The Butterfly Effect: How Things Transpire In The GUD

by Bill Schaefer

Over a year ago, I wrote a blog entry describing how high-top cleats were going to be added for all teams up through 1956. The changes needed made for accuracy's sake, but there was also an additional benefit to making the changes, as well.

It gave me a chance to replace many of the original images for 1920-56 created for the site over 5 years ago all in one foul swoop.

When I began and my skills had not become as polished as they are now, I would 'hollow-out' jerseys, pants, and socks and add in the colors required. As you notice below, especially on the borders between the sleeves and the ribs, some of the bordering was eliminated leaving 'sharp' edges between the border and the colored areas.
Having these rough edges eliminated when the high-tops were added was a fantastic fringe benefit of that overhaul.

However, the high-top era only went as far as 1956. For some of those older teams, parts of 1957-1959 were updated at the same time for consistency's sake.

A few months ago, one of our contributors, smith03, noticed that while we ended the high white sanitary socks around 1981 or 1982, he was able to document that those 'sannies' were worn in that style at least through the 1987 season.

1987 (Getty)
The use of these high-whites became popular in the late 1950s, continued in the 1960s and 1970s, and were fazed out in the late 1980s.

I now had a chance to fix every teams' high-whites in the same manner that we have shown the trend coming back to the League the last few years.  This would also give me the same chance that the high-tops provided. I could now modernize everything from the end of the high-tops (1956) up through 1987.
I set out to make the League-wide updates. However, events transpired along the way that forced me to broaden my scope from just 1957-1987.

Certain teams had some helmet issues. For example, the logo on the Packers' helmets seemed too large. It also seemed to sit too low on the side of the helmet. It needed fixed. That meant updating the entire Green Bay run up through 2011. So it was required, and so it was done - for all teams. The Bills, Bears, Cowboys, Jets, Raiders, Eagles, and 49ers have also already received improvements to some portion of this era's helmet logos during these updates.

Since everything up through 2011 was now needing to be updated, I saw another opportunity to fix something else that had always bothered me. This was the original NFL shield placed on the 'V' of the jersey collars beginning in 1991 until it was replaced by the "NFL Equipment" logo in 2002. Pretty lousy, right? Not anymore.
And the same with the pants shields.
All of these improvements meant one thing. For consistency's sake, every team needed to be revised up to the 2012 season, be that from 1957-2011 or commencing with whenever the team began operations.

Over the next several months, with Rob's help, these refinements will start to appear both in the teams' yearly images and in the weekly match-up pages which track week-by-week uniform pairings for every season. We, at GUD, ask for your patience as, for a time, some of these changes will be apparent for some teams but not for others. In time, all teams will get updated completely in our continuing effort to "just get it right."

Bill Schaefer

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