by Kyle Standerfer
Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. And my goal is to get this posted before kickoff. If I don't, oh well.
Here are my impressions of the 48 Super Bowls based on the uniforms the participants wore.
First, the 8 "sour cream" games.
January 15, 1967; Chiefs-Packers- Super Bowl I: I hate to rate the very first one this way, It's just that I never was a fan of Kansas City in white-on-white, even though they never adopted red pants until two years later.
January 30, 1983; Dolphins-Redskins - Super Bowl XVII: So many things are wrong IMO about how Washington dressed that day. First is them being the designated "host" team and wearing white. Second is the burgundy pants they had with their white tops for 31 solid years (and most of the next two). I'll leave it at that for now.
January 22, 1984; Redskins-Raiders - Super Bowl XVIII: same as the year before, even though this time Washington was the official "road" team.
January 31, 1988; Redskins-Broncos - Super Bowl XXII: aside from the devastation the 2nd quarter laid on my Broncos, it's the same uniform as they wore twice previously under Joe Gibbs.
January 26, 1992; Redskins-Bills - Super Bowl XXVI: once again, Washington had those abominable uniforms.
January 29, 1995; Chargers-49ers - Super Bowl XXIX: aside from being the ultimate inevitable mismatch, I couldn't stand the white pants San Francisco wore for most of that season, or the drop shadow #s they had. Doesn't look like the Niners to me.
February 5, 2006; Seahawks-Steelers - Super Bowl XL: Bill Cowher decided to go with a superstition that said they won their previous three games on the road - all in white jerseys, thus they couldn't mess with the juju by going back to black, even as the designated host team for this game. Thus, for me, that aspect of the game just didn't look right.
February 3, 2013; Ravens-49ers - Super Bowl XLVII: I'll say it again. One thing I hate about John Harbaugh becoming coach of the Baltimore Birdies is how they made black their primary pants color to go with white jerseys (and all too often with purple jerseys or, even worse, black jerseys). To me those black pants dull out their uniforms.
February 2, 2014; Seahawks-Broncos - Super Bowl XLVIII: Apart from the horrible result, I don't like Seattle in blue pants with white jerseys. I want the gray pants on them.
Now the 39 games eligible for ranking.
39. January 17, 1971; Colts-Cowboys - Super Bowl V: both teams had royal blue. Baltimore had white and Dallas had their gray/silver (whatever you called it). Hardly anything to wow me.
38. January 31, 1999; Broncos-Falcons - Super Bowl XXXIII: Atlanta's home uniforms needed an opponent with bright colors to provide a decent contrast. Denver's white and navy didn't really do that.
37. February 1, 2004; Panthers-Patriots - Super Bowl XXXVIII: the game thus far with the most Roman "digits" was pretty underwhelming when it came to the two teams' duds.
36. February 5, 2012; Giants-Patriots - Super Bowl XLVI: since it was a repeat of the game four years earlier, it had the gusto of oatmeal.
35. January 25, 1987; Broncos-Giants - Super Bowl XXI: some contrasts but pretty underwhelming uniform-wise.
34. January 28, 2001; Ravens-Giants - Super Bowl XXXV: not the mot inspiring uniform matchup, but Baltimore's purple at least provided somewhat of a contrast.
33. January 27, 1991; Bills-Giants - Super Bowl XXV: Both teams had their red white and blue, but Buffalo's red helmets made it salvageable.
32. January 12, 1969; Jets-Colts - Super Bowl III: three was also the number for the fewest combined colors in one game. New York in their Kelly green and white against Baltimore in their blue and white.
31. February 3, 2008; Giants-Patriots - Super Bowl XLII: both teams had red white and blue and both had gray or silver pants but their were enough subtle differences to make this one passable.
30. January 12, 1975; Steelers-Vikings - Super Bowl IX: the colors contrasted well, and this is one game I believe I might be underrating, but I just like 29 others better. It might have looked better if it were sunny that day.
29. February 6, 2011; Steelers-Packers - Super Bowl XLV: the only Big Game played thus far in North Texas had a lot of gold, but it was Pittsburgh's black and white against Green Bay's green and white.
28. February 4, 2007; Colts-Bears- Super Bowl XLI: not a lot of colors, but the ones on the field contrasted well enough. It was Indy in their classic white and blue against Chicago in their classic navy, white and orange.
27. January 31, 1993; Bills-Cowboys - Super Bowl XXVII: these same two teams met one year later in the same uniforms. I just liked the one the next year that much better.
26. January 30, 2000; Rams-Titans - Super Bowl XXXIV: not a bad uni contrast. I just liked 25 games better.
25. January 16, 1972; Cowboys-Dolphins - Super Bowl VI: I'm not the biggest fan of the pants the Cowboys wore in the early 70s. Looks a little too much like cement mix to me. But those unis contrasted well against Miami in their Howard Johnson colors that day in Tulane Stadium.
24. January 25, 1981; Raiders-Eagles - Super Bowl XV: Oakland in their classic road unis against Philly in their home uniforms they wore from 1974-1984 (with a few variations in the amount of striping on the sleeves). Not the greatest, but not bad.
23. January 26, 1986; Bears-Patriots - Super Bowl XX: Chicago in their white jerseys with navy pants and helmets with hints of orange against New England in their classic red, white and blue looked very good in the Superdome that day.
22. January 11, 1970; Vikings-Chiefs - Super Bowl IV: Kansas City in their red and white with hints of gold contrasted decently against Minnesota in their white and purple with hints of gold. Those two uniforms may have looked better at night or under sunshine.
21. February 6, 2005; Patriots-Eagles - Super Bowl XXXIX: Philly in their midnight green and white against New England in their white and navy with silver helmets looked pretty good that evening in Jacksonville.
20. January 28, 1996; Cowboys-Steelers - Super Bowl XXX: as you well see below, all 3 matchups between these two traditional powers crack the top half (20) of the ranked games. I just like 19 games better than this one, including the two other matchups between Pittsburgh and Dallas.
19. January 20, 1980; Rams-Steelers - Super Bowl XIV: Yes there was a lot of gold that day, as evidenced by both teams' pants. But Pittsburgh's black and white against Los Angeles' blue and white sparkled well that day in Pasadena, both before and after the sun went down.
18. February 3, 2002; Rams-Patriots- Super Bowl XXXVI: New England's current home uniforms aren't exactly a jolt to my senses, but their unis that day were sparkling brand new and contrasted well against St. Louis in their navy and gold in the Superdome.
17.January 14, 1973; Dolphins-Redskins - Super Bowl VII: it was Miami's last game in the stripeless white jerseys, worn by Griese, Csonka, and Jake Scott to name a few. Difference is - that season, some Dolphins players had the white jerseys with the sleeve stripes - such as Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield. Their white and aqua with coral trim contrasted well with Washington's burgundy and gold.
16. January 25, 1998; Packers-Broncos - Super Bowl XXXII: I have always preferred Denver in their classic orange, but the navy blue jerseys with orange trim were acceptable to me, and they clashed beautifully against Green Bay. It was also the Packers' first season in their jerseys with fewer sleeve stripes. That game also gave me my all-time favorite Super Bowl logo.
15. January 24, 1982; 49ers-Bengals - Super Bowl XVI: the first Super Bowl played in a cold-weather city provided a beautiful color contrast. It was also Cincinnati's first year in their orange and black tiger stripes, which was on their helmets, pants, and shoulders.
14. January 18. 1976; Cowboys-Steelers- Super Bowl X: this was the first ever Super Bowl where both teams wore the same patch on their respective uniforms. The two teams' unis contrasted well in the last game at the Orange Bowl ever played on an artificial surface.
13. January 28, 1990; 49ers-Broncos - Super Bowl XXIV: I hated the 55-10 result. But . . . this was the first season the Broncos widened, or enlarged, if you will, the middle sleeve stripe between the blue outer sleeve stripes (on both jerseys). The two uniforms contrasted well on the Superdome turf that evening.
12. January 26. 1997; Patriots-Packers - Super Bowl XXXI: the Packers green shone through sharply that evening in the Superdome. And I was a huge fan of New England's road unis in the late 90s. Watching Desmond Howard streak past the Patriots' coverage unit was beautiful not only in a football sense, but in a uniform color sense.
11. January 21, 1979; Steelers-Cowboiys - Super Bowl XIII: I just like 10 others better than this one. And I just like this one better than the other two matchups between these two heavyweights. The Steelers' gold pants had more luster in my eyes than the game 3 years earlier.
10. February 7, 2010; Saints-Colts - Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans' gold helmets and pants sparkled well with their white jerseys and black numbers/trim against Indy in their classic blue and white. Looked great that evening in Miami Gardens.
9. February 1, 2009; Steelers-Cardinals - Super Bowl XLIII: in what ended up as John Madden's last broadcast, Pittsburgh's black, gold and white looked great at Raymond James Stadium against Arizona's red and white. Furious action on the field can bring out the best in those colors, and that game had plenty of furious action.
8. January 30, 1994; Cowboys-Bills - Super Bowl XXVIII: the only SB rematch to happen in back-to-back seasons, I just preferred this one to the one in Pasadena one year earlier. Dallas and Buffalo's uniforms contrasted beautifully back then. It looked better under the Georgia Dome lights than in the Rose Bowl to me.
7. January 22, 1985; Dolphins-49ers - Super Bowl XIX: Miami's white uniforms with aqua numerals and aqua/coral trim looked great that day against San Francisco in their classic colors. ABC's first crack at the Big Game was also a colorful treat.
6. January 13, 1974; Vikings-Dolphins - Super Bowl VIII: this is the only time in any game that Minnesota was in their white jerseys against Miami (other than maybe a few preseason games). Played on a cloudy day at Rice Stadium in Houston, Miami's aqua-green jeresys with white pants and helmets and coral trim contrasted well against Minnesota's white jerseys and pants with purple helmets and gold trim. But what makes this game a high-ranker for me is the Vikings' purple socks, where the color burst out in a big way.
5. January 14, 1968; Packers-Raiders - Super Bowl II: at least one of the very early games that wasn't yet officially dubbed the "Super Bowl" cracks the top 5. Green Bay in their classic gold helmets and pants with white jerseys and green numbers and trim against Oakland in their silver and black. This was not only Vince Lombardi's last game roaming the Packers' sidelines, it was a good uniform game.
4, January 15, 1978; Cowboys-Broncos - Super Bowl XII: Unlike the game the year before, this was the first one played indoors, and the first one to start at prime time. But Dallas in their classic colors against Denver in their orange blue and white was a color treat for me.
3. January 26, 2003; Raiders-Buccaneers - Super Bowl XXXVII: Oakland in their road whites with black numerals, silver pants and helmets against Tampa Bay in their pewter power with red jerseys. I just enjoyed looking at these two uniforms going against each other.
2. January 22, 1989; Bengals-49ers - Super Bowl XXIII: these two met seven seasons earlier in a dome in their opposite jersey colors. This time it was the first Super Bowl at the then new Joe Robbie Stadium (now Sun Life Stadium), Cincinnati's white, orange and black contrasted gorgeously against San Francisco's classic red and gold. It looked even better once the sun went down.
1. January 9, 1977; Raiders-Vikings - Super Bowl XI: It has now been 38 seasons since the Big Game started and ended in daylight. I just loved the way Oakland's white, silver and black clashed against Minesota's grape-juice purple with white pants and yellow trim in the California sunshine.
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