By Phil Hecken and Rick Pearson
Well, I’m back again with the master of the early AFL years, Rick Pearson, who is here today to present you the 1961 and 1962 AFL uniforms as they should appear. You will recall the OUTSTANDING post Ricko and Timmy Brulia assisted me with a few weeks ago (if you haven’t read it … stop what you’re doing now and please do so). Even if you did, there’s nothing wrong with a quick refresher course.
Anyway, Ricko has spent countless hours pouring over his “kid cards” and old photos, and now he’s created uniform templates for 1961 and 1962 (and he even went back and reworked his original genius 1960 templates, because he noticed some errors). So, what I’m proud to present to you below is Rick’s fantastic work. The man continues to amaze me with his attention to detail (detail the NFL surely didn’t care about, for the most part), and his efforts are a blessing and a godsend for us all. So, without further ado, here’s Ricko:
First, a general observation.
I stopped at ’62, because there was a kind of confluence of elements in 1963.
To begin, the under-financed Titans became the financially strong Jets and New York (more importantly the New York media) started taking the AFL a little more seriously. That meant more photos in more places, thereby no longer leaving AFL uni details unrecorded for posterity.
Photography, or film speed, or lenses, or lighter camera bodies, or better TV cameras…I dunno, I’m no photographer …but all seemed to contribute to not only more images, but better images.
I think that’s why I stopped making by Kid Cards that year. It didn’t seem like so much was unknown anymore. It looked like there’d be source material now, where little or none had existed before.
Even the football cards started getting better. Still weren’t great, but they were vastly improved.
Okay, regarding the TEMPLATES…
I didn’t finish a few things, largely because I wanted to get this done for the final true “Legacy” Weekend.
I still haven’t thoroughly gone over all the numeral fonts, but any exotic ones are correct. Terry Proctor, our resident expert on such things, sent Paul a long and thorough analysis of my 1960 templates’ numbers, and I thank him for that. Paul forwarded it on to me, but I’m not an accomplished enough computer artist to attack it precisely. But I will when Tim Brulia and I get to working with FUPP. Promise.
The Boston Patriots messed around with two different style crew socks there for a while. Some were the two striped babies shown on the 1961 and 1962 templates. Some were the wide reds shown on 1960. And it wasn’t even consistent from player to player, or from game to game. By ’63 the mostly were gone, but cropped up again from time to time over the succeeding seasons.
I believe the L.A. Chargers wore a darker royal, perhaps a Dodger Blue compared to Cubs blue. I just know that the first time I saw their unis after the move to San Diego they were lighter (“Same color as Colts now,” I remember thinking). Numbers were less ornate, too. They didn’t go to Air Force Blue until ’64, I believe, because ’63 unis were clearly still royal. The true Powder Blue didn’t come along until they were well into wearing gold pants (which first appeared in ’66). Before that it was that blue between royal and powder. I’d say first powder was ’68 or ’69. Know it wasn’t ’67 for sure. That year the jerseys were so dark I think they may have been close to navy. But the high socks in ’67 were powder. And I think the bolt on the pants was royal. Three blues? I believe so.
We see on some web sites that the one-year-wonder 1962 Oakland Raiders helmet stripe was white. It was not. It was athletic gold, like their home jersey numbers and sleeve stripes. I watched them play several times on TV. Even on black and white TV you can tell a white stripe from a gold stripe…because it’s darker than the white pants or white road jerseys. Ask yourself this…if you watch the Steelers or Iowa some weekend in their white jerseys — and knock all the color out of your TV so it becomes black and white — would you be able to tell if the helmet stripe is gold and not white? Of course you would. We’re uni geeks, we’d study such a thing, and get it right.
So, there you go. After 50 years, I have finally passed on my childlike, meticulous recording of early AFL uniforms to the world.
Sure hope someone gives a damn. LOL.
Wow, Ricko, once again, you’ve
knocked one out of the park gone deep for six. Awesome. But the templates above are only part of Ricko’s efforts. Below are all the uniforms for 1961 and 1962, for your viewing pleasure:
Couple of annoucements for you now:
** As most of you know by now, but I’ll still repeat — tomorrow is the much anticipated UW “Gathering” at Sheep Station in beautiful Brooklyn. 2:30 till whenever. Hope to see you NYC-area UWers there.
** Uni Watcher Matt Englander needs YOUR HELP. While not quite along the lines of the “Design-A-Cap” or “Design-A-Uniform” contests, he still has a modest proposal for the readership. Here’s Matt:
I know this comes on the heels of the controversial topic of devaluing logo/uniform design work, but I am hoping that you’d be willing to help me in a somewhat related area: picking a team name. I am starting a 30+ baseball team that will be based in Cambridge MA, so I am looking to pick a name based on something that is historically appropriate for Cambridge. I hope that in considering this as something to open up to readers that I don’t simultaneously devalue the naming process.
** Speaking of the Clarksville High School “Design-A-Uniform” Contest, I am hoping to begin running the contest entries next weekend. It’s going to be an enormous undertaking, as I’ve received more than forty entries. I thank everyone who’s sent in their submissions so far, and I’ll try to get them all up for viewing over the next week or so. This is probably going to be a two-weekend event.
** And finally, the WORST. UNI. EVER. contest is now closed. Thanks to SI.com’s “Hot Clicks” mention the other day, we smashed all previous polling numbers. JTH and I will have the results tomorrow. Be sure to check back then.
OK, last Sunday I began running some NFL uniform tweaks/concepts/redesigns, and today, we’re going to take a look at the next batch.
First up is Dan Martell:
I noticed on the blog that you mentioned if anyone had some tweaks to NFL unis to send them along. Attached are a bunch I’ve been working on. And below is the explanation for each redesign.
The Giants: I began doing this last week after sitting for several hours looking at excel spreadsheets in the office I randomly was hit with a thought about the Giants uniform. I’ve always loved the look of the Patriots throwback jersey with the stripes on the shoulders similar to the Colts but with more color. I thought to myself, I wonder how the Giants would look with this. That got my mind going and I created the updated Giants Home Jersey. With the help of Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net I was able to get premade models of the jerseys to edit. I decided not to edit the road jersey as I felt the design had enough there and did not need shoulder stripes but felt the home jersey could use a little more color.
The Bengals (home, road): After the Giants mock up I felt that the Bengals uniforms were in some need of a new look. It started out thinking why don’t the Bengals use the “Tiger Head” logo (as I like to call it). So I decided to add the logo to the sleeves of the uniform and added the logo to the helmet. I’ve always felt the tiger striped helmet was too much so I instead made it an all white helmet with the Tiger Head logo and a simple Bengal stripe. I feel it gives it a more throw back look to something that may have come out in the ‘70s or ‘60s. Additionally on the Home uniform I made sure to get rid of the orange sides of the jersey (it’s just too much orange in my opinion).
Now the road uniform is a whole different monster. After I finished the home mockup I was trying to think of a good change for the road. One of my favorite animals is the White Bengal Tiger which led me to think how great would it be to have a White Bengal themed road. In this jersey I once again added the updated Tiger Head logo this time in all white but made sure to leave the helmet alone. I thought this came out way better than their current uniform set.
The Cowboys: Let me preface the upcoming redesign with this, like all true Giants fans I despise everything about the Cowboys. That being said, I felt the Cowboy’s road uniforms (which you almost never see) needed some change because quite frankly they suck. Being someone who really loves vintage and throwback looks I felt that it would be a good idea to take the current jersey but to give it an old school twist. I changed most of the grey to white to make it look much like the Cowboys throwbacks but keep the same basic design. At least the Cowboys would look good as I boo them at Giants Stadium.
The Saints (home, road) Another team I haven’t been a big fan of (especially after the thrashing a few weeks ago on Big Blue) but I wanted to see how they would look with a little different twist. For the home uniform I left the black pretty much as is however I decided to change the gold to a little darker shade to make it seem more vintage. This color was based off an alternate logo from the 1960’s according to Sorts Logos.net. I took that alternate logo and added it to the helmet while making the helmet color black. It kind of reminds me of a hybrid between the 49ers and the Raiders. I ended up doing the same to the road uniform but instead of the helmet being black it’s a darker gold similar to the uniform.
The Seahawks (home, road): Last but not least the Seahawks. The first thing I did was figure out a way to get rid of that God awful neon green. I decided to go with a lighter blue to offset the dark blue in most of the home uniform. I updated both the sleeves with this new light blue and added the light blue to the logo on the helmet itself. I think it makes the jersey have a little pop without it being offensive. Additionally, on the shoulders I added the Seahawks alternate logo from Sports Logos.net you mentioned a few weeks back as never seeing. Very simple changes that I think make the uniform a little better.
After finishing the home uniform I couldn’t help but change the road uniform. For this jersey I again changed the sleeves to the lighter blue and added a little bit to the helmet logo. I decided to keep the old sleeve patches for the road to keep things different. Additionally, I decided to add the light blue to the numbers themselves.
Next up is Ben Traxel, and these two designs for the Broncos you’ve actually seen before, since Paul posted them in the ticker a few weeks ago. But since they’re part of the “uni tweaks” folder I’ve been keeping, they’ll get their due below:
After all the Broncos vertical stripe talk I decided we needed to see what they’d look like on their current unis. This also gave me a chance to tweek their not so hot set of today too. I had to get rid of the spike thing that shot into the neck from the side panel and also the way it ended on the pants so I went with a more traditional double stripe. To carry on the blue/orange socks I dashed in some trim on the shoulder. I then changed the sleeve color like they did for a brief time in the 60’s and brought back the Big D logo. The socks definately need to be half white after seeing what the players looked like this year. Finally, I had to get rid of the center stripe spikes and go with something more traditional. This is my first run at tweeking the NFL but I’m sure not the last. We’ll see what team needs it next.
Next up is Stephen Brookman who’s a big fan of the Washington, D.C. team. Here’s Stephen:
Hey Phil…a while back I made some tweak to the Redskins uni set. (I think I sent them in to you a few months ago, so I apologize if this is redundant!) Some of my examples are below.
I am a huge Redskins fan and generally like the current uni set. I just wish they just had some additional options, like gold pants.
The gold pants I’ve designed, use the current Redskins template with the stripes side by side. I’ve also added the old school striped socks, that we saw a few years ago with the throwbacks.
The one thing I’ve always been iffy on about the Skins uni over the years is the yellow facemask. I personally think it makes the helmet look like a toy or kids helmet. Because of this, I’ve added a grey facemask.
So in a nutshell, what I’ve tried to do with my design is keep the current set mostly intact, but with some nods to some of the finer uni moments of the teams’ past. I’d also like if they’d go back to having the stripes on the elastic sleeves go all the way around. About half way around the sleeves, the striping goes from yellow and red, to just solid yellow. To me, that looks totally tacky and flat out lazy on Reebok’s part. I guess if I had my choice of fixing that or having Dan Snyder sell the team, I’d choose the latter.
Thanks Phil…I really love all the work you guys do on the site. It is one of my favorite simple pleasures.
Moving along, we have Scott Lukacs, who’s modified the Cowboys uniforms:
Love the blog. Reading it has become a morning ritual. I’ve been thinking about this tweak for a while and when I saw your note about running some football uni tweaks I thought I’d get this off to you.
First for the home white uni. Not much of a change here…more of a look back to the past. The helmet and pants remain as is. The numbers revert to the serif type used during the ’60’s & ’70’s and current throwbacks. TV numbers remain sans serif. NOB goes sans serif as well. Of course the striped socks need to return.
Now for the blue uni. I have never been that fond of the current blue double star jersey so let’s just retire it. I do however, like the current throwbacks and would like to see the team adopt them as their primary blue (away) uni…with some tweaks. The stars on the helmet and jersey shoulders switch to the current design (blue star with white and blue border). Helmet would also be updated to a metallic white. Primary pants would be white with blue stripes. Alt blue pants would also be available with white stripes.
Finally an alt white uni for use on Thanksgiving or other special occasion games. Metallic white helmet would be used for this kit also. Same number and NOB treatments as on the other jerseys. Shoulder stars colors are reversed to white-blue-white. Primary pants would be white with blue stripes. Again alt blue pants with white stripes would be available.
That’s it for now. Keep up the good work!
OK. That will do it for this edition of the NFL uniform upgrades/redesigns/tweaks, etc. There’s still more to come, and (space permitting) I’ll put them in my next post. Thanks to everyone who sent these in, and for those we’ve seen before as well as those still to come. Feel free to continue to send me your submissions!
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Another gridiron challenge today. Shouldn’t be all that difficult, but then again you never know. As always, date, location and final score are required. Don’t forget to link to your answer by using Pro Football Reference. Ready? Guess The Game. And if you want to keep this going through the fall, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!
Who says Mick isn’t one suave character? Certainly not Mick. But, what happens when he meets the woman of his dreams in Bub’s Pub? And they say opposites don’t attract.
Wow…almost to the finish line. If you didn’t check out Paul’s latest ESPN column, make sure ya do. Aside from the fascinating bit on tailgating, the third item, “Meanwhile, over on the gridiron” remarks at length about Nike’s new “pro combat” uniforms (yeah, that’s the ticket), three of which are supposed to be debuting today. Make sure to set your DVR’s for those games. I’m still not certain on the third team, but two of the games are definitely confirmed: TCU vs. Utah and VaTech vs. Maryland (the latter of which will feature camo-tinged unis for Maryland and VaTech decked out in their “good guys wear white” duds). Oh baby. Thanks to Paul and UW Sneakerhead Matt Powers for confirming those games. — Only one of those games can make the “worst dressed list,” and I’d wager ahead of time, one of them will.
At press time, Matt still hadn’t confirmed the third team, but I put his super-nike-sleuthing abilities to the test, and here are his thoughts:
My guess is OU because they are playing A&M, a former Nike school who is now Adidas, due to a famous Nike story.
*Doesn’t look like Mizzou cuz they’re playing K-State, another Nike school. Next week they are doing a blackout against Iowa State, another Nike school. They end up with Kansas.
*LSU is playing LaTech…not a big enough stage. It’s gotta be against Arkansas with “Cochon de Lait.”
*Florida is playing the UA clad gamecocks, coached by Spurrier…good possibility considering they only have FIU and FSU left on the schedule.
*The Canes are at UNC and Butch Davis, but both are Nike schools. They are left with Duke, too small, and USF…big game and UA unis…I’m going with USF on the 28th.
*Texas vs. Baylor, both Nike…they are left with Kansas and A&M. Either one is a good candidate although I would love it to be Kansas, a former Nike school who might get wacked twice by Pro Combat.
*FSU had Wake..both Nike. Next week is Maryland. Fear the Spear vs. Fear the Turtle. If this is true, then the Terps are getting smacked twice in the Pro Combat games.
*TOSU has Iowa…both Nike…and Michigan…its gotta be Michigan
Thank you Inspector Powers. I don’t know what we’d do without you.
That’s gonna do it for today, people. Everyone have a great Saturday.