BringBackTheVet

NFL: Who's had the same look the longest?

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Posted (edited)

This one will have some controversy and hopefully inspire some good debate, as the inherent subjectivity in such lists is more apparent here than in the MLB list.

 

A few rules:

  • I'm going by "look and feel", not just who's wearing literally the same uniform the longest.
  • In some cases, minor changes matter, in some cases, even what some would call "major" don't.  It's just up to my judgement.
    • As we saw in the MLB thread, there was good discussion that resulted in me changing my mind on a few.  That's what I'm hoping for here, so I'm intentionally stretching it on a couple.
  • I basically went off of my own memory combined with the Gridiron Uniform Database.  When in doubt over if the "look and feel" changed as the result of a tweak, I kinda went back and toggled the uniform through the years just to see if I noticed a distinct change from year to year.  If no, then I didn't count it.  If yes, then I did.
    • As noted, there's also subjectivity that simply cannot be codified - so something like the Steelers changing number fonts would count as a big change to a lot of people, but not to me.  In other cases, even a small logo tweak counted as a change.  Funny how that works.
  • I'm sure I left some team(s) out - please point that out as harshly as possible.  If I'm not called an idiot, jerk, communist, or worse, I'll be offended.
  • Home / primary uniform counted the most by far.  I didn't really count road / secondary uniforms.

 

So here we go:

 

Colts: 1957 (I didn't research every single year, but this is when the helmet changed so I assume it's the start of the look.  Facemask change didn't seem to make much of an impact.)

Chiefs: 1963 (not counting the addition of sleeve strips and number trim.  This is one of those cases where subjectivity played a big role.  I don't think the look/feel changed at all when those trim elements were added.)

Raiders: 1963

Cowboys: 1965 (not sure when the black trim was added to the blue sleeve stripes, but it doesn't matter.)

Steelers: 1968 (As noted, the number font switch didn't alter the look/feel at all.  It's still solid white on the same black jersey.)

Washington: 1972 (despite the pants changing from yellow to white/burgundy and now back to yellow, it just seems like the same uniform.  Interested to hear your takes on this.)

Bears: 1973 (more controversy, but I consider changing the helmet logo to orange did change things, since the helmet is the most recognizable element and serves as a de-facto primary logo)

Washington: 1979 (changed this one since the reduction of yellow from both the jerseys and pants does change the look more than I originally thought.)

Colts: 1987 (counting the gray pants and their attempt to introduce a whole new color to their home and road uniforms as a change in their look, so '87 begins the current era.)

Packers 1989 (the G-stripe sleeves and pants number counted as a change to me.  It looked like they were trying to add contemporary elements, which detracted a bit from their traditional look, so I'm counting '89 as the start of the current era.  The sleeve stripe changes don't matter to me.)

Panthers: 1995 (the helmet logo change is kind of irrelevant since most people don't even notice.)

Eagles: 1996 (consensus is that the changes made for 1996 are essentially the same look as theyr'e wearing now, since the helmet, logo, number font, and colors are all the same, though the trim, pants, wordmark, and number treatment has been altered some over the years.)

Broncos: 1997 (the navy uniform is still in the rotation, and even the switch to orange didn't change the look/feel.

Steelers: 1997 (consensus is the change in font to the italicized future for numbers and regular for NOB counts as a change to a more modern look.)

 

Go.

 

 

Edited by BringBackTheVet
Moved Colts from '57 to '87, Washington from '72 to '79, Pittsburgh to '97, and Eagles to '96

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9 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

Colts: 1957 (I didn't research every single year, but this is when the helmet changed so I assume it's the start of the look.  Facemask change didn't seem to make much of an impact.)

 

The Colts blue jersey/gray pants combo (with "horseshoe" numbers on the hip) from '82-'86 feels like a big change to me. The white jersey/white pants only had gray trim on the shoulders and socks, so it seems more in line with their traditional look.

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10 minutes ago, Hat Boy said:

The Colts blue jersey/gray pants combo (with "horseshoe" numbers on the hip) from '82-'86 feels like a big change to me. The white jersey/white pants only had gray trim on the shoulders and socks, so it seems more in line with their traditional look.

 

Thanks - I completely forgot about that.  Sure feels like a big change - I'll likely downgrade them to '87, which is a real shame because the change was unnecessary.  I'm pretty lenient when it comes to pants - for example, Washington - but this introduced an entirely new color.  Curious what others think.

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So for the Eagles... below is the original 1996 uniform (it's the same midnight green despite how it looks in this photo.)

 

Note that the home uniform has no trim, a asymmetrical wordmark under the collar, numbers have only one outline, and pants have traditional striping.

They added black trim to both uniforms and put the logo on the white one the next year.  They also very rarely ever wore those green pants.

In 2003 they modified the pants stripe, switched to the symmetrical wordmark, added a charcoal outline to the numbers with a black border and shadow effect.

 

Like I said, I think the 2003 redesign cleaned it up so much that it counts as a change, but that might be because I'm so close to it and watch them all the time and notice all those details.  Since the helmet, color, and fonts never changed, I could see counting 1996 as the berth of this era.

 

1823898_032917-wpvi-eagles-model-uniform   245819.jpg?w=594  hi-res-52147496_crop_north.jpg?h=533&w=8 960x0.jpg%3Ffit=scale

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For me, I think the Kansas City Chiefs, as was listed, counts as the preeminent example here. Short of a one-year helmet logo (and locale) change from their first year in existence, and only a slight change in number font (so small someone would have to point it out for one to even notice it), they literally kept the same look since then, straight down to their super-narrow pants stripes on the white pants. (Moving the TV numbers up to the shoulders was more due to technicality with the decreased sleeve space on these new templates, but for me it doesn't change the overall look one ioda.)  I say it's between them and the Chicago Bears for the most enduring looks, with the Raiders and Packers kinda sliding in behind them.

 

Again, just me, but I don't think the Steelers settled into "their look" until about 1972...even as late as 1971 they were still wearing white pants on the road. Take a look:

 

1d4d420aa5343af6ff853a25797d3a1f--school

 

41a96b870900060cb6c976a055487fbf.jpg

 

Of course, once they started winning all those Super Bowls, that look got seared into the national conscience, where it remains to this day. (And I don't consider the Futura number font to be a big deal...they're still one-layer single color numbers, which keeps the overall aesthetic the Steelers established in the '70s, as Vet mentioned above.)

 

The Cowboys are out for me, due to the vascillating shoulder-stars thing. I see it as two separate looks, that both are "Cowboys", but doesn't put them in this particular conversation.

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I would date the Redskins' current look to 1979. That is a different jersey versus what they wore up until 1978. Just the addition of yellow pants to make Bruce Allen is the only "minor" difference.

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7 minutes ago, msubulldog said:

I would date the Redskins' current look to 1979. That is a different jersey versus what they wore up until 1978. Just the addition of yellow pants to make Bruce Allen is the only "minor" difference.

 

That's fair, since the combo of the yellow stripes and pants goes add a lot of yellow to their look, and yellow was diminished to more of an accent rather than true second color in '79.  I'll think on it.

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33 minutes ago, Buc said:

For me, I think the Kansas City Chiefs, as was listed, counts as the preeminent example here. Short of a one-year helmet logo (and locale) change from their first year in existence, and only a slight change in number font (so small someone would have to point it out for one to even notice it), they literally kept the same look since then, straight down to their super-narrow pants stripes on the white pants. (Moving the TV numbers up to the shoulders was more due to technicality with the decreased sleeve space on these new templates, but for me it doesn't change the overall look one ioda.)  I say it's between them and the Chicago Bears for the most enduring looks, with the Raiders and Packers kinda sliding in behind them.

 

Again, just me, but I don't think the Steelers settled into "their look" until about 1972...even as late as 1971 they were still wearing white pants on the road. Take a look:

 

1d4d420aa5343af6ff853a25797d3a1f--school

 

41a96b870900060cb6c976a055487fbf.jpg

 

Of course, once they started winning all those Super Bowls, that look got seared into the national conscience, where it remains to this day. (And I don't consider the Futura number font to be a big deal...they're still one-layer single color numbers, which keeps the overall aesthetic the Steelers established in the '70s, as Vet mentioned above.)

 

The Cowboys are out for me, due to the vascillating shoulder-stars thing. I see it as two separate looks, that both are "Cowboys", but doesn't put them in this particular conversation.

 

Steelers: Interesting take, but I put more weight into a primary uniform since that's what they'd wear in promos, marketing, and that's really their "look".  If I was going to make an exception, it probably would be for the Steelers, since their road pants are such an integral part of their road aesthetic.  That being said, for now, I'm going to keep them as is.

 

Cowboys: what do you mean?  Did they wear shoulder stars on their primary uniform since the '60s outside of an occasional alt / throwback?

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Was the Patriots 2000-era change effectively a darker version of what they wore from 1993-99? Or is that considered a radical change?

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In my view, the Steelers' change of number font is a much more significant change than the Bears' recolouring of the helmet logo. 

 

And, for me, the "feel" longevity champs are the Packers, who have an unbroken continuity of look since 1961.

 

(The Colts broke their continuity with their blue pants.)

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1 hour ago, Quillz said:

Was the Patriots 2000-era change effectively a darker version of what they wore from 1993-99? Or is that considered a radical change?

 

Not radical because the logo stayed the same. but a major change since the colors, and everything about the uniform changed.

The Eagles is tough because yes they have the same general look since 1996 (and especially 1997 when they added the eagles logo on the whites). Though added the small drop shadow was a bit of a difference.

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The number font change for Pittsburgh was a bit more than minor. But yeah, they still feel traditionally old despite that.

 

EDIT: Seeing that picture of the Steelers reminds me of how ridiculously huge their pants stripes have always been. They're more like side panels.

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2 hours ago, Quillz said:

Was the Patriots 2000-era change effectively a darker version of what they wore from 1993-99? Or is that considered a radical change?

No. Not only was it a royal blue to Navy blue change, the pant striping changed as well as the italicized numerals period. Red numerals on royal blue jerseys was a "radical" switch, so should be the change back. 

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It FEELS like the Patriots, Cardinals, Falcons, and Bengals have been wearing the same uniform the longest.

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9 minutes ago, MCM0313 said:

It FEELS like the Patriots, Cardinals, Falcons, and Bengals have been wearing the same uniform the longest.

 

For someone who remembers Pat Patriot, the Falcons in red, and the Bengals in actual football uniforms instead of clown suits, this assertion is incomprehensible. What's more, the Cardinals' change happened recently enough to be within the memory of a young person.

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Save for the tweaks to the logo, the Panthers haven't really changed that much to be honest.

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Once the Raiders went from varsity serif to condensed block for player names in '75, I don't think they've changed a stitch. 

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21 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

So here we go:

 

 

Cowboys: 1965 (not sure when the black trim was added to the blue sleeve stripes, but it doesn't matter.)

 

Steelers: 1968 (As noted, the number font switch didn't alter the look/feel at all.  It's still solid white on the same black jersey.)

 

Washington: 1972 (despite the pants changing from yellow to white/burgundy and now back to yellow, it just seems like the same uniform.  Interested to hear your takes on this.)

 

Bears: 1973 (more controversy, but I consider changing the helmet logo to orange did change things, since the helmet is the most recognizable element and serves as a de-facto primary logo)

 

Packers 1989 (the G-stripe sleeves and pants number counted as a change to me.  It looked like they were trying to add contemporary elements, which detracted a bit from their traditional look, so I'm counting '89 as the start of the current era.  The sleeve stripe changes don't matter to me.)

 

Panthers: 1995 (the helmet logo change is kind of irrelevant since most people don't even notice.)

 

 

Go.

 

 

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah it's whatever!

Cowboys added the black trim in 1981 when they dabbled into navy blue jerseys with silver numbers and stripes with white trim on both numbers and stripes. The Cowboys roads changed since 1981, pal. The only thing that didn't change was their home whites.

Steelers.... No comment on that because from 1945-1962 they had always used yellow gold helmets up until 1963.

Didn't the Redskins change uniform styles in 1979. The Jack Pardee special I call it. The burgundy/yellow gold stripes on the white roads, and the white/yellow gold stripes on the burgundy home jerseys. Then then same on the pants? The helmets from 1972 did not change, but their jerseys and trousers changed in 1979.

 

The Bears did add some aesthetics to that uniform in 1984 starring with the navy blue pants. Also, the GSH initials on the jersey sleeves in 1984. Plus the addition to orange jerseys in 2002 or 2003?

 

See this is what I am talking about. Green Bay changed around after 1983. They kept the Forrest Gregg collar design in 1988 when Lindy Infante was hired. Also, they cut the sleeve rotation (white/yellow gold/white/yellow gold/white and forest green/yellow gold/forest green/yellow gold/forest green) from Lombardi's era from five to three in 1996 if I recall. Yeah, it was 1996 (same time the Eagles, Vikings, 49ers, and Cowboys got some new looks; sans the Cowboys only got new road navy blue jerseys).

 

Panthers experimented with roads that contained silver pants. Other than that, they added Carolina blue or turquoise blue as their alt in 2002. But nothing changed. Fans want them in black helmets. The silver on them is tired! They need to add silver as a third color and focus on black and turquoise blue!


Other than that!

 

 

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11 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

For someone who remembers Pat Patriot, the Falcons in red, and the Bengals in actual football uniforms instead of clown suits, this assertion is incomprehensible. What's more, the Cardinals' change happened recently enough to be within the memory of a young person.

Yeah, yeah. I was sarcastically referring to the fact that they all wear dated mid-aughts designs.

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