By Phil Hecken
We’ve hit the big weekend — Super Bowl XLIX weekend. As I traditionally do, I like to feature the uniform histories of the two teams who have made it all the way to the big game; since I’ve been doing weekends on the blog, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve NEVER had a repeat, going all the way back to 2009. But, as fate would have it, this year we have TWO repeat teams — the Seahawks, who are reigning SB champs, and the Patriots, who played the Giants in 2012. So, instead of two days (one for the Pats and one for the Seahawks), I’ll have both teams’ uni histories tomorrow, with the able and fantastic research from Tim Brulia of the Gridiron Uniform Database.
I asked both Tim and Rob Holecko (also of the GUD) what they thought might make for a good pre-Supe Saturday post, and Rob suggested a run-down of every matchup played between the two teams. Great, I thought, I’ll find the photos, and Rob can research the games. I should have known that finding photos of games, even with the expanded capacity of the interwebs, would prove daunting. So Rob created ‘graphic’ matchups of all of the games, and I’ve hunted down what photos I could find between the two clubs.
As you’ll read below, the teams have played a grand total of 16 times in their respective histories, and each team has won eight games. So not only will the two teams meet in the Super Bowl tomorrow to decide who is the best team of 2014, they’ll also be breaking an 8-8 tie. As always, for any photos below, you can click to enlarge.
Here’s Rob with the …
Seahawks & Patriots Historical Uni Matchups
By Rob Holecko
When the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLIX, it will be the seventeenth time these two teams have faced each other. The series is tied at 8-8 over the years. Here we will look at the uniform history of the previous sixteen meetings.
The Seahawks are of course now an NFC team, however from 1977-2001 they were in the AFC West, and therefore faced the Patriots more during those years than Super Bowl opponents typically would have faced each other through their histories. (The Seahawks’ Super Bowl opponents last year, the Broncos, were divisional rivals in the AFC West those years and played each other twice a year.) Under the NFL’s current scheduling formula, teams in the opposite conference only play each other once every four years.
For the first eleven of their sixteen meetings, through 1992, the Seahawks and Patriots met wearing their classic uniforms that many of us associate with these two franchises: The Seahawks in blue over silver at home and white-over-silver on the road, with silver helmet, the Patriots in their red-and-white colors with ‘Pat The Patriot’ on a white helmet. In their first meeting in Foxboro in 1977, Seahawks were in their standard road uni, and the Pats were in their home red jerseys (h/t to Bill Schaefer for this photo):.
The met the next three meetings, in 1980, 1982 and 1983 at The Kingdome, the Pats wearing red pants with the road white jerseys for only the first of those three meetings, wearing white-over-white the other two. They met again in 1984 in Foxboro and 1985 in Seattle in their typical home-and-away colors, the Patriots having now added the familiar UCLA-style shoulder striping recognizable of the era, and again wearing red pants with their white road jerseys in 1985.
From 1986 through 1993, the two teams met six consecutive times in Foxboro, the first game of which was the only time in the sixteen games in which the home team has worn white. This was in the year following the Patriots’ Super Bowl XX appearance, and for much of this 1985-86 era the Patriots chose to wear white at home. (The Seahawks, throughout their franchise history, are the only team in the NFL to have never worn white at home.)
The following four of the six consecutive meetings in New England would look remarkably the same — Seahawks in their road white-over-silver, Patriots in their home red-over-white, but the last of the six – in September 1993, would be the first meeting after the Patriots re-designed their uniforms. They would play this game looking almost like the Seahawks but with a splash of red. They now had a blue jersey with silver pants, and like the Seahawks were also sporting a silver helmet. Gone was ‘Pat The Patriot’ and in his place was the redesign that some have called ‘The Flying Elvis’ due to his sideburns.
By virtue of their last place finishes in their respective divisions in 1992, the teams met a second time in October 1993, this time in Seattle, and the teams looked exactly the opposite as they did in Foxboro – the Patriots were now wearing the white-over-silver road uniforms, while the Seahawks were wearing the blue-over silver home unis. Except for the red numerals on the Patriots’ uniforms, the only difference between these teams was now the logos, and from a distance their two 1993 meetings could pass for intersquad matches.
Due to the haphazard nature of the NFL’s 1978-2001 scheduling formula, these two conference foes which met nearly every year from 1980 to 1993 did not meet again during the Seahawks’ final eight years in the AFC. The Patriots’ 1993 style only lasted two seasons before being tweaked in 1995 to the familar “slanted” numbers of the Bill Parcells era, and then being totally overhauled to their current uniform set in 2000.
The Seahawks themselves would have minor uniform tweaks in the 1990s (sans serif number font introduced in 1994) before their major redesign which would coincide with their move to the NFC in 2002.
The next time the ‘Hawks and Pats would face each other after their “intersquad” battles of 1993 would be eleven years later as non-conference opponents in 2004.
By this time both teams would be in new stadiums, and the 2004 meeting would be in the new Gilette Stadium in Foxboro, the Patriots wearing their now familiar navy over silver home uniforms, while the road Seahawks would be wearing the white-over-white variation of their 2002-2011 uniform set. Due to a tweak in the non-conference scheduling rotation, this would be the last time they would meet in New England until 2016.
In 2008, they met in Seattle, the Patriots in their road white-over-navy pants, and the Seahawks wearing their gunmetal blue jerseys and pants we associate with them for that decade.
They met again in Seattle in 2012, after the Seahawks’ most recent Nike redesign, the Pats again in the same road uniforms with the Seahawks in the mono-navy look they prefer at home. This matchup is the exact same we expect for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Thanks, Rob! Great writeup. It hasn’t always been a great uni-rivalry, but those years when the Pats wore their red tops (or even the couple years with the red pants) were certainly colorful. Those matchups in the bright New England sun (as opposed to the concrete bowels of the Kingdome) were sure purdy. Probably that 2008 matchup, with the Seahawks in their prior set of “suicide blue,” was the worst matchup. Tomorrow’s game will look almost exactly like the final two photos above (minus the pink, thankfully). It won’t be the best looking matchup of all time, but it certainly won’t be the worst either.
If you want to graphically see how each uniform matchup in this series went, I’ve prepared a slideshow of the images Rob created. It’s below. If you can’t see slideshows on your device, then click here to view the set.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the annual uniform histories of both teams, so be sure to check back then.
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Football Scoreboards – Ninth in a Series
by Gary Chanko
This week the series lands in New Haven, Connecticut and the campus of Yale University’s historic football stadium, the Yale Bowl.
The Yale Bowl
Home of: Yale University Bulldogs (1950-1951), NFL New York Giants (1973-74), Connecticut Bicentennials (NASL) (1976”“1977)
First football game: 1914, Designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark: 1987
The historic Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field, celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014. It is one of college football’s oldest venues. When it opened for a football game against Harvard in November 1914 it was the largest athletic stadium on the planet. Its original 60,000 plus seats completely surrounded the field providing the spectators unobstructed views – oddly another football stadium first.
As the first bowl-shaped stadium, the Yale Bowl design provided inspiration for the future design of the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Michigan Stadium among others.
The illustration depicts the scoreboard as it appeared in 1958 (or shortly after) when electronics were added. It features an unusual vertical arrangement of the time clock. This scoreboard configuration, originally manual, was installed in 1937 in the north end zone. It reportedly featured a Western Union time clock before the electronic upgrade. The bowl’s original manual scoreboard was located on the visitors side opposite the press box.
Note: I searched exhaustedly for images of the pre-1958 scoreboards but was unsuccessful. Here’s the best I found. The scoreboard evolution timeline is also fuzzy. If you have links to photos, or other scoreboard facts please email me.
The stadium’s scoreboards, were always minimalist. The latest 2008 version, now in the South end zone, maintains the restrained tradition.
A Few Things to Know
• Bobby Hertz is an important name in Yale Bowl scoreboard history. No, he wasn’t involved in the design or directly involved in the manual operation during games. Known as the Human Semaphore, Bobby roamed the field for 54 seasons giving hand signals to the scoreboard operators. After Bobby Hertz death in 1957 a memorial fund was established that helped finance the electronics upgrade for the scoreboard. Today the Bobby Hertz Award is given to the outstanding freshman football player.
• Professional football debuted at the Bowl in the 1960 pre-season: Giants vs. Detroit. The Giants later called the Yale Bowl home for two seasons in the 70s.
• The Yale Bowl’s large capacity and location was well suited to host rock concerts. The events included The Grateful Dead, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Heart and more. The Little River Band (a personal favorite from Oz) played the last concert.
• Need more Yale Bowl facts? Head over here.
The next edition Classic Football Scoreboards will bring to a close this initial series. The series heads to Florida and the Orange Bowl for a look at the Super Bowl III scoreboard – a devastating picture of defeat for Baltimore Colts fans and a few gamblers.
Catchers and pitchers will report in a few short weeks and Spring Training is just around the corner. I’ll return then with a new series of Classic Baseball Scoreboards.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Here’s a pretty good article which asks, “Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?” (and it includes some good video footage of the Sox infamous shorts — so it’s worth checking out just for that). Thanks to Tim Dunn for the head-up. … Great photo of Lou Gehrig on his cell (wait…what?) — via Ace of MLB Stats. … The Tampa Rays will outfit 5,500 little leaguers with jerseys and caps this year. The “uniforms include 18 variations of Rays colors and styles to give the region’s young Little Leaguers a big league look.” … Sad site yesterday as Ernie Banks’ coffin was covered in a “14” blanket. … Our pal Leo Strawn, Jr. says “2015 MLB Opening Day logo. Looks more like an actual logo than a few elements thrown together, as had been the case (e.g., 2014).” … For all the
Padre baseball fans who want the Pads to return to brown in the future…we have this (potentially) great bit of news, which came in a Q&A yesterday (h/t Jared Buccola) — not sure exactly who said that or if it’s an exec, but it gives hope to those who’ve been clamoring for a return to one of their original colors. … Oooohhh, what’s old is new again – the 2015 Baseball America College Preview — love the ‘rups & Chucks! (h/t Jordan A.). … And speaking of “WOW” — check out this 1962 Hawaii Islanders road jersey (via @UniformCritic). … Mercer has got some new baseball jerseys and boy do they suck (thanks to Clint Richardson).
NFL News: One of the more annoying things (and there are plenty) leading up to the Supe is the annoying lack of attention to detail over the uniforms & helmets of the teams playing. Example one shows the Seahawks with a three-year old helmet, from NBC’s Today Show (thanks to Chris Stores); Example two is from ESPN Mobile, featuring the Seahawks with a white facemask (from Bill Kenney). … Here’s a spectacular NFL Films slideshow from Victory Journal (thanks, Paul). … The SFT Armored Chinstrap will be in action at the Supe (and here’s some more on that). Thanks to Mike Princip for the head’s up. … What would happen if you mashed up the logos of the Seahawks & Pats? This (from Joey Artigue). … Despite Paul’s wonderful coverage yesterday, apparently the Puppy Bowl is a sham. … When It Comes to Retail Sales… The New England Patriots Win (thanks to Tommy Turner). … 55 Years ago yesterday, the original Raiders logo was released (via @NY_Raider). … Even the produce sections are pulling for the ‘hawks (h/t Carina Holtby). … Did you ever wonder why Joe Montana isn’t wearing a 49ers jersey in that Papa John’s commercial? Here’s why (thanks, Brinke). … Whoever owns this VW Bug will probably need a new front scoop (engine’s in the back, ya know) after Sunday. I thought s/he could put the new score on the roof, but tis already taken (h/t to Josh Green). … Not sure where this is from, but this dude better hope the ‘hawks repeat (via RebelNutt18). … Here’s an article on why you shouldn’t be watching the Supe. … From yesterday’s Bill Simmons column: NFL-branded paper towels (from Mike Chamernik).
Basketball News: It isn’t often we put Police reports (APB?) in the ticker, but it’s good to know the Portland Police are hard at work solving important crimes. … UCLA will be breaking out their ’64/’65 throwbacks today vs. Colorado. Those unis will look like this. … Kevin Chumura noticed that Access Cavaliers was using an old and new Cavs jersey on the show background.
Hockey News: Here’s a pretty cool tee shirt design for the Penguins. Submitter Matthew Moss says, “I’m a Pens fan and comic book nerd, so I had to get one.” … Reader Miles Eakins writes, “I thought you and the readers would find this excerpt from a recent Puck Daddy Blog Post interesting: 1. NHL referees own two shirts, wear both during games, and then have to do their own laundry when arriving in each new NHL city. Like, literally getting quarters for the machine from the hotel’s front desk.”
Soccer News: “The German Bundesliga started up again (yester)day, after taking its traditional winter break, and VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich both wore black armbands to honor fallen Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda, who tragically passed away in an auto accident earlier this month at the age of 20,” writes James Roberts. “It was also the first competitive game since Bayern removed the gold FIFA World Club Cup Champion patch from their jersey, having relinquished the title to Real Madrid.”
Grab Bag: Because there aren’t enough logo mashups out there (/sarcasm), here’s a set of NBA videogame logo mashups (sent in by Patrick Walsh). … Did we ever mention that pink is a hot color these days? (thanks Cork). … OK this is AWESOME. Kenn Tomasch writes, “at the NFL Experience here in Phoenix the other day, I took a shot of my son, Zach, with his head in one of the full-size player displays they have scattered around the exhibit. I remembered I had taken a similar one of him back in 1994 when he was just a toddler. So here are the two shots. Not only has he grown (he’s a senior in college now), but you can see the difference in the Colts’ uniform over time. (The shoulder stripes, obvs, but the Nikelace and fabric and tightness of the jersey and the belt color.)” … Doug Keklak checks in with this bit of a team name controversy update. … There is now apparently a football jersey kit (as in, specific to football jerseys, not just a generic one). Way to capitalize on Supe Sunday (thanks to Michael Bialas). … At yesterday’s Phoenix Open, Jon Rahm was wearing a Pat Tillman jersey on the 16th tee (via Jordan Redman). … Taking Lifestyle Brand loyalty a bit too far: there’s a wanted man with a Nike swoosh shaved into his head. Idiot. … If you grew up in the ’80s, simply hearing “Starter Jacket” instantly evokes memories of atheletes and rappers flossing in the iconic satin outerwear. Well, that jacket is back (thanks to TommyTheCPA).
And that’s it for today folks. Enjoy the last day before the Supe, and be sure to check back tomorrow for some uni histories and more. Thanks to Gary for the Scoreboards, Rob for the historical uni matchups, and all you who tweet/submit.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“It’s good to see that the Puppy Bowl has gotten with the times and added neon trim to the MVP jersey.”