Welcome news today out of the Meadowlands, where the Giants are announcing the release of a new throwback uniform. The design, which was produced by the front office with equipment manager Jackie Miles, is based on what the team wore from 1980 through 1999. It will be worn for two home games this season — against the Bears on Oct. 2 (because the Giants beat the Bears in the playoffs during their 1990 Super Bowl run) and against the Commanders on Dec. 4 (because they beat Washington in the playoffs during their 1986 Super Bowl run).
Here are some additional views:
Now, you may be thinking, “This is just the blue version of the white Color Rush uni they’ve already been wearing.” And while that’s sorta/kinda true, it’s more complex than that. Let’s take a look at the new throwback, one element at a time.
Due to the one-shell rule, the Color Rush helmet has always been the team’s standard headgear with retro ornamentation. But with the rule now lifted, the Giants will be using a darker navy-like shade of blue for the throwback helmet. (The Color Rush uni will remain in the team’s wardrobe, so the Giants will now have four uni options: primary blue, primary white, CR, and throwback.)
This makes the Giants the eighth NFL team so far to add a second helmet color for 2022. The other seven are the Eagles (black alternate), Falcons (red throwback), Patriots (white throwback), Saints (black alternate), Commanders (black alternate), Texans (red alternate), and Panthers (black alternate). In addition, we know the Bengals will be unveiling a white alternate soon.
Like the Color Rush helmet, the throwback helmet will have era-appropriate numbers on the back:
One thing that isn’t historically accurate but is nonetheless interesting: Back in the 1980s and ’90s, the “Giants” wordmark on the side of the helmet was printed on a rectangular decal with white lettering on a clear background. But thanks to modern decal technology, the lettering is now die-cut, with no background, so it pops a bit more. The Color Rush helmet has had this die-cut lettering, and the throwback helmet will have it as well.
As explained by Giants creative services director Doug Murphy: “The clear layer that you see on the die-cut logo is transfer tape. You peel off the backing, align the logo and the top clear transfer tape on the helmet, and press down. Then you remove the top transfer tape and you’re left with the wordmark on the helmet.”
Wondering why they’re not doing this with the rear helmet numbers? “Die-cutting is more difficult with small items that have thick and thin areas,” says Murphy. “So we decided to keep that as a clear-backed rectangular decal, as it was back in the day.”
Just like the Color Rush jersey, the new throwback has old-school knit ribbing on the collar. (It also has one of those inner-collar slogans, but of course that won’t be visible on the field.)
Also: The CR jersey, like the team’s primary white and blue jerseys, has the little “ny” logo on the chest. The new blue throwback jersey doesn’t have that.
And here’s an interesting wrinkle: The CR jerseys used the team’s old 1980s and ’90s NOB font. But while doing research for the new throwback, Murphy noticed that three letters in the CR alphabet — C, G, and S — weren’t historically accurate.
In order to address this problem, the Giants had Nike revise those three letters to create a more historically accurate alphabet.
The pants are essentially the same as the CR design. But just as the throwback helmet is a different shade of blue than the CR helmet, the throwback pants have slightly more vibrant shades of red and blue than the CR pants.
For those keeping score at home, here are the Pantone values (the CR hues are also the ones used for the team’s primary uniforms):
While the CR socks are white, the throwback socks are blue/white. Or at least that’s the idea — as we all know by know, NFL players tend to freestyle a lot with their hosiery.
The Giants plan to dress their sideline staff in retro attire for the two throwback games. They’ll also use a retro end zone design, based on the one used in Super Bowl XXI.
That about covers it. I’m admittedly a bit biased, because I grew up rooting for this uniform and have always loved it. But even if you don’t have an emotional connection to Big Blue, I think most uni fans would agree that this unveiling qualifies as very good news indeed.