Only One Thing Is Constant - Change

     I am having problems with Blogger's new dashboard interface.  I am unable to post other than simple text like this.  My blog posts here at The Gridiron Uniform Database tend to get a little complicated when we do database changes, and I need to be able to format images and customize things the way I see fit, for example "1999 Eagles New" and "1999 Eagles Old" images in the previous post, the YouTube embeds, etc.  It isn't possible to do it the way I used to with the new interface, at least not to my liking.  Every time I try to customize HTML the way I want, when I go into "compose" from "Edit HTML" it strips out any changes I make.  What's up with that?!  I hate change -- it seems like there always has to be someone who comes along and has nothing better to do than to mess up a good thing.  It's why I quit using Facebook, and why I quit a job once.

     So, for the time being, the blog is somewhat on hold until I can figure out a workable solution.  Hopefully there is a way to get the old dashboard interface back, and I just haven't found it yet.

     Blogger is apparently much more concerned with making their interface usable by traditional bloggers who write about their cats or how they make pretzels than for a website like ours that uses a blog as a "front-end" for a useful website, i.e. formatted the way we want, with the links set up the way we want with the years on the left and teams on the right.  Bottom line is they want to control how people do stuff.  They want people to be able to "browse a blog like a flipboard" -- something that is totally useless for a site like ours.  They like to do things like re-format my HTML when I'm not looking.  Don't mess with my HTML code!  Maybe housewives with blogs about fondue recipes like you to manipulate the design of their blogs, but some of us who know what we're doing don't.

     In the meantime I am going to try to tackle all the database updates that still need to be put in.  On a related note, Bill Schaefer was having a discussion in the forum about changes and the weekly images.  I have pretty much put on hold updating the weeklies.  I am hoping in the near future we will reach a "critical mass" of corrections all put in where we are pretty much happy with all the yearly images, and then we will re-visit putting in the weekly images.  It just doesn't make sense to keep putting them in, and then having to keep changing them, I know it's a lot of work for Bill to re-do all those changes.

     Oh, and yes I did mess up the other day -- The Steelers did, of course, wear their white uniforms in Super Bowl XLV.  I (along with about a billion other people) watched that game, and for some reason I was thinking they wore their black uniforms.  At any rate, I was wrong.   But go ahead and vote on this week's matchups in the Best NFL Uniform Of All Time here anyway.

     One way or another, we'll be back tomorrow, or sometime soon at least.  Tim Brulia is scheduled to have his weekly column and we'll get to the bottom of this whole "no black outline on the Eagles' 1973 helmet" for once and for all.

Philadelphia Freedom

     We've been (well, me at least) a little lazy here at the Gridiron Uniform Database blog, and we've got many updates that have been piling up on us, so we'll jump right in and start with one we started discussing last week.

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1999 Eagles new
      Last week we told you about a change in the Philadelphia Eagles' wordmark for the 1996 through 2002 seasons.  When they first changed their uniforms, they had a slanted "Eagles" wordmark on the front of their jerseys.  We were using the current one, the "crowned" one for the entire 1996 to present period.  Now we have added the slanted one to the database.  It is hard to discern, naturally, in the thumbnails to the left, however when you really blow it up (right) you can tell a slight difference.  
1999 Eagles Old
     The Eagles ' introduced the new "crowned" wordmark on their uniforms when they opened the new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field in 2003.  Chris Creamer's site has the crowned logo as the Eagles only logo since 1996, however.

Jan. 19, 2003 - NFC Championship
     It was my theory that they developed the new logo for the opening of the new stadium, as the old slanted logo wouldn't not have looked good in the end zone.  I seemed to remember the Vet rarely had anything painted in the end zones, but when they were planning the new stadium, perhaps they did some mock-ups with the wordmark in the endzone and realized it didn't look good with the slanted "Eagles" in the symmetrical environment of the endzone.   However, after looking at the 2002 NFC Championship game - Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, the last game at the Vet, I see they did have the new logo in the end zone there.

As late as November 2000, the Eagles were exclusively using
the 'slanted' wordmark on clothing and jerseys, but as early
as Sept. '99, they were using the "crowned" wordmark logo
in the end zone at Veterans Stadium
     Looking back during the 2000 season, you can see they used the old logo on clothing on the sidelines.  But as early as the September 19, 1999 Bucs at Eagles game, the Eagles had the "crowned" wordmark in the end zone.  So was the new logo the only official logo all along, and the wordmark a secondary logo that they only used on clothing from 1996 through 2002, and then they consolidated and only used the "crowned" logo from 2003 on?  Or did they just gradually start using the "crowned" logo sometime between 2000 and 2002, and finally retired the "slanted" logo for good in 2003?

     This isn't the only discrepancy that this research has come across -- a while back someone in the forum asked about the Eagles 1969-73 white helmet and whether or not it had a black outline around the green eagle wing.  After much discussion, our Tim Brulia stated that:
 "I've been hearing about this one for years. I can say with 100% certainty that there was NO black outline on the wings."
      But while looking around the Creamer site, I saw the following:

     Could it be possible that Tim's statement about there absolutely being no black outline is accurate with regards to the 1969-72 helmet, yet the 1973 helmet did, in fact, have the black outline?  What say you all?  Is the Creamer site right and the 1973 helmet different, or do we stand by Tim's statement that there was never any black outline at all?

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     Well there you have it, more database updates the debate rages on!

Best NFL Uniform Tournament, Week 2

     Today we are opening up the second group of first round matchups in the Best NFL Uniform Of All Time tournament contest.

     First, here are the results from last week:  The 1998 Vikings defeated the 1995 Colts 113 to 82 (58%); The 1983 Browns narrowly defeated the 1972 Dolphins, by one vote, 91 to 90 (50.3%); The 1971 Eagles defeated the 2003 Jaguars, 138 to 31 (82%); The 1938 Bears defeated the 2001 Patriots, 107 to 70 (60%).

     So those four teams will go into the second round and await 60 more teams that will join them in the coming weeks.

Week One Winners
     Now here are the match-ups to vote on in Week 2:

     Matchup #5: 2002 Pittsburgh Steelers home (black/gold yellow) vs 1969 Houston Oilers (white/silver). This Steelers have worn this style predominately at home since their 1997 re-design, however they are 0-1 in the Super Bowl wearing this after losing this year to the Packers.  Their two championships (XL and XLIII) during this period have come in their away whites, even in 2005 as the home team they chose to wear white after going 3-0 in the playoffs on the road.  This Oilers uniform was worn from 1966 through 1971, the silver helmet years, and was worn by the likes of George Blanda, Roy Gerela, Elvin Bethea and a young Charlie Joiner under head coach Wally Lemm, in their first years in the Astrodome.

Matchup #5
2002 Steelers
1969 Oilers


     Matchup #6: 1981 Atlanta Falcons (red) vs 1933 Portsmouth Spartans.  After wearing a black home uniform their first few years, this was the color uniform the Falcons wore from 1971 through 1989.  The famed Gritz' Blitz defense of 1978, the 12-4 1981 season with Steve Bartkowski and Leeman Bennett -- and also a lot of losing seasons during this time.  After 1989, the Falcons changed back to black in the Jerry Glanville era.  The Portsmouth Spartans were founded in 1929 and played a handful of years before being moved to Detroit in 1934 where they became the Lions.
Matchup #6
1981 Falcons
1933 Spartans


     Matchup #7: 1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (creamsicle orange) vs 1997 San Francisco 49ers (all white)   The expansion Buccaneers wore this orange uniform to two NFC Central titles and a Wild Card playoff appearance in four years from 1979-82, but this both loved and hated uniform is mostly remember for fourteen straight losing season from 1983 through 1996.  They ditched the orange and went 10-6 in 1997.  The 49ers adopted this throwback inspired uniform set for 1996 through 1998 seasons after riding it all the way to the Super Bowl in 1994.

Matchup #7
1979 Buccaneers
1997 49ers


     Matchup #8: 1975 St. Louis Cardinals (all white) vs 1983 Los Angeles Raiders (black/silver).  This Cardinals set was worn for three decades from the team's move from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960 until they adopted red pants in Phoenix in 1990.  This uniform makes one think of the great 70's teams of Conrad Dobler and Dan Dierdorf that won back-to-back NFC East titles but could never get over the hump and win a championship.  A team that did get over the hump was the Oakland-L.A. Raiders.  This classic black home uniform of the Raiders, which has remained pretty much unchanged since 1963, won an AFL Championship in 1967 and Super Bowl XVIII in 1983, while the franchise also won two other Super Bowls in the road whites.
Matchup #8
1975 Cardinals
1983 Raiders


     Well, there you have it...  Voting will be open on these match-ups all week long and next week we'll have four more match-ups to vote on.

Happy Independence Day

     Today as we all enjoy the fourth of July festivities, we at The Gridiron Uniform Database want to wish you a happy and joyful holiday, and we'll now bring you a short, patriotic themed database update.

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     Brought to our attention by frequent contributor Mako Mameli, the New England Patriots, during the years 1984 to 1987 and 1990 through 1992, they had a blue middle vertical pant stripe that was much wider than what we had in the database.  So we will be widening it accordingly.  During the 1988 and 1989 seasons the Patriots only wore white pants.

     Other than that, we are on vacation for the rest of the day, and we will be back tomorrow with hopefully a bunch of database updates, including a wrap-up of that discussion of the Eagles' wordmark from last week.

     Also Tuesday we will unveil the second group of first-round match-ups in our Best NFL Uniform Of All Time tournament contest.

1986 Patriots Old
1986 Patriots New

Preseason Is Just Around The Corner (Right?)

     Today Tim Brulia, the resident historian here at The Gridiron Uniform Database, brings us his look at a phenomenon we've encountered more often than perhaps we expected to -- the "preseason only" uniform variation.

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Preseason Uniform Variations
by Tim Brulia

     When I began my research on this project in 2003, I really didn't dig into preseason games. After all, since they didn't count in the standings, why bother? I knew there were some oddities, but I really didn't go there.

     When I connected with Bill in 2009, he thought it would be a good idea to include preseason unis in the compliation. I resisted at first, but I guess friendly persuation go the best of me. While we didn't actively research the preseason,we thought that if we would bump into an unusual combo, we would fish a little deeper and if it wasn't a regular season game, we would note it as "not worn in regular season."

     We ended up finding a number of preseason only sets along the way, such as the 1970 Chargers jersey with NO bolts, the orange numbers on the 1984 Browns brown jersey, the 1946 Bears orange jersey, the 1954 Browns orange jersey, and of course, one of the more well-known preseason only uniform, the black helmeted Saints of 1969, which we only recently discovered they wore with two different uniform combinations. Bill would note these with the more confident "worn only in preseason" tag above the specified set.  Sometimes teams will wear white pants only during the preseason, and other times teams have played an preseason game overseas and have worn a patch to commemorate that.

Another preseason variation
you know about -  The
Steelers' helmets have no
numbers on them
     Since our launch on June 12th however, our faithful contributors have alerted us to a number of additional preseason only combos, including the green helmets on the 1978 Jets while still wearing the 1977 jerseys, the 1962 Bills wearing a blank white helmet with the red stripe with the 1961 white jersey/silver pants/white socks with blue stripes combo. And how about the 1968 Broncos wearing the new helmet with the orange D/white horse logo while attired in their 1966 orange jerseys!

     Notice a trend here? Yep, it seems like a number of teams that would break out a new look for the coming season would actually keep the "clothing" portion (jersey/pants/socks) under wraps for the regular season, while the new helmets would make a sneak peek for the preseason! Why? Well, my guess would be that a helmet needs a little more "breaking in" than the rest of the uniform. A player wants to keep his noggin as protected as possible and probably the helmet requires more adjusting and a better fit than his other gear. So once the regular season began, the helmet would already be "game ready", with the fit adjustments having been battle tested.

     So, we'd like to thank you for the preseason finds mentioned above as well as others not mentioned.  And if any of you should stumble across a uni combo - preseason or regular season - we encourage you to drop us a line, either by PM or on the forum. Your contributions help to make this the best site of its kind.

     Let's just hope we have a normal preseason soon!

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     Thanks Tim for that look at the "preseason only" unis.  Yes, let's hope this lockout thing is wrapped up in the nearby future.  The Hall Of Fame Game is scheduled to be played only a little more than a month from now, so they better get it settled soon.  Why is it so hard to come to an agreement?  If this side wants "x" and this side wants "y", why can't they just agree to split the difference?  If games are cancelled, that helps no one.

     Like I'm sure many of you, I've been watching the CFL on NFL Network.  I think it's more exciting, the 3 downs, the bigger field, the point for a single... I'd just as soon watch CFL -- except for the fact that I'm not really emotionally invested in these teams.  As an American (sorry, a United States-ian) who really cares whether Saskatchewan or Calgary wins, eh?  Oh well.  (By the way, those guys are doing just fine with 2 preseason games and 18 regular season games.)  Also, to all of you whiners who thought the 7-9 Seahawks shouldn't have made the playoffs last year, Ottawa made the CFL playoffs in 1994 at 4-14.  I'm a Bucs fans -- the Bucs, who along with the Giants missed out on the NFC playoffs at 10-6, were three games better than Seattle -- and did I complain?  No.  It was their own fault, they should have beaten Detroit on December 19.  If they had, they would have made the playoffs at 11-5 instead of Green Bay, oh and we'd probably be celebrating a Steelers, Bears, Falcons or Eagles Super Bowl championship right now, and everybody would still be wondering if Aaron Rodgers is really ready to emerge from Brett Favre's shadow yet.

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     Speaking of the NFL Network, I've decided to cancel the 'pick the top 10' contest due to lack of interest.  Only four people entered, and half of them were us.  (That's right only two of us entered, even all three of us didn't enter.)  Which is fine, this site should probably focus more on uniforms.  Like, for instance, the many uniform updates which we'll be bringing you Tuesday, as well as the second group of players to vote on in the Best NFL Uniform of All-Time tournament.  If you haven't done so, today is your last chance to vote for the first week's matchups.

     Happy Sunday, and happy Fourth of July tomorrow, we'll have an abbreviated holiday blog edition tomorrow, and then back to usual on Tuesday.


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