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Unannounced NFL Week 1 Uniform Surprises


Bluefalcon

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Some NFL teams in the past have sprung unannounced changes to their uniforms (usually pants) on the fans in Week 1. As far as I know, none of these changes were seen in the preseason nor were announced prior to being seen on the field.

While we don't know if that will happen in Week 1 of 2015 yet, it has happened before:

1989 - Miami broke out new aqua pants against the Bills on Week 1. (They were worn for the first 4 games, then shelved for the rest of the '89 season, returning in 1990)

1995 - Indianapolis broke out blue pants against the Bengals. They wore these the next two games and then mothballed them, apparently forever.

2000 - Kansas City brought back their red pants against the Broncos, albeit in Week 4, which was the first game they had an opportunity to wear their white jerseys.

2002 - Jacksonville broke out black pants against the Giants, albeit in Week 9.

2002 - New Orleans wore an alternate gold jersey (RIP) against the Vikings, but not until Week 14.

2003 - Cincinnati broke out black pants against the Bronocos. They disappeared for the rest of the season until the last game against Cleveland, then the redesign happened in 2004.

2003 - Cleveland brought back orange pants against the Colts. They wore them 4 more times that season.

2003 - Tennessee wore their alternate light blue jersey for the first time, with the navy blue pants, against the Raiders in Week 1.

2009 - Seattle broke out both an alternate green jersey (RIP) and navy blue pants against the Bears in Week 3. (The green jersey has disappeared, and the navy blue pants were worn 3 more times in 2009)

I'm sure I'm missing some, or could be misinformed about whether any of these 'surprises' were ever announced.

2010 - Washington brought back the yellow pants against the Cowboys.

2012 - Carolina broke out black pants against the Broncos, but not until Week 9.

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so just uniform surprises any week of the year?

I originally started with just Week 1, but then realized that there were in-season surprises as well. Yeah, the 2006 Vikings don't count since they did an official unveiling, like most teams do these days. I know the Redskins' return to yellow pants was unknown until right about kickoff time.

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I remember opening day 2003 very well. Chris Mortensen was going through his report and casually mentioned the Bengals would be wearing black pants that afternoon, which in hindsight seems funny because pants colors and mixing and matching are so frequent now that nobody even notices anymore. Back then it was a newer idea. I couldn't hear anything the rest of the show. All I could think about was those black pants and how would they look.

Turns out they looked pretty good.

2486032_zpswflhatas.jpg2486014_zpswdynmrkp.jpg

shame they were only worn twice and the team lost both games.

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If memory serves me, the Ravens' white jersey/black pants combo was an opening day surprise in 2008. They never wore them before that season and I'm pretty sure they never wore them during the preseason that year.

Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Baltimore+Ravens+3j

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The Patriots unveiled the royal jerseys with drop-shadowed italic numbers and big Flying Elvii on the shoulders in Week 1 of 1995 after wearing the 1994 jerseys during the '95 preseason.

If memory serves me, the Ravens' white jersey/black pants combo was an opening day surprise in 2008. They never wore them before that season and I'm pretty sure they never wore them during the preseason that year.

Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Baltimore+Ravens+3j

Though the Ravens did wear white jerseys with black pants in the 90s, just not the modern set of black pants.

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The Patriots unveiled the royal jerseys with drop-shadowed italic numbers and big Flying Elvii on the shoulders in Week 1 of 1995 after wearing the 1994 jerseys during the '95 preseason.

If memory serves me, the Ravens' white jersey/black pants combo was an opening day surprise in 2008. They never wore them before that season and I'm pretty sure they never wore them during the preseason that year.

Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Baltimore+Ravens+3j

Though the Ravens did wear white jerseys with black pants in the 90s, just not the modern set of black pants.

Right.

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.

Opening day 1973, Buffalo at New England. The Bills came out wearing blue pants for the first time in team history.

There was never even any mention of this in either Buffalo newspaper (Courier Express or Buffalo Evening News) in the

week leading up the game in Week 1.

The game came on at 1 pm following NBC's 30 minute pregame show and there they were, blue pants. The style looked

better back then then too, unlike now. They had white lacing like an NHL sweater and a red belt that greatly complemented

the blue coloring of the pants, unlike how they currently are for all NFL team pants.

o_j_simpson_1973_09_16.jpg

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The Patriots unveiled the royal jerseys with drop-shadowed italic numbers and big Flying Elvii on the shoulders in Week 1 of 1995 after wearing the 1994 jerseys during the '95 preseason.

If memory serves me, the Ravens' white jersey/black pants combo was an opening day surprise in 2008. They never wore them before that season and I'm pretty sure they never wore them during the preseason that year.

Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Baltimore+Ravens+3j

Though the Ravens did wear white jerseys with black pants in the 90s, just not the modern set of black pants.

Right.

I miss the days before every little uniform change was heralded by an unveiling "event." I can still remember finding out during the 1997 preseason that Denver and Tampa Bay had both overhauled their iconic looks. I'd love to have a surprise or two this season, but darn social media always spoils those.

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The Patriots unveiled the royal jerseys with drop-shadowed italic numbers and big Flying Elvii on the shoulders in Week 1 of 1995 after wearing the 1994 jerseys during the '95 preseason.

If memory serves me, the Ravens' white jersey/black pants combo was an opening day surprise in 2008. They never wore them before that season and I'm pretty sure they never wore them during the preseason that year.

Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Baltimore+Ravens+3j

Though the Ravens did wear white jerseys with black pants in the 90s, just not the modern set of black pants.

Right.

I miss the days before every little uniform change was heralded by an unveiling "event." I can still remember finding out during the 1997 preseason that Denver and Tampa Bay had both overhauled their iconic looks. I'd love to have a surprise or two this season, but darn social media always spoils those.

Both the Broncos and Buccaneers had unveiling events in 1997 :) Both were before the '97 draft.

-------------------------------------

I'm not sure about this, but I think the Dolphins' change in 1994 to two-color numbers (removing the double-outline) was a surprise in Week 1 '94.

Also, IIRC, subtle changes to the Jaguars uniform in '97 happened in Week 1 (easier-to-read number font).

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It wasn't opening week, but the Chargers wore their navy pants with their navy jerseys in that Monday Night game against Miami that was played in Tempe because of the bad brush fires in San Diego. I wasn't living in San Diego anymore by that time, so I didn't know if there was an announcement before that game. I know it surprised me.

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