in 1975 in San Diego, and then again in 1979 in Los Angeles in a game in which the Rams wore white at home, so both times the Rams wore their white jerseys and the Chargers royal blue. Confusion among fans in the cheap seats of the Los Angeles Coliseum or Jack Murphy Stadium trying to distinguish the two teams would certainly been understandable.  That 1979 Rams team went on to Super Bowl XIV, while the following years the Chargers made it all of the way to hosting the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl XV Champion Oakland Raiders.

San Diego made slight diversions when they switched from solid blue socks to blue stripes on white in '78, and reintroducing the lightning bolt returned to the pants in '79. In 1984 the lightning bolt was set inside a solid blue stripe.

While the Rams uniform remained unchanged for the duration of their stay in Southern California, the Chargers continued their journey away from their powder blue roots. In 1985 they returned to white pants, but darkened their tone of blue to navy. The next season yellow took a further step back when the numbers on the blue jerseys became white. Two seasons later San Diego was outfitted in their starkest contrast ever: an even darker tone of navy with white lighting bolts on the helmet and jerseys, and plain striped pants. No one could ever confuse the Chargers for the Rams again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In our next installment we'll take a look at two silver and blue teams who crossed paths several times during the late 60's and early 70's, including a postseason contest in which neither team scored a touchdown.

Doug Flutie's Drop Kick

Doug Flutie's Drop Kick
by Rob Holecko

from Celebrate Boston:

On January 1, 2006, the New England Patriots were facing the Miami Dolphins. Doug Flutie was in at quarterback while starter Tom Brady was being rested for the playoffs. With 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, what looked like a 2-point conversion attempt turned out to be history in the making. As Flutie gathered the snap, he bounced the ball at about the ten yard line, then booted it between the uprights for the extra point. It was the first successfully executed drop kick play in an NFL game since 1941. The January 2, 2006, Boston Globe describes this historic event:

"[It turned] out the Patriots had been practicing it in recent weeks, a result of a conversation among ESPN's Chris Berman, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and Flutie. Berman remembered seeing Flutie execute a drop kick while playing in the Canadian Football League.

'We had a couple tryouts out there and Doug shanked a couple, but he hit a couple good ones, so I thought if we had an opportunity to do it in one of these last couple of games, we'd give him a shot,' said Belichick, who smiled as Flutie hugged him after the kick. 'I think Doug deserves it. He is a guy that adds a lot to this game of football running, passing, and now kicking. I'm happy for him.'"

Tom Brady, now a legend himself, said about the play, "Doug was so nervous for three weeks because that's been in the plan. I think he was probably more worried about drop kicking than he was about quarterbacking. He was so excited when it went in. I think everyone was. He just adds to his legend."

Although Flutie did not discuss whether 2005 would be his final season, Pats' coach Bill Belichick commented about the drop kick, suggesting that the play was a retirement present of sorts for his veteran quarterback. On May 15, 2006, Doug Flutie announced his retirement from the game at age 43.

Also, "On This Day..", fifty years ago today the AFL played it's first ever Championship as the Los Angeles Chargers played the Houston Oilers.  You can read about this game here in the Pelican Park Eagle blog.

We are proud to add these game to our matchup database, and Happy New Year from the Gridiron Uniform Database.


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