NFL Color vs. Color – Part I

Color vs Color Header

By Phil Hecken (with tremendous assistance from Tim Brulia)

During the past week or so, there has been some discussion in the comments section regarding the NFL’s official rules for team colors as they relate to jerseys. After The Jeff’s contribution to last Sunday’s post, the conversation ratcheted up to whether or not color versus color is even acceptable under NFL rules. After all, most of us remember last year’s “Game That Never Was” which took place between the Chiefs (playing as the Texans) and the Cowboys. Obviously, this game was “color vs. color.” But was it even permissible?

I asked Uni Watch Historian Tim Brulia for some clarification on this. He pointed me to the 2010 NFL Rule Book — Rule 5, Section 4, Article 2 –which says that

”¦playing squads are permitted to wear only (official team) colors or a combination of those colors for helmets, jerseys, pants, and stockings; provided that white is also an available color for jerseys and mandatory color for the lower portion of stockings.

We’re all aware of the rule that NFL teams must have a white jersey (and the above is where that is confirmed), but the rule doesn’t explicitly state that one team “must wear a white jersey.” Curious, I asked Tim for a bit of further explanation.

He provided this, also from the Rule Book:

Before July 1 of each season, the home team is required to inform the NFL their choice of their jersey color (white or color) for their home games of the upcoming season and the away team MUST wear the opposite.

For any game (Pre-regular-post season), the two teams MAY wear jerseys in their official colors (non-white). As long as the Commissioner OK’s that the colors sufficiently contrast.

This confused me a bit, since my interpretation of said rules indicates that teams must indicate “their choice of their jersey color (white or color) for their home games of the upcoming season and the away team MUST wear the opposite” — but, “the two teams MAY wear jerseys in their official colors (non-white).” Also pending Mr. Goodell giving his approval, of course.

So which is it? I asked both Timmy and Scott Rogers for their take on that apparent contradiction.

Tim said, “let’s say the Bears will play the Giants next year and it’s the 70th anniversary of them playing each other in the NFL Championship game. It’s in Chicago. The Bears say they’ll wear navy for the game. Which would normally mean the Giants would have to wear white. BUT, they both agree that the Giants would like to wear red jerseys as part of the ‘celebration,’ b/c that’s what they wore in 1941. They both petition the league office of the color vs color scheme. Mr. Goddell reviews the request, and says to the Bears, as long as you wear the throwbacks from 2010 with the orange numbers, and have no plans to breakout the orange jerseys as your alternate for 2011, we’ll OK the request.”

Scott agreed, with a slightly different take: “No contradiction at all.” No? “The usual rule of interpretation is that the specific trumps the general. So as a general rule, home team chooses white or color by mid-summer and visitors must wear the opposite (if home=color, then white; if home=white, then color). But if the teams involved in a specific game petition the commish for an exception to go color-on-color, the commish can grant the exception provided that he determines adequate color contrast.”


Very well, then, we’ve established that there is no mandate that one team must wear white. This has, while fairly rare, happened a number of times since 1956. If you scroll to the very bottom of this page, (note #3), you’ll see there have been several instances where teams have not worn white jerseys:

The Rams (in 1957) were the only team to wear a colored jersey against an opponent until the 2000s (with the exception of two special 75th Anniversary games in 1994). Beginning in 2001, however, it’s happened quite a few times:

• In 2001, in a special Thanksgiving throwback game, the Cowboys and Broncos squared off wearing blue and orange, respectively.

• In 2002, also on Thanksgiving, the Patriots and Lions (red vs. honolulu blue) and the Redskins and Cowboys (burgundy vs blue) played color vs. color games. Also in that season, the Saints and Vikings squared off in a regular season game, wearing gold and purple.

• In 2003 and continuing through 2007, the Patriots would play several games wearing their alternate silver jerseys, each time against an opponent in a colored jersey.

• In 2004, the Cowboys and Bears, in yet another Thanksgiving Day special, wore blue and orange respectively.

Other than the Patriots alternate silver, the NFL didn’t sanction (or teams did not request) color vs. color games until last year, when the Cowboys and Chiefs (playing as the Dallas Texans) hooked up.

As previously mentioned, there were two “75th Anniversary” color vs. color games, both involving the Rams: against the Chiefs and against the 49ers


Color versus color in football is certainly a rare occurrence, but we saw it happen in college four times last year: Chattanooga vs. Oklahoma, Chattanooga (again) vs. FSU, Buffalo vs. Miami, and of course, the most beautiful of all color versus color matchups, USC vs. UCLA (renewing a color vs. color rivalry they resumed in 2008; they had gone white versus color for decades, but in the past used to play color vs. color often). Many colleges years ago used to go color vs. color, often at “neutral site” locations. Sometimes the color combinations were less than ideal


Now, you probably realize why there is an “official/unofficial” white versus color edict for the NFL. Television. Back in the day when the NFL was beginning its ascendency in the 1950s, almost everyone who owned a TV owned a black and white set. So decades of color versus color games with teams that fans in the stands had no problem discerning suddenly became almost impossible for the fans watching at home to figure out. Even though we’ve slowly but surely moved on not just to everyone now having a color tv, a sizeable portion of the nation now owns giant-sized plasma or HDTVs, basically rendering the need for a white jersey mandate obsolete. Yet it remains.

To give you an idea of the historical perspective of this, and to show just how long the networks have called the shots, I asked Tim about the 1957 Rams — and why they were “allowed” to wear color jerseys. The answer is instructive:

You’ll note that the Rams wore yellow for their first three road games in 1957. They were on sucessive weeks in October, first against the 49ers, then the Lions and then the Bears.

While I cannot confirm this, I have a bit of an educated theory as to what happened. For quite a few years up to ’57, the Rams routinely wore yellow jerseys. In fact, the Rams likely wore nothing but yellow jerseys from 1950-1956. The yellows may have been one of the more iconic looks in the NFL at this time. When Bert Bell and the NFL domos decided that for the sake of TV and the fact that CBS had just jumped in big-time to televise NFL games in 1956, there were a number of games that had color vs color. While everyone (unless they were color-blind) in the stadium had no trouble discerning the teams, the fans watching on TV couldn’t tell the teams apart. ALL games were televised in black & white.

It is likely that Bell was working in tandem with Bill MacPhail, the head of CBS Sports, to make the decision. Starting in 1957, ALL NFL games would have the visiting team wear white and the home team wear color. There would be no exceptions. However, the Rams wore yellow for that early season 3 game road swing. While I don’t know this for certain, I would have to think that Bell saw what was going on. Then — in my worldview of the sitch — he dialed into the Rams HQ and said “You know you guys are supposed to wear white on the road.”

The Rams may have said something on the order of, “But Mr. Commissioner, when football fans see the Rams, they think yellow!!” or “But they are light enough that fans can tell us apart from the home team!” Or the Rams might have appealed to Bell’s sense of tradition. Whatever might have been said, it must have been enforced, for the Rams then acquired white jerseys for the rest of the season’s road games (also a three game road swing) against Green Bay, Cleveland and the Baltimore Colts, without a speck of yellow/gold on them.

Whether or not the Rams tried to persuade Bell/MacPhail to allow them to wear yellow at home in lieu of blue is unknown. But if they did, that request would have obviously been shot down.

So there’s the story of the 1957 color vs color games.

Very interesting. What began as a common sense solution to a problem (the inability to tell teams apart on black and white tv’s) basically evolved into a tacit agreement between the networks and the Commissioner to mandate white jerseys, even when they weren’t necessary (the Rams gold jerseys were plenty light enough to “substitute” for white), but that would have established a precedent. The 2010 rules (and the modicum of games played since 2000) allow *special* exemptions for color vs. color. But the white jersey requirement has been around for so long (and obviously, any team entering the league since 1957 has been forced to have a white jersey), we simply accept that all games will be white versus color.

But it doesn’t have to be. As the Saints and Patriots (and the 1994 Rams) showed, light colored jerseys will represent more than enough of a “sufficient contrast” as to be acceptable. And the special Thanksgiving games certainly showed that color versus color can work. Clearly, there are times when it would not.

I’ll end Part I here, but in future parts I and some special guests will look at the “future” of color vs. color in the NFL. That could involve teams introducing suitably light colored jerseys (much like the Patriots and Saints did), or perhaps a throwbackish-nod to teams of yore. Clearly, any of those jerseys would provide sufficient “contrast” to be acceptable.

We’ll also look at legitimate color versus color options, as well as some that probably wouldn’t work. But as The Jeff showed in template form last week, why must some (not all) teams be forced to wear a white jersey when obviously their color scheme doesn’t include white? But that’s for another time. As long as color versus color isn’t prohibited in the NFL, is there any reason it can’t, even if on a very limited basis, be a part of the NFL’s future?

Remember, Nike takes over the clothing contract after next season. It’s never too early to plan.


colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Today is actually nothing “new” for you to colorize, but I did want to highlight something that was sent to Paul (who forwarded it to me) a short while ago. Many of you have been enjoying the wonderful world of colorization, and of course this hobby/skill isn’t necessarily restricted to the colorizing of old sports uniform photos. You can, if you so, choose, use it to colorize old family photos, or sketches and drawings.

Bruce Genther sent the following note to our fearless leader: “Paul…attached are three before and after illustrations and photographs from famed artist and photographer Robert Riger that I have colorized. Enjoy! More to come when finished.”

And just what did those look like? Robert Riger’s illustrations are famous and beautiful. Bruce took this Packers sketch and turned it into this. He also turned this wonderful drawing of Stan Musial and created this beauty. Finally, he took this shot of Warren Spahn and colorized it like so.

Fantastic job Bruce. The only limit to colorization is your imagination. Looking forward to more from you.


all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

Catching up with the tweaks, but they keep coming in (which is good), so lots to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

You guys have been pretty great keeping to the ~50 word limit per team tweak, and it’s greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Now, on to today’s tweaks:


Starting off the show is Ryan Kantor, who has adapted the Washington State Cougars:

I’m not a Cougars fan but I’m tired of watching this team play poorly and look even worse. Their outdated uni needs an upgrade which I think I have made at the very least a little better. I did this on EA’s TeamBuilder so I have to give them credit for designing most of the templates. I have attached my tweaks for the home and away unis as well as a home uni matched with the gray helmet.

For home I added a white design with gray piping running across the chest and fanning out at the shoulders (replacing the current dull shoulder stripes). The white line with gray piping continues down the sides of the uniform. The cuffs and collars are white (I know they look kinda gray but it looks good either way) with a red WSU logo at the base of the V rather than the current white one. The pants are gray with red and the helmet is the same.

The away has the exact same line scheme as home with red as the primary stripe color again accompanied by gray piping. I also deleted the “Washington State” text on the chest. Pants have the same line scheme has the home grays which is much more interesting than the current bold line. Unlike the current pants the logo is on the left side not the right side so the cougar faces inward.

I think the current gray helmet with the logo (not the “Cougar” script) would also look good matched with the home jersey so I attached that one as well.


Next up is Dylan Anthony who concepted the Phillies using the city State flag concept:


Texas teams, like the Rangers and Texans, are clearly patriotic about their state. I wanted to see how my hometown Phillies would look with this motif, using the Pennsylvania state flag. I think the navy blue is a sharp look, and it could definitely work as an alternate. I kind of wanted to use the Philadelphia script prototype, but that was just way to daunting of a GIMP task for me.

Dylan Anthony


And closing down the concepts today is Andrew Lobeck, who has tweaks for the Patriots, Vikings and Eagles:

Patriots — I love the look of the Patriots red AFL jersey way more than what they currently wear so I took the retro jersey, and made 3 other uniforms out of it.

Vikings — I HATE the current Vikings uniforms other than there 1970s alternate. So I took that jersey and made a white one for it along with a yellow alternate jersey.

Eagles — I went old school with the Eagles again but also took the 75th anniversary jersey, changed the colors, and made it a retro alternate jersey.

-Andrew Lobeck


That’s all for this weekend folks. Back next week with more.


vilk 5 & 1 b 5 & 1

And now, the part of the post you’ve all been waiting for: The 5 & 1.

Apparently there were quite a few good games yesterday. Unfortunately, I had some personal business to attend to for most of the day, so I didn’t get to watch too much football. Luckily (I hope), Jim did, for he has forewarned me that it was so good he needed a 10 & 2. Let’s see how he did:


In the short history of the 5&1 lists, this had to be the best-looking weekend ever. With so many potential winners, I couldn’t contain them in a regular list. So, we present to you a special 10&2.

But first:

“Honorable” Mention to Boise State: Oh, the uniforms are still ugly, but in orange, a lot less ugly on the blue turf.

A real Honorable Mention to Iowa State – The Cyclones may not be bowl-eligible, but those uniforms are.

10. Virginia Tech/Miami: Note to both teams: Make these your full-time unis.

9. Yale/Harvard: What’s Latin for “I’d wear that”?

8. New Mexico/BYU: Great striping makes the monochrome blue look pretty good.

7. Marshall/SMU: A bigger photo MIGHT have moved them up a spot or two, but probably not.

6. Nebraska/Texas A&M: Love games with all field goals, especially when they look this good.

5. Army/Notre Dame/Yankee Stadium: Ah, if only they played it during the day.

4. Kansas State/Colorado: Not the holiday season yet, but when I saw this picture, this song popped into my head.

3. Florida Atlantic/Texas – FINALLY got the Owls on the list this season!

2. Ohio/Temple: From earlier in the week, but couldn’t forget to include them.

1. Ole Miss/LSU: To win on a week like this…that’s saying something.

And the bad two:

2. Illinois/Northwestern/Wrigley Field: You’re not in good hands with that wall and those unis.

1. UCLA/Washington: On the plus side, neither team screwed up the helmets…


Boise State and Miama? Really? For a guy who refuses to ever consider Oregon for a Top 5, “because of that font,” I find it rather difficult to believe the pro combat superhero costume could ever find its way into even your expanded Top 5. I expected better from U. I will say this, however, that Miama helmet was just about the most gorgeous helmet I’ve ever seen. Too bad everything from the neck down was excess on steroids.

And how could you not give Maryland a dishonorable mention? Wounder Warrior uni or not, this was horrid.

I’m now accepting applications for a new 5 & 1 guy. No pay, no benefits and a lot of grief await. Colorblindness a must.

I kid, of course, but figuring out the Mothervilker is slightly more difficult than calculating pi to the two-thousandth digit following the decimal point…without a calculator.


That’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a great Sunday and a wonderful Thanksgiving. White meat may be for suckers, but I’m a sucker. See you all on Black Friday for a very special look at the history of the Backyard Brawl featuring Kek & Bernard. And the combat unis.


Oh man, holy ”¦ those Terps unis indeed have to be the worst uniform EVER worn in NCAA history. Like they took the BFBS and raped some zubaz. — Micheal Princip

112 comments to NFL Color vs. Color – Part I

  • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 7:15 am |

    I’d offer to take over for The Vilk, but I don’t get to watch enough of the college game as I’d probably need to.

  • s.Menecola | November 21, 2010 at 8:34 am |

    The U could’ve easily made that uniform right with green pants but that helmet is menacing and beautiful all in one fair swoop or swoosh!

    • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 9:39 am |

      Like this?
      (really, really Q&D)

      • BJ The DJ | November 21, 2010 at 9:54 am |

        Sorry folks, those Miami threads look awful. I mean if they had those as their main set, what happens the next time they play FAMU?????

        That joint would look like an inter-squad scrimmage.

        • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 10:00 am |

          How often do they actually play FAMU?

          Besides, it wouldn’t be any worse than the Notre Dame/Navy matchup

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

          Exactly, The Jeff.

          And I think they play them yearly.

          Phil should be glad I like these Miami unis, because they gave me this kind of vibe when I saw them:

      • BJ The DJ | November 21, 2010 at 11:55 am |

        Having two teams in Gold helmets is one thing….Not sure on the U vs. FAMU scheduling of games but I don’t recall it being too often in the past – so maybe it’s a blind worry on my part.

  • Matt B | November 21, 2010 at 8:38 am |

    IIRC, the 2002 final was the first WM match played NOT color vs white. Germany wore white and Brazil wore yellow (their color jersey was blue). Obviously more people still use B&W TVs to follow soccer than major US sports, but FIFA decided that the two squads werewell-known enough to merit each wearing their primary colors and still be distinguishable on the tube.

    • Stephen King | November 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm |

      Incorrect. FIFA requires contrast but not white; Brazil-Italy in 1970 and 1994 were blue vs. yellow, and Germany in white played Holland in Orange in 74.

      Of course jersey color is not the only factor–they also contrast shorts and socks colors.

      • Matt B | November 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm |

        I misspoke a little. Brazil’s yellow is their “white,” so any game they play against a color would indeed be color-on-color (but not light-vs-light). For any other game up to the 2002 final, they would have had to wear blue.

        • Donald | November 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm |

          No Blue is Brazil’s off. When Brazil plays at home they always wear yellow.

        • Donald | November 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm |

          No Blue is Brazil’s off. When Brazil plays at home they always wear yellow.

          Upon rereading I just remembered. Home team wears white in international soccer. My bad.

  • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 9:08 am |

    10 & 2? I’ve got the pitchforks if you’ve got the torches.

    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm |

      Where’s Yoshi Jones?

  • DJ | November 21, 2010 at 9:28 am |

    Matt B is correct, although I remember reading that FIFA said there were enough color televisions worldwide to eliminate viewer confusion over a white vs yellow matchup.

  • Rob S | November 21, 2010 at 9:35 am |

    Hmm… since the Lions will no doubt break out their throwbacks for Thanksgiving, I wonder if we’ll have a repeat of the 2002 game, as far as color-on-color goes, since they’ve got the Patriots again.

    • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm |

      you forgot to insert the phrase (and Lions fans will break out their barf bags). Not because of the uniforms but because of their play.

      • Rob S | November 22, 2010 at 12:28 am |

        As a native Detroiter I can say we’ve moved long past beyond vomiting over the Lions. As one concerned father recently stated on a local call-in show, he’s advising his young son to get out early, and adopt another team!

        Me? I’ll be pulling for TOm Brady.

  • Jim P | November 21, 2010 at 10:03 am |

    Color-on-color in the Nebraska-Omaha/North Dakota hockey game:

    • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 10:16 am |


      • interlockingtc | November 21, 2010 at 10:22 am |

        Umm…Yes, I am color blind, but I could barely distinguish those two teams in a photograph. Following the action would be frustrating, to say the least. And as a player (particularly one who might be color blind to any degree) it must be confusing.

        Bad move.

        • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 11:48 am |

          Well, then you’re going to definitely want to avoid watching any NBA games on Christmas. Or at least Bulls/Knicks — I know they’re planning for Bulls in red vs. Knicks in green.

          The only problem I had with that photo gallery was the sight of that kid with his jersey tucked into his sweatpants.

        • Rob S | November 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm |

          JTH, I don’t think it’s tucked in, it looks like it’s bunched up to me. Besides, his sweats look to be riding a little low… kinda hard to tuck in a sweater that way.

  • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 10:29 am |

    Just catching up after working eight basketball games in two days so bear with me.

    First, love the fact the Illinois/Northwestern game brought back the old play yard rule of losers walk.

    Second, Vilk needs to be committed after selecting the Miami/Va Tech game. Virginia Tech helmet strips didn’t go all the way down to the bottom of the helmet and Miami’s looks like someone threw up a mix of oranges and avocados.

    Finally, the tournament I worked featured a a grey vs. royal blue match up (sorry no pictures as I was doing stats.)

    and this match up

    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm |

      At least I didn’t put them in the Top 5…

  • J. | November 21, 2010 at 10:38 am |
    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm |

      OSU/Iowa and Wisc./Mich. were 11 and 12. Any other week they had a shot at the Top 5.

      • Donald | November 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm |

        Of course once again Vilk’s love for all things Temple puts them over some classic and great match ups. Ever seen that he always has them in top 5 even when their opponents are bland.

  • M.Princip | November 21, 2010 at 11:08 am |

    Fantastic job with those colorizations Bruce Genther.

  • jeff bernstein | November 21, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  • Oakville Endive | November 21, 2010 at 11:58 am |

    Saskatchewan and Calgary will be playing today to decide the Western representative for next week’s Grey Cup. Temperatures are expected to be close to 0F. With those two particular teams playing – and with less than pleasent conditions, I remember this game, which is one of the first CFL games etched upon my memory

    From a uni perspective – love the number font and size

    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm |

      Aaaah, that looks nice.

    • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm |

      That is my kind of football. As long as I am not doing stats of course.

      • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | November 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm |

        40 Years ago , the games starts with Calgary scoring a single – and today’s game starts the same way. Good to see Saskatchewan wearing retro, although with the common, unfortunate abbreviation of the “UCLA” stripe – which in contrast, is one of the more striking aspects of the Riders uni in the video. Calgary today however is wearing BFBS, rivaling the Jets as the worst- looking Football team of the day.

    • mike 2 | November 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm |

      I just got back from a run. It is frakking COLD out there.

      Those Stampeders black alts are atrocious. Just awful. They’d be better if they were all black but the red shoulders make it even worse. Forget the Jets, they make the Bills look good.

  • concealed78 | November 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm |

    Well… I still think the white jersey and/or pants has a purpose and a place. I’m not really warmed up to the idea that say a team has a unique color scheme that they should wear that same jersey & pant combo the whole season. If some idea was Bears in navy / white vs. Packers green / gold or Chargers powder blue / white vs. Chiefs red / white, I am not up for that.

    I don’t know if it is the video games or greater expectations from technology (I still own a shitty color TV & have no plans to upgrade it) or the too-easy-to-make uniform concepts, on a green grass field too much color is not a good thing. And I don’t like how baseball teams are trying to blur the home & away uniform identities with too-common alternate(s), and in football like say the Bears wearing white at home, seems like an arrogant douchebag thing to do when the Cowboys wear white at home.

    And yes, get the hell off my lawn.

    • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm |

      Actually the idea for the Bears/Packers (at least for me, because the green & blue are too dark to play against each other) would depend on where they were playing. In Chicago it’d be blue vs gold, in Green Bay it’d be green vs orange – and I’m guessing you’d hate all of those too.

      It’s quite clear that you and I are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum.

      • concealed78 | November 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm |

        The Bears do not belong in an orange jersey. Save that for the Broncos and/or Bucs. The Bears have one of the best iconic looks in NFL, and I’d say their look is about as important as the Yankees. Why would you want to put the Bears in an orange jersey? Don’t mess with it if it ain’t broken.

        Tradition is important. The Packers look fine the way they are & there was already an uproar from a 1994 proposed change to Vegas Gold. And I want to say in a mimicking light from the top of my lungs & the ends of my white-knuckled clenched fists: “Madden” is the worst video game franchise ever created in the history of the universe. Even its name is a bad pun. And I hope there’s a special place in Hell for every programmer that ever worked on it.

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

          Fans of the 1935 look may say tradition is important, too:

          Don’t get me wrong – I think the Broncos or Bucs belong in orange more than the Bears do, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they don’t belong in one at all.

        • pushbutton | November 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm |

          I’m hoping the Bears will mothball the orange shirt.

          The Bears in white-over-white is my favorite uniform, ever. Clean. Iconic. I can’t understand why they only break it out in every leap year that ends in an odd number.

        • concealed78 | November 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm |

          I too prefer the Bears roads to be white / white. Something they wore since at least the early 1940s-83 full-time (?) and a few times since.

    • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm |

      mark —

      the look at color vs color wasn’t necessarily to give any credence to THE jeff’s “2+2+2” concepts — but one idea that came from that which does make sense is the idea that a team like the packers, for example, ARE a green and gold team — as long as NFL rules permit color vs color, and if the pack in gold wouldn’t clash with an opponent, why couldn’t we at least consider its viability?

      i think THE jeff’s point makes sense and even looks great in graphical form — but in reality, it might be more difficult to achieve

      what if the packers swapped their “mandatory” white jersey for a gold one, then what? that jersey by itself looks pretty good, and it does make more sense than the white jersey

      but do they go monochrome gold? i’m not sure i can get on board with that — or do they introduce green pants?

      there might be riots in the streets of madison if the pack changed up like that


      the packers are but one example, however…there are other teams (the rams for example) who could wear someting other than white and would look fine

      • concealed78 | November 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm |

        Phil, I don’t know how to respond to that. Basically:

        In addition to white jerseys and/or pants:
        Packers: green, Athletic Gold
        Bears: navy, orange
        Chargers: powder blue, navy, yellow
        Giants: blue, red, gray
        Bills: blue, navy, red, gray
        Seahawks: navy, Seahawk Blue, neon green
        Cardinals: red, black, yellow

        I’m not exactly in favor of creating every possible mix-and-match variety due to a team’s palette. Wasn’t it mentioned somewhere here recently that like 15 or 30 years from now if they throwback, what was the Oregon Ducks identity in their uni set? I find fault with a team having too many options. I’d say “pick one and stick with it”.

        Personally, I think a white jersey would look better than any silver, beige, Vegas Gold, Athletic Gold or white/color hybrid. I think we’ve already seen a monochrome yellow & yellow helmet. Ow, my retinas!

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm |

          well — there’s kind of “two parts” to color vs color

          the first is THE jeff’s concept (with which i’m not necessarily in agreement, but i think is at the very least worth exploring) which involves swapping white jerseys for light colored jerseys; this does NOT mean adding an alternate*

          the second part of color vs color simply involves allowing teams to wear their “home” (color) jersey on the road, against another team wearing color (as you saw in the few examples in the main article — mostly thanksgiving or special games)

          those would not involve changing anything (uniform wise) that the teams currently wear…it would just simply mean teams are not FORCED to wear white against color when clearly a color vs color matchup would have enough contrast between the two teams

          *of course, as the NFL rules are currently written, every team MUST have a white jersey, so in order to do a “swap” with light color for white, it would have to be in the form of an alternate

        • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm |

          Packers: green, Athletic Gold
          Bears: navy, orange
          Chargers: powder blue, navy, yellow
          Giants: blue, red, gray
          Bills: blue, navy, red, gray
          Seahawks: navy, Seahawk Blue, neon green
          Cardinals: red, black, yellow


          You’re going a step or two farther than required, man. A team would still only need 3 jerseys (and just 2 if the NFL eliminates the mandatory white) The easiest way to do it is simply that the team’s two non-white jerseys must contrast against each other well enough to be playable. No one wants to see the Bills use 5 different jerseys.

        • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm |

          Basically… you want the Bears to wear navy for their 8 home games and white for their 8 road games.

          I want them to wear navy for their 8 home games – and for every road game where the opponent’s colors allow for it. Depending on the scheduling, that’s anywhere between 9 and 14 games (at Detroit would be the 1 guaranteed road navy game) in navy. The other games I’d want them to wear orange. It isn’t about home or road, it’s primary or secondary.

        • Stephen King | November 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm |

          I have always disliked uniforms with a colored jersey that is lighter than the pants. Always. I loathe any uniform that does this, and some of my most-hated unis are such atrocities.

          So that part of color vs. color would horrify me. Packers with yellow helmets, yellow jerseys, and green pants? I’ve seen nicer things in my toilet after a bout with food poisoning. No thank you.

          The basic concept of allowing color vs. color when the colors sufficiently contrast is an interesting, one, though. I love the USC-UCLA combination, and I would love seeing orange Broncos against black Raiders.

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm |

          “I have always disliked uniforms with a colored jersey that is lighter than the pants. Always.”

          but it’s ok for white jersey to be lighter than the pants? not trying to be a dick — that’s a serious question…

          like the bears, for example — do you prefer the white over midnight blue or white over white?

          because i prefer the white over white, actually…a LOT in fact

          i think in general, i’d agree with you on the lighter over darker (for example, the titans powder blue over navy blue — but that uni’s horrible for most of their combos — if they went white over powder, by far their best look, or powder over white [which has never been worn] it might be saved)

          but sometimes, when you wear a light top, white pants look like shit

          and you’d really prefer this to this?

          personally, i think each uni would need to be judged on its own…just MHO

    • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm |

      While I agree with some of the alternates and concepts some team should never change because their look is classic. Some of those are

      Detroit Red Wings
      Montreal Canadiens
      Chicago Blackhawks

      Detroit Tigers home
      New York Yankees home/away
      Boston Red Sox home
      Los Angeles Dodgers home

      Chicago Bears white and black
      Green Bay Packers both
      Detroit Lions (Should have never been changed)
      Dallas Cowboys white

      Not a huge basketball fan but
      Boston Celtics

      • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm |

        “Chicago Bears white and black”

        Ummm… black?

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm |

          sure…everyone knows they’re black and orange

        • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm |

          Black, Navy whatever.

  • DJ | November 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm |

    Notre Dame and Navy both wear gold helmets and pants (for a brief time, Navy wore navy pants at home and “dress whites” on the road). Two teams both wearing dark blue, metallic gold, and white is rather easier on the eyes than two teams wearing orange and green.

    • The Jeff | November 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm |

      Maybe it is easier on the eyes… I won’t argue that… but the point was that it looks like an intra-squad game because the two teams are *that* close in uniform style.

      • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm |

        That’s why I chose last year’s ND/Navy game as a worst matchup. Great unis separately, but not together.

  • Alex35332 | November 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm |

    As a Temple owls alum, I liked the uniforms of the ohio game more than the score. Considering how awful some other teams in the MAC look its always refreshing to see some class with both teams uniforms.

    Sadly I don’t see any NCAA conference realigning based off uniforms…

  • Alex35332 | November 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm |

    Skins in gold pants and white jerseys first time this year

  • Graf Zeppelin | November 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm |

    Just as I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, the Jets finally Get Itâ„¢….


    • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm |

      AND…the pants and jerseys’ colorways don’t quite match up either…jerseys are a bit more “forest” while the pants are slightly more “kelly”

      bad move to go monogreen…even worse when they don’t match

      • Ricardo Leonor | November 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

        I thought it was my TV….but they are definitely two different shades….

  • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm |

    “And how could you not give Maryland a dishonorable mention?”

    Because I only pick on the Wounded Warrior unis when they’re matched up against another bad-looking team.

    • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm |

      if you can D.Q. oregon (no matter what they’re wearing) versus anyone, based solely on how their number font looks, then you can D.Q. the terps based solely on how shitty their uni looks

      • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm |

        I did DQ the Terps. They’re not in the Top 5, are they?

        And let’s review – it’s not just the OU number font: that’s the worst part, but I also don’t like the teletubbie sweatbox jerseys and the “we don’t need no stinkin’ school colors” mentality.

        Neither team will make my Top 5, but they will only make the 1 against another bad team. You go on sometimes as if I always put Oregon in the &1 slot, but they’ve only been there once this year, against an equally-bad Portland State. Last year I think they only made the &1 once or twice. Going from memory (but I’ll check sometime today), I think Boise has made the &1 more than the Ducks the last two seasons.

        Just be glad I didn’t pick Colorado State at Wyoming for the Top 10:

        • The Hemogoblin | November 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm |

          It’s UO dammit. U. O. University. Of. Oregon. And I can’t agree with all the hate. How can you say that number font disqualifies us? And how can you say we don’t wear school colors when we do just as often as other teams with BFBS alternates.

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm |

          agreed, kenny

          the mothervilker automatically DQ’s the u of zero, no matter WHAT combo they’re wearing (even when it’s green-white-green, which because of the “visitors must wear white” rule, and ARE in actual school colors) because of the fonts — there are no sweatbox issues involved with the white jerseys, and obviously green is one of your colors

          but yet, he won’t include the wounded warrior atrocities in the “worst uni” mix if they are against “another bad team” — ok, fine…then UO shouldn’t be automatically DQ’ed from the “5” consideration if they’re wearing school colors/no sweatbox and the other team is “another good team”

          but he does, based SOLELY ON THE FONTS

          inconsistency is his consistency

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm |

          “but yet, he won’t include the wounded warrior atrocities in the “worst uni” mix if they are against “another bad team”

          Dear Lord, you don’t listen to me, Phil…

          I said I don’t pick on the Wounded Warrior unis when they play a GOOD-looking team. Like FSU. I do pick on them when they play a BAD-looking team. Like Mizzou.
          Scroll down to the 5&1 from just two weeks ago.

          And speaking of consistency, The U. of O. is not the only school that gets automatic DQ. Did Boise make the Top 5 when they played Wyoming? No, and they won’t in their current template, no matter what color scheme. The Terps, Hurricanes, Mizzou (and any other team with that diamond-sided jersey) San Jose State and a few others are automatic DQs as well when they wear their regular unis. But you act as if I single out poor old U.O. when they’re just another of many schools who won’t make it in my Top 5.

          I understand if you don’t agree, and I understand if you’d rather have Kenny or The Jeff pick the games. But at least get your facts straight when you post something about me.

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm |


          no jimmy, i don’t want anyone else to pick the mothervilker…

          you know i was just bustin’ yer chops — but i still feel your automatic DQ’ing of oregon is a sham…no otherwise perfectly awesome uni should be DQ’ed simply because of the font

          and if that’s the case, then miama’s superhero costumes CERTAINLY should be — that font is a joke

          and i did listen to you — i went back and reread what i typed — and i made a typo — “if” should have been “unless”

          last point — if your criterion for ALWAYS excluding oregon from any top 5 ever is simply because of a bad font, then you should ALWAYS include any game where a wounded warrior costume is worn

          because you’d exclude oregon (in green/white/green) versus temple solely based on oregon’s font, then you should automatically include the terps as the “1” regardless of how awesome the other teams uni is

          just be consistent consistently

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm |

          That’s apples and oranges, and it would make the list a sham.

          It’s a matchup list. It’s not a best uniform list or a worst uniform list. If I had to include a Wounded Warrior uni (even if they played Temple or LSU) as the worst game, then using that logic I would have to make LSU or Temple the best game every week (even if they played a Wounded Warrior school). See the problem there?

          You don’t have any problem when I automatically DQ any team that wears the diamond-sided jerseys. So if I continue to do that, but for one week I decide to overlook the awful Bellotti font (Miami’s is better) just to make you happy…that would be inconsistent. And you don’t like inconsistent.

          By the way, I went back and looked at every 5&1 from its inception. Boise made the &1 three times (and the game vs. San Jose State was also voted worst of the whole year). Miami was in the &1 three times. Oregon has only been in the &1 twice. Same with Wounded Warrior schools (Maryland and Texas Tech).

          Only two of those schools have cracked the Top 5: Texas Tech (in regular unis) and…Oregon (you put them in when I was out of town and I put them in when they wore throwbacks). Just for the record, so it doesn’t appear as if I’m picking only on The. University. Of. Oregon.

  • cobberguy | November 21, 2010 at 1:05 pm |

    Adrian Peterson wearing a Speed helmet vs. Packers today, first time he’s worn that…

  • badgerfan16 | November 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm |

    I agree with J. How come no love for Wisconsin in the 5 & 1? Classic, relatively unchanged uni’s in the last 15 years, and played in 3 very aesthetically pleasing games.

    Wisconsin @ Michigan:*423/mjs-uwgrid21-02-spt-uwgrid21.jpg

    Wisconsin @ Iowa:

    Ohio State @ Wisconsin:

    Great looking match-up’s and no love from the 5 & 1. Boise State’s orange uni’s, and those things from Miami over these match-up’s? Kind of disappointing

    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm |

      Saw this after I responded to J.

      All those schools have made the list, but some weeks I can’t fit all the good ones in. Put those matchup in different weeks and they’d most likely get in.

      And keep in mind, Boise doesn’t count on the list. I do stand by my Miami pick, but I was merely congratulating Boise for not wearing blue on the blue turf…sort of an E for effort. No matter the color scheme, Boise, Oregon and Miami are not getting into the Top 5 or Top 10 with their regular unis. Alts or throwbacks, sure.

      • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm |

        Plus, although I love classic uniforms, sometimes I like to see the best of the newer styles. There’s room for both in the world of college football, and if I didn’t include both in the list, I’d take heat for being an old fuddy-duddy.

        • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm |

          “I like to see the best of the newer styles.”

          excepting oregon, of course

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm |

          I said the best, not all of them…

        • badgerfan16 | November 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm |

          I like seeing some of the best newer, more modern designs in college football also. But you are saying that when 17 or the 20 teams you picked in your top 10 are wearing simple shoulder or sleeve stripes (when applicable) and very basic pants striping, if not no pants striping at all. You’re not really showing much of the newer styles

        • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm |

          I said “the best,” not “much.”

        • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm |

          Try to figure out Vilk’s logic is like trying to figure out quantum physics with out using math.

        • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm |

          Don’t get me wrong Mothervilker is one of my favorites on the site. Just saying!

  • Ben | November 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm |

    Redskins wearing Gold Pants with the white jerseys today…Damn near perfect looking uniform!!

    • M.Princip | November 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm |

      Yep, Skins uniforms are lookin’ very nice today.

    • Dan | November 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm |

      Love the gold pants with the white jerseys… hoping they overhaul the look some more next year and use gold pants for all games

      • Stephen King | November 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm |

        That would be a tragedy. Their white-over-burgundy look is classic and one of the best in football.

        • scott | November 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

          Exactly, why would the ‘Skins abandon the look in which they won Super Bowls? Dumb move to throw away your good history.

        • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm |

          I didn’t hate Washington’s look today (I really expected that I would) but I definitely prefer the burgundy trousers with the white tops.

      • LI Phil | November 22, 2010 at 12:08 am |


        aren’t they maroon?

  • Ricardo Leonor | November 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm |

    Are the Jets pants and jerseys 2 different shades of green?

    • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | November 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm |

      With a big win with the Skins look today, and a big loss with the Jets (it’s like they dressed in the dark, and didn’t realize they didn’t match) – we’re kind-of even-steven. Although I will say – monochrome is bad enough – but to wear mis-matching monochrome – wow. Could you imagine that Skins look against the retro Eagles.

  • =bg= | November 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm |

    “Nike takes over the clothing contract after next season. It’s never too early to plan.”

    The UW column covering those plans will be epic. Hope there’s not too much purple involved.

    • concealed78 | November 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm |

      I’d be more worried about piping, contrasting random patterns and swatches, screened graphics, unnecessary wordmarks, gradients and gradient helmets & leotard looks.

  • LarryB | November 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm |

    Bruce Genther, super colorizations there. Very impressive

  • LarryB | November 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm |

    Great info frim timmyb about the Rams yellow. timmyb is amazing.

    • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm |

      indeed…timmy is a uni historian god

  • Ben Neureuther | November 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm |

    Misspelled Williams Vikings jersey from todays game!

  • The Hemogoblin | November 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |

    Supposedly, according to a tweet from a Green Bay fan I follow on Twitter, there’s a jersey misspelling in that game.

    • The Hemogoblin | November 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |

      Look above for pictures.

  • LarryB | November 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm |

    It was an interesting college football uniform Saturday. I did like the Canes green helmets. The Hokies white helmets not so much with that stripe stopping before the end.

  • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm |

    i hope a lot of jets fans didn’t leave early

    • Gusto44 | November 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm |

      No doubt the Steelers made a colossal mistake giving Santonio Holmes to another AFC power for only a fifth round draft pick.

  • traxel | November 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm |

    Went to the KSU/Colorado game yesterday and it was indeed an attractive game jimvilk.

    And Phil, “Miama” is in oklahoma.

  • Jonathan Lancaster | November 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm |

    Does anyone know why Va. Tech truncated their helmet stripes?

    • aflfan | November 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm |

      I don’t know but whoever did it should be flogged!

    • KevinW | November 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm |

      They seem to stop right at that ridge on those new helmets they’re using:

      That could be the reason why, but no explanation hides that it looks pretty stupid.

  • Anthony | November 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm |

    I don’t understand the hate for the Illinois-Northwestern matchup. White on white for Illinois is a simple clean look, and Northwestern finally reverted back to their black jersey over purple pants look that they are known for. I’m not saying it was great, but it certainly wasn’t bad.

    • Jim Vilk | November 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

      It’s all the swirly stuff on Illinois I don’t like. The color scheme is quite nice, though. As for NW, black over purple, purple over black…either look I don’t like.

      • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm |

        U of I has a good look… from a distance.

        As for NU, they may be “known for that look” but then again being known for a particular look isn’t necessarily a good thing.

  • Chip | November 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm |

    Phil, Clemson and Coastal Carolina also went color-on-color last year. This game was on Halloween, so I guess that explains the orange and black mix.

    • LI Phil | November 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm |

      ohhh…thanks, chip

      i wasn’t aware of that one — now added to the ‘color vs color’ file

    • Peter | November 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm |

      Also, if my memory is correct, there were at least two color-on-color bowl games last season: Florida State (burgundy) vs. West Virginia (yellow) in the Gator Bowl and Houston (red) vs. Air Force (blue) in some obscure bowl

      • JTH | November 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm |

        Burgun… ah, never mind.

  • navyam | November 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm |

    calgary roughnecks (NLL) have a tenth anniversary uniform. i for one am not very fond of it. i like their originals

  • Ryan Pry | November 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm |

    I agree with the writer for SI who commented that the VT/Miami game looked like the teams had swapped colors from last year’s game in Blacksburg. From afar, the Miami helmets look maroon —- making their pro combat uniforms look like Hokie colors. VT’s white uniforms are great, but they resemble the white Miami away gear…

  • christian louboutin | November 24, 2010 at 1:31 am |

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