Back in the days of old in the National Football League, the template of a football uniform was rather simple. A plain leather helmet that resembled more a World War I flight cap (without the goggles) than a football helmet, woollen football jerseys, droll canvas pants and wool socks.
As we focus on the pants, and pant materials became a little lighter and more form fitting, one unique aspect came to the fore. Namely the contrasting appearance of elastic, running down the rear from the waist, down either, um, butt cheek, down the rear thigh, down to the calf to the edge of the pant leg.
For lack of a more sophisticated term, we at the GUD call them "butt stripes." As far as we can tell, these stripes first appear as black, and in some cases, seem to contour to players' posteriors accordingly. Meaning that some of the heftier players may have had wider butt stripes than the more thinly built players. We surmise that the butt stripes actually may have had a function; a more custom and comfortable fit for players. The previous canvas pants were definitely bulky and most were fitted with exposed hip pads. Likely, these pants would add weight with sweat, and likely mud and other elements of nature found on the hard-scrabbled fields. When the butt striped pants rose in popularity, with newer materials, the stripes were made of elastic materials that moved with the player and was less likely to be troubled with the aforementioned issues that plagued the canvas pants. Not every team adopted the butt-stripe approach, but the Giants, Bears, Pirates, Dodgers, Cardinals were among those that did.
|1934 Pittsburgh Pirates
|1936 New York Giants
Two years later, butt stripes made an encore performance in the All-America Football Conference with the Buffalo Bisons sporting blue stripes on silver pants and silver butt stripes on blue pants.
|1946 Buffalo Bisons vs. Cleveland Browns
Recently, the GUD made adjustments to the teams that wore the rear stripes to better portray the look of these beauties. In most cases the stripes started in an off-set position just below the belt line. Previously, we had erroneously depicted the start of the stripes at the pant edge.
We hope you enjoyed this look back in time as the GUD looks ahead to the 2014 season.