NFL Color vs. Color – Part II: Back to the Future

NFL Color vs Color Part 2 Hed

By Phil Hecken, with “The Jeff” Provo

Last weekend, I took a look back at color versus color in the NFL, from an historical perspective. That focused mostly on the more recent pairings of color versus color games. This past Thanksgiving, the Patriots and Lions engaged in another color against color matchup (a rematch of their 2002 Thanksgiving Game).

We’ve discussed color versus color in the NFL occasionally on Uni Watch, and with regard to its application in the game today, we seem to be divided into two or three different camps: those who feel all games should be white versus color, mostly because “that’s the way it’s always been” (a riff on “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”); those who feel that we’ve progressed far enough in our technology that broadcasting a game in color versus color will no longer pose a problem for the home viewer (I’d venture to guess very few of us, if any at all, still have a black and white set), and many people now own gigantic HDTV’s; the third group, which represents the Madden generation, thinks all games should be color versus color simply because “you can play them that way on X-Box” (or similar arguments).

In researching this topic, I was surprised to find that many of us (myself included) believed there was an actual rule mandating that one team must wear white in an NFL game. Last week, we found out that’s not the case. There is no rule requiring one team wear white — although the Commissioner of the NFL must approve any proposed “color vs. color” game to ensure there is sufficient “contrast” between the two teams. Fair enough.

I don’t want to bore you with a history of NFL uniforms, but I do want to point out two incredible pieces of work by Uni Watch historian Timmy Brulia, which are actually found in the menu bar at the top of this page. If you scroll up and click on “Research Projects,” you’ll see White At Home In The NFL and Pro Football Uniform History Project. Take a look through these some time — you might be surprised at what you find.

In a nutshell, you might be surprised that until the mid 1950’s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, it was actually the norm. Unlike baseball, basketball and hockey (from the 1970s through the mid 2000s), where white is worn at home, pro football has always been a sport where most teams wear their colored jerseys at home. In the early days of the game, many teams only had one jersey — they wore it home and away. As time progressed, many teams added a second jersey they would wear if their colors clashed with an opponents’ (very similar to soccer in this respect).

Before I (finally) move on to the meat of this post, I’d like you to spend a few minutes watching this video. Most of that footage is from the 1940s — several years before CBS would begin broadcasting games over the airwaves. The teams are the Redskins, Bears, Rams, Lions, Packers and Giants. Notice that every game is color versus color. It was the way football always used to be played. And games like the Thanksgiving matchup between the Lions and the Patriots are actually not some “newfangled Madden generation let’s play color-vs-color because we can” notion, but actually, a throwback from the pre-television days.


Now then — we’ve established that not only is color versus color not some newfangled, couch-potato-videogamization of the great game of football, I do realize that for many of us, the notion of color versus color still doesn’t sit well — and to a certain extent, I agree. White-versus-color may be a relic from 1956 when CBS brought football into everyone’s living rooms, but it does make a lot of sense — a white versus color matchup will almost always provide great contrast between the two combatants — which is, when you come down to it, pretty much the most important feature of a game — the ability to tell teams apart.

But unlike the other major sports (and hockey), football has never been a sport where the home team wears white. Or color. In fact, there are some teams (look at Timmy’s “White at Home” history) who have sometimes worn it at home, sometimes not. There are some teams today (several in fact) who will wear white at home some of the time. Even teams who play indoors won’t always be consistent. Therefore, while “white versus color” makes sense from a visual standpoint, to force one team to wear white doesn’t really make much sense from any other standpoint.

But wait, you say — doesn’t every team have a white jersey? So what if they don’t wear it home or away necessarily. This much is true, but the wearing of white in the NFL is by and large a forced tradition — dictated by the need of the networks to broadcast in black and white. Yes, every team that’s entered the league since 1960 has been required to wear a white jersey — so most of us are so used to seeing the white jersey that we accept it as a part of a teams “color scheme” even if it’s not.


At this point, I’d like to introduce the prime advocate for color-versus-color in the NFL, THE Jeff. Hear him out on this one. I’ll be back with my personal thoughts on the applicability of future color versus color games after this:

“Why should the NFL wear color on color? Simple — because a team should wear it’s colors. Take a look at all of the NFL teams that don’t wear white helmets and think about their “team colors”. The Raiders are silver & black. The Packers are gold and green. The Lions are silver and blue. The Bengals are orange and black. The Giants are blue and gray with red trim. Even the Vikings, who have a predominately white helmet logo, are often referred to as purple and gold. White is simply not *really* a team color for most teams. Here on Uni Watch, many people are opposed to BFBS – black for black sake — teams wearing black when it isn’t *really* a team color. I feel that wearing white is the same thing, only the league has been mandating it for the past 50+ years and people are just used to it. That doesn’t mean it should stay that way.

“The sport started as color vs color. The Bears wore navy, the Cardinals wore red, and that’s just how the game was played. It worked just fine. We’ve even seen instances where the Bears and Packers have both worn blue in the same game. White jerseys didn’t start becoming common until the TV era started. Back then it made sense. You can’t tell blue from red when you’re looking at everything in shades of gray. But we’re well beyond that point now. We aren’t watching on 13 inch black & white sets anymore. It’s time that the mindset of the league changed. Contrast must be considered, but why should white be required? Silver, gold, yellow, powder blue, neon green, creamsicle orange… all of these work quite well in place of white. Even without adding a bunch of new jerseys, there’s plenty of matchups that are easily playable as color vs color.

“The Chargers powder blue vs the Raiders or Ravens in black… the Vikings purple vs the Lions honolulu blue… The Bengals orange jerseys vs the black of the Steelers or purple of the Ravens… The Battle Red Texans vs the dark blue of the Colts or light blue of the Titans… why not? Seriously… Why not?”


Good points, THE. I can think of many examples where color versus color would not only not be a problem, but might even look better than white versus color. One game we seem to point to on Uni Watch as the perfect example of color versus color is the annual USC vs. UCLA game which pits cardinal and athletic gold against powder blue and vegas gold…er, this matchup. That works because of the beautiful contrast (and looks much better than this or this).

So, in the NFL, teams that wear some shade of light blue or teal or aqua would probably be the best candidates for color versus color. Hell, if the Titans would ditch the navy blue pants, how great would Tennessee versus Washington look? Reminds me a bit of USC/UCLA, no?

The Thanksgiving matchup of New England versus Detroit worked because you had ample contrast between the two jerseys. But the NFL has featured red versus navy, which seemed to work (I’m not really a fan) as well as navy versus burgundy (of which I’m also not a huge fan), and navy versus orange (involving two different teams in fact). Which leads us to one question: Why the hell are the Cowboys so special? Either that, or what other games might work as color versus color?

Red vs. black, and red vs. navy both “work,” although I’m not necessarily in favor of such a pairing. But orange vs. green or even green vs. burgundy seem to work fine. In fact, the more you play around with combos, you’d find that most of them would “work.”

About the only ones that clearly wouldn’t provide contrast are teams with the same or very similar color schemes. THE Jeff thinks this would work, but I disagree.


Finally, while we have established there is ample historical precedent for color versus color, the NFL rules permit it, and it’s pretty obvious that many combinations would provide sufficient contrast — the next question is: if the NFL were to return to more color versus color — why? THE Jeff would love to see every game (or most) in color, while I think it is something worth exploring, but on a very limited basis, at least at first.

Once a year (or twice a year) on Thanksgiving makes it a special occurrence — one we remember for years. Perhaps expanding it a bit to include say, opening weekend, or maybe for special rivalry games? What about the battle of the Bay? When you think 49ers and Raiders, those are the colors you think of, right? Intradivision games, especially for teams with dysfunctional uniforms could be spiced up with color vs. color just the way traditional rivalries would. If the Bears and Lions played each other in those colors in 1945, why not in 2011?

Yeah, some color versus color (especially if CVCFCVCS) would be really stupid. But then again, when the Seahawks can break out neon snot, what’s the problem if the do it against a team wearing a dark jersey as opposed to a white jersey? At least the contrast would have been better.

What say you, Uni Watchers? Is color versus color something the NFL should actively explore moving forward? If so, should it be limited to a few select number of games? Why or why not? The floor is yours.


Grey Cup HedLa Coupe Grey

The Super Bowl of the Great White North, also known as The Grey Cup, takes place today, the 98th such edition of Canada’s big game. This year features a rematch of last year’s great game, with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouttes hooking up once again.

Last year, my buddy Mike Styczen did up a wonderful post script to last year’s game as well as a fantastic history of the game/Cup. It’s well worth the reread.

This year Mike is back for a quick look ahead at today’s game.

“This years game is being played in Edmonton, at Commonwealth Stadium — the Eskimo’s home since 1978, and perhaps more famous to US fans for the 2003 Heritage Classic,” says Mike. “I’ll never get tired of that Jose Theodore picture.”

The halftime show will be Randy Bachman and Fred Turner (of BTO). There’s no prize for predicting what song they’ll close with.

“Also,” notes Mike, “the Canadian college football championship was played yesterday in Quebec City. The Laval University Rouge et Or (red and gold) beat the University of Calgary Dinosaurs 29-2. I know nobody really cares about Canadian college football, but there’s some nice pictures of football being played in the snow. Plus both sets of uniforms are so awful (Nike for Laval, Under Armour for Calgary) I thought Jim Vilk might consider them for the 5+1.”

Mr. Styczen also notes that this was Laval’s sixth Vanier Cup in the last 11 years.

As always, Mike, thanks for the salutations from up north. Now…if I can just figure out how to watch the game on the interwebs…


Tommy LasordaHave You Seen This Man?

Does this guy look familiar? Study the pic for a second — got it now?

Last Friday, I ran the “Colorize This!” segment and the Rochester Red Wings section really struck a chord with Uni Watch uniform historian Terry Proctor. So much, in fact, it prompted him to write about one of the seminal moments in a boy’s life — the day he attends his first big league game with his dad. Terry wrote me a really nice E-mail he wanted me to share with the readership about that day.

Here’s Terry:

I’ll always remember the first Rochester Red Wings baseball game that my Dad and I ever attended on August 20, 1959.

A few remembrances about that night. I’ll never forget the smell of the grass as we entered Red Wing Stadium that warm late-summer evening. Or how big the players looked, and how great they looked in their Cream-White Cardinal-style flannels. The Amaros that played for Montreal was Sandy Amaros, the defensive hero of the Dodgers victory in the 1955 World Series. The Verdi that played for Rochester was Frank Verdi. On July 26, 1959 Verdi, coaching at third base because the Wings’ manager was ejected earlier, was struck in the head by a stray bullet fired by a drunken Cuban soldier in a game at Havana. July 26 is Cuba’s version of the Fourth of July and Uncle Fidel let all of his soldatos enter the stadium for free and imbibe on free rum. Verdi was saved because he was wearing a hard-plastic cap liner (an alternative to a batting helmet) that deflected the slug after tearing through his cap. Havana shortstop Leonardo “Chico” Cardenas wasn’t so lucky as he was hit in the shoulder. His getting ejected probably saved Rochester manager Cot Deal’s life. He’s now 87-years old.

The Rochester pitcher that night was Bob Keegan, the former White Sox hurler who threw a no-hitter for the Pale Hose in the early 1950s. He was a Rochester native who wanted to finish up his career with his hometown team. He won 17 games in ’59, nine in 1960 and retired. Luke Easter is the former Cleveland slugger from the early 1950s who played and coached for the Wings until 1964 when he was at least 54-years old. He taught Boog Powell how to improve himself defensively at first base and Boog has paid homage to Luke. One player on the Red Wings who didn’t play that night was a 17-year old catcher named James Timothy McCarver. He played the final month of 1959 with Rochester and did a good job. Unfortunately the Wings and Cards divorced after 1960 and Tim ended up playing for the International League Atlanta Crackers in 1962.

There’s nothing like the memories of your first real professional game, majors or minors. And with only 16 MLB teams in ’59 we saw some great players and great baseball. The Wings, like our hockey Amerks, were “major league” to us.


Thanks, Terry. Hopefully we’ll get a few of our readers to colorize those photos of the Red Wings (I’ve already received two from one reader). Glad that brought back fond memories for you.

OH — the guy in the photo above? That’s none other than Tommy Lasorda — one of the many guys Terry saw play in Rochester.


ducktrackerTrackin’ the Ducks

UW #1 Seahawks Fan Michael Princip has been tracking the Oregon Ducks and all of their 2,456 possible uniform combinations this season. He’ll be updating it after each game.

11-0. That’s all you need to know about the 2010 Ducks. Eleven-and-oh with only the Civil War remaining. It’s going to be a blood bath in Corvallis next Saturday as the Ducks cement their invitation to Glendale. And if the Gamecocks can just pull a tiny upset in the Georgia Dome, we just might get Nike’s dream matchup of Oregon and Texas Christian playing for it all. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s Mike:

Looks like the Ducks are saving the best for last, at least I’d say they were when you look to their uniform combos, cuz what they wore on senior night against Arizona was quite nice. Totally dig the dark metallic green lids with all that yellow poppin’ off the jerseys and helmets, and those matte gray pants simply looked fantastic playing off the silver carbon wings. Only downside, not liking the pants over the knee caps, and knee high black tights look. Two neutrals too close.

Just a week before, they had the second best look of the season; white lids, white jersey, and matte green pants. You can’t go wrong with this use of neutral colors and the school’s primary colors here.

Now, where’s the throwback? Last year they wore the throwbacks in week 4, and a throwback hybrid for the Civil War game. So, they’ve got to be planning a throwback for next weekend, right? How about flashback to 1968? Flat green helmets, and white face masks would be pretty slick, maybe they could go hybrid with that? Or, the very legit 1998 Oregon look of yellow lid, white jersey, and green pants?

Congrats Ducks, PAC 10 champs for a second year in a row! Now, win out, FINISH!

Here is your 2010 Duck Tracker.


vilk 5 & 1-B 5 & 1

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

Unfortunately for me, I spent most of the day in the hospital with my pop. so I didn’t get to watch much football yesterday — but the Mothervilker did — enough for both of us. So, hopefully he’ll have chosen wisely. But I doubt it. Let’s see what he’s got for us this week:


A 5&1 first: a combination honorable/dishonorable mention. Congrats to the Akron Zips for winning their first and only game, but why do you have to wear those awful unis?

Honorable Mention to Calgary/Laval — Laval University, for winning Canada’s Vanier Cup, and the University of Calgary, for looking better than the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders (loved the snow, too).

5. TCU/New Mexico — Similar to Northwestern/Wisconsin, but white socks win out over black socks.

4. Notre Dame/USC — And a little rain looked good, too.

3. Florida/FSU — Color palette special of the day.

2. Auburn/Alabama — That white really popped on a cloudy day.

1. North Carolina/Duke — The Yankees/Red Sox of college basketball are a refreshing sight on the football field.

And the bad one: West Virginia/Pitt — Cincinnati/UConn fans get a reprieve after these two teams seriously downgraded their unis.


Well, there you have it folks. I didn’t catch the Saturday games, but I did see the Backyard Brawl and the Iron Bowl, and I have to say — I agree with the Mothervilker there. Good work, Jim.


All right, Uni Watchers, enjoy your Sunday. The Bills will be wearing their throwbacks today, once again reminding everyone they have the worst uniform in professional sports.


“While perhaps not too PC to say, the NBA’s demographic tends to get shooty a good bit faster than the NHL’s. Especially in the inner part of DC.” — Jeff P.

147 comments to NFL Color vs. Color – Part II: Back to the Future

  • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | November 28, 2010 at 7:48 am |

    Hmm – Canadian sports leagues tend to have Cups as the ultimate prize:
    1. The Stanley Cup
    2. The Grey Cup
    3. The Vanier Cup
    4. The Memorial Cup

    The US – trophys
    1. The Vince Lombardi trophy
    2. The Commissioner trophy
    3. What ever that god-awful – NBA thing

    No big whoop – but in pulling up our socks – I guess up here in the GWN – we like to drink out of our sporting awards.

    • mike 2 | November 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |

      Allan Cup
      Turner Cup
      Calder Cup

      Also – Campbell Cup and Prince of Wales Trophy

      I’ve never thought of it in terms of drinking – the distinction I’ve always noticed is that we award the same trophy / cup year after year with the winners engraved on it, as opposed to the US leagues that create a new trophy every year for the winner to keep.

  • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 7:55 am |

    Phil, you linked to the wrong Bills uniform for the “worst in pro sports”. Their white jerseys are far worse than their blue ones (and not just because of my dislike for white). The royal blue numbers on those things with the navy shoulders… I don’t have words to describe how dumb that looks.

    • Terry D. | November 28, 2010 at 8:30 am |

      I had a dream not too long ago involving me, Lady GaGa, and a debate about the Bills’ regurgitated lunches (uniforms), and Lady GaGa said some of the most mind-numbingly idiotic things in an attempt to defend the Bills’ current “look”.

      Here was my response to her:

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 8:38 am |

        Dreaming about Lady Gaga and the Bills uniforms?

        I’m kind of afraid to ask what happened during your childhood to cause those types of dreams.

    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 10:30 am |
      • DJ | November 28, 2010 at 11:58 am |

        The Thrashers have the “ingredients” for a good uniform — a good, distinctive logo, good colors (the use of a burgundy-like shade to evoke the brown thrasher is at least distinctive). They just seem hell-bent on taking good ingredients and cooking up the most unpalatable combinations possible.

    • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm |

      I’m on board with the color vs. color thing, but not if it means Buffalo has to wear those dark messes they call home unis. I actually like the white ones – they have an Alouettes vibe to them. The dark unis are vibeless. They reek and they have no soul.

      So no, I would not wear them.

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm |

        The Bills being an ugly mess is a completely separate issue.

        (and if you look back at my 2-2-2 concepts, I actually left them as one of the white option teams)

        • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm |

          Yeah, I remember. Surprised, but glad you did.

    • Kyle Allebach | November 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm |

      I still vote the Bengal’s unis beat the Bills uni’s for the worst in the league.

      Grant it, I would tell them to fix the striping on the pants to match the side of the jersey, but the Bengals, I would tell them to press the restart button and start again.

  • jdreyfuss | November 28, 2010 at 8:26 am |

    The Titans’ navy pants would look fine if they had a red-powder-red stripe instead of the powder-white-powder and changed their socks.

    • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 8:34 am |

      Hmm. Red-powder-red? I think they’d need to change more than just their socks for that to work. I’d like to see them use powder socks with the navy pants (or ditch the navy pants entirely), but I don’t know about adding a bunch of red to the uniform. I know it’s in the logo, but I kinda see it in much the same way as the red & blue in the Steelers logo.

  • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 8:28 am |

    Oh, and for the record, my video game influenced desire to see color vs color goes back a bit further than Madden, which only started allowing it in 2009.

    Both of those are from ’87 or ’88, and I remember having a game on the Atari 2600 that had a blue team vs a yellow team that goes back even farther than that.

  • Phillip | November 28, 2010 at 9:01 am |

    As a color blind person, there are many times when the contrast between two teams jerseys is not great enough because of the over abundance of white. The home team has white pants and a bunch of white on their jersey and the away team has white pants and a bunch of white (and other colors) on their jersey.

    White is dull. White is a plain sheet of paper. Bring out the team colors. Love the 2xs2x2 idea.

    • scott | November 28, 2010 at 10:22 am |

      I never understand the hate for white. White uniforms in all sports are great – and I don’t like the idea that their use should be more limited. White is not dull; white is bright and pleasing to the eyes. Maybe it comes from my love for baseball, but I think home teams in white and road teams in gray (or dark) should be the norm in all sports.

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 11:10 am |

        White is every team looking the same. And that, is dull.

        • DJ | November 28, 2010 at 11:52 am |

          All white can look great. Texas football always looks good. BYU went all-white yesterday (not sure how commonplace that was) and it looked very nice. But white at home/dark away should not be the norm in all sports.

        • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm |

          All-white CAN look great, but in the right conditions – cloudy days, indoors and of course, muddy fields.

          In bright sun, not so much. Then again, teams that use the shimmery fabrics don’t look so good in the sun, either, no matter what colors they wear.

          Also not crazy about all-whites in the snow, for the same reason I don’t like Boise’s all-blues on their turf.

        • Phillip | November 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm |

          Some teams look good in white because it is a part of their colors. But when everyone wears white, then white is the generic uniform. When you think of a team you think of them like

          not like this

          If a team wants their primary uniform to be white, then so be it. It then looks like the right look for them. See the cowboys. They are right in white. The blue shirts seem odd. Arguing contrast doesn’t apply is most cases. Cardinal Red vs Atlanta Red, Yes. Green Bay Green vs 49er Red No. Baltimore Black vs Chicago Blue, likely an issue. Most matchups would probably be able to have a teams primary jersey vs the away teams primary. And that would be very pleasing on the eyes.

    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 11:28 am |

      I wouldn’t mind color vs. color as long as it was not every game but once in a while would be nice. I also like to see some NHL games color vs. color.

  • Jon | November 28, 2010 at 9:18 am |

    I know this is a day late, and likely more than a dollar short, but the NHL has now moved into TJFTJS territory. I agree with Paul that the Blue Jackets’ third is a good looking hockey sweater, it is out of a template. With every third that comes out, I appreciate the checkerboard pattern on the Preds’ thirds that much more…

    • LarryB | November 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm |

      Yesterday I was so caught up with the Ohio State throwbacks.

      I do like the Blue Jackets. But in my area of NE Ohio I am not able to see them since our area is under the Penguins domain. I did buy 2 replicas of the uniform when the Blue Jackets first started. White and blue. And a year ago found the current one for cheap. The alternate I saw only in pictures is nothing great in my opinion.

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 9:38 am |

    Here is the late game from the MHSAA Football finals. East Grand Rapids (blue) and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (white)

    • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm |

      I dig the matchup of logoless helmets. The unis could use a tweak or two.

  • Andrew DeFrank | November 28, 2010 at 9:53 am |

    As a big madden player, I still kind of don’t like color vs color. Its just… not the way its supposed to be! ah well, maybe its the way of the future (says the 15 year old). Madden makes it difficult though. If neither specifies their uniforms, just presses start, its normal home vs normal away (white). If I then as a home team specify my uniform and put on an alt, or mess around with various uniforms, if the jersey is color and the opponent doesn’t specify, then they will have white. If I change my uniform to white at home and the opponent doesn’t specify, they will then get color. Only if both specify that they want a certain jersey does it let color vs color happen. BTW Madden can lead to some awesome uniform ideas. Patriots red with the 90’s lighter blue helmet? I THINK YES! or silver pants? Chargers current helmet, powders and yellow pants? BOOM.

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 10:34 am |

    But unlike the other major sports (and hockey)

    *shakes fist at LI Phil*

    • Teebz | November 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm |

      Phil is an Islanders fan, AFL. You can’t blame him for not knowing where hockey is played on Long Island since 1983. LOL

  • traxel | November 28, 2010 at 10:58 am |

    I want to see more of the yellow in Oregon’s next gettup. We’ve only seen yellow once, on that black/yellow/black showing – which was GREAT. Time for more yellow.

    • The Hemogoblin | November 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm |

      Bring back the school colors!

      Seriously, this irritates me to no end. I detest how little yellow Oregon uses on a day-to-day basis. It’s the color most fans actually identify with these days (at least judging by the attire worn at Autzen Stadium and McArthur Court) in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been a student here. The school’s lack of wearing it on the field really frustrates me.

      Also, bring back the yellow pants.

      (But please, for the love of god, leave that metallic yellow helmet at home.)

  • timmy b | November 28, 2010 at 11:01 am |

    Well, one the subject of pro football history, looky at what I bumped into on youtube:

    A nice little montage of the AAFC (1946-1949).


    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 11:04 am |

      Love the striped socks.

    • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 11:19 am |

      Heh… a monocrome dark uniform with a light helmet… and what appeared to be a white vs white game, among other things.

  • dn393 | November 28, 2010 at 11:04 am |

    One of the things that always bothered me with regard to the home (color) vs. visitor (white) matchup is that, for me, the team wearing white always visually appeared “inferior”–for lack of a better term. You knew that they were out of their element, away from their home, etc. Dallas Cowboys excluded, of course. And I don’t feel that way when I watch other sports.

    I wonder if there’s a certain psychological element to this? Athletes will tell you that it’s the player and not the uniform that makes the difference. But as a spectator, subconsciously, is there any validity to it? There’s typically a “good guys wear white” aspect in our society, but I never felt that way with football.

    Anyone else feel that way? Is there an underdog inferiority complex with color vs. white–asthetic or otherwise? Or is a trip to my analyst in order?

    • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm |

      Something to do with the white flag of surrender, perhaps?

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 11:23 am |

    Anyone seen this site before?

    • Paul Lukas | November 28, 2010 at 11:30 am |

      It’s been listed in the links in the right-sidebar since the day this site opened.

      • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 11:32 am |

        Oh, ok, I missed it. I found it looking for something else.

  • Mike Engle | November 28, 2010 at 11:35 am |

    My opinion on color-vs-color in football: save it for UCLA/USC. Two reasons: the Rose Bowl is the common home, and it’s DARK red vs LIGHT blue, which makes it ultra-obvious in grayscale.
    That being said, if the NFL *insists* on a color-vs-color game, it needs to be discernible in grayscale. That way, no colorblind person can possibly complain. After it passes the grayscale test, the closer geographically, the better. My favorite option so far is Chargers vs Raiders, powder blue vs black.
    And as a postscript, can somebody (a) make me a Giants blue vs Jets green picture, and (b) turn it grayscale? If THAT could work, it should be the official color-on-color NFL matchup, because it would be just like UCLA/USC.

    • Silver Creek Doug | November 28, 2010 at 11:40 am |

      The Rose Bowl as a common home for USC and UCLA?

      That would be news to the LA Coliseum…

      • Mike Engle | November 28, 2010 at 11:43 am |

        Yeesh, Sunday morning without my coffee.
        Carry on, but my point still stands.

    • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 11:49 am |

      Actually, grayscale doesn’t really matter to the typical colorblind person. The most common form of colorblindness is a difficulty in telling red and green apart, and most people don’t even have that to a very high degree. Phil’s red/green Giants/Eagles matchup is going to be worse for the colorblind than a Jets/Giants green/blue game.

      Only a tiny fraction of the colorblind have it so severely that they see in shades of gray. It’s an extremely rare condition. The only place grayscale really still matters at all is for the back pages of printed newspapers, and really, is that really very important anymore?

      • The Hemogoblin | November 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

        Objection: It’s the middle of the papers where grayscale matters. The back page is pressed at the same time as the front page.


    • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 11:58 am |

      “a Giants blue vs Jets green picture”

      two problems with that — 1) the jets have worn white at home as often as not (maybe even more this year), and 2) the jets “colors” are green and white…not green and (insert other non-white color)

      therefore, if the giants are the home team, and wear blue, the jets would automatically revert to their non-clash color, which is white

      if the jets are home, and choose to wear green, the giants “alt” (although it’s no longer in the rotation, but historically) would be red — so a jets (home and green) vs. giants (road) would be green vs. red

      THE jeff’s point isn’t to eliminate all white, just don’t force a white jersey on a team for whom white is not one of their colors

      maybe a better “test” would be to go over the past super bowl matchups (using current unis) and see how those would matchup using each teams’ home colors

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm |

        Not necessarily Phil, remember these aren’t home & away uniforms anymore. It’s primary/secondary. The Giants would be wearing blue as their primary jersey and red for the games they can’t use the blue. If the Jets are choosing to wear green as the home team, the Giants would wear whichever jersey they felt matched up better against the green. Which, in my opinion, could be either one.

        Now if the Giants are the home team, odds are the Jets would probably go with white.

      • Graf Zeppelin | November 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm |

        I don’t know about “as often as not.” Granted, I don’t like it when the Jets wear white at home, although it’s better than green-over-green, but they only did it twice this year. They did it twice last year but the second was the white NY Titans uniform, which I like (albeit not as much as the blue NY Titans uniform). Other than that they usually do it only once, in the home opener, and not every year.

        They wore white at home in every game from ’85-89, but for the rest of their history they’ve primarily worn green at home.

  • Dave | November 28, 2010 at 11:58 am |

    I fail to understand the desire to eliminate white from the NFL, there are many teams (college and NFL) that actually look better in white. Several examples:

    -As a Browns fan, whenever the team breaks out their white unis at home I consider it a treat (except when they were the God Awful Brown pants with them).

    -There are many NLF teams (Dallas, Washington, and Philly to name a few) that look as good in white (if not better) as they do in color.

    -LSU & Georgia Tech both wear their whites at home almost exclusively…the Yellow-White-Yellow of LSU & Gold-White-Gold of GT are two of the NCAA’s better uni combos.

    -One can make the argument that the Texas all-white unis are the best in all of football.

    Also, you need to remember that going to color vs. color games will inevitably lead to even more BFBS (I always hear people complain about the Lion and Cardinal BFBS alts…guess what, they’ll be worn even more often under this idea).

    Additionally, awful jerseys like the Cincy, Cleveland, Chicago, and Miami Oranges, Seattle greens, New Orleans Golds, and Carolina teals.

    Going to color vs. color games will likely increase the number of awful uni match-ups, not decrease the.

    • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

      “I fail to understand the desire to eliminate white from the NFL, there are many teams (college and NFL) that actually look better in white.”

      ok…i’ll say this once more, because i’m not sure if i’ve actually made it clear

      no one, including THE jeff, wants to eliminate all white jerseys from the game

      i myself said i’d like to see color vs. color on a limited basis — there are some teams who wear white at home and look good in it — no one is arguing against that

      what is being argued, however, is the mandate that one team MUST wear white, at all times, unless the commissioner gives special dispensation, is no longer necessary

      some teams will matchup fine in color vs color — all i’m saying is that there should no longer be decades-old dictum instituted during the 13″ black & white television era, that one team must wear white … no one is saying all games must be color vs color; only that not all games must be color vs white

      sorry for the confusion


      as to your point about more BFBS and more alts — one would not necessarily lead to the other — if you elimiate a white jersey and allow a team to substitute a color — IF IT IS ONE OF THEIR COLORS — you would actually eliminate bfbs

      take for example the lions — eliminate white and allow them to wear silver, which is one of their colors — they no longer need their BFBS jersey (which they thankfully eliminated a couple years ago)

      and a lot of people think the cincy, cleveland, chicago and miami oranges look better than their standard color jersey (i wouldn’t be one of them, but some do); and i think the carolina blue is much better than their black…

  • The Green Chicken Wing | November 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm |

    What’s the rule for shoe color in the NBA? I’m shocked this wasn’t even mentioned in today’s article, but the Cleveland Cavaliers were wearing white shoes last night except for JJ Hickson. He was the ONLY player wearing non-white shoes….in fact, he was wearing BRIGHT yellow shoes!! Does the NBA not care what their players wear?

    • ab | November 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm |

      Was watching Bulls/Nuggets a couple nights ago and all the players were wearing all sorts of crazy shoe combinations. Most notable was Gary Forbes (different game, same shoes), who obviously sought his inspiration from the avian community.

    • Paul Lukas | November 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

      It used to be that the players on a team had to wear all the same shoe color. Then, a year or two ago, they changed it so that it’s OK for players to wear different shoe colors as long as it’s an approved TEAM color.

      I don’t think they ever changed the official regulation; I think they just decided to make up a new one. Really! This seems to have started when Rajon Rondo would wear different color shoes than the rest of the Celtics. I got *tons* of emails about it — including one from the President of! — so I asked the NBA about it and they said, “Oh, that’s fine,” as if (a) everyone was supposed to know that and (b) it had been that way all along.

      Basically, I think sneaker contracts with custom models and special designs have gotten so crazy that the league basically just gave up trying to police it. And then they kinda made up a new rule to save face.

  • Giancarlo | November 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm |

    Television, and particularly CBS keep getting blamed for NFL teams wearing white. I’m not really doubting that was the case but after checking Timmy B’s Uniform Historical Project I would like to point out that by 1955 – a year before CBS started broadcasting games – 7 of the 12 NFL teams were already wearing white jerseys (Browns, Colts, Eagles, 49ers, Giants, Lions, Redskins). And in 1956 two more teams got on board with white jerseys (Cardinals and Steelers). So the league mandate that came down in 1957 which required white jerseys really only inconvenienced the Bears, Packers, and Rams. Could it be that wearing contrasting-white was going to be the trend with or without TV? Just a thought.

    As for me, I like white. All-white Browns and Dolphins are two of my all-time favorite unis. I also root for Darth Vader’s stormtroopers in Star Wars. So there.

    • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm |

      I suppose it could have trended that way on it’s own, but it’s really hard to say for certain. If you look at that era, there was a lot of flipping around between different colors. Had the TV rule not been implemented, it’s quite possible that some of the white teams would have changed to something else again. Over a 10 year period, the Packers wore blue, white, green, and yellow jerseys, complete with the weirdity of using a blue jersey with yellow accents as their primary while using a white jersey with green for the alternate. Who knows what they’d have ended up doing without a mandatory white rule.

      • Giancarlo | November 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm |

        But most of these teams had BOTH color & white jerseys by the mid-’50s. I have a feeling that the color vs. white contrast was something that the players on the field might have preferred, regardless of the B&W TV issue.

        • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm |

          Perhaps, but if that is the case, I wonder why so many teams went with the Color A OR Color B option in the previous decade instead of bringing out white sooner. It’s one thing if you’ve got a low budget and only have one jersey. But if you’ve got the money to have 2 different colored jerseys, obviously one of them could have been white instead.

          I still think that TV and newspaper coverage played a fairly big role in facilitating the change.

          I’d love to ask some of the Patriots or Lions players how they felt about their color vs color game a few days ago.

        • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm |

          no doubt, trends influenced the white factor; it also wouldn’t surprise me if in the early days, teams favored dark colors because of the “laundry” issue; much like road teams in baseball wore gray roadies because it wasn’t always the easiest thing to find washing facilities on the road, early football teams may have favored dark colors because it hid the deep embedded grass, dirt and mud stains…maybe by the 1950’s with advances in detergents etc it became easier to remove stains from white jerseys

          regardless, the point is not whether white versus color provides the greatest contrast (it does), but whether or not color vs color provides sufficient contrast (in most cases, it’s fine)…even if 80% of all teams had a white jersey by 1955, the other 20% didn’t…and were forced to wear one by edict

          again, please — im NOT trying to reinvent the wheel here — white versus color works fine; im simply arguing that in a few select cases, there is no reason to oppose color vs color

          maybe one weekend a year, in addition to thanksgiving, or the super bowl or something

          especially those who love throwbacks — if you’re going to throwback, have both teams play along and do it the way it once was

          timmy gave a great example last weekend:

          “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.”

          perfect time for a color vs color game

          and it could work just as well, on a very limited basis, for non-throwback games

        • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm |

          “Bears retro navy vs Giants red / perfect time for a color vs color game”

          I would not want to see that. Does not appeal, even given the historical context.

        • Ed E. | November 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm |

          Worth noting that the 1940 NFL title game – Bears-Redskins – was white (Bears) vs. dark (Skins).

  • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm |

    Dear Montreal and Saskatchewan,

    Please please PLEASE re-create your throwback game from earlier this season:
    That would be in the running for the greatest looking Grey Cup ever.

    • Gusto44 | November 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm |

      Do you happen to know what channel the Grey Cup will be televised? I was enjoying the NFL Network CFL games during the regular season, but that network bailed out for the playoffs. I don’t get TSN, only CBC(which used to carry CFL football).

      • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm |

        If you get ESPN3 online, you can watch it there. Not my first choice, but it’s all I got. Don’t know if any TV station will get it. Fox Sports World used to show it a few years ago, so check your cable/satellite sports packages.

      • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm |

        It will be shown tape delayed tomorrow night on Altitude if you get that channel. Other than that you have ESPN3

  • interlockingtc | November 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm |

    How can one look at this image provided by The Jeff and not admire the beauty….

    It’s gorgeous. As are several other images provided as examples of color on color.

    And as the 1940’s footage shows, there’s certainly precedence for color vs. color. (Though frankly, I found discerning the teams required some effort as I viewed–I know the footage is aged and grainy, and I’m colorblind–but still.)

    But…I remain unmoved.

    Were white jerseys mandated by television corporations (the sugar daddy, still, of the NFL) mid-century? Yes. A smart move that has stood the test of time. Color vs white provides the best contrast, still, even on gigantic, wall-sized plasma mega screens (of which I do not own).

    I like white jerseys. I like how a team’s *true* colors pop on the white canvas.

    dn393 mentioned the psychological angle of one team in color the other being in the “inferior” white. I think there’s something to that. When I watched Vikings games on tv as a kid, I knew they would be sporting the purple at the Met and their opponents seemed, yes, lesser or reduced in their road whites. Disadvantaged somehow. As it should be when you enter the hostile venue. Part of the home field advantage. When the Vikings played on the road, I sensed a disadvantage before the game started because they were wearing the lesser (though good-looking still) uniform–again, as it should be on the road. (timmyb’s excellent site proves this argument moot, perhaps, but at least the Home team made the *choice* to wear white.)

    I know: once in a while, Thanksgiving, whatever, why not color vs. color? So what, right?

    But I must draw the line. I remain steadfast. No color vs color. The home team can choose to wear white if they wish. And the visitors must bow down and wear the opposite, because on the road, in enemy territory (did I just make a military analogy? oh, brother :)) you have no choice.

    • Komet17 | November 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm |

      The “problem” with the Chargers’ powder blues is that…the current ownership (Spanos family) doesn’t seem to like them at all. They really prefer the navy blue look, and have resisted the powder blues (except for throwback games) despite the many/most SD fans loving the powder blues.

  • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 1:29 pm |

    Regarding UCLA vs USC, initially, I thought that color vs color matchup worked. But I just can’t wrap my mind around it; it’s just too much color & both look like home teams.

    Not to be a dick, but all the NFL white jerseys have color on them & a lot of them wear color pants with it (unfortunately) so it’s not like they’re Frosty the Snowman out there.

    I think a red/navy vs navy/red, or orange/black vs black/yellow, red/red vs green/green, or red/gold vs gold/red, purple/black vs. red/black etc; would look ugly, especially under a green field. And other questions remain: has a gold or yellow football jersey ever looked good? Does a gray or silver jersey really provide enough difference from white? 4 different shades of light blue are acceptable, but is light green?

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm |

      Here’s an example of the anti-white look that Jeff would probably love, but is basically uniform poison:

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm |

        Oh no, someone stuck a Colts uniform in the wash with a box of orange dye. Oh the humanity!

        *rolls eyes*

        • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm |

          You’re telling me that look couldn’t use some white?

        • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm |

          that cuse uni is awful, but…

          since when do the colts have shoulder stripes?

        • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm |

          Sure, it could use a little bit of white, as an outline around the numbers and possibly between the blue stripes. They’re called the Syracuse Orange, why should they be wearing anything else?

        • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm |

          It’s fantastic…even better than this:

          The’s right.

    • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

      Has a gold or yellow jersey ever looked good? Yes. See the 1994 Rams throwback uniforms.

      Does gray or silver really provide enough difference from white? No, because it isn’t supposed to. The fact that it’s that close is exactly why it would work as a viable replacement.

    • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm |

      I actually really like brown & Athletic gold as a color scheme, but this just the wrong way to do it:

      • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm |

        I’ve seen much worse…

  • Paul Lukas | November 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

    I’m told that the Falcons logo is facing the wrong way on Atlanta’s kicker’s left shoulder today. I don’t have access to that game, but maybe someone with Sunday Ticket can get a screen shot..?

    • Paul Lukas | November 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm |

      Never mind — got it!

    • mike 2 | November 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm |

      It looks like the logo is backwards on BOTH shoulders

      • Komet17 | November 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm |

        Maybe his jersey’s on backwards…

  • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

    “No color vs color. The home team can choose to wear white if they wish. And the visitors must bow down and wear the opposite, because on the road, in enemy territory (did I just make a military analogy? oh, brother :)) you have no choice.”

    but jim, how is it a punishment to “make” the cowboys wear white against the vikings in purple in the dome?

    that’s the whole point of this, if you think about it — maybe our entire argument should be that in football the home team MUST wear white (just like every other major sport; and the way hockey “used” to be from the 1970’s thru the mid-2000s)

    but since football has never been that way, it goes against our mindsets if we apply them to all other sports, yes? you always want the homefield advantage, and that includes the jersey — i still can’t stand to see the isles in blue in the mausoleum…goes against everything i grew up with — i’d never want to see the mets in gray at home (unfortunately, i’ve seen them in black, which is worse)

    since football has no true “home” and “away” jersey, it completely eliminates the “homefield” advantage, because forcing some teams (cowboys, jets, browns, redskins, dolphins) to wear white isn’t really psychologically affecting them

    maybe we should be focusing our energies to mandate that the home team ALWAYS wears either white or color? pick one and stick with it

    make the home team wear white and make dark jersey the “enemy” jersey? i’d be on board with that

    but you know that’s never going to happen

    • The Hemogoblin | November 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm |

      You want demoralizing road uniforms? Pink on the road, baby.

      And it wouldn’t really clash with any team’s colored or white uniforms, so home teams would still be free to choose which uniform they want to wear.

      Everyone wins*.

      *Except the road team.

      • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

        …and the viewers.

      • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm |

        Pink road uniforms dipped in liquid skunk. Tho probably shouldn’t bring chemical warfare into it. About 20 years ago I remember watching something on TV about revealed secrets & they had an NFL uniform bit where players would duct tape their uniforms to their pads & spray the jersey with Pam cooking spray to create slickness.

        • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm |

          Players would smear Vaseline on their arms as well. Also helped in the cold weather.

      • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm |

        Hayden Fry had the visitors locker room at Iowa painted pink.

    • interlockingtc | November 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm |

      It would be really, really hard to wrap my head around that since I am so used to home teams wearing dark in football, but, yeah, I could get behind that good guys/bad guys rule.

      (btw, Phil, this has been a compelling series. Great work. You too, The Jeff.)

      • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm |

        I’m going to have to say no to the whole good guy/bad guy thing. It ain’t the WWE. A team like Oakland or Pittsburgh wearing white at home is just fucking wrong, and yes, the profanity was required.

        …and thanks :)

        That Raiders/Chargers shot took a fair amount of effort – that one started as the Chargers in their white jerseys & navy pants.

        • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm |

          but the raiders are always the bad guys, so they can stick with black at home then

        • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm |

          Jeff’s kryptonite:


        • concealed78 | November 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
        • The Jeff | November 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm |

          Of course that particular uniform didn’t actually exist… but, yeah.

  • Giancarlo | November 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    Color vs. color could be a slippery slope. I’m sure the first time two MLB teams went softball top vs. softball top people thought it was a cute novelty. Now we have painfully ugly blue vs. blue, red vs. red matchups left & right. Sure, football is not baseball and the NFL probably wouldn’t take it that far, but in the absence of guidelines it seems to be the natural order of things to push at the bounds of ugliness.

    • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

      MLB just needs a commish with the onions to say, “If there’s not enough contrast, I’m not allowing it.”

    • Paul Lukas | November 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm |

      >>in the absence of guidelines it seems to be the natural order of things to push at the bounds of ugliness.<< Best analysis so far. If you start letting teams freestyle, that way madness lies.

    • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm |

      ” the first time two MLB teams went softball top vs. softball top people thought it was a cute novelty”

      baseball is almost diametrically opposed to football in this regard — in baseball, the home team should ALWAYS WEAR ALL WHITE…period, no exceptions

      football doesn’t have the “home (good guys) wear white” mindset — which is precisely the point of this post

      and that is one of the things im hating more and more about baseball — the softball top is making the games more and more look like football games…i don’t say the road team has to always wear gray…but they should wear a darker monochrome outfit than the home team (which should always be in white; even the retro-creams some teams are sporting is pushing it)

      bring any other arguments against color vs color in the NFL…but keep baseball separate — and mandate the home team always ONLY wear white over white there

  • =bg= | November 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm |

    I think that the MLB just needs a commish, period. Oh wait, they supposedly already have one.

  • JohnnySeoul | November 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm |

    All-white NFL uniforms are gorgeous on teams like the Colts, Browns (need their white facemasks back), Dolphins, Brian Tillman era Cardinals, and the Bucco Bruce era Buccaneers.

    • JohnnySeoul | November 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm |

      Ooops….Pat Tillman. Sorry.

    • Kyle Allebach | November 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm |

      Personally, I like the Browns with Brown pants away. I think monochrome white doesn’t fit that team.

      Also, I think we’ll never see the Bucco Bruce Buc’s, since, y’know, they won a Superbowl in the newer uni’s (that I personally like) and their team this year is doing great.

  • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm |

    Why didn’t the officials crack down on this in other games?
    Keep cracking down on it. I find it to be the most stupid part of the whole “amateur gamesmanship” concept.

    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm |

      Because Big 10 official hate Nike?

  • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm |

    White is a Color

    I’m a Michigan fan. White is not a Michigan color, and at home Michigan’s gorgeous football uniforms have zero white on them. Now, in basketball and hockey, Michigan has to wear a light color, and has white uniforms for that purpose, but they also have maize uniforms for “special occasions.”

    Some teams use white as a secondary color. The Vikings old road uniforms were terrific, and even the new ones aren’t bad. The Bears have orange as a secondary color, but white is a color of theirs, too. Obviously, many have mentioned teams that wear good white-over-white uniforms at home that are effective.

    I believe that adding a little color vs. color will, properly used, accentuate the use of white on teams that actually have white as a color. A team like the Lions could wear Honolulu Blue almost everywhere without confusing anyone, the Giants can flip to red, and so on. Some teams can only use white because they have to.

    The consequence of this would be to re-establish white as a real color. In soccer, Real Madrid’s primary color is white. In the past decade or so they have trimmed their jerseys with purple, blue, and black (and touches of yellow), but their primary color is white. It is a real color, one that has significance in Europe and is associated with some of the dominant soccer clubs of all time. It took me a while to get used to that, because I am used to white being “blank” in the States.

    If the NFL carefully uses color vs. color, white won’t be a blank anymore. It will be a color. The Cowboys, Dolphins, Redskins, Browns, and others who wear white at home will be making a real color choice. Some teams may move in a direction where they never wear white ever. Why not? White is just a color.

    • The Hemogoblin | November 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm |

      Also, along the veins of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona refuses to have a white change kit because Madrid uses it as its primary color. This has led to tangerine, sky blue and yellow change kits, if my I remember correctly. This definitely plays into the “white isn’t necessary” argument.

      • DJ | November 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm |

        Correct. There was a time when Kappa added white trim to Barcelona’s regular claret and blue kit. To violent protests from Barcelona fans. For several years now, Nike has not even used white as the color for the numbers on the Barcelona kit (they use yellow or metallic gold).

        The only white on the Barcelona kit is in their club badge, which includes the St. George’s Cross (white, red cross). St. George (Sant Jordi in Catalan) is the patron saint of Catalunya.

    • Richard | November 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm |

      I’m mostly a color v color agnostic, leaning against.

      But this post tipped me toward favoring it, not all the way, but I like it. The point about teams wearing the colors and choosing if white is one, and the soccer argument works for me.

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm |

    Have I mentioned today how much I hate the Falcons black helmets?


    Well I really hate them!

    • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm |


      • Gusto44 | November 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm |

        I think one of the contributing reasons the black helmet has stuck around for two decades, is the 1998 NFC title year.

        We’ve seen this before, where a so-so uniform concept hangs around for years, partly due to nostalgia. That miracle year still resonates in Atlanta, while the red helmet didn’t enjoy the same success. It would be nice to see another NFC club besides Washington, using a type of red color.

        The Houston Astros are one example of this situation. While their current uniform is only about seven years old, it’s automatically linked with the first pennant winner in club history. Same thing with the black Mets uniforms, and those awful Angels uniforms.

        • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm |

          Nothing makes a new uniform stick like winning. The best example of this that I can think of are the Denver Broncos uniforms. The old orange uniforms were sharp and well-liked, but the new ones brought Denver its best success ever–two Super Bowls in their first two years. When you associate a uniform with winning, it is hard to change it.

          Keep in mind, Terrell Davis had four years of really dominant football, two in each uniform; what uniform do you picture him in? I picture him in the new one, all the time. How do you picture Elway? A lot of orange, but you also remember the helicopter play, right? Pictures of him victorious, in the new uniform?

          Nothing makes a uniform like winning.

        • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm |

          an even better example is the patriots current unis

          and gusto, dude…the mets black? seriously?

          they won a world series in the most beautiful uni they’ve ever worn, and another in those gaddawful racing stripes and you’re gonna tell me people associate the mets black unis with winning?

          i’ll give you that the goddam black jersey is probably the most popular jersey at shea these days, but that’s because the damn thing has been around so long now everyone under 20 prolly thinks it’s been their uni forever

          if the mets had no success in their first generation unis or the racing stripes, i might say you come close to having a point, but the black jersey is popular because it’s a hip color…not because it makes mets fans think of success or championships

    • Kyle Allebach | November 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm |

      I like the black helmet than the jersey/pants combo. If they went red jersey with black pants and black helmet, I think it would look good.

      Though, it looks better than the uni they had before…

  • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm |

    Late-game observations:

    The Chiefs are wearing their red pants with white jerseys on the road. I like that look better than the monochrome whites, personally. I think this is the first time this year.

    I noticed this a couple of weeks ago, but the “C” logo at midfield in Chicago is asymmetrical, which I don’t recall ever seeing before this year. Perhaps that has been observed before and I missed it, but can anyone give an explanation, or is it just a season-long error?

    Classic example of white-as-color: Miami on the road against the classic Raiders.

    • Mike Engle | November 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm |

      It isn’t a mistake. The Bears’ wishbone C NEVER is symmetrical.

      • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |

        I wonder why I never noticed it before, I tend to pay attention to that sort of thing, and now it stick out like a sore thumb.

        • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm |

          Dude, looking it up, it’s obvious. And I think I knew it in 1995 and have forgotten about this. Thanks for not slaughtering me for my ignorance.

        • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm |

          Dude, I’m a Bears fan and I just noticed TODAY that the Soldier Field end zones still have the old NFC logos.

          (And I didn’t notice it until I went back and rewatched part of the game on my DVR after noticing that the end zones in Lucas Oil Stadium still have the old AFC logos.)

      • Taxman | November 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm |

        That KC-Seattle game may be the biggest Uni-Mismatch I have seen in a while. Chiefs A++, Seahawks F- in their puke green/blue pajamatards.

        • The Hemogoblin | November 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm |

          Can’t give the Seahawks an F-. There’s still a floor below that. They could be in snot leotards, and that would be oh-so-much worse.

        • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm |

          You got me excited there saying green first. I thought they had brought out the good jerseys until I saw the photo:

          You’re right, A++ vs. F-

  • traxel | November 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm |

    THE Jeff’s point is well taken. I guess the NFL COULD have, years ago, made one team wear Black instead of white, but a Black vs. Navy or other dark color matchup would have been too close for a mentaly challanged TV fan like myself, or a QB. Think about that, though. Every team with a league mandated black jersey! Yuck. Glad they chose white.

    • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm |

      i don’t know much, but im pretty sure that wasn’t THE jeff’s point

      • traxel | November 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm |

        At least you acknowledge your own limitations.

  • Brian C. | November 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm |

    Couple days late but as a fellow PittSBURGH Panthers fan I have to disagree with the Yinzer. I’ve always hated the “Pitt” nickname & script so the 97 look is/was still my favorite for the team. I still have that blue jersey with the “PITTSBURGH” on the chest. Now I just wish they’d put the panther head back on the helmet & mid-court. If they insist on using the “Pitt” thing I was always partial to the Alex Van Pelt era look. One thing I hope he & I both agree on is they should burn those white pants. The Panthers in all white on the road look way too much like that other team in the center part of our state.

    • Gusto44 | November 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm |

      I do like the Panther head, but I’d put it on the hips of the pants, while reverting back to the script on the helmets.

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm |

    Red Wings in white at home (as it should be) thanks to the Blue Jackets thirds.

    • Stephen King | November 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm |

      I was in favor of the NHL going color at home when they made the switch, and in principle I still like the idea. Some of the white jerseys just look right, though, and the Wings white jersey (perhaps its the red sleeves with a white stripe) just looks right with those red seats and white ice in Joe Louis. The whole picture looks wrong when they wear red at home–messes with the tv contrast.

      The NHL is a league that I wish would allow teams to pick their default home jersey, and allow contrasting color vs. color. It has to be really contrasting, though, since teams often have similar pants. The Wings in red vs. the Leafs in blue would be sharp. The Leafs in blue vs. the Habs in red and blue might not cut it.

      • DJ | November 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm |

        It might, because Toronto’s blue is a bit darker than Montreal’s.

    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm |

      Detroit’s play by play guy just said that Columbus looks like the Florida Panthers in the thirds. “Almost exactly the same color.”

      • Rob S | November 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm |

        Almost exactly the same… except the Jackets’ unis look like they were left underneath the bottom of the stairs for about 10 years, and a bunch of cats peed on them in that time.

        … yeah, I have issues.

        • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm |

          We fight, we march, we…


  • Jim Vilk | November 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm |

    Dang it…the Alouettes didn’t throwback. Riders look awesome.

    And the Grey Cup is underway!

    • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm |


  • KevinW | November 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm |

    If anyone else is watching the Grey Cup, that was NOT pass interference.

  • aflfan | November 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  • Kyle Allebach | November 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm |

    I personally love the idea of Color vs. Color for teams, but think some teams (like my hometown Eagles) should keep a white jersey. Yeah, the Raiders shouldn’t be in white, and seeing the Saints in their gold jerseys against a team like the Raiders or anyone else would be cool. So, my consensus is the halfway point; some teams, just not all.

    PS: I vote that the Bengals beat the Bills in the worst uni in the league. Those things are horrendous.

    • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm |

      Obviously black or midnight green would have both been terrible choices today, but why not silver for the Eagles as their “clash” jersey?

      • Kyle Allebach | November 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm |

        A silver jersey for the Eagles? Might as well stay white, since, to me, a silver jersey and a white jersey are almost the same thing…

        OR, to really piss people off, break out the yellow throwbacks.

        • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm |

          Exactly. Silver’s light enough that white really isn’t necessary.

  • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm |

    just wondering…

    Did anyone not realize that was Tommy Lasorda right away?

    (Anyone over the age of 30 or so, I guess — I wouldn’t expect the whippersnappers to recognize him.)

  • JTH | November 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm |

    I don’t think they ever changed the official regulation; I think they just decided to make up a new one. Really! This seems to have started when Rajon Rondo would wear different color shoes than the rest of the Celtics. I got *tons* of emails about it – including one from the President of! – so I asked the NBA about it and they said, “Oh, that’s fine,” as if (a) everyone was supposed to know that and (b) it had been that way all along.

    Clearly, that’s not the case.

    • LI Phil | November 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm |

      i remember seeing that live

      2 things immediately jump out — i forgot jordan had hair in the nba and letterman was once quite funny

  • Matt | November 29, 2010 at 4:43 am |

    If you want to catch nearly any sporting event on your computer check out

    I have seen many Canadian football games on there as well as rugby from nearly anywhere on the planet. That site comes in quite handy when I am stuck at work when Navy is playing.

  • avguy | November 30, 2010 at 12:30 am |

    White jerseys look fine with dark pants, a dark helmet or even lighter pants/helmet combos – Packers, Saints, Niners, Cowboys. Anyways, I’m in for someone’s earlier proposed “ban” on all-whites. That look should be mothballed, permanent! I am a Vikes fan, and I even on a live chat asked a player (Robison) to please wear purple pants in a game (they did!) and not the white pants. Sadly, my team went back to all whites!

    That being said, I always wonder why NFL teams CHOOSE to wear their all whites combo in road games (and some Home ones -Dolphins,Bucs, even at Night! uggh!) when a colored pants is available? I’ve seen road teams bring all whites into snowy fields where they could have worn dark pants – and be seen! The key idea is NEVER addressed here or anywhere else is what do the players think about all-whites?

    Do they like them because white is an athletic look, a simple look, a “bigger” look, their dark pants have some fit or comfort issue (stain their legs?), they just love white?

    Please, let’s all get after the pros who are making our eyes sore watching their cruddy all whites. Don’t they know what looks better on TV? Where it counts? Can we get the players’ feedback on this issue and try to figure out if we will continue to live with white or all white clad NFL teams when the majority of viewers & ticket holders don’t like it.

  • Tobias Shreffler | December 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm |

    The matter concerns practices at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, the day before the 49ers’ 24-16 win over the Broncos. It was the only time the teams worked out on the same field while in London