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Ho-Ho-Ho: 49ers to Wear Red Throwbacks on Christmas Night

The NFL’s two conference-leading teams will face off on Monday night, when the 49ers host the Ravens. And Santa’s bringing an extra present for us, because the Niners will be wearing their red throwbacks.

This will be the second time this year that the 49ers have worn the red retro design. They previously wore it on Sept. 21, when they defeated the Giants, 30-12.

The Niners have worn their white throwbacks one time this season. That was on Thanksgiving, when they defeated the Seahawks, 31-13. Here’s how that uniform looked:

The throwbacks are based on what the Niners wore in 1955, although the team used red helmets in those days:

The throwbacks debuted in 1994 as part of the NFL’s 75th-anniversary retro program. The 49ers received permission to keep wearing the throwbacks in that year’s postseason, ultimately wearing them in their Super Bowl XXIX victory over the Chargers. The white throwbacks returned in 2018 and were joined by a reprise of the red throwbacks in 2021.

Two other teams will be wearing throwbacks this weekend: the Dolphins and Bears. In addition to the three teams going retro this weekend, 16 other NFL teams have worn throwback this season: the Browns, Bucs, Colts, Cowboys, Eagles, FalconsGiants, Jets, Lions, Packers, Patriots, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Titans, and Vikings.


Comments (27)

    I really like the 49ers red-black-red stripe on the throwback pants. I have no idea why.

    If so many teams are throwing back, and so many fans are loving it, you would think that would tell you that the current “normal” uniforms are somewhat below par?

    That’s the case for most of these. They won’t switch though because they’ll only have 2 jerseys to sell vs. 3 or 4.

    Now this is a retro uniform that I am not feeling too much. Niners in gold pants for me, not in white. Maybe it is because of the gold helmets, yes, that must be it. I would like this one only with a red helmet, as in the old picture.

    I’d love to see them throwback to the silver and red look from the early 60’s. They’ve never done that and it’d be really different. Or go way back to the AAFC days and wear their 1946 red and white look. That’d be super cool.

    These are a downgrade from their standards…and remind me of their late ’90s ‘lost years’.
    Maybe a red helmet with a 3 white stripes and a black mask would match up better? Or white with R/B/R stripe (match the pants) and a red or gray grill?

    Hard agree. Gold pants seem so much more 9’ers I’m a little surprised Paul, being a fan of their look, would like the white-trousered throwbacks so much. I’m ok with the rest of the uniform and the nod to previous years, but their gold/red/gold is clearly top tier NFL.

    I’ll go along with what others are saying, their normal look is their best look. I never loved their throwbacks, not in 1994 when they brought them out for the NFL’s 75th anniversary, nor when they sort of morphed into those becoming their regular unis, nor now, when they’re presented as a sort of treat. The shadow font on the numbers is ugly, the white pants are a marked downgrade from the gold pants (and also feature an awful stripe that isn’t historically accurate) and the none of it pairs with the gold helmet.

    Since this uniform is already a “fauxback” in that it’s already NOT 100% period-accurate to the original 1955 design, (albeit you can consider it a “throwback” to the 1994 “fauxback”) I think the 49ers should pair it with the 1962-63 silver helmets (essentially the same design as what they currently wear with this uniform—the team’s 1989-95 gold helmets) but with a silver shell instead of gold. Silver helmets would be a nice contrast and change of pace from their standard gold helmets and goes well with the white pants IMO, although yes it adds an extra set of helmets and decals/stripings that the 49ers’ equipment guys would have to maintain instead of just one set in gold shells that they normally only swap the oval “SF” logo onto. As for the outcry that it would somehow betray or take away from the whole reason for the team’s name (namely, the 1849 California Gold Rush), I counter that gold was NOT the sole reason many people sought to come to CA after the initial discovery of gold, but rather opportunism—in fact a vast majority of “Forty-Niners” made more riches exploiting the demand for goods and services needed by the massive influx of new people rather than any who ever “hit paydirt” (e.g., Levi Strauss, founder of the company that now sponsors the team’s stadium). Therefore, choosing to wear an alternate silver helmet honors the TEAM’s legacy, rather than being a supposed slighting of the entire reason for the team name, it highlights a helmet color that the 49ers had worn many times in their early years (1946-63). In fact, if I remember correctly, the reason silver helmets were even chosen in the first place was NOT for any arbitrary or mundane reason (such as silver being cheaper than gold paint for the helmets or the color not mattering to be visible on B&W televisions), but was instead chosen to honor the 49ers’ very first coach, Buck Shaw, who was nicknamed the “Silver Fox” for his head of gray hair.

    One other quip or wrinkle that I hope the team addresses (or at least adds as an option to be worn with their throwback uniforms) is to resurrect their striped socks (nicknamed the “candy cane” or “Ronald McDonald” socks) that were phased out in 1991, and have only been seen in 1994 and the sporadic 80’s throwback games of the 2000’s. “Candy cane” socks would’ve been a nice touch in a Christmas Day game…

    The ravens could and should come up with some great fauxbacks.

    Thinking about this made me realize that there is a distinct generational divide in the NFL between when pretty much every team was block athletic font and sleeve/shoulder stripes only. Then many teams darkened their colors, angried up their logos, and tried different uni design elements. This makes it easy as pie to make a nice looking fauxback, as the traditional aesthetic is not only pretty boilerplate but also pretty foolproof. There just aren’t that many new identities in the NFL that would need to faux back. Ravens, Jags, Texans, and Panthers? And 2 of those teams really only need to come up with an old-school logo (jags and panthers current unis are pretty basic/classic right now)

    Just do some Colts Throwbacks just to peace everybody off then the next week do some Cleveland throwbacks…

    I hate it when teams don’t consider contrast with their opponents when considering what uniforms to wear. Both the Seahawks and Titans are wearing navy pants to go along with their navy helmets and Tennessee’s navy jerseys. link

    My first choice would be for Tennessee to wear their white pants with the navy jerseys as they did against the Panthers in week 12. link
    Second choice would be for the Titans to wear their light blue pants with the navy jerseys as they did against the Broncos on 11/13/22. link
    If Tennessee insisted on going mono-navy, then my third choice would be for the Seahawks to wear gray pants as they did against the Rams in week 11. link
    And fourth choice would be Seattle in white pants as they did in week 9 against the Ravens. link

    But no, both teams had to combine to make the worst possible matchup, with 5 out of the 6 most prominent uniform elements (helmet, jersey, pants for each team) being the same color. (The second worst would have been both teams in white pants. Still pretty boring, but at least then you’d have 3 white elements and 3 navy elements.)

    Your first choice should have been for the Titans to wear the same Oilers uniforms they wore last week.

    49ers White plain socks with White pants seriously downgrade the fauxback look. would be 1000% better with some type of striped or contrasting socks, however the inaccuracy to the actual time period.

    The NFL just keeps on messing up these efforts. It seems they constantly get thorwbacks wrong, constantly get fauxbacks taking the worst choices in dressong the teams, and constantly put teams in ridiculous Monochromes (jersey.pants – helmets not incuded here) to really put out the most mediocre to bad uniforms every week.

    It’s just horrible the choices they make.


    Would love to see an article on feature telling us exactly who in each of the 32 NFL Team hierarchies are responsible for each teams’ uniform choices and direction.
    Coaches? Captains? Players? GM? Owners? Owners’ kids?
    THAT would be interesting to know.
    I’d love to know who to blame for the Saints constant bad uniform choices.
    Thanks. Please consider that project.

    The current Niners uniforms are probably the best in the league, while their throwbacks are really not that great. This is one team that really should just stick with their standard, gorgeous unis every week.

    I’ve always hated these since they wore them in 1994. Not that they’re so terrible, but that by wearing these it kept them from wearing probably my favorite NFL uniform. Gold pants should be worn with gold helmets.

    I know these are historically accurate but the throwbacks bother me because the drop shadow on the 2 is wrong in terms of its configuration. Also, I like what the 49ers wear as their regular uniforms more than the throwbacks.

    The Niners throwbacks are pretty awful. Surprised they get so much love from this site. To me they look far worse (and far less put together or cohesive) than even the much derided Rams makeover. None of the elements really work together, and the helmet doesn’t match anything else on the set.

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