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NFL "75 Seasons" Uniform of the Future


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I was flipping through "75 Seasons" the other day--pretty much a coffee table book they put out in 1994 for the 75th anniversary (what a coincidence!). In the back there was a chapter called "The Future" which had out there concepts like a Super Bowl on the moon one day, hydraulic padding, players practicing in virtual reality against fake "opponents", etc.

Anyway, here's the text of the section "The Gear" on page 314 of the book, and wait till you see the artist rendition!

NFL uniforms are already out-of-date, Schramm said [in 1994]. The players could start wearing one-piece body suits--such as those worn by speed skaters--right now [again, in 1994], but it will take 10 to 20 years before people start to accept that type of outfit in team sports. "If it has a belt line, lt would be just for nostalgic purposes," said Frank Pupello, Tampa Bay's equipment manager. "They'll be saying, 'Hey, the old guys used to wear, like, belts.'".

The material will be more durable and more breathable for comfort. It will be a lightweight synthetic from the space program with a name like Xycron or Polypro-zyloid, assuming the marketing industry has not created its own alphabet of letters similar to Prince's new name. By the middle of next century, the fabric will look painted on the players. A vacuum arrangement like a reverse Reebok pump [Wow, this is THAT dated] will suck out all the extra air so opponents have noting to grab.

Inside the uniform, the padding will keep getting lighter, Pupello said, "until they start wrighting players like race cars."

NFL uniforms will be safer. Within 25 years, Pupello said, helmets will fit into a housing in the shoulder pads, an assembly that gives unprecedented neck protection without hampering the range of motion of heads and shoulders. Helmets won't change otherwise in appearance, but they'll be made of Kevlar, the material of bullet-proof vests and Formula 1 race car bodies. Facemasks will be lighter, and Pupello said, "it's possible coaches will be able to send [written instructions] to a visor on a player's helmet.


The caption: "The only thing postponing skin-tight NFL body suits is public acceptance.


Could you imagine? They're tight enough as is...at least the rendition has "sleeves" if you want to call them that...just thought it'd be cool to share...

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The caption: "The only thing postponing skin-tight NFL body suits is public acceptance.

No kidding...does anyone really want to picture what a Tony Siragusa would look like in that uniform?? I have that book and it's great, BTW.

I don't agree that it's just public acceptance keeping those uniforms out of the public eye: football is an extremely violent sport and I don't see any real technology changes taking away the current amount of padding needed to keep a human body relatively safe from injury. Those uniforms look like they would be worn by speed skater like Bonnie Blair, NOT football players who are trying to kill each other on every play.

They sorta remind me of Rollerball.

I ALMOST FORGOT: I have a Sports Illustrated from 1979 or 1980 that has a whole article about what the NFL will look like in 50 years...pretty crazy stuff like rockets in shoes! Their uniforms look pretty much the same as the above, only they predicted they would be in use by 2000!

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Jeez, I once saw this book in grade school, and thought to myself, "That's what the future will be?"

It's always funny to think about how we envisioned the future in the past. But, I guess there might be a return to sleeves 20 years from now. Or not. We, as a society, just like to hang on to tradition, because some of the 'cyborg' looks don't look to well.

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Pretty wild. I think it would be interesting to see the NFL go back to long sleeves now that the lighter, form-fitting and more-breathable fabrics are commonplace. The sleeves would stretch over the pads (which are also getting smaller) like they do now and fit like Under Armour on the arms. The biggest plus is that sleeve stripes could return in a big way.

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