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One Horse, Two Horse, Brown Horse, Blue Horse

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OUR STORY SO FAR … Everyone agrees that the 1962 Broncos wore a white mule donkey burrrro oh okay, it’s a horse on their helmets — except during the preseason and possibly the first game or two of the regular season, when they clearly wore a non-white decal. Most helmet-history sites (the Helmet Project, Helmetpix, the Broncos uni-history page, etc.) show or describe this non-white pony as being brown, but our own Richard “Ricko” Pearson, who unlike most of us was actually watching football games in 1962, has maintained for years — for decades — that it was actually blue.

The search for definitive visual evidence one way or the other has become one of Uni Watch’s great white whales. The problem, of course, is that the only photos of this helmet up until now have been black-and-white shots. Wouldn’t it be great if I could resolve this thorny issue by presenting a color photograph?

Yup. And maybe one day I will. But today is not that day.

What I do have today, however, is a newly discovered black-and-white wire shot that brings us a bit closer to the answer. Behold:

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Reader Mark Peterson recently spotted that photo on eBay and sent it to me. As you can see in the vague caption, the new uniforms are described as being orange, blue, and white (no mention of brown), but although the helmet decal is mentioned, its color is not. It’s tantalizingly, maddeningly close. Or as Mark put it when he forward the photo to me, “Fuckity fuckity fuck fuck!”

A few days ago I showed the photo to Ricko and Phil. Phil responded first:

If the Bronco was brown, you’d think they’d mention that, right? Why mention the uniform colors and the helmet’s main color but then exclude the most important part — the color of the horsey — unless the horsey was blue [i.e., one of the colors they’d already mentioned]?

This is not the 100% proof Ricko is right, but it’s closer than anything we’ve seen so far.

I basically agree with that analysis, at least to the extent that the caption’s writer was rational, logical, etc. As a journalist, however, I can tell you that captions (and articles, and headlines…) are often written by people who are total goofballs.

Ricko, however, took the argument a step further: “As I’ve said many times, had the Broncos kept the brown [from this design], for any trumped-up reason, they’d have been laughed at, booed, and generally benn the brunt of some serious jokes [i.e., because that previous uni was such a league-wide laughingstock — PL]. That would have made the papers back then. Guarantee it.”

But here’s the thing: Most folks seem to agree that the reason the horse changed from colored (blue, brown, whatever) to white is that the colored decal didn’t provide enough contrast against the orange helmet and was therefore hard to discern. Phil takes up the argument from there:

If the helmets were indeed Texas orange and the pony was brown, it might have been difficult to make out [so it makes sense that they’d change it]. Not so if the horse was blue — they wouldn’t need to change it, or at least one wouldn’t think so. In fact, I’d argue that the white, which is what they changed to, would be less clear than the blue against an orange background.

I basically agree with that analysis too. Hmmmmm.

The tiebreaker in my mind is that it doesn’t make a whole lot of design sense to impose a brown helmet decal on a color scheme that’s otherwise dominated by blue and orange. So I’m leaning toward this.

But we aren’t quite there yet.

Coming soon: Exciting news about another Uni Watch white whale. Full details in a day or three.

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And stuff your bra while you’re at it: Jeremy Brahm informs me that the Badminton World Federation, in an effort “to raise the profile of women in badminton,” has issued new clothing standards. You can guess where this is going, right?

Here’s the key passage:

The BWF has received feedback from various parties with regards to the introduction of Rule 19.2 of the General Competition Regulations, which require female players to wear skirts or dresses for Level 1 to 3 tournaments. This specific regulation has its genesis in the extensive review into the marketing and events structure conducted by an external international marketing agency in 2009.

The BWF has developed guidelines to go alongside the new Regulation, to ensure that it will not in any way discriminate against any religious or other beliefs and respects women. Players will continue to wear shorts if they wish but simply wear a skirt over the top of the shorts, as is often practiced already by some players.

How wonderful that an “external marketing agency” decided that these athletes should wear skirts or dresses, and how comforting it is to know that the BWF will ensure that this rule “respects women.” As for the religious angle, Pakistan has already decided not to follow the new guidelines. I guess they don’t care about marketing.

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Membership update: About ten new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Tim Fogarty’s brilliant request, shown at right. If it doesn’t look familiar, that’s because it’s based on this White Sox beach blanket prototype. There’s only one rear-view image of this jersey that I’m aware of, and it’s pretty sketchy — literally — but I think you’ll agree that Scott did a great job anyway.

As for printed/laminated versions, some of these new cards will mail out later this week; the rest, I hope, next week.

As always, you get your own custom-designed membership card by signing up here.

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Save the date — full details: Take a bunch of people associated with This American Life, Radiolab, Wired, the New Yorker, and the New York Times, toss in a few highly regarded artists and authors, mix them all together, and you’ve got — I’ll go out on a limb here — all the kids who were picked last in gym class. So why would they want anything to do with ESPN?

Beats me, but that’s what’s happening on May 11, as Pop-Up Magazine and ESPN [The] Mag are teaming up for an evening of sports-themed revenge of the nerds performance, presentation, and, storytelling. As you can see, I’m on the list of participants, and I’m actually pretty stoked about it.

A few details:

• Tickets will will go on sale tomorrow, noon eastern, at the Pop-Up Mag web site. I’m told the price will be $25. Yes, I know that’s a bit steep, but hey, it’s live entertainment (and it’s still cheaper than Lombardi). I expect this will sell out pretty quickly, so act fast if you want in.

• One of Pop-Up Mag’s rules is that there will be no photography, no video, no simulcast, no webcast, no podcast, no recording of any kind. So you’re either there for the live event or you’re not, and that’s it.

• The venue is the Skirball Center, which is a theater on the NYU campus. Never been in there myself, but I hear it’s nice.

• There will be additional participants besides the ones already listed on the Pop-Up Mag site. I don’t know who any of them are, but I hear the Pop-Up folks like to keep some big surprises under wraps for the event.

• I can’t tell you what any of the other people’s presentations will be about, because I don’t know. I also can’t tell you what my presentation will be about, because I’ve been asked not to.

And there we are. Hope you can make it.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Latest team to wear green for environmental awareness: the Astros. Anyone know what the little logo on the side was? … Ocean cruise vacationers may once again be able to hit golf balls into the ocean now that the U. of Maine has developed a golf ball made of lobster shells. No, really! … “The IIHF World Championships start on the 29th,” writes Moose Richards. “Players can be added after their teams are eliminated from the NHL, AHL, or European playoffs, so they need to be able to change nameplates throughout the tourney.” Additional uni info here. … The Indians have designed a logo to mark the 3000th game of the guy who beats the bass drum at the Jake (thanks, Vince). … New football uniforms, apparently for Indiana (with thanks to Josh Hallatt). … In conjunction with Morgan Spurlock’s new movie about corporate sponsorship (which we should probably all go see together), the town of Altoona, Pa., has sold the naming rights to itself. Similar things have happened several times before, including the case of a North Dakota town that renamed itself after a brand of peppermint schnapps, which I happened to write about back in 1999. … Nice striped stirrups being worn this season by St. Mary’s College (big thanks to Mark Chiarucci). … “In honor of the San Jose Sharks’ 20th anniversary (and hopefully in celebration of a Stanley Cup), I’ve decided to break out my cache of arcane-but-cool stuff relating to team’s marketing launch,” says a very exuberant Russ Havens. “I’ve posted a few items already, including the season seat package for the first year and the logo-unveiling press kit.” … Wondering how sleep affects athletic performance, and/or how much sleep some leading athletes get? Check out this ridiculously large infographic. … Speaking of infographics, here’s one showing how Real Salt Lake from MLS has advanced through the Concacaf Champions League, to play a final game tonight (big thanks to Matt Carlson). … “I was watching the Man.U/Schalke game on Tuesday and Man.U goalie Edwin van der Sar switched his kit at halftime because they listed his jersey on the roster sheet as yellow and he was wearing green. Unfortunately I don’t have a screen shot.” … Here’s something you may not have seen before: Miami football wearing solid orange in 1985 against Florida (with thanks to Kyle Wooster. … Is this Louisville’s new football jersey? Hope so, cuz it sure beats the hell out of last year’s (with thanks to David Merrill). … Here’s a doozy: black (or navy?) tequila sunrise pants. The seller’s way off-base about the ’Stros actually having worn these, natch, but it’s still an interesting item (with thanks to Trevor Williams). … The Lakers wore black shoes at home last night. “Haven’t seen them do that other than on MLK Day earlier this season,” says Josh Jiron.

Oh bondage, no more: RIP, Poly — glad your pain is over. You’ll be missed.

 

162 comments to One Horse, Two Horse, Brown Horse, Blue Horse

  • Mark in Shiga | April 27, 2011 at 8:19 am |

    Those new badminton rules-makers better not be mseeing with the beautiful and eccentric Naomi Yotsumoto.

    One of the few reasons to watch that sport!

    • Jon | April 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

      That’s Table Tennis, isn’t it?

  • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 8:20 am |

    Drawing any conclusion about helmet decal colors from that caption assumes more than just rationality on the part of the caption writer. Other assumptions, all of which are either likely or certainly false:

    – That the caption writer ever saw any element of the uniform in color at all.
    – That the caption writer remembered correctly, or took adequate notes, if he actually saw the helmet in person, and relied on complete or correct memories/notes when writing the caption.
    – That line and copy editors, possibly including both news and photo staff, did not materially change the caption in a way that might obscure its accuracy and completeness.

    All of those are bad assumptions, but the most important, and probably the single worst assumption, is this:

    – That sports journalists, or really anyone, in 1962 had a 21st-century interest in or understanding of branding and design.

    To any UW reader today, if front-office folks from a team brought us into their offices and announced that the team’s new uniforms would be orange, blue, and white, and then showed us an orange helmet with a brown decal, the brown decal would be the single most important piece of information gleaned from the event. It would stand out as an anomaly, and thus a fact of great significance. Back in the early 1960s – heck, prior to the mid- to late-1990s, this would have been a very unusual reaction. A brown helmet logo for an orange-blue-white team just wouldn’t have stood out. Now, if the team claimed to be orange-blue-white but the jerseys were brown, sure. That would have been an anomaly worth noting or asking about. To the extent that a brown helmet decal was notable at all, its notability would have been fully covered by using the word “silhouette.” A brown bronco on orange would appear as if it were a darker version of the orange, thus a “silhouette.”

    (However, worth noting that “silhouette” was a much more commonly used word back then, and could equally be used to describe the form of an image rather than its relative color value, so the word could just as well have been used if the bronco were blue.)

    Anyway, all those assumptions considered, the caption seems to me to offer zero evidence either way on the color of the bronco. A great, great find, but of no value to resolving the very narrow question of fact at hand. Only a color photo, a surviving artifact, or a contemporaneous primary account that specifically describes the color of the decal will resolve this one.

    • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 8:24 am |

      Should have added: The above is not meant as criticism of or argument with Paul, Ricko, Phil, or anyone. The photo and caption are awesome finds and this was a real highlight of a UW entry for me.

      • teenchy | April 27, 2011 at 9:54 am |

        A compelling argument that the mystery is not solved. However, I do have to dispute this statement:

        – That sports journalists, or really anyone, in 1962 had a 21st-century interest in or understanding of branding and design.

        That can’t be said of any world in which Raymond Loewy lived.

    • Paul Lukas | April 27, 2011 at 8:29 am |

      Scott, as usual, provides the most articulate, well-reasoned analysis we’re likely to read today.

      • Gordon | April 27, 2011 at 9:26 am |

        This may be a job for some type of photo forensics expert. Perhaps there is some rule of thumb about how different colors appear when photographed in B&W. Or perhaps not. Worth a shot.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 10:44 am |

          Unfortunately, there really aren’t any such rules. So many variables can affect the apparent tones of a monochrome print. As far as I can tell, UW has at one time or another linked to (or published!) every B&W photo of the pre-white broncos helmet available online. To my trained-at-the-end-of-the-pre-digital-era-of-print-journalism eye, all these photos, including today’s, look a heck of a lot more consistent with the brown theory than the blue theory. But monochrome images are so malleable that there’s just no way to tell. At both the input and the output stages – that is, exposure settings and decisions made in developing the prints – basically any color can be made to produce basically any gray value, and even the relative gray values of different colors in the same image are highly changeable.

          You can produce vastly different apparent gray values in different prints from the same negative, to say nothing of prints from different negatives exposed in different cameras under different lighting conditions.

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

        “…the most articulate, well-reasoned analysis we’re likely to read today.”

        Through a 2011 viewfinder.

        How ’bout from a 1962 vantage point?

        Cuz if anyone thinks they’re the same, we’re not gonna get anywhere on this.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

          That’s the point: A “1962 vantage point” isn’t available to us, and any attempt to build models of likely actions based on speculative theories of individual mental states 50 years ago is, well, “vapor” would be a generous description of the entire process of “reasoning” involved in such a line of enquiry. Doesn’t matter whether the assumption relies on projecting 2011 viewpoints backwards, or pretending to have access to 1962 viewpoints inside a 2011 head. Either one is a faulty assumption, and any conclusions drawn from that assumption are suspect at best.

          The color was what it was; trying to unravel why various persons may or may not have made any number of decisions that contributed to producing the particular outcome of that color amounts to piling assumptions on assumptions on assumptions, all of which assumptions we have reason to believe to be wrong. (Including the assumption that the color used was the product of deliberate decisions; it’s also entirely possible that the team decided on color A but received color B, opted to live with it, and then changed to white!) If we knew the answer to the question of fact, then theories of mind might help us to understand how the fact came to be. It doesn’t work the other way around.

    • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 8:49 am |

      there were more to the e-mails than just what paul reposted here (and thankfully, for brevity’s sake) but there were two items i had found which speak directly to the brown bronco, both from the same writer:

      The logo was a cartoon-ish bucking bronco, and was originally brown in color, the only color carry-over from the 1960-’61 seasons. Very quickly, it was recognized that the brown logo was not clearly visible due to the limited contrast between the brown and the orange helmet shell. By the sixth game of the season, the brown logos had been replaced by the more familiar white logo.

      and

      The new helmet was orange and included a bucking, “star-eyed” horse logo and white center stripe. The original helmet logo was brown in color, the only carryover from the 1960-’61 era uniforms. The brown logo showed poorly, however, lacking contrast against the orange helmet. The brown logo was used though at least the September 30th game (at NY Titans). By the October 14th game at Oakland, the helmets had been refitted with white logos.

      (source)

      i agree with scotty about the caption writer — it’s HIGHLY likely he never saw either helmet or uniform, and was relying on a press kit and/or the photographer for that info; also agree that a brown pony wouldn’t have stood out as an anomaly then

      in fact, that’s where i can’t 100% ever agree with ricko until we get color-specific proof one way or the other — horses ARE BROWN not blue…so seeing a brown pony on the helmet wouldn’t have seemed odd, not in the least, especially back then — but the fact that it was described as a “holdover” is what is troubling, and where ricko makes the most sense;

      a brown horsey makes sense from a logistical standpoint (horses are brown) but NOT as some kind of homage to the prior uni-scheme

      the mystery continues

      • Graf Zeppelin | April 27, 2011 at 9:03 am |

        I was thinking the same thing about horses being brown and not blue.

        I’m not convinced that a blue decal would be easier to make out than a brown one against an orange background. Blue and orange clash, the same way red and green clash, but not the way black and white clash. Brown is essentially a darker shade of orange. By way of example, a person who is colorblind would probably not be able to make out the blue logo against the orange background (if it was a royal blue), but he probably would be able to see the brown one. A person with normal color vision, looking from a distance, would probably see a blue splotch on the helmet but not be able to discern the shape of it, although the same probably applies to the brown.

        • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |

          Even in white, from any distance, the damn thing looks like a splotch.

        • pushbutton | April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

          Looks like the retarded horse from Family Guy.

      • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |

        The funny thing is that – and this might just be a demonstration that I’m completely nuts – to me, the thin evidence of the caption seems to me to suggest that the decal was probably brown, not blue. But the notion that the decal color was changed because of perceived “contrast” or “visibility” issues strongly suggests to me that the decal was blue, not brown. Brown on orange is actually a reasonably contrasty, visible combination. I mean, just look at the photo up there: if that’s a brown bronco, it’s got excellent contrast and visibility. Probably better than white on orange, even. Blue on orange with no outline, however, that would have terrible visibility. It’s low contrast, and as a vivid-on-vivid color scheme, it would be even less clearly visible than the black-and-white contrast would suggest. Even standing still, a blue bronco on orange would look like it was vibrating, and you’d never be able to clearly see the edges and thus the form of the bronco. (Plus, children would be collapsing in seizures at the mere sight of it, like a Pokemon cartoon or something.)

        So, to me, if I put aside my concerns about the evidentiary value of the photo and caption, I would see it as evidence for the brown camp. Yet the claims about the reasons for the change strike me as evidence for the blue camp. At which point I’m reminded that the hunt for the white whale drove Ahab mad!

        • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 9:15 am |

          more from that same source:

          The first original uniform designed specifically for the team was the creation of Bob Bowie of The Denver Post. Additionally, Bowie is credited with design of the Broncos’ 1962 logo as well as having provided numerous game program cover illustrations during the teams’ early years. According to Coach Jack Faulkner, Bowie’s involvement was solicited in an attempt to gain the press’ interest and attention in the team.

          Faulkner also noted that the color selection for the uniform style was somewhat of an accident. A student of Paul Brown and a fan of the Cleveland Browns, Faulkner intended the jerseys to be “Texas Orange” a brownish color which, according to Brown, made the ball difficult to spot against the similar colored field of the ball carrier’s jersey. An undetermined mix-up somewhere in the order fulfillment process resulted in delivery of Wilson jerseys that were the much brighter “Tennessee Orange”.

          now…does this mean the helmets were “texas” orange or “tennessee” orange? assuming they were not repainted (only the logos changed), was the helmet like this or like this?

          and would the blue or the brown be less likely to show up against either?

          i would think the only argument with which we can agree is that the logo was changed from b___ to white because the contrast wasn’t strong enough…the question is what was the actual helmet color and which horse color would have provided the least contrast

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 9:28 am |

          That’s a shame. To my mind, Texas orange is a much more “western” color than Tennessee orange. In fact, Texas orange and brown is kind of my ideal “western” team color scheme.

          To the question at hand, I don’t think the shade of orange would have any bearing on the relative visibility of blue or brown on the helmet, but I do think that a bright orange helmet would tend to make white a marginally more sensible alternative to brown.

        • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 9:35 am |

          Speaking of Texas… they’re almost another point in favor of the brown side. The Longhorns *still* use a brown logo on an otherwise completely orange & white uniform – and they started using it in 1961.

        • Donald | April 27, 2011 at 10:23 am |

          I’d say the fact that the longhorns continue to use the brown logo on a orange helmet is an indicator that blue didn’t contrast enough and they went to white. A brown logo clearly stands out.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:26 am |

          I mentioned here a long time ago that the Broncos had intended their unis to be Texas Orange (or, as it was called colloquially back then, “Burnt Orange”). That was according to my former partner, who’d been sports editor of the Denver Post at the time. He told me that story in about 1972.

          The trouble is, back then the typical orange of the Browns, Orioles and others was, in many catalogs, called “Burnt Orange.” I suspect that’s where the screwup may have occurred.

          A particular point of Scott’s observation should be noted…
          “that sports journalists, or really anyone, in 1962 had a 21st-century interest in or understanding of branding and design.”
          Remember, “or really anyone” also includes team personnel. Given the climate in Denver and the widespread dislike for the cheddar and gold suits, it is extraordinarily hard to believe any cockamammie 21st century psycho-babble crap about keeping the brown to “help fans with the transition”. Say what? It was the fans who wanted the brown outta there…and the team had been in existence for only two seasons. Two frickin’ seasons.

          The entire Bronco position was a “new broom sweeps clean” mentality. New guy (Faulkner), new colors, new unis, new (hopefully winning) attitude. “Everything New in ’62” was the slogan, I believe. They weren’t gonna be a second-rate organization wearing second hand unis anymore. So why keep any brown around? It would be just…stupid.

          And, I will recount again what my former partner said of the first (dark) decal on the orange helmet. “It looked like a big ink blot.” I can’t say for sure that a brown horse wouldn’t have made him think of that analogy. But a blue one certainly would have been more likely to create that impression.

          It never occured to me ask him if had been brown. Why would I. There is no earthly, common sense, logical reason for it to have been brown. Especially in that situation. In 1962.

          Unless it was a screwup. And that definitely would have been reported. “AFL team can’t even order the right color helmet decals.” Grist for pro-NFL writers’ mills. Especially for a team that had sported those socks for two years.

        • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 10:31 am |

          Um, what? The Longhorns use a white helmet with a brown logo. The rest of their uniform is orange & white. The point is that the color of their logo doesn’t match the rest of the uniform, just like the brown horse wouldn’t have matched the rest of the Broncos uniform.

        • Chance Michaels | April 27, 2011 at 11:12 am |

          I’m very unconvinced by the argument that horses being brown has anything to do with the Denver uniforms. Bears are not navy and blue, nor are Lions blue and silver.

          You think if the team was trying to “ease” their fans into the new color scheme by hanging on to brown for the helmet logo, it would have been mentioned somewhere at the time?

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:18 am |

          Man, is that writer full of shit on the colors.
          Broncos NEVER wore Tennessee Orange (same as Bucs orange).
          Just plain didn’t.

          Faulkner wanted the more brownish orange of Texas.
          What he got was the same orange as the Orioles, Browns, Giants and others. Plain old catalog orange.

          He wanted what they used to call a “special order” color, which either Texas or Tennesse Orange would have been.
          What he got was off-the-rack.

        • DenverGregg | April 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

          With the one caveat that there were a few Bronco players who wore something like Tennessee orange – especially punt returner Rich Upchurch – on tearaway jerseys ca 1976, sadly I don’t have a photo handy, I agree that the Broncos did not historically wear that lighter shade – nor did they wear the Texas shade that I know of.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

          Man, is that writer full of shit on the colors.

          If the facts your assert are true, the writer’s story could still be entirely correct: The Broncos wanted a dark shade of orange, but instead were supplied with a different, brighter shade of orange. Being off about a name or title pertaining to one of two material facts while getting the larger story entirely right isn’t “full of shit.” In journalism, or even oftentimes history, it’s par for the course.

          The entire Bronco position was a “new broom sweeps clean” mentality…

          Again, my whole point is that any assumption about the mentality of people 50 years ago, and then building models of decisionmaking behavior based on applying those psychological hypotheses, is on the level of Phase One: Collect Underpants; Phase Three: Profits. It’s not just going down a rabbit hole, it’s going down a rabbit hole and dynamiting the entrance behind ourselves.

          Color photography, a surviving artifact, or a specific contemporaneous primary source. Anything else is on the level of debating Da Bears in a bus driven by Ditka versus da Indy fi-hunderd. Entertaining and fun, but we can’t take any conclusions seriously.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

          “Again, my whole point is that any assumption about the mentality of people 50 years ago…”

          There’s sorta one of MY central points. Most of you here do have to make assumptions about “people 50 years ago.”

          But I’m one of those people from 50 years ago. And I was paying attention to such things at the time, and in the decades thereafter. Far moreso than the typical observer. I asked questions, and got answers, as early as 1972, only 10 years after the fact. Not in 2002, or even 1992.

          As to “full of shit”. Hey, among UniGeeks, if a writer doesn’t know what the hell Tennesse Orange is, he’s gonna be suspect. :)

          As to judging the color value in today’s b&w photo, remember the decal likely was not royal but closer to navy, as were all “royal” helmet stripes and logos at the time (Colts, Cowboys and others). You could look it up. Lacking that arcane bit of knowledge/facts, it is very, very easy to draw erroneous conclusions about the colors on the helmet in the photo.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

          And here I thought everyone already understood that if the decal were blue, it was likely to be a medium-to-navy shade, not bright royal. I mean, you can’t really tell anything from the B&W photos we have, but not one of the B&W photos I’ve seen seems even a little bit consistent with royal blue. If the debate were between brown and royal blue, then there would be no debate, because it’s almost certainly not royal blue.

          The darker blue still makes my eyes bleed to look at it on an orange background. ;-)

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

          Works about as well as the navy “C” on those new red Indians hats.

    • Craig D | April 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

      The artists here should know that on the color wheel, blue and orange are opposite each other. Similar to red/green and purple/yellow. What this means is that when you mix two opposite colors you get gray. When you have two opposite colors next to each other, the brain wants to mix them and thus you get that fuzzy edge thats been mentioned here. Blue horsey on an orange background would have been hard on the eyes for this reason, especially if they had similar values. Brown on orange would have looked more stable (no pun intended). Based on that, I can understand the horse being blue and being difficult for fans to see, leading to the change to white.

      • Dave Mac | April 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

        So has anyone simply contacted the Denver Broncos organization to find out the answer? Obviously, they may not know, but it’s possible they have access to greater resources than we do.

        Or maybe everyone here just enjoys the discussion too much to search for definitive answers. This subject is kind of like Uni Watch’s Kennedy conspiracy.

    • Original Jim | April 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

      Is there anyone here who may have a connection to someone at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or NFL Films? Perhaps there’s something in the not-displayed archives that can shed a more definitive light on this.

  • Jeremy Brahm | April 27, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    http://www.uefa.com/...

    Look for pictures 18 & 41 in the gallery of van der Sar in yellow and green.

    • Anthony B. | April 27, 2011 at 11:04 am |

      Weird. Wonder why he switched.
      On a related note, those Nike keeper jerseys for this season are AWFUL. Not sure why they thought tiger stripes or lightning bolts or whatever the hell is on the sleeves would be a good idea. They’re even worse than the ones from last summer, where the goalies has tons of polka dots on the sleeves.
      Keepers should be allowed to wear contrasting colors without looking like Jorge Campos.

  • Brandon Hamburg | April 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |

    Paul,

    Pretty sure the logo on the Astros hat last night was this one:
    http://houston.astro...

    • JamesP. | April 27, 2011 at 9:12 am |

      Crap…when I went to post the same link there were no posts yet…

  • timmy b | April 27, 2011 at 8:28 am |

    Major points for discussing the ’62 Broncos helmet logo.

    I have a couple of questions…

    1) How did the brown logo theory ever pick up steam?? To me, that is almost as big a mystery as anything.

    2) Is the date of the caption 4/4/62? And this is from the Denver Post, correct?

    3) How many other newspapers were there in Denver at the time? The Rocky Mountain News, I’m certain of. Were there any others I’m not familiar with? Are there/were there any other suburban papers of note that may solve this riddle?

    Way to go, Mark, for the find!!

    • DenverGregg | April 27, 2011 at 10:10 am |

      Doubtful that the Englewood Herald, Aurora Sun, Littleton Independent, Barnum Press or even the more prominent Boulder Daily Camera (those are the only ones I can be reasonably sure were around) would have covered the Broncos in ’62.

      Online archive of the defunct RMN only goes back to 1989.

    • =bg= | April 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

      i think it has something to do with a grassy knoll.

      ——–sent from my Google CR48 laptop

  • Jon | April 27, 2011 at 8:29 am |

    In the lobby of the Broncos HQ in Denver they have their SB trophies, etc. on display–including their throwback helmets. There is NOT a orange/blue mule helmet on display. But then again, they only have the orange/white version. ?????

    • DenverGregg | April 27, 2011 at 10:23 am |

      The horsey helmet was implemented by the original owners (Bob Howsam et al), who lost their shirts and nearly folded the team. When the Phipps bros bought the team in ’64, they may not have received any of the old decals at all.

      • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm |

        I’d assumed that the lack of known artifacts results from the team simply refurbishing all the blue/brown-decal helmets to have a white decal. And in so doing, destroying all existing evidence of the original color. In order for a blue/brown-decal helmet to have survived as an artifact, under this hypothesis, it would have to have been taken out of circulation (indeed, out of the team’s hands entirely) sometime between the start of the practice and the second week of the regular season.

        • DenverGregg | April 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

          I figured there may have been some unused in a closet somewhere, but yeah. And there probably weren’t color pix as the original owners were cheap enough to go into the stands to retrieve footballs that made their way into the seats.

  • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    What I don’t understand about the whole blue or brown thing is how it even became an issue if Ricko is right about it being blue. I mean, it makes sense that it would have been blue. There’s absolutely no reason for the thing to be brown – so why the hell would anyone make that up? That ridiculousness is exactly why I’m still inclined to think that it really was brown. After all, when you see it in black & white pictures, it’s obvious that it should be blue – the only reason anyone would need to mention what color it was is if it *wasn’t* what it seemed. I think Phil’s right about the blue probably showing up on the orange better than brown would as well, so there’s also that. Plus… helmet decals were still fairly new in 1962 – perhaps the idea of a brown horse made more sense to some than a blue horse did. I mean who’s ever seen a blue horse?

    Sadly this is probably going to remain one of history’s great unsolved mysteries.

    • C Ward | April 27, 2011 at 9:03 am |

      Who’s ever seen a blue horse? Most of Denver, that’s who.

      http://tinyurl.com/3...

      • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 9:09 am |

        Well now that’s just disturbing.

        • DenverGregg | April 27, 2011 at 10:13 am |

          And it’s already killed someone.

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:56 am |

      “the only reason anyone would need to mention what color it was is if it *wasn’t* what it seemed”

      Unless, as I’ve theorized before, some less-than-knowledgeable person saw those horse-helmet unis in b&w and thought they were cheddar and white with a bit of brown trim…because he/she mistakenly thought the unis brought back for the 1994 throwback season were the first orange Bronco set. They weren’t, of course. The royal sleeve panel was the second set.

      Not realizing there’d been only one set of cheddar and brown.

      And instead of admitting the mistake, invented an unbelievable bunch of hooey for the sake of ass-covering.

      Remember, around 1994 the Internet was just beginning to make an awful lot of people experts on things that happened well before their time.

      That now-gone site with all the ’94 throwbacks, for example. It repeatedly stated that most teams didn’t wear helmets in the 1930s. Huh? Wrong.

      Let’s just put it this way.
      It was brown and nobody—I mean NOBODY—mentioned it at the time?

      Anything after the fact is just conjecture.

      • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 11:24 am |

        Well, as I’d like to think Texas shows, it being brown wouldn’t be that unusual for the time. No one said anything because it wasn’t considered strange and because no one really gave a shit about the AFL. Even if there was later an article mentioning the change to white, it wouldn’t necessarily need to say anything about the old color.

        Maybe you’re right. Blue makes sense in a lot of ways. Or maybe not. Brown also makes sense in a few ways.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:41 am |

          Yes, the trend to biologically or ornithologically correct logos was so BIG in 1962. ;)

          We do understand this would be like the Tampa Bay Rays saying, three years ago, that they would switch to Navy and Powder, but keep the hat visors Forest to have something carry over so the fans wouldn’t be so traumatized by the change. Ba-loney. Who fucking thinks like that? Not now. Certainly not in 1962.

          The horse “originally was brown”. Maybe Bowie drew it in brown…before the team changed its colors?

          Writers don’t always get things straight. In 1974, a Florida writer called me to ask a question about World Team Tennis. When the story ran I was amazed to find my name was Rick Hopkins. Um, no. I’m Rick Pearson. Said so right in the media guide. Our offices were in Hopkins, MN. Said that in the media guide, too. And he still got it wrong.

        • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 11:43 am |

          Or perhaps your name was Hopkins, before you were adopted by the Pearson family.

          ;)

  • Jon | April 27, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    To add… As a big “helmet fan” and former resident of Denver, i can say that I never came across a orange/blue mule helmet, nor did I ever even hear of such a thing until today.

  • JamesP. | April 27, 2011 at 9:07 am |

    The patch on the side of the green Astros cap is for their “Play Green” campaign.

    http://houston.astro...

  • Fred | April 27, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    What’s the photographer’s name? Duane Howard? If he’s still alive, let’s give him a ring.

  • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    Also, for the sake of my sanity… let me point out that if it *was* blue, it would have looked more like this: http://img197.images...
    than the picture at the top of the page today. That thing is way too bright.

    • Chance Michaels | April 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |

      Jeff’s on a roll today.

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

        That might be part of the confusion.
        “It doesn’t look dark enough to have been royal blue.”

        Indeed. But if we really knew uni history, we’d know it wasn’t. It was, like all “royal” helmet decals up to then, closer to navy.

        I’m tellin ya, someone made an erroneous assumption based on limited knowledge and has been ass-covering ever since.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

          “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

          —newspaperman in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

        And Hell will freeze over before the makers of those brown-horsed throwback mini-helmets ever comes forward and says…

        “Oops, know what, we took the word of someone who didn’t know what they were talking about.”

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:56 am |

      Thank you for that. Almost certainly the blue would have been closer to navy, just as the Colts and original Cowboys emblems are/were. Shoot, even “royal” helmets were closer to navy…as we’ve discussed here many times.

      When we analyze how it contrasts, let’s remember that, even more important that fans in the stands was the issue of how it looked on TV. Black and white TV. The white horse, while no less easy to recognize than a darker one, would at least have been seen to even BE there at all…on B&W TV.

      Helmets were getting “flashier”. Why add a logo if goes pretty much invisible on TV? White would have solved that problem.

  • Terry Proctor | April 27, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    You are correct Paul. The Astros never wore those pants. They were definitely Navy Blue and were part of a series of baseball/softball uniforms that offered the “Tequila Sunrise” pattern in several color combinations. Majestic, Ranger Athletic and Swingster Athletic all offered variations of the Astro-themed uniforms. They were all economically priced and a pretty good seller.

    Quick observation on the IIHF article. English is obviously not the writer’s first language.

    • Gusto44 | April 27, 2011 at 11:37 am |

      It would have been something if the Astros did trot out a dark monochrome road version of their circa 1975 uniforms, by the mid 80s, Houston was wearing dark BP/ST jerseys(those jerseys were the rainbow sleeve version).

      Looking back, maybe Houston should have taken a stab at a navy blue monochrome road jersey at the time. The jersey could have read “Houston” in white letters. Since we know the Pirates wore pinstripes at Chicago, I’m sure the Bucs would have worn all black against Houston at home in a hypothetical monochrome game for the ages.

    • Yoey Yewin | April 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

      If they were indeed authentic, my guess is that they were worn by the Tuscon Toros. They’re the only team that wore the navy tops in competition; probably went monochrome with the pants. Hey, it was the 1980s.

  • Paul Barrett | April 27, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    New U of Maryland Unis?

    http://www.washingto...

    The article quotes an official saying they will be “second to none” and “will directly compete with Nike and what Nike does for Oregon.”

    Could be an alternate, or could be nothing at all. But If it’s the real deal, then we may have to have put up with another Oregon copycat.

    • Paul Barrett | April 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

      Now the same source;

      @dcsportsbog: I’m told the Maryland football uniforms I blogged about earlier are NOT the actual designs.

  • Fred | April 27, 2011 at 10:19 am |

    The Broncos 1962 uniform designer is Laura North-Allen. Anyone know if she’s still alive?

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:35 am |

      Thank you for pointing out that Bob Bowie did NOT design the uniform. He drew the horsey.

  • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 10:22 am |

    In an amazing coincidence, the White House today settled the Broncos decal color question once and for all.

    • Paul Lukas | April 27, 2011 at 10:29 am |

      I think it’s safe to say that if Obama were blue instead of brown, we wouldn’t have had all these problems….

      • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 10:34 am |

        What? I thought Obama was blue.

      • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 10:36 am |

        I’m pretty sure there’s a sizable portion of our population that wouldn’t be very happy with a Smurfy leader. They were communists, after all.

        • CA | April 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

          Smurf:

          Soviet Men Under Red Father

  • Big Al | April 27, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    (My apologies if this was posted already and I missed it…)

    Interesting piece on the NY Times site re: Manny Ramirez back in high school (George Washington High School in Manhattan), complete with a “Before Manny Was Manny” slideshow.

    Looks like he is wearing an NFL Equipment shirt in this pic. Not to mention a bandana with the Brazilian flag on it:

    http://www.nytimes.c...

    • Paul Lukas | April 27, 2011 at 10:50 am |

      Good catch! I clicked thru that entire slideshow but didn’t notice the NFL Equipment logo.

  • MPowers1634 | April 27, 2011 at 11:27 am |

    Ricko has been recently proven to be suspect…:0)

    Can’t we simply find anyone associated with the team at the time to do some investigating?

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:47 am |

      Um, all I really said was that Aaron mysteriously trotted out, for the first time in regular season play, with clarly visible adidas stripes to hit #715…and didn’t make a point of doing it afterward. I didn’t necessarily mean he changed brand of shoes, just that he was never an adidias “stripes visible all the time” guy. Until he was a Brewer.

  • Cort | April 27, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    Does the Astros “Play Green” logo amount to a new, more subtle form of corporate advertising on uniforms? The Play Green initiative is done in partnership with several corporate sponsors, most prominently Waste Management, whose primary corporate color is green. Waste Management signage is up all over Minute Maid Park, with the Play Green logo incorporated into it. It sort of seems like letting the camel’s nose into the tent: first there’s a benign logo, touting a do-good project; then, the benign logo is replaced by the corporate logo; then the do-good project is abandoned, but the logo remains.

    And I’ve lived in Texas for half my life. I’ve never heard the term “Texas Orange” — down here, it’s always referred to as “Burnt Orange” (I did once hear someone call maroon “Aggie Red”, but he was a nutjob. And a Yankee.)

  • James Craven | April 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    Today’s note of douchbaggery brought to you by O.co.

  • JessMan | April 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    Speaking of towns temporarily re-naming themselves to corporate sponsor names, some town in Texas renamed itself Dish after Dish Network. Everyone got free satellite

  • Tim E. O'B | April 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    Good to see the new Hoosier Unis. This is exactly what they were rumored to be last year before they displayed those terrible unis with the amorphous blobs on the pants and jerseys.

    Love the pants, love the lid, ok with the jersey.

    • Tim E. O'B | April 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

      Oh, and apparently they didn’t like my candy striped pants idea…

  • Jules | April 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    I could never go to a Cleveland Indians game, if I did I’d get kicked out for breaking the drum that annoys the crap out of me and many many others!

    When my team plays the Indians I’ll often mute the sound or lower the volume significantly.

    I don’t know how he’s been able to go 3,000 games and nobody has put a stop to it. Good grief.

    • DanKing9 | April 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm |

      Because maybe, just maybe, Indians fans actually like it? And I’m sure there’s something at your teams stadium that annoys the crap out of visiting fans/players. That’s one of the ways you get home field advantage.

      • Jules | April 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm |

        You’re right I’m sure my stadium has someone incessantly creating a noise so loud its heard in television broadcasts and not just over and over and over in the stadium.

        Talk about a home field advantage! Certainly not annoying at all. Even if I were an Indians fan, I would be annoying by that.

  • Skycat | April 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

    Interesting tidbit I heard on the Dan Patrick Show this morning. David Stern was interviewed and mentioned that he was disoriented to see the Pacers wearing their gold unis while the Bulls were wearing their white uniforms. He said he would have preferred to see the Bulls wearing red. Considering this was a playoff game and the Bulls were the home team, it would have seemed more appropriate for the Pacers to wear their road blues than to have the Bulls switch to red. I’m also a bit surprised that Stern, who is known for being a hands-on kind of guy, was not more in charge of how teams are dressed — especially during the playoffs.

    One can also make the case that white on gold is really a form of white on white, but that’s another issue.

    • pushbutton | April 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |

      A road team shouldn’t be allowed to wear the same color they just wore at home.

      Note to Stern:

      at Indiana: Pacers white or gold, Bulls red.
      at Chicago: Pacers blue, Bulls white.

      Give the home viewer a break. Follow conventions.

      • Geeman | April 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

        What’s the NBA rule on that? Of the many teams to wear gold uniforms in the last few years, they have all worn them on the road, except for the Lakers, who always wear them at home (except for some throwback games this year). Is a gold uniform a home or road uniform? What’s the NBA rule on this? In college it can be either.

        Indian looked fine last night, as it did on Saturday.

        • Geeman | April 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

          Meant INDIANA, sorry.

  • Tim E. O'B | April 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm |

    Reposted from yesterday’s comments:

    After finishing that major NBA project, I decided to take a week off. But today, I’m back over at TimEOBrien.com with a unique idea…

    http://www.timeobrie...

  • moose | April 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    jeff you glorious SOB, kate took me out for dinner at a rotating restaurant, and cocktails at a honkey tonk, so i never got to see how you would respond, and i have to admit i was curious all night, i really was. will he be offended? will he realize i was just roughhousing/playing ball in the house? it would have been real easy just to get confused, and tell me to stick it, but you played along, nicely done, i got a good chuckle. if only i could have seen it before i went out. excuse the fribble jeff, but i had to let you know i appreciated that.

    todays lead was a total tease, i thought for sure you had found a colour photo. this debate about the bronco has raged here for yeeeeears, and i can’t believe none of us have ever found a pixture.

    congrats on the may 11 pop-up. that should be a real hoot, i wish i could attend.

  • tms | April 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    More Adidas uniform changes:

    http://www.facebook....
    (hopefully link works)

    Nebraska appears to be getting rid of the TV numbers. I am not familiar enough with the other jerseys to comment on any other changes though.

    • Tim E. O'B | April 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

      Those Michigan pictures are of two different uniforms. One has sleeve numbers and the other doesn’t AND the number fonts on the front are different. Weird.

      • tms | April 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

        That is very odd. I’m not sure what to make of these photos

  • H.B. Donnelly | April 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

    I must say I wasn’t paying too much attention to the unis during Indiana’s spring game because I was cold and miserable and trying to keep $70,000-worth of camera from getting wet. However, I’m fairly certain they went with the old striped pants all the way through spring practice. Those pants look great with the striped helmet and shoulder loops anyhow.

  • Coleman | April 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    I didn’t notice this anywhere in the comments yet so i thought I’d link it, Raiders are renaming their stadium. The writer takes some nice shots at their fans too…

    http://sports.yahoo....

    • Kyle Allebach | April 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

      Aww. You beat me to the punch. At least Paul can sell “I’m Still Calling It Oakland Coliseum” shirts now. But really? Overstock.com Coliseum? Did Al Davis hit his head leaving the shower the other day? Jeez.

      • Coleman | April 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

        I see now that James Craven posted a sly comment earlier about it but I missed it initially. He beat us both.

        • Kyle Allebach | April 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |

          I think O.co Coliseum is much cleaner than Overstock.com Coliseum. But still; it’s pretty sad.

      • =bg= | April 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

        lessee..network associates…macafee..now this. it’s still a dump.

  • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm |

    “That’s the point: A “1962 vantage point” isn’t available to us,”

    Other than mine, you mean?
    Or the 1972 vantage point when I asked questions, and got answers, about it?

    You guys just can’t seem to get that I was following, as best I could, this whole thing as it happened. As I soon as I met someone who was close to it (my partner) I grilled him about it.

    I didn’t wait for the Internet to get started on it.

    Yet, you seem more willing to trust the views of someone in the late 1990s (at the earliest) who looked backward and declared, “Ah, I know what happened. I found some old black and white photos.”

    • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

      Ricko, quick question: Did you personally see the 1962 Broncos play in person prior to the change to white decals, or did you personally see color photography, still or moving, of the same, in 1962?

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

        I did not. That’s why, in 1972, as soon as I met someone who did, I asked him about it. He, having been sports editor of the Denver Post in 1962, seemed at least something of credible source.

        As far as I know only one Internet source makes a similar claim, asking players about it in, at the earliest, the 1990s, and framing the questions in an entirely loaded fashion. “Why did they change the brown horse to white?” (or some similar fashion).

        But I assume you also are talking about what likely was inside the head of sport marketers, etc. Or consumers, for that matter.

        With dad being a commercial artist functioning on a reasonably high level in the industry, our household was full of discussions about such things for as long as I can remember. I turned 16 that year (already being paid to string sports for the suburban weekly), so it wasn’t like I saw things through the eyes of a child.

        But evidently that’s valueless, and people born thirty years later know more about life in the early ’60s than I.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

          Bottom line, Scott, is…

          Has anyone found any mention whatseover of the horse being brown prior to on the Internet, or anytime earlier than the mid 1990s?

          I’ve not seen one.

          It seems to come up out of a trap door, totally overlooked for, what, 35 years, minimum?

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |

          When investigating a question of historical fact, the best evidence will be both primary and contemporaneous. The next-best evidence is either primary or contemporaneous.

          Evidence that is neither primary nor contemporaneous just isn’t particularly compelling on its own.

          What Ricko offers is secondary, not primary, and it’s long after the fact, not contemporaneous. It’s one guy’s 40-year-old memory of another guy’s 10-year-old memory. That’s stronger evidence than a non-sourced history posted online, but not hugely. It’s not “valueless,” but neither is it sufficient to settle a question of fact. Evidentiary value is not binary, and neither is it a statement about who “knows more” than whom.

          Now, I understand that to Ricko, his story is a primary, non-contemporaneous account. Which, from his point of view, it is. And that’s much stronger evidence. But unless Ricko can offer a sound recording or a written account made at the time of the 1972 conversation, his recounting the story to us necessarily renders it both secondary and doubly non-contemporaneous. Maddening, I know, but there are very good reasons why we don’t value 40-year-old hearsay of 10-year-old memories as highly as we value eyewitness accounts — even when we very much like and trust the person offering the remembered recounting!

          Everything else — all the theorizing about what the mention, or non-mention, of colors in a newspaper caption might mean, or how the mindset of particular team officials might have led to this or that decision about uniform colors — is “Superman versus Mighty Mouse” conjecture with no value whatsoever in answering the question of fact. In favor of the blue theory, we have a reasonable, but non-contemporaneous secondhand account from a trustworthy source. That’s something, but unfortunately, owing to the nature of human memory, it ain’t much.

          If I consult my hunches and my gut, I think the blue theory is probably correct. But dispassionately considering the quantity and quality of evidence presented, I’d have to answer, “insufficient data to draw a conclusion, but slight lean blue.” Until we have an artifact, color photography, or a specific primary contemporaneous account, this white whale still spites us.

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |

      Here are my final thoughts on it.
      1. Accounts closest to the actual event generally are regarded, by historians, to carry more weight than those obtained later in time. Absent precise evidence, that is.
      2. By any measure consistent with 1962 thinking, and on the design of the rest of the 1962 uniform, and on the prevailing attitude in Denver, the Blue horse makes sense, common sense. The suggestion of Brown is the aberration and, to my way of thinking, therefore the burden of proof falls on those contending that aberration.

      Until some definitive proof (visual of otherwise) of the aberration is provided, the horse should be assumed to have been Blue.

      (If I want to say the Vikings wore black helmets for their first two exhibition games in 1961—even though logic would say they were purple—it’s up to me to prove it, not for it to be accepted as fact just because I said so).

      • Geeman | April 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

        I’m with you, Ricko. But this debate is tied with the debate on the Obama birth certificate as the most serious silliness of the week. Can’t believe so much time has been devoted to either.

  • Teamo | April 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    Was watch the Nats drop one to the Mets (ugh) and noticed Rick Ankiel now wearing #24. Didn’t get a screen shot but he was still wearing #43 as of Sunday. http://scores.espn.g...
    The Nats roster does show him as now being 24 with Bixler donning 43. http://washington.na...

  • Brian C | April 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

    The first San Jose Sharks uniform was one of the best new designs in years; clean, traditional, great colors (they even had a pants stripe). Too bad they changed it. According to that diagram they originally had the idiotic “stripes on the bottom” socks, but by the time they took the ice they abandoned them and went with the only style hockey teams should wear, with the stripes in the middle.

    • ClubMedSux | April 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

      I can’t stand the “SJ” letter mark they have now; it makes an already-horrible black alternate even worse.

    • Gusto44 | April 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

      Couldn’t agree more about the San Jose Sharks, there are a few more teams I’d put in that category. The LA Kings should have stuck with purple and gold, Washington’s old unis had more stars for a better look, and St. Louis was better back in the 80s.

      Speaking of hockey pants, they seem to be neglected by some teams in terms of design, too many blanks out there. The old Canucks unis had a blue and green striping in the 70s, and the Bruins had a white stripe years ago too. For something new, how about a smaller version of the Flyers logo on their pants, placed on the side?

      • Gusto44 | April 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

        Oops, my bad. The Canucks do have the traditional striping on their pants, I was thinking of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres should return to the gold/white striping.

  • aflfan | April 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

    Rumor running wild on Twitter right now has the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg. Could we be getting rid of the worst jerseys in the NHL if it is true?

  • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |

    Hard to believe there is no color picture to be found of that Bronco helmet.

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

      Not really. At least not a game photo. Near as I can tell that Dark Horse helmet was worn only in night games, and I do not recall a single color photo from a Bronco night game during that era.

      Shooting black and white action under what likely was less-than-excellent conditions was tough enough. Shooting color would have been a waste of money for film and processing.

      Plus, there just weren’t many publications looking for color shots. One for the cover was all most magazines needed.

      I’ve never seen a color action photo of the Raiders or the NY Titans (to name two) from the first three years of the AFL, either.

      And don’t think I didn’t look for them then, and don’t still keep searching the Internet for them now.

      • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm |

        “Broncos Dark Horse Helmet” should be the official name of this white whale, if it’s not already. That’s a brilliant turn of phrase right there, Ricko!

      • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm |

        Good info on the color action shots from those 3 teams. But what if a fan took one. Or how old time color film shows up from games in the 40’s

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm |

          Always said any color photo of the Dark Horse Bronco helmet likely will come from an amateur photographer who was shooting color sideline shots, etc, where he could work with slower shutter speeds in the low light. Not much chance that anyone shooting the game for money was shooting color.

          Don’t know that I’ve seen any color games films from the ’40s or ’50s that are night games.

    • Glenn | April 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm |

      I seriously may have to get my ass down to the Denver Public Library downtown on an off-day and go through their microfilm/fiche on Rocky Mountain News archives and see if there’s something there about it :)

      • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |

        good luck

  • captincanuck | April 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

    Texas Tech baseball wore their new throwbacks the other day against New Mexico. All the players went high cuff with stirrups but all the coaches went with the pajama pants look ::head desk::. http://www.texastech...

  • Tris Wykes | April 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm |

    The Patrick Kane Mouthguard Affect is spreading amongst our youth: http://tinyurl.com/5...

    • ryan4fregosi | April 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm |

      Heartbreaking to see our youth so effected.

    • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm |

      thats a big rule violation he should have received a two minute penalty for that. i miss playing lax

  • JGoodrich | April 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

    I think the ’62 Broncos played in black & white until the color change. Just like in the Wizard of Oz.

    • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |

      hahaha that was clever

  • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    i just noticed something interesting… Spencer Hawes of the 76ers wears number 00. On the NBA TV companion however they only show his number as “0” i wonder if they condense all players who were the double zeros.

  • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

    Interstingly, When I took the picture of the 2 Bronco helmets and edited it to b&w here is how it looks

    http://img.photobuck...

    • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

      The original brown horse image looks more like the b&w ebay image. The blue image horse appears to be darker when changed to b&w

      For whatever it is worth.

      • The Jeff | April 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm |

        Unfortunately, as we’ve discussed before, modern photoshopping color to black & white doesn’t produce the same results as original black & white.

        • LarryB | April 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm |

          Yes I remember the columns about filters too. But that was about really old photos.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm |

          But that was about really old photos.

          Doesn’t really matter. Recent versions of Photoshop — say, CS2 and up, if not prior versions that I just haven’t worked with in so long that I honestly can’t remember all the bells and whistles — have very nice preset monochrome conversion filters. Very powerfully illustrates the degree to which a photog who knows that he’s doing can make a monochrome image of a color scene say just about whatever he wants it to say.

          The half-dozen or so B&W images I’ve ever seen of the Dark Horse Helmet look, to my eye, much more consistent with brown than with blue. But on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a complete-game motion picture filmed in Technicolor found in a box with an actual helmet and a signed, dated, and notarized statement of authenticity from 1962, the best possible judgment drawn from B&W photography is worth maybe 0.7. If that. Brown and darkish blue are just too similar to one another, relative to orange, for monochrome photography to offer much insight.

  • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm |

    ricko…

    don’t know if this is a pre-season game, but it’s definitely a day game

    can we check the broncos sked (pre- and regular) and ascertain when that game was played?

  • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm |

    here’s another, larger photo

    is that the raiders?

    if the numbers/stripes are blue…does it follow that the horsey appears to be a different shade…

    in both photos, the pony doesn’t look to be the same grayscale as the numbers/stripes

    • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

      i think that is the 1962 afl thanksgiving day game New york titans vs denver broncos

      • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm |

        http://www.remembert... just found this that backs up that claim of mine

      • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm |

        ok — definitely the titans, but that can’t be thanksgiving day

        no way they wore the brown/blue decal that late in the season — had to be a preseason game

        • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm |

          my apoligies i mis read it they played the titans twice that season.. that game has to be the september 30th game… also i found this http://farm4.static....

        • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm |

          yeah…i got a couple home game shots (looks like a night game) — those are impossible to discern color since there is no “reference” on the uniform (top is orange and white) — i prefer the road shots since we have the numerals/stripes as our “basis” for what appears blue in b & w

        • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

          …of course, if we are to assume the football is a shade of brown…then the grayscale on the helmet appears to be the same, duddnit?

        • usnavyam | April 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm |

          i agree that the shades match.. im having absoultely no luck finding any color shots of that helmet though. only the white logo helmets show up.

        • RS Rogers | April 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

          if we are to assume the football is a shade of brown…then the grayscale on the helmet appears to be the same, duddnit?

          Yes, but … First, the better comparison would be with shaded portions of the orange jersey, as that will be closer to the color value of brown in question than the football, which is likely both a darker and a warmer brown. (In fact, the football And second, a B&W photo just isn’t very good evidence. There’s a very good chance that either Ricko’s source in 1972, or Ricko’s later memory of the conversation, or both, are completely wrong. But that memory of another guy’s memory is still more valuable evidence than anything we can get from eyedroppering B&W newspaper photos.

        • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm |

          The stripes on the pants are royal (royal-orange-royal tri color). Can see them near running back’s left knee.

          No help.
          Could easily be same color as the horsey.
          Or not.

          Tellin’ ya, ain’t gonna happen with b&w photos. Way too much variance, including the shots from the Polo Grounds, where the numbers are in shade and the horsey’s in direct sunlight.

          Like pushing a chain, guys.

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |

      It won’t look the same grayscale as the numbers an stripes, no matter if it’s brown or blue, because the blue helmet decal would have been darker shade.

      As it was with the Colts and Cowboys, too.

      Also the helmet surface is going glare, which most times in a day game will make judging the helmet decal accurately really tough.

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm |

        In other words, we aren’t gonna determine blue or brown from a black and white photo., no matter how hard we try.

        In black and white, the Colts and Browns dark jerseys are a tossup as many times as not.

  • Paul W | April 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    Bills uniforms leaked? http://kotaku.com/#!...

    • Kyle Allebach | April 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm |

      That was posted in the ticker yesterday, I believe.

  • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

    Twins and Rays playing in snow flurries at Target Field.
    Elmer Fudd hats in the dugout.

  • M. Gee | April 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm |

    Would this document shed any light on the blue v. brown horse issue: http://bit.ly/ioeVpL?

    • LI Phil | April 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm |

      well…it’s a 2-color print…even IF the horsey was brown, they didn’t use a third color (prolly quite expensive in those days)

      certainly doesn’t help the “the horse was brown” argument, but it doesn’t hurt it either

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm |

        Hey, they printed the cover in orange and blue because it was “Everything New in ’62.”

        No more cheddar. No more brown.

        See? Just look at the cover of our Press Guide.

        • M. Gee | April 28, 2011 at 11:28 am |

          What I really meant was whether anything inside the media guide would be of assistance. I’m curious whether a copy is floating around out there that might have some information.

  • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

    If there’s a verbal description of the unis contained therein, absolutely.

    I also should point out something. THAT is the cartoon Bob Bowie penned, including the rider. The horsey almost certainly was lifted from it, not drawn independently for the helmet.

    Also kinda discounts the contention it was originally drawn to be brown, too, doesn’t it. Unless somewhat wants to maintiain that’s brown and not orange on the cover.

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm |

      This might provide info, too…
      http://cgi.ebay.com/...

      • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

        I say that because I have posted here several times written descriptions of the unis for MLB from 1962, from TSN.

  • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

    Let’s examine what know the Internet “reportage” on this had wrong.
    1. Bob Bowie designed the unis. He did not.
    2. Bob Bowie designed the horse helmet decal. He did not. Not specifically. He drew the cartoon including the rider used on that press guide cover. The horse was taken from it and adapted, with the tail curled over, etc., for the helmet.
    3. The unis were Tennessee Orange, which would be the same color as the original Bucs. They were not. They were off the shelf orange, same orange as countless other teams.

    Not that it means everything is wrong. Only that time has mucked up the details, or people have filled in details as needed to complete gaps in their info.

  • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | April 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm |

    The “White-Out” jinks strikes again – as the Penguins are out. Yes they did win a Stanley Cup (on the road), but they’re 0-5 in series clincing games at home, and we don’t need to mention the long-time play-off ineptitude of those White-out loving fans of the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes

    If the Denver Broncos mystery gets solved, can the forces of great uni mystery solving, be directed towards what was envisioned when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers originally requested the colours light green and orange, but was rejected by the NFL. What was the shade of light green – and was the orange shade, the same tangerine shade they ended up adopting?

    • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | April 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm |

      Correction: pale green

      Souce: May 24, 1976 Sports Illustrated – page 73

    • Ricko | April 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm |

      Whatever it was, it’s a good bet it was bounced because it was seen as being too close to the Dolphins’ aqua and orange.

      Or possibly too much like a fresh, crisp salad (with shaved carrots).

      • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | April 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm |

        Agreed, still would be interested to know how far they advanced it, I doubt this, but did they have a proto-type? Pale green is an unique colour – used by really no teams – yes close to aqua, but as a team has never had pale green as an official colour (with the exception of the New York Liberty) – it would be interesting to see.

    • Gusto44 | April 28, 2011 at 12:41 am |

      Oakville, going to have to disagree on the white out jinx and the Penguins. The Pens have won a number of playoff games with the white outs over the years, including wins over Detroit.

      Losing this series had everything to do with losing Crosby and Malkin earlier this season, and playing a strong Tampa team.

  • interlockingtc | April 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm |

    Really enjoyed this Bronco horse discussion today. A Uni Watch classic. Thank you gentlemen.

    And the Pop-Up Magazine event sounds cool.

  • urbanleftbehind | April 28, 2011 at 10:37 am |

    The AZ Central slideshow misidentified Mike Pagel’s photo as being from 1984. He was starting QB at ASU in ’80 and ’81. I knew this because the big hubbub was that he was outplaying Art Schlichter in ’82 for the colts.