By Phil Hecken, with Timmy Brulia
With the Super Bowl kicking off today, I’m back once again with my buddy and Gridiron Uniform Database co-founder, Timmy Brulia, who has — as he has for the past several seasons — provided YEOMAN research into the uniforms worn by the two Super Bowl combatants. Today is Part II of the Rams uniform history — if you missed Part I, click here.
As mentioned yesterday, unlike past years, when I/we featured the uni histories of both teams, this is the third consecutive year the New England Patriots will be playing in the Super Bowl. If you’re interested in the history of the Pats unis, I direct you to last year’s Pats history. If we were to add the 2018 season to that post, it would read as such:
Today’s post covers the Rams unis from 1973 to the present. Yesterday we looked at the 1937-1972 uniforms.
All of this research has been painstakingly and lovingly worked into the aforementioned Gridiron Uniform Database (or GUD, for short), which readers of Uni Watch know is THE go-to site for NFL (and other football league) uniform histories. Each year, I ask Tim to please send me a year-by-year breakdown of the uniforms — then I go hunting for the photos which appear with the writeups (which takes me hours, but is honestly a labor of love). I can’t imagine how long it’s taken Tim to do the written research.
So without further ado, here’s Tim with the final part. Enjoy!
The Return of the Yellow
1973: Major changes. The yellow returns! The horns on the helmet are yellow for the first time since 1963. The blue jerseys are a wee bit lighter in hue than in recent years and feature a yellow v-neck and numbers. The sleeves feature a yellow ram horn design that begins at the armpit, encircles the shoulder and come to a point on the sleeve. The yellow TV numbers fit comfortably within the horn. The only thing white on the jersey is the nameplate. The white jersey has blue numbers, a blue v-neck and the ram horns on the sleeves in blue. The sleeves themselves are yellow. The pants are yellow with a blue/white/blue stripe pattern. The blue socks are adorned with two yellow stripes, the first time stripes appear on the socks in 28 years. The Rams even color coordinate the cleats, with blue cleats worn with the blue set and white shoes worn with the white set.
1994: Like all other squads, the Rams wear the NFL’s 75th season patch on the left collarbone. As part of the NFL celebration, the Rams wear throwbacks for Weeks 3 and 4, wearing the 1950-52 style yellow jersey with blue front and back numbers, blue northwestern sleeve stripes and a blue NOB. White pants with blue/yellow/blue stripes and solid blue socks.
The Move To St. Louis
1995: After playing in La La Land since 1946, the Rams move to St. Louis and the only change to the clothing is the blue socks going stripeless. It took several weeks, but with the 10/15 game, the Rams wore a patch commemorating their first season in St. Louis on the left collarbone of both sets.
Yellow Becomes Champagne Gold
2000: Bit of an overhaul of the unis for The Greatest Show on Turf. The yellow becomes a champagne gold and the blue goes a few shades darker. The blue jersey now features a gold neckline, gold front, back and shoulder numbers with white outline, white NOB, gold and white shoulder stripes that transition to gold side panels, a new Rams logo on the sleeves and a small Rams wordmark just below the neckline. The white jersey retains the blue neckline, blue front, back and shoulder numbers with gold outline, blue NOB, gold shoulder stripe that become side panels, blue sleeves with the Ram logo and a small Rams wordmark just under the neckline. The pants become gold with no striping and the socks remain a solid, though darker blue.
2008: A memorial patch for late owner Georgia Frontiere is worn on the left collarbone of both jerseys. For Week 1, a league-wide Gene Upshaw memorial patch is worn by the Rams on the right collarbone of the dark blue jersey. Four uni combos are worn: white/gold, white/blue, blue/white and blue/blue.
2012: The gold pants are discarded, resulting in four combos, plus the throwback. With Nike assuming the uniform supplier role for the NFL, the Rams adopt the so-called “flywire” collar on all three jerseys. The dark blue jersey sported commemorative patches on two occasions, an “International Series” patch for the Week 8 game in London, and a league-wide Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary patch worn in Weeks 14 and 15.
2015: In addition to the usual five combinations worn, the Rams – as part of the NFL’s Color Rush campaign for Thursday Night Football, wear an all-yellow uni for Week 15, with the jersey based on the blue throwback jersey, throwback yellow pants and full yellow socks and cleats.
Back To Los Angeles
2016: As the Rams return to Los Angeles, the same five outfits, plus this season’s color rush (Week 15) which feature the white/white combo, plus the helmet horns were switched to white and the socks were 100% white.
2017: A real hodgepodge here. The Rams, apparently itchy to drop the gold and go dark blue & white full time, switch the helmet horns to white and go with white pants with a single blue stripe and blue pants with a solo white stripe. BUT, the jerseys are unchanged (except for the elimination of the fly wire collar) and continue to sport gold trim! The normal four combos are worn, plus the yellow color rush uni and the throwbacks.
2018: With the Rams apparently not yet allowed to wear blue and white jerseys sans gold, the NFL allows the Rams to use the throwback set as their de facto home uniform. Meaning the dark blue jersey with white and gold trim is discarded. The yellow color rush is worn for two games and the white jerseys are worn with both white pants and dark blue pants. For Super Bowl LIII, as the home team, the Rams chose to wear their throwbacks, likely delighting the uni geeks among us.
Once again, Tim, HUGE thanks for all your assistance with this. Readers, please be sure to give Timmy a big thanks for both yesterday and today’s ledes in the comments below!
The Second 26 Super Bowl Matchups
With Super Bowl LIII kicking off today between the New England Patriots (their eleventh appearance!) and the Los Angeles Rams, we should get a pretty decent-looking matchup — not even close to the best (nor even a Top 10), but certainly not the worst. At one time, I’d have ranked the games, but since it’s all opinion (based in fact), I won’t rank the games — but I thought it would be cool to take a look at every match up we’ve seen so far.
Today (below) I will post photos from the second twenty-six Supes. If you missed it, yesterday I posted games I through XXVI. You can judge for yourself which game(s) looked the best (and feel free to rank any of the 26 below — or the 26 previously shown — in the comments). Click any photo to enlarge, and click the Super Bowl # for further information on each game. Here we go:
Super Bowl XXVII
Dallas Cowboys 52 – Buffalo Bills 17
Super Bowl XXVIII
Dallas Cowboys 30 – Buffalo Bills 13
Super Bowl XXIX
San Francisco 49ers 49 – San Diego Chargers 26
Super Bowl XXX
Dallas Cowboys 27 – Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Super Bowl XXXI
Green Bay Packers 35 – New England Patriots 21
Super Bowl XXXII
Denver Broncos 31 – Green Bay Packers 24
Super Bowl XXXIII
Denver Broncos 34 – Atlanta Falcons 19
Super Bowl XXXIV
St. Louis Rams 23 – Tennessee Titans 16
Super Bowl XXXV
Baltimore Ravens 34 – New York Giants 7
Super Bowl XXXVI
New England Patriots 20 – St. Louis Rams 17
Super Bowl XXXVII
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 – Oakland Raiders 21
Super Bowl XXXVIII
New England Patriots 32 – Carolina Panthers 29
Super Bowl XXXIX
New England Patriots 24 – Philadelphia Eagles 21
Super Bowl XL
Pittsburgh Steelers 21 – Seattle Seahawks 10
Super Bowl XLI
Indianapolis Colts 29 – Chicago Bears 17
Super Bowl XLII
New York Giants 17 – New England Patriots 14
Super Bowl XLIII
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 – Arizona Cardinals 23
Super Bowl XLIV
New Orleans Saints 31 – Indianapolis Colts 17
Super Bowl XLV
Green Bay Packers 31 – Pittsburgh Steelers 25
Super Bowl XLVI
New York Giants 21 – New England Patriots 17
Super Bowl XLVII
Baltimore Ravens 34 – San Francisco 49ers 31
Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle Seahawks 43 – Denver Broncos 8
Super Bowl XLIX
New England Patriots 28 – Seattle Seahawks 24
Super Bowl 50
Denver Broncos 24 – Carolina Panthers 10
Super Bowl LI
New England Patriots 34 – Atlanta Falcons 28
Super Bowl LII
Philadelphia Eagles 41 – New England Patriots 33
And there you have it. The second set of 26 Super Bowls. Which game looked best? Which looked worst? Tell us below in the comments!
Rams vs. Patriots Uni Matchups
When the Rams and Patriots meet up for Super Bowl 53, it will only be the 14th all-time meeting between the two teams (despite the Pats being in existence for almost 60 years and the Rams for much longer); one of those matchups occurred in Super Bowl XXXVI. As you all know, the Rams are designated the “home” team and have elected to wear their royal and gold “throwback” uniforms, while the Patriots will wear their regular white road uniforms (the matchup is approximated in the above graphic). It should be a decent-to-good looking game, but there have been better (and worse) matchups in the past. How have the teams fare in those and how did they look?
One of the many awesome features of the Gridiron Uniform Database (GUD) is the ability to track the two teams head-to-head games, and based on that, I was able to (mostly successfully) find photos from past games. The Patriots lead the Rams 8-5 in head-to-head games, including a victory over the Rams in Supe 36. Let’s take a look at all 13 past games…
September 29, 1974: Los Angeles Rams 14 – New England Patriots 20
The first ever meeting between these two teams resulted in a Pats win at home. Despite the awful carpet over poured cement playing surface, this was a gorgeous matchup — possibly the best looking of all their games.
November 16, 1980: Los Angeles Rams 17 – New England Patriots 14
The Rams would win the next matchup, also in Foxboro. This time around, the Patriots wore white jerseys at home, along with their red pants. Another stellar uni hookup.
December 11, 1983: New England Patriots 21 – Los Angeles Rams 7
The first game out west (this one in Anaheim) would see the Rams in blue/gold with the Pats in all white.
November 16, 1986: New England Patriots 30 – Los Angeles Rams 28
Another game out west (Anaheim, again) would again see the Patriots victorious on the road, with the boys from New England wearing white jerseys and red pants. One could argue this was the best uni matchup of the series (and how great would it be if Supe 53 could look like this?).
December 24, 1989: Los Angeles Rams 24 – New England Patriots 20
In 1989, the teams would meet again in New England, with the Rams continuing the trend of winning on the road in games between the two teams.
September 13, 1992: New England Patriots 0 – Los Angeles Rams 14
Another glorious uni-matchup! The Rams would gain their first ever home victory vs. the Patriots in 1992, with one last wearing of the Pats in red pants.
December 13, 1998: New England Patriots 18 – St. Louis Rams 32
The next time the teams would meet, six years later, the game would be in the Rams new home city of St. Louis. The Rams were in the penultimate season wearing royal/gold, and the Pats would in their “transitional” uni set that bridged the gap between their original red/white and current navy/silver set.
November 18, 2001: St. Louis Rams 24 – New England Patriots 17
The teams would actually meet twice during the 2001 season — this game, won by the “Greatest Show on Turf” and the Super Bowl rematch (which would take place in 2002). This was a night game in Foxboro, and both teams were in their “current” uni sets. Note the awful side panels which were present in the first iteration of the Rams navy/metallic gold unis.
February 3, 2002: Super Bowl XXXVI — St. Louis Rams 17 – New England Patriots 20
The rematch from earlier in the season — the Supe — feature the teams in identical unis as they’d worn during the regular season. Only the result was different.
November 7, 2004: New England Patriots 40 -St. Louis Rams 22
With the league now at 32 teams, conferences would end up playing every team in the opposing division/conference every 4 years. The first of these would take place in 2004 in St. Looey, this time with the Rams wearing blue tops and metallic gold pants. This was probably the best looking matchup of the “current” uniform sets.
October 26, 2008: St. Louis Rams 16 – New England Patriots 23
Back in Foxboro, the Pats wore their standard home unis, but this time the Rams went with blue pants.
October 28, 2012: “International Series” New England Patriots 45 – St. Louis Rams 7
The 2012 matchup between the two teams would occur neither in St. Louis nor Foxboro, but in London, England, at Wembley Stadium, with the Rams designated the home team. It gave the Americans a chance to show the Brits (and the world) a truly awful uni matchup, with both teams sporting navy pants (and the Rams going mono-blue).
December 4, 2016: Los Angeles Rams 10 – New England Patriots 26
The final meeting between these teams before Supe 53 took place in Foxboro, and the Pats again emerged victorious. It would be the third (and hopefully final) time the Rams would wear blue pants against the Pats.
So, there’s your uni “history” for the Rams and Patriots. Thankfully the Rams have chosen to wear their throwbacks for Super Bowl LIII — it may not be the best looking game ever between the two teams, but it should still look pretty nice.
And now a few words from Paul: Hi there. In case you missed it, I’ve had a bunch of Super Bowl-related content in the past few days:
• Here’s my annual Uni Watch Super Bowl Preview, with lots of uni-related tidbits about the big game.
• Yesterday on the blog, we took a look at the very odd shoes that Rams running back Wendell Tyler wore in Super Bowl XIV.
That’s it. Enjoy your weekend!
for the Ticker
Sometimes, folks just outdo themselves.
That’s certainly the case with today’s TGFTT.
Check out the backyard “field” created by Andrew Shehorn, who created his own Super Bowl LIII field, replete with endzone and midfield logos.
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: The Supe may be on everyone’s mind today, but baseball (and pitchers & catchers!) isn’t far away. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this beautiful vintage photo of Shea Stadium. No date, but it’s gotta be close to its construction having been completed (from Jeff Flynn). … Check out this classic commercial, you can tell the footage of Ralph Kiner is from 1951 by the NL 75th Anniversary Patch on his left sleeve (from Bruce Menard). … If you look closely, you’ll see different helmet and cap W’s in this picture from the 1973 WKU baseball team (from C-USA Refs). Helmet W’s look like the “Wilson” logo, and one of the caps looks like a Washington Senators curly w! … In case you missed it, the Oakland A’s released a spring training cap featuring a white elephant, which harkens back to one worn on their unis in the 1920s (from Brinke). … Here’s a sneak peak of some of the Astros items that will be displayed in the Astros HOF (from Ignacio Salazar). … Roger Clemens wore a Red Sox jersey and played in the UT Alumni game with sons Kacy and Kody (from Mike Barnes via Paul). … Oregon baseball and softball have some new white unis (from Go Ducks).
NFL News: Thankfully (as we all know), the Rams had to receive special dispensation from the NFL to wear their throwback unis today for the Supe. Here’s a bit more on that “broken” rule (and some footwear rules as well). … My pal Jacob Bogage from the Washington Post did a nice, deep dive (WaPo link) on the Rams uni history, and Paul is quoted throughout. … More Rams trivia: Chris Lewis writes, “The NFL Rams were named after the Fordham Rams (yes I am an alum and played football there!). Also, I always love the other great Fordham Super Bowl connections: the trophy is named after alum Vince Lombardi, and the ball is emblazoned with “the Duke”, in honor of another alum Wellington Mara.” … The NFL’s ongoing effort to combat concussions may be yielding some success. … Everyone loves (the) LA (Rams), especially LA firefighters. … From our own Yianni Varonis, Sports Illustrated wrote a fascinating expose on the process by which a cow becomes a football. … Did you know there are going to be male cheerleaders at the Super Bowl today? Not everyone is happy about that. … Have you ever wondered how the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy makes its way to the field? Here’s a look at the trophy’s long journey to Super Bowl LIII (from James Gilbert). … Colorizer and pal John Turney posted some of his work on the 1937, 1938 & 1939 as well as 1945, 1949 & 1951 Rams unis. He also colorized the 1963 roadies, and the 1939, 1946, & 1959 home unis. Also, here’s a look at the first year with horns, and blue with no white trim. Here’s the numerals trimmed in white. … “A little something from the ‘82 @NFL sticker album,” says Eric Gamborg, who asks, “Now, is it me, or is the background photo for the @RamsNFL a negative? The colors on the helmet & pants appear to be inverted.”
College/High School Football News:There’s a new look in 2019 for Hamlin High School (SD) football, which will feature a custom lighting bolt stripe along with pride stickers on one side and player number on other. Previous seasons show old “H” logo w/ player number on back or side and old stripe (from Chris Lather).
Hockey News: The Calgary Hitmen are playing 3 games in February at the 69 year old Stampede Corral arena, notes Wade Heidt. “During those 3 games, they will wear the uniforms of former Calgary teams that called the arena their home. A combination throwback involving old uniforms and an old arena. They dressed as the Calgary Centennials on Friday night. The Centennials were Calgary’s major junior hockey team in The Dub (then called the WCHL) from 1966-1977. They even went into small detail such as changing the helmet sticker to the Cents logo.” … Here’s an interesting story on a Brett Hull jersey (from Eric Spoonmore). … There was purple ice for last night’s Cincy Cyclones “Fight Cancer” night yesterday (from Bill Fenbers). … Check this out: German hockey team comes out in unis designed by children (from J.W. Cannon). … Last evening the San Diego Gulls wore “pink in the rink” jerseys (from Gregory Smith).
NBA News: Our own Lloyd Alaban writes, “My Fox affiliate (KTVU) is still using the old NBA logo with the old font and old colors.” … In the days before Super Bowl LIII, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James both donned black Colin Kaepernick jerseys ahead of their games as takes have heated up about the blackballed quarterback.
College Hoops News: The Youngstown State University ladies wore pink uniforms yesterday in their matchup against Detroit Mercy, who wore blue, creating a color vs. color game (from Robert Hayes). … FSU’s Terance Mann ripped his jersey in frustration after missing a layup in the 2nd half against Georgia Tech. According to submitter James Gilbert (and confirmed by the video announcers), that’s his third ripped jersey this season. … Last night, Pitt & Syracuse played at the Petersen Event Center. Pitt played in throwback tops. Graphics matched (second link from Noah Kastroll). It was a nice color vs. color affair (from Robert Hayes). They really were some good looking unis. … “With waistband roll being a recent trend, LSU player versus Arkansas doubles down with a waist and double leg roll to create some really short hip huggers,” notes Tim Walsh. “Second photo is for perspective on what the normal shorts look like.” I’m guessing Jimmer Vilk approves but still doesn’t think the rolled shorts are “short” enough.
Soccer News: Here’s a look at this weeks Premier League kit matchups, including those from yesterday’s matches (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, Cardiff City FC honored Emiliano Sala on their kits yesterday, Sala is a new signing who was on a plane that disappeared with him on it. Here’s a bit more on that (from Mark Coale. … The Las Vegas Lights FC have painted pink lines on their pitch (from Josh Hinton). … More from Josh: The USA 2019 Women’s World Cup Home Kit will feature all 50 State names. … Still more from Josh: here’s a look at the new Columbus Crew shirt. … Ed Żelaski writes, “it appears that @LVBETpl updated their logo, which means their ad on Wisła Kraków’s shirt has changed. New on left, old on right.” … 1868 FC reveals new uniforms,
Sponsorship advertiser agreement
Grab Bag: The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Salukis will be getting a new logo on February 28th (from Nick Yelverton). … There’s a new addition to this year’s Loyola Lacrosse helmets as their players rep their home states, provinces and nations (from Loyola Men’s Lacrosse). … Not sports related, but still pretty cool: check out these vintage pics of postal workers from back in the day. … Did you know NASCAR has Hall of Fame jackets? Now you do (from James Gilbert).