By Phil Hecken
Now that the Super Bowl is upon us, it’s time to take a look at the uniform history for the designated road team, the Seattle Seahawks. I’ve called upon uniform historian Tim Brulia to give us a rundown of the entire uniform histories of both teams, as he has done in past years. As you’re no doubt aware, Tim and Rob Holecko (along with Bill Schaefer) run the Gridiron Uniform Database. For inline images, you can click to enlarge. For the links within the years, I have made every effort to ensure that the image corresponds to the year being described.
And now, I’ll turn the rest of this over to Tim:
Seattle Seahawks Uniform History
By Tim Brulia
1976: The Seahawks enter the NFL as an expansion team. The helmet is silver with logo being the head of a seahawk with an homage to the native American totem style. The forward facing logo features a neck with blue on top and green on the bottom (separated by a thin strip of white) that wraps around the back of the helmet, with a break at the center ridge portion of the helmet. The masks are generic gray. The white jersey features quite large blue numbers on the front and back, and normal sized blue sleeve — or TV — numbers. The sleeve stripes are three separated stripes, with the outer stripes in green and the center stripe in blue. The blue jersey has large white numbers front and back and normal sized white numbers on the sleeves. Sleeve stripes have a thin white/medium green/medium white/medium green/thin white combo. Names on the backs (NOBs) match the number colors on each jersey. The Pants are silver with a five stripe combo of green/thin white/blue/thin white/green on the sides. The socks are blue and match the stripes on the sleeves of the blue jersey. The cleat colors buck the white trend and are black, perhaps Head Coach Jack Patera paying tribute to his previous employer, the black footed Minnesota Vikings.
1983: There are some tweaks made to the helmet, jerseys and socks. The facemask on the helmet goes from gray to blue. The jerseys now feature thin green, blue and white trim on the collars. Also, the sleeve stripes are replaced by the helmet logo, which wraps itself around the arm, forming a bit of a striping pattern in itself. On the blue jersey, the logo/stripes are outlined in white. And the TV numbers are bumped up from the sleeves to the shoulders. The socks lose their stripes and are now plain blue.
1994: The Seahawks wear a NFL 75th Season patch on the left collarbone of both jerseys. The Seahawks also wear a semi-throwback jersey as do most other teams. They go with a blue jersey with the 1976-82 sleeve stripes, but the jersey features the 1983-94 collar trim! The socks are also of 1976-82 vintage.
2002: For the first time in team history, the Seahawks undergo a major uniform change. Helmets: The color changes from silver to a rather unique shade of blue that I prefer to call “gunmetal blue”. The logo does change ever so slightly, with the face of the hawk looking a little meaner. The top half of the hawk’s neck is the same shade of blue as the helmet and the lower stripe of his neck is more of a navy shade and now the logo is outlined in white. Jerseys: The white jersey has a navy and lime green collar, and the same stripe pattern on the sleeve edge (navy/lime/navy). The numbers (front, back, shoulders) are block gunmetal blue with navy outline. The front wordmark is new and in gunmetal, as is the NOB. The sleeve portion (or what’s left of it) is in gunmetal with the very small team logo that’s practically the same size as the Reebok mark. Meanwhile, the dark jersey changes from a straight blue to the gunmetal tint. The collar and sleeve edge stripes feature the same stripe combo as found on the white jersey. The numbers (front, back, shoulders) are block white with navy outline. The new wordmark and NOB is white. The sleeve portion is navy with the tiny team logo inside outlined in white and sharing space with the Reebok badge. Pants: There are two sets of pants, one is white with sides stripes of navy/lime/navy, and a gunmetal pair that feature the same striping. The socks are a solid navy. The jerseys and pants are supposed to be interchangeable, with a possible four combinations, but three combos see the light of the gridiron; white/white, white/gunmetal and gunmetal/gunmetal. Oh, yes. Black cleats make a comeback and replace the white shoes.
2005: For Week 1 in Jacksonville, the Seahawks go with a gunmetal/white combo, but the rest of the season go with mono white and mono gunmetal. The Seahawks were all set to wear the Super Bowl XL logo patch on their white jerseys as the “away” team as designated by the NFL, but then Steelers coach Bill Cowher stuns all by announcing that the “home” Steelers would wear white instead of their customary black. So, the Seahawks slap the SB XL patch on the gunmetal jerseys instead.
2006: Back to mono whites and mono gunmetals for two seasons.
2009: In Week 3 (9/27), the Seahawks pull off a stunner by wearing a lime green alternate jersey at home against Chicago. The jersey follows the template of the usual white and gunmetals, same neck and sleeve edge trim, white numbers with navy outlines, white wordmark and NOB, and navy sleeves. Overlooked in the neon green hubbub are the equally new navy pants, with gunmetal/lime/gunmetal stripes, certainly the first time such a color combo was used in an NFL game. The Seahawks, in addition to the aforementioned lime/navy, also wore the usual monos (white and gunmetal), but also white over gunmetal and – for good measure – gunmetal over navy!
2012: Ten years after the last uni overhaul, comes another one. Out goes gunmetal and lime. Navy stays, joined by gray, and a more neon style of green. Helmet: navy is now the color, with the logo now having a thick upper navy stripe and a thick lower gray stripe still separated by a thin layer of white, with the entire logo outlined in white. And, at last, the wraparound neck is now connected in the back, coming to a point instead of a break at the center as had been the case since the original logo was formed in 1976. The helmet also features a subliminal pattern on the center portion that also comes to a point at the point of the logo on the back of the helmet. Jerseys: Navy has gray patterned numbers outlined in neon green in the usual places (front, back, shoulders) with a striping pattern that really can’t described, basically gray slants from the collar, with the wordmark placed on the left front stripe. A neon green section on the “sleeves” is the perfect location for the Nike swoosh and lastly, gray NOBs. White is dominated by navy patterned numbers outlined in neon green, navy stripes, navy spaces for Nike and navy NOBs. And an alternate gray jersey is a part of the mix, which is an exact duplicate of the white jersey. Also, a tiny bit of feathered trim can be spotted on a three jerseys. Pants: Navy has a neon green stripe on the sides with 12 navy “feathers” to honor the “12th man.” White has navy side stripes with 12 white feathers. Gray pants also have the navy stripe adorned with 12 gray feathers. Socks: a snoozer, plain navy worn with all combinations. Cleats: Neon green and navy. The uniforms are meant to mix and match, and six combinations are used; navy/navy, navy/gray, white/white, white/gray, white/navy and gray/gray. In weeks 14 and 15, the Hall of Fame 50th anniversary patch is worn (as with all NFL teams), and the Seahawks see this patch on the navy jersey (Week 14) and the solo season appearance on the gray jersey (Week 15).
Thanks, Tim! Wonderful, wonderful stuff!
If you’d like to read more on the Seattle uni & logo history:
• Here is a great article describing what inspired the Seattle Seahawks logo.
• Uni Watch friend Mike Princip has also done an in-depth study of the logo design.
• Uni Watch reader and contributor Mickel Yantz has his own Seahawks uni history blog that is quite in-depth.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 22
By Rob Holecko
UWFFL Week 22
Well, the UWFFL is mostly taking this week off, what with the world’s attention turned towards the biggest event of the year. Here at the UWFFL we thought we’d too get in on the action by presenting a UWFFL-esque Super Bowl uniform matchup to vote on.
Now we know that the game won’t be decided here by the uniforms the teams are wearing, but instead on your television set tomorrow in-between all those $4 million worth of 30 second long displays of conspicuous consumerism. But if the game was decided like all of our UWFFL matchups by the uniforms they were wearing, which team would you vote for? Again, don’t vote so much for who you think will actually win tomorrow, but rather which uniform you like better:
|Super Bowl XLVIII UWFFL Style|
We’ll be back next week with our minor league Conference Championships and our final round of bowl games, although for you real die-hard UWFFL fans there are four international games you can vote on today at uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
…and one last note from The Gridiron Uniform Database
Did you know that this year Seahawks’ Super Bowl uniform combo of white over navy, which was worn only twice during the regular season, Week 10 at Atlanta and Week 15 in this very stadium against the Giants, isn’t the fewest amount of times that a Super Bowl combo was worn by a team during their regular season? The 1982 mostly ‘White At Home’ Dolphins only wore their aqua combo once during the strike shortened season, for a home Monday Night game against Buffalo. (Although since they only played nine games, that record probably deserves an asterisk)
The 1970 Cowboys wore blue in Super Bowl V, and had only worn blue twice during the regular season, and the next fewest after the Seahawks and Cowboys were the 1985 Patriots, who went exclusively white at home during the regular season, they wore red as home team in Super Bowl XX, yet had only worn red in three road games during the regular season.
The 1974 Dolphins only wore aqua four times, and last year’s Ravens only wore white over black five times during the season.
Of course the majority of teams have worn standard home or road unis in the Super Bowl, however the 1994 49ers did wear throwbacks, but of course they had been wearing a variation of them during the majority of the season, having donned the red-over-white throwbacks eight times, as well as on through the playoffs.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: The San Francisco Giants will have a “new” old school orange jersey they’ll wear on home Fridays (h/t Hamburglar Jr @Raph4Real). Their “old” orange jersey had block “GIANTS” across the chest. The new one is more of a throwback to the awesome one worn from 1978 through 1982 … The Washington Nationals have put a red, textured coating on their concourses to help keep them cleaner looking (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Did you know Jerry Lewis (the comedian) actually played in (and got a hit) a preseason game with the Astros in 1973? Now you do. … “I’m not the type to see sexual innuendo in everything, like the Beavis and Butthead type, but I found this cover to be mind-bogglingly poor judgment,” writes Mike (who asked his last name not be used). … The Tampa Bay Rays have packed up for spring training. As Aaron Wigg points out, “And as if Joe Maddon could get any cooler; the second picture is a beer kegerator/tap for his office.” … The SDSU Aztecs have a new home uni — check out that waistband! (h/t Andrew Domingo). … Did you know that Dodger Stadium once hosted ski jumping? Now you do (h/t @AthleticBiz). … South Carolina has some shiny new helmets for the 2014 season (h/t Sully @pal3327). … Ooooohhhh — check out the sweet sweet stirrups of the Fort Scott Greyhounds (Sully again).
NFL News: OK, this one’s a goof (though many of us wish it were real) about the Washington football team officially changing its name. That comes from Jesse Alkire, who writes, “Just released this video today, thought you’d get a kick out of the idea as well as the branding and design work I did for it. If you like it, I’d love if you could spread it around — Twitter, Uni Watch, anywhere your powerful social media arm is willing to reach!” … Here’s a good piece on the decreasing size of NFL shoulder pads (thanks, Paul). … Funny one from New Yorker Alan Kreit: “(Thurs)day, there was a guy selling counterfeit shirts, hats, etc right here on 40th and Broadway. Best question from a tourist: ‘Is it free?’ He made a mint until he was likely sent away by the suits. The cops didn’t care at all.” … Some pretty awesome vintage football cards are on display at the Met (thanks to Tommy Turner). Also from Tommy, it appears as though America is enjoying the “Stoner Bowl,”, which is what some are calling the Super Bowl, due to the fact that both teams come from states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal. … Brinke sends in a pair of articles on Golden Tate’s awesome skyline socks. If you want a pair, look here (thanks to Dan McClung) … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments (h/t Mickel Yantz): A nice look at football in Seattle before the Seahawks. … This photo shows some Bills and Broncos helmets and logos (save for the real Bills going to white helmets recently), sent in by Joseph Bailey. Joe asks, “Do schools have to pay the NFL for stuff like this?” (We’ve discussed this before, but it’s still a fair question). … Here’s a good chart showing the kickoff time for all 48 Super Bowls (thanks, Paul). … Good Esquire article detailing ‘One Man vs. Denver Broncos Fans, and Seattle Seahawks Fans, and Richard Sherman’s Mom‘ (Tommy Turner). … Hmmm. Shawn Crull was watching a special on Comcast SportsNet Chicago about Gale Sayers six touchdown game against the 49ers in 1965, and there was footage from training camp and such and this helmet caught me off guard. Shawn says, “I can’t ever remember any of the uniform combinations in Bears history having a stripe.” Anyone know anything more? … Do you want to own a Peyton Manning or Sammy Baugh jersey? Just be careful what you bid on (h/t Jeremy @JMM1313 for the “wrong” jersey pic).
College Football News: The Tennessee Volunteers will be switching from adidas to Nike in 2015. … No football helmet will probably ever be 100% effective in eliminating concussions, but a study suggests some helmets may be more protective than others (from Tommy Turner).
NBA & College Hoops News: Wow. Check out Long Island University’s former home court, the Brooklyn Paramount Theater (h/t Sully @pal3327) … FNOB Alert: Syracuse women’s team. The Day sisters both have full name OB (great spot by John Fitzgerald), who unfortunately “Couldn’t snag Bri’s pic.” … According to Danny Ainge, the Celts are likely to retier KG’s jersey, but are not so sure about Jesus Shuttlesworth. … The Oregon Ducks will be honoring Phil Knight tonight, and giving away a Phil Knight bobblehead too.
Hockey News: With the Olympics starting next week, John Muir sent in this article on USA goalie masks through history. Some great photos! … The Penn State Nittany Lions women’s hockey team will be doing a pink out today, with pink jerseys (natch) to be auctioned for charity. … USA Hockey has announced Olympic captains. Submitter John Muir asks, “Was the ‘C’ just gently laid upon the jersey during the unveiling photo shoot? That’s…wow, that’s lazy.” … The Toledo Walleye were to wear a helmet decal honoring fallen firefighters last night. … Also last night ASU had a blackout. Wait, ASU has a hockey team? (h/t Brad Denny). … Last night the Rangers wore their Stadium Series jerseys at home (white at home, as God intended) against the Isles. They continue to be undefeated in them, winning 4-1. More photos here.
Soccer News: Mizzou women’s soccer is asking fans on twitter “which #Mizzou jersey is your favorite. Is it white, black, gold or anthracite?“. Left unsaid is why they need four sets of unis, two of which are almost identical.
Grab Bag: Fewer children are playing team sports (at least according to the Wall Street Journal) — apologies if that’s behind a paywall (sent in by Tommy Turner). … Not only is the Puppy Bowl a thing, there are in fact *official* helmets for the event. … Here’s a neat old Seahawks vs. Broncos game program (h/t Sully @pal3327). … And here’s a neat old pennant from 1983 (nice find by Jeff Flynn). … Brinke wonders if it’s OK to show stripe off the field. … Eagles center Jason Kelce entered the Wing Bowl Friday morning in an Eagles helmet car (you can see a short glimpse of it in the video). That comes from Bob Woolard. … Check out this “Porcineograph”. Says Caldwell Bailey, ” It was apparently given out as a party favor by by a sewing machine magnate of the late 19th century, so things come a little full circle in terms of relationship to unis, textiles, etc.” It was on Slate originally. … There’s been a bit of chatter in the comments recently about new NFL franchises. Justin Cliburn recently penned a blog post about Oklahoma City’s prospects for a future NFL franchise. “I settled on ‘Roughnecks’ for the name. I’m writing to ask if you would link to the story on Uni Watch and ask for uniform/logo design submissions to be sent to OklahomaIraqis@gmail.com. You guys love uni/logo contests — give it a shot! … Wow. Just…wow. … Denver Gregg “had to go to the supermarket. They don’t get it.” Wonder who he’s rooting for.
And that will do it on this first Saturday in February. The long wait for the Super Bowl is almost over.
Big (huge) thanks to Timmy Brulia (and Rob Holecko) for the great Seahawks uniform history. I’ll be back with Timmy tomorrow for the Broncos uni history.
You guys have a great Saturday, and I’ll catch you here tomorrow, Super Bowl Sunday. Also, I want to wish a “Happy Birthday” to Leo Strawn, Jr. (who has been working on a future post with me — ONE of these weekends I’ll get to it Leo, I promise!).
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“‘Third World’ Championship… has a totally different sound to it today. I picture a game played by two teams wearing discarded Championship merchandise from the losing team.”