The Boys Are Back

     Today we are back in full force from our various vacations and technical malfunctions and are ready to hit this blog today at The Gridiron Uniform Database with a vengeance.  We have no less than 36 database updates to bring you, and we will try to do a huge chunk of them today.

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     Let's get started with the 1994 and 1995 Raiders. Thanks to Mako Mameli, who brought this change to our attention.  We have added Starter manufacturer logos to the front of the pants.  Discussion is on-going in our forum about the number font of the 1960s Raiders.  I believe at one point we thought it was as simple as the black jerseys always had a particular font, and the white jerseys with the silver-with-black-outline (1963-64 & 1970) had the squared-off numbers and the other white jerseys -- the regular black numbers -- had the standard numbers.  Now, thanks to Mako, we are finding it is more complicated than that.

Cookie Gilchrist of the Bills in a 1962 Preseason tilt against Boston. 
Still undetermined is the status of the Pats' logo-less helmet on #85

     Another change we are debuting today is a 1962 preseason variation for the Buffalo Bills -- they did use this combination shown in this picture, and we are adding it to the database.

     We have made some changes to the 1957 Eagles and Browns, thanks to some images posted to our forum.  For the Eagles, we have changed the pants that they wore with the stripe-less white jersey to the white pants, and for the Browns, we added the preseason variation of number-less helmets.  They apparently waited until the regular season to debut their helmets with the numbers on them.  Thanks go to LarryB and BD Sullivan for this forum thread that brought us these updates.  This whole discussion owes itself to the images available online at the USC Digital Library, which has many 1950s Rams images in its collection.

Here are some images from the USC Digital Library:  1957 Eagles at Rams (left),
1957 Browns at Rams (center) and 1955 Packers at Rams (right).
     In these above images, in the picture on the right, which you can see in more detail here, we are currently looking into the Packers' stripe pattern.  Of this Packers image, our historian Tim Brulia says, "It's from 1955 and the Packers look to be clearly wearing WHITE stripes on the jerseys and socks and WHITE numbers on the jersey. Helmet and pants are clearly yellow."  Debate continues on this issue.

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     Another preseason change for the 1967 Detroit Lions:  We have determined that for the '67 season, the Lions wore a plain white preseason jersey, similar to the plain blue one they wore in 1968.  Speaking of preseason, tomorrow we will be bringing you Tim's column about some trends of uniform apparel in the history of NFL preseasons that you may have not already known

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     The 1994 Kansas City Chiefs have also received a minor update -- again it's Mako Mameli pointing out to us that we were missing the NFL Shield logo on the pants for the 75th Anniversary throwbacks.  Thanks Mako for all your contributions, and keep them coming.

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      We still have many more database updates to bring you, but we will save them for another time.  We have more on the 1996-2003 Eagles we discussed earlier this week, plus Houston Oilers and New York Jets changes, as well as a modification to the 1990 San Francisco 49ers, thanks to Larry Schmitt that we have to update.  We'll bring you those in the coming days.

     Yesterday I announced a contest regarding the NFL Network's Top 100 players of 2011 poll that they have been airing this summer.  Tomorrow night at 8 PM Eastern Time they will reveal the top 10.  They have already released numbers 11-100 in the past weeks (to the lower right on this page), and I thought it would be fun to have a contest to pick the order of the remaining ten.  This is similar to a contest we are having at another internet community that I am a part of, and I thought it would be fun to bring it here.  The rules are simple, pick the order of the remaining ten players, you start at 45 points, you get a bonus for getting a player at the right spot (+10 for #1 spot correct, +9 for #2 spot correct, etc., down to +1 for #10 spot correct), and you lose a point for each spot each player of yours is wrong by (i.e you have Brady at #1, he is #2, you lose 1 point; you have Brady at #1, he is #3, you lose 2 points etc.)  Minus-10 is most points you can lose, if a player you select isn't in top 10.  You would score a perfect score of 100, if you get all ten right, while the worst possible score you could get is -55, if all ten of your picks do not make the Top 10.  There is a thread in the forum to enter your picks, so get to it!

     Our other on-going contest is the Best NFL Uniform Of All-Time tournament.  Voting will soon end on the first group of entries, so if you haven't voted on those yet, hurry up and do so.  Monday we will have our second group of first-round match-ups, so be sure not to miss that.

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By (+ another contest)

     Due to PC issues beyond our control, The Gridiron Uniform Database has been unable to bring you a blog entry these past couple days.

     The database and forum are still up and running, so you can still join in on the uniform discussions and debate like always.

     Rest assured, these issues will soon be resolved and we'll be back Saturday with a full update, and on Sunday we'll be bringing you Tim Brulia's weekly column.

     Monday, we will have another set of uniform matchups in the Best Uniform Of All-Time contest to vote on.  If you haven't voted on this week's already, you can do so here.

     In the meantime, between now and 8 PM Eastern Sunday, in a special contest thread in the forum, pick who you think will be #1 through 10 in NFL Network's Top 100 of 2011.  Numbers #11-100 have already been unveiled.  Further contest rules will be announced in the blog Saturday.

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    On a final note, I'd like to personally thank all the wonderful folks at HP for making these technical difficulties possible.

Fly Like An Eagle II

     Discussion today at The Gridiron Uniform Database has focused once again on the Philadelphia Eagles.
     A couple weeks ago we brought you Tim Brulia's column on the 1941 Eagles' uniforms and today we'll be discussing some newer Eagles developments.

1977 Philadelphia at New England
1979 Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
(NFC Divisional Playoff)
1982 Washington at Philadelphia
     First of all, we discovered some discrepancies with the shoulder stripes in the 1974 through 1984 era uniforms.  During this period, the Eagles' uniforms were very intricate and tricky.  We already made one change to the pants' stripes on these uniforms two weeks ago, and now we've made another adjustment.

     It seems the 1979 stripe pattern in the database was incorrect, and after looking at each year, we think we've got the pattern down now.

1979 Updated
1979 Old
     The images to the left show the 1979 season specifically, but adjustments have been made to the whole era.

     Some more Eagles questions were brought to our attention by reader Pat Henderson, who contacted us through Paul Lukas of Uni Watch

     He alerted us to the differing logos the Eagles have used on the word mark on the front of the current jersey set which the Eagles debuted in 1996.  After some research we have determined that the Eagles word mark from 1996 through 2002 was a slanted 'Eagles' logo, while since 2003 they have used the newer Eagles logo.

1998 Eagles
      To be sure, this is an important detail that we want to get right, however at the size of our graphics (right), it really is going to be hard to discern much of a difference.  Like the change in the detail of the Denver Broncos helmet from 1992 to 1993, some changes are so small that they are really hard to denote in a project with the size of the images that we are using.  We are currently undergoing further discussions on this matter, and any further database changes will be unveiled here at the blog.

San Francisco at Philadelphia
(MNF, 11/10/1997)
'96 - Ricky Watters
sporting the Eagle
logo on his pants
that they only
had one year
     Pat also inquired about the logo that appeared on the side stripe on the green pants from 1996, as to whether or not it appeared on the 1997 and 1998 green pants.  As far as we can tell, the Eagles only wore the green pants a few times during these two years, on a Monday Night against San Francisco in 1997, and against the Packers and Giants in November 1998.  On these occasions, we have not seen the logo that they had in 1996.

What year exactly is
this a "throwback" to?
     If you have any further input on these or other uniform discrepancies you find in our database, be sure to join in on the fun in our forum.  Tomorrow, we will be looking at some sock stripe anomalies of the early 1980's Houston Oilers, and also some New York Jets throwback stuff that was possibly one of the least accurate "throwback" attempts ever.
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     Thanks to all of you who have voted so far in our first-ever "Best NFL Uniform of all-time" contest.  If you haven't voted yet, you can do so here.

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.
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     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.

Monochrome Is Monochrome, Even When It Is White

     Today at The Gridiron Uniform Database, we are unveiling a change to the Kansas City Chiefs (and Dallas Texans) uniforms which we have very in-depthly been reviewing over the past week.  We have removed the outline on the nameplate letters from the years 1960 through 1972, as well as changing the belts to the white belts that they wore with the red pants from 1973 through 1988 (excluding the years 1982-86, which already had white belts in the database.)

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1970 Kansas City Chiefs (old)
1970 Kansas City Chiefs (new)

     These changes only go through the 1988 season because from 1989 through 1999, the Chiefs did not wear the red pants, preferring to wear only white pants with both the home white and the red jersey.  This brings us to another topic that I'd like to address regarding Friday's Bills announcement, and that is the apparent omission of the blue pants from their new uniforms.

Which Chiefs pants do you like better with the white jersey?
    All of the leaked images we had seen had blue pants with the Bills' new white home uniform, and while the classic white-on-white look is a good one, the one aspect of the unveiling that I was looking forward to was the blue pants.  There has been some speculation that perhaps there will be blue pants and that they were just not displayed Friday night.  Hopefully that will turn out to be the case, as I pointed out earlier this week, I just really felt that look was a good look, especially in night games under the lights.  The shade of royal blue that the Bills used really just seemed to "pop" and I think it'll be a shame if the new Bills' unis only include white pants, leaving them only with the monochromatic white for their road unis.

    Many teams have worn both color and white pants with white jerseys throughout the years.  The Cardinals were exclusively a white-pants team until they started wearing red pants in 1990.  Same for the Bucs - they started wearing orange pants in 1992.  The Bears famously adopted dark pants in 1984 after wearing exclusively white pants for three decades.

     While white-with-color pants is a widely tried and well-executed uniform choice, the same cannot be said for the color-on-same-color monochromatic look.

     Who can forget the spectacle of the monochrome-red Arizona Cardinals on the final day of the 2003 season, when they came from behind and beat Minnesota 18-17 to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs and put Green Bay in?   In 1995 Sam Wyche wanted to outfit the Bucs in all-orange (he was overruled by the players) and the Bears and Dolphins have both tried the monochrome color looks in the last decade.  The Jets routinely wear both green and white pants with both the green and white tops, for equally monochrome and non-monochrome looks at will.

     Monochrome is monochrome, whether it is a color or white.  How come we excuse monochrome-white, but monochrome-color somehow is an anathema?

     Some teams, like the Browns and Colts, look good in the monochrome-white.  It's what we're used to seeing.  The Colts tried blue pants in 1995, and it only lasted three games.  Teams like the Bears and Chiefs, I think can look good either way.  The 2003 Vikings you see in the Arizona picture to the right, I think look better monochrome-white than they would have with purple pants, just because that's what we're used to seeing.  Other teams, like the Seahawks, look good in monochrome color, again because we're used to it.  Some Browns fans vehemently will argue that the white-on-white is the best look, while others prefer the orange pants of 1983 and some even like the brown pants.  (Although I wouldn't recommend trying an all-brown monochrome look.)

For some reason, this
monochrome looks okay...
...while this monochrome does not

     Therefore about the Bills' new duds?  I think they should strongly re-consider not having the blue pants.  They really looked good in the late 1970s and early 80s, and would look good in 2011, as well.  I have no problem with them keeping the mono-white look for maybe daytime road games, and reserving the white-top/blue-pants for night-time games only.  And hopefully they could avoid wearing the monochromatic blue look entirely.

Monochrome is monochrome, whether white or color

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     Now to announce two contests here at The Gridiron Uniform Database.  Starting tomorrow you can vote in our first all-time best NFL uniform contest.  Over the coming weeks and months, you will be able to vote for the best NFL uniform ever in a tournament-bracket style contest.  The first round will begin tomorrow with eight pairs of first-round matchups to vote for.
     And for a second contest, our 100th twitter follower will be in for a big surprise.  As of right now, we have 58 twitter followers, so follow us on twitter and maybe you'll be the big winner.


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