Best NFL Uniform Tournament, Part 4

Today we bring you another installment of the Best NFL Uniform Tournament.  Every week or so, here at the Gridiron Uniform Database we are bringing you head-to-head matchups of NFL uniforms to vote on and the winners will compete in a bracket-style tournament to determine the Best NFL Uniform of all time.  Here are last weeks eight winners:

The 1967 Packers (green) defeated the 1992 Bills (blue) by a runaway 108 votes to 17 (86%).  The 1955 Rams defeated the 1991 Chiefs 59 to 43 (58%), the 1987 Broncos (white) defeated the 1998 Ravens (purple/white) by a 84-22 margin (79%), and the 1975 Saints (white) defeated the 1995 Jets 64 to 51 (56%).   The 1981 Chargers (blue/yellow) defeated the 2002 Panthers (alt. blue) 82 to 28 (75%) and the 1987 Seahawks (blue) defeated the 2000 Giants (white/gray) by a 60 to 51 margin (54%), while the 1992 Cowboys defeated the 2005 Texans (blue) by 61 votes to 44 (58%) and the 1971 Redskins (92 to 17, 84%) easily defeated the 2009 Bengals (all variations).

Now it is time to bring you another group of uniform matchups to vote on:

Here is Group #4:

Matchup #17: The 1985 Green Bay Packers (white uniforms) vs the 1935 Chicago Cardinals (blue).  For a few years in the 1980's, the Packers' slightly changed their uniforms, adding a player number detail on the pants strip and also the "G" helmet logo on the jersey sleeve stripe.  This is the uniform worn by Lynn Dickey, Paul Ott Carruth, and a bunch of other forgotten players on forgotten teams that filled the years between the Vince Lombardi and Brett Favre era, rarely making the playoffs, in fact from 1973-1991, only in the expanded 1982 season did the Pack qualify for the postseason.  They adopted the G and the pants number in 1984, and in 88, the number was gone and in 89 so was the "G".  For the Cardinals, from the 1930s into the 1950s, along with their red uniforms, they also had a blue combo, to wear when they didn't want to clash with other reddish- looking teams, like the Redskins, and the...uh, well Giants and Dodgers...  In 1935 and 36 they wore these diagonal stripes on their pants, they 36 variation on gray pants, but these 1935 unis were khaki.

Matchup #18:  The 1975 Cincinnati Bengals (black) vs the 1999 St. Louis Rams (blue).  For the Bengals, this was the classic 70s look of Ken Anderson and Isaac Curtis, years before the adopted the Bengal tiger strips, the Bengals were a non-descript team using the same colors (and same initials) of their founder's original club, the Cleveland Browns.  (Or was Cleveland using Brown's color.)  At any rate, in the early years of the Bengals franchise, the chief difference between the two clubs was the word "Bengals" written on the helmet.  Oh, and they used black instead of brown to go with the orange.  For the Rams, the uniforms that they debuted in 1973 in Los Angeles pretty much stayed unchanged until 1999.  The team appeared in 7 NFC Championships from 1974 through 1989 (although they only won one of them and went to Super Bowl XIV), and had a fairly successful run in these unis only to fall on hard times in the 1990s and move to St. Louis.  A resurgence with the amazing 1999 season with Kurt Warner the "Greatest Show on Turf" and their unbelievable run to a Super Bowl XXXIV championship was the swan song for these uniforms, however, as they ditched them after the season.

Matchup #19:  The 2003 Seattle Seahawks (white/blue) vs 1949 Los Angeles Dons (blue/red).  The Seahawks, after their redesign for the 2002 season, generally wear the white pants with the white top for the mono-white look, however this uniform combo does get worn from time-to-time.  It is matched-up against one of the most colorful, if not forgotten uniforms of all-time, the AAFC's L.A. Dons.  When the NFL absorbed a handful of AAFC teams into it's league, they took Baltimore (which failed) along with San Francisco and Cleveland.  While it has been debated that the league should have taken a more stable ownership group in Buffalo instead of Baltimore, it is ironic that it was due to the success of the Cleveland Browns that the NFL's Rams moved to L.A., had the Rams not been in L.A., the Dons may have been more successful and joined the NFL as a west coast compadre of the 49ers.

Matchup #20:  The 2009 Miami Dolphins (orange alts) vs 1988 San Diego Chargers (white).  The Dolphins, long a team of aqua and white and orange trim, adopted a third jersey color for the first time in 2003 when they added an orange top.  They wore it rarely in '03 and '04 and brought it back again in '09 and '10.  The Chargers, having ditched the yellow pants after the 1984 season, ditched the yellow lightning bolt of the helmet after the 1987 season, and brought in one of the most disliked uniform sets in franchise history when they debuted the white lightning bolt for the 1988 season.

Matchup #21:  1968 New York Jets (white) vs 2006 Tennessee Titans (all variations).  The Jets classic look of the Joe Namath era, the uniform we think of when we think of the landmark Super Bowl III guaranteed victory that put the AFL on the map, is a classic white-over-white look that the Jets tried to go back to when they redesigned their image for the 1998 season.  The new Jets' look, however, isn't an exact replica of the classic age of the Namath, Don Maynard and Weeb Ewbank Jets.  The Titans, like the modern-day Bengals, are another of these teams that mixes-and-matches multiple uniform tops and pants to have a plethora combinations to choose from.  With navy, light blue and white, in both jersey and pant, they theoretically have nine different combos they could wear.  Add in a second pair of socks or shoes (or even helmets) and teams like this could exponentially increase the combinations.  While the Titans haven't worn all nine different possible combos in a season, they have come close.  This entry covers the entire Titans 1999-to-the-present uniform set.

Matchup #22:  1985 New England Patriots (white-red) vs 1948 Baltimore Colts (green).  When we think of classic Colts-Patriots rivalry, we're thinking Brady vs Manning, and not this matchup.  The Patriots adopted the shoulder hoops in 1984, and this uni-combo, which saw them wear red pants in 1984-88 and 1990 through '92, became only the second Wild Card team to make it to the Super Bowl when they won the 1985 AFC Championship and faced the Bears in Super Bowl XX.  These Baltimore Colts are not the forerunners of the modern-day Indianapolis team, this AAFC team only lasted one season in the NFL.  These Colts, who wore green uniforms, began life as the Miami Seahawks, and folded after 1950.  However the name Colts in Baltimore began with these guys, and Baltimore fans were attached to the name enough that when they got a 1953 expansion team, they used the same name.  Although that team left in 1984, when Baltimore had a CFL franchise in the early 1990s, they tried to use the name, although legal issues prevented it's official adoption (they were called the Baltimore CFLers), and when the NFL returned in 1996, although another city had been allowed to keep their Colt identity, Baltimore didn't get the same treatment and be to take Cleveland's "Browns" name -- they had to settle for a new Raven identity.  But long-time Baltimore's football identity began with these original AAFC Colts in 1946.

Matchup #23:  1997 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (red-white) vs 1966 Kansas City Chiefs (white).  When the Buccaneers changed uniforms in 1997, their primary home outfit was the red-over-pewter.  But they debuted a red-over-white primetime set on September 21 and won a TNT Sunday Nitro matchup over the Dolphins to go to 4-0 and announce their arrival on the national stage.  Over the past decade they have only wore this set occasionally, but they have a surprisingly good W-L record while wearing red-over-white.  The Chiefs, who have pretty much had the same uniform throughout their existence, have worn red pants with the white jersey in 1968 through 1988 and again since 2000.  The Chiefs, who have never gone mono-red, have pretty much been consistent with either white-over-red or mono-white for their road set, although since 2006 they have worn both looks at times.  Before adopting the red-pants in 1968, however, the Chiefs were exclusively a white-pant team, and they wore this look to the first Super Bowl against the Packers.

Matchup #24:  1990 Philadelphia Eagles (white-gray) vs 1979 Detroit Lions (blue-gray).  The Eagles adopted a new look in 1985 and wore it for a decade, this is the primary road uniform of those years, which ran from the end of the Ron Jaworski era, and the entire Randall Cunningham and Buddy Ryan era. While they never made it to the NFC Championship in this time period, they did make it to the playoffs in five of the last eight years of this uniform set.  The iconic image that one thinks of when they think of this era, perhaps, is Cunningham avoiding a sack on a Monday Night in 1988 against the Giants.  The Lions, before they adopted the lighter honolulu blue in 1982, wore a darker uniform color.  This shade of blue had been worn by Detroit since the Bobby Layne years, but in 1979 belonged to a team that had only seen one playoff appearance from 1958 to 1981.

Well, those are the matchups, and here you can vote:

Matchup #17
1985 Packers
1935 Cardinals


Matchup #18
1975 Bengals
1999 Rams

Matchup #19
2003 Seahawks
1949 Dons

Matchup #20
2009 Dolphins
1988 Chargers


Matchup #21
1968 Jets
2006 Titans


Matchup #22
1985 Patriots
1948 Colts

Matchup #23
1997 Buccaneers
1966 Chiefs

Matchup #24
1990 Eagles
1979 Lions


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