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Monday Morning Uni Watch: 2023, Week 8

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Good morning! Hope everyone had a good weekend, as I did. I’ll have more to say about that in a separate post later this morning.

Now then: The Houston Oilers were back on the field yesterday — or at least their uniforms were, as the Titans finally broke out their Oilers throwbacks. I know some people don’t think the Titans should be allowed to wear these, but I’m fine with it, and I thought the throwbacks looked great yesterday (especially when compared to Tennessee’s usual look, which is among the worst in the league). Lots of additional photos here and here.

The weird thing, as you can see in the photo above, is that the visiting Falcons wore black, creating a rare non-Color Rush color-vs.-color game. Here are some video clips, which also provide views of the throwback midfield logo and end zones:

I texted Jonathan Wright, the NFL’s Senior Director for Uniforms and On-Field Products (as you may recall, I did a really fun interview with him last year), to ask why this game was color/color. Here’s his response:

“Color on color games are now allowable. This started in 2015 [the year Color Rush started — PL], but they’re rarely requested/used. There have been a few instances over the past few years. There were none last year, but in 2020, for example, Tampa Bay wore pewter and Denver wore orange.

“If the visiting team requests to wear team color for a specific game (assuming the home team has chosen a color jersey), there is an approval process that takes place in order to make sure there is enough contrast for fans and broadcast partners, and that there are no issues for our fans who may have a color-deficiency concern.”

Honestly, I had no idea about this. I do remember that Bucs/Broncos game from 2020, but the Bucs were wearing their Color Rush uni, so I thought that game the game got some sort of waiver.

I asked Gridiron Uniform Database researcher Bill Schaefer if there have been any games since 2015 in which neither team was wearing a Color Rush uni. His response: “The only instance that comes to mind is when Seattle wore their wolf grey, usually against Arizona in Arizona. Seahawks’ grey was never designated CR since they had their neon-green CRs.”

Sure enough, there have been a lot of those games in which the Seahawks and Cards went grey vs. red (or, in one instance, grey vs. black) — in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. I didn’t realize the Seahawks had made such a habit of wearing that uni in Arizona!

But getting back to our main point, these grey/red games barely seem like color/color, because Seattle’s grey is so light that it’s basically a proxy for white. Yesterday’s Tennessee/Atlanta game was a true color/color matchup, and both teams were wearing conventional color-over-white combos yesterday — no Color Rush, no mono. When’s the last time that happend?

Update: Reader/commenter Zali Arnold came up with a legit example: Cowboys/Chargers going blue vs. blue in 2017. And reader/commenter Jordan Haworth pointed out last season’s Cowboys/Bears game.

In other news from around the league yesterday:

  • The Seahawks debuted their new throwbacks. I thought they looked great, but Phil mentioned something interesting to me during the game: “It’s so weird to see those Seahawks unis in the sun! I know they’ve worn them outdoors before, but almost every memory I have of them is from the dreary and dank Kingdome.” Interesting point — here’s how it looked, along with their throwback field, throwback helmet cart, and Kingdome-themed scoreboard graphics (additional photos here):

  • In that same game, Seahawks kicker Jason Myers appeared to be hitting the smelling salts before a potential kick near the end of the first half (some quick research indicates that he did something similar in 2019):
  • This was also the third consecutive home game in which the Seahawks didn’t wear their usual mono-navy combo. This streak began in Week 3, when they wore white at home for the first time ever. After two road games and a bye week, they then went navy over grey last week. And now the throwbacks. When’s the last time they went three straight home games without going mono-navy? (Their next home game is Nov. 12 against the Commies.)
  • There was still more nostalgia on display in Miami, where the Dolphins wore throwbacks and played on a retro-styled field (additional photos here):
  • In that same game, the Patriots wore their grey/silver pants for the second consecutive week (here’s hoping they’ve scrapped the mono-blue look for good!):
  • The Eagles went white over green — a combo I really like — for the first time this season, while the Commies went mono-maroon — a combo I really dislike (additional photos here):

  • The Ravens and Cardinals went white blood cells vs. red blood cells (game photos here):

  • Just one team wore white at home: the aforementioned Dolphins.

Looking ahead to tonight: The Lions will debut their new alternate helmet.

(My thanks to Joe Bailey, Brett Baker, Matt Newman, our own Jerry Wolper, and Phil for their contributions to this report.)



Can of the Day

In addition to being a very nice design, this is also a can on a can on a can! A great example of the Droste effect.

Comments (69)

    I can think of one other true color vs. color game since 2015. Nov 23, 2017 (Thanksgiving), Cowboys went blue against Chargers powder.

    Browns at Broncos, 11/3/19. Yes, Browns were mono, and they had redesignated that set as their primaries, but still totally CR. I do like that contrast.


    Every single one of these throwbacks is a vast improvement over the current ones, they should all go back permanently – Jets, Eagles, Bucs, Seahawks, Dolphins, Falcons, Pats, hell even turn them into the TN Oilers!

    I wonder why the Falcons would have requested to wear their black jerseys? Seems a bit random. But based on your interview, that’s what kicked off the whole color vs. color situation?

    Could the Titans have made the request to the NFL (Atlanta would of course have to be good sports about it) to optimize the optics with their own self-interest in mind to make this a good-looking a match-up as possible?
    The game would not have had the desired contrast had the Falcons worn all-white.

    Would have been nice had the Falcons wore their gorgeous throwbacks and red helmet. Would have been the best looking game of the year.

    Ugh, Tennessee put the throwback Oilers logo at midfield, but still used the modern Titans number font to mark the yard lines….

    To me, the overall look of the Seahawks throwbacks was ruined by so many players having their undershirts hanging below the jerseys. Is this a trend that will fade away or is it here to stay (like baseball pajama pants)? My my, hey hey.

    For what it’s worth, “pyjama” pants aren’t nearly as prevalent in the MLB as the UW comment section would have you believe.

    Unless of course I’m misunderstanding – to me, pyjama pants are those that are wide at the bottom. If most people think it includes any non-high sock look, then I’m wrong.

    I believe most folks refer to pants that are full length and show no sock as pajamas. Nowadays, the boot cut look is rare (usually pitchers), but I believe any look where the pants go down to the shoetops is called pajama-style, at least round these here parts.

    Those Seahawks uniforms were fantastic. Wonder if the colors are still the same color code as what was used in the 80’/90″s? They looked more vibrant. Could be a combination of the sun/these HD TV’s.

    My cousin and I were texting the same comments back and forth. It probably helped that it was a sunny day. I do think the helmets were more reflective. To me it looked they had metallic flake in them.

    Overall a really good look. I am not sure I would want them moving back to them all the time, but certainly great as an occasional throwback.

    They look very close to the same color code, except that the old pants had a silvery tone, and the throwbacks are just grey. Still a very effective repro.

    The sunny day definitely helped make them pop. Phil’s Kingdome comment is a fair observation, though the Seahawks did play in the blue/silver kit at Husky Stadium in 2000 and 2001.

    I looked forward all week to two specific games:

    One was Seattle-Cleveland. The Seahawks looked gorgeous, did not disappoint one bit. Cleveland nearly ruined it with their brown pants. (Two days from Halloween, why wouldn’t the Browns wear as much orange as possible?)

    The other was Tennessee-Atlanta. The Titans/Oilers looked gorgeous, did not disappoint one bit. Atlanta nearly ruined it by looking like Atlanta, although the color vs. color was unique. (What did somewhat ruin it was CBS putting Beth Mowins on play-by-play. Her voice is so bad, I had to mute the entire game.)

    Speaking of contrast, tonight’s game is just brutal! This may be a record for least contrast in NFL history!

    “Color on color games are now allowable. This started in 2015″

    – Paul, does this mean color throwback vs color throwback is also allowable? In theory, could Atlanta have worn their gorgeous throwbacks yesterday against Tennessee in their Oilers unis?

    In theory, yes. Just as color vs. color is allowable, there is no rule precluding the Falcons from having worn their throwbacks against the Titoilers.

    Where the rules *do* come into play regards alt/throwback/CR usage. The Falcons are permitted to wear their throwbacks (or any combination of alt/throwback/CR) up to three times per season. So long as they do not exceed (whether already worn or planned to be worn) this threshold, they could have worn throwbacks yesterday.

    Most, though certainly not all, teams wear their throwbacks (or alt/CR) at home; The Falcons have already worn their throwbacks twice (week 2 vs. Packers, week 6 vs. Commanders), and plan on wearing them a third time (week 12 vs Saints), so they could NOT have worn the throwbacks yesterday AND as planned in Week 12, as that would exceed the alt/TB/CR limit.


    Hope this helps.

    I hope the NFL is taking notes, because this week was probably the best looking slate of games they’ve had in years. Enough with the mono-unis. More colors is always better. Even those awful ATL unis looked decent without black pants.

    In the Dolphins game (let’s hope the Pats keep wearing those silver pants) did anyone notice how weird the Dolphins TV numbers were?

    You could really see it on Tyreek Hill and the zero. It was filled in orange. Other numbers like 5 and 8 also showed this. But since numbers like 1 and 7 do not, it just looked weird. Is this how the original looked?

    No. Or “almost”. The original striped jerseys had normal outlines and only the stripeless jerseys (made by Wilson?) worn from 1970-1972 have those “filled in” TV numbers. For whatever reason the Dolphins choose to use these TV numbers on what is supposed to be a 1966 throwback look.

    Oops; Paul is right and I am wrong. It looks like the 1966 jerseys did have that filled in style of TV number – per a 1966 Sports Illustrated cover. I’m not sure how long that lasted – if all their 1960s jerseys had that style or if they went to normal outlines for a while and went back to the filled in style for the stripeless jerseys. The 1972 striped jerseys have normal outlines, as do the 1973 and later jerseys.

    Paul, that Dolphins filled-in TV number had me yelling at the screen as I thought it was a really bad screw-up. Good to know it wasn’t. But that aside, has a true uni-screw-up ever caused you to yell at the TV?

    While I’m no admirer of mono-color, the Commies didn’t look too too terrible yesterday…but the Cards really need to strongly consider wearing the all-whites for all games.
    The real stinker of a game was KC @ Denver – (orange)top – to – (red)bottom…woof!

    Everywhere I go I see hatred towards the Browns’ brown pants. I like them in white over white and white over orange a lot, but am I the only one who thinks they look fine in white over brown? They never pair these pants with their primary brown jersey (thank goodness) so we only see them a couple of times a year anyway and I think they look pretty good.

    I too am fine with white over brown.

    I think one reason they get dumped on is that the rest of the set is essentially a throwback design, and the team didn’t have brown pants when they originally wore the rest of these components, so it looks “wrong” in many people’s eyes. Or at least that’s my supposition.

    The browns aren’t ‘bad’ per se – they just aren’t as great as the white or as OK as orange.
    Most of my dislike for them stems from the fact that the Browns…and others…have too many pants options. White is really all they ever ‘need’ – and they are the 1 team that looks/historically looked alright in orange ones (some would like to the see the Bengals wear ’em and the Broncos to go back to ’em…not me).
    The Browns’ failure to switch to white facemasks full-time is a tick worse than not taking the brown britches out of rotation.

    Agreed. The brown pants are fine if not nearly as good as the white or orange, but the white facemask is what they’re really missing.

    The Browns should have brown pants. With stripes. So I’m on board with these.

    I only want them with the white jerseys, and only a couple of times per season. But I definitely want them.

    last time two teams wore color v color throwbacks was Patriots Lions Thanksgiving 2010.

    Lot of good looking games this weekend indeed, for me New Zealand versus South Africa was the winner.

    I referred to the GUD for the last time the Seahawks went three straight home games without going mono-navy; it was actually more recent than I thought – it was just last season.

    Week 14 vs Panthers: navy over gray.
    Week 15 vs 49ers: green over navy.
    Week 17 vs Jets: navy over gray.

    Week 16 was a road game at Kansas City.

    Before last year, the last time the Seahawks didn’t go mono-blue/navy (for three straight home games) was the last three home games of the 2009 season.

    Well, technically, they did go “mono-blue” for the last 3 games of 2009, the blues just didn’t match. ;)
    They wore those horrible mismatched dark blue pants (I don’t miss those).

    I noticed in some pictures it looks like some of the Cowboys wore the Throwback White pants without the Silver Center Stripe. Could just be a lighting thing.

    I really thought Washington’s worst combo was the mono BFBS, but that mono burgundy is just awful.

    Get rid of all of the black. Reinstate the gold/yellow/mustard/whatever pants. Why is that so hard?

    Hopefully this leads to more color vs color games. So many great options out there. I am still waiting for the day the Chargers go powder and Chiefs go red. That’s one I really want to see. I don’t care if it’s in LA or KC. There is plenty of contrast there. Also, this shows certain colors can be used as light OR dark. (Broncos orange and Oilers/Titans light blue). Bengals Orange/white vs Steelers Black/yellow could work as well. Patriots Blue/grey vs Dolphins Teal/white. Bears Orange/white vs Packers Green/yellow. Cardinals Red/white vs Hawks Electric green/blue. I dream of some these possible combos.

    Here’s an upvote for Paul and team doing a post on colors on today’s HDTVs versions BITD’s analog. (And for extra bonus points, today’s HDTV color palettes versus what served us as “high def” BITD — the pictures in the following Thursday’s Sports Illustrated.)

    Because just like the Eagles’ kelly greens, the Seahawks (gorgeous) throwbacks were a little lighter in the jersey than the originals. It can’t have been just the sun because they looked lighter than they did in a sunny early (?) afternoon in the Orange Bowl in 1983 when they upset the Dolphins.

    Was looking at those Falcons’ pics and trying to think what I wish they had worn instead, and I stumbled across something. Is there a red/black corollary to the red/blue postulate that says you need to know if you are a red team that wears blue or a blue team that wears red, i.e. the Texas Rangers Dilemma?

    Are the Falcons a black team that wears red (Jerry Granville’s position, but is it everyone’s?) or a red team that wears back?

    I was a Falcons fan until Glanville ruined them.

    When the red helmet becomes the primary one I will be a fan again.

    We got the fairly brutal looking KC-Denver game in the late afternoon slot for my market, robbing us of the beauty of the Seahawks’ throwbacks. Good lord those things are gorgeous in HD and sunlight! I really think one of the reasons so many of these colorful throwbacks (Seattle, the Titans, orange Bucs, kelly Eagles and Jets) look so great is that we never got to see them in HD in their heyday. And also every one of them is a million times better than what those teams currently wear.

    Great to have the Hawks in throwbacks on one of our perfect fall days, which definitely accounted for the extra chrome sheen. It would have been an A+ if Cleveland had gone with the Brian Sipe-era orange britches. And it may have been the setting sun, but did the Browns’ kicker have a matte helmet?

    Yes, the kicker and a few other Cleveland players have matte helmets. I asked the team about this and they said it’s due to “manufacturer variations” (which is, obviously, a frustrating non-answer).

    There were also a couple true color vs color games in 1994, when the Rams wore their yellow throwbacks against the Niners and the Chiefs, both of whom were wearing red.

    Like it or not The Titans did keep a light blue variation that ties them back to The Oiler. Texans have nothing like that in their set. I have no dog in that fight but it feels like The Titans own that history – not Houston. I did like the older throwback set The Titans wore about a decade ago more than this one. Titans would do themselves a huge favor to ditch the utter mess they wear now and go back to something along those lines..

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