They Were Red, After All

     Over in our forum at The Gridiron Uniform Database I had recently questioned, based on a viewing of the 10/7/79 Bucs at Giants game, whether the stripes on the socks the Giants wore at home were red, as we have in the database, or if they were actually blue. I took a screencap, and to me the sock stripes looked as if they were blue.

     Especially when compared with the stripes they wore in the road game at Tampa Bay later in the season (left), I was sure the stripes in the earlier game at New York looked blue.   Larry Schmitt, our resident Giants expert in the forum, assured me the stripes were indeed red, and he provided a few pictures from some other Giants' home games from that year which showed them wearing the red-striped socks.  So we figured it was probably just distortion from the screenshot that made the stripes appear blue.

     But what if my eyes weren't deceiving me and the Giants for some reason had worn the blue striped socks in just that one game?  After all, they had started 0-5 and were looking to change their luck.  Phil Simms was making his first career start, maybe the Giants might have tried to change their luck by wearing different color socks in this game.  I decided to continue my research, and hope for a closer view of the socks at some point in the game.

     After a play ends, they usually zoom in on players, however, every shot seemed to be zooming in on players above the field of view that included the socks.  Then finally, midway through the third quarter, Simms got sacked, and a zoom-in shot of him showed some offensive linemen (and their socks) who were standing in the shot.  Son-of-a-gun! The socks were red!  It seems when you are watching a video, colors may appear distorted when it's not a clear shot.  These sock stripes are clearly red, but look at the picture at the top right of this blog and tell me that they don't look blue, I dare you!

     At any rate, my research did show that the fonts of the Giants may have not been entirely uniform.  It seems most of the players had a spaced-out serif-ed font like Simms, J.T. Turner (68) and Jim Clack (56) here (left)...

...while other players, like Punter Dave Jennings (13) and lineman Keith Van Horn (63), had a different font.
     I don't know if just a couple players warrants an addition or correction to the database, but I guess we'll see.

     Apparently the wearing of the right socks and starting a rookie quarterback worked because the 0-5 Giants defeated the surprisingly 5-0 Tampa Bay Bucs 17-14.  Simms got a standing ovation when he fell on the ball to run out the clock, something Joe Pisarcik had a little trouble with against the Eagles the previous November.
     ~ ~ ~

     Today we are starting a tournament where you can vote for your favorite NFL uniform of all time.  We have narrowed the entire panoply of NFL uniform history down to 128 particular uniforms, and each week you can vote on which of two uniforms you like better.  We will begin the tournament with four head to head first-round matchups (involving eight teams), and for the next sixteen weeks, each Monday we will unveil a new group to vote on.

     We selected 128 random images equally spread among the 32 teams, with some exceptions:  Most franchises have four entries, but some newer expansion franchises have less and some teams that have been around longer have a few extra, plus defunct franchises have a few entries as well.  

     After the first round of voting the winning entries will be seeded 1-64 based on margin of victory and votes received, however entries from the same franchise will be placed in opposite parts of the bracket so that entries from the same team will not face each other until it is impossible to do otherwise.

     So here is the first group:

     Matchup #1: 1998 Minnesota Vikings (purple/white) vs 1995 Indianapolis Colts (white/blue).  This style of Vikings uniform, purple jersey and white pants was worn from their inception in 1961 through the 2005 season.  The Colts tried out blue pants with their white jersey for three games in 1995. 
Matchup #1
1998 Vikings
1995 Colts


     Matchup #2: 1972 Miami Dolphins (white) vs 1983 Cleveland Browns (brown/orange).  The Dolphins went undefeated in this outfit, which they more or less wore from 1966 through 1979.  The Browns wore orange pants from 1975 through 1983, and this combo was their home jersey, although they did wear white at home occasionally during this era.
Matchup #2
1972 Dolphins
1983 Browns


     Matchup #3: 1971 Philadelphia Eagles (green/white helmets) vs 2003 Jacksonville Jaguars (black/black).  From 1970 to 73 the Eagles had this forgotten white helmet, and they weren't too good of a team during this era, while the Jaguars had a monochromatic all-black third uniform choice they wore from time to time from 2002 to 2007.
Matchup #3
1971 Eagles
2003 Jaguars


     Matchup #4: 1938 Chicago Bears (orange/navy) vs 2001 New England Patriots (blue/silver).  This Bears combo from the late 30's was worn from 1934 to 39 on teams that made it to two NFL Championship games, while this Patriots jersey has been worn by teams in the past decade that have won three Super Bowls.
Matchup #4
1938 Bears
2001 Patriots


     Well, there you have it...  Voting will be open on these matchups all week until next Monday when we'll have four more matchups to vote on.


  1. I think I can vouch for some of BigBlueLarry's research on the Giants regarding their fonts. In 1977-79 in particular, there were many players who had different types of fonts. This wasn't a one or two-off type thing. The mix and match thing was prevalent during this era, and in 1977 there was yet another smaller font, that I will post in the forum section.

  2. Looks like we have a mess on our hands with the Giants from 77-79. Did any of this happen in 1976 by chance??

    Trlu appreciate the assistance, guys!

  3. Timmy - checking now, but I don't think the madness started until '77. I'll be back to let you know very shortly... Ken.

  4. To everybody who has voted so far (before 3:00 PM EST 6/27) ... the votes for Matchup #1 weren't being counted correctly, please re-vote for the '98 Vikings vs. '95 Colts matchup

  5. OK, I was wrong on the Jints. They started using non-uniform fonts beginning in 1976. It appears all of the fonts on the blue uniforms in '76 were carried over from '75. It was a basic block font. However, on the '76 white unis, they used both the basic block and, more frequently, the bold block that would be prevalent in '77-78. No serif, however (phew!). Pics posted in the Forum.



Blog Archive