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Jets Unveil ‘NY Sack Exchange’ Throwback, Confirming Earlier Leak

Last week, a four-second video snippet suggested that the Jets had a “New York Sack Exchange” throwback in the works. Today that leak was confirmed, as the Jets went ahead and unveiled their new retro uni.

The new throwback, which hearkens back to what the team wore from 1978 through 1989, will be worn for two games:

  • Sept. 11 (the season opener, and a Monday night), against the Bills.
  • Oct. 1 (a Sunday night), against Kansas City.

Per the team’s announcement, the throwback helmet logo will appear at midfield for those games, and the team will also use throwback end zone designs.

As you can see in the photo above, the Jets are using their existing primary green helmet with retro graphics. The primary shade of green isn’t quite historically accurate, but the team apparently feels that it’s close enough, and I agree — it looks better than I expected. (The Jets already have a black alternate helmet, and current NFL rules allow only two shells, so using the existing green shell was their only option.)

Honestly, I never loved this uniform (I prefer the Namath-era design), but it’s sooooo much better than their current primary look, so that’s a plus. Here’s a rear view:

And here’s a full-body view, showing the socks:

Generally speaking, they seem to have done a good job with these, with one exception: The original TV numbers were huge, and they’ve chosen not to duplicate that look:

Lots of additional photos here:


It’s not clear, at least to me, why they’ve chosen to go with a white throwback jersey instead of green. But Gang Green hasn’t been very green lately — they wore their primary green jerseys only one time last season — so maybe the white throwback is just part of that larger development. (Update: As several reader/commenters have pointed out, the Jets wore white at home from 1985 through ’89, so that may explain it. Still, they wore green at home for more seasons than that, so it still seems like a weird choice.)

As I’ve done with other NFL teams unveiling new throwbacks this season, I’ll be doing a deep dive this week on the Jets uniforms that inspired this retro uni. It’ll be on my Substack on Wednesday or Thursday. As always, you can subscribe here.

Meanwhile: the Jets’ unveiling announcement also included the news that they’ll wear their black alternates when hosting the Dolphins on Nov. 24 — Black Friday.

Next up in the NFL queue: the Broncos, who are scheduled to unveil their new alternate helmet tomorrow.


Comments (78)

    These are definitely an improvement over the current set but the Jets only look like the Jets in the Namath unis.

    Agree to disagree. As someone born in the mid-’80s, this is the Jets to me. Couldn’t be happier with this.

    I agree but Nike can’t seem to get the Namath shoulder striping quite right so these will do.

    I prefer the Namath era ones too, but even when the Jets went back to those uniforms in 1998, they didn’t get the shade of green correct, and they didn’t get the number fonts correct. The Jets jerseys in the Namath era were first made by sand knit, then when they switched to mesh by Champion, but the number 2’s had that slant to it, kind of flashy looking, especially on Joe Willie. And in 1998 they went with standard block numbers and didn’t use the fonts from the Namath era. Namath wore block style numbers when he first played with the Jets, but most people consider a throwback uniform what they wore in Super Bowl 3.

    I totally agree with you. These are far superior to the current unis. What is it with all these teams rebranding into horrible uniforms? Jets, Rams, Falcons, Commanders, etc.

    Look at the Falcons, they have many outstanding uniforms they could have chosen, I mean it’s hard to screw up red and black on a uniform, and the best they could come up with is that horrible gradient uniform? Whoever signed off on that uniform should never be allowed to make a uniform decision again? I believe Paul coined the term dishwater grey for the Rams, again, the Rams had may options to come up with something great with those colors, their gold 1994 throwbacks looked good, and they give the fans that dirty grey? When you rebrand a uniform and the new uniform is a significant downgrade from the old one, that is a failure on the team’s part. When you see how great the new throwbacks have been, I think teams will feel more pressure to get it right.

    Yup, right on the money. At least the Browns corrected their horrible look by going back to the retro style unis.

    Additional comment worth mentioning: it’ll probably be fixed in time for the first game/was likely just a photoshoot snafu, but they gave Aaron Rodgers a kicker’s facemask. It’s a KOP instead of his usual ROPO-SW.

    Just curious: Are the standard QB/RB/DB face masks, or “cages” as we called them in high school, still referred to as “monkey jaws?” Or was that a NYC thing?

    Cue the standard “I wish they’d make this the primary uni” comment. Because every throwback that has been introduced is generally better than the team’s current set.

    Yep, it’s true though. Only exceptions I can think of are the Saints, Vikings and 49ers. Not that those throwbacks are bad, just that their primaries are also quite nice. Bucs, Dolphins, Falcons, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Titans/Oilers, Seahawks should all make the throwbacks the primaries.

    For the Titans, they should implement the Oilers uniforms minus the helmet since there is nothing “Oiler specific” on the jersey or pants. Then create a new helmet with those colors but a Tennessee specific logo.

    For the Giants, idk if it really counts. The color rush is kind of a throwback but so is the primary white. I’d keep all 3 sets but I’d make the current color rush/throwback as the primary white shirt and only where the red/white shirt once or twice a season.

    Honorable mention to the Steelers too. Change the number font back to the non-slanted font from the 70s. Not a huge change, most probably won’t notice, but I think it looks better. Not sure if that counts as full throwback though.

    I’m extremely pleased with this uniform as a Jets fan. I agree with Paul that the Namath-era look is best, but I’d happily replace the current set with this one.

    I like the Namath era and this one almost equally.
    So let me be the first person to say, “Make either the 1993 or 1994 fauxback the primary uni!”

    I prefer the Namath era too, but these are much better than what the Jets wear now, and they did a great job getting the number fonts correct. I just showed my mother the new Jets uniforms, she said out of all the teams my father played for in a 10-year career, her favorite uniform he ever wore was that Namath era Jets uniform, I hated to disagree with her but mine was his 68 Patriots. I can’t wait to see some of these great throwback uniforms on TV this season, this will be as fun as the 1994 season.

    The Titans should keep these throwbacks, go to a light blue helmet like they had in 1972-73 and just put a Titans logo on the side. I know it wouldn’t be exactly what Jimmer would want, but if they did the red and white helmet stripes it would be close. And the Titans would be wearing one of the best uniforms in the NFL.

    I just can’t understand what is happening with the Eagles. When will they unveil the kelly greens?

    Nike made a very close approximation to the Champion number font that was used for most of the time the Jets wore this design.

    Given how plain this set is, the gigantic Champion numbers are as salient a feature as anything. And they did a respectable job. Doesn’t look like they went with the wider, rounding Champion NOB font but you can’t tell from the name “HALL”.
    I was a baby during the end of the Namath Era years, so this is what I think of when I think of the Jets. Their current set would be fine if they ditched the BFBS and weird chest stripes.

    Let me be the one millionth person to say that these should just be their regular uniforms.

    The Jets wore white as their primary home jersey from 1985-1989, but that was a bit after the NY sack exchange era. Not sure why they did white either.

    Jim, I would not be doing my job right as CUUW correspondent (Canadian University Uni Watch) if we didn’t share the old proper size shoulder number for McGill University in the 1980s.


    The Jets wore white at home 1985-89 so maybe that is why the throwback jersey is white.

    These throwbacks affirm my belief belief the current helmets would look much better with white facemasks. Honestly? I don’t hate the Jets current uniform set (aside from the awful black Unis/helmet).

    Wouldn’t it be great if the Jets/Giants both wear their retro combos when they play in the pre-season?

    Would be funny if a Giants player went all out with the Jim Burt look with shoelaces holding the side panels together LOL

    Even better if they play in preseason with throwbacks and also add the old red “New Jersey Meadowlands” logo at midfield!

    That would be epic! And, maybe the Jets office will think that switching to white facemasks with their current set would be a BIG improvement. Their new set is growing on me the more I see it on the field. The whole BFBS crap has got to go though. Not sure why Nike keeps cramming that down everyone’s throats? It’s 2023 Nike. Not 1995 (that was said in my Deadpool sarcastic voice LOL)

    Finally! Well executed.
    I’m OK with the Jets keeping these as just an alt option for now (we’re going into year 5 of the current flawed sets – fingers crossed!)…but I wish they could dump the current helmet decal for this one.

    Hate this uniform. So many bad memories. Of course, as a Jets fan there are lots of those, regardless of the uni.

    Broncos tomorrow, Eagles next Tuesday. We’ll see if the Bills pull out a surprise and we’re waiting on the Steelers too.

    The “Sack Exchange” look isn’t the greatest look, I still prefer the Broadway Joe set but this is a vast improvement on what the Jets currently have. The helmet is an interesting choice but as you explained makes sense since teams can only have two shells. Given those constraints I would have liked to have seen them go with the 1990-97 look where the green changed and they used a black facemask. It was solid look but given how awful the Jets were during that period it’s understandable why they’d pass on it. However conjuring up memories of Keyshawn Johnson and Wayne Chrebet might not be the worst move ever.

    I’m also puzzled like other posters as to why they went with white instead of green. I know they traditionally wore green at home during the first half of the uniform’s existence, 1978-1984, and then went to white during the second half, 1985-1989.

    I love that the entire alternate uniform program is now just bringing back the late 80s. A lot of us have been saying this is what needs to happen.

    The NFL right around 1988-1989 looked about as good as ever. 1990 we started seeing a few changes then everything had gone nuts by the end of the decade.

    I wish the NFL would give teams the choice to wear the alternate uniforms for four games, maybe teams could add another jersey that way, those new Jet uniforms would also look great in kelly green.

    The field art is the most interesting to me. I believe they haven’t had their own logo at midfield during my entire fandom, which goes back to the 80s. It was always either the nfl logo or the meadowlands logo.Matt Straub

    As long as they’re sharing with the Giants, they’re not going to have a midfield logo.
    Unless… the groundskeepers want to harken back to Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium and put the Jets and Giants helmets at midfield.

    That’s great. But, the Meadowlands logo at mid-field would be a nice touch for the throwback Giants games.

    Why is there an old man wearing #8 in the photos? How’d he make it past security?

    3 games above .500 in the years wearing these under Walt Michaels and Joe Walton. Ahh, the memories… :-P

    With all of these throwbacks being just about universally lauded, do you think it gives Nike pause as to what consumers may actually want in a football uniform, or is the Nike “philosophy” (whatever it happens to be) too big to stop & reflect and/or change course?

    It’s gotta kill some of the designers to put out uniforms that get trashed, and then have to see designs they didn’t create get all this love. Doesn’t it?


    Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a numbers issue. Either a. Nike is not getting the sales number they’re hoping for or B. They see an additional revenue stream by bringing the classic fans back.

    This current set is not well liked. When the Jets announced their uniform combos weekly on FB and Insta 1/3-1/2 of the comments would be about bringing back the classic unis. It’s a bad sign and when you’d look around the stands at cames, there’s not many new style jerseys.

    Is it me (or maybe the helmet), or does the helmet logo appear arched? It wasn’t in the Sack Exchange era.

    This is the best Jets Logo ever… I love the sillouette of the Jet coming off the J, instead of just a generic team name and football. Wish they’d switch to this Logo permantly.

    Love this – if they can’t/won’t throw back to the Namath uni’s these are a great choice. NOW, if they don’t precipitously creep into the Boomer-era look with the black accents (the not-too-subtle beginning of their BFBS journey) it’s a win.
    Aaaaand….if they do ditch the current set (pleasepleaseplease) and transition to this look and add the green version, one can hope that there are NO GREEN PANTS.


    Agreed. Neither home nor away.
    Some teams absolutely need to have the road pants match the helmets (KC, Santa Clara, ’72 Oilers). Some teams (Jets, Vikings, Bears*) don’t.

    *Bears actually look good with blue pants on the road. They’re one of the very few that look equally good either way.

    Actually the green pants only existed on the 90-97 look so it wouldn’t be part of the throwback

    I remember these with thicker sleeve stripes. Did they also wear them thinner some years? If not, these miss the mark for me.


    They mixed/matched two different jersey sets — some with thicker stripes, some with thinner.

    I’ll have more on this in my Substack deep dive later this week.

    Looking forward to it. The Jets usually had screened on graphics, not twill on these…they did use twill when they were unveiled though.


    For a long suffering Jet fan..this is Christmas in July. So happy about this. I’m glad the Jets are finally recognizing the old logo from the 80s on the helmet. And kudos to the NFL for finally allowing teams to wear more than one helmet so we can can have all these amazing throwback combinations this coming season.

    Man, that helmet logo is so much better than any they’ve ever had. I really hate the logo with the football in it, it looks dumb.

    These look fantastic. If you took all of the elements I hate from their current set and replaced them with something classic, you’d pretty much have this.

    “As you can see in the photo above, the Jets are using their existing primary green helmet with retro graphics. The primary shade of green isn’t quite historically accurate, but the team apparently feels that it’s close enough, and I agree — it looks better than I expected.”

    This is how I feel about the Giants using their standard helmet shell for the retro-inspired Color Rush. Even though the navy helmet is more accurate historically, I think the current shade is much nicer. I really wish they would use it for the blue throwbacks as well, even if I understand why they don’t.

    Dear Jets,

    Drop the black, all of it. Use white face masks with your current set like these throwbacks, and you’ve got a quality modern set.

    I was just about to say the same thing, the Jets should drop black from the uniform. Some teams look good with three colors, the Jets are better with green and white, they have a classy look. Remember in the early 80’s the Colts had light gray pants and added a grey center stripe on their white jerseys? those were a mess; they look better just blue and white.

    Gorgeous. The larger green collars thanks to the new Nike template give it a real varsity feel.

    Giants fan here, but I like this look too. As mentioned, Jets wore green jerseys with this at home from 1978-84, but went with the white from ‘85-‘89. Interested in the Substack article, but a story I heard was owner Leon Hess wanted a “cleaner” look with the white, plus the green & white colors matched the Hess gas stations. When new management came on in 1990 (GM Dick Steinberg), they went back to wearing green at home, plus added the green pants, black face masks & black jersey & helmet trim (not good, in my opinion) from through 1997.

    Namath-era is my favorite Jets uniform but this one is a close seconf because of the great Jets logo on the helmet. Their current set and logo are very saddening.

    Namath-era is my favorite Jets uniform but this one is a close second because of the great Jets logo on the helmet. Their current set and logo are very saddening.

    Are my eyes fooling me or is Rodgers holding a punter/kicker face mask in the promo? Never seen him with that particular face mask.

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