Well, folks — the big weekend is here. And the waiting is the hardest part, as they say,
17 weeks of football, three weeks of playoffs, one Pro Bowl, and a lot of waiting later — and we’ve finally arrived at the Super Bowl. You know the teams (or you should): The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. We know what each team will be wearing tomorrow, but what have they worn in the past? The Ravens, who we’ll look at today, don’t have much of a rich uniform history, since they were born* in 1996. The Niners, on the other hand, have a long and deep past.
* (According to the NFL. We all know the Ravens were moved to Baltimore from Cleveland. I had tried to persuade Timmy & Rob to cover the Browns’ uniform history, but they wanted to stick with official NFL protocol)
There are a billion story-lines for this game, so I won’t bore you with those, but if you didn’t get to read it earlier, I do want to draw your attention to this nifty Super Bowl uni preview Paul had on the mothership this week. That will whet your appetite for tomorrow. But today…today and tomorrow are the traditional Uni Watch “Super Bowl uni history” days, and to bring us up to speed with both teams, I have two outstanding uniform historians, Timmy Brulia and Rob Holecko from the Gridiron Uniform Database; both gents have penned uni history columns for the Super Bowl before, and today, they’re both back. You can click on the thumbnails for full-size versions.
So…without further ado, here are the GUD boys looking at the…
Ravens Through The Years
By Timmy Brulia and Rob Holecko
1996A: Timmy B using NFLSpeak: The Baltimore Ravens become a new entry into the National Football League. They spring from out of nowhere, but utilize much of the front office and playing roster of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns meanwhile, have gone into hiatus until 1999, at which time, the Browns will re-appear, with a whole new front office, stadium and roster, to be stocked by a draft of active players and college players alike, similar to an expansion draft for an expansion team, only that’s not the case in this “unique” situation.
1996B: The uniform part. The Ravens wear black helmets with two purple stripes starting at the front and coming to a point about a third of the way up the center. The logo, a shield-like thing with a large “B” with “RAVENS” at the top of the shield and with purple and white wings on either side, is on both sides of the helmet. The white jersey has a black collar and a black stripe at the edge of the sleeves. The numbers (front, back and shoulders) are fancy fonted in purple with a double outline of white and black. The name on back (NOB) is purple. The Ravens purple wordmark on front is above the front number. A front view of a raven in flight is located on the jersey sleeves. The purple jersey is similar in terms of black trim on collar and sleeve edge, and the raven sleeve logo. The numbers (front, back and shoulders) are white, doubly outlined in black, then gold, with the wordmark on front and the NOB in black. The pants used with both jerseys are black with a thick white side stripe. On the player’s upper right thigh of the pant is a small Ravens’ coat of arm shield. The socks are white, but have a black-white-black stripe combo with the white jersey and a black-purple-black stripe pattern with the purple jersey. The cleats are white. Trivia bit: When the Ravens take the field in the all dark home ensemble, they become the first team to wear a dark jersey-dark pants uni combo since the 1964 Vikings wore all purple for a home game against the Lions. They also become the first team to regularly wear a dark combo for a season since the 1953 Packers.
1997: The numerals on the jersey change slightly. The font is slightly altered and the outline takes on a mild drop shadow effect. The outline on the purple numbers of the white jersey are now gold, then black. The outline on the white numbers of the purple tops are now gold, then black. The black pants are now worn only with the white jerseys. The stripe pattern changes to a white-purple-white, with the coat of arms logo moved from the right thigh to both hips. White pants are now worn with the purple pants. They have a black-purple-black stripe pattern, with the coat of arms on both hips.
1998: The black pants are removed entirely. The white socks with the black-purple-black stripes are worn with both sets of jerseys.
2000: The wordmark is altered on the jerseys. Likewise, the raven in flight logo on the sleeves is removed and the coat of arms logo takes the bird’s place. On the pants, where the coat of arms had been located on the hips, a “B”, like that found on the Raven head on the helmet logo, takes its spot on the hips.
2004: Roughly a month into the season, the Ravens replace the white socks with solid black socks. Also, the Ravens add an alternate all black uni. Basically, the black is modeled after the purple jersey and the collars and sleeve edges are purple. The black pants are stripeless, but have the gold and white “B” placed on the hips.
2009: The white jersey is worn with both the white pants and the black pants.
2010: The Ravens go with mix and match unis during the course of the season. In essence, six different uni combos; all white, all black, white/black, purple/white. purple/black (a combo not seen since the Ravens debut season of 1996) and black/white.
2012: A commemorative patch noting the passing of original owner Art Modell is worn first as a helmet decal in Week 1, then as a jersey patch for the rest of the season, placed on the player’s left breast. Again as in 2010 and 2011, six uni combos are worn. Purple and black cleats are also worn in addition to the all black cleats.
Good luck in XLVII, Ravens!
[If you'd like to see the extended version of this post, with additional graphics and photographs, visit the Gridiron Uniform Database blog]
Thanks Timmy & Rob! Of course, we have somewhat of a unique Super Bowl this year in that the Ravens and 49ers have both never lost the big game (and the Ravens lone win brings back bitter memories for me). So, while I’ll echo the “Good Luck” gesture, I most certainly will be rooting for the 49ers. No offense to the good folks from Ballmer. This is business, nothing personal.
Make sure you guys thank Tim & Rob down below and let them know what a great job they did with this. They’ll be back tomorrow with the Forty Niner uni history.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Andrew Poulson, who has 3 concepts for each ACC football team. Gonna do these as a slideshow and a link:
I really enjoy reading uni watch every day and have recently got into doing uniform concepts. I am a big college football fan so i did the entire ACC. I did a home, an away, and one alternate for every team in the conference as they currently stand. I did them all on Paint. I hope you like them.
Next up is Colin Butler, with a Thunder concept:
Thought you might like to see my version of an OKC alt jersey. I think the Thunder missed out on a great opportunity when they unveiled the retro alts earlier this season. I took the navy blue idea and tweaked it a little further using Photoshop. Thanks.
And we close today with Justin Kline with two distinct concepts:
Phil, two uni concepts for you:
I liked the Steelers’ throwback-inspired “bumblebee” unis, but I think they could do something a little more accessible if they’re going to keep making new throwback-inspired unis. I realize it would be kind of weird to see Pittsburgh take the field with something on both sides of their helmets, but I think this would be a good look regardless.
I was looking at samurai helmets recently, and I noticed that some of them had facemasks that were meant to scare the enemy. I’m not sure what guidelines the NFL has in place regarding facemask designs, but if these samurai-inspired grilles are legal, I bet they’d make any linebacker look 10 times more intimidating.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
Just four of you showed off your rups (but one of you showed us A LOT), and another simply offered a bonus shot. Also (and Comrade will touch on this below), the FREE UW Rup will be given out soon, and all of you who will be at the Gathering in Warshington (including yours truly) will be eligible — so everyone who plans on attending better have some might-tee-fine hose. Here we go:
Here’s a pic of a young Kareem enjoying Stirrup Friday over forty years ago.
Phil & Robert,
In all pics wearing my Comrade Marshall stirrups.
Wearing a shirt & hat from my local microbrewery.
Wearing my white DIY jersey and DIY “taco bell” cap in my take on Ryco’s Ryberto’s Burritos..
Lastly wearing my grey softball version of the Burritos.
In honor of The Man…with the St Louis Post-Dispatch special.
Probably too late to use, but had to send.
Today’s stirrups are Brewers stirrups.
No reason other than I just got them and look really nice with the yellow sani.
On Fridays we get to customize one part of our uniform. This week was socks.
And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ‘em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.
And now for a few words from Comrade Marshall. Comrade?
Still waiting until mid-February on mid-month for the last of the giveaway Uni Watch stirrups, and yes photos from Wednesday’s UW gathering in Worshnin(sic) are eligible. Stocks are low so don’t bother with the site of the revolution unless you want the cycling stirrup, but the first of two big orders are due this week if we are lucky, and for sure we will be stocked by opening day.
Sorry, my heart is not in this today since on the two mile walk to the market today some schizophrenic jumped out of a warehouse and tried to stab me because he thought I was Bruce Lee. The long and short of it is no I am not sure why he wanted Bruce Lee dead, or how he mistook my my 6’5″ bearded white ass for a Kung Fu legend. Maybe it was because it was 11 degrees at the time? Maybe the mission on Roosevelt around the corner wasn’t open yet? but no matter the reason he missed and was disarmed so all is well, new stirrups will be here soon.
from each, to each,
And that’s just about it for today, except for this little bit of late breaking Super Bowl shoe news (thanks to Johnny Okray). Good lord. Surely He will save Ray Lewis from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Or something. After Sunday, hopefully we’ll quoth the Raven nevermore.
Everyone give Timmy & Rob a nice round of thanks, and you all enjoy your Saturday. Rest up. Tomorrow’s a big day.
“Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for pizza delivery in the U.S. What day is #2?”
— Dane Drutis