When Did The Pants Change?

     Yesterday, our first commenter, Tom, alerted us that this John Brodie picture that we ran on Wednesday couldn't have been from the 10/10/1971 Rams-49ers game in San Francisco, because the 49ers moved from Kezar Stadium into Candlestick Park in 1971, which was Astroturf.   (This guy seems to suggest that turf wasn't at Candlestick until 1972, but apparently changes were made to the base cutouts that year.)  Tim assures us the picture was from not earlier than 1971, as the Rams "shiny" front numeral wasn't used until that year.
     This was entirely my mistake, had I looked at Tim's White At Home in the NFL project, I would have seen that in 1971 the Los Angeles Rams did wear white at home, and this picture was actually from the teams' second meeting that year, 11/21/1971, at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
     So when exactly did the 49ers switch from the two-toned pants to the new style?  Pictures from the week after this game, the 11/28/1971 game at Shea Stadium against the Jets, indicate that they were wearing the new pants in that game, and they were still wearing them the next month when they faced the Lions at home (on the Candlestick astroturf) in the season finale on December 19.
     Assuming then that they didn't "switch back and forth" (and also assuming that Tim is correct about the Rams' numerals, which we have no reason to believe isn't true) then that first picture, (from 11/21/71 vs the Rams) would be the last time they wore those pants.
12/19/71 vs Detroit
11/28/1971 at NY Jets
     The only missing piece, then, would be to confirm that they did in fact wear the "old" pants during other games during the first nine weeks of 1971, and not just as a one-time effort for the Rams game for some unknown reason.
     Thank you Tom, for being our first commentor, and we hope you stay around here at The Gridiron Uniform Database and continue to contribute to the discussions and fact-check us when we need correcting, and we'll look for you in the forum.

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     Thursday was a big day here at the GridironUniforms.com.  We completed entering all of the yearly index pages, if you'll look over to the left where it starts at 2011 and goes down to 1920, you can click on any of the years from 1933 to 2010 and see the uniforms from that year.  With those yearly pages on the left and the team pages on the right, the "meat" of our website is now on-line.  We hope to have most of the 2010 team pages in by Sunday, our official launch, however, all the team graphics, at least are complete, and our website is pretty much "good to go."

     Another feature we launched yesterday, we are now on Twitter.  Now you can get tweets to let you know when updates have been made to the database, as well as when riveting articles like this one have been posted.  You''ll see to the right a badge where you can sign up to follow us, and down at the bottom of this page a twitter widget that displays our recent tweets.  Just follow us @GridironUniform. (Yes, it's singular.  Apparently twitter only allows 14 characters in a twitter name.)

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     Database Changes.  The 1940 Chicago Bears have been "tweaked" again.  If it seems like it was just yesterday that we changed these uniforms, it's because it was.  Now another change:  We decided the socks (which they actually did wear during the regular season) should be orange and not white.  We were continuing to study the size (no, not the color) of the Bronco on the 1962-66 Denver helmet, and feel that at 90% of the size that we previously had it made it more accurate (new 1964, old 1964), and also made a clerical change with the 1967 Broncos in that we are now depicting the "preseason only" uniforms below the regular season, rather than above, as we have done in other cases.

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     Well, now it's off to work on the 2010 team pages.  Since we have already done the Packers and Steelers, we'll probably try to knock out the rest of the NFC North & AFC North first, and then tackle the other divisions.


  1. You're quite welcome! I know Tim from his comments on the Uni-Watch blog, and I know he wants what I want: An accurate historical record.

    Hulu has emerged as another verification tool. Week 14, 1971: You can see turf at Candlestick right away.


  2. I think we're in agreement about the Lions game being the new pants -- but today Bill and I are having second thoughts about the Jets game -- it's also at Hulu:


    Tom, let us know what you think of 49ers pants in that game.

  3. In the 49ers-Jets game, I don't see any ... sheen or shininess in the 49ers' pants. Not even in direct sunlight. Same for the 49ers-Lions game to which I linked.

    I wonder if the Brodie vs. Rams photo is a case of the Niners using more lightweight pants because they were playing in L.A. The circa 1968-73 period does have the occasional team wearing a presumably lightweight jersey with no sleeve stripes to beat the heat -- examples that come to mind are the Lions in the '68 opener at Dallas, the 49ers (and surely other teams) at the Dolphins in the '73 opener, the Vikings in a purple jersey with no sleeves early in the '70 season. Maybe the 49ers' shiny pants are a product of the same thinking.



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